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p. 525. Writing, scribes, and literaturelocked

  • Trevor Bryce

Abstract

By the beginning of the Old Babylonian Kingdom, Sumerian and its cuneiform alphabet was a dead language, but it acquired a revered status in educated and cultured circles in Babylonian society. Young men were trained in the Sumerian language at scribal schools and often progressed to careers in palace administration or divination, which played a major role in shaping the lives, the plans, and the activities of the peoples who inhabited the Babylonian world. ‘Writing, scribes, and literature’ considers three of the most important surviving examples of Babylonian literature, copied and sometimes adapted by many generations of scribes: the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Epic of Creation, and the Atrahasis Epic.

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