Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Temple of...sexual doom?

Indiana Jones would have had QUITE the erotic adventure if he had decided to treasure hunt in the Babylonian temple known as the temple of Mylitta. Sadly, the temple of Mylitta no longer exists and therefore it has been buried with history forever. But history has a way of rearing its little head, doesn't it? Many know about Greek and Roman deities and how sex was associated with a particular god. Babylonians had their own form of deities, as well. In particular, Mylitta. She was a very fascinating version of Aphrodite. Now before I go on any farther, do allow me to update you with a bit of history which will only add to your blissful educational experience. Babylon was once said to lie in the land of Shinar and the word Babylon is but a Greek version of the Hebrew name known as Babel. Ah yes...do you all remember the tower of Babel in the Old Testament of the bible? If you don't, do look it up after you read this post. Now Babylonians were obsessed with temples and worshipping their gods. They were madly festive in nature and lived life to its fullest. As did the Greeks and the Romans and every deity orientated culture.
Here is where I return back to the topic at hand. Mylitta. There were many rules and laws surrounding the worship of Mylitta. And one in particular, which this entire post evolves around. By law, Mylitta, the goddess of love, wanted every woman in the kingdom of Babylon to go into the temple of Mylitta once in her lifetime. For a specific purpose. Obviously, because you know how naughty I am by nature, you can only assume what that purpose was for. But what, pray you, in particular happened in this temple? What did Mylitta expect of the mortal woman once she was inside? I shall post that on the first of July. No, no. I jest. Of course I'll tell you. A mortal woman was expected to prostitute herself once in her lifetime. Indeed. No matter how pious, how rich, how prude she was. Off she was to go to the temple. Hmmmm. Sounds as if men figured out a way to get sex out of the women who wouldn't give it up by simply making it A LAW. Heavens above. (No pun intended there...) One could only imagine the men milling around on the inside and outside of Mylitta's temple. Just waiting. And circling. Like the sex deprived vultures that they were. Those naughty, naughty Babylonians!! Who would have ever thought? No wonder God had issues with them....
Now we know these things about them through ancient texts, relics and what not. As I said history cannot hide itself completely from archaeologists (or Indiana Jones). I give thee a version of Herodotus that best explains what had been expected and how things took place once inside (mind you I will be making commentaries between these texts...of course!): "Many women, proud of their great wealth and desirous of keeping themselves apart from the vulgar (even though they were about to become vulgar themselves...ehm) travelled in a closed and covered carriage (so that the men on the street wouldn't come running and stumbling to flip up their togas the moment Lady X drove up to make her sexual sacrifice to Mylitta). She was followed by a number of maidservants into the temple. (Though maids they were not for long...). When a woman became seated she could not return home (can you bloody imagine?!) until one of the men (milling about the temple looking for a good frig) threw down a gold piece into her lap and said, "I demand you in the name of Mylitta.'" The woman would then have no choice but to follow the stranger outside the temple and have intercourse with the man. Obviously, sex INSIDE the temple was a bit too much for Mylitta. She wanted everything to happen OUTSIDE. For the entire world to see. So much for the earlier display of coming in with a covered carriage. And sadly, this was expected from every woman once in her lifetime be she married or not, be she old or not, be she sick or not. Mylitta would be waiting. As would all the men.... That being said, I shall end this post with a single visual response from myself to all the men of Babylonia. For shame.

8 comments:

Victoria Dahl said...

This sounds like a romance novel waiting to happen, Delilah!!!

Thank you for the naughty enlightenment!

Delilah Marvelle said...

It's funny you should say that...because I was bloody thinking the same thing!! Do you suppose Babylonian romances will EVER be popular? I shall strive to change that.

Marilyn Brant said...

Now, this is a fascinating bit of history...I'll never look through my husband's social studies textbooks the same way again (he's a h.s. history teacher :). In fact, I may just have to share this story with him!

Eliza Knight said...

Awesome post! They were so naughty and who knew? I'll have to look into this more!

And btw, the Lord of the Month, Marc is very very handsome! And your husband too? Lucky woman! :)

Jessica D said...

I've always wondered about the varied histories of the temple whore, whether they were primarily female or male driven. I suppose sex IS the ultimate creative force so it might as well be associated with God.

Delilah Marvelle said...

Marilyn, when you share this with your husband, please post your response! I'd love to know his take on it. Eliza, THANK YOU, yes I am a very lucky woman. Blushing here.
Jessica, you never cease to amaze me with your perception. Yes, sex IS the ultimate creative force and hence the fascination and drive. BTW, you can plug your book here anytime you want, you brilliant soul, you. Same goes for the rest of you gals!! Thanks for posting!

Lenora Bell said...

Great post, Delilah! So fascinating. I agree with Victoria that you could make an awesome book out of it..

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Okay, I'm with Victoria. As a lover of all things archaeological (Indiana...ooh, hold on while I go fan myself), I think there's a book in here. Set in whichever time period you can imagine - what about a sect that still worships Babylonian gods in secret(Mylitta)?

Great post, Delilah!