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Ancient Egyptian LiteratureTheory and Practice$
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Roland Enmarch and Verena M. Lepper

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265420

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265420.001.0001

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Lone Heroes or Collaborative Communities? On Sumerian Literature and its Practitioners

Lone Heroes or Collaborative Communities? On Sumerian Literature and its Practitioners

Chapter:
(p.45) 4 Lone Heroes or Collaborative Communities? On Sumerian Literature and its Practitioners
Source:
Ancient Egyptian Literature
Author(s):

Eleanor Robson

Publisher:
British Academy
DOI:10.5871/bacad/9780197265420.003.0004

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL), a ten-year project to edit and analyse ancient Sumerian literature, came to an end on 31 August 2006. Like Egyptian, Sumerian is one of the world's oldest written literatures, with a classical corpus comprising some 500 compositions attested in many thousands of manuscripts from the early second millennium bc. This chapter reflects on how ETCSL has changed the practice of literary Sumerology, what it has not been able to achieve, and what could and should still be done. In particular, it argues that the collaborative working that projects like ETCSL foster has brought Sumerological practice much closer to ancient ideals of literacy — ideals that have themselves come to light through quantitative analysis of the ETCSL online corpus.

Keywords:   Mesopotamia, Sumer, Sumerian literature, cuneiform, scribal education, collaborative working, electronic Text Corpus, ETCSL, digital library, open access

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