The Treasures of Darkness: A History of Mesopotamian Religion
"A brilliant presentation of Mesopotamian religion from the inside, backed at every point by meticulous scholarship and persistent adherence to original texts. . . . A classic in its field."--Religious Studies Review
A recreation of the spiritual life of ancient Mesopotamia demonstrating that the roots of Western civilization lie in the ancient Near East.
"The Treasures of Darkness is the culmination of a lifetime's work, an attempt to summarize and recreate the spiritual life of Ancient Mesopotamia. Jacobsen has succeeded brilliantly. . . . His vast experience shows through every page of this unique book, through the vivid, new translations resulting from years of careful research. Everyone interested in early Mesopotamia, whether specialist, student, or complete layman, should read this book. . . . It is, quite simply, authoritative, based on a vast experience of the ancient Mesopotamian mind, and very well written in the bargain."--Brian M. Fagan, History
"Professor Jacobsen is an authority on Sumerian life and society, but he is above all a philologist of rare sensibility. The Treasures of Darkness is almost entirely devoted to textual evidence, the more gritty sources of archaeological knowledge being seldom mentioned. He introduces many new translations which are much finer than previous versions. . . . Simply to read this poetry and the author's sympathetic commentary is a pleasure and a revelation. Professor Jacobsen accepts the premise that all religion springs from man's experience of a power not of this world, a mysterious 'Wholly Other.' This numinous power cannot be described in terms of worldly experience but only in allusive 'metaphors' that serve as a means of communication in religious teaching and thought. . . . As a literary work combining sensibility, imagination and scholarship, this book is near perfection."--Jacquetta Hawkes, The London Sunday Times
"A fascinating book. The general reader cannot fail to admire the translated passages of Sumerian poetry with which it abounds, especially those illustrating the Dumuzi-Inanna cycle of courtship, wedding and lament for the god's untimely death. Many of these (though not all) are new even to the specialist and will repay close study."--B.O.R. Gurney, Times Literary Supplement
Akkadian Amaushumgalanna ancient Mesopotamian Anshar Apsu aspect assembly Atrahasis attitude Babylon bird bull of heaven called child cosmic cult Damu death deity desert divine Dumuzi Dynasty Eanna Enki Enki's Enkidu Enlil Enuma elish Ereshkigal Eridu evil father fertility flood Geshtinanna Gilgamesh Epic Girsu give birth goddess gods grain Gudea Hades hand heart heaven and earth holy human husband Huwawa hymn Imdugud Inanna Ishkur Ishtar killed king kingship lady Lahamu lament lines Marduk millennium B.C. moon mother mountains myth netherworld Ningirsu Ningishzida Ninhursaga Ninlil Nintur Ninurta Nippur numinous numinous power Old Babylonian rain reeds religious rite ritual ruler metaphor sacred marriage second millennium seems shepherd sister sleep song storehouse storm story Sumerian sweet Tablet tells temple third millennium thou Ti'amat tradition Uruk Utanapishtim verily wedding wild word worship young