Religion, Literature, and Scholarship: The Sumerian by Niek Veldhuis

By Niek Veldhuis

This booklet makes use of insights from spiritual reports, literary conception, and the background of technology for figuring out the Sumerian composition Nanse and the Birds within the context of the outdated Babylonian scribal college. The discussions of Babylonian faith, literature, and scholarship specialise in the usefulness and relevance of those sleek thoughts for categorizing the traditional textual content. the amount offers the 1st serious version of Nanse and the Birds, in addition to versions of the hymn Nanse B and all 3rd millennium and previous Babylonian lexical lists of birds. It comprises 37 plates with images and line drawings, together with many formerly unpublished capsules. the ultimate bankruptcy discusses the id and orthography of all Sumerian fowl names in literary, administrative and lexical texts.

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Additional resources for Religion, Literature, and Scholarship: The Sumerian Composition Nanse and the Birds, with a Catalogue of Sumerian Birds Names (Cuneiform Monographs, 22)

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32 3 plowing bulls 1 mature cow provided by the plowman to replace a plowing bull The assets. 1 plowing bull given out to Sidu the fattener. Deficit: 1 plowing bull Igiˇsagˇsag the plowman. 1 donkey mare, 4 donkey stallions 1 suckling donkey foal 1 donkey mare to be replaced by the plowman. 29 For Nanˇse’s household, see Heimpel 1995, 74–75; and Heimpel 1999, 156–157. ˜ Most texts from Girsu were excavated illegally and entered the antiquities market early in the twentieth century. 3. 31 CT 9 26 BM 19769.

We may distinguish two phases: first, one that defines literature by stylistic criteria, and second, a set of approaches based on Russian Formalism and structuralism. Wilcke 1976 opens his excellent overview of Sumerian literature with the striking observation that Sumerologists are able to classify even tiny fragments of clay tablets as literary by format, ductus, or vocabulary, which suggests that the literary is, indeed, a homogeneous and well-defined category. ), verse, meter, strophe, prologue and epilogue, doxology, perspective, genre, and rubrics.

Sumerian gods usually had a single residence14 though they could have multiple sanctuaries in different cities. Nanˇse had sanctuaries, for instance, ˜ in Girsu and Lagaˇs-city (both in the Lagaˇs area). ’15 dNanˇ se Ni˜ginki KU6 (sign for fish) In an important sense, a god is his or her cult statue. Elaborate rituals were used to change a piece of wood and metal, the craftwork of an artisan, into a god. Such rituals were called ‘Opening of the Mouth’ (Walker and Dick 1999);16 they indicate the acute awareness in Mesopotamian religion of the ambiguous ontological position of a cult statue.

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