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Divine Justice across the Mediterranean: Hittite Arkuwars and the Trial Scene in Aeschylus' Eumenides

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image of Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions

A survey of Bronze Age Akkadian prayers and Hittite arkuwars, and Iron Age Anatolian, Greek and Latin curses shows a wide-spread conflation of prayer and forensic speech. The evidence is sufficiently abundant to allow us to trace an evolution in the conventions of prayer which keeps pace with changes in judicial procedure. Furthermore, the Hittite prayers in particular, with their detailed descriptions of the imagined court scenario, provide context to the trial scene in Aeschylus' Eumenides, allowing us to separate traditional elements from innovations.


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