Typically scribes are not considered craftsmen but rather clerks or bookkeepers. This is also true for ancient Mesopotamian scribes (in Akkadian, ṭupšarrum): administration and bookkeeping fell within their everyday duties. There were, however, small groups of scribes whose tasks were very different from their colleagues: with the secret knowledge of the divine world transmitted for generations, they maintained the world order at whose center, the king stood as the ultimate intermediatory between the gods and humans. By studying ancient scriptures, they constantly attempted to gain a better understanding of the divine will and transmit it to the future generations of the scribes. They were the craftsmen and curators of secret knowledge, so to speak. These specialists were revered as the masters of scribal art (Akkadian, ṭupšarrūtum) even by the king. This lecture will discuss their activities and the corpus of their knowledge, as well as their relationships with the king.

Dr Habil Takayoshi M. Oshima (大嶋孝義) PhD is a visiting professor at the Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations, Northeast Normal University, Changchun, and a research associate at Department of Ancient Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa. He did his PhD in Assyriology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem and Doctor Philosophiae Habilitatus in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at University of Leipzig. He specializes in Sumerian and Akkadian religious texts, the wisdom literature of the ancient Near East including the biblical ones, and ancient Mesopotamian iconography. Among his publications are Cuneiform in Canaan (with Wayne Horowitz), Babylonian Poems of Pious Sufferers, Affronter le mal en Babylonie (with Stéphanie Antonioz), and Teaching Morality, the results of a conference he organized. Currently he is preparing Gods’ Punishing Hands: The Interdependence of the Divine Will and Human Ethics in Cuneiform Literature, revised version of his Habilitationsschrift.


大嶋孝義博士是东北师范大学世界古典文明史研究所访问教授,南非斯坦陵布什大学(Stellenbosch University)古代研究系副研究员。他在耶路撒冷希伯来大学获得亚述学博士学位,在德国莱比锡大学获得古代近东哲学博士学位。他的研究领域为苏美尔和阿卡德宗教文书研究,包含《圣经》在内的古代近东“智慧文献”研究以及古代美索不达米亚图像学研究。他的著作主要有《迦南的楔形文字》(与Wayne Horowitz合著)、《巴比伦的虔诚受难者之诗》、《在巴比伦对抗邪恶》(与Stéphanie Antonioz合著)以及他组织的研讨会论文集《道德教育》。目前,他正在编写《神的惩罚之手——楔形文字中的神灵意志与人类伦理之间的相互依存关系》,该书是其学位论文的修订版。

OpenEdition suggests that you cite this post as follows:
dutournier (June 7, 2024). Chinese-European Academic Lecture No. 203. European Research Centre for Chinese Studies. Retrieved July 22, 2024 from https://doi.org/10.58079/11s27

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