Paper instructions:

(1). Answer the following questions about the Sumerian King List in short essay format:

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In the version of the SKL that we have read, how does the text start and what does that say about Mesopotamian views of kingship at this time? How does kingship ’work’ according to the SKL? That is, how does it move around and how does that relate to Mesopotamians’ view of the gods?

In earlier versions of the SKL, the kingship begins in Kish. The version we read adds a beginning section that ends in a flood. What kind of message is the scribe sending by adding this extra section, and what could we deduce about where initial composer of the SKL came from, as well as why he was writing?

(2). Answer the following questions about the Enmetena Cone is short essay format:

What is the Enmetena Cone basically about?

Who was Mesalim/Mesilim and what role did he play in the conflict between Umma and Lagash?

How does the cone talk about many of the actions done by Lagash as compared to Umma,and what does that say about the relation of the gods and cities in Sumer?

The cone talks about an ‘interest-bearing loan’ that Umma owed Lagash. What was this loan for and how was it to be paid? What does such a loan illustrate about the Sumerian economy?

Where was the Enmetena cone placed and what does that say about its purpose?

(3). Answer the following questions about Sargon of Akkad:

1.) Who was Lugalzagesi and what was his relationship to Sargon? When he called himself ‘King of Kish’, what did he mean?

2.) According to the Sumerian Sargon Legend, who was Ur-Zababa, and what was Sargon’s initial relationship to him?

3.)  In terms of historical sources, where does most of what we know about the historical Sargon come from, and what does that say about later cuneiform scribes’ attitude towards him?

4.) What did Sargon do with his daughter (who took the Sumerian name Enheduana) at Ur?

5.) Sargon indicated in his inscriptions that he went as far as the Upper Sea (probably Mediterranean) and obtained cedar wood and Lower Sea (Persian Gulf) to wash his weapons. What kind of message is Sargon sending here?

(4). Answer the following questions about the Old Akkadian Period:

1.) When does the Old Akkadian Period start, roughly?

2.) One of the measurements we find in cuneiform administrative texts from this period appearing across Sumer is the so-called ‘king’s gur’ (gur lugal), equalling about 300 liters. What kind of change to the Early Dynastic city-states does this evidence indicate came with Sargon’s kingdom?

3.) Where does the term ‘Akkadian’ come from?

4.) In terms of long-distance trade, what were the major trading partners with the Akkadian state that appear in this period?

5.) As demonstrated from the so-called Obelisk of Manishtushu (below), how did northern dynasties in Mesopotamia tend to reward their followers and maintain an army?

(5). Answer the following questions about Naram-Sin:

1.) Naram-Sin is said to have been the first Mesopotamian king to ‘divinize’ himself. How did he do this?

2.) How was Naram-Sin negatively portrayed in later stories (such as the Curse of Agade)? How does that portrayal match the historical record? How do such portrayals feed into Mesopotamian conceptions of kingship?

3.) Naram-Sin did face one major political problem in his reign. What was it, and what does that say about the relation between the Sargonic dynasty at Agade and the rest of Sumer?

4.) What does the following item depict, and what is its significance for royal ideology?

(6). Answer the following questions about Ur III and the time shortly before it:

1.) Who was Gudea, and what does he talk about in his famous ‘Gudea Cylinders’?

2.) When is the Ur III period? Who is the first king of the dynasty (disregarding Utu-hegal), and who is the last?

3.) What kind of documents are richly represented in the Ur III period, and what does that type tell us about what it meant to be a cuneiform scribe?

4.) The following figurine is thought to depict Shulgi, King of Ur. What is he doing and what does that say about the Mesopotamian understanding of kingship?

Shulgi Figurine.png

5.) Many literary texts from this period present the Ur III king in various roles. Can you describe some of them?

6.) Describe some of the intense pressures that fell on the Ur III state at the end of its life. In particular, how does the last king meet his end?

(7). Answer the following questions about the Old Babylonian Period:

1.) After the collapse of the Ur III state there is a major power vacuum in Babylonia (southern Mesopotamia). Who fills this vacuum, and what are some of the major power centers they establish in the south?

2.) What kind of life did this group lead early on, and why might they have changed towards the end of the 3rd millennium?

3.) The version of the Sumerian King List we read dates to the early part of this period. Where do we think it was composed, and what do we think the scribes there were saying or doing in composing this (expanded) version of the king list?

4.) Who was Rim-Sin and what was so notable about him? What kind of background did his father Kudur-Mabuk likely come from and what does that say about the relative balance of power between the local dynasts in Mesopotamia and the area to the east?

5.) What political role did the city of Eshnunna play in this period?

(8). Answer the following additional questions about the Old Babylonian Period:

1.) Who was the sukkalmah? Where did the term come from and what does that say about the cultural influence of where it came from?

2.) Who was Shamshi-Adad and where was his power base?

3.) Who was Zimri-Lim, and what was his relationship with Shamshi-Adad and his son Yasmah-Adad?

4.) Now that you know, what was the ethnic/political background of Hammurabi? What do he and his successors do that the other local powers do not do?

5.) How does the Old Babylonian Period end, and at what date?

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