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4 Gula and Healing Spells

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Chapter Summary

This chapter brings together the healing spells that invoke the Goddess Gula or mention her. It discusses the medical context and explores from another point of view the relationship between the healing Goddess and diseases. The chapter also discusses the function and implication of healing spells; in applying the theory of discourse metaphor, the author analyses the imagery of some healing spells to show how Ancient Babylonians conceptualized pain and illness. Special emphasis is laid on the metaphors that are linked to the healing Goddess. About 350 healing spells are included in the corpus of medical prescriptions; only few of them address the healing Goddess. The chapter offers eight spells in transliteration and translation. Although Gula was the patron deity of healing, only a relatively small number of incantations directly address her.

Keywords: Ancient Babylonians; Goddess Gula; healing spells



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