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The Oxford History of Historical Writing: Volume 1: by Andrew Feldherr, Grant Hardy

By Andrew Feldherr, Grant Hardy

Quantity I of The Oxford heritage of historic Writing deals essays through prime students at the improvement and background of the main traditions of old writing, together with the traditional close to East, Classical Greece and Rome, and East and South Asia from their origins until eventually ca. advert six hundred. It goals without delay to supply an authoritative survey of the sphere and to impress cross-cultural comparisons. this is often the 1st of 5 volumes in a chain that may discover representations of the previous from the start of writing to the current day, and from around the globe.

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The more recent past was more often a negative phase of crisis and even collapse, of corruption and unlawfulness, quite fit to underscore by way of contrast the merits of the actual ruler who put an end to the negative interlude and restored the original order. The third task—the most ambitious but also most problematic—was to predict the future by discovering in history those regularities, or simply those ‘signs’, that could help people face future crises, or at least teach them the best behaviour in their situation.

Similar inscriptions adorned statues of the Sargonic kings, made from pillaged materials. Few complete originals of such monuments have survived, but we know the inscriptions from copies made by a few scribes living in the eighteenth century, mostly from the city of Nippur. The Sargonic royal inscriptions provide dry accounts of cities plundered, numbers of killed and captured soldiers, and even of routes of campaigns. Unlike the Lagash inscriptions, they do not delve into the past but are resolutely focused on current events.

Literatur, Politik und Recht in Mesopotamien: Festschrift für Claus Wilcke (Wiesbaden, 2003), 267–92. 6 7 16 The Oxford History of Historical Writing languages this concept is encapsulated by the Sumerian term bala, Akkadian palû, literally ‘turn’, as in the way a spindle goes round and round. The idea is not unique to the SKL, and is expressed in more explicit ways elsewhere. One such text is the Sumerian Sargon Legend, which is an eighteenth-century composition that describes the rise to power of the founder of the Dynasty of Akkad.

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