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

Paperback | September 23, 1997

byThorkild Jacobsen

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The eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen, author of Treasures of Darkness, here presents translations of ancient Sumerian poems written near the end of the third millennium b.c.e., including a number of compositions that have never before been published in translation. The themes developed in the poems—quite possibly the earliest poems extant—are those that have fascinated humanity since the time people first began to spin stories: the longings of young lovers; courage in battle; joy at the birth of a child; the pleasures of drink and song.

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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,...

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The eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen, author of Treasures of Darkness, here presents translations of ancient Sumerian poems written near the end of the third millennium b.c.e., including a number of compositions that have never before been published in translation. The themes developed in the poems—quite possibly the earliest po...

The late Thorkild Jacobsen was professor of Assyriology emeritus at Harvard University

other books by Thorkild Jacobsen

The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay of Speculative Thought in the Ancient Near East
The Intellectual Adventure of Ancient Man: An Essay of ...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:514 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0.68 inPublished:September 23, 1997Publisher:Yale University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0300072783

ISBN - 13:9780300072785

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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