Gudea's Temple Building: The Representation of an Early Mesopotamian Ruler in Text and Image

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BRILL, Jan 1, 2000 - History - 437 pages
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Gudea of Lagash, who ruled at the end of the third millennium B.C., wanted to be remembered as a temple builder. An extensive narrative inscribed on two huge clay cylinders, one of the longest and best preserved Sumerian texts, recounts his construction of the temple of Ningirsu, Lagash's patron deity. More than sixty sculpted limestone fragments belong to several "stelae" erected in the temples Gudea built and depict their construction. A large number of inscribed and often sculpted, artifacts provide additional information on Gudea's activities. This study treats this visual and textual material as a coherent corpus for the first time. It analyses contents, narrative structure, composition and message. Text and image are compared to elucidate the characteristics of each medium and to arrive at a comprehensive picture of the royal rhetoric of the time. The book includes a catalogue of all artifacts, and a translation of selected text passages.
  

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Contents

B Gudeas Reign
15
MINOR SOURCES
29
B The Inscriptions
39
The Imagery
57
THE CYLINDERS
71
B The Text in Linear Sequence
83
Analysis of the Narrative
103
Poetic Traits
127
About the Reconstruction
209
Analysis of the Narrative
255
E Comparison with the Imagery on Other Objects
269
A COMPARISON
277
Particular Episodes and Descriptions
284
The Relation between Text and Image
293
B Catalogue of the Stela Fragments
337
Selected Passages of the Cylinder Inscriptions
393

E Comparison with the Other Inscriptions
137
F The Message
151
THE STELAE
161
B The Imagery
177

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information