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Kingship in the Early Mesopotamian Onomasticon 2800–2200 BCE
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Assyriologi)
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Thousands of Sumerian and Old Akkadian personal names from 3rd millennium BCE Meso-potamia are known and documented. The present study inspects names containing the royal appellatives, Sumerian lugal and Akkadian śarrum. The study aims at uncovering the rela-tionships between personal names and the development of early historical kingship and reli-gious thought in the area.

An overview of Sumerian and Old Akkadian names and name-giving serves as a starting point for semantic investigations of lugal- and śarrum-names. Sumerian and Old Akkadian names are to a large extent meaningful, and the literal meaning can be used to arrive at an understanding of the symbolic value, which led to the coining of the name. Discussions rely on comparable passages of contemporary and later written traditions.

To facilitate discussion and comparisons between the languages, names are divided into semantic groups based on characteristic traits found in contemporary royal inscriptions and religious texts. Parallel constructions are noted whenever such constructions are known. Names are assigned human or divine referents when possible. A look at political and religious developments puts the distribution of certain name types over time and space into perspective. Local and regional traditions and types are displayed and related either to royal ideological traits or to theological speculation. Besides locally significant gods, a few other deities can be identified as referents in names. A brief statistical overview of different archives shows that names featuring the figure of the lugal experience an increase in popularity at the expense of  other types.

A system of annotation gives approximate numbers for bearers of names belonging to the types investigated. Lists of attestations, which document date and archival context, form the basis for discussions and conclusions and make the material available for inspection and further exploration.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2012. , 440 p.
Studia Semitica Upsaliensia, ISSN 0585-5535 ; 28
Keyword [en]
Sumerian, Old Akkadian, personal names, onomastic studies, kingship
National Category
Cultural Studies History Specific Languages
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-168457ISBN: 978-91-554-8270-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-168457DiVA: diva2:503415
Public defence
2012-03-24, Ihresalen, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3H, Uppsala, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2012-03-02 Created: 2012-02-10 Last updated: 2012-07-17Bibliographically approved

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