A central figure in the Ancient Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh. In the story he is a wild-man raised by animals and ignorant of human society until he is bedded by Shamhat. Thereafter a series of interactions with humans and human ways bring him closer to civilization, culminating in a wrestling match with Gilgamesh, king of Uruk. Enkidu then becomes the king’s constant companion, accompanying him on adventures until he is stricken ill. The deep, tragic loss of Enkidu profoundly inspires in Gilgamesh a quest to escape death by obtaining godly immortality.
Monthly Archives: November 2010
In ancient Greece, a temple slave in the service of a specific deity, often with the connotation of religious prostitution was called a hierodule.
Her prostitution would be excused because of the service she provided to the deity. The priestesses of Inanna or Ishtar were known to be hierodules.
Among some neopagans, a hierodule may be a priestess who has sexual intercourse in the role of whichever Goddess she serves in the divine union of a hieros gamos or sacred marriage.
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The holy marriage or Hierogamy refers to marriage between a god and a goddess, especially when enacted in a symbolic ritual where human participants represent the deities. It is the harmonization of opposites.
The notion of hieros gamos does not presuppose actual performance in ritual, but is also used in purely symbolic or mythological context, notably in alchemy and hence in Jungian psychology.
An incubus is a demon in male form who, according to a number of mythological and legendary traditions, lies upon sleepers, especially women, in order to have sex with them. Its female counterpart is the succubus.
An incubus may pursue sexual relations with a woman in order to father a child, as in the legend of Merlin. Religious tradition holds that repeated intercourse with an incubus or succubus may result in the deterioration of health, or even death. Medieval legend claims that demons both male and female sexually prey on human beings, generally during the night when the victim is sleeping.
The Pickelhaube or Pickelhelm, was a spiked helmet worn in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by German military, fire-fighters, and police. Although stereotypically associated with the Prussian army, the helmet enjoyed wide use among uniformed occupations in the Western world.
The basic Pickelhaube was made of hardened or boiled leather, given a glossy-black finish, and reinforced with metal trim, usually plated with gold or silver for officers that included a metal spike at the crown. Early versions had a high crown, but the height gradually was reduced and the helmet became more fitted in form. In 1867 an attempt at weight reduction by removing part of the front and rear peaks did not prove successful.
Some versions of the Pickelhaube worn by German artillery units employed a ball-shaped finial rather than the pointed spike. Prior to the outbreak of World War I in 1914 detachable black or white plumes were worn with the pickehaube in full dress by German generals, staff officers, dragoon regiments, infantry of the Prussian Guard and a number of line infantry regiments as a special distinction.
The skill of riding, driving, or vaulting with horses. This broad description includes the use of horses for practical working purposes, recreational activities, artistic or cultural exercises, and competitive sports.
The right, by law or custom, of the first-born to inherit the entire estate, to the exclusion of younger siblings. Historically, the term implied male primogeniture, to the exclusion of females. According to the Norman tradition, the first-born son inherited the entirety of a parent’s wealth, estate, title or office and then would be responsible for any further passing of the inheritance to his siblings. In the absence of children, inheritance passed to the collateral relatives, in order of seniority of the males of collateral lines.
Variations on primogeniture modify the right of the first-born son to the entirety of a family’s inheritance or, in modern times, eliminate the preference for male over female siblings. At the time of writing, five monarchies in Europe have eliminated male preference: Sweden, Norway, Netherlands, Belgium and Denmark.
In her own right. It is commonly encountered in the context of titles of nobility, especially in cases where a wife may hold a title in her own right rather than through her marriage. A queen in her own right for instance is termed a queen regnant.