The cuneiform writings of early Mesopotamia have generally been viewed by the modern world as both esoteric and obscure; to the scholars of ancient Assyria and Babylon, however, these works not only were comprehensible, but provided insight into puzzling aspects of their own cultures. In an illuminating essay, Livingstone focuses on a key group of these works that offer explanations of rituals through reference to myths, and to the mystical texts that supply their contexts. Supporting his work are texts in transliteration and translation, notes and discussion, along with cuneiform copies published here for the first time.
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