BEYOND SACRED MARRIAGE: A PROPOSED NEW READING OF “BIRTH OF THE BEAUTIFUL AND GRACIOUS GODS” (KTU 1.23)
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This thesis proposes a reading that establishes a coherent relationship between the sexual content and the other parts of the ritual and myth. Specifically, I argue KTU 1.23 is an invocation to avert death on two levels: the holistic struggle of life against death and the specific impact of that broader phenomenon—childlessness, widowhood, and famine. Some of these ideas have been expressed by various scholars over the years, but the threads have never been woven together into the cohesive whole proposed here.