Literacy and Gender

Brigitte Lion

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Literacy and Gender

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  • Classical Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality
  • Historical Archaeology


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This article investigates the relation between gender and cuneiform literacy in ancient Mesopotamia. It suggests that the apparent exclusion of women from written culture needs to be nuanced given that in mythological texts goddesses, more than gods, have mastered writing and calculation. It highlights the achievements attributed or attributable to women and mentions that previous studies on the question of literacy have not always taken into consideration the relationships that women could have with writing.

Keywords: gender; cuneiform literacy; ancient Mesopotamia; written culture; mythological texts

Article.  10966 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Gender and Sexuality ; Historical Archaeology

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