Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods

Mesopotamia: Writing, Reasoning and the Gods


By (author) Jean Bottero, Translated by Zainab Bahrani, Translated by Marc Van De Mieroop

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Paperback | 312 pages
  • Dimensions: 149mm x 214mm x 19mm | 358g
  • Publication date: 13 July 1995
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226067270
  • ISBN 13: 9780226067278
  • Edition: 2, New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: 1 halftone, 3 line drawings, 1 map
  • Sales rank: 804,790

Product description

The Mesopotamians invented writing and with it a new way of looking at the world. In this collection of essays, the French scholar Jean Bottero attempts to go back to the moment which marks the very beginning of history. To give the reader some sense of how Mesopotamian civilization has been mediated and interpreted in its transmission through time, Bottero begins with an account of assyriology, the discipline devoted to the ancient culture. Bottero focuses on divination in the ancient world, contending that certain modes of worship in Mesopotamia, in their application of casuality and proof, prefigure the "scientific mind."

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Table of contents

Chronology Rules of transcription and translation Map The Birth of the West I: Assyriology 1: In Defense of a Useless Science 2: Assyriology and Our History 3: A Century of Assyriology II: Writing 4: The "Avalanche" of Decipherments in the Ancient Near East between 1800 and 1930 5: From Mnemonic Device to Script 6: Writing and Dialectics, or the Progress of Knowledge III: "Reasoning": Institutions and Mentality 7: Oneiromancy 8: Divination and the Scientific Spirit 9: The Substitute King and His Fate 10: The "Code" of Hammurabi 11: "Free Love" and Its Disadvantages IV: "The Gods": Religion 12: The Religious System 13: Intelligence and the Technical Function of Power: Enki/Ea 14: The Dialogue of Pessimism and Transcendence 15: The Mythology of Death Glossary-Index References Bibliographical Orientation