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Royal Correspondence

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Chapter Summary

The Ancient Near Eastern convention of royal communication with the deity by means either of a letter or of a stele extends beyond the confines of the West Semitic area and of the first millennium. The earliest literary letters were either sober exchanges between the kings of Ur and Isin and their high officials or, in the case of the true letter-prayers, were addressed to a deity by a scribe or other commoner. What has hitherto been lacking to complete the parallelism with the psalm of Hezekiah on the Sumerian side was either a monumental or petitionary letter addressed to the deity by a king, and neither Sumerian nor Akkadian had hitherto provided a letter-prayer in the context of royal illness. This chapter fills in these gaps. The king in question is Sin-iddinam of Larsa. The chapter reconstructs a possible literary history of the Kunăimatum letter.

Keywords: Kunăimatum letter; Royal Correspondence ofIsin; Royal Correspondence Of Larsa; Sin-iddinam; Sumerian literary letters; The Royal Correspondence of Ur



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