Akkadian Prayers in Ancient Mesopotamia

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today, ASOR
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By: Alan Lenzi

Prayer is ubiquitous in human societies, including ancient Mesopotamia, but it often appears alien or distant to our modern sensibilities. A closer look shows that this seemingly arcane topic tells us much about Mesopotamian hopes, fears, rituals, and history, sometimes in deeply human ways.

How do we identify Akkadian prayers?

The Mesopotamians never defined “prayer,” though they had a number of words that we translate with the term (e.g., Akkadian supû, teslītu, and ikribu).

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