chapter  3
Sumerian wisdom literature
ByALHENA GADOTTI
Pages 16

Defining wisdom literature is not an easy task, especially when dealing with ancient societies.1 In his most recent work on the topic, Wisdom from Ancient Sumer (2006), Bendt Alster provides a wide-range definition of wisdom as “not only an attitude, but a number of very different attitudes that may come to light in literary works belonging to various text types, or genres”.2 In addition, he rightly stresses that this term “does not do justice to the subtleties of the ancient cultures”.3

Therefore, wisdom-oriented texts written in Sumerian may not necessarily be considered as such in other civilizations.4