The 'Queens of the Arabs' during the Neo-Assyrian Period


Eight women appear in Neo-Assyrian sources from the 7th and 8th centuries BCE with the ambiguous but intriguing title 'queen of the Arabs.' Despite providing a rare glimpse of power wielded by women in this period, these rulers remain under-studied and often misunderstood in Assyriology. Aiming to correct these misconceptions, 'the queens of the Arabs' formed the basis of Dr. Ellie Bennett's doctoral dissertation (University of Helsinki, 2021). In this episode Dr. Bennett joins me to talk about gender, language, king- and queenship, the "Arabs" and life in the Arabian Peninsula, and depictions and understandings of nomadism in the Neo-Assyrian Period. Follow Dr. Bennett on Twitter: @sharratu_EllieB . Read the dissertation "The 'Queens of the Arabs' during the Neo-Assyrian Period."

*Content warning for descriptions of violence against women in this episode*

Music in this episode: Desert City by Kevin MacLeod. License.

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Maggie Freeman

Maggie Freeman is a PhD candidate in the School of Architecture at MIT. She researches uses of architecture by nomadic peoples and historical interactions of nomads and empires, with a focus on the modern Middle East.

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