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The Dialogue Between Two Scribes (1.184)

(956 words)

Author(s): Vanstiphout, H. L. J.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; School Dialogues Commentary This provisionally fragmentary1 composition focuses on the competition between two scribes, one being more advanced than the other, and using his seniority to bully and insult the younger one — after which the teacher, apparently a stickler for school tradition, takes the side of the senior student (the “Big Brother”). But in the meantime we learn a number of practical and meth…

The Dialogue Between An Examiner and A Student (1.186)

(892 words)

Author(s): Vanstiphout, H. L. J.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; School Dialogues Commentary In this composition we again have a dialogue, but now it takes the form of a viva voce examination. One might say that it looks like a final examination, wherein the student may be said to try for graduation. Apparently it takes place before an external examiner: the student keeps referring to his teacher. In a second part, not translated here, the piece takes on the format of…

The Dialogue Between A Supervisor and A Scribe (1.185)

(1,143 words)

Author(s): Vanstiphout, H. L. J.
Subject: Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World; Sumerian Canonical Compositions; Individual Focus; School Dialogues Commentary This piece is not unlike the preceding one in that it consists of an altercation between a senior and a junior member of the Eduba. Still, the relationship is subtly different: the senior one is not just a more mature student, but a regular supervisor (an UGULA). He submits the pupil, who is obviously aspiring to higher things at this moment, to a kind of examination which dea…