Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter June 1, 2014

Rhythm and Expression in Akkadian Poetry

Sophus Helle


My aim for this article is to resuscitate the proposal by von Soden that Akkadian poetry uses two core rhythmical elements, the trochee and the amphibrach. After a discussion of previous treatments of metre and rhythm in Akkadian poetry and of the rules of stress in the Akkadian language, I proceed to show that these two core elements are to be found arranged into meaningful patterns, recreating and emphasising the movements of the text. My main point is therefore that the rhythm of Akkadian poetry is to be thought of as a vehicle for poetic expressivity rather than as a metrical law.

Published Online: 2014-6-1
Published in Print: 2014-6-1

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