Enmerkara und der Herr von Arata
Ein ungleicher Wettstreit
1. Edition 2010
Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis -
The Sumerian narrative of Enmerkara and the Lord of Arata is part of the thematically oriented Uruk cycle, which describes and celebrates the hegemony of Sumer over the distant, resource-rich East. The heart of the story consists of a competition between Enmerkara, the powerful king of Uruk, and his unnamed eastern counterpart, the king of the legendary city of Arata, for the favours of the goddess Innana. The power of this rhetorical masterpiece lies in its entertainment value. The subtly drawn characters of the two competitors and their eloquent dialogues leave the audience in no doubt as to the superiority of Enmerkara, and the inept, even comical reactions of the lord of Arata contribute to this picture.
The 637 lines of Enmerkara and the Lord of Arata are preserved in 23 manuscripts of the Old Babylonian period. The text is presented in the form of a score with composite text, translation, commentary and copies of previously unpublished material. The introduction offers an analysis of the narrative’s structure and content, as well as an investigation on the protagonists and the geographical framework of the story.