Widespread sacred prostitution received allot of Revisionist criticism

Sacred Prostitution or ritual sex trace back to Babylonian custom Ancient GreekAncient Rome, Aztecs and Mayans, but the widespread sacred prostitution also received allot of Revisionist criticism but did really this type of rituals existed ?.

Recently some scholars, such as Robert A. Oden, Stephanie Lynn Budin and others, have questioned whether sacred prostitution, as an institution whereby women and men sold sex for the profit of deities and temples, did in fact ever actually exist at all. Julia Assante believes that the classical view of temple prostitution is more of a construct of the 19th-century Western European mindset than a true representation of the facts.

While there may well have been some religious prostitution centred around the temples of Inanna/Ishtar, Assante suggests that the concept of the ‘Sacred Marriage’ hieros gamos has in fact been misunderstood. It was previously believed to have been a custom whereby the king coupled with the high priestess to represent the union of Dumuzid with Inanna (later called Ishtar).

It’s much more likely that these unions never occurred, but were embellishments to the image of the king; hymns which praise Middle Eastern kings for coupling with the goddess Ishtar often also speak of him as running 320 kilometres, offering sacrifices, feasting with the sun-god Utu, and receiving a royal crown from An, all in a single day. One scholar comments: “No one, to the best of my knowledge, has been so wooden-minded to propose that human actors played the role of  Utu and An at the banquet”. Not all authors are convinced, however.

Reference