The Harps That Once . . .: Sumerian Poetry in Translation

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The Harps That Once . . .: Sumerian Poetry in Translation

Thorkild Jacobsen

Publisher: Yale University PressFormat: Paperback

Sumerian, the oldest language known, is represented by hundreds of thousands of clay tablets inscribed in the cuneiform writing system. Most of the tablets are devoted to mundane matters — ration lists, annual accounts, deeds, contracts — but a substantial number contain examples of perhaps the earliest poetry extant. In this volume, the eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen presents translations of some of these ancient poems, including a number of compositions that have never before been published in translation.

“this elegantly written work is a basic resource for the full understanding of early Mesopotamia. It includes translations of the Cylinders of Gudea and other poems that have been accessible only in outdated versions”. — Daniel Snell, author of Life in the Ancient Near East, 3100-322 B.C.E.

""What a wonderful bouquet; a gift to us all from a master Sumeriologist, a singer of human achievement, and a lover of words. Jacobsen needs no introduction and this work is special, and should be found in the home of all human and literate persons. It gives access to the mind of ancient Mesopotamia in a manner rarely duplicated heretofore.... Jacobsen has chosen widely from Sumer's rich literature — myth, epics, hymns, boasts, epithalamia, love songs, lamentations, fables — nad has presented us with perspective renderings"". — Jack M. Sasson, Religious Studies Review

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