Monday, May 21, 2012

Pseudo-epigraphy in the Ancient Near East

David Meadows forwards this note from Yale:
The letters she [Mary Frazer] studies offer three related challenges, she says. “They present multiple parallels with other genres, such as chronicles, so are generally difficult to classify. Second, the historicity of the events referred to in the letters is often problematic. For some of the letters, there are limited grounds to doubt their authenticity, however others contain such clear anachronisms that they must be seen as pseudonymous compositions, perhaps written retrospectively to justify certain actions of contemporary rulers. My third challenge is to explore the choice of the epistolary form as a medium for historiography.”
 Image: Letter from King Shulgi of Ur to the grand vizier Aradnu, (Yale Babylonian Collection).

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