Tradition and the Poetics of Innovation

Tradition and the Poetics of Innovation : Sumerian Court Literature of the Larsa Dynasty (C. 2003-1763 Bce)

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N. Brisch examines the literary legacy of the dynasty of Larsa, terminated by Hammurabi of Babylon in 1763 B.C.E. "The dynasties of Isin and Larsa -- fierce rivals in contending for hegemony over Babylonia -- rarely or never acknowledged their Amorite origins openly, but instead affiliated themselves with Sumerian traditions of royal legitimization. This becomes apparent in the literary texts of the Isin and Larsa rulers, which in all but a few cases were composed in Sumerian, a language that to the best of our knowledge was no longer spoken by this time. Thus, the choice of Sumerian for these compositions is in itself significant. It is only with the rulers of the first dynasty of Babylon (...) that we see the beginnings of a movement away from the Sumerian tradition and the replacement by Akkadian as the language of choice in literary texts. The Larsa dynasty, or more precisely its literary heritage, is positioned at the brink of this change from a certain tradition, for example, visible in the heroic literature on Sumerian kings, to certain new developments (...). Because of these innovations the Larsa royal literatur occupies a unique position within the corpus of Sumerian royal literature, which is often perceived as particularly traditional. -- The study of the literary, historical and linguistic contexts of the Larsa Court Poetry is supplemented by the editions of 14 royal hymns and royal letters mainly of Sin-iddinam and Rim-Sin.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 303 pages
  • 179 x 247 x 33mm | 354g
  • Muenster, Germany
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 3934628915
  • 9783934628915