Oral or Aural?

Author: Vogelzang, Marianna
Vanstiphout, Herman
This book is one of the first collections of studies on a defined problem in Mesopotamian Literature. The broad topic of a possible oral or aural character of Akkadian and Sumerian epic poetry and its implications is treated in a number of ways, including a confrontation with traditional Oral-Formulaic Theory, an overview of Sumerian literary types which contrasts putative oral literature with historical literacy, a detailed analysis of the phonic features, and concentrations on specific structural features of Sumerian compositions in order to detect possible markers of either oral origins or aural performance and transmissions. Treating one of the very earliest literary systems mankind ever evolved, it will be of use to literary scholars and specialists in early literatures, as well as assyriologists.


"What emerges from this important volume is the diversity of approaches, opinions, and conclusions . . . . Its importance and applicability to other literatures such as the Bible is very evident. Profitable for scholars and students interested in ancient Mesopotamian literature and how research on the transmission of that literature might be applied to the Bible." -- David I. Owen, in Religious Studies Review