The Babylonian Theodicy
By (author) Takayoshi Oshima
Publication date:15 March 2013
Length of book:128 pages
PublisherNeo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project
The Babylonian Theodicy is a lengthy dialogue between two learned men, the “Sufferer” and the “Friend,” taking the form of an acrostic poem divided into 27 stanzas. Each stanza is exactly 11 lines long and represents a speech by one of the two speakers mainly on social injustice and piety, those of the Sufferer alternating with counterarguments of the Friend. The text unquestionably is a literary masterpiece and, as one of the most important pieces of Mesopotamian wisdom literature, a must for every aspiring Assyriologist. Because of its many affinities with the biblical book of Job, it also is of obvious interest to biblical scholars, theologians, and students of Ancient Near Eastern religions.
This volume, based on nine different manuscripts (two of them new) and numerous new joins, offers the most complete edition of the text available so far. It is now possible to fully or partially recover 272 of the original 297 lines of the composition. The cuneiform text, sign list and glossary attached to the edition make it possible for the first time to read the entire composition in class. The volume also contains an up-to-date introduction to the text, a bibliography of previous studies, and a detailed philological commentary.