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Gender and the Verification of Prophecy at Mari
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Gender and the Verification of Prophecy at Mari

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
This article revisits the question of why some of the prophetic letters from Mari refer to the... mehr
Gender and the Verification of Prophecy at Mari
This article revisits the question of why some of the prophetic letters from Mari refer to the enclosure of the prophet’s hair and fringe, and others do not – that is, why secondary verification was required or expected for some prophets and not for others. A thorough examination of the evidence demonstrates that the hair and fringe were enclosed quite disproportionately in the cases of the female prophets and of the assinn¯u, whose gender role differed from their society’s hegemonic masculinity. The women and assinn¯u together thus comprise the category of the “not-men”. Other deviations from the ideal of manhood, such as sickness, may also have been factors. Social rank and prophetic titles, however, were not. The numerical data show that the only statistically significant factor is the division along gender lines.