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Urnamma

(97 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (2112-2095 BC), king of Uruk; the Sumerian King List (Kings' lists) describes U. as the successor to his brother Utu-Ḫeĝal (2119-2113) and the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur. U. gradually extended the power of the city of Ur at first to the south and then to the north of Babylonia. His early death in battle with enemies in the east of Mesopotamia and his journey to the Underworld are the subject of the poem The Death of Urnamma. Mesopotamia II G Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Flückiger-Hawker, U. of Ur in Sumerian Literary Trad., 1999.

Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh Epic

(592 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Gilgameš, Gilgameš Epic). G., legendary ruler of  Uruk in southern Mesopotamia; linked in the sources passed down to us with the construction of the 9-km long city wall of Uruk around 2900 BC. Non-literary sources already mention G. about 2700 BC. The rulers of the 3rd dynasty of Ur (21st cent. BC) originating in Uruk maintained that they were genealogically connected with G. and therefore fostered the stories passed down about G. and his equally legendary predecessors ( Epic) in…

Tiamat

(103 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Akkadian 'sea'). Primaeval/primordial female divine monster, known from the Babylonian creation myth Enūma Eliš . She is killed by her son Marduk in a theomachy (matricide) and split lengthwise into two halves: from the lower half he creates the earth, from the upper half the firmament of the heavens. In Berosus [1. 15] T. appears in a corrupt form as thalath (Gr. thálassa, 'sea'). T. is reflected in the Biblical creation myth (Gn 1:2) as tehōm (LXX: ábyssos, literally 'bottomless', 'primaeval depth'). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 S. M. Burstein, The …

Enlil

(59 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Sumerian ‘Lord Wind’). City-god of  Nippur and highest god of the Sumerian-Akkadian Pantheon in the 3rd and the 1st half of the 2nd millennium BC. His place was taken in the 1st millennium by  Marduk, the god of Babylon. His spouse was Ninlil ( Mylissa).  Marduk;  Mesopotamia;  Nippur Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography T. Jacobsen, Treasures of Darkness, 1976.

Andriaca

(63 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Κώμη ( kṓmē) in Media (Ptol. 6,2,18), not far from a place called Ῥάψα ( Rhápsa), on the road from Ecbatana to Persepolis [1]. A. appears to have been on the same stretch of the road, probably the same place as Gulpaigan or Kaidu, and only had significance as a resting place. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 Miller, 783 with sketch no. 253.

Iobaritae

(33 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ἰωβαρῖται; Iōbarîtai, Ἰοβαρῖται; Iobarîtai). Ethnic group in southern Arabia; only mentioned in Ptol. 6,7,24 as neighbours of the Sachalitae ( Sachalites). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Tkač, s.v. I., RE 9, 1832-1837.

Ḫammurapi

(240 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ḫammurabi). Most important ruler of the 1st Dynasty of  Babylon, in office from 1792 to 1750 BC. Following extended battles with rival powers in Mesopotamia as well as with the rulers of  Elam who all claimed sovereignty over the states of Mesopotamia, Ḫ. ruled over all of Mesopotamia from Mari on the middle reaches of the Euphrates and the region surrounding modern Mossul to the Persian Gulf from 1755 BC on. In over 200 of his letters and in numerous reports by delegates of Zimr…

Caspii

(49 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Indian mountain tribe in the Hindu Kush; the ancestors of the Kāfir (i.e. ‘the disbelieving’) in the valleys of the Kūnar, the river of Tschitral. In the records of the Persian taxation districts in Hdt. 3,93, they are summarized with the Saces. Renger, Johannes (Berlin)

Tammuz

(303 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Thammuz; Sumerian Dumu-zi, 'legitimate son', Aramaic  Tham(m)uza, Hebrew Thammûz, Greek  Θαμμουζ/ Thammouz). Prehistoric king of Uruk and husband of the city goddess Inanna (Ishtar; Hieros Gamos). She hands T. over to the forces of the Underworld when she - having failed in her attempt to seize the rule over the Underworld for herself - is released from the Underworld on condition of the promise of a (human) substitute. Dumu-zi is captured by the demons of the Underworld; however, his siste…

Xisuthrus

(66 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Ξίσουθρος/ Xísouthros: [1. 19 f.] or Σίσουθρος/ Sísouthros: Abydenus FGrH 685 F 2). Graecised form, in the context of renditions of the story of the Flood, of the Sumerian name  Zi.u4.sud.ra ('Life of distant days'), Akkadian Utanapištī ('I have found my life'), the mythical Sumerian/Akkadian survivor of the 'Great Flood' (Deluge, legend of the). Atraḫasīs; Gilgamesh Epic Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 S. M. Burstein, The Babyloniaca of Berossus, 1978.

Ancient Near Eastern philology and history (Assyriology)

(5,513 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
Renger, Johannes (Berlin) [German version] A. Name and definition (CT) Ancient Near Eastern Philology and History (ANEPH) is part of Ancient Near Eastern Studies, which includes the archaeology of the ancient Near East as well as philology and history. The term ‘ancient Near Eastern’, in the context of Western European and American scholarship, refers to the geographical area of the Near East and its pre-Christian or pre-Islamic civilizations in the territory of present-day Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel,…

Sardanapalus

(88 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Σαρδανάπαλ(λ)ος; Sardanápal(l)os). Legendary Assyrian ruler, who combines traits of several Assyrian rulers (e.g. Sennacherib and Saosduchinus/Šamaš-šuma-ukīn) according to the accounts of  Greek authors (Hdt. 2,150; Pol. 8,12,3; Dion. Chrys. 4,135; Clem. Al. Strom. 2,20). During the 19th century, S. was a subject in music [1. 168], literature (Byron) and fine arts (Delacroix) (Orient, reception in the West). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography 1 J. Renger, Altorientalistik und Vorderasiatische Archäologie in Berlin, in: W. Ahrenhövel, Chr. Sc…

Oikos economy

(680 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Oikos economy (OE) was first described as an idealised concept of a form of economy in antiquity by Rodbertus, later by M. Weber. Oikos describes an independent household (of a ruler), which produces everything used and consumed in it, apart from a few exceptions (metals, luxury products, in Mesopotamia also wood). In the Mesopotamian OE of the 4th and 3rd millennia, which had developed under the conditions of a comprehensive and mostly centrally-organized regime of artificial irrigation of the cultivab…

Lagaš

(73 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] Town and territorial state (capital Girsu) in southern Mesopotamia, with important inscriptions, architectural and artistic finds from the 25th-21st cents. BC, which have been of great significance in reconstructing early Mesopotamian history and culture, as also for establishing a Sumerian Grammar ( Ancient oriental philology and history). Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography J. Bauer, D. P. Hanson, s.v. L., RLA 6, 419-431 A. Falkenstein, Die Inschr. Gudeas von L. Introduction, 1966.

Inanna

(120 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] City goddess of  Uruk, etymologized as the ‘Queen of Heaven’. She is represented by symbols from the 2nd half of the 4th millennium (looped reed bundles, in the 1st millennium also a star), and by inscriptions from c. 3200 BC. She is the goddess of the planet Venus, unmarried, and representing the power of sexuality; she also has martial features. Mesopotamian mythology equates her with  Ištar; as such she appears in the Ninevite recension of the  Gilgamesh Epic as well as in the myth of ‘Ishtar's descent into the Underworld.  Hieros Gamos;  Tammuz;  Venus; Ishtar Renger, J…

Potamophylax

(79 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (ποταμοφύλαξ/ potamophýlax, 'river guard'). The potamophýlakes (Ptolemaic officials) used guard boats (attested from the 2nd cent. BC on) to guard the Nile, its branches (in the Delta) and the canals of Alexandria up to Syene (Aswan). They occasionally also carried urgent letters and were put to service collecting tolls and taxes. The potamophýlakes were conscripted into service; the office of potamophýlax was a liturgy. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Kießling, s. v. P., RE 22, 1029 f.

Thinis

(97 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Greek Θίνις/ Thínis, Θίς/ Thís; Coptic tin). Capital of the eighth nome of Upper Egypt, precise location unknown. T. was an ancient royal metropolis of the First and Second Dynasties (3000-2635 BC). According to Manetho [1], who calls the rulers (e.g. Menes [1]) of the First Dynasty  Θεινίτης, -αι/ Theinítēs, -ai, 'Thinites', this period is also known as the Thinite period. The necropol(e)is of T. was/were located on the other bank of the Nile at Lepidotonpolis. The chief god of T. was Onuris. Renger, Johannes (Berlin) Bibliography E. Brovarski, s. v. Thinis, LÄ …

Ophir

(141 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] (Hebrew Ōfīr, Ōfir; LXX: Οὐφειρ/ Oupheir, Σωφαρα/ Sōphara, Σωφειρ(α)/ Sōpheir(a), Σωφηρα/ Sōphēra, Σωφιρα/ Sōphira, Σουφειρ/ Soupheir, Σουφιρ/ Souphir, Σοφειρ/ Sopheir). According to the OT, O. was the land of origin of gold (1 Kg 9:28, 22:49) and semi-precious stones (1 Kg 10:11, Job 28:16), which Solomon had shipped over the Red Sea to Israel. Gold from O. is also mentioned in a Hebrew ostracon (epigraphically dated between the 8th and 6th cents. BC) [2]. The location of O. is disputed: both southern Arabia (or the eastern African coast) and India (because of a Supara…

Ishtar

(181 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] The Semitic goddess I. is etymologically related to  Astarte ( Aṯtarat). Grammatically speaking, the name is masculine (cf. Western Semitic Aṯtar). In southern Mesopotamia she was identified with Innana, the Sumerian city-goddess of  Uruk, and there is evidence of her being worshipped in that city into Achaemenid times. In northern Babylonia and Assyria figures of I. were venerated in numerous cities (I. of the cities  Akkad,  Arbela [1],  Nineveh) and to an extent identified with other goddesses. Th…

Put

(108 words)

Author(s): Renger, Johannes (Berlin)
[German version] In the table of peoples in the OT (Gn 10:6), Pūt is considered one of the four sons of Ham. The ethnic Pūt is characterized as pertaining to Egypt's sphere of influence in the 10th cent. BC. Pūt is likewise mentioned in Jer 46:9, Ez 27:10; 30:5; 38:5 and Nah 3:9. In contrast to earlier suggestions identification with P. is no longer advocated; identification with Libya/Libyans is more likely. The Putāayā (Old Persian; Elamite Putiyap; Akkadian Puṭa) of the Darius [1] I inscriptions at Naqš-e Rostam also denotes Libyans, not - as occasionally assumed - P. [1. 197]. Renger, Jo…
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