Cover image for Beyond Hearth and Home: Women in the Public Sphere in Neo-Assyrian Society By Sherry Macgregor

Beyond Hearth and Home

Women in the Public Sphere in Neo-Assyrian Society

Sherry Macgregor

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$59.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-952-10-1337-9

176 pages
10" × 7"
2012
Distributed by Penn State University Press for Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project

State Archives of Assyria

Beyond Hearth and Home

Women in the Public Sphere in Neo-Assyrian Society

Sherry Macgregor

Although the impression may still linger that Assyrian women are hidden and unavailable for study, nothing could be farther from the truth. There is a rich treasure trove of textual, visual and archaeological information that gives a detailed and coherent picture of women in the temples and palaces of Assyria. This study reveals that women in Assyria were definitely in the public arena and their lives were not as circumscribed or limited as has been previously supposed. The positions they held in palaces and temples frequently required administrative abilities, business acumen and literacy. In the temples women participated in public rituals and female prophets revealed messages to heads of state. Female musicians performed at public events while foreign female musicians were popular and much sought after. Royal women had names and images displayed in public. Women in the temples and palaces of Assyria generated great respect from the king himself, his circle of advisors and Assyrian and foreign officials. They actively and noticeably participated in the “great institutions” of Assyria. This study makes an important contribution to the increasing number of publications on women in other areas of Mesopotamia and the larger ancient Mediterranean world.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
  • Subjects
Although the impression may still linger that Assyrian women are hidden and unavailable for study, nothing could be farther from the truth. There is a rich treasure trove of textual, visual and archaeological information that gives a detailed and coherent picture of women in the temples and palaces of Assyria. This study reveals that women in Assyria were definitely in the public arena and their lives were not as circumscribed or limited as has been previously supposed. The positions they held in palaces and temples frequently required administrative abilities, business acumen and literacy. In the temples women participated in public rituals and female prophets revealed messages to heads of state. Female musicians performed at public events while foreign female musicians were popular and much sought after. Royal women had names and images displayed in public. Women in the temples and palaces of Assyria generated great respect from the king himself, his circle of advisors and Assyrian and foreign officials. They actively and noticeably participated in the “great institutions” of Assyria. This study makes an important contribution to the increasing number of publications on women in other areas of Mesopotamia and the larger ancient Mediterranean world.

With indices, bibliography and 15 illustrations.

Introduction

I. Temple Women

Women Cultic Officiants

Female Prophets and Prophecy

II. Musical Women

Textual Evidence

Visual Evidence

Conclusion

III. Palace Women

Households

Royal Women

Sammuramat

Tašmetum-šarrat

Ešarra-hammat

Libbali-šarrat

Conclusion

IV. Naqia/Zakutu – Queen Extraordinaire

Two Names: Naqia and Zakutu

Titles

Religious Activities

Political Arena

Personal Information

Three Theories

Visual Image: The Bronze Relief

Loyalty Oath

Conclusion

Conclusion

Bibliography

Indices

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