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Midterm: Essay – Document Analysis Instructor: Asst. Prof. Stephanie Rost Due Da

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Midterm: Essay – Document Analysis
Instructor: Asst. Prof. Stephanie Rost
Due Date: Sunday, Feb. 25th, 2024, 11:59 PM
I. Daily Life in the ancient world
Background:
These are just three fun letters that supposed to give you a sense of ancient life. The first text ARM 10 129 is a letter of a North Mesopotamian King to his wife being concerned about her health and all of those surrounding her. The second text Sumer 14, pl. 23 No. 47, is a letter of a son to his father, and the third text TCL 18 111 is a letter of a son to his mother. In a 2-3 page essay, which you will submit on blackboard under assignments, I want you to discuss the following. Please refer to the letters by using the heading “Letter ARM 10 129” etc.
Discuss the following question in your essay:
1. What does letter ARM 10 129 reveal about the understanding of contagious diseases at the time?
▪ Tip: Remember this letter was written sometime between 1775-1761 BCE.
2. What does the king suggest needs be done to prevent the spread of the disease? What does his strategy reveal about medical knowledge/understanding at the time?
▪ Tip: no need to search for additional information – just use your logic.
3. What does letter Sumer 14, pl. 23 No. 47 and TCL 18 111 reveal about ancient parent-child relationships?
▪ Tip: Again, I am not looking for any specific information, but I want your take on those letters.
Letter ARM 10 129
“To Šībtu (my wife) [s]ay: your lord (husband) says: I have heard that Nanname is suffering from skin lesion; yet, she frequents the palace. It will infect many women with her (ailment). Now, then, give strict orders that no one drink from the cup she uses, and no one sit on the seat on which she sits, and no one lie on the bed on which she lies, so that it should not infect many women with her (ailment). That [skin lesi]on is catching.
Sumer 14, pl. 23 No. 47
Tell Uzâlum: Your son Adad-abum sends the following message:
May the gods Šamaš and Wēr keep you forever in good health. I have never before written to you for something precious I wanted. But if you want to be like a father to me, get me a fine string full of beads, to be worn around the head. Seal it with your seal and give it to the carrier of this tablet so that he can bring it to me. If you have none at hand, dig it out of the ground wherever (such objects) are (found) and send it to me. I want it very much; do not withhold it from me. In this I will see whether you love me as a real father does. Of course, establish its price for me, write it down, and send me the tablet. The young man who is coming to you must not see the string of beads. Seal it (in a package) and give it to him. He must not see the string, the one to be worn around the head, which you are sending. It should be full (of beads) and should be beautiful. If I see it and dislike(?) it, I shall send it back! Also send the cloak, of which I spoke to you.
TCL 18 111
Tell the Lady Zinû: Iddin-Sin sends the following message:
May the gods Šamaš, Marduk, and Ilabrat keep you forever in good health for my sake.
From year to year, the clothes of thc (young) gentlemen here become better, but you let my clothes get worse from year to year. Indeed, you persisted(?) in making my clothes poorer and, more scanty. At a time when in our house wool is used up like bread, you have made me poor clothes. The son of Adad-iddinam, whose father is only an assistant of my father, (has) two new sets of clothes [break] while you fuss even about a single set of clothes for me. In spite of the fact that you bore me and his mother only adopted him, his mother loves him, while you, you do not love me!
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