The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

ISBN : 9780198856030

Karen Radner; Eleanor Robson
840 ページ
171 x 246 mm
Oxford Handbooks

The cuneiform script, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, was witness to one of the world's oldest literate cultures. For over three millennia, it was the vehicle of communication from (at its greatest extent) Iran to the Mediterranean, Anatolia to Egypt. The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture examines the Ancient Middle East through the lens of cuneiform writing. The contributors, a mix of scholars from across the disciplines, explore, define, and to some extent look beyond the boundaries of the written word, using Mesopotamia's clay tablets and stone inscriptions not just as 'texts' but also as material artefacts that offer much additional information about their creators, readers, users and owners.


I. Materiality and literacies

1 Jonathan Taylor: Tablets as artefacts, scribes as artisans

2 Robert K. Englund: Accounting in proto-cuneiform

3 Gregory Chambon: Numeracy and metrology

4 Niek Veldhuis: Levels of literacy

5 Brigitte Lion: Literacy and gender

II. Individuals and communities

6 Benjamin R. Foster: The person in Mesopotamian thought

7 Frans van Koppen: The scribe of the Flood Story and his circle

8 Hagan Brunke: Feasts for the living, the dead, and the gods

9 Michael Jursa: Cuneiform writing in Neo-Babylonian temple communities

10 Eva von Dassow: Freedom in ancient Near Eastern societies

III. Experts and novices

11 Yoram Cohen & Sivan Kedar: Teacher-student relationships: two case studies

12 Dominique Charpin: Patron and client: Zimri-Lim and Asqudum the diviner

13 Michel Tanret: Learned, rich, famous and unhappy: Ur-Utu of Sippar

14 Nele Ziegler: Music, the work of professionals

15 Silvie Zamazalova: The education of Neo-Assyrian princes

IV. Decisions

16 Sophie Demare-Lafont: Judicial decision-making: judges and arbitrators

17 Karen Radner: Royal decision-making: kings, magnates and scholars

18 Andreas Fuchs: Assyria at war: strategy and conduct

19 Anne Lohnert: Manipulating the gods: lamenting in context

20 Daniel Schwemer: Magic rituals: conceptualisation and performance

V. Interpretations

21 Ulla Susanne Koch: Sheep and sky: systems of divinatory interpretation

22 John M. Steele: Making sense of time: observational and theoretical calendars

23 Fabienne Huber Vulliet: Letters as correspondence, letters as literature

24 Eckart Frahm: Keeping company with men of learning: the king as scholar

25 Heather D. Baker: From street altar to palace: reading the built environment of urban Babylonia

VI. Making knowledge

26 Eleanor Robson: The production and dissemination of scholarly knowledge

27 Steve Tinney: Tablets of schools and scholars: a portrait of the Old Babylonian corpus

28 Mark Weeden: Adapting to new contexts: cuneiform in Anatolia

29 Francesca Rochberg: Observing and describing the world through divination and astronomy

30 Geert De Breucker: Berossos between tradition and innovation

VII. Shaping tradition

31 Frans Wiggermann: Agriculture as civilization: sages, farmers, and barbarians

32 Barbara Bock: Sourcing, organising, and administering medicinal ingredients

33 Nicole Brisch: Changing images of kingship in Sumerian literature

34 Caroline Waerzeggers: The pious king: royal patronage of temples

35 Philippe Clancier: Cuneiform culture's last guardians: the old urban notability of Hellenistic Uruk


Karen Radner (PhD Vienna 1997, Habilation Munich 2004) is the Alexander von Humboldt Professor for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East at LMU Munich. Her main research interests are in Assyria, especially the period from the 9th to the 7th centuries BC, on whose political, social, economic, legal, and religious history she has published extensively. Her books include editions of Middle and Neo-Assyrian archives and a study on how awareness of man's mortality shaped Mesopotamian culture (Die Macht des Namens: altorientalische Strategien zur Selbsterhaltung, 2005). She directs an AHRC-funded research project on the correspondence between the Assyrian kings and their magnates in the 8th century BC (http://www.ucl.ac.uk/sargon).; Eleanor Robson is Professor of Ancient Middle Eastern History at University College London. Her research focuses on the socio-political contexts of intellectual activity in ancient Mesopotamia and the online edition of cuneiform texts. She is the author of Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History (2008) and director of the AHRC-funded research project, The Geography of Knowledge in Assyria and Babylonia, 700-200 BC (http://oracc.org/gkab).