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Women's Writing of Ancient Mesopotamia
An Anthology of the Earliest Female Authors

£75.00

  • Date Published: November 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107052055

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About the Authors
  • Women's Writing of Ancient Mesopotamia presents fresh and engaging translations of works that were composed or edited by female scribes and elite women of the ancient Near East. These texts provide insight into the social status, struggles, and achievements of women during the earliest periods of recorded human history (c.2300–540 BCE). In three introductory chapters and a concluding chapter, Charles Halton and Saana Svärd provide an overview of the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia and examine gender by analyzing these different kinds of texts. The translations cover a range of genres, including hymns, poems, prayers, letters, inscriptions, and oracles. Each text is accompanied by a short introduction that situates the composition within its ancient environment and explores what it reveals about the lives of women within the ancient world. This anthology will serve as an essential reference book for scholars and students of ancient history, gender studies, and world literature.

    • Translates and collects a large selection of all cuneiform texts attributed to female authors, allowing scholars to study female authors of Mesopotamia
    • Translations of each text include a bibliography that will guide readers to the original publications of the compositions and studies of them
    • Includes three introductory chapters that explain the origin of writing in Mesopotamia, the role of women in ancient society, and propose a method for studying gender through the texts written and copied by women
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107052055
    • length: 254 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.56kg
    • contains: 2 b/w illus. 2 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface and acknowledgements
    Notes to the reader
    Part I. Introduction:
    1. The origins of writing in Mesopotamia
    2. Mesopotamian women
    3. Authorship, agency, and gender
    Part II. The Texts:
    4. Scholarly documents
    5. Hymns, poems, and prayers
    6. Letters
    7. Inscriptions
    8. Oracles
    9. Proverbs and other literature
    Part III. Conclusions:
    10. Women's writing in Mesopotamia
    Index of divine name
    Index of personal names
    Index of place names.

  • Editors and translators

    Charles Halton, Houston Baptist University
    Charles Halton (Ph.D., Hebrew Union College) taught biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies at Southern Seminary and Hebrew Union College. He translated the cuneiform collection of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh and has contributed to various assyriological publications including the monograph Reading Akkadian Hymns and Prayers (2011) and the journal Cuneiform Digital Library Notes. He was a fellow of the Advanced Seminar in the Humanities in Venice, Italy. He is currently the managing editor of Marginalia, a magazine of intellectual culture and a channel of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

    Saana Svärd, University of Helsinki
    Saana Svärd holds the title of a docent of Assyriology in the University of Helsinki. She has written extensively on the topic of women and gender in the first millennium BCE Mesopotamia, including a monograph: Women and Power in Neo-Assyrian Palaces (2015). In addition to gender, her research interests relate lexical semantics and continuity/change from first millennium Mesopotamia to later historical periods. Currently, she is working as the principal investigator of the three-year project 'Construction of Gender in Mesopotamia from 934 to 330 BCE' (funded by the Academy of Finland). She is also the Chair of the Finnish Oriental Society.

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