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Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History (Marc Van De Mieroop) Hardcover Book, (Routledge, 1999) 9780415195324

Title: Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History

Author: Mieroop, Marc Van De

Publisher: Routledge/Taylor & Francis; Publication Date: 1999

Hardcover; ISBN: 9780415195324

Volumes: 1; Pages: 224

List Price in Hardcover: $120.00 Our price: $120.00

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To understand the history of Mesopotamia, historians have had to rely on cuneiform texts which represent the oldest tradition of human history. The number and variety of texts written in cuneiform script are enormous, and present a unique source for the study of this ancient culture.

Clear and accessible, Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History explores the possibilities and challenges these sources offer. Marc Van De Mieroop considers the political, social, and economic conditions that these texts illuminate as well as the way historians have used these sources to validate their readings of particular historical events. Filled with examples taken from the entirety of Mesopotamian history, Cuneiform Texts and the Writing of History offers readers insight into how we have come to learn about this fascinating chapter of the human past.


List of illustrations



1 The First Half of History

Administrative documents

Private legal documents


Historiographic texts

Literay texts

Scholarly texts

2 History from Above

Assyrian royal inscriptions

Sargon of Agade

Mesopotamian history and narrative

3 History from Below


Innaja, an old Assyrian merchant

The effects of war

4 Economic History

Theories of ancient economics

The primitivism-modernism debate

Max Weber

Modernist approaches

Agriculture in Ur III Lagash

5 Gender and Mesopotamian History

6 Conclusions


Annotated bibliography




"Van de Mieroop has written a stimulating book that historians will find as interesting as Assyriologists, ancient historians, and archaeologists do. His reflections are always worth pondering, and he continues to grow in depth as one of our most important scholars of ancient Mesopotamia."--D. T. Potts, University of Sydney, American Historical Review, October 2002

"Van de Mieroop has afforded the undergraduate student an excellent opportunity for understanding the difficulties of reconstructing Mesopotamian history from the cuneiform sources. Thus, this work is not only for the introductory student but also for the classical scholar (or general historian), who will no longer think that history began with the Greeks. It will no doubt be a most indispensable volume for any course on ancient Near Eastern history or civilization, or, for that matter, on historiography."--Religious Studies Review
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