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The Heavens And The Gods In Ancient Mesopotamia: The View From A Polytheistic Cosmology

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Chapter Summary

The present discussion concerning the heavens and the gods in ancient Mesopotamia, attempts to navigate through some cosmological and theological layers of meaning about the divine and the celestial expressed in Akkadian and Sumerian texts, filtered through the Western conceptual heritage. The problematic of this essay is whether the ancient Mesopotamian view of the relation between the divine and heaven ever offered the possibility of a divine unity, a &t;monotheism,&t; conceived in the form of a divine cosmos. The use of these writings, &t;god&t; and &t;star,&t; can also function as classifiers written in front of the name of a divinity or a celestial body, and clearly constitute two different classes of things. We can assume that the ancients thought there was a difference. The author assumes that personal divine names, written with the divine determinative, can be referred to as gods, regardless of what that means in a theological sense.

Keywords: Ancient Mesopotamia; celestial; divine; Gods; Heavens; Polytheistic Cosmology; star; theological layers; View; Western conceptual heritage



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