Lesson 1 (from Preface 1, Preface 2, List of Figures, Sigla and Abbreviations, Introduction, Chronological Chart, and Map of the Near East)
Stephanie Dalley, in her introduction to Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood, Gilgamesh, and Others, notes that she believes in the importance of knowing the origins of popular stories. She explains that several classic pieces of literature and religious tomes have all been derived from the myths of Mesopotamia, including works as diverse as Arabian Nights and the Old Testament. This lesson will explore Dalley's approach to these myths as important stories of origins, as well as the implications it may hold for the popular stories that drew their inspiration from Mesopotamia.
1) Class Discussion: What is the purpose of an origins story in any literary form? What does knowledge of a story's origins add or take away from the story? Of what popular tomes do the Mesopotamian myths form the basis? Why does the author find this to be important? How does this relate to...
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