- Paperback: 253 pages
- Publisher: Wayne State University Press; First Paperback Edition edition (December 31, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0814321216
- ISBN-13: 978-0814321218
- Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,263,147 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
In the World of Sumer: An Autobiography First Paperback Edition Edition
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
A panoramic view of Sumerian literature
About the Author
Samuel Noah Kramer is curator emeritus of the Babylonian tablet collection at the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania; and Clark Research Professor emeritus of the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School. He has been visiting professor at The Dropsie University, Philadelphia; Indiana University, the University of Copenhagen, the Sorbonne, and Hebrew University. His numerous publications range from the most technical to the popular. Among them are Sumerische literarische Texte aus Nippur, Sumerian Literary Texts in the Ashmolean Museum, History Begins at Sumer, and The Sumerians.
Top customer reviews
How does one come to be an expert in cuneiform and Sumerian literature? Kramer was born in 1897 in Ukraine. Fearing anti-Jewish persecution, his family moved to Philadelphia when he was eight, where his father established a Hebrew school. After graduating from high school and obtaining a bachelor's degree, Kramer taught in his father's school, tried and failed to become a writer, tried and failed in business, and was approaching 30 without a career. "Finally it came to me that I might well go back to my beginnings and try to utilize the Hebrew learning on which I had spent so much of my youth, and relate it in some way to an academic future." Thus, he enrolled in the Dropsie College of Philadelphia for Hebrew and Cognate Learning, where he became passionately interested in Egyptology. He then enrolled in the Oriental Studies Department of the University of Pennsylvania. There he decided to work with "the brilliant young Ephraim Avigdor Speiser, who was to become one of the world's leading figures in Near Eastern Studies." Since Speiser was at that time interested in cuneiform tablets dating from about 1300 BC, Kramer began his life-long studies in cuneiform.
The book details his remarkable career, from his Ph.D. in 1929, through his retirement in 1968, to his very active post-retirement years and the writing of this autobiography in 1986. He writes in a straightforward non-technical manner, but with obvious enthusiasm. We learn not only about him, but also about the Sumerian literature which clearly enthralled him and which he wrote about for specialist and non-specialist alike. He sums up his accomplishments as follows: "First, and most important, is the role I played in the recovery, restoration, and resurrection of Sumerian literature, or at least of a representative cross section...Through my efforts several thousand Sumerian literary tablets and fragments have been made available to cuneiformists, a basic reservoir of unadulterated data that will endure for many decades to come. Second, I endeavored...to make available reasonably reliable translations of many of these documents to the academic community, and especially to the anthropologist, historian, and humanist. Third, I have helped to spread the name of Sumer to the world at large, and to make people aware of the crucial role the Sumerians played in the ascent of civilized man."
Samuel Noah Kramer died in 1990. I finished the book thinking that it would have been wonderful to know this man.