Talk:Ancient Mesopotamian religion

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Later influence paragraph is vague and incomplete[edit]

It is written than Babylonian traditions/myths/religions influenced a lot of others cultures (Semites, Greeks, Romans, etc). But there is something that I dont see and it tickles me. If :

- semites (including proto-hebrews) were a big part of the tribes that composed Babylonia,

- before being under a "unified" monarchy, Babylonia had been influenced by its tribal origins,

- Sumeria and Babylonia were among the most advanced/developed civilizations of their times,

Shall we conclude that these semites traditions/myths/religions were carried out by those tribes, then developped to form the so-called Mesopotamian religion ? After all, Babylonians could just be the first to have written them down. (unfortunately for us, oral tradition was the rule before the alphabet !)

interesting source : (I dont agree with all the articles of the site though)

Abrahamic religion and mesopotamian sexuality morality[edit]

User:Saronsacl, you have been adding very broad, badly sourced content about supposed parallels with Abrahamic religions and about sexual morality of women...

in this article
at Sumer
at Sumerian religion
at Abrahamic religions
at Mesopotamia (basically same content as just above)

What you are doing here is not supported by the sources you are citing, and you are painting things with a very broad, idealizing brush. Please slow down and propose content, and discuss. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 05:31, 14 June 2017 (UTC)

Yes, they are. Read the sources before you sart reverting them. I copied them word-for-word.Saronsacl (talk) 05:36, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I copied EVerything WORD-FOR-WORDSaronsacl (talk) 06:05, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Do you understand that you are acknowledging violating the WP:COPYVIO policy?
But in any case this is not true of everything you are adding. For instance, about this, as I noted Talk:Sumerian_religion#Premarital_sex, the Launderville book discusses only post-Sumer sources on pp 254-256 - this is not "sumerian religion". But keep insisting it is. This is one of the many problems with your edits.
Please explain what parts you are copying, and from where. We must remove those parts. Thanks. Jytdog (talk) 06:07, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Or better, you could just reword, like, all of them.Saronsacl (talk) 06:08, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I am not going to remove your edits further. You must remove anything you have copied. Please take care of that. Jytdog (talk) 06:09, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I might reword them soon. Please wait.Saronsacl (talk) 06:11, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
Waiting is not an option when it comes to COPYVIO - it has already been removed by an administrator. As I said, the COPYVIO is just one issue. The stuff that you didn't copy is not OK as well. Jytdog (talk) 06:15, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
I took data from page 28 of the Launderville book, not 254-256. I do not even know where you got those numbers from. I did not put the page number in the references. I will now.Saronsacl (talk) 08:15, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
This content that you keep adding to a bunch of articles is unsupported by the sources, and way too general. This "love" of X, the "never Y" - these are broad generalizations that are a not sustainable.

The Sumerians loved technological innovation, and had unusually creative intellects and adventurous spirits. The Sumerian region was one with "the Hand of God against it": the river-made land was devoid of minerals and stone; the extremely hot climate was unproductive; and, except for huge reeds in the marshes, there were no lumber sources-yet the Sumerians converted the area and upon it developed the first high civilization in the history of man. The pragmatic Sumerians also developed spiritual and philosophical advances: they never substituted delusion for reality, they reverenced honor and recognition, and they rejected all oppression, even by rulers. They became the first to write laws and law codes, creating duality in attempts to avoid misunderstanding of rules. The religion of their sages in a sense "gave unto the gods what was the gods'", and embraced mortal fallibility and inevitable subordination to death and divine wrath.[1] Sumer, and other Mesopotamian cultures, influenced the Abrahamic religions, particularly the Old Testament.[2]


  1. ^ The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character by Samuel Noah Kramer, page 3-4
  2. ^ Handbook to life in ancient Mesopotamia by Stephen Bertman, page 312

Was added to Abrahamic religions (for example diff), to Mesopotamia (for example diff), to Sumer (for example diff).

-- Jytdog (talk) 15:59, 14 June 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog:, alright, could you explain to me why you keep saying everything I added are not supported by sources?Saronsacl (talk) 02:07, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
You can pick many examples. In what decent source is something as general as "The Sumerians loved technological innovation, and had unusually creative intellects and adventurous spirits." supported? This is a caricature, not measured, scholarly summary of accepted knowledge. Its as invalid and really ugly as any stereotype of a whole people. Jytdog (talk) 04:27, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, regarding that, I based it upon the statement in Samuel Noah Kramer's book "The people of Sumer had an unusual flair for technological invention." The case is mostly similar for eveything else I added. Would you agree to a rewording of the content to make it not invalid, not stereotypical, and closer to the source?Saronsacl (talk) 05:48, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
So you just made up some ridiculously broad content up out of thin air in that sentence, and added it to Wikipedia. As for the rest, what you didn't just make up, you almost literally copy/pasted from the intro to Kramer's book, where he is allowing himself some flights of fancy and broad generalization to pull the reader into his book (written in 1963; a very different era in which scholars wrote some things nobody would be caught dead writing today). You took dangerously broad strokes (and really unsupportable) claims he he made, like "they rarely substituted delusion for reality" and made it into the ludicrous "they never substituted delusion for reality". Jytdog (talk) 11:39, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
In my defense though, the only reason I changed it from "rarely" to "never" is to avoid copyright violations-and such is the case with pretty much everyhing else. And please stop pretending like I am making stuff up to push some weird agenda, because I am NOT- the So please stop wih the "making stuff up" accusations. I was not aware of difference between the scholarly writing standards of 1963 and contemporary times.Saronsacl (talk) 12:42, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
And guess what-you accusing me of making stuff up just reflects your own bias. All the stuff I put means almost the exact same as what the authors wrote.Saronsacl (talk) 12:42, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Well, do you agree with a rewording of the content or not?Saronsacl (talk) 12:27, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
And regarding page 28 of the Launderville book?Saronsacl (talk) 12:34, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
If you want to propose new content that is scholarly and measured and has no COPYVIO please do do. Please propose it on the relevant talk page first. Jytdog (talk) 12:41, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
This is (one of) the pages relevant to Launderville's book-check the edit history and your own edit far above. Please explain the problem so that I could propose a solution.Saronsacl (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:45, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
I have explained a bunch of times. The content was overbroad; there was unsourced content; you attributed things to the Sumerians that did not necessarily have to do with them; and the COPYVIO.
Words matter - if you write "never substituted delusion for reality" then that is what Wikipedia says, and it is a) ridiculous; b) unsupported by any source; and c) something you just made up. Your edits have for the most part been terribly romanticizing (see Orientalism for one kind of romanticizing). I have no idea if you have some "agenda" but whatever you are doing, it is not what we do here.
Again if you want to propose (or repropose) something specific please do so, and please be sure to provide page numbers so others can verify the source you are summarizing. And please see your talk page Jytdog (talk) 12:49, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog:, regarding the premarital sex thing, perhaps "Sumerian myths suggest a prohibition against premarital sex. Parents arranged marriages, which became legal as soon as the groom gave a bridal gift to his bride's father. Surreptitious fornication, however, was not altogether unknown." would do. The info is taken from page 28 of the Launderville book and page 78 of the Samuel Noah Kramer book.Saronsacl (talk) 04:13, 1 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog:, @Saronsacl:, Hello! I apologize for not having jumped in on this conversation any sooner, but I though I would point out that a significant portion of the paragraph being discussed here is directly plagiarized from page seventy-eight of Samuel Noah Kramer's The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character, published in 1963. I happen to have a copy of it and I looked up the page numbers cited and found that the content itself directly word-for-word copied out of the source, with just a few words altered. The reason why Saronsacl's edits seem to heavily romanticize the Sumerians is because the "romanticized" bits are directly plagiarized from Kramer, who was a massive Sumeriophile and tended to go on lengthy rants, gushing about how innovative the Sumerians were. He was, by far, the most widely respected scholar of his time, but he certainly was not a neutral voice on the matter. I would definitely consider him a reliable source, but it may not be wise to quote from him directly. --Katolophyromai (talk) 04:56, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Okay, now everything makes sense. Thanks for clearing this up, @Katolophyromai:.I will now put the content in my own words so as to make them original and encyclopedic.Saronsacl (talk) 05:09, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
Good! Just remember: everything on Wikipedia must accurately reflect what the source says, but it must also be in your own words. I have seen some of your modifications to the statements; they are a bit rough in terms of reading quality, but I am sure I can probably tidy them up a bit in no time. --Katolophyromai (talk) 05:12, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

@Saronsacl:, I have further revised the rewritten version of your paragraph on marriage in ancient Sumer. It may still require some further modifications in terms of wording, but I think that it is an improvement. You can review it if you would like. I have already implemented it at Sumerian religion, Ancient Mesopotamian religion, and Sumer. --Katolophyromai (talk) 05:34, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

I agree with you, and thanksSaronsacl (talk) 05:37, 3 July 2017 (UTC)
No problem. I am always glad be helpful. --Katolophyromai (talk) 05:49, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

sin and forgiveness[edit]

The source that is attempted to be cited here, Mesopotamian religion" in Britannica, simply says: "It was characterized by a growing emphasis on personal religion involving concepts of sin and forgiveness ".

The content being added is "The Abrahamic concepts of sin and forgiveness exhibit parallels with ancient Sumerian religious doctrines". The content is not supported by the source. Jytdog (talk) 19:35, 3 July 2017 (UTC)

I was not the one who added it,I and Katolophyrpmai just reworded what was already in the article for quite a long time. I will go find another source to supplement thisSaronsacl (talk) 13:31, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
Saronsacl is right. That passage was there before any of us came along. The revision before Saronsacl's first edit read as follows:

"In spite of some similarities in sin and forgiveness, when compared with traditional Abrahamic morality, Mesopotamian religion and culture were highly sexualized, more so in Babylonia than Assyria, where free sexual expression was viewed as one of the natural benefits of civilized life—same gender attraction, transgender individuals, and male and female prostitution were tolerated, and in some cases considered sacred."

Nonetheless, I greatly appreciate Jytdog's work on this article and related ones and I would like to thank him for pointing out that the information attributed to that source is not actually in it. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:54, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
No, that is not correct. The quite definitive, overbroad, and unsourced claim that "Mesopotamian religion is similar to the Abrahamic religions in sin and forgiveness" was added to this article by Saronsacl in this diff; that is very different from the more nuanced "In spite of some similarities in sin and forgiveness, when compared with traditional Abrahamic morality,..." Saronsacl then added this new and different claim to Sumer and to Sumerian religon.
The content here formerly also went on to say "...Mesopotamian religion and culture were highly sexualized, more so in Babylonia than Assyria, where free sexual expression was viewed as one of the natural benefits of civilized life—same gender attraction, transgender individuals, and male and female prostitution were tolerated, and in some cases considered sacred."
Saronsacl's edit here depicted mesopotamian religion as closer to Abrahamic than the former version did, and it removed that statement of stark difference with regard to sexuality.
In the edit note in which they did that, Sarconsacl wrote, "I removed dubious original research and similar tweaks made by IP users long ago (check the edit history)"
The content about sexuality was sourced to Meador (2000:164).
I am going to provide an extensive quote from Meador here from pp164-165 (the passage is extensive - I can email anyone who wants the whole passage):

Now, in this poem, Inanna initiates a ritual "head-overturning" to "take this scourge," the derision heaped on this woman, "from her burdened flesh." She initiates a ritual to consecrate the sacred office this woman will enter.

Enheduanna brings us face to face with Inanna's androgyny. In the area of sexuality, as in all her character, Inanna will not be categorized. Rivkah Harris says, "She is neither here nor there. She is betwixt and between.""(53) Inanna represents the full expression of the whole range of possibilities for woman's identity. That range includes same-sex unions. Inanna is free to travel throughout the landscape of her sexuality, enjoying each scene to the fullest. She sanctions sexuality in its many forms as the surging of the life force itself. To suppress a viable expression of sexuality, such as same-sex unions would be anti-life to Inanna and would go against the creative force of her nature.

The ritual aspects of androgyny connect to the sacred purpose of crossing over to reveal the other side, of belonging to more than one world. This spiritual crossing was more easily traversed by the androgynous temple personnel because they had already crossed the traditional boundaries of gender definition. In the instance this poem refers to, the newly consecrated priestess and priest must be able to go into ecstatic trance, to cross over from the conscious, everyday world into the trance world of spiritual ecstasy.

The pili-pili and the kurgarra of this poem belong, Henshaw says, to "a special class of officials, as a kind of actor in the cultic drama, whose forte is the interpretation of sexuality, but seemingly abnormal sexuality."(54) The etymology of the names is uncertain, though scholars suggest for "pili-pili" such meanings as distorted, disgraced, defiled. The kurgarra is a singer who also plays musical instruments and drums. He carries various weapons, chiefly knives, swords, or daggers. Sometimes these are covered with blood which one text says "delights the heart of Istar." (55) D. O. Edzard, a noted and highly respected scholar of the Sumerian language, carries the notion of "dirty" a step further. He connects the etymology of these names to children's slang: the kurgarra (the kur being a mountain) signifying a small pile (of feces), the pili-pili, someone always making pee pee.(56) If he is correct, this etymology underscores the negative connotations associated with the temple personnel.

Inanna invents a sacred role for the pili-pili, the newly consecrated woman, and for the kurgarra, the newly consecrated man. She and her high priestess, Enheduanna, know well that the sacred defines forms of reality. To give non-specific gender a sacred place in the temple is to certify, to honor, and to give it a culturally substantial role.

Prior to the creation of the ritual for the pili-pili, the woman identified in Enheduanna's poem wandered as an outcast in the streets. Her street wandering suggests she was a prostitute. She was "evilly spurned / taunted to her face." She was outside the female domestic domain. A mother with her child stared at her from a window. This is the dreadful state Inanna would undo. With her advocacy of variance in gender identities, Inanna does not tolerate a biased and narrow view that privileges domestic heterosexuality. She validates the androgyne just as she does the priestess, the prostitute, the lover, the warrior. The manly woman wandered undefined by the sacred. She was living out a taboo of society and therefore was dangerous, a threat to the mother and child domestic scene. All this changed when Inanna gave gender ambiguity sacred definition.

Inanna invents ritual "out of nothing." In so doing, she connects ambiguous gender definition to a sacred archetype. The archetype in this instance is an innate ability to cross boundaries, to travel between the conscious and the unconscious worlds. Inanna declares ambiguous gender a gift of the gods and gives the newly initiated priestess and priest a specific purpose or office in the worship of the temple.

In her poem, Enheduanna makes clear that Inanna invented this ritual and established this priestly office because she wanted to "shift a god's curse" "for this one dear to her." "Out of nothing" Inanna shaped "what has never been." She opened the door of her own cleverness and created a brand new sacred office that would harbor the pili-pili and the kurgarra.

There is more there, describing cross dressing and homosexuality etc in the context of the cult (what happens in the temple), not in everyday life.
The former content was too definitive and overbroad, attributing qualities to all of "Mesopotamian religion and culture", and that to that extent not OK, but if it were more narrowed to the cult of Inanna, the comparison with Assyria removed (which I find no where in the source) and nuanced some, it would ~perhaps~ be supported by its source. The source is a bit iffy.
In any case, what shall we do with the erased bit, "...Mesopotamian religion and culture were highly sexualized, more so in Babylonia than Assyria, where free sexual expression was viewed as one of the natural benefits of civilized life—same gender attraction, transgender individuals, and male and female prostitution were tolerated, and in some cases considered sacred."?
Something like: "Mythology and ritual in the cult of Inanna appear to have been highly sexualized and to have included homosexuality and gender crossing, and possibly some forms sacred prostitution."? Jytdog (talk) 18:47, 4 July 2017 (UTC)
@Jytdog:, perhaps you have misunderstood what I meant. I know what the original version of this article said. In fact, I quote the full paragraph in my comment above. The contention here does not seem to be an issue of what the original version of the article actually says, but rather whether or not those words mean the same thing that Saronsacl changed them to. The original version of the article includes the clause "In spite of some similarities in sin and forgiveness." Saronsacl's revision states that "Mesopotamian religion is similar to the Abrahamic religions in sin and forgiveness." In my view, these two statements are substantially the same, or, at the very least, the latter of the two is clearly implied by the former. In any case, this whole issue does not matter because, as we both agree, neither of those statements should have been in the article to begin with since neither of them are supported by the source cited, which only discusses Mesopotamian religions and does not in any way compare them to Abrahamic ones. In regards to the statements from Meador, I agree with you that Saronsacl's removal of them was ill-researched and that the statements should be restored in a modified form so as to clarify that they are speaking of the cult of Inanna in particular rather than Mesopotamian society at large. --Katolophyromai (talk) 05:11, 5 July 2017 (UTC)

Edits by[edit]

See this talk page and the link to the IP at the bottom. EddieDrood sock, an editor known for falsifying references and making up terminology not present in references. So their edits here may be problematic. Doug Weller talk 14:28, 30 July 2017 (UTC)