The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature
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Proverbs: collection 23

Segment A

unknown no. of lines missing

1-4. 4 lines fragmentary


5-9. (cf.,, 6.1.22: l. 33) 3 lines unclear
My husband picks the bones from the fish for me. ...... is not in the desert.


10-13. 4 lines fragmentary


14-15. 2 lines fragmentary unknown no. of lines missing

Segment B


1-2. 2 lines fragmentary


3-12. (cf.,,,,, 6.1.16.b4-5, 6.1.22: ll. 26-27, A ...... shepherd's sex appeal is his testicles (?); a gardener's is his hair. ...... a waterskin. He who does not support a wife, and who does not support a son. Although the dishonest man was unable to build his own house, he came to serve as a construction worker at my friend's house. A dishonest man chases after women's genitals; an unreliable man has two sickles. A house built by a righteous man is destroyed by a treacherous man.


13-19. No one walks together with him or directs their steps towards him. Life {passes him by like water} {(1 ms. has instead:) eludes him just as he avoids others}. He is dear to no just man, {plague prevails over him} {(1 ms. has instead:) life is not given to him}. Like a worthless penny, {......; no one ......} {(1 ms. has instead:) he is thrown away; no one cares about him}. He is clothed with a garment as if a heavy punishment were assigned to him. {Who is he? His name? A man sleeping with someone's wife.} {(1 ms. has instead:) Who is he? He is a man who slept with someone's wife.}


20-21. (cf., 6.1.22: ll. 146-147, 6.2.3: UET 6/2 210) In the sky there is the raven, on the earth there is the mongoose; and in the desert a lion in its den; my husband (?), where shall I go? unknown no. of lines missing

Segment C


1-4. 4 lines fragmentary


5-6. 2 lines unclear


7-10. 4 lines unclear


11-12. 2 lines fragmentary


13-18. (cf. 6.1.19.c7, 6.1.21.c1, A man's waterskin is his life. A man's sandals are his eyes. A man's wife is his ....... A man's son is his protective shade. A man's daughter is his eager servant (?). A man's daughter-in-law is his policeman.


19-20. 2 lines fragmentary unknown no. of lines missing

Revision history

21.xi.2000: GZ, editor: adapting translation
07.xii.2000: JAB, editor: proofreading
10.xii.2000: GZ, editor: SGML tagging
06.xi.2002: GC, editor: minor corrections
16.xii.2002: GC, editor: SGML tagging