Mesopotamian Mythology: The Cosmic Background
There are three types of evidence for Mesopotamian mythology: temples, images, and specific myths. The temples and the cult transform the state into a theocracy, the images create a permanent cosmic background, and the myths relate the acts of the gods. These three types of evidence have been studied by archeologists (temples), art historians (images), and philologists (myths), but remain largely unintegrated; it is the definition of their contrastive roles and contents that is my first concern.
My second concern is twofold: how can the various scenes defined by art history be integrated into a coherent mythological and cultic whole, and how is this whole to be projected onto space to form a permanent cosmic background to the acts of the gods. The problem of projection has received very little scholarly attention, and it is my suspicion that its solution will help to integrate the various scenes.
Wiggermann, F. A. M. 2002. »l’Iconographie de la Magie mésopotamienne« in Y. Koenig (ed.): La Magie en Égypte. Paris: Musée du Louvre, pp. 373-396.
Wiggermann, F. A. M. 2004. »Pazuzu«. in D. O. Edzard (ed.): Reallexikon der Assyriologie 10, pp. 372-381.
Wiggermann, F. A. M. 2007. »Some Demons of time and their Functions in Mesopotamian Iconography« in B. Groneberg und H. Spieckermann (eds.): Die Welt der Götterbilder. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, pp. 102-116.
Wiggermann, F. A. M. 2007. »The Four Winds and the Origins of Pazuzu« in: Cl. Wilcke (ed.): Das geistige Erfassen der Welt im Alten Orient. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, pp. 125-165.
Wiggermann, F. A. M. 2008. »A Babylonian Scholar in Assur« in R. J. van der Spek (ed.): Studies in Ancient Near Eastern World View and Society. Bethesda: CDL Press, pp. 203-234.