SUMERIAN PROVERBS COLLECTION

MS 3279
MS Short Title SUMERIAN PROVERBS COLLECTION
Text SUMERIAN PROVERBS COLLECTION, 42 PROVERBS, INCLUDING A FOLK TALE AND A FABLE:ms 3279 
1.THE OLD MAN AND THE YOUNG GIRL; FOLK TALE, LINES 28-31, 40-, 43- 
2.THE AUTHORATIVE ONE, WHATEVER HE SAID, IT WAS NOT PLEASANT 
3.WHEN THE AUTHORITIES ARE CLEVER AND THE POOR ARE WELL-TO-DO, THE BLESSING PRESENT IS THAT OF ARATTA 
4.A MIGHTY ONE IS THE LORD OF THE EARTH 
5.IT IS FROM A MAN'S MOUTH THAT 
6.STRENGTH ENTERS STRENGTH DOES NOT COMPARE TO THE POSSESSION OF INTELLIGENCE 
7.MY STRENGTH IS MY GOD, BUT IT IS FINISHED BY MYSELF 
8.MY LOINS ARE RENEWED THREE TIMES, SEVEN TIMES. DESTROY THE PARAPET! LET ME FILL OLD HAY INTO YOUR NEW STOREHOUSE 
9.HE WHO HAS SILVER IS HAPPY, HE WHO HAS GRAIN FEELS COMFORTABLE 
10.A SWIFT ONE CAUGHT A GAZELLE, BUT A STRONG MAN CARRIED IT AWAY 
11.AND ONE WHO COULD USE HIS MOUTH BROUGHT IT INTO THE PALACE 
12.THERE ARE MANY IGNORAMUSES IN THE PALACE 
13.HE WHO KNOWS BUT DOES NOT SPEAK IS DEAF-MUTE 
14.WHEN SOMEONE KNOWS, BUT COULD NOT ..., "MY HEART, NO MATTER HOW MUCH IT WEEPS, DOES NOT STOP CRYING" 
15.HE IS ABOUT TO SLAUGHTER A FATTENED PIG: "LET ME RESTORE MY FOOD SUPPLY" HE SAYS 
16.THE SMALL PIG ROOTS, "I WILL NOT EAT IT FOR PLEASURE" HE SAID TO LIVE 17.LIKE A LORD IS NOT POSSIBLE, TO LIVE LIKE A SLAVE, IS NOT POSSIBLE 
18.HE WHO DESTROYS HOUSES DESTROYS SILVER(?) 
19.WHEN THE LORD'S WIFE IS DEAD, THE LORD IS DEAD 
20.AS THE SAYING GOES: TO STAND IN ATTENTION, TO WAIT, TO GO ON A RAID WITH THE PRINCES IS NOT GOOD 
21.WHEN A SIEVE IS NOT SHAKEN, ITS FLOUR WILL NOT DROP FROM IT 
22.RESISTANCE IS A RESPONSE TO SUBMISSION 
23.TO HAVE AND REQUEST MORE IS AN ABOMINATION TO THE GOD 
24.THAT WHICH IS TO BE EATEN BY DOGS, WAS SET ASIDE TO THE BEASTS 
25.LET MY POSSESSIONS BE, BUT YOUR STOLEN POSSESSIONS ... ARE CARRIED AWAY BY A MAN 
26.THE FOWLER AND HIS WIFE; FABLE, LINES 7,10-11
Description MS in Neo Sumerian and Old Babylonian on clay, probably Larsa, Babylonia, 2000-1800 BC, 1 tablet, 22,0x9,5x4,0 cm, 2 columns, 65 lines in cuneiform script, double ruled lines between each entry.
Commentary

The right column was intended for exercise purpose, translating a Sumerian text into Akkadian. 11 entries are without translation.

This is the only known major bilingual proverb tablet of Old Babylonian origin.

Text 1. The folk tale about the man getting increasingly old, his declining physical abilities, and the effect of a young girl on him, is the oldest known example of a theme well attested in later world literature. Best known is 1 Kings 1:1 ff. and 2:17 ff., Eccl. 12: 1-7, and the Merchant's Tale in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

Text 26. In the fable or tale, The Fowler and his wife, the wife asks her husband to let free the raven and esig-bird he had caught in his net, blaming him for neglecting his marital duties and of his potency problem, asking him to rise himself instead of the birds.

This collection brings many new and improved readings to the proverbs, which calls for a revision of the published text.

Published Bendt Alster in Oriantalia, vol. 75, 2006, fasc. 1, pp. 94-95. Bendt Alster: Sumerian Proverbs in the Schøyen Collection, Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology, vol. 2, Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, Cuneiform texts II. CDL Press, Bethesda, MD, 2007. pp. 96-122.
Place of origin Babylonia
Dates 2000-1800 BC

Location