The volume has two main aims. First, it presents the available textual evidence relating to women in the palaces of the Neo-Assyrian Empire (c. 930-610 BCE). Second, it evaluates the power relationships that these women were engaged in.
Power in general and women’s power in particular has been understood mostly in a hierarchical way in earlier research on Mesopotamian women. Hierarchical power structures were important in Mesopotamia, but other kinds of power structures existed as well. In addition to discussing hierarchical power relationships, this study draws attention to heterarchical power relations in which women were engaged in Neo-Assyrian palace milieu.
Heterarchical power relations include power relations such as reciprocal power, resistance and persuasion. Although earlier research has certainly been aware of women’s influence in the palaces, this study makes explicit the power concepts employed in previous research and further develops them using the concept of heterarchy. Continue reading Svärd: Women and Power in Neo-Assyrian Palaces