REVIEWS F.R. KRAUS, The Role of the Temples from the Third Dynasty of Ur to the First Dynasty of Babylon (Monographs on the Ancient Near East vol. 2/4; Undena Publications, Malibu 1990; 4to, iv + 20 p.). Temples, since the beginning of Mesopotamian civilisation, were a very prominent, typically urban feature of ancient cities, dominating their skyline (they were built on elevated terraces), and playing a key role in its social and economic life. Cities probably even arose from settlements clustered around important shrines at strategically located sites. According to the mythical traditions, temples and cities even would have been founded by the gods as their dwelling places before the creation of men. Temples remained important also when, in the course of time (already in the first half of the third millennium B.C.), possibly due to functional diversification and/or in consequence of rivalry for power between the city- states, the palace arose, the household of the man ruling the city in the name of the city-god, which in due time would dominate the scene. Temples continued to play their role, also as the embodiment of the city's ideology, and palace and temple rarely became rivals, since both shared
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1994
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