The unique correspondence edited in this volume originates from a group of ancient scholars (ummânī, literally, "masters") attached to the service of the Assyrian king as his spiritual guardians and advisers. Although their scholarship, as we shall see presently, encompassed fields and activities that for the most part would not seem scientific or worthy of pursuing today, that was certainly not the way it was seen at the time. In order to understand the special role played by the scholars at court, the reasons for their interaction with the king, and the significance of the present correspondence in general, one has to consider the nature and orientation of Mesopotamian scholarship and the fundamentals of Assyrian royal ideology.

Simo Parpola

Simo Parpola, 'Introduction', Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars, SAA 10. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 1993; online contents: SAAo/SAA10 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2021 []

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SAAo/SAA10, 2014-. Since 2015, SAAo is based at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, Historisches Seminar (LMU Munich, History Department) - Alexander von Humboldt Chair for Ancient History of the Near and Middle East. Content released under a CC BY-SA 3.0 [] license, 2007-20.
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