The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

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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.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 840 pages
  • 176 x 250 x 54mm | 1,818.9g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 111 in-text illustrations
  • 0199557306
  • 9780199557301
  • 1,136,516

About Karen Radner

Karen Radner is Reader in Ancient Near Eastern History, University College London. Eleanor Robson is Reader in Ancient Middle Eastern Science, University of Cambridge

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Table of contents

I. MATERIALITY AND LITERACIES ; 1. Tablets as artefacts, scribes as artisans ; 2. Accounting in proto-cuneiform ; 3. Numeracy and metrology ; 4. Levels of literacy ; 5. Literacy and gender ; II. INDIVIDUALS AND COMMUNITIES ; 6. The person in Mesopotamian thought ; 7. The scribe of the Flood Story and his circle ; 8. Feasts for the living, the dead, and the gods ; 9. Cuneiform writing in Neo-Babylonian temple communities ; 10. Freedom in ancient Near Eastern societies ; III. EXPERTS AND NOVICES ; 11. Teacher-student relationships: two case studies ; 12. Patron and client: Zimri-Lim and Asqudum the diviner ; 13. Learned, rich, famous and unhappy: Ur-Utu of Sippar ; 14. Music, the work of professionals ; 15. The education of Neo-Assyrian princes ; IV. DECISIONS ; 16. Judicial decision-making: judges and arbitrators ; 17. Royal decision-making: kings, magnates and scholars ; 18. Assyria at war: strategy and conduct ; 19. Manipulating the gods: lamenting in context ; 20. Magic rituals: conceptualisation and performance ; V. INTERPRETATIONS ; 21. Sheep and sky: systems of divinatory interpretation ; 22. Making sense of time: observational and theoretical calendars ; 23. Letters as correspondence, letters as literature ; 24. Keeping company with men of learning: the king as scholar ; 25. From street altar to palace: reading the built environment of urban Babylonia ; VI. MAKING KNOWLEDGE ; 26. The production and dissemination of scholarly knowledge ; 27. Tablets of schools and scholars: a portrait of the Old Babylonian corpus ; 28. Adapting to new contexts: cuneiform in Anatolia ; 29. Observing and describing the world through divination and astronomy ; 30. Berossos between tradition and innovation ; VII. SHAPING TRADITION ; 31. Agriculture as civilization: sages, farmers, and barbarians ; 32. Sourcing, organising, and administering medicinal ingredients ; 33. Changing images of kingship in Sumerian literature ; 34. The pious king: royal patronage of temples ; 35. Cuneiform culture's last guardians: the old urban notability of Hellenistic Uruk

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Review quote

Thanks are due to the K. Radner and E. Robson for the care with which they edited this voluminous book. Bibliotheca Orientalis

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