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Document Details :
Title: Ist die mesopotamische Opferschau ein nächtliches Ritual?
Author(s): FINCKE, Jeanette C.
Journal: Bibliotheca Orientalis
Volume: 66 Issue: 5-6 Date: 2009
This study focuses on the Mesopotamian extispicy ritual described in the so-called 'Prayers to the Gods of the Night'. The legal aspect of this divinatory procedure is stated in these prayers as well as in other extispicy prayers (ikribu) (I). A detailed analysis of the 'Prayers to the Gods of the Night' elucidates the timeframe and circumstances for the recitation of the prayers (II). Since the Old Babylonian versions of these prayers are called ikribu, i.e. extispicy prayers, their setting within the course of the extispicy ritual is evident. An examination of the procedures and sequence of events for this ritual as described in Neo-Assyrian tablets from Nineveh means they can be fixed exactly (III). This establishes the 'Sitz-im-Leben' of the prayers (IV). After an analysis of the lawsuit that is the basis for the whole procedure (V), the role of the stars within the extispicy ritual is examined (VI), followed by a scrutiny of the evidence for the extispicy ritual as a 'nightly ritual' (VII). The results of this study are concisely summarized (VIII).