Thursday, February 26, 2015

Take no chances

Esarhaddon is inclusive in his anxiety and describes two ways a malediction is rendered impotent. First, a curse could be ‘turned back’ (târu, lines 377, 379). Undoubtedly, this refers to the procedure of returning a curse to its source. Second, a curse could be ‘undone/released’ (parāšu, lines 378, 379). Both of these strategies are mentioned in the next phrase, turtu turri māmīt pašāri taḫassasani teppašani ‘you shall not (even) think of or perform (a ritual) either to reverse or undo the curse’. The statement could not be more explicit. Certain rites could nullify maledictions. In all likelihood, these are the rituals vassals performed to extricate themselves from the treaty’s chafing constraints.— Cursed Are You!, pages 322–23

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