eTACT: "electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts"
- The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR ASSYRIOLOGY and ETANA
ANNOUNCE the LAUNCHING of eTACT
"electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts"
Anyone who surfs the web searching for reliable and up-to-date
translations of Akkadian documents knows that unlike material in
Sumerian (and to a lesser degree Egyptian and Hittite), there is
precious little currently available.
For this reason ETANA and the *International Association for
Assyriology* have teemed up to create a website where active
*Assyriologists* will find it easy to contribute translations of
Akkadian texts that they have already prepared (for classes or for
publications), keeping complete control over them as well as retaining
future rights of publications.
The "Electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts" (eTACT) is
now launched at <http://www.etana.org/etact/>. Please go there and you
will find a full description of the project as well as instruction on
how to contribute. A link will take you to a template that makes it
easy for you to submit your contribution, including menus for
selecting the type and date of the material that you are submitting.
You will need to login just once.
WHAT TO CONTRIBUTE
We are hoping to get all the juicy literary and historical texts from
the cuneiform world that we have come to love, as long as they were
written in Akkadian (however inelegant); so such texts as Gilgamesh,
Atrahasis, annals, building inscriptions, love poems, legal
compilations, and so forth. We welcome their translations in any
modern language and will not mind having any of them in more than one
language; but generally we will try not to put multiple copies of the
same document translated into the same language.
We will also welcome the type of documents that surfaces mostly in
specialized studies, such as contracts, administrative archives,
incantations, omina, letters, and the like. (You will find at the site
an easy to access list of categories.)
If you have prepared such a document for a study that was published in
an article or a book, consider placing it on the web. You will be able
to give bibliographic data on where you have studied this particular
document and so make it more accessible to non-specialists.
We are told by publishers that excerpting materials from a book that
is already published tends to stimulate sales and profits all. (See
below.) Therefore, if you and your publisher can agree, consider also
submitting translations you have prepared for commercial books. At
eTACT now you will find a few such texts generously contributed by
Benjamin Foster and his publisher, Mark Cohen of CDL Press. In such
cases, a user can click on a link that takes directly to the site from
which to order the book.
We have not yet resolved the issue of how to treat competent
translations of Akkadian documents already on the web; but we would
welcome double posting them on our site.
Cornelia Wunsch <mail@...> has generously offered to
coordinate the site as well as to make sure that whatever you send
finds its proper format. She will answer any inquiry you may have
LONG TERM PLANS
There will be a presentation about eTACT at the Moscow RAI; but we are
already open for business and would like nothing more than to be
flooded by contributions. We welcome them no less than inquiries.
This is a long-term project that will fill an obvious need; but it is
likely to take a bit of time before fully jelling. So we ask for your
patience no less than your contribution. (Do not expect zillions of
text by tomorrow!) We have hope that the project will appeal to
colleagues who have always wished that researchers and the larger
public become better aware of the rich heritage of lore and knowledge
from the cuneiform world.
The project was first discussed at the Muenster RAI this past July;
but it could not have taken its present shape without the active
support of colleagues at Vanderbilt University: Marshall Breeding, who
designed and actualized the templates, and Bill Hook, who is/was there
with good advice galore.
For the IAA and ETANA:
Cornelia Wunsch <mail@...>
Jack M. Sasson <jack.m.sasson@...>
TECHNICAL MATTERS: (more at the website itself)
● Translations can be submitted in English or any other language.
● Any cuneiformist who wishes to contribute is welcome, provided
his/her translation meets the required scholarly standard.
● The author of the translation is clearly identified and holds all
rights to his/her contribution.
● There is no honorarium.
● There is no user fee.
-Translations will be displayed in PDF format but with searchable
word-processing facilities in the background. This will provide
consistent and appealing appearance across different browsers, but at
the same time readers will be able to search for keywords. We also
want search engines to pick up as many meaningful keywords as
possible, not just in the headings.
-We are not seeking transliteration or normalization of the documents
you are submitting. You will find a box where you can enter remarks on
your translations; but please keep comments to a minimum and give the
original Akkadian only when necessary (such as when no adequate
translation of a term is available). Try to avoid constant
interruption of your text with too many brackets, parentheses,
semi-brackets, etc. (Very) brief bibliographies are welcome. The
template will give you opportunity to enter the source and most recent
edition for the document.
-The contributor receives the version of his/her contribution for
proofing before it goes online. Contributors may choose to attach
their email address to a translation.
-The posted text can only be altered by the editor in consultation
with the contributor. Helpful comments/critical remarks by other
scholars may be directed to the editors and eventually posted on the
website. Scholarly discussion should take place elsewhere.
-Electronic manuscripts (preferably in Word) can be pasted directly on
the template and need not be sophisticated in formatting. Diacritics
may be used where necessary. Editorial work will mainly concern
technical details of typesetting, uniform citation standards etc.
-While the template is designed to accept relatively long
texts,multi-tablets documents should be entered separately and labeled
as such. We will find a way to connect them.
-Given that the project relies on your participation and does not
(yet?) have research assistance, we depend on you to submit the text
you wish to contribute, even if it is already available in published
SUBMISSION OF PARTS OF PUBLISHED MATERIAL:
We actively solicit electronic publication of published translations
of cuneiform texts, either complete or in part. Here the copyright
issue comes in. Some publishers revert the copyright for the contents
immediately back to the author; others may be willing to do so upon
request. In case of doubt, please, contact the publisher.
We guarantee that the original book in which a contribution first
appears will be fully referenced and we provide links to the
publisher's website to facilitate the purchase of the book. Most
publishers whom we asked about this issue beforehand are positive
about this matter and believe that internet translations might
stimulate sales rather than deter readers from buying.