Sunday, January 15, 2006

Sumerian literature alert

I blush to say I had no idea...

Sumerian, the earliest written language we know, is one of the most difficult to read. There may be fewer than a hundred people in the whole world who can make sense of it, and even assembling individual texts from fragments in university collections is a challenge.

However, thanks to a review from the Bryn Mawr Classical Review (a valuable electronic resource) , I now know that much of Sumerian literature is available in English translation at the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature, sponsored by the Oriental Institute of Oxford University. Have a look!

If you decide you are really serious, you may want to invest in the paper version, the subject of the BMCR review, The Literature of Ancient Sumer. It's not cheap, but the reviewer insists that the editorial material in the paper version is well worth having.

I'm not in a position to link right to the review, which has only been sent out via e-mail and not yet been posted to the BMCR website, but it sure makes this book sound good.


Blogger Ancarett said...

Oh, I bet you I could get that for our library! Since I'm teaching 2056 every other year to enormous enrollments, the university's keen to support this era!

3:05 PM  

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