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ANAHITA  July 1997

ANAHITA July 1997

Subject:

Re: Asherah.

From:

Tilde Binger <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 18 Jul 1997 04:20:50 -0400

Content-Type:

Text/plain

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Text/plain (75 lines)

Dear Susan.
> Could you give the page nos. for the reference(s) to Asherah tree in Avodah
> Zarah?
It is in the Talmud, you will have to use the indices in the relevant
edition you have access to, since it is in the middle of that
treatise.

> I have been troubled by the easy equation of Asherah with Astarte, so I am
> glad to see what you say on the topic.
I have been troubled too. It is one of those things that were
"resolved" some 100 years agon, and no-one has bothered looking at it
since. (can't resist a feminist hib here, is that because of her
gender ?) That the two cannot possibly be the same should be evident
for anyone reading Hebrew, since Asherah starts with the letter Alef,
which is a very soft glottal stop, whereas Astarte starts with the
letter Ayin, which is a very hard guttural stop, a stop which is at
times transcribe to a hard G (as in Gomorra).

> Now, about equating and not equating Asherah of Ugarit with those of Akkadian
> texts, first mil. Israel, or OT.... what is the context and meaning of
> Asherah in Akkadian texts? which Akkadian texts?
I do not have the exact references at hand here, so you will have to
live with this until I find them.
She is mentioned in some few lists as the consort of Amurru.
Reallexicon der Assyrologie would give you a starting-point.
Watson has a short article in Ugarit Forschungen from 1993, where he
has the correct references.

> I wonder?
So do I.
> Is she supposed to be a goddess of West Semites?
Yes.
> and what is she doing?
That is the question.
The problem is, that when it comes to actual function, we have very
little to go on. What seems to be the uniting factor (uniting all the
Asherahs of greater Syria-Palestine) is, that she is the number one
goddess in the given pantheon.

> and is she associated with iconography similar to that in Israel?
Weeeeeel .... that is another very good question.
There is - apart from the much-mentioned Keel and Uelinger volume, a
mastodont work from the 1980'es "Frau und Goettin" by Urs Winter,
another of the Freibourg iconografy experts (Along with Keel, Schroer
and Uehlinger). Any book by any of these ladies and gentlemen will
give you a much more complete picure of the muddied waters of divine
iconography BCE than I could ever hope to.
Hope this helps.

Tilde

Tilde Binger
University of Copenhagen
Dptm.of Biblical Studies
Kcbmagergade 44-46
DK-1150 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone +45 35 32 36 58
Fax   +45 35 32 36 52
e-mail [log in to unmask]

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