Religious Continuity and Royal Legitimation in Mesopotamia
The akītu festival is one of the oldest recorded religious festivals in the world, celebrated for several millennia throughout ancient Mesopotamia. Yet, the akītu was more than just a religious ceremony; it acted as a political device to ensure the supremacy of the king, the national god, and his capital city. Using tools of social anthropology and ritual analysis, this book presents a detailed reconstruction of the festival events and its attendant rituals to demonstrate how the festival became a propagandistic tool wielded by the monarchy and ruling classes. The akītu festival demonstrates the effectiveness of religion as a political tool.