Liminality and the social functions of Akkadian Wisdom Literature (ca.1200-458 B.C.E.)

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Liminality and the social functions of Akkadian Wisdom Literature (ca.1200-458 B.C.E.)

Type: Research master thesis
Title: Liminality and the social functions of Akkadian Wisdom Literature (ca.1200-458 B.C.E.)
Author: Martins, Ivo Ricardo
Issue Date: 2017-08-31
Keywords: Akkadian Wisdom
Liminality
Scholarship
Rites de Passage
Babylonian Theodicy
Counsels of Wisdom
Dialogue of Pessimism
Ludlul bēl nēmeqi
Cuneiform Culture
Abstract: The present thesis examines the liminal aspects of four Akkadian wisdom compositions from the first millennium B.C.E., specifically: Babylonian Theodicy, Counsels of Wisdom, Dialogue of Pessimism and Ludlul bēl nēmeqi. The aim of the present study is to explore the social functions fulfilled by these four texts. I argue that the notion of liminality, as a creative social process, contributes to this discussion. Liminality, as a period which suspends social norms and allows their critical evaluation by an individual or a group (Turner, 1969), is instrumental to explain the social function of wisdom and to describe its productive process. In the present paper, I explore the liminal aspects of these four wisdom compositions based on character and plot description and on the analysis of parallelism and imagery. In these texts, metaphors of material boundaries and social marginality, alongside opposing parallel constructions, accentuate traditional social values exposing them to criticism. My thesis, through heuristic analysis of manuscripts and close-reading of standard versions, studies the relation between the textual representation of liminal situations and the production context offering a new theoretical perspective for the understanding of the social function of Akkadian Wisdom Literature.
Supervisor: Waerzeggers, Caroline
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: Classics and Ancient Civilizations (Research master)
Specialisation: Assyriology
ECTS Credits: 25
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/52487
 

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