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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

The Neo-Assyrian Myth of Ištar’s Descent and Resurrection
Lapinkivi, Pirjo

Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, 2010 pp. xxvi + 135. $35.00

Series Information
State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts, 6

Description: An edition of the myth commonly known as “Ištar’s Descent” was first published in 1901. Since then, no complete critical edition of the text has been published. Unlike other SAACT volumes, SAACT 6 amounts to a full critical edition of the myth. In addition to the cuneiform text with transliteration and translation, there is a full critical apparatus and a scored transliteration of all known sources, and all textual variants from the known sources are included in the glossary. The title, “Ištar’s Descent and Resurrection”, is a reminder that Ištar’s descent to the netherworld was not a one-way trip, but that she also re-ascended to heaven. Beyond the critical edition, there is also extensive commentary that ties in the Sumerian version of the myth, “Inanna’s Descent”, as well as later parallels from Gnostic texts such as The Exegesis of the Soul and The Hymn of the Pearl. There are also grammatical notes for students and the publication is rounded off with the usual sign list that accompanies SAACT volumes.

Subjects: Ancient Near East, Mesopotamian Literature, Assyrian Literature, Literature

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Review by James R. Getz Jr.
Published 3/22/2013
Citation: James R. Getz Jr., review of Pirjo Lapinkivi, The Neo-Assyrian Myth of Ištar’s Descent and Resurrection, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2013).


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