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‘Form follows function’? Rhetoric and Poetic Language in First Millennium Akkadian Incantations
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‘Form follows function’? Rhetoric and Poetic Language in First Millennium Akkadian Incantations

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Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Akkadian incantation texts of the first millennium are linguistically marked, without being... mehr
‘Form follows function’? Rhetoric and Poetic Language in First Millennium Akkadian Incantations
Akkadian incantation texts of the first millennium are linguistically marked, without being composed in a specific ‘sacred’ or ‘divine language’. At the same time, on an ideological level, incantations, in contrast to prayers, were considered to originate from the divine sphere. The article discusses the text forms, basic constituents, compositional components and poetic style of first millennium Akkadian incantations used within anti-witchcraft rituals. The use of rhetorical devices and poetic language can in most cases be explained as motivated by the function of the incantations within their ritual context; there are, however, also clear indications of text revisions guided by aesthetic criteria and of a true literarization of the genre.