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The Sumerian Debate Poems: A General Presentation, Part III

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about three kinds of techniques of the debate being used. First, there is 'straight' or 'independent' evidence, which is direct or indirect in nature; second, there is 'evidence in rebuttal' which differs from the first mode in that it is proffered in reaction to an earlier piece of evidence by the opponent; and lastly there is 'argument', which the author would separate from evidence in rebuttal since it consists of a more systematic attack upon the adversary's case combined with the defence of one's own case, and in the best examples combining and regrouping arguments and evidence used by both parties in the earlier phase of the procedure. The role of the goddess in the debate poems is a very specific one. For it can be easily seen from the texts themselves that Nisaba, in fact, plays a quadruple role.

Keywords: Nisaba; rebuttal evidence; straight or independent evidence; Sumerian debate



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