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2010 | 3-4 (234-235) | 141-154

Article title

BETWEEN SINFULNESS AND BEING CHOSEN. GOD-MAN RELATIONSHIP IN MESOPOTAMIAN MYTHOLOGY (Pomiedzy grzesznoscia a wybraniem. Relacja bog-czlowiek w mitologii mezopotamskiej)

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The understanding of the Mesopotamian civilization, especially the relations between humans and gods, is hardly known. The advanced and long-lasting studies have entitled us to establish the picture of a culture in which these relations where fundamental for its correct existence. From this perspective, the question of being chosen or rejected by gods is of great importance. This article seeks to find divine reasons for finding humans sinful or pious. Gods' attitudes are one thing, another one is how people obtained this knowledge. It is a question of communication between gods and humans. In Mesopotamian history, men treated gods with great respect and anxiety that was related to the definition of divine which can be rendered with an Akkadian term 'mellamu'. If one accepts such a division into two different worlds, could one find any notion of human disagreement for being totally subordinated? Is it right to talk about human disobedience or even revolt? Who from among animated beings was strong enough to object the powerful gods? This paper discusses the attitudes of heroes and kings who in their deeds challenged the 'perfect world' created for men by gods. Not only examples of gods' attitude towards humans are analysed but also the ways of human understanding of their own role in the world.




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  • Krzysztof Ulanowski, Uniwersytet Gdanski, Gdansk, Poland


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