Article

Letters as Correspondence, Letters as Literature

Fabienne Huber Vulliet

in The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199557301
Published online September 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199557301.013.0023

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Letters as Correspondence, Letters as Literature

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This article examines the use of letters and correspondence for literary purposes in ancient Mesopotamia. Cuneiform evidence reveals that there are many letters written between real people for everyday purposes of communication which were clearly literary. There are letters in which the vocabulary and language used are often far removed from the mundane diction of administrative and family letters. This article explores the complex relationship between archival and literary letters in cuneiform culture.

Keywords: letters; correspondence; ancient Mesopotamia; communication; administrative letters; family letters; archival letters; literary letters

Article.  9595 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Classical Literature

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