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The Sumerian Civilization was certainly not exclusively male dominated as there is ample historical evidence to prove a potent feminine presence in the Sumerian temporal politico-social life and its spiritual and metaphysical constructs. Thereby, the argument facilitated by…
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Response for "Was Sumerian Civilization Exclusively Male Dominated?" of the History of the Concerned September 15, Response for "Was Sumerian Civilization Exclusively Male Dominated?"
The Sumerian Civilization was certainly not exclusively male dominated as there is ample historical evidence to prove a potent feminine presence in the Sumerian temporal politico-social life and its spiritual and metaphysical constructs. Thereby, the argument facilitated by Samuel Noah Kramer is more credible as it is based on a factual and unbiased analysis of the Sumerian history, and is scarcely influenced by any preconceived notions.
As per Chester G Starr, the Sumerian social and political life and its cosmic world view were primarily male dominated, with very negligible feminine presence or say. The Sumerian Pantheon and theology were primarily populated and controlled by male deities like An, Enlil and Enki (Starr, 1965). The important Sumerian epic Gilgamesh has a male as its central character (Starr, 1965). In the Sumerian social hierarchy, the leading priestly class was male dominated (Starr, 1965).
In contrast, Kramer presents Sumerian history and cosmology as an arena impregnated by both the male and female influences, in which the feminine element does hold its sway. The inscriptions of King Urukagina do prove that in the early Sumerian society, women did wield power in the Sumerian political and religious life (Kramer, 1976). Many important high priestesses like Enheduanna were esteemed for the political and literary contributions made by them (Kramer, 1976). The Sumerian Pantheon comprised of influential and powerful goddesses like Ninhursag and Inanna (Kramer, 1976).
The position evinced by Kramer is more agreeable as it takes into consideration the larger body of the available historical and literary evidence, to elaborate on the position of women in the Sumerian society. This position is supported by Henk Dijkstra. As per him, women did command much power in the Sumerian legal system (Dijkstra, 1996, p. 241). K Ann Pyburn also mentions the important role played by women in the Sumerian political hierarchy (Pyburn, 2004, p. 34). As per Pyburn, the feminine element is distinctly visible in the Sumerian political history and cosmology.
References
Dijkstra, H. (1996). History of the Ancient and Medieval World. New York: Marshall
Cavendish.
Kramer, S.N. (1976). Poet and Psalmists: Goddesses and Theologians: Literary, Religious,
and Anthropological Aspects of the Legacy of Sumer. In D. Schmandt-Besserat (Eds.),
The Legacy of Sumer: Invited Lectures on the Middle East at the University of Texas at
Austin. New York: Undena Publications.
Pyburn, K.A. Ungendering Civilization. New York: Routledge.
Starr, C.G. (1965). A History of the Ancient World. New York: Oxford University Press. Read More
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