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Tracking the Master ScribeRevision through Introduction in Biblical and Mesopotamian Literature$
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Sara J. Milstein

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190205393

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190205393.001.0001

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A Second Wind

A Second Wind

Revision through Introduction in Adapa

(p.76) 3 A Second Wind
Tracking the Master Scribe

Sara J. Milstein

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the Sumerian and Akkadian evidence for the myth of Adapa. First, it demonstrates that the myth underwent revision in Akkadian, with the addition of a new prologue and epilogue that recast it in terms of wisdom and immortality. These themes, both present in the Neo-Assyrian evidence, do not belong to the older version that was found at Amarna. Second, it compares the Akkadian tradition with the Sumerian version of Adapa from Tell Haddad. Unlike the Akkadian versions, the Sumerian version includes a lengthy cosmological introduction that situates the Adapa plotline in the wider context of humanity’s origins. In this case, it appears that a master scribe omitted the long Sumerian introduction so as to heighten the focus on Adapa, perhaps when the myth was reimagined in Akkadian. This chapter demonstrates that the major shifts in perspective were accomplished through revision through introduction, whether by omission or addition.

Keywords:   Adapa, Sumerian, Akkadian, South Wind, Mesopotamia, immortality, Amarna, Tell Haddad, Neo-Assyrian, myth

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