World Philology or Philology of the World: Commenting on Enuma Elish
Keywords:world philology, philology of the world, Enuma Elish, commentaries, Commentary II, cuneiform hermeneutics
The field of world philology relies on the comparability of philological practices across a wide set of periods and cultures. However, cross-cultural similarities in practice may belie radical differences in the underlying assumptions about texts and what it means to interpret them. This disconnection is illustrated by one of the two preserved commentaries on the Babylonian epic Enuma Elish, Commentary II, which develops the epic’s already striking notions about the relation between objects, their names, and their cosmic roles in an even more radical direction, challenging our understanding of what we are doing when we do philology.
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