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The Disputation Between Bird and Fish (1.182)
(2,410 words)

Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; Disputations


This composition is remarkable not only because it stresses the importance of pleasant and beautiful things in life over dour seriousness,1 but also because of its peculiar format. It intentionally mixes the generic features of the disputation with those of a fable.2 Since fish is unable to win by force of argument, it attempts to do so by force tout court. Fish’s violent attack…

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Vanstiphout, H. L. J., “The Disputation Between Bird and Fish (1.182)”, in: Context of Scripture Online, Editor in Chief: W. Hallo. Consulted online on 06 December 2021 <>

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