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Of Sumerian Songs and Spells

The Meanings and Uses of ser3(-)ku3

  • Martin Worthington EMAIL logo


The paper explores the uses of the Sumerian expression ser3-ku3, with a view to clarifying its sense.[1] It argues that there are two main uses, ‘incantation’ and ‘hymn’, probably correlating respectively with one-word (‘univerbated’) and two-word incarnations of the expression. This hypothesis finds support in the phrase’s loan and translation into Babylonian.


The paper was commented on in detail by Pascal Attinger, Sabine Ecklin, Jana Matuszak and Catherine Mittermayer. All four scholars have my gratitude for the time, energy and learning they devoted to it.


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Published Online: 2019-11-14
Published in Print: 2019-11-06

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