By H. L. J. Vanstiphout

Epics of Sumerian Kings provides for the 1st time either the authoritative Sumerian textual content and a chic English translation of 4 key epics from the Sumerian literary canon. those epics, the earliest identified in any language, revolve round the clash among the towns of Uruk (biblical Erech) in historical Iraq and Aratta in neighboring Iran. Of certain curiosity is “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta,” which incorporates the tale of the confounding of human language, usually brought up as a resource of the biblical tower of Babel narrative, in addition to the Sumerians’ personal account of the discovery of cuneiform writing. as well as supplying English translations of the epics, Vanstiphout discusses their highbrow and cultural context, their poetics and which means, and the importance of the epic cycle as a complete. the quantity will curiosity students and scholars of Assyriology and the traditional close to East, biblical students, and basic readers and may be a beneficial textual content for classes on old close to jap literature or historical past.

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Extra info for Epics of Sumerian Kings: The Matter of Aratta (Writings from the Ancient World)

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2) The messenger’s voyage to Unug (3) The message is delivered. 70–76 77–90 (78–81//27–30) (3) Inana truly favors me! 91–113 (108–113//33–38) The lord of Aratta admits defeat but will not submit. (1) What can I still do? 114–127 (2) Reproaches by the assembly of Aratta 128–132 (3) Even so, I will not submit. 133–134 The Bewitching of Sumer The Sorcerer (1) Now there was this sorcerer. . (2) The sorcerer’s proposal to the chancellor (3) The chancellor’s proposal to the Lord Black Magic (1) The cows stop giving milk.

Ab2-e amar-bi-sse3 inim gig [bi-ib2-be2] ud5-de3 mass2-bi mu-na-ab-[. . ] 205 dugssakir3 kug-ga si-si-ig x [ . . ] ssag4-su3-ga mu-un-gsal2 ssag4 ka-[tab . . nu2] ud-bi-a tur3 amass-a e2 si-ga ba-ab-dug4 nigs2-ha-lam-ma ba-ab-ak unud-de3 essgiri ssu-na bi2-in-tak4 igi-ni i3-sig3-ge sipad-de3 sibir zag-ga-na bi2-in-la2 er2 gig i3-sse8-sse8 kab-bar tur amass tur3-sse3 la-ba-X gsir3 kur2 ba-ra-an-dab5 210 ga-il2-bi ad-gal-sse3 nu-mu-ed3 sila kur2 ba-ra-an-dab5 [unud] sipad dnisaba-ke4-ne dumu tu-da ama dili-me-ess tur3 amass-a a2 ed2-a-me-ess 1-kam-ma mass2-gu-la mu-ni he2-en-na-nam 215 2-kam-ma ur-edin-na mu-ni he2-en-na-nam 2-na-ne-ne ka2 mah igi dutu ed2-a ki u6-di kalam-ma sahar-hub2-sahar-hub2-ba ba-an-dur2-ru-ne-ess dutu an-ta i-im-gi4-gi4-ne mass-mass-e lu2 arattaki-ka e2-tur3-ra mu-un-kur9 e2-tur3-ra gara2 ba-an-kal amar tur la-ba-an-ri-ri 220 tur3 amass nigs2-gig-bi bi2-ak i3 ga ba-e-ni-kal bi2-in-la2 [ .

36 Lines like this abound in the genre of the city laments, where the cities and the whole of Sumer are consistently presented as a byre that has been abandoned by its personnel and livestock. In fact, the whole passage might well appear in a lament—but in this instance it is to be taken literally. 37 Fish spawn, Sumerian a g a r g a r a (lit. “disseminated semen”), is used by both magicians to create a series of animals. The animals created by Sagburu are consistently bigger and stronger than those created by the sorcerer.

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