Panel 4: Ancient Near Eastern Lamentation Literature: Sceneries of Destruction

Date & Time: Thursday, 7.04.2016; 14.0015.40

Location: University Main Building, room 139

Panel Convener:

Martin Lang (University of Innsbruck, Austria),


Ancient Near Eastern Lamentation Literature forms the biggest coherent corpus of cuneiform literature. City-laments, Balangs, Erschemmas, Erschahungas and Schuilas all bewail the destruction of cities, the desecration of sanctuaries, death and starvation in the face of war in order to calm the wrath of the gods, who are seen as the force responsible for the destruction. This session aims to inform scholars from other branches of these valuable but up to now seldom noticed (at least outside of Ancient Near Eastern Studies) sources of the history of religion.

Panelists (click on the title for an abstract):

  1. Martin Lang “How to Lament Appropriately: Correct Ritual Acting and Correct Lexicography”
  2. Angelika Kellner (University of Innsbruck, Austria) “The Sumerian Lamentation ‘The Screaming Cow’ ( gu3.de2.de2). The Background, Textual Reconstruction and Transmission”
  3. Sebastian Fink (University of Innsbruck, Austria) “A Symphony of Destruction: Describing Disaster in Sumerian Lamentations”