By Piotr Michalowski, Niek Veldhuis
This quantity, devoted to H.L.J. Vanstiphout on the celebration of his retirement from the collage of Groningen, July 14th 2006, demonstrates the wide number of scholarly ways to the examine of old Sumerian literature. It comprises contributions via Bendt Alster ("Ninurta and the Turtle"), Nicole Brisch ("In compliment of the Kings of Larsa"), A.J. Ferrara ("A Hodgepodge of Snippets"), Alhena Gadotti ("Gilgames, Gudam and the Singer"), W.W. Hallo ("A Sumerian Apocryphon?"), Dina Katz ("Appeals to Utu"), Jacob Klein ("Man and His God"), Piotr Michalowski ("The unusual background of Tumal"), Gonzalo Rubio ("Sulgi and the dying of Sumerian"), Niek Veldhuis ("How Did They research Cuneiform?"), and Claus Wilcke ("Die Hymne auf das Heiligtum Kes").
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Extra info for Approaches to Sumerian Literature: Studies in Honour of Stip (H.L.J. Vanstiphout) (Cuneiform Monographs)
If the rest of the composition had been known, chances are that the entire plot might have followed some of the same patterns, involving more deities struggling for world power. Given the parodic features of our text the question must be raised how serious this was meant to be. This question must be seen in the light of the tendency of Greek mythology to make gods appear in comical situations. 13 The answer seems to be that such myths had become part of literature, and so to some extent detached from religious beliefs, and that such tales were believed only when told as such through the code pertaining to literary art.
It is signiﬁcant that the royal hymns, which describe a super-human image of the (divine) king as exempliﬁed in the famous hymns of ”ulgi, are all about kings who were long dead by the time the students copied them. The form in which they have 13 The tendencies are, however, very general, because the royal hymns in the widest sense are very heterogeneous. in praise of the kings of larsa 43 been transmitted into the Old Babylonian period does not reﬂect poetic images of historical personalities, but describes characteristics and traits that transcend the “body natural” of the king and immortalize the “body politic”—to borrow Ernst Kantorowicz’s (1957) terminology—the essence of kingship that outlasts the human body.
Uruppak 50: á“ á-zi naab-bal-e; ibid. 62: @ì“ á-zi na-an-ne-en = ina “[a-ga-a“-ti] la ta-na-qíip, “do not rape;” also té“-bi (from *di“-bi-“è), etc; also Römer (2005: 224). Here “à-bi clearly means “inwardly,” or “secretly” in contrast to what appears openly. Alternatively one would have to assume that “à-bi is used for the personal construction *“à-ga-ni. ” Yet, such is probably not the case in line 27, although the grammar of this source generally seems to be constructed more by Akkadian than Sumerian principles.
Approaches to Sumerian Literature: Studies in Honour of Stip (H.L.J. Vanstiphout) (Cuneiform Monographs) by Piotr Michalowski, Niek Veldhuis