The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL), University of Oxford

5.1.3 The advice of a supervisor to a younger scribe (E-dub-ba-a C). ll. 1-20:1 2

1-2 (The supervisor speaks:) “One-time member of the school, come here to me, and let me explain to you what my teacher revealed.
3-8 “Like you, I was once a youth and had a mentor. The teacher assigned a task to me – it was man’s work. Like a springing reed, I leapt up and put myself to work. I did not depart from my teacher’s instructions, and I did not start doing things on my own initiative. My mentor was delighted with my work on the assignment. He rejoiced that I was humble before him and he spoke in my favour.
9-15 “I just did whatever he outlined for me – everything was always in its place. Only a fool would have deviated from his instructions. He guided my hand on the clay and kept me on the right path. He made me eloquent with words and gave me advice. He focused my eyes on the rules which guide a man with a task: zeal is proper for a task, time-wasting is taboo; anyone who wastes time on his task is neglecting his task.
16-20 “He did not vaunt his knowledge: his words were modest. If he had vaunted his knowledge, people would have frowned. Do not waste time, do not rest at night – get on with that work! Do not reject the pleasurable company of a mentor or his assistant: once you have come into contact with such great brains, you will make your own words more worthy.

Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI), UCLA

CDLI Composite no. Q000756, CDLI no. P478952, ll. 1-20:3

surface a

  1. dumu e2-dub-ba-a u4 ul-la ga2-nu ki-gu10-sze3
  2. nig2 um-mi-a-gu10 mu-un-pa3-da za-e ga-ra-pa3-pa3
  3. za-e-gin7-nam nam-lu2-tur i3-ak szesz-gal i3-tuku-am3
  4. um-mi-a lu2-ta kin-ga2-am3 a2 ag2-ga2 gesz bi2-in-gar
  5. gi al-gu4-u4-da-gin7 i3-gu4-u4-de3-en kin-ga2 bi2-in-se3-ge-en
  6. inim um-mi-a-gu10 nu-un-tak4 nig2 ni2-ga2 li-bi2-ak
  7. szesz-gal-gu10 a2 gesz gar-ra-ga2 sza3-ga-ni i-ni-in-du10
  8. i3-sun5-ne na-mu-da-szi-hul2 silim-ga2 i-ni-in-du11
  9. gesz ma-an-hur-ra na-an-dim2 ki-bi-sze3 al-gar-gar
  10. na de5-ga-ni-ta lu2 hu-ru-um szu bar dib-ba-e
  11. im-ma szu-gu10 si ba-ni-in-sa2 us2 zi mu-un-dab5
  12. ka-gu10 inim-ma gal2 ba-ni-in-tak4 ad gi4-gi4 ma-an-pa3
  13. gesz-hur lu2 a2 ag2-ga2 si sa2-e igi ma-ni-in-si-si
  14. gu2 zi-zi-i ha-la a2 ag2-ga2-kam u4 zal-le nig2-gig-ga
  15. lu2 ki a2 ag2-ga2-ni-sze3 u4 zal-la a2 ag2-ga2-ni ab-tak4
  16. nig2-zu-a-ni pa nu-um-e3 ka-ka-ni ba-an-la2
  17. tukum-bi nig2-zu-a-ni pa ba-an-e3 igi mu-un-suh-suh-u3-ne
  18. u4 na-ab-zal-e-en ge6 na-ab-sed4-e-en a2-bi-sze3 gen-na
  19. szesz-gal szesz-ban3-da hi-li-a-bi na-an-na-ni-ib-gi4-gi4
  20. sag-ki gal-gal-la um-ma-te inim-zu ba-dugud-de3-en

CLDI no. P276217. ETCSL 5.01.03 Edubba C (witness):4 5 6

CDLI no. P276217

  1. H. L. J. Vanstiphout, “The Dialogue Between A Supervisor and A Scribe (1.185)”, pp. 590-592, The Context of Scripture. Volume I. Canonical Compositions from the Biblical World, William W. Hallo (ed.), Brill, 2003. 

  2. Robson Eleanor, « The tablet House: a scribal school in old Babylonian Nippur », Revue d’assyriologie et d’archéologie orientale, 2001/1 (Vol. 93), p. 39-66. DOI : 10.3917/assy.093.0039. URL : 

  3. CDLI no. P478952 

  4. CLDI no. P276217 

  5. The Open Richly Annotated Cuneiform Corpus (Oracc). University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 

  6. DSSt : Datenbank sumerischer Streitliteratur