256 pages | 17 B/W Illus.
Ishtar is the first book dedicated to providing an accessible analysis of the mythology and image of this complex goddess. The polarity of her nature is reflected in her role as goddess of sexual love and war, and has made her difficult to characterise in modern scholarship. By exploring this complexity, Ishtar offers insight into Mesopotamian culture and thought, and elucidates a goddess who transcended the limits of gender, divinity and nature. It gives an accessible introduction to the Near Eastern pantheon, while also opening a pathway for comparison with the later Near Eastern and Mediterranean deities who followed her.
"Ishtar is, without doubt, one of the most complex and baffling of the many gods of antiquity. Yet Louise Pryke has achieved something quite remarkable here in synthesising the multivalence of the goddess’s deeds and personas into a coherent and manageable whole. Full of good sense, yet written with flair, this study of the goddess of all goddesses is an important and infinitely useful contribution to the study of ancient myth and religion. The many sources in translation bring alive the world of Mesopotamian thought and forefront Ishtar as the most supreme of deities."
- Professor Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, Cardiff University, UK
"The style is certainly scholarly, but it is not overly technical, and a reader without much background in the area will be able to follow most of the text […] Pryke does a lot to help the reader […] It will be appropriate for scholars in the field, but also those who have some familiarity with the area and want to know more."
- Christian Perring, Metapsychology Online Reviews
List of figures
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Love and Intimacy
Chapter 3: Sexuality and Order
Chapter 4: Ishtar and the Pantheon
Chapter 5: Kingship and Battle
Chapter 6: Ishtar and Gilgamesh
Chapter 7: Vengeance and Death
Chapter 8: Ishtar Afterwards