Mesopotamian wisdom literature

Yoram Cohen, Nathan Wasserman

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter provides an overview of Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature. The introduction discusses the origins and distribution of Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature. It moves on to demonstrate how Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature can be approached. The chapter treats four subcategories of Wisdom Literature: proverbs and instructions, Vanity Theme works, existential works, and satire and parody. The conclusion offers an assessment of the nature of Mesopotamian Wisdom Literature and refers to its transmission and diffusion to other literatures of the East Mediterranean basin, the ancient Near East, the biblical Wisdom books, and beyond.

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Wisdom and the Bible
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780190661267
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Oxford University Press 2021.


  • Akkadian and sumerian literature
  • Ancient satire and parody
  • Authorship
  • Disputation poems
  • Instructions
  • Ludlul bel nemeqi
  • Mesopotamian wisdom literature
  • Proverbs
  • Scribes and scribal schools
  • The vanity theme


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