• Writing Sumerian, Creating Texts: Reflections on Text-building Practices in Old Babylonian Schools

    Author(s):
    Jay Crisostomo (see profile)
    Date:
    2015
    Group(s):
    Ancient Near East
    Subject(s):
    Ancient literature, Assyriology
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6TZ07
    Abstract:
    Sumerian lexical and literary compositions both emerged from the same social sphere, namely scribal education. The complexities of inter-compositional dependence in these two corpora have not been thoroughly explored, particularly as relevant to questions of text-building during the Old Babylonian period (c. 1800–1600 bce). Copying practices evident in lexical texts indicate that students and scholars adopted various methods of replication, including visual copying, copying from memory, and ad hoc innovation. They were not confined to reproducing a received text. Such practices extend to copying literary compositions. A study of compositions from Advanced Lexical Education in comparison with several literary compositions shows a complex inter-dialectic between the corpora, in which lexical compositions demonstrate dependence on literary compositions and vice versa. Thus, Old Babylonian students and scholars could experiment with multiple text-building practices, drawing on their knowledge of the lexical and the literary, regularly creating new versions of familiar compositions.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal Article
    Pub. DOI:
    10.1163/15692124-12341271
    Journal:
    Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
    Volume:
    15
    Start Page:
    121
    End Page:
    142
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    1 month ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved

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