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Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia$
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Jean Bottero

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780748613878

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748613878.001.0001

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Love and Sex in Babylon

Love and Sex in Babylon

(p.90) Chapter 6 Love and Sex in Babylon
Everyday Life in Ancient Mesopotamia

Jean Bottéro


Just like the imperatives and rites of eating and drinking, the love and the sexuality that govern them are inherent in one's deepest and primal nature. Only written information, and in plain language, could provide with detailed knowledge. Together with ancient Egypt, the Mesopotamia of antiquity is the oldest country to have known and used writing. Between 3000 BC and the start of Christianity it left a monumental pile of items – something in the region of half a million tablets, covering many ‘literary genres’, from the most finicky apothecaries' accounts to the wildest creations of the imagination. In Mesopotamia, amorous impulses and capabilities had traditionally been channelled by collective constraints with the aim of ensuring the security of what was held to be the very nucleus of the social body – the family – and thus to provide for its continuity.

Keywords:   love, sexuality, Egypt, Mesopotamia, antiquity, Christianity, tablets, family

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