Thursday, June 24, 2010

Diana Agorio

If Dawkins, Dennett, Harris, and Hitchens are The Four Horsemen; then, Diana Agorio is The Whore of Babylon.  She is an unabashed anti-theist with a peculiar interest in ancient Babylon.  She began her studies of West Asia as a conservative Christian kid in Alaska. After living in Israel; then, traveling and studying ancient history for the last 25+ years, she ended up a liberal atheist. But, unlike many other atheist critics of religion, Diana knows and loves the ancient cultures which invented the Abrahamic faiths. No theist can accuse her of reading the Bible like a fundamentalist. She has an in depth knowledge of the political and economic environment which shaped the minds of the Biblical authors. The first rule of historical research is to “know thy author.” The Four Horsemen make valid criticisms of religion in general; but, they lack the expertise to produce an expose of the ancient origins of the Bible.

Diana graduated magna cum laude with a BS in History. Her primary fascination is with the cultures of the Bronze Age and Iron Age Levant. But, she is a generalist with historical interests ranging from Sumer, to Anatolia, to Egypt, to Greece, and Rome. Her methodology is based on meme theory, following changes in cultures as fashions, avoiding racial descriptions. This method provides a powerful new understanding of ancient peoples, describing their evolution in dynamic terms, rather than as static ethnicities. Diana makes extensive use of primary source material and cites experts in the fields of archaeology, theological studies, and Art History in scholarly journals and peer reviewed books.

Her goal with Sex Rites is to provide atheists with a sophisticated understanding of how the Abrahamic religions developed. She hopes to dispel the atheist notion that the Bible is Bronze Age mythology. Actually, it is Hellenistic Period mythology, which was significantly different from Bronze Age religious notions. The Bible was not the product of “the people” of the Levant. It was produced by priests with particular political and economic ambitions. Diana’s description of changes in the religious rituals and myths which led up to Christianity is far more damning than the typical atheist critique. In paritcular, it describes the outrageous suffering of children at the hands of ancient religious leaders. She also highlights positive aspects of ancient cultures, which were the origins of Humanism and secular government. Readers, atheist and religious, will feel better and more secure in their modern ethics, after exploring the world of their ancient ancestors with Sex Rites.

(Ishtar Gate photo by Deutsche Fotothek, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Excerpt from Chapter 13: The Starlight Gospel

The oldest known gospel story exposes the origin of Christianity in the Palestinian rituals of sex, drugs, and human sacrifice. And, it is a star story. The last words of Mark give instructions for how to read the book:

And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen. (Mark 16:20)
The signs which confirmed the word were constellations.
The author of Mark recreated the star chart on land, envisioning the Sea of Galilee as the center of the chart, with its shoreline following the circle of the zodiac. The Galilee was chosen by the author of Mark as the setting for his story because of the region’s reputation in the 1st century CE as an Eden. The region is naturally very beautiful and it was quite wild at the time of Mark. The story opens with Jesus coming from Nazareth to the Jordan. There is no evidence of a 1st century CE town or village called Nazareth in the Galilee. A recent excavation at the site later dubbed Nazareth, turned up a 1st century CE tiny village; but, no indication of its name. Regardless of an earthly Nazareth, the term had meaning in the stars. “Nazareth” means “the Guarded One.” The guarded one in the sky was the Cargo Boat constellation of Dumuzi, beneath Sagittarius. The savior god’s little boat was guarded by Pabilsag and Scorpio. The boat was the typical launch site of savior myths. In myth, the little boat always headed for the watery spring quarter of the sky chart, occupied by Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Jesus arrived at the river Jordan, in Pisces. The river was the Euphrates in the Babylonian version of the constellation (White, Pisces - Babylonian Star Lore 2009). John the Baptist played the part of the fish on the short arm of Pisces. John (the fishy Oannes/Anunitum) refers back to the Joshua myth, with the savior as the son of Nun. The myth survived in Jewish Midrash (Midrash Genesis 97:3), stating: “The son of him whose name was as the name of a fish would lead them [the Israelites] into the land."

Excerpt from Chapter 4: The Working Mother

It wasn’t only the priests in Egypt who caught the entrepreneurial spirit. Opportunity abounded for priests to turn a profit on the divine during this period of economic prosperity, particularly in the coastal cities of the Levant. There is plenty of archaeological evidence of Greek traders, as well as prosperous Phoenicians, along the Levantine coast. The Phoenicians were also the Persian Navy; so, the Levant was chock full of sailors, as well as soldiers inland. Take a wild guess at how temples dedicated to the Love Goddess could profit in such an environment of soldiers, sailors, and traveling salesmen.

PHOTO: National Maritime Museum, Israel - Terracotta Figurines. Second half of the second millenium BC.

Photo by Deror Avi, Wikimedia Commons

Excerpt from Chapter 6: Roman Sexual Omnivores

Think about the sexual morality valued by Roman society: The relationships which were the most proscribed and frowned upon were consensual sex between members of the citizen class. It was perfectly fine for a man to have sex with a slave child; but, not with a man of his own rank and certainly not with someone else’s wife or daughter. The ideal elite marriage was based on financial and political considerations. However, there is evidence of marriages of choice and women’s rights in marriage improved over the course of the Roman Empire. Women enjoyed the greatest freedom just prior to the advancement of the Catholic Church. Women’s rights deteriorated again under Christian dominion.
A large percentage of the people who were the most abused in ancient society were children. Most obviously, the human sacrifice rites (discussed in a later section) involved children. But, many of the males and females used in sacred sex rites and profane prostitution were also children. The ubiquitous slaves in ancient households usually entered slavery as children. Slaves were the sexual property of their owners. Both slave boys and slave girls were regularly used sexually by their masters and it was publicly accepted. Also, the sanctified pederasty, idealized by philosophers, involved a sexual initiation ritual between boys and men.

PHOTO: The Warren Cup. Silver, Roman artwork, middle of the 1st century CE. Said to be from Bittir (ancient Bethther), near Jerusalem.  (This cup is not only contemporary with the first Christians, it is from their neighborhood.)

Photo by Marie-Lan Nguyen (Jastrow) Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Figure 1: The Babylonian Star Chart

The star chart is based on the reconstruction by Gavin White. For his fully illustrated depiction of the Babylonian Star Chart, visit:

Figure 2: The Cosmic Wheel

The best artistic representation of the wheel is from the Assyrian 9th century BCE Sippar Tablet. The tablet commemorated king Nabu-apal-iddin’s building of a temple at Sippar for the solar deity, Shamash. The solar disk on the tablet features a star-like cross, superimposed on an X of wavy lines, representing water. In the sky, the cross marked the solstice and equinox periods. The ribbons of water corresponded with Aquarius, Gemini, Leo, and Sagittarius.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Abrahamsen, Valerie. "Christianity and the Rock Reliefs at Philippi." The Biblical Archaeologist 51, no. 1 (March 1988): 46-56.

Abusch, Tzvi. "The Development and Meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh: An Interpretive Essay." Journal of the American Oriental Society 121, no. 4 (October-December 2001): 614-622.

Albenda, Pauline. "Syrian-Palestinian Cities on Stone ." The Biblical Archaeologist 43, no. 4 (1980): 222-229.

Albright, W. F. "The Etymology of Še'ôl ." The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 34, no. 3 (April 1918): 209-210.

Albright, William F. "Some Comments on the 'Ammân Citadel Inscription." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research,, no. 198 (1970): 38-40.

Aliquot, Julien. "Leucothéa de Segeira." Syria 79 (2002): 231-248.

Allam, S. "Egyptian Law Courts in Pharaonic and Hellenistic Times." The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 77 (1991): 109-127 .

Amorai-Stark, Shua. , "Isis in the Art of Gems of the Hellenistic-Roman Period," . Ph.D. diss. (Hebrew), Jerusalem: Hebrew University, 1988.

Andrews, Alfred C. "The Opium Poppy as a Food and Spice in the Classical Period." Agricultural History 26, no. 4 (October 1952): 152-155.

Apuleius. The Golden Ass.

Aratus. Phaenomena. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Arav, Rami and Freund, Richard A. Bethsaida : a city by the north shore of the Sea of Galilee. Kirksville, 2004.

Avni, Gideon. "From Standing Stones to Open Mosques in the Negev Desert: The Archaeology of Religious Transformation on the Fringes." Near Eastern Archaeology 70, no. 3 (September 2007): 124-138.

Bahrani, Zainab. "Race and Ethnicity in Mesopotamian Antiquity." World Archaeology 38, no. 1 (March 2006).

—. "Doubling Dreams: ." Schermerhorn, Fall 2003: 12.

Bahrani, Zainab. "The Hellenization of Ishtar: Nudity, Fetishism, and the Production of Cultural Differentiation in Ancient Art." Oxford Art Journal 19, no. 2 (1996): 3-16.

Belayche.Nicole. "Tychè et la Tychè dans les cités de la Palestine romaine." Syria, no. 80 (2003): 111-138.

Bell, Lanny. "Luxor Temple and the Cult of the Royal Ka." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 44, no. 4 (1985): 251-294 .

Berlin, Andrea M. "Archaeological Sources for the History of Palestine: Between Large Forces: Palestine in the Hellenistic Period." The Biblical Archaeologist 60, no. 1 (March 1997): 2-51.

Berlin, Sharon C. Herbert and Andrea M. "A New Administrative Center for Persian and Hellenistic Galilee: Preliminary Report of the." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 329 (2003): 13-59.

Berry, George R. "The Authorship of Ezekiel." Journal of Biblical Literature 34, no. 1 (1915): 17-40.

Betlyon, John W. "A People Transformed Palestine in the Persian Period." Near Eastern Archaeology 68, no. 1/2 (March-June 2005): 4-58.

Black, Jeremy, & Cunningham, Graham & Robson, Eleanor and Zolyomi, Gabor. The Literature of Ancient Sumer. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004.

Blackman, Aylward M. "On the Position of Women in the Ancient Egyptian Hierarchy." The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 7, no. 1 (April 1921): 8-30.

Blue Letter Bible. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Bonnet, Corinne. Iconography of Deities and Demons: Electronic Pre-Publication. 2007.

Bremmer, Jan N. "Attis: A Greek God in Anatolian Pessinous and Catullan Rome." Mnemosyne 57 (2004): 534-573.

Brisch, Nicole. "The Priestess and the King: The Divine Kingship of Šū-Sîn of Ur." Journal of the American Oriental Society 126, no. 2 (April - June 2006): 161-176.

British Museum. Terracotta plaque with an erotic scene. 2010.,_erotic_scene.aspx (accessed 2010).

Brody, Aaron. "From the Hills of Adonis through the Pillars of Hercules: Recent Advances in the Archaeology of Canaan and Phoenicia." Near Eastern Archaeology 65, no. 1 (March 2002): 69-80.

Buckert. Greek Religion. 1985.

Budin, Stephanie L. "A Reconsideration of the Aphrodite-Ashtart Syncretism." Numen 51, no. 2 (2004): 95-145.

Bulloch, Anthony W., Erich S. Gruen, A.A. Long, and Andrew Stewart,. Images and Ideologies: Self-definition in the Hellenistic World. Berkeley: University of California Press. 1993.

Burns, John Barclay. "The Identity of Death's First-Born (Job XVIII 13)." Vetus Testamentum 37, no. 3 (July 1987): 362-364.

Burrus, Virginia. "Queer Lives of Saints: Jerome's Hagiography." Journal of the History of Sexuality 10, no. 3 (2001): 442-479.

Carter, Jane Burr. "The Masks of Ortheia." American Journal of Archaeology 91, no. 3 (July 1987): 355-383.

Chancey, Mark Alan and Porter, Adam Lowry. "The Archaeology of Roman Palestine ." Near Eastern Archaeology 64, no. 4 (December 2001): 164-203.

Charron, Régine. "The Apocryphon of John (NHC II, 1) and the Graeco-Egyptian Alchemical Literature." Vigiliae Christianae 59, no. 4 (2005): 438-456.

Choi, John H. "Resheph and yhwh ṣĕbāʾôt." Vetus Testamentum 51, no. 1 (2004): 17-28.

Clark, Elizabeth A. "Antifamilial Tendencies in Ancient Christianity." Journal of the History of Sexuality 5, no. 3 (January 1995): 356-380.

Clifford, Richard J. "Phoenician Religion." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 279 (August 1990): 55-64 .

Cobb Institute of Archaeology. Tell Halif Persian Figurines Database.

Cole, Susan Guettel. "Landscapes of Artemis The Organization of Space in Antiquity ." The Classical World 93 , no. 5 (May - June 2000): 471-481.

collection, Proverbs:. The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature.

Cooper, Belinda. ""We Have No Martin Luther King": Eastern Europe's Roma Minority." World Policy Journal 18, no. 4 (2001-2002): 69-78.

Csapo, Eric. "Riding the Phallus for Dionysus: Iconology, Ritual, and Gender-Role De/Construction." Phoenix 51, no. 3 (1997): 253-295.

Dalley, Stephanie. Mari and Karana : two old Babylonian cities. Piscataway: Gorgias Press, 2002.

Darby, Robert. "The Masturbation Taboo and the Rise of Routine Male Circumcision: A Review of the." Journal of Social History 36, no. 3 (2003): 737-757.

De Angelis, Franco and Garstad, Benjamin. "Euhemerus in Context." Classical Antiquity 25, no. 2 (October 2006): 211-242 .

De Graef, Katrien. "An Account of the Redistribution of Land to Soldiers in Late Old Babylonian Sippar- Amnānum ." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 45, no. 2 (2002): 141-178.

Dearman, J. Andrew. "Roads and Settlements in Moab ." The Biblical Archaeologist 60, no. 4 (December 1997): 205-213.

DeConick, April D. "The Great Mystery of Marriage. Sex and Conception in Ancient Valentinian Traditions." Vigiliae Christianae 57, no. 3 (August 2003): 307-342.

Drews, Robert. The Coming of the Greeks, . Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1988.

Early Christian Writings. The Gospel of the Egyptians. 2001. (accessed 2010).

—. The Gospel of the Hebrews. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Ehrman, Bart. Misquoting Jesus, . New York: Harper, 2005.

Ehrman, Bart D. Lost Christianities, the Battles for Scripture and Faiths We Never Knew. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

—. The New Testament A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. New York: Oxford University Press, 1997.

Elder, Philostratus the. Imagines 2. 19 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.).

Elderkin, G. W. "The Bee of Artemis." The American Journal of Philology 60, no. 2 (1939): 203-213.

Elliott, Susan M. "Choose Your Mother, Choose Your Master: Galatians 4:21-5:1 in the Shadow of the Anatolian." Journal of Biblical Literature 118, no. 4 (1999): 661-683.

Eskridge, William N. . "A History of Same-Sex Marriage." Virginia Law Review 79, no. 7 (October 1993): 1419-1513.

Espinel, Andrés Diego. "The Role of the Temple of Ba'alat Gebal as Intermediary between Egypt and Byblos during the Old Kingdom Author ." Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, 2002: 103-119.

Fant, Mary R. Lefkowitz and Maureen B. Women's Life in Greece and Rome. 1992.

Feng, Violet. "The Magdalene Laundry A Life of Servitude Behind Convent Walls." CBS News. August 3, 2003.

Finkelstein, Israel and Silberman, Neil Asher. The Bible Unearthed. (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2001.

Flickr, cams_psu. Ancient Erotic Art . 2007. (accessed 2010).

Flickr, Nickmard. Roman Ivory. 2009. (accessed 2010).

Flickr, Simon P White. In The Bardo Museum. 2007. (accessed 2010).

Flickr-peterjr1961 . Greek and Orientalizing Jewelry: Gold Pendant with Mistress of Animals . 2009. (accessed 2010).

Frankfurter, David T. M. "Stylites and Phallobates: Pillar Religions in Late Antique Syria." Vigiliae Christianae 44, no. 2 (June 1990): 168-198.

Fried, Lisbeth S. "The High Places (Bāmôt) and the Reforms of Hezekiah and Josiah: An Archaeological Investigation ." Journal of the American Oriental Society 122, no. 3 (2002): 437- 465.

—. The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire. 2005.

—. The Priest and the Great King: Temple-Palace Relations in the Persian Empire.

Friedheim, Emmanuel. "Who Are the Deities Concealed behind the Rabbinic Expression "A Nursing Female Image"? ." The Harvard Theological Review 96, no. 2 (April 2003): 239-250.

Gadd, C. J. "The Harran Inscriptions of Nabonidus ." Anatolian Studies, 1958: 35-92.

Garstad, Benjamin. "Belus in the "Sacred History" of Euhemerus." Classical Philology 99, no. 3 (July 2004): 246-257.

Gero, S. With Walter Bauer on the Tigris: Encratite Orthodoxy and Libertine Heresy in Syro-Mesopotamian Christianity in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 1986.

Gibbons, Fiachra. "In God's Name." The Guardian. February 7, 2003.

Glancy, Jennifer A. "Obstacles to Slaves' Participation in the Corinthian Church." Journal of Biblical Literature 117, no. 3 (1998): 481-501.

Gnuse, Robert. "Hellenistic Judges: Abducted Wives: A Hellenistic Narrative in Judges 21?" SJOT: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 21, no. 2 (November 2007): 228-240.

Gorman, Jill. "Thinking with and about "Same-Sex Desire": Producing and Policing Female Sexuality in the "Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena." Journal of the History of Sexuality 10, no. 3 (2001): 416-441 .

Grabbe, Lester L. "The Law, the Prophets, and the Rest: The State of the Bible in Pre-Maccabean Times." Dead Sea Discoveries 13, no. 3 (November 2006): 319-338.

Hagerty, Barbara Bradley. "Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion." NPR. May 19, 2010.

Halikas, Ronald A. Weller and James A. "Marijuana Use and Sexual Behavior." The Journal of Sex Research 20, no. 2 (1984): 186-193.

Halperin, David M. "Plato and Erotic Reciprocity." Classical Antiquity 5, no. 1 (1986): 60-80.

Halsall, Ancient History Sourcebook. Mesopotamia. 2007. (accessed 2010).

—. The Code of the Assura, c. 1075 BCE . 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. The Legend of Sargon of Akkadê, c. 2300 BCE. 2007. (accessed 2010).

Halsall, Paul. Pliny and Trajan: Correspondence, c. 112 CE. 1998.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nude female figure; 8th–7th century B.C. 2010. (accessed 2010).
Harland, J. Penrose. "Sodom and Gomorrah: The Destruction of the Cities of the Plain." The Biblical Archaeologist 6, no. 3 (September 1943): 41-54.

Harris, J. R. "Hermas in Arcadia." Journal of the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis 7, no. 1 (1887): 69-83.

Henrichs, Albert. "The Sophists and Hellenistic Religion: Prodicus as the Spiritual Father of the ISIS Aretalogies ." Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 88 (1984): 139-158 .

Herbert, Sharon C. and Berlin, Andrea M. "A New Administrative Center for Persian and Hellenistic Galilee: Preliminary Report of the University of Michigan/University of Minnesota Excavations at Kedesh." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental 329 (February 2003): 13-59.

Heritage Key. Turin Erotic Papyrus. 2010. 2010).

Herodotus. The Histories.

Herr, Larry G., and Douglas R. Clark. "From the Stone Age to the Middle Ages in Jordan: Digging up Tall al-'Umayri." Near Eastern Archaeology 72 , no. 2 (June 2009): 68-97.

Herscher, Ellen. "Archaeology in Cyprus." American Journal of Archaeology 102, no. 2 (1998): 309-354.

Hesse, Paula Wapnish and Brian. "Pampered Pooches or Plain Pariahs? The Ashkelon Dog Burials." The Biblical Archaeologist 56, no. 2 (June 1993): 55-80.

Hillman, D.C.A. The Chemical Muse Drug Use and the Roots of Western Civilization, (New York, 2008), . New York: Saint Martin's Press, 2008.

Hippolytus. Refutation of All Heresies (Book VI) .

Holy Watergate. Produced by Mary Healey. 2004.

Houser, J. Samuel. ""Eros" and "Aphrodisia" in the Works of Dio Chrysostom." Classical Antiquity 17, no. 2 (October 1998): 235-258.

Hunter, David G. "The Virgin, the Bride, and the Church: Reading Psalm 45 in Ambrose, Jerome, and Augustine." Church History 69, no. 2 (June 2000): 281-303.

Hurowitz, Victor Avigdor. "The Mesopotamian God Image, from Womb to Tomb." Journal of the American Oriental Society 123, no. 1 (2003): 147- 157.

Index, Theology WebSite Etext. Egyptian Myth: The 80 Years of Contention Between Horus and Seth.

Jacobson, David M. "Herod the Great Shows His True Colors." Near Eastern Archaeology 64, no. 3 (September 2001): 100-104.

Jacobson, David M. "Herod the Great Shows His True Colors." Near Eastern Archaeology 64, no. 3 (2001): 100-104.

Jones, Malcolm. "Folklore Motifs in Late Medieval Art III: Erotic Animal Imagery." Folklore 102, no. 2 (1991): 192-219.

Jones, Philip. "Embracing Inana: Legitimation and Mediation in the Ancient Mesopotamian Sacred Marriage Hymn Iddin-Dagan." Journal of the American Oriental Society 123, no. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 2003): 291-302.

Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews .

Josephus, Flavius. Antiquities of the Jews.

Joukowsky, Institute for Archaeology Classroom. Graeco-Egyptian Uterine Amulets. 2008. (accessed 2010).

Karlen, Arno. "The Homosexual Heresy." The Chaucer Review 6, no. 1 (1971): 44-66.

Kletter, Raz, Irit Ziffer, and Wolfgang Zwickel. "Cult Stands of the Philistines A Genizah from Yavneh." Near Eastern Archaeology 69, no. 3 (September 2006): 146-159.

Knight, Mary. "Curing Cut or Ritual Mutilation?: Some Remarks on the Practice of Female and Male." Isis 92, no. 2 (June 2001): 317-338.

Kondoleon, Christine. Antioch the Lost Ancient City. Princeton, 2001.

Kramer, Diane Wolkstein and Noah. Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer. New York: Harper and Row Publishers, 1983.

Krupp, E.C. "Starry fish in the firmament." Sky & Telescope 96 , no. 6 (December 1998): 101-104.


Larson, Jennifer. "Handmaidens of Artemis?" The Classical Journal 92, no. 3 (February-March 1997): 249-257.

Lemche, Niels Peter. The Israelites in History and Tradition. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1998.

Levine, Baruch A. and de Tarragon, Jean-Michel. "Dead Kings and Rephaim: The Patrons of the Ugaritic Dynasty." Journal of the American Oriental Society 104, no. 4 (1984): 649-659.

Library, Christian Classics Ethereal. Life and Times of Jesus. Calvin College.

Library, The Gnostic Society. Gospel of James.


Library, The Gnostic Society. The Nag Hammadi Library: The Gospel of the Egyptians. The Antiochus Cylinder.

Louvre Museum. Near Eastern Antiquities : Mesopotamia. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Lucian. Dea Syria (The Syrian Goddess).

M.R. "Ashkelon's dead babies." Archaeology 50, no. 2 (1997): 12.

Macqueen, J.G. The Hittites. London: Thames Hudson, 1986.

Manibus, Dis. Sardonic grin – mystery solved? June 3, 2009. (accessed 2010).

Markoe, Glen E. Phoenicians. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000.

Markoe, Glenn E. "The Emergence of Phoenician Art." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 279 (August 1990): 6-24.

Matthiae, Paolo. Ebla an Empire Rediscovered. New York: Doubleday, 1981.

Mazar, George L. Kelm and Amihai. "Tel Batash (Timnah) Excavations: Third Preliminary Report, 1984-1989." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research. Supplementary Studies, no. 27 (1991): 44-67.

McMinn, J. B. "Fusion of the Gods: A Religio-Astrological Study of the Interpenetration of the East and the West in Asia Minor." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 15, no. 4 (1956): 201-213.

Meeks, Wayne A. "The Image of the Androgyne: Some Uses of a Symbol in Earliest Christianity." History of Religions 13, no. 3 (1974): 165-208.

Merlin, M. D. "Archaeological Evidence for the Tradition of Psychoactive Plant Use in the Old World." Economic Botany 57, no. 3 (2003): 295-323.

Methuen, Charlotte. "The "Virgin Widow": A Problematic Social Role for the Early Church?" The Harvard Theological Review, 90, no. 3 (July 1997): 285-298.

Nauta, Ruurd R. "Catullus 63 in a Roman Context." Mnemosyne, Fourth Series 57, no. 5 (2004): 596-628.

Niesiołowski-Spanò, Łukasz. "Primeval History in the Persian Period?" SJOT: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 21, no. 1 (June 2007): 106-126.

Nissinen, Martti. "How Prophecy Became Literature." SJOT: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 19, no. 2 (November 2005): 153-172.

Olmstead, A. T. "Darius as Lawgiver." The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures 51, no. 4 (July 1935): 247-249.

P.W., Pestman. "L'origine et l'extension d'un manuel de droit égyptien: Quelques réflexions à propos du soi-disant Code de Hermoupolis." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 26, no. 1 (1983): 14 -21.

Parrott, Douglas M. "Gnosticism and Egyptian Religion." Novum Testamentum 29, no. 1 (January 1987): 73-93.

Pausanias. Guide to Greece.

Peidong Shen, Tal Lavi, Toomas Kivisild, Vivian Chou, Deniz Sengun, Dov Gefel, Issac Shpirer. "Reconstruction of Patrilineages and Matrilineages of Samaritans and Other Israeli Populations From." HUMAN MUTATION 24 (2004): 248-260.

Percy, William A. "Pederasty and Pedagogy in Archaic Greece." William A Percy.

Percy, William Armstrong. Pederasty and Pedegogy in Archaic Greece. University of Illinois, 1996.

Pestman, P.W. "L'origine et l'extension d'un manuel de droit égyptien: Quelques réflexions à propos du soi-disant Code de Hermoupolis." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 26, no. 1 (1983): 14 -21.

Petronius. Satyricon.

Philip, Father.

Philostratus, the Elder. Imagines 2. 19 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.).

Plutarch. Moralia Isis and Osiris. 2006.*/home.html (accessed 2010).

Project, Tel Halif - The Lahav Research. Cobb Institute of Archaeology.

Ramsay, W.M. "The Utilisation of Old Epigraphic Copies." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 38 (1918): 124-192.

Rasimus, Tuomas. "Ophite Gnosticism, Sethianism and the Nag Hammadi Library." Vigiliae Christianae 59, no. 3 (2005): 235-263.

Redford, Donald B. Egypt, Canaan, and Israel in Ancient Times. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1992.

Reiner, Erica. "Astral Magic in Babylonia." Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 85, no. 4 (1995): i-150.

Ritner, Robert K. "A Uterine Amulet in the Oriental Institute Collection." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 43, no. 3 (July 1984): 209-221.

Ritner, Robert K. "Innovations and Adaptations in Ancient Egyptian Medicine." Journal of Near Eastern Studies 59, no. 2 (April 2000): 107-117.

Robertson, A. T. Word Pictures in the New Testament. Christian Classics Ethereal Library, 1934.

Robertson, John F. "The Internal Political and Economic Structure of Old Babylonian Nippur: The Guennakkum and His "House"." Journal of Cuneiform Studies 36, no. 36 (Autumn, 1984): 145-190.

Robertson, Noel. "The Ritual Background of the Dying God in Cyprus and Syro-Palestine." The Harvard Theological Review 75, no. 3 (July 1982): 313-359.

Roscoe, Will. "Priests of the Goddess: Gender Transgression in Ancient Religion ." History of Religions 35, no. 3 (February 1996): 195-230.

Rose, H. J. "The Temple of Atargatis at Hierapolis Author." Man 24 (February 1924).

Rosner, Brian S. "Temple Prostitution in 1 Corinthians 6:12-20." Novum Testamentum 40, no. 4 (October 1998): 336-351.

Roth, Martha T. "Reading Mesopotamian Law Cases PBS 5 100: A Question of Filiation." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 44, no. 3 (2001): 243-292.

Rundin, John S. "Pozo Moro, Child Sacrifice, and the Greek Legendary Tradition." Journal of Biblical Literature 123, no. 3 (2004): 425-447.

Sacred Texts. The Syrian Goddess - Image Detail. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. The Theology of the Phoenicians from Sanchoniatho. 2010. 2010).

Sagiv, Tuvia. Penetrating Insights into the Temple Mount. 1996.

Sawyer, Erin. "Celibate Pleasures: Masculinity, Desire, and Asceticism in Augustine." Journal of the History of Sexuality 6, no. 1 (July 1995): 1-29.

Schultz, Joseph P. Judaism and the Gentile Faiths: Comparative Studies in Religion. Fairleigh Dickinson Univ Press, 1981.

Seeden, Helga. "A Tophet in Tyre?" BERYTUS XXXIX (1991).

Seyrig, Henri. "Antiquités syriennes: 78. Les dieux de Hiérapolis." Syria 37, no. 3 (1960): 233-252.

Sharlach, T. M. "Diplomacy and the Rituals of Politics at the Ur III Court ." Journal of Cuneiform Studies 57 (2005): 17-29 .

Shiloh, Yigal. "The City of David Archaeological Project: The Third Season, 1980 ." The Biblical Archaeologist 44, no. 3 (1981): 161-170.

Skulsky, Susan. "The Sibyl's Rage and the Marpessan Rock." The American Journal of Philology 108, no. 1 (1987): 56-80.

Smets, Duane Matthew. THE NEW TESTAMENT EVANGELIST. A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Talbot School of Theology Biola University, , 2004.

Smith, Morton. "A Note on Burning Babies." Journal of the American Oriental Society 95, no. 3 (1975): 477-479 .

Stern, Ephraim. Archaeology of the Land of the Bible Volume II. New York: Doubleday, 2001.

Stern, Jacob. "Heraclitus the Paradoxographer: Περὶ Ἀπίστων, "On Unbelievable Tales"." Transactions of the American Philological Association 133, no. 1 (2003): 51-97.

Stieglitz, Robert R. "The Geopolitics of the Phoenician Littoral in the Early Iron Age ." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 279 (August 1990): 9-12 .

Strabo. Geographica.

Strange, John. "THE BOOK OF JOSHUA - ORIGIN AND DATING." SJOT: Scandinavian Journal of the Old Testament 16, no. 1 (January 2002): 44-52.

Tales, Dafney. "Man tells of abuse by priest-uncle." Philadelphia Daily News. January 2010.

TALES, DAFNEY. "Man tells of abuse by priest-uncle." Philadelphia Daily News. January 2010.

Taylor, Rabun. "Two Pathic Subcultures in Ancient Rome ." Journal of the History of Sexuality 7, no. 3 (January 1997): 319-371.

Texts, Sacred. Sacrifice to Priapus.

The Bethsaida Excavations Project. Bethsaida Excavations - Bull Stele. 2007. (accessed 2010).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Furniture fragment with the "woman at the window",. 2010. (accessed 2010).

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Religion and Power: Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond. 2007. (accessed 2010).

The Theoi Project. APHRODITE WRATH: MYRRHA / SMYRNA. Edited by Aaron J. Atsma. 2008. (accessed 2010).

Theoi Greek Mythology. Z12.20 INFANT DIONYSOS RIDING TIGER. 2008. (accessed 2010).

—. Z12.9 DRINKING CONTEST OF HERAKLES & DIONYSOSl. 2008. (accessed 2010).

Turner, John D. "The Gnostic Sethians and Middle Platonism: Interpretations of the Timaeus and Parmenides." Vigiliae Christianae 60, no. 1 (2006): 9-64.

University of Pennsylvania. Nusku Altar. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Veenhof, K. R. "Some Social Effects of Old Assyrian Trade." Iraq 39, no. 1 (1977): 109-118.

—. "Some Social Effects of Old Assyrian Trade." Iraq. Vol. 39. no. 1. 1977. 109-118.

Verbrugghe, Gerald P. and Wickersham, John M. Berossos and Manetho. Ann Arbor: THe University of Michigan Press, 2001.

Vermeule, Emily and Chapman, Suzanne. "A Protoattic Human Sacrifice? ." American Journal of Archaeology 75, no. 3 (July 1971): 285-293.

Vieweger, Dieter, and Jutta Häser. "Tall Zira 'a." Near Eastern Archaeology 70, no. 3 (September 2007): 147-167.

Ward, William A. "Archaeology in Lebanon in the Twentieth Century." The Biblical Archaeologist 57, no. 2 (June 1994): 68-69.

Weitzman, Steven. "Plotting Antiochus's Persecution." Journal of Biblical Literature 123, no. 2 (2004): 219-234.

Wenning, Robert. "The Betyls of Petra Author." Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 324 (November 2001): 79-95.

Wesołowska, A., Nikiforuk, A., Michalska, K., Kisiel, W., Chojnacka-Wójcik, E. "Analgesic and sedative activities of lactucin and some lactucin-like guaianolides in mice." Journal of Ethnopharmacology 107, no. 2 (September 2006): 254-258.

West, Stephanie. "Herodotus' Portrait of Hecataeus ." The Journal of Hellenic Studies 111 (1991): 144-160 .

White, Gavin. Aquarius - Babylonian Star Lore. 2009.

—. Aries - Babylonian Star Lore. 2009.

—. Babylonian Star Map. 2009.

—. Capricorn. 2009.

—. Dendra Zodiac. 2009.

—. Mul-Apin. 2009.

—. Pisces - Babylonian Star Lore. 2009.

—. Saggittarius - Babylonian Star Lore. 2009.

—. Scorpio - Babylonian Star Lore. 2009.

—. Taurus. 2009.

—. Virgo - Babylonian Star-lore. 2009.

Whitley, C. F. "Deutero-Isaiah's Interpretation of ṣedeq." Vetus Testamentum 22, no. 4 (October 1972): 469-475.

Wikimedia Commons. Category:Ancient Roman frescos in the Lupanar (Pompeii). 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Artemis of Ephesus. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Geb. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Hecate. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Min (god). 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Priapus. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Category:Warren Cup. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Cumae. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:0007MAN-Herma.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Circumcision Precinct of Mut.png. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:DemetriusIIICoin.png. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Erotic scenes Louvre G13 n1.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Mozia museum masque.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Philistine ship of war.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:RM - Museo Terme - Sarcofago corteo bacchico - Foto Dall'Orto - 15-08-2000 - 04.JPG. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Tall Ziraa 2007 Funde.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Homosexuality (pre-modern). 2010. 2010).

—. Minoan Frescos. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Mother Goddes from Çatalhöyük. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Pozo Moro Relief. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Reliefs in Luxor Temple. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. Saint Christopher. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Wikipedia Commons. Category:Pederasty in Ancient Greece. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Apotheosis of Polydeukion, detail.jpg. 2010.,_detail.jpg (accessed 2010).

—. File:Niankh.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

Wikipedia. Eshmun Temple. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Cnidus Aphrodite Altemps Inv8619.jpg. 2010. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Moulded woman naked Sb 7797.jpg. 2009. (accessed 2010).

—. File:Stele of Qadesh upper-frame.jpg. 2010.

—. Mesha Stele.

Wikisource. Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VIII/Pseudo-Clementine Literature/The Clementine Homilies/Homily II/Chapter 23. 2009.

Willker, Wieland. The letter of Clement of Alexandria to Theodore. The Secret Gospel of Mark.

Writings, Early Christian. Gospel of the Hebrews. 2001.

Yoffee, Norman. "The Economics of Ritual at Late Old Babylonian Kish." Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 41, no. 3 (1998): 312-343.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Sex Rites describes the evolution of religious rituals involving sex, drugs, and human sacrifice as the foundation of Christian myth and ritual. This story begins with the oldest known religious sexual concepts in Sumer, modern day Iraq. It reconnects Christianity with its’ ancient roots in Palestine, Egypt, Anatolia, Greece, and Rome. Religious changes are described in historical context, identifying political and economic conditions as driving forces. Ancient myths, including Bible stories, are illuminated by tracing their path through the sky, as rediscovered in the star lore of ancient astrologers. These myths were used by ancient priests, including Christian clergy, to justify their rituals. These rituals included raping, mutilating, drugging, and killing children. The myths remain part of Christian theology to this day.