Cover image for Patients and Performative Identities: At the Intersection of the Mesopotamian Technical Disciplines and Their Clients Edited by J. Cale Johnson

Patients and Performative Identities

At the Intersection of the Mesopotamian Technical Disciplines and Their Clients

Edited by J. Cale Johnson

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$119.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-743-8

208 pages
7" × 10"
34 b&w illustrations
2020

Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale

Patients and Performative Identities

At the Intersection of the Mesopotamian Technical Disciplines and Their Clients

Edited by J. Cale Johnson

The missing piece in so many histories of Mesopotamian technical disciplines is the client, who often goes unnoticed by present-day scholars seeking to reconstruct ancient disciplines in the Near East over millennia. The contributions to this volume investigate how Mesopotamian medical specialists interacted with their patients and, in doing so, forged their social and professional identities.

 

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  • Bio
  • Table of Contents
The missing piece in so many histories of Mesopotamian technical disciplines is the client, who often goes unnoticed by present-day scholars seeking to reconstruct ancient disciplines in the Near East over millennia. The contributions to this volume investigate how Mesopotamian medical specialists interacted with their patients and, in doing so, forged their social and professional identities.

The chapters in this book explore rituals for success at court, the social classes who made use of such rituals, and depictions of technical specialists on seal impressions and in later Greco-Roman iconography. Several essays focus on Egalkura: rituals of entering the court, meant to invoke a favorable impression from the sovereign. These include detailed surveys and comparative studies of the genre and its roots in the emergent astrological paradigm of the late first millennium BC. The different media and modalities of interaction between technical specialists and their clients are also a central theme explored in detailed studies of the sickbed scene in the iconography of Mesopotamian cylinder seals and the transmission of specialized pharmaceutical knowledge from the Mesopotamian to the Greco-Roman world. Offering an encyclopedic survey of ritual clients attested in the cuneiform textual record, this volume outlines both the Mesopotamian and the Greco-Roman social contexts in which these rituals were used. It will be of interest to students of the history of medicine, as well as to students and scholars of ancient Mesopotamia.

In addition to the editor, the contributors include Netanel Anor, Siam Bhayro, Strahil V. Panayotov, Maddalena Rumor, Marvin Schreiber, JoAnn Scurlock, and Ulrike Steinert.

J. Cale Johnson is Professor of Ancient Scientific Thought at the Free University of Berlin.

1. Between Social History and the Life of the Mind: Professionals and Their Clients in Ancient Mesopotamia (Introduction) — J. Cale Johnson

2. Just in Case: Rituals for Entering the Palace or Perversion of Justice? — JoAnn Scurlock

3. Egalkura and Late Astrology — Marvin Schreiber

4. Looking for Clients in the Mesopotamian Ritual Texts — Ulrike Steinert

5. The Seer and His Client in the Ritual of Extispicy — Netanel Anor

6. Healing in Images and Texts: The Sickbed Scene — Strahil V. Panayotov

7. Performative Elements in the Aramaic Magic Bowls — Siam Bhayro

8. Akkadian sikillu and Greek Σκíλλα in Their Medical and Magico-Ritual Contexts — Maddalena Rumor

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