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Read the following lines from Book I.

”Go to the temple of Ishtar, ask them there for a woman named Shamhat, one of the priestesses who give their bodies to any man, in honor of the goddess… Let her use her love-arts. Nature will take its course, and then the animals who knew him in the wilderness will be bewildered, and will leave him forever” (Mitchell 76-77).

What does the above passage illustrate about Mesopotamian society and their cultural beliefs about women, sex, and/or civilization?


In Mesopotamian society, women are viewed as purely sexual objects that must submit to the whims of the patriarchy.


Women in Mesopotamian culture can be viewed as powerful beings. Furthermore, a woman’s sexual prowess humanizes individuals and separates man from beast.


Sex is a gratuitous act that is purely for physical pleasure, but it is the power of a religious figure that can elevate and sanctify the act in Mesopotamian civilization.


Women have no power in society except to be dominated by men in Mesopotamian culture.


Mesopotamian society is comprised of predominantly powerful women who humanize and elevate civilization.

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