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A Hittite Magical Ritual to Be Performed In an Emergency

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

The Hittite magical ritual KUB 17.28 ii 33-61 iii 1-17 is part of a Sammeltafel in which rites of different character and content are collected. The aim of this paper is to show how the ritual under discussion was performed directly by the patient, without the guidance of any magician. The person acting out the ritual was a victim of a curse, expressed through the idiom lalan karp -, performed against him with malevolence. The ritual itself is characterized by actions mixed together with three oral rites: a magic analogy expressed through a simple simile, a short personal prayer, and a wish introduced by the verb mald -. In particular, the role of the second recitation in comparison with royal prayers like CTH 381 and CTH 385.10, both preceded by a ceremonial part, will be analysed. In conclusion, an attempt to reconstruct the possible method of composition of the whole Sammeltafel as well as to suggest how the scribe had most probably worked in bringing the rituals together will be undertaken.


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