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Anonymous

The gates of the town are closed. The princes

have gone to sleep. The chatter of voices

has quieted down. Doorbolts are fastened.

Not until morning will they be opened.

The gods of the place, and the goddess,

Ishtar, Sin, Adad, and Shamash,

have gone into the quiet of the sky,

making no judgments. Only

the voice of a lone wayfarer

calls out the name of Shamash or Ishtar:

Now house and field are entirely silent.

the night is veiled. A sleepless client

in the still night waits for the morning.

Great Shamash has gone into the sleeping

heaven; the father of the poor,

the judge, has gone into his chamber.

May the gods of the night come forth — the Hunter,

the Bow, the Wagon, the Yoke, the Viper,

Irra the valiant, the Goat, the Bison,

Girra the shining, the Seven, the Dragon —

May the stars come forth in the high heaven.

Establish the truth in the ritual omen;

in the offered lamb establish the truth. — “Prayer to the Gods of Night,” Babylonian poetry (David Ferry, trans.)

Babylonian poetry — The Babylonian Empire emerged from the consolidating efforts of their King Hammurabi (1696–1654 BC). Taking their language from their predecessors — the Akkadians for spoken language and the Sumerians for written religious language — the Babylonians developed the potential of rule by empire first begun by the Akkadians. While the “Epic of Gilgamesh” is the most famous example of Babylonian poetry (translated from the original Sumerian), other texts are also extant in clay tablet form. In fact, last September, Cambridge scholars unlocked the mystery of what Babylonian language sounded like by devising a pronunciation key.

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The gates of the town are closed. The princes

have gone to sleep. The chatter of voices

has quieted down. Doorbolts are fastened.

Not until morning will they be opened.

The gods of the place, and the goddess,

Ishtar, Sin, Adad, and Shamash,

have gone into the quiet of the sky,

making no judgments. Only

the voice of a lone wayfarer

calls out the name of Shamash or Ishtar:

Now house and field are entirely silent.

the night is veiled. A sleepless client

in the still night waits for the morning.

Great Shamash has gone into the sleeping

heaven; the father of the poor,

the judge, has gone into his chamber.

May the gods of the night come forth — the Hunter,

the Bow, the Wagon, the Yoke, the Viper,

Irra the valiant, the Goat, the Bison,

Girra the shining, the Seven, the Dragon —

May the stars come forth in the high heaven.

Establish the truth in the ritual omen;

in the offered lamb establish the truth. — “Prayer to the Gods of Night,” Babylonian poetry (David Ferry, trans.)

Babylonian poetry — The Babylonian Empire emerged from the consolidating efforts of their King Hammurabi (1696–1654 BC). Taking their language from their predecessors — the Akkadians for spoken language and the Sumerians for written religious language — the Babylonians developed the potential of rule by empire first begun by the Akkadians. While the “Epic of Gilgamesh” is the most famous example of Babylonian poetry (translated from the original Sumerian), other texts are also extant in clay tablet form. In fact, last September, Cambridge scholars unlocked the mystery of what Babylonian language sounded like by devising a pronunciation key.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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