Principles of Akkadian Textual Criticism by Martin Worthington

By Martin Worthington

Error of many forms abound in Akkadian writings, yet this fact's far-reaching implications have by no means been unraveled and systematized. to aim this is often the purpose of this publication. Drawing on scholarship from different fields, it outlines a framework for the serious review of extant textual content and the formula of conjectural emendations. alongside the best way, it explores matters on the interface of orthography, textual transmission, scribal schooling, grammar, literacy, and literary interpretation.

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Unsurprisingly, transmission brought about changes of several kinds, intentional and unintentional. It will be one of the main concerns of this book to describe and explain the mechanisms through which these changes occurred, and to illustrate what can be learned from them. For these purposes, the question of how transmission was effected – the three chief possibilities being copying, dictation, and learning by heart – turns out to be less important than one might think. Nonetheless, since the issue lurks in the background of much which we shall discuss, we here set out a brief survey of the issues as we understand them.

Owing to the absence of examples or further detail, however, this is hard to evaluate: was Albright thinking of transmission or redaction? And what archaisms? West, Helicon (1997) 600: A scribe was trained to copy his exemplar faithfully and to certify at the end that he had done so; if the exemplar was damaged, he noted the fact, he did not introduce a conjectural restoration. Jursa, Be¯l-re¯manni (1999) 21 Die insgesamt grosse Stabilität der (sogenannten) kanonischen literarischen Überlieferung zeigt … ebenso wie die offensichtliche Zurückhaltung der Schreiber bei Ergänzungen – hepi-esˇsˇu-Vermerke wurden gesetzt, auch wenn der fehlende Text bekannt gewesen sein muss –, dass auf mçglichst getreue Wiedergabe einer Vorlage Wert gelegt wurde.

266) maintained exactly the opposite view: On eßt pu croire quelles reflØtaient simplement la prononciation rØelle dun milieu donnØ et quen 10 1 Introduction manuscripts of the same composition,29 but we see no cogency in these views. 30 However, instances where this can be done convincingly are few and far between. 31 What, then, of meta-linguistic evidence (i. e. explicit statements)? One thinks of course of the few32 colophons which mention dictation – or appear to. The problem is, that Akkadian expressions translated as according to dictation and the like turn out on close scrutiny to be of uncertain meaning.

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