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Politics and Time in the Baal Cycle

Politics and Time in the Baal Cycle Abstract This essay considers the Ugaritic Baal Cycle in light of Mircea Eliade’s ideas about history and primordial archetypes. Unlike the Babylonian poem Enuma elish with which it is so often compared, the Baal Cycle does not depict a primordial combat and so does not root the political rule of today in the overcoming of a prior chaos. The Ugaritic poem adopts an attitude towards politics that is at odds with the one taken by the Babylonian creation narrative and championed by Eliade in his celebration of what he called “archaic ontology.” Instead of providing a means to overcome the contingency of historical becoming, the Baal Cycle embraces the historical aspect of political rule. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions Brill

Politics and Time in the Baal Cycle

Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions , Volume 12 (2): 145 – Jan 1, 2012

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1569-2116
eISSN
1569-2124
DOI
10.1163/15692124-12341235
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This essay considers the Ugaritic Baal Cycle in light of Mircea Eliade’s ideas about history and primordial archetypes. Unlike the Babylonian poem Enuma elish with which it is so often compared, the Baal Cycle does not depict a primordial combat and so does not root the political rule of today in the overcoming of a prior chaos. The Ugaritic poem adopts an attitude towards politics that is at odds with the one taken by the Babylonian creation narrative and championed by Eliade in his celebration of what he called “archaic ontology.” Instead of providing a means to overcome the contingency of historical becoming, the Baal Cycle embraces the historical aspect of political rule.

Journal

Journal of Ancient Near Eastern ReligionsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2012

Keywords: Ugarit; Baal Cycle; myth; Mircea Eliade; Enuma elish ; history; politics

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