Self-Defense as a casus belli in Ancient Mesopotamian and Hittite Literature and in the Hebrew Bible
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In ancient Near Eastern literature, the concept of self-defense serves more than simply as a justification for mobilizing an in-group to commit collective violence against one or more out-groups; it also reveals important features of the religious worldviews of the societies that produced such literature. This study will compare the religious worldviews underlying the motif of self-defense in Mesopotamian literature, Hittite literature, and the Hebrew Bible, revealing both lines of continuity and important differences in the conception of the collective »self« in these literatures.