The project researches the transtextual poetics of the Assyrian lordly-narrative texts in a diachronic-analytical approach.


In the first part of the study modern inter- and transtextual theories are discussed and evaluated. For the textually pragmatic approach taken in the present study it is most feasible to use the theoretical works of Gérard Genette. Based on the works of Genette a methodology comprising five analytical steps is developed in connection to the theory section. A discussion of Genette’s theory of genre, the so-called ‚architextuality‘ ensues, which also draws on his works on narrativity. The theory of architextuality is applied to the object of investigation of the study, which in turn gets analysed correspondingly for the Old and Middle Assyrian periods. Here the analysis of the content section takes up the most space, its results are collected in an attached register. Concluding the first part a subcomponent of the Middle Assyrian architext, the continuously developing‚ agricultural pictorial language of the texts, is discussed exemplarily using Jurij Lotman’s theory of the semiosphere.

The second part comprises two Neo Assyrian case studies carried out according to the methodology developed in the first part. The first case study deals with the text TCL 3 (‚Sargon’s Eighth Campaign‘). The exquisite intertextual poetics of the piece are analysed, put into comparatistic perspective and evaluated. The results support the arguments concerning the ritual embeddedness of the text recently made by Pongratz-Leisten 2015. The second case study examines the text Esh. 1 (= RINAP 4.1), also known as the ‚Apology of Esarhaddon‘. This piece is also analysed and evaluated corresponding to the developed method. As the required cultural-poetic comparison would in this case exceed the present works boundaries, Esh. 1 is summarily evaluated and put into context with the Sargonid and older Assyrian lordly-narrative texts of the 1st millenium BCE instead. The thesis closes with a summary and an evaluation of the carried out research, an overview of future research possiblities and an emphasis of the scientific added value provided by the present study.

This Ph.D. thesis has been part of the program “Ancient Languages and Texts” (ALT) at the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS) and was successfully completed.