The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature
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The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature

The ETCSL team at work

Now, I swear by the sun god Utu on this very day -- and my younger brothers shall be witness of it in foreign lands where the sons of Sumer are not known, where people do not have the use of paved roads, where they have no access to the written word -- that I, the firstborn son, am a fashioner of words, a composer of songs, a composer of words, and that they will recite my songs as heavenly writings, and that they will bow down before my words......

King Shulgi (c. 2100 BC) on the future of Sumerian literature.

The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature is based at the University of Oxford. Its aim is to make accessible, via the World Wide Web, over 400 literary works composed in the Sumerian language in ancient Mesopotamia during the late third and early second millennia BC.

At this site you will find a catalogue of these works, together with a Sumerian text, English prose translation and bibliographical information for each composition. New material and new user facilities are added to the site regularly. Although minor corrections will be made, no major changes are planned for the editions presented here until late 2004.

Use the navigation bar at the top of each page to move around the site. The three catalogues provide access to the Sumerian literary compositions published here, while the information pages describe aspects of the website and the project, including information about recent changes to the site.

This is the first edition of the corpus. The more comprehensive and searchable second edition is at


Page created on 01.vii.1997 by ER. Last revised on 18.xii.2002 by ER.