Lewis, Megan Hollie Caroline (2012)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The goddess Ištar is a complex and varied figure within ancient Near Eastern culture. Despite having been the subject of much modern scholarship, Ištar’s contradictory nature is poorly understood. This study examines Ištar through three important hymns and prayers, the corpus
of Assyrian oracle texts and a poem known as Agushaya. These texts provide insight into how Ištar was viewed by the people who worshipped her and the relationship between goddess and devotees. Consideration is given to recurring themes within the texts as well as the wider body of literature referring to Ištar.
The purpose of this study is to contribute to the understanding of the multi-faceted character of the goddess, through examining her depiction in different types of texts. By juxtaposing examples from a variety of genres in a previously untried fashion, Ištar’s diversity is illustrated fully and can be acknowledged as central to her identity.
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