(E–pub/Kindle) [Ancient Mesopotamia Portrait of a Dead Civilization] by A. Leo Oppenheim
Beginning AssyriologistThe book is nothing close to a history of ancient nor is it a general overview of the field of It is instead a reflection a general overview of the field of It is instead a reflection the concerns speculations #nor is it a general overview of the field of Assyriology It is instead a reflection of the concerns speculations of one man treats only one of the several ancient Mesopotamian civilisations that of Akkadian speaking Assyria Babylon For a general overview of the field the usual reference is Jack Sasson s Civilizations of the Ancient Near East which covers both Mesopotamia Egypt while I m not aware of a thorough general history than Marc Van De Mieroop s A History of the Ancient Near EastBut what it is is amazing As editor of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary almost of a cultural encyclop dia than a mere dictionary Oppenheim had a stunning familiarity with Akkadian cuneiform tablets The things he wonders about are lines of thought that merit full exploration for future generations of Assyriologists Many of his uestions are uestions we still need to ask about Mesopotamian cultures I likely would not have read this book on my own but I am very grateful that my Sumerian professor recommended it to our class I would without hesitation pass that recommendation on to any budding Assyriologist My copy is thoroly marked up I ll be re reading the book to try to absorb of Oppenheim s thoughtThat said I do not think that it s a good general introduction to the field for the non specialist It might be a good second read after one has a bit of grounding in the general history of Mesopotamia ca 4000 33. Leonard Cottrell Book WeekLeo Oppenheim has made a bold brave pioneering attempt to present a synthesis of the vast mass of philological and archaeological data that have accumulated over the past hundred years in the field of Assyriological research Samuel Noah Kramer ArchaeologyA Leo Oppenheim one of the most distinguished Assyriologists of our time was editor in charge of the Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute and John A Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Chicag. .
Not a good introductory historical text Lots of rambling speculation that never coheres into defensible conclusions about the subject Indeed my interest in ancient Mesopotamia waned considerably upon reading this book assuming this is the most we can conclude from existing evidence Great read Published in 60 s and re edited in 70 s but still worth recommending It s good for Assyriologists beginners but also a
book for ones it reminds you about bigger picture of Mesopotamian culture and civilization Of course some parts are out of date but they are pretty insiginficant or easy to spotFor me this book was a nice break from my own research Let me take a breath and reminded me to stay humbleAlso a great example a breath and reminded me to stay humbleAlso a great example what happens when too well educated Germans write in English from the scratch so many sofisiticated words very readable for an ancient history book Oppenheim was very frank about not nowing everything He often ended a paragraph with But we re not sure I liked how he used Bible uotes to corroborate other sources Most people think of the Old Testament in terms of religion but Oppenheim picked out facts about the culture and laws that existed in the areas he wrote about Ancient Mesopotamia Portrait of a Dead Civilization presents a challenging read for anyone interested in the nations #Of Assyria And Babylonia #Assyria and Babylonia because the information presented is erroneous or out of date but because Oppenheim is brutally honest about the state of our French Daguerreotypes knowledge on Mesopo. This splendid work of scholarship sums up with economy and power all that the written record so far deciphered has to tell about the ancient and complementary civilizations of Babylon and Assyria Edward B Garside New York Times Book ReviewAncient Mesopotamia the area now called Ira has received less attention than ancient Egypt and other long extinct and spectacular civilizations But numerous small clay tablets buried in the desert soil for thousands of years make it possible for us tonow about th.good book for