Hi, Avigdor/Victor,

   >In Mesopotamia there are guilds and they take loyalty oaths.
   >David Weisberg studied this genre in his PhD dissertation, published
   >on the YNER series.

Darn right guild members had to take loyalty oaths -- economics,
remember? Any economic group that depends upon "industrial secrets"
will require loyalty oaths, rituals... and make it hard for outsiders
to gain entry. Fruitful area to study... good to hear about the Diss.

   >the Mesopotamian craftsmen who produced cult statues in the bit mummi
   >(workroom) actually depicted themselves as gods! For this see the
   >recent publication by M. Dick and C.B.F Walker of the Mis Pi ritual.

Guilds had patron Gods (the God of the Scribal arts in Akkad was Nisaba.)
Medieval guilds had patron saint(s) -- same difference. Linking a craft/
trade/etc. to a patron God/Saint makes breaking oath -- divulging trade
secrets -- that much more "horrendous."

Guild members would, and did, depict themselves performing the secret arts
as handed down to them by their patron god(s). I normally do not comment
on something I have not read -- but... Unless guild members depicting
themselves as gods is described, written down in clear and indisputable
words (without guesses at lacunae) in synchronous texts, I kinda doubt an
interpretation of the guild members depicting themselves as their patron
God(s) from the cult statues themselves. If the cult statues have human
faces, then those are performance enhancement offerings. On the other hand,
if the statues have animal heads or are eyeless they are the Patron Gods...
(the eyeless practice dates back to the Magdelene Period... archaelogists
keep turning things up, though, the practice could well be much, much

   >For secret lore in Mesopotamia and craftguilds see as well
   >the article on Geheimnissweisheit in the Reallexikon des

(Here are three more for George when he is done with the ABD article)

   >You may come across some interesting analogies.

Historic patterns do repeat; Kohelet covered the subject rather thoroughly.<G>



Dr. R.I.S. Altman, co-coordinator, IOUDAIOS-L [EMAIL PROTECTED]

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