The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature
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Proverbs: collection 17

Segment A

unknown no. of lines missing

1-3. 3 lines fragmentary


4-5. 2 lines fragmentary unknown no. of lines missing

Segment B


1-3. 3 lines fragmentary


4-10. (cf. 6.1.22: ll. 203-206, ll. 28-29, ll. 12-13, 6.3.a: ll. 17-18) No one is tall enough to reach up and touch the heavens. No one is broad enough to lift his gaze over the whole earth. No one is strong enough even to stretch himself fully in his bed. But you (?), who roar like a storm -- may you establish yourself like a lion. 1 line unclear
No man can bring about your demise.


11-17. (cf. 6.1.09.a8,, 6.1.19.a1, 5.6.7: ll. 28-31) I was a youth -- now my personal god, and access to my protective deity, and my youthful vigour have all left my loins, like a run-away donkey. My black mountain has sprouted white gypsum. My mother ...... from the forest ...... has given me paralysed hands. My mongoose, which used to eat strong-smelling butter, can no longer stretch its neck even towards a jar of ghee.


18-19. (cf. The poor man does not strike his son a single blow; he treasures him highly forever.


20. (cf. When someone is poor ......, they dine on the broth of the human breast.


21. A poor man staring into the soup.


22-23. (cf. Scales made with sinews are a trap contrived of dishonesty; should a man then take a merchant for his friend?


24-25. (cf.,, 6.1.22: ll. 194-196) You, merchant, how small you made the amount of silver! And how small you made the amount of barley!


26-28. (cf.,, The palace: one day a mother giving birth, the next day a mother in mourning.


29. 1 line fragmentary unknown no. of lines missing

Segment C


1-3. 3 lines fragmentary


4. ...... slave girl .......

Revision history

14.i.2002: JT, editor: adapting translation
17.i.2002: JAB, editor: proofreading
16.xii.2002: GC, editor: SGML tagging