Keeping Company With Men of Learning: The King as Scholar

Eckart Frahm

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

Keeping Company With Men of Learning: The King as Scholar


This article focuses on Mesopotamian rulers who were not just wise or learned, but had a demonstrable interest in the scribal culture of their age. It provides some general reflections on how the king's influence on the arts and sciences shaped the intellectual discourse of ancient Mesopotamia. It contends that the creation of this large corpus of texts with a focus on kings and kingship was an endeavour that involved, primarily, not the kings themselves, but scribes and scholars who were more or less immediately associated with them.

Keywords: Mesopotamian rulers; scribal culture; arts; sciences; intellectual discourse; kings; kingship; scribes

Article.  11620 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies

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