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The War on the West
The White Album
Problems of Canonicity and Identity Formation in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia729
The term canonicity implies the recognition that the domain of literature and of the library is also a cultural and political one, related to various forms of identity formation, maintenance, and change. Scribes and benefactors create canon in as much as they teach, analyse, preserve, promulgate and change canonical texts according to prevailing norms. From early on, texts from the written traditions of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt were accumulated, codified, and to some extent canonised, as various collections developed mainly in the environment of the temple and the palace. These written traditions represent sets of formal and informal cultures that all speak in their own ways of canonicity, normativity, and other forms of cultural expertise. Some forms of literature were used not only in scholarly contexts, but also in political ones, and they served purposes of identity formation. This volume addresses the interrelations between various forms of canon and identity formation in different time periods, genres, regions, and contexts, as well as the application of contemporary conceptions of canon to ancient texts.
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Kim Ryholt is professor of Egyptology in the Department of Cross-Cultural and Regional Studies, Carsten Niebuhr Department, at the University of Copenhagen. Gojko Barjamovic is lecturer in Assyriology at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University. He has written, edited or co-authored several books, including A Historical Geography of Anatolia in the Old Assyrian Colony Period published by Museum Tusculanum Press.