Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature is a new contribution to current debates about sex and eroticism. It gives an insight into Mesopotamian attitudes to sexuality by examining the oldest preserved written evidence on the subject - the Sumero-Akkadian cuneiform sources - which were written between the 21st and the 5th centuries B.C. Using these long-neglected and often astonishing data, Gwendolyn Leick is able to anlayse Mesopotamian views of prostitution, love magic and deviant sexual behaviour as well as more general issues of sexuality and gender.
This fascinating book sheds light on the sexual culture of one of the earliest literate civilisations.

chapter |8 pages


part I|161 pages

The Sumero-Akkadian Tradition of the Third and Early Second Millennia

chapter 1|10 pages

The Cosmological Articulation of Sexuality

chapter 3|12 pages

Enki and Ninhursaga

A Myth of Male Lust?1

chapter 4|6 pages

From Adolescence to Maturity

The Myth of Enlil and Ninlil1

chapter 5|7 pages

Phallicism in Sumerian Literature

chapter 7|16 pages

The Bridal Songs

chapter 8|10 pages

Inanna and her Brother

chapter 9|7 pages

Inanna Rejoicing in her Vulva

chapter 11|19 pages

‘Words of Seduction'

Courtly Love Poetry

chapter 12|17 pages

The Rites of Divine Love

chapter 13|10 pages

L'Amour Libre or Sacred Prostitution?

chapter 14|13 pages

Liminal Sexuality

Eunuchs, Homosexuals and the Common Prostitute

part II|99 pages

Sources from the Later Second and First Millennia

chapter 15|7 pages

Eroticism in Akkadian Literature

chapter 16|13 pages

Ballads, Hymns and Dialogues

Akkadian Love Poetry

chapter 17|18 pages

Love Magic and Potency Incantations

chapter 18|9 pages

Problematic Aspects of Sexuality

Sin and Pollution

chapter 19|12 pages

Witches, Demons and the Ambivalence of Love

chapter 20|15 pages

The Articulation of Sexual Jealousy