Ancient Mesopotamia Forum

The so-called Sumerian Shakespeare web-site
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Author:  BendtAlster [ 07 Dec 2008, 14:11 ]
Post subject:  The so-called Sumerian Shakespeare web-site

On the so-called Sumerian Shakespeare website:

A website was announced yesterday on Sasson's Mesopotamian list by Jerald Jack Starr, Nashville Tennesee, address:

A well-preserved Sumerian tablet, Library of Congress cuneiform tablet 36, was made public there in two good photographs, as well as two good hand-copies by M. Sigrist. The author designates it as "The Great Fatted Bull", and sees it as "a great story from a great writer who has waited 4,000 years to be published". Since he also invitates discussion of the text, I would start by stating that it is not a early example of Sumerian political satire, or the like, but an extract from a well-known Sumerian literary composition, the "Dialogue between Two Women A", or "Dialogue 5". The new tablet, obverse and reverse, belongs around line 34, with about 18 lines on either side.

There unfortunately does not yet exists a fully published edition of Dialogue 5, but the new tablet at least adds a lot to my own somewhat incomplete manuscript. The scholarly world will certainly be grateful to Jerald J. Starr for making this interesting tablet known to a wider audience, and it is hoped that this will give rise to more publications and discussions of the Sumerian female dialogues. If the identity of the writer can be discussed at all, it was rather a schoolmaster of the Old Babylonian scribal schools who had pedagogical purposes in mind, unless the text is a reflection of a genuine vituperative dialogue between two women.

Bendt Alster

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