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Ancient Knowledge Networks (eBook)

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Ancient KnowledgeNetworks is a book about how knowledge travels, in minds and bodies as wellas in writings. It explores the forms knowledge takes and the meanings itaccrues, and how these meanings are shaped by the peoples who use it.

Addressing the relationships between political power, familyties, religious commitments and literate scholarship in the ancient Middle Eastof the first millennium BC, Eleanor Robson focuses on two regions wherecuneiform script was the predominant writing medium: Assyria in the north ofmodern-day Syria and Iraq, and Babylonia to the south of modern-day Baghdad. Sheinvestigates how networks of knowledge enabled cuneiform intellectual cultureto endure and adapt over the course of five world empires until its eventualdemise in the mid-first century BC. In doing so, she also studies Assyriologicaland historical method, both now and over the past two centuries, asking how thefield has shaped and been shaped by the academic concerns and fashions of theday. Above all, Ancient KnowledgeNetworks is an experiment in writing about ‘Mesopotamian science’, as ithas often been known, using geographical and social approaches to bring newinsights into the intellectual history of the world’s first empires.

Ancient KnowledgeNetworks is a book about how knowledge travels, in minds and bodies as wellas in writings. It explores the forms knowledge takes and the meanings itaccrues, and how these meanings are shaped by the peoples who use it.

Addressing the relationships between political power, familyties, religious commitments and literate scholarship in the ancient Middle Eastof the first millennium BC, Eleanor Robson focuses on two regions wherecuneiform script was the predominant writing medium: Assyria in the north ofmodern-day Syria and Iraq, and Babylonia to the south of modern-day Baghdad. Sheinvestigates how networks of knowledge enabled cuneiform intellectual cultureto endure and adapt over the course of five world empires until its eventualdemise in the mid-first century BC. In doing so, she also studies Assyriologicaland historical method, both now and over the past two centuries, asking how thefield has shaped and been shaped by the academic concerns and fashions of theday. Above all, Ancient KnowledgeNetworks is an experiment in writing about ‘Mesopotamian science’, as ithas often been known, using geographical and social approaches to bring newinsights into the intellectual history of the world’s first empires.


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by eleanor robson

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