Description

Undoubtedly the group of texts which have the most human interest and greatest literary value is the epical group, designated in Sumerian by the rubric zag-sal. This literary term was employed by the Sumerian scribes to designate a composition as didactic and theological. Religious texts of such kind are generally composed in an easy and graceful style and, although somewhat influenced by liturgical mannerisms, may be readily distinguished from the hymns and psalms sung in the temples to musical accompaniment. The zagsal compositions are mythological and theological treatises concerning the deeds and characters of the great gods. The most important didactic hymns of the Nippur collection and in fact the most important religious texts in early Sumerian literature are two six column tablets, one (very incomplete) on the Creation and the Flood published by Dr. Poebel, and one (all but complete) on Paradise and the Fall of Man.

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