Research History

History of research for knowledge.

Early History of Research

The first publications of cuneiform commentaries appeared within the foundational period of archaeology. As early as 1866, E. Norris provided in 2R, 44 (no. 7) and forty-seven autographs of 2 metropolis commentaries, one pseudoscience, the opposite commenting on many totally different texts. However, cuneiform studies were at that point still such a lot in their infancy that Norris, unaware of what the texts really diagrammatical, characterized them merely as bilingual lists. Progress within the analysis of the genre was slow. But when C. Bezold, between 1889 and 1899, revealed his catalog of cuneiform tablets found by land excavators at the metropolis, he was already ready to distinguish in his index an oversized range of “commentaries” from texts that were just “explanatory lists” (Bezold, 1889/1899: 2098-2100). In associate introductory work on Babylonian and Assyrian culture from 1903, Bezold conjointly provided one in every of the earliest temporary general descriptions of the genre. Another important success was created once L. W. King, in his book on the Babylonian Epic of Creation, given a full edition of a vital text statement aboard the text to that it referred (King, 1902: 157-75). extra autograph copies of commentaries, each from the metropolis and from Babylonian cities, were revealed in resulting decades by C. Virolleaud (ACh, 1905-1912), T. Meek (1920), C. J. Gadd (CT forty-one = Gadd, 1931: nos. 25-50), and plenty of others.

 Labat’s Commentaires

 Gadd’s CT volume impressed what till 2011 remained the sole monographic treatment of Mesopotamian text commentaries, R. Labat’s Commentaires Assyro-Babylonians Tyre les presages (Labat, 1933), a book that provides editions of altogether twenty-two commentaries still as an associate introduction that makes an attempt to outline the genre. Labat’s work deserves praise owing to its pioneering character and plenty of valuable insights, however, its quality is proscribed by the tiny range of commentaries thought of. Moreover, a number of the author’s conclusions appear undue. once Labat claims, for instance, that the commentaries “manifestent très rarement world organization effort intelligent d’interprétation” (Labat, 1933: 22), his judgment could replicate a lot of the author’s own ability to grasp the commentaries than their actual interpretation potential.

The Modern Era

With the exception of J. Krecher’s helpful however temporary entry on “Kommentare” in RlA half-dozen (Krecher, 1980/1983

), there are no comprehensive treatments of Mesopotamian commentaries since Labat’s book, however many necessary studies of individual commentaries and statement teams have appeared. the number of commentaries obtainable in a variety of autographs or editions has radically accumulated over the past decades, with the series Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk, authored by H. Hunger and E. von Weiher and variety of publications by U. Koch(-Westenholz) (1999, 2000b, 2005) providing the majority of the new material. specific attention has been paid to the hermeneutical techniques utilized in the commentaries (Civil, 1974a, Cavigneaux, 1976: 151-160, Bottéro, 1977, Cavigneaux, 1987, Limet, 1982, George, 1991, Hunger, 1995, Seminara, 2001: 546-48), and a few authors have compared these techniques to those used in rabbinic interpretation (Lambert, 1954/1956: 311, Cavigneaux, 1987, Lieberman, 1987). Less work has been done to illuminate the socio-cultural context of the commentaries (Meier, 1937/1939b and 1942, George, 1991, Frahm, 2004), however variety of studies of the environment during which initial millennium Babylonian and Assyrian scribes operated have paved  the bottom to tackle this issue in larger depth (Parpola, 1983b, Pongratz-Leisten, 1999, Brown, 2000, Frahm, 2002, Clancier, 2009). Our understanding of the emergence of canonical texts in a geographical area, a development intimately coupled to the birth of the statement has conjointly received hefty attention within the past years (Rochberg-Halton, 1984, Finkel, 1988, Veldhuis 2003, Heeßel, 2010a).

Because no synthesis of the knowledge gathered in these studies is out there at the moment, recent works that analyze the history and categorization of the statement from a multi-disciplinary perspective has paid very little attention to commentaries from the geographic areas and geographical areas. Assmann & Gladigow, 1995, the broadest and intellectually most stimulating recent treatment of the statement tradition, with discussions of interpretation texts from Egypt, the classical world, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic tradition, India, China, and therefore the West, ignores them altogether. Most, 1999 includes a vital article on cuneiform “etymography” by Maul, but it, too, fails to debate the cuneiform commentaries.

 Frahm’s Origins and therefore the Cuneiform Commentaries Project

 It took many a lot of years, however, before the primary comprehensive study of the corpus appeared. In 2011, Eckart Frahm, the man of science of the Cuneiform Commentaries Project revealed his treatise Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries: Origins of Interpretation, within the series Guides to the Mesopotamian matter Record (Münster). The book supported many years of analysis provides a whole catalog of nearly 900 cuneiform commentaries scattered among museums and personal collections around the world, discusses the scribes United Nations agency traced and picked up them, and analyzes the principal hermeneutical techniques, their self-designations, and their intertextual references.

Frahm’s study failed to aim to publish giant numbers of commentaries. In fact, it presents solely 2 commentaries, one from the geographical area (Frahm, 2011: 384-396) and one from a geographic area (Frahm, 2011: 396-404), incomplete, annotated editions. however, with its comprehensive catalog, the book provided a place to begin for a lot of formidable goal of a piece of writing all the commentaries fully, as well as those who have not been properly studied before.2 necessary studies on Mesopotamian commentaries have appeared when the publication of this treatise, particularly Gabbay, 2012, and Gabbay, 2014.

 The main goal of the Cuneiform Commentaries Project is to supply full editions of all celebrated text commentaries from the ancient geographical area. As printed within the section regarding the Project, the project started in Fall 2013. Eckart Frahm, a man of science, and Enrique Jimenez, Postdoctoral Associate, have created associate information online database computer database electronic information service database of all celebrated commentaries and engineered a searchable website that creates the database obtainable to a world audience. In cooperation with the Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (Oracc), Frahm and Jimenez have conjointly created online editions of many dozen statement tablets and fragments. The obtainable editions (50 as of Gregorian calendar month 2015) are accessible within the section Catalog of Commentaries. Editions of all remaining texts are going to be ready and created obtainable on the project’s website throughout the ensuing few years.

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