Sumerian Hymnology: The Ersemma

EISBN 9780878201334

Mark E. Cohen

Hebrew Union College Annual Supplements 2

The ersemma is one of two (possibly three) genres of literature written in the Sumerian Emesal dialect. Texts exist in copies from the Old Babylonian period, although they were authored much earlier. They were preserved likely because they were part of a fixed liturgy recited on select days of the month. Mark E. Cohen discusses the characteristics of this genre and its evolution, the circumstances of its composition, and the cultic setting in which it was typically used. He also provides a catalog of examples as well as transliterations and translations of selected texts with commentary. Examples come from the British Museum, the Yale Babylonian Collection, the University Museum Collection, the Oriental Institute, the Staatliche Museen Berlin, and the Metropolitan Museum.