Jessica Marchetti

Title: The god Nergal in the Sumerian-Akkadian texts (2nd-1st millennia BCE) / Le dieu Nergal dans les textes suméro-akkadiens (IIe-Ier millénaires av. J.-C.)

University: Université de Lille

Supervisor: Philippe Abrahami


The purpose of this thesis is to study the deity Nergal in all its aspects. Mainly presented as a warrior god, king of the netherworld, Nergal is also identifiable as a multifaceted deity. Thanks to the diversity of the corpus in Sumerian and Akkadian languages documenting him, such as official texts, practical texts, literary texts and scholarly texts, and thanks to iconographic sources too, it is possible to determine on the one hand his role and function in these sources, to define his personality and to distinguish the Nergal’s place face to pantheons of Ancient Near East on two millennia on the other hand. Based on archaeological data, the problematic of this research deals with different cult places too worshiped to him and the personnel dedicated to the service of this god. This work is also a mean to propose an onomastic and prosopographic study of individuals bearing a name in Nergal. It seeks to measure the popularity of the god Nergal in the individual’s names according to the treated periods and regions and to observe a possible predominance in these names in Nergal in certain socio-professional categories. The aim of this study is thus to propose a synthesis, as complete as possible, of mentions of Nergal in Sumerian-Akkadian textual and iconographic sources of the 2nd and 1st millennium B.C. The interest to study this multifaceted deity, in an expanded spatio-temporal framework is a mean to observe if there are regional and temporal contrasts on the figure of the god Nergal.

Keywords: Nergal, Erra, netherworld, cult, war, epidemic


František Válek

Title: Life, Society and Politics in Relation to Religion at Ugarit in the Late Bronze Age

University: Charles University, Prague

Supervisor: Dr Dalibor Antalík

Abstract:  Ugarit provides us with ample evidence for the reconstruction of the Late Bronze Age Levantine religion and at the same time with rich materials for reconstruction of other spheres of life. This makes Ugarit an ideal source for my dissertation project that aims to explore how religious ideas and behaviours were interwoven with the ‘practical lifes’ of individuals, society and the city as a polity.

For the sake of limiting vast resources, religion in this thesis is ‘defined’ as ‘ideas and activities related to deities’. Such an approach is of course not without difficulties and the by-product of this thesis is also a reevaluation of the concept of religion when applied to the ancient Near East. Also, a thorough investigation of the conceptions of divinity at Ugarit will be undertaken within the thesis.

Individual studies on the interweaving of religion and life will be carried mostly in the form of individual case-studies exploring different materials. The main objective is to set the explored materials into a wider context of life. These contexts include economic relations, architectural reality of the city, social stratification, international politics, internal organization of the kingdom, historical circumstances, geographical reality, and others.

The study is not aimed to provide a new and complex study of Ugaritic religion, but to study the sphere of religion as an integral part of the reality of life. As such, religion substantially influenced the social reality, and at the same time, the social reality formed the religion. This dialectical relationship is the central focus of the thesis.

Keywords: religion, Ugarit, Ugaritic literature, royal ideology, myth, cult, international relations, Late Bronze Age, deities