"The Harps that Once..." by Thorkild Jacobsen

The Harps that Once... Sumerian Poetry in Translation Thorkild Jacobsen

Publication date:
23 Sep 1997
Yale University Press
528 pages: 235 x 156mm

The eminent Assyriologist Thorkild Jacobsen, author of Treasures of Darkness, here presents translations of ancient Sumerian poems written near the end of the third millennium b.c.e., including a number of compositions that have never before been published in translation. The themes developed in the poems—quite possibly the earliest poems extant—are those that have fascinated humanity since the time people first began to spin stories: the longings of young lovers; courage in battle; joy at the birth of a child; the pleasures of drink and song.

The late Thorkild Jacobsen was professor of Assyriology emeritus at Harvard University

"This elegantly written work is a basic resource for the full understanding of early Mesopotamia.  It includes translations of the Cylinders of Gudea and other poems that have been accessible only in outdated versions."?Daniel Snell, author of Life in the Ancient Near East, 3100-322 B.C.E. .   

"This work is special, and should be found in the home of all humane and literate persons. It gives access to the mind of ancient Mesopotamia in a manner rarely duplicated heretofore. . . . Jacobsen has chosen widely from Sumer's rich literature?myth, epics, hymns, boasts, epithalamia, love songs, lamentations, fables?and had presented us with perspective renderings, uncluttered by scholarly paraphernalia."?Jack M. Sasson, Religious Studies Review