Sophie Cohen

Title: Tablets to Nineveh

University: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München

Supervisors: Prof. Enrique Jiménez (LMU), Dr Jonathan Taylor (The British Museum)


The dissertation, part of the project ‘Reading the Library of Ashurbanipal. A Multi-sectional Analysis of Assyriology’s Foundational Corpus’, aims to examine the cuneiform traditions that coalesced in the library of Nineveh. The study is based on a colophon database which was created in the framework of the project, containing almost 2300 records. Information on the tablets’ Vorlagen provided by the colophons will be used to create statistics about them. The goal is to correlate the indication of the provenance of the original with the type of text contained in a manuscript, in order to discover patterns in the transmission of tablets to Nineveh. All scribes attested in Nineveh colophons will be studied, and correlated with the library records. In addition, the cuneiform traditions emanating from Nineveh will be analyzed: this will be an opportunity to test the method on a different corpus while complementing the PhD topic. The main questions of the dissertation will be:

    • How are the Mesopotamian traditions reflected in the Nineveh library?
    • Where did the tablets come from?
    • How is the information between the colophons and library records and different catalogues related?
    • How Assyrian was the Nineveh library?

Keywords: Nineveh, Neo-Assyrian period, Library of Assurbanipal, colophons, provenance, scribes