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The Primeval Flood CatastropheOrigins and Early Development in Mesopotamian Traditions$
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Y. S. Chen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199676200

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199676200.001.0001

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The Flood Epic

The Flood Epic

(p.197) 4 The Flood Epic
The Primeval Flood Catastrophe

Y.S. Chen

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the extent to which the Sumerian compositions dealing with catastrophe, especially the city laments, influenced the composition of the Flood epic or story. It is argued that the city laments in many ways provided the conceptual and literary templates for the depictions of destruction and restoration in the Flood epic. Studying the Flood epic in the light of the Sumerian compositions not only enables one to understand the Flood epic was composed as a continuation of some of the conceptual and literary patterns current in the Ur III and Isin‐Larsa periods, but also accentuates the innovations the Flood epic brought to Mesopotamian literary and cultural traditions.

Keywords:   Flood epic, catastrophe, destruction, restoration, city laments, Ur III dynasty, Isin‐Larsa period

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