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Drawn from Akkadian and Sumerian tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection, many of them previously unpublished, this collection of readings brings to life the vibrancy of ancient Mesopotamian literature, beyond its better-known myths and epics.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-4052-3
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Jan 14,2020
Interior Color: Black with Color Inserts
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 174
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-4052-3
$65.00
$45.50
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Drawn from Akkadian and Sumerian tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection, many of them previously unpublished, this collection of readings brings to life the vibrancy of ancient Mesopotamian literature, beyond its better-known myths and epics. The book’s unique thematic structure presents a wide range of timeless subjects, while the individual selections open new perspectives, thanks to their vivid details. The texts include letters, poems, prayers, humorous sketches, dialogues, and proverbs. Each theme is introduced, followed by brief commentaries on the dozen or more illustrative texts. Suggestions for further reading are also provided, as well as a map, chronological outline, and general introduction. 

Drawn from Akkadian and Sumerian tablets in the Yale Babylonian Collection, many of them previously unpublished, this collection of readings brings to life the vibrancy of ancient Mesopotamian literature, beyond its better-known myths and epics. The book’s unique thematic structure presents a wide range of timeless subjects, while the individual selections open new perspectives, thanks to their vivid details. The texts include letters, poems, prayers, humorous sketches, dialogues, and proverbs. Each theme is introduced, followed by brief commentaries on the dozen or more illustrative texts. Suggestions for further reading are also provided, as well as a map, chronological outline, and general introduction. 

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Contributor Biography

Karen Foster

Karen Polinger Foster is a Lecturer in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and History of Art at Yale University. 

Benjamin Foster

Benjamin R. Foster is William M. Laffan Professor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature at Yale University. 

Plates

Map of Places Mentioned

Chronological Table

Preface

 

Introduction

From Wedges to Words

Gilgameshas Guide

For Further Reading

 

I. Explorations of the Mind

 

Learning

School Days in Sumer

Copycat Homework

Learned References

Court Literati

Belles-Lettres

Enheduanna, Princess and Poet

For Further Reading

Numeracy

Mathematical Lessons

Measurement Lessons

Agricultural Accountability

Taxation

Weights and Measures

International Exchange Rates

Compound Interest

How Many Miles to Babylon?

Sun and Moon, Stars and Planets

For Further Reading

Memory

I, Sargon

Remembering Naram-Sin

The Curse of Agade

Remembrance of Things Past

For Further Reading

 

II. Passion and Discipline

 

Love

Sacred Marriage

Courtship

Mail-order Bride?

Marriage Contracts

Father of the Bride

Recovering the Dowry

Adultery

A Dangerous Liaison

Unloved and Unmourned

Family Love

A Woman’s Yearning

The Love of the Gods for People

Love, Assaulted

For Further Reading

Madness

The Madness of Gilgamesh

The Madness of Nabonidus

Divining Madness in the Land

Divining Madness in the Person

Divining Madness at a Distance

For Further Reading

Justice

Murder for Hire

Embezzlement

A Thieving Shepherd

Witch Trial?

A Jail Break

Let the Punishment Fit the Crime

Learning to be a Law Clerk

A Broken Engagement

Buying a House

A Last Will and Testament

For Further Reading

 

III. Signs and Wonders of Nature

 

Animals

Animal Proverbs and Fables

Animal Husbandry

Cats in Houses

Cats in Temples

Creatures for Kings

Nuisance Animals

For Further Reading

Birds

Anzu, the Wicked Bird

Bird versus Fish

Wren Wit

Eagle Omens

The Meaning of Spots on Birds

Ducks and Doves for a Goddess

Of Eggs and Feathers

Cooking in Cuneiform

For Further Reading

Magic

Magic Circles

Magic Bowls

Childbirth Spells

Lullaby Spells

Spells against Lamashtu

Spells against a Temptress Demon

Spells Cast by a Sorcerer

Spells Cast by a Witch

Pest Control Magic

Cultic Magic

Reading the Stars

Omens and Kings

For Further Reading

 

Index of Museum Numbers

Bibliography of Texts

Learning

Numeracy

Memory

Love

Madness

Justice

Animals

Birds

Magic