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The Sacred Books of Chaldea


Origin and Growth of Religion


This fifth extract from Sayce’s Origin and Growth of Religion, the topic turns to the “sacred books” of the Babylonians. Beginning with the “Chaldean Rig-Veda,” collections of hymns identified from the earliest days of Assyriology, Sayce also considers the earlier, less developed magical texts. Future considerations – sin, the status of heaven and Hades, and cosmology finish out the essay.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-60724-177-5
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Series: Analecta Gorgiana 162
Publication Date: Apr 7,2009
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 56
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-60724-177-5
$43.00
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This fifth extract from Sayce’s Origin and Growth of Religion, the topic turns to the “sacred books” of the Babylonians. Beginning with the “Chaldean Rig-Veda,” collections of hymns identified from the earliest days of Assyriology, Sayce also considers the earlier, less developed magical texts. The penitential psalms, which he compares to the biblical psalms of this genre, are considered and followed by hymns to the sun-god of Sippar. The relative ages of the collections are compared. Turning toward the cultic use of the hymns, the service books of the temple and the use of Akkadian as a sacred language for the Babylonian priesthood fill in the picture. Shamanism and the evolution of the gods, as well as their characteristics as degraded spirits of earlier faiths are aspects explored by Sayce. Future considerations – sin, the status of heaven and Hades, and cosmology finish out the essay.

Archibald Henry Sayce (1845-1933) was a renowned Assyriologist, linguist, and sometime archaeologist. Educated at Queens College, Oxford, Sayce eventually came to hold the Professorship of Assyriology at Oxford. A prolific writer, he is responsible for many of the insights taken for granted by scholars today. Sayce, for example, was the first to suggest that the Hittites had been a major empire in ancient Anatolia (what is now Turkey). He was also a clergyman in the Church of England.

This fifth extract from Sayce’s Origin and Growth of Religion, the topic turns to the “sacred books” of the Babylonians. Beginning with the “Chaldean Rig-Veda,” collections of hymns identified from the earliest days of Assyriology, Sayce also considers the earlier, less developed magical texts. The penitential psalms, which he compares to the biblical psalms of this genre, are considered and followed by hymns to the sun-god of Sippar. The relative ages of the collections are compared. Turning toward the cultic use of the hymns, the service books of the temple and the use of Akkadian as a sacred language for the Babylonian priesthood fill in the picture. Shamanism and the evolution of the gods, as well as their characteristics as degraded spirits of earlier faiths are aspects explored by Sayce. Future considerations – sin, the status of heaven and Hades, and cosmology finish out the essay.

Archibald Henry Sayce (1845-1933) was a renowned Assyriologist, linguist, and sometime archaeologist. Educated at Queens College, Oxford, Sayce eventually came to hold the Professorship of Assyriology at Oxford. A prolific writer, he is responsible for many of the insights taken for granted by scholars today. Sayce, for example, was the first to suggest that the Hittites had been a major empire in ancient Anatolia (what is now Turkey). He was also a clergyman in the Church of England.

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A. Sayce