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the_middle_assyrian_period [2016/04/22 10:03]
wagensonner
the_middle_assyrian_period [2016/04/22 22:28] (current)
wagensonner [The Middle Assyrian period]
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 In other instances the scribes' origin cannot be verified with certainty, at least not due to the lack of any archival material. Such is the case of the scribal family of Ninurta-uballissu, who was in the prestigious office of a royal scribe (//tupšar šarre//). Not many of these scribes are known for this period. All our information about this official stem from the colophons of three sons, who were //tupšarrū sehrū//, "young scribes" according to the texts they copied. The texts identified so far only date to a few eponyms. \\ In other instances the scribes' origin cannot be verified with certainty, at least not due to the lack of any archival material. Such is the case of the scribal family of Ninurta-uballissu, who was in the prestigious office of a royal scribe (//tupšar šarre//). Not many of these scribes are known for this period. All our information about this official stem from the colophons of three sons, who were //tupšarrū sehrū//, "young scribes" according to the texts they copied. The texts identified so far only date to a few eponyms. \\
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 +{{ :ura5ma.png?direct&300|}}
  
 The scribal programme of these scribes contained //full// copies of literary, lexical, and other technical literature, which came from places such as Babylon and Nippur. Extracts by these scribes are not known so far. Although the term "young scribes" or "apprentice scribes" might indicate a school background, the copies of these and other such scribes in the Middle Assyrian period are rather accomplished, both regarding uniformity and quality of the various scribal hands as well as the layout of the tablets. One among the afore-mentioned sons of Ninurta-uballissu, Marduk-balāssu-ēreš, for instance, copied several compositions onto large rectangular tablets (e.g., [[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P282494|VAT 8875]] with a copy of //Ana ittišu// 6). \\ The scribal programme of these scribes contained //full// copies of literary, lexical, and other technical literature, which came from places such as Babylon and Nippur. Extracts by these scribes are not known so far. Although the term "young scribes" or "apprentice scribes" might indicate a school background, the copies of these and other such scribes in the Middle Assyrian period are rather accomplished, both regarding uniformity and quality of the various scribal hands as well as the layout of the tablets. One among the afore-mentioned sons of Ninurta-uballissu, Marduk-balāssu-ēreš, for instance, copied several compositions onto large rectangular tablets (e.g., [[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P282494|VAT 8875]] with a copy of //Ana ittišu// 6). \\
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 Scribes were in general rather aware of the antiquity of their sources. This antiquity is frequently indicated in their colophons. The large six-column tablet [[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P282497|VAT 10172]] containing a copy of the first tablet of the syllabary //Ea// refers to it as GIŠ.GAR<sub>3</sub> A.A<sup>meš</sup> LIBIR.RA<sup>meš</sup>, "old A.A series." Although most of the tablet's entries contain sign forms that are consistent with other Middle Assyrian texts, this list particularly provides archaizing sign forms in such cases, in which they are part of complex graphemes. Another copy of the same text ([[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P453275|BM 108862]]) uses only contemporary sign forms. \\ Scribes were in general rather aware of the antiquity of their sources. This antiquity is frequently indicated in their colophons. The large six-column tablet [[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P282497|VAT 10172]] containing a copy of the first tablet of the syllabary //Ea// refers to it as GIŠ.GAR<sub>3</sub> A.A<sup>meš</sup> LIBIR.RA<sup>meš</sup>, "old A.A series." Although most of the tablet's entries contain sign forms that are consistent with other Middle Assyrian texts, this list particularly provides archaizing sign forms in such cases, in which they are part of complex graphemes. Another copy of the same text ([[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P453275|BM 108862]]) uses only contemporary sign forms. \\
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 +All being considered, the Middle Assyrian lexical texts appear to be well-executed copies of lists imported from Babylonia. Whether the so-called "Emesal Vocabulary" also was first created in Babylonia and subsequently found its way to Assyria cannot be determined with the present state of knowledge. An interesting feature of the Middle Assyrian lexical corpus is also the comparatively high density of manuscripts belonging to the legal phrasebook //Ana ittišu//. \\
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 +As mentioned above, both lexical and literary texts bear colophons. Colophons are already attested much earlier in the Mesopotamian textual record, but the Middle Assyrian period for the first time provides more detailed information on the scribes involved and the provenience of the source material. The sons of the royal scribe Ninurta-uballissu are particularly careful with their colophons, as the subsequent example of [[http://cdli.ucla.edu/P282494|VAT 8875]] demonstrates:\\
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 +{{ ::ai6ma.png?direct&400|}}
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 +(double ruling) MAN BE MAN\\
 +(catch line) \\
 +(blank space)\\
 +7th tablet of **ki-ulutin-bi-še<sub>3</sub>** //a-na it-ti//-[//šu//]\\
 +In total: 180 are its lines.\\
 +It is complete. It is checked. Copy from Nippur.\\
 +Hand of Marduk-balāssu-ēreš, young scribe,\\
 +son of Ninurta-uballissu, royal scribe.\\
 +By the name of Aššur my written name you must not erase!\\
 +(blank space)\\
 +(Date formula)\\
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 \\ Klaus Wagensonner (Freie Universität, Berlin)\\ \\ Klaus Wagensonner (Freie Universität, Berlin)\\
the_middle_assyrian_period.1461315808.txt.gz · Last modified: 2016/04/22 10:03 by wagensonner
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