Sacred meals in Hatra and Nippur in late Parthian times


Słowa kluczowe:

archaeology, architecture, Parthians, epigraphy, Near East, Middle East, religion, polytheism, Hatra, Nippur, Mesopotamia, feasting, banquet


The common meal with deities comprises one of the most popular religious rituals. It results from the popularity of offerings composed with such alimentary items like meat, bread, fruits, wine, oil, etc. This paper deals with the sacred dimension of the cultic banquets on the example of epigraphical and archaeological evidence. As case-studies are presented two cities: the Northern Mesopotamian city of Hatra (ca. 290 km northwest of Baghdad) and the Southern Mesopotamian city of Nippur (ca. 150 km southeast of Baghdad). The case of Hatrene sacral architecture together with written material in the local dialect of Aramaic defines very similar structures in Nippur as sacred space for cultic meals and helps to reconstruct the practices in the period from 1st c. to the mid-3rd century CE.