By Jan Bremmer, Lourens Van Den Bosch
Between Poverty and the Pyre examines the heritage of the adventure of widowhood throughout varied cultures. It brings jointly a set of essays by means of historians, anthropologists and philologists. The booklet indicates how tough it truly is to outline the 'typical' widow, because the studies of those girls have differed so greatly, no longer just because in their assorted time classes and destinations, but additionally becuase in their various criminal and spiritual prestige and monetary stipulations. The research is various with matters starting from: *Hindu other halves who their husbands to the pyre *widows who have been burned as witches *and widows who needed to turn into prostitutes to stick alive. The booklet additionally explores Jesus's curiosity in widows and the event of a few recognized widows, reminiscent of Mohammed's first spouse.
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Extra resources for Between Poverty and the Pyre: Moments in the History of Widowhood
Comparable metaphors are known from Mesopotamia. 2 In the eyes of the Babylonian it would be entirely misplaced to say that their gods ‘cannot take pity on a widow or do good to an orphan’, as the so-called Letter of Jeremiah (38; Baruch 6:38 in some translations) does. At first sight it is tempting to interpret the view of the widow as a divine protégée as a reflection of the esteem in which she was commonly held. Closer examination of the evidence shows that the public perception of the widow was not free of ambiguities.
Such data support the impression that there were certain financial ties between many a widow and the temple. Some of the rhetoric about God as the protector of the widow should probably be understood against this background. While it seems well established that large groups of widows depended on charity for their living, it should not be rashly concluded that it is because of her destitution that the widow was regarded with respect. Mesopotamian proverbs and sayings show that the poverty of the widow could also give rise to mockery.
35–9, 40. Beaulieu, Reign of Nabonidus, 75. , Ch. 3, pp. 33–7. Oppenheim, The Interpretation of Dreams in the Ancient Near East (Philadelphia, 1956) 340: Fragment I ll. 9–10 (lines broken). Ebeling, Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiösen Inhalts I (Leipzig, 1915– 19) no. 25 col. ii, ll. 19–20. Seux, Hymnes et prières aux dieux de Babylonie et d’Assyrie (Paris, 1976) 129–31, esp. 130. 2 Sam. , cf. , Ch. 4, p. 83. On the use and significance of the veil see K. Wright (eds), Festschrift for Jacob Milgrom (Winona Lake, forthcoming).
Between Poverty and the Pyre: Moments in the History of Widowhood by Jan Bremmer, Lourens Van Den Bosch