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For those who have never thought of reading The Instructions of Šuruppag, one of the oldest Sumerian ‘wisdom’ texts, know that it is entirely composed of a long list of do’s and don’ts, the supposedly wise thoughts of a father, Suruppag, to his son. My translation of the exact same text has absolutely no points in common with this ‘official’ theme, and brings to light a tale far more intriguing. Not difficult to be more amusing or intriguing than Mr Šuruppag you might well say.
The fact is that they can’t both be right. Below is a comparison of the opening lines of the two versions. Mine, where Sukurru is a place rather than a person, is the second:

1. The Instructions of Šuruppag

In those days, in those far remote days, in those nights, in those faraway nights, in those years, in those far remote years, at that time the wise one who knew how to speak in elaborate words lived in the Land; Šuruppag, the wise one, who knew how to speak with elaborate words lived in the Land. Šuruppag gave instructions to his son;


[[i]u]2. The Story of Sukurru[/u]

By day, the deluge. That distant day, the deluge.
By night, the deluge. That endless night, the deluge.
In that age, the deluge. That bygone age, the deluge.
Then the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there, the Ladder through the Word was known.
Surrounded by water, the people of Ma on her life-raft.
Sukurru the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge possessed, the Stairway through the Word knew.
Surrounded by water, her people on the life-branch of Ma.[/i]

There must have been many copies made of this particular text because quite a few survived; not intact but enough to piece most of it together. And this suggests that it was a popular story in its day. Did many fathers turn to it for help in teaching their sons or was it something far more fabulous with an introduction speaking of a golden age before a great flood?

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 1235 MDaines 13-Aug-17 16:25
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 190 cladking 13-Aug-17 18:33
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 266 MDaines 14-Aug-17 10:55
Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 181 MDaines 20-Aug-17 11:15
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 149 cladking 20-Aug-17 13:42
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 153 MDaines 20-Aug-17 14:04
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 145 cladking 20-Aug-17 15:23
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 158 MDaines 20-Aug-17 15:42
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 154 cladking 21-Aug-17 15:39
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 124 MDaines 21-Aug-17 16:25
Re: Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge 133 SallyA 24-Aug-17 22:44
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 159 drew 21-Aug-17 02:17
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 152 MDaines 21-Aug-17 18:16
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 161 drew 22-Aug-17 01:03
Literal or Symbolic? 181 Barbelo 21-Aug-17 06:05
Re: Literal or Symbolic? 162 MDaines 21-Aug-17 11:14
Re: Literal or Symbolic? 149 Barbelo 21-Aug-17 22:36
Re: Literal or Symbolic? 160 MDaines 22-Aug-17 16:00
Re: Then, the Tree of Consciousness and Knowledge was there. 401 SallyA 24-Aug-17 23:00


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