When Gilgamesh Grew Up (The Epic of Gilgamesh)

So now that I've read through translations of the Epic of Gilgamesh for the third time, and for the first time on my own, it's still awesome. Granted, it's still a bunch of tablet fragments from who knows how many city-states in the fertile crescent, but even so, it tells an epic and tragic tale …

Continue reading When Gilgamesh Grew Up (The Epic of Gilgamesh)

Prelude to the Epic of Gilgamesh

So I've hit a major milestone in my reading of Ancient Literature, in that I've cracked open the Epic of Gilgamesh. I haven't really started on the text proper because I'm reading the Penguin classics edition, and there are copious notes at the beginning about how the tablets were found, and some of the context …

Continue reading Prelude to the Epic of Gilgamesh

In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part III (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

I got a little tired of having a bunch of posts with the same title, so I went ahead and finished what I was reading. I went through about three other dynasties in the Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian citystates, all the way up to contemporaries of Hammurabi. (I was beginning to wonder when he'd show up.) The trend …

Continue reading In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part III (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part II (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

King Shulgi and his kin continue to entertain as I've read through most of his stuff, his son's and onward into the next dynasty. A lot of it continues to be the same material. Praising gods, talking about how awesome the king is and how successfully he was at smiting his enemies, but there have …

Continue reading In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part II (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part I (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

This week I went back to the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature to look at their entry on praise poetry. This is a little different from my regular entries because it's a little less clear exactly when a lot of these were written, and there's quite a bit to read, perhaps unsurprisingly. A lot …

Continue reading In Which it is Learned That Sumerian Kings Thought Very Highly of Themselves Part I (Sumerian Praise Poetry)

Who is this Harper, and why is he laying?

Okay, that's kind of a bad joke. The reason I used it was because when I happened across this title the first time, it was under the title "The Lay of the Harper." However, it can also be found as "The Song of the Harper" As can be seen in this set of translations from …

Continue reading Who is this Harper, and why is he laying?

Poetry Readings from the Akkadian Empire

As I reported last week my reading list has taken me into the poetry of one Enheduanna, High Priestess of the goddess Inanna, from the city of Ur. I started my exploration of this lady's writings by searching for translations of a number of hymns, however, in the process I found my way to a …

Continue reading Poetry Readings from the Akkadian Empire