Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

2. The Domestication of Stranger Kings: Making History by List in Ancient Mesopotamia

Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World - John Baines

Piotr Michalowski [+-]
University of Michigan
Piotr Michalowski is the George G. Cameron Professor emeritus of Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations at the University of Michigan. He has written on various aspects of ancient Mesopotamia, ranging from history, historiography, and literature to epistolography and geography. His most recent book is The Correspondence of the Kings of Ur: An Epistolary History of an Ancient Mesopotamian Kingdom (Eisenbrauns, 2011).

Description

The long arc of Mesopotamian history provides many examples of texts that not only narrate history, but also create it. One group of such texts conventionally designated as King Lists, is often invoked in discussions of both history and historiography. Even though on first glance they appear to be homogeneous and structurally artless, this simplicity disguises a complexity and heterogeneity that can be subjected to different kinds of analyses. This seeming simplicity was particularly suited for the mediation of certain paradoxes, such as the tension between the celebration of native as well as stranger kings, and the conflicting claims of genealogy. Although it could be argued that the Mesopotamian Kings Lists have been overinterpreted, there is still room for new readings of these compositions.

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Citation

Michalowski, Piotr. 2. The Domestication of Stranger Kings: Making History by List in Ancient Mesopotamia. Historical Consciousness and the Use of the Past in the Ancient World. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 15-38 Jun 2019. ISBN 9781781796566. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=33718. Date accessed: 17 Nov 2019 doi: 10.1558/equinox.33718. Jun 2019

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