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Peg figurine of Gudea as a basket carrier from Telloh. Courtesy of the Musée du Louvre (AO258). 

Peg figurine of Gudea as a basket carrier from Telloh. Courtesy of the Musée du Louvre (AO258). 

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Standing at the head of the social hierarchy, the Mesopotamian king had a close relationship with the gods and was considered a mediator between the earthly and divine spheres. The interaction between kings and gods had a supreme role in ensuring social welfare and a vital function in the empowerment of the ruler. The worldly needs of the ruler led...

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Context 1
... peg figurines depicting a horned lesser divinity. On the other hand, Gudea's inscriptions were inscribed on figurines representing the king as the builder of the temple, thus reviving Early Dynastic conventions of the Sumerian builder-king who carries a basket on his head (Ellis 1968: 61;Suter 2010: 320-21; see Cyl. A xx: 24-26 RIME 3.1, p. 82) (Fig. 2). In spite of the fact that Gudea appears without any divine markers on these figurines, his similar representation to lesser divinities shown on the same type of object, hints at a parallelism between these divinities and the king. Moreover, the "disguise" of Gudea as a foundation peg figurine turns him into an active figure who can ...


... The potential divide between historical and legendary kings is frequently indistinct in written and material evidence: imagery from epic literature underlies the historical ideology of early Mesopotamian kings, and royal iconography blends the image of the historical king with his legendary predecessors (Ornan, 2014). Royal epics contain motifs very close to those that appear in the epics of legendary heroes and in Sumerian king lists; rulers who feature as the heroic subjects of epic are listed along with later historical kings. ...
In this ground-breaking study, Robin Baker investigates the contribution ancient Mesopotamian theology made to the origins of Christianity. Drawing on a formidable range of primary sources, Baker's conclusions challenge the widely held opinion that the theological imprint of Babylonia and Assyria on the New Testament is minimal, and what Mesopotamian legacy it contains was mediated by the Hebrew Bible and ancient Jewish sources. After evaluating and substantially supplementing previous research on this mediation, Baker demonstrates significant direct Mesopotamian influence on the New Testament presentation of Jesus and particularly the character of his kingship. He also identifies likely channels of transmission. Baker documents substantial differences among New Testament authors in borrowing Mesopotamian conceptions to formulate their Christology. This monograph is an essential resource for specialists and students of the New Testament as well as for scholars interested in religious transmission in the ancient Near East and the afterlife of Mesopotamian culture.
This contribution explores the material manifestations of Assyrian kingship and how they intersected with Assyrian ideology and religion. This state-of-the-field discussion focuses on the Neo-Assyrian period, 883–612 BCE. To legitimate their positions as the god Aššur's chosen delegate, the kings produced and consumed a vast array of monumental and portable goods, which served to represent the kings as beneficent creators of an orderly realm and protectors of the Assyrian world keeping chaos at bay.