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Myth and Ritual: An Empirical Approach

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Examples where a ritual has a clear connection to a myth are actually rare in the ANE, with the exception of Egypt, yet they provide the best evidence for the connection between the two. Comparison of examples does not support some previous generalisations about the connection of myth and ritual but rather raises the possibility that the connection varies with culture and period. Further the myths involved are often different to the myths known from the literary tradition, raising the likelihood of separate functions for the literary tradition and whatever tradition lay behind these texts. That in turn leads to a need to conjecture a reason for the difference in attestation of myths in the literary traditions of Mesopotamia and Egypt.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Classics and Ancient History, University of


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