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Decipherment of cuneiform

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  • Yigal Bloch
    Dear ANErs, I recall that someone of the participants of this list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
      Dear ANErs,

      I recall that someone of the participants of this list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_, concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other reading on the subject. What is the recommended reading about the history of decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform?

      Regards,

      Yigal Bloch,
      Jerusalem


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Christopher Conlan
      Yigal, Not exactly a full history of the decipherment, but informative and entertaining is: The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
        Yigal,

        Not exactly a full history of the decipherment, but
        informative and entertaining is:

        The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great
        Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch

        It deals with the main players in the decipherment
        working at the British Museum, and how they didn't get
        along. It is available on amazon, and a cheaper
        paperback edition is set to be released towards the
        end of December.

        Christopher Conlan

        --- Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...> wrote:

        > Dear ANErs,
        >
        > I recall that someone of the participants of this
        > list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but
        > I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of
        > Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_,
        > concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian
        > cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other
        > reading on the subject. What is the recommended
        > reading about the history of decipherment of
        > Mesopotamian cuneiform?
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Yigal Bloch,
        > Jerusalem
        >
        >
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been
        > removed]
        >
        >



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      • Peter T. Daniels
        Pope s is probably the fullest account of the decipherment of Old Persian (though I ve recently discovered some details about H. C. Rawlinson s work that
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
          Pope's is probably the fullest account of the decipherment of Old Persian (though I've recently discovered some details about H. C. Rawlinson's work that should amend even that), but Pope is quite wrong about Mesopotamian cuneiform. He swallowed the propagandistic line of G. Rawlinson and Budge and didn't even look into Edward Hincks. Pope's second edition lists in a footnote the Hincks bicentenary volume edited by Cathcart (1994) in which I lay out Hincks's achievements, but he seems not to have read it at all. (At any rate, he didn't alter a word of the chapter.) See also Stephanie Dalley's contribution to the New DNB's entry on Rawlinson -- who, even though he died in 1895, was somehow omitted from the original DNB! -- she had only one paragraph, but it's accurate as far as it was possible to go in a few words.

          Kevin Cathcart has just published the first of three volumes of Hincks's correspondence (down to 1849), and it probably includes specifics that have not previously been available.

          I'll be addressing this at the AOS in March (and I'm open to suggestions about what would be most interesting to cover in 18 minutes) and perhaps bringing it all together for a JAOS article; meanwhile, the essentials will be in my EnAr article s.v. Rawlinson, due at the editors' this week.

          Meanwhile, if you don't want to try to wade through Hincks's papers in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy and elsewhere, the best treatments are those in R. W. Rogers's History of Babylonia and Assyria (1915 ed.) and, shockingly, in Bernant & Weitzmann's rather sensationalistic early account of the Ebla discoveries.
          --
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



          ----- Original Message ----
          From: Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...>
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 10:26:32 AM
          Subject: [ANE-2] Decipherment of cuneiform

          Dear ANErs,

          I recall that someone of the participants of this list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_ , concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other reading on the subject. What is the recommended reading about the history of decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform?
        • Peter T. Daniels
          I have no idea whether the subsequent chapters, on Assurbanipal s library and such, are adequate/accurate, but the treatment of decipherment is crap. (He
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
            I have no idea whether the subsequent chapters, on Assurbanipal's library and such, are adequate/accurate, but the treatment of decipherment is crap. (He called Hincks "an Irish country pastor with too much time on his hands.") I told him so to his face (in almost so many words), handed him a copy of my Hincks article, and have not heard from him.

            He goes into great detail about how Budge misrepresented Rassam and Smith, but swallows Budge on Hincks at face value.

            I've mentioned here before that he's the baby brother of my best friend in high school, and we hadn't seen each other in forty years.
            --
            Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

            ----- Original Message ----
            From: Christopher Conlan <chris_conlan@...>
            To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 11:22:14 AM
            Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Decipherment of cuneiform

            Yigal,

            Not exactly a full history of the decipherment, but
            informative and entertaining is:

            The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great
            Epic of Gilgamesh by David Damrosch

            It deals with the main players in the decipherment
            working at the British Museum, and how they didn't get
            along. It is available on amazon, and a cheaper
            paperback edition is set to be released towards the
            end of December.
          • Rafal Kolinski
            Dear Yigal, Another account about the Deciphrement (quite recent, but rather popular) is written by Lesley Adkins: Empires of the Plain. Henry Rawlinson and
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
              Dear Yigal,

              Another account about the Deciphrement (quite recent, but rather popular) is written by Lesley Adkins: "Empires of the Plain. Henry Rawlinson and the Lost Languages of Babylon"

              http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbninquiry.asp?ISBN=0312330022

              It focuses on Rawlinson's life, but gives a fair account of Hincks' achievments, and doesn't stop with Persian.

              Best regards

              Rafal Kolinski
              Institute of Prehistory
              Adami Mickiwiecz University of Poznan
              Poland
              Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...> wrote:
              Dear ANErs,

              I recall that someone of the participants of this list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_, concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other reading on the subject. What is the recommended reading about the history of decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform?

              Regards,

              Yigal Bloch,
              Jerusalem

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






              ---------------------------------
              For ideas on reducing your carbon footprint visit Yahoo! For Good this month.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Peter T. Daniels
              Oh, puh-leez. See Dalley s review in Financial Times, probably Saturday, January 24, 2004 (Jack Sasson sent it round on January 25.) Dalley says: She seems
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 11, 2007
                Oh, puh-leez. See Dalley's review in Financial Times, probably Saturday, January 24, 2004 (Jack Sasson sent it round on January 25.)

                Dalley says: "She seems uncritical of her subject's own version of events, however. While including much evidence refuting his claims as a decipherer, she leaves the reader with the impression that Rawlinson's scholarly rivals were jealous and mean-spirited, and that he deserves the reputation he cultivated."

                I couldn't even use it with much profit in writing about Rawlinson, since she doesn't bother to give the dates on any ms. letters she quotes that happen to be kept in the BL in the bound volumes of Layard's correspondence.
                --
                Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



                ----- Original Message ----
                From: Rafal Kolinski <kolinskiiniraq@...>
                To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Sunday, November 11, 2007 3:17:35 PM
                Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Decipherment of cuneiform

                Dear Yigal,

                Another account about the Deciphrement (quite recent, but rather popular) is written by Lesley Adkins: "Empires of the Plain. Henry Rawlinson and the Lost Languages of Babylon"

                http://search. barnesandnoble. com/booksearch/ isbninquiry. asp?ISBN= 0312330022

                It focuses on Rawlinson's life, but gives a fair account of Hincks' achievments, and doesn't stop with Persian.

                Best regards

                Rafal Kolinski
                Institute of Prehistory
                Adami Mickiwiecz University of Poznan
                Poland
                Yigal Bloch <yigal9@netvision. net.il> wrote:
                Dear ANErs,

                I recall that someone of the participants of this list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_ , concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other reading on the subject. What is the recommended reading about the history of decipherment of Mesopotamian cuneiform?

                Regards,

                Yigal Bloch,
                Jerusalem

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

                ------------ --------- --------- ---
                For ideas on reducing your carbon footprint visit Yahoo! For Good this month.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • rb47x@AOL.com
                Perhaps Svend Pallis two books on The Antiquity of Iraq and Early Exploration in Mesopotamia might be of help. Brad C. Sparks Orange County, CA ...
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 12, 2007
                  Perhaps Svend Pallis' two books on The Antiquity of Iraq and Early
                  Exploration in Mesopotamia might be of help.

                  Brad C. Sparks
                  Orange County, CA

                  --- Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...> wrote:

                  > Dear ANErs,
                  >
                  > I recall that someone of the participants of this
                  > list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but
                  > I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of
                  > Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_,
                  > concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian
                  > cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other
                  > reading on the subject. What is the recommended
                  > reading about the history of decipherment of
                  > Mesopotamian cuneiform?



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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Peter Westh
                  I would suggest: Mogens Trolle Larsen: The conquest of Assyria : excavations in an antique land : 1840-1860, Routledge 1996 Apart from being very informative,
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 12, 2007
                    I would suggest:

                    Mogens Trolle Larsen: The conquest of Assyria : excavations in an antique
                    land : 1840-1860, Routledge 1996

                    Apart from being very informative, it is a hell of a read.

                    Peter Westh
                    PhD student
                    University of Copenhagen
                    Department of Cross-cultural and Regional Studies
                    History of Religions Section
                    Artillerivej 86, room 2.06
                    DK-2300 Copenhagen
                    Denmark
                    pwesth@...
                    +45 40 53 47 99
                    www.staff.hum.ku.dk/pwesth/english

                    Secretary of DAHR
                    Danish Association for the History of Religions
                    http://www.dahr.dk/english.html

                    > -----Original Message-----
                    > From: rb47x@... [mailto:rb47x@...]
                    > Sent: Tuesday, November 13, 2007 12:01 AM
                    > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    > Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Decipherment of cuneiform
                    >
                    > Perhaps Svend Pallis' two books on The Antiquity of Iraq and Early
                    > Exploration in Mesopotamia might be of help.
                    >
                    > Brad C. Sparks
                    > Orange County, CA
                    >
                    > --- Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > > Dear ANErs,
                    > >
                    > > I recall that someone of the participants of this
                    > > list (probably Peter Daniels or Robert Whiting, but
                    > > I may be wrong) wrote sometime that the account of
                    > > Maurice Pope, _The Story of Decipherment_,
                    > > concerning the decipherment of Mesopotamian
                    > > cuneiform is deficient, and recommended some other
                    > > reading on the subject. What is the recommended
                    > > reading about the history of decipherment of
                    > > Mesopotamian cuneiform?
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > **************************************
                    > See what's new at http://www.aol.com
                    >
                    >
                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
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