Style and form in old-Babylonian literary texts

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Basing himself on a careful study of all hitherto published (and some unpublished) Old-Babylonian literary texts - roughly 270 different compositions of all literary genres - Dr. Wasserman systematically leads the reader to a number of insightful conclusions regarding distinctive style and outstanding features of the Old-Babylonian literary system (as opposed to everyday texts, such as letters). The three opening chapters - Hendiadys, Tamyīz , and Damqam-īnim - are mainly concerned with syntax, but also connections with inalienability , a semantic issue. Chapter four and five, Merismus and Simile , focus on semantics (though also including word order). The last chapter, Rhyming Couplets , is fully devoted to form, with elaborations on such semantic problems as performative speech acts. The concluding pages delineate the contours of the Old-Babylonian literary system; genres and 'genre-families', the dichotomy between oral and written traditions, and the distinction between learned and popular literature. With a detailed catalogue of all known literary Old-Babylonian compositions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLeiden; Boston
PublisherBrill Styx
Number of pages239
ISBN (Electronic)9004124047, 9004496661, 9789004124042
StatePublished - 2003

Publication series

NameCuneiform Monographs
PublisherBrill Styx


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