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Tony Grist

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Sumerian Proverbs [Jan. 9th, 2016|04:11 pm]
Tony Grist
Sumer- which flourished in what is now Iraq around 4,000 years ago- is the earliest human civilisation to leave written records behind. It gave us the epic of Gilgamesh, the myth of the descent of Inana and the legend of the Flood. Here (taken from this source) is a selection of Sumerian proverbs...

What has submitted will exhibit resitance.

What has been destroyed belongs to a god. No-one will be able to take it away.

Something that has never occured since time immemorial- a young woman who did not fart in her husband's embrace.

He who posseses many things is constantly on guard.

Possessions are like flying birds. they never settle anywhere.

To be wealthy and insist on having more is abominable.

Give me my tools and I will launch my boat.

In the city where there are no dogs the fox is boss.

What is spoken in secret will be revealed in the women's quarters.

I looked into the water: my destiny was drifting past.

The fox having urinated into the sea, said "the whole of the sea is my urine."

A hand will stretch towards an outstretched hand. A hand will open for an open hand.

He who insults will be insulted. He who sneers will be sneered at.

He said "Woe" and the boat sunk under him. He said "alas" and the rudder broke in his hand.

He who carries a light burden can dance.

One city does not salute another but one man salutes another.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-01-09 04:17 pm (UTC)
The fox having urinated into the sea, said "the whole of the sea is my urine."

That's my favourite.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-01-09 05:12 pm (UTC)
The Sumerians were big on foxes- and how cunning and untrustworthy they are.
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[User Picture]From: steepholm
2016-01-09 05:15 pm (UTC)
It also works with politicians.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-01-09 05:19 pm (UTC)
Indeed.

No flies on the Sumerians.
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[User Picture]From: glitzfrau
2016-01-09 04:38 pm (UTC)
Mine too.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-01-09 05:14 pm (UTC)
A number of the Sumerian sayings seem like boiled down Aesopian fables.
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2016-01-10 11:28 pm (UTC)
Some of those don't seem to make sense to me ... is it just me?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-01-11 09:55 am (UTC)
I reckon I can make sense of all of these. Which ones particularly puzzle you?
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[User Picture]From: resonant
2016-01-11 12:54 pm (UTC)
The woe one?
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2016-01-11 01:15 pm (UTC)
The way I read it, it's a statement of the magical truth that we make our own reality. If you're miserable you attract negativity.
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