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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?

A

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

B

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

C

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.

D

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

E

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

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