The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-11-14
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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The cuneiform script, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, was witness to one of the world's oldest literate cultures. For over three millennia, it was the vehicle of communication from (at its greatest extent) Iran to the Mediterranean, Anatolia to Egypt. The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture examines the Ancient Middle East through the lens of cuneiform writing. The contributors, a mix of scholars from across the disciplines, explore, define, and to some extent look beyond the boundaries of the written word, using Mesopotamia's clay tablets and stone inscriptions not just as 'texts' but also as material artefacts that offer much additional information about their creators, readers, users and owners.

Author Biography

Karen Radner is Reader in Ancient Near Eastern History, University College London.

Eleanor Robson is Reader in Ancient Middle Eastern Science, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

I. Materiality and literacies
1. Tablets as artefacts, scribes as artisans, Jonathan Taylor
2. Accounting in proto-cuneiform, Robert K. Englund
3. Numeracy and metrology, Gregory Chambon
4. Levels of literacy, Niek Veldhuis
5. Literacy and gender, Brigitte Lion
II. Individuals and communities
6. The person in Mesopotamian thought, Benjamin R. Foster
7. The scribe of the Flood Story and his circle, Frans van Koppen
8. Feasts for the living, the dead, and the gods, Hagan Brunke
9. Cuneiform writing in Neo-Babylonian temple communities, Michael Jursa
10. Freedom in ancient Near Eastern societies, Eva von Dassow
III. Experts and novices
11. Teacher-student relationships: two case studies, Yoram Cohen & Sivan Kedar
12. Patron and client: Zimri-Lim and Asqudum the diviner, Dominique Charpin
13. Learned, rich, famous and unhappy: Ur-Utu of Sippar, Michel Tanret
14. Music, the work of professionals, Nele Ziegler
15. The education of Neo-Assyrian princes, Silvie Zamazalova
IV. Decisions
16. Judicial decision-making: judges and arbitrators, Sophie Demare-Lafont
17. Royal decision-making: kings, magnates and scholars, Karen Radner
18. Assyria at war: strategy and conduct, Andreas Fuchs
19. Manipulating the gods: lamenting in context, Anne Lohnert
20. Magic rituals: conceptualisation and performance, Daniel Schwemer
V. Interpretations
21. Sheep and sky: systems of divinatory interpretation, Ulla Susanne Koch
22. Making sense of time: observational and theoretical calendars, John M. Steele
23. Letters as correspondence, letters as literature, Fabienne Huber Vulliet
24. Keeping company with men of learning: the king as scholar, Eckart Frahm
25. From street altar to palace: reading the built environment of urban Babylonia, Heather D. Baker
VI. Making knowledge
26. The production and dissemination of scholarly knowledge, Eleanor Robson
27. Tablets of schools and scholars: a portrait of the Old Babylonian corpus, Steve Tinney
28. Adapting to new contexts: cuneiform in Anatolia, Mark Weeden
29. Observing and describing the world through divination and astronomy, Francesca Rochberg
30. Berossos between tradition and innovation, Geert De Breucker
VII. Shaping tradition
31. Agriculture as civilization: sages, farmers, and barbarians, Frans Wiggermann
32. Sourcing, organising, and administering medicinal ingredients, Barbara Bock
33. Changing images of kingship in Sumerian literature, Nicole Brisch
34. The pious king: royal patronage of temples, Caroline Waerzeggers
35. Cuneiform culture's last guardians: the old urban notability of Hellenistic Uruk, Philippe Clancier

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