Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel

Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel

Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel

Myth, Ritual, and Kingship: Essays on the Theory and Practice of Kingship in the Ancient Near East and in Israel

Excerpt

When, four years ago, the volume entitled Myth and Ritual had gone out of print, the advisability of bringing out a new and revised edition was discussed. It was felt that during the twenty-one years that had passed since its first appearance so much new knowledge had accrued as to make it preferable to bring out an entirely new book. Hence it was decided to collect a fresh team, and to present those interested in the theme of Myth and Ritual with a new symposium on the same theme. Special emphasis has been laid on Kingship, because it has become plain that the place of the king in the myth and ritual of the ancient Near East is now the focal point of the discussion that has arisen over Myth and Ritual during the quarter of a century since its publication.

A procedure similar to that followed in the earlier book has been adopted. Through the kindness of Professor Rowley it was arranged that eight lectures dealing with various aspects of the subject should be delivered by the scholars who had been invited to take part in the symposium. These lectures were duly given at the University of Manchester in the autumn of 1955 and the spring of 1956, and are now published, with one addition, under the title of Myth, Ritual, and Kingship. The addition concerns Hittite studies. It was felt that the book would not be complete without a contribution on this important but relatively little-known part of the field, and Dr. O. R. Gurney of Oxford has kindly undertaken to fill the gap.

Hence it might be said that this book is an example of one of the elements in the much discussed and much abused 'ritual pattern', namely, the dying and rising god, for it is Myth and Ritual Redivivus. One significant change may be observed in this new series of essays: they now have an international character, for two eminent foreign scholars have made valuable contributions to the discussion.

I should like to acknowledge with gratitude the important . . .

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