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    Reading and Writing in Babylon (Hardback) By (author) Dominique Charpin, Translated by Jane Marie Todd

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    DescriptionOver 5,000 years ago, the history of humanity radically changed direction when writing was invented in Sumer, the southern part of present-day Iraq. For the next three millennia, kings, aristocrats, and slaves all made intensive use of cuneiform script to document everything from royal archives to family records. In engaging style, Dominique Charpin shows how hundreds of thousands of clay tablets testify to the history of an ancient society that communicated broadly through letters to gods, insightful commentary, and sales receipts. He includes a number of passages, offered in translation, that allow readers an illuminating glimpse into the lives of Babylonians. Charpin's insightful overview discusses the methods and institutions used to teach reading and writing, the process of apprenticeship, the role of archives and libraries, and various types of literature, including epistolary exchanges and legal and religious writing. The only book of its kind, "Reading and Writing in Babylon" introduces Mesopotamia as the birthplace of civilization, culture, and literature while addressing the technical side of writing and arguing for a much wider spread of literacy than is generally assumed. Charpin combines an intimate knowledge of cuneiform with a certain breadth of vision that allows this book to transcend a small circle of scholars. Though it will engage a broad general audience, this book also fills a critical academic gap and is certain to become the standard reference on the topic.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Reading and Writing in Babylon

    Title
    Reading and Writing in Babylon
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) Dominique Charpin, Translated by Jane Marie Todd
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 336
    Width: 144 mm
    Height: 212 mm
    Thickness: 32 mm
    Weight: 540 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780674049680
    ISBN 10: 0674049683
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.1
    BIC E4L: HIS
    BIC subject category V2: HBLA
    BIC time period qualifier V2: 3D
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 05
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    Libri: I-HP
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15540
    B&T Approval Code: A14500000
    BISAC V2.8: HIS026000
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    B&T Approval Code: A15307500
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 52
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: LAN001000
    BIC subject category V2: CFLA
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1QDAB
    Abridged Dewey: 935
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 935
    BIC subject category V2: 3D
    LC subject heading:
    DC22: 935.02
    BISAC V2.8: LAN009010, HIS039000
    LC classification: DS69.5 .C4813 2010
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BIC subject category V2: 1QDAB
    Thema V1.0: NHC, NHG, CFLA
    Edition statement
    Translation
    Illustrations note
    46 halftones, 7 line illustrations, 1 map
    Publisher
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Imprint name
    HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS
    Publication date
    03 January 2011
    Publication City/Country
    Cambridge, Mass
    Author Information
    Dominique Charpin is Professor of Mesopotamian History at the Sorbonne, Paris.
    Review quote
    Charpin takes up a subject that's been debated by Assyriologists for many years: Did scribes alone have the knowledge to read and write cuneiform, the earliest writing, invented by the Sumerians around 3200 B.C.E.? Charpin focuses on what may be called the 'classical' period of Mesopotamian civilization, the period between the Babylonian rulers Hammurabi (1792-1750 B.C.E.) to Nebuchadnezzar (604-562 B.C.E.). Charpin's work at Ur some 20 years ago convinced him that what was thought to be a school was in fact a residence for clergy who home trained their children and apprentices to read and write cuneiform. His research has convinced him that literacy was not limited to professional scribes. The depth and range of material Charpin includes is indeed impressive. In sections that will be of particular interest to lay readers and students, Charpin goes into detail about reading a cuneiform tablet and the apprenticeship of a scribe. He informs the reader that the oral, spoken word-Sumerian or Akkadian-was most important in Mesopotamian society, and it was the survival of the written over the spoken word that produced the expansion of writing. Required reading for scholars in the field and their students. -- Joan W. Gartland Library Journal 20101001 This introduction to the birth of cuneiform writing in the Babylonian empire is an engaging primer on the lexicon of linguistics... Charpin has written a scholarly work of incredible breadth. Publishers Weekly 20110124 [Reading and Writing in Babylon] is a groundbreaking and fascinating contribution to the study of ancient literacy, readable by all-comers. -- Eleanor Robson Times Literary Supplement 20110723 Charpin has written a book that is accessible to those outside the small academic field of Assyriology. The work is remarkable for its level of detail and the breadth of its concern. Charpin is able to keep one eye on the specifics of numerous texts and their archaeological contexts. At the same time, he is able to situate the written legacy of these ancient cultures in a broad sociological context, while arguing in some places for a generally new approach to reading and integrating the wealth of material into cognate fields. -- Phillip Michael Sherman Bryn Mawr Classical Review 20120601