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Continuity and Change of Scribal Education - Essay Example

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During its history, it gradually transformed into the important medium for the transmission of knowledge and, in the latest period, for the preservation of cultural…
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Continuity and Change of Scribal Education
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"Continuity and Change of Scribal Education"

Download file to see previous pages ole in the dissemination of cuneiform literacy, which firstly appeared as an educational institution in the Old Babylonian period and was referred as Eduba, a Sumerian word meaning ‘the tablet house’ (Sjöberg, 1974). One of the literary sources frequently mentioned is the royal Hymn dedicated to Šulgi, the king of The Third Dynasty of Ur. Šulgi is presented describing his scribal education and proclaiming himself a perfect scribe. The passage became a background for the supposition that scribal schools had already existed in the twenty first century BC, however this is unlikely since all preserved versions of this Hymn came from the Old Babylonian period and primary from the school tablets in 18th century BC (Kuhrt, 1995).
Archaeological evidence provides the tablets mostly referred to the administration system (lists of agricultural items, receipts, taxation documents etc.). Therefore, both the archaeological and literary sources hardly allow locating the appearance of the organized school practices earlier than the Old Babylonian epoch. However we can speculate that some scribal training was provided. A wide range of administration tablets could not be produced without the extensive knowledge of cuneiform literacy. Moreover, the texts from Ebla mention that the group of young scribes arrived from North Babylonian Mari. These tablets possibly indicate that Babylonian scribes were sent to teach their foreign colleagues, as Mieroop suggested. His assumption allows the suggestion that scribal schools probably existed already in the third millennium, and this is only not proved because of the absence of archaeological evidence (Mieroop, 2007).
We know old Babylonian Eduba due to the references found in literary sources. Apart from royal hymns, Eduba is mentioned in Eduba-Dialogues, describing the student life. Examination Text A provides information about exams in scribal school. Another frequently quoted source is ‘Schooldays’ that contains a vivid ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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