This book presents new standard editions of all the hitherto known hymns of Urnamma, the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ur (fl. 2100 B.C.), and adds new perspectives to the compositions and development of the genre of Sumerian royal hymns in general.
The first chapter (I) is introductory in nature (historical background, the reading of the name Urnamma, Sumerian royal hymns). The second chapter (II) presents a general survey of Urnamma’s hymnic corpus, including arguments for a broader definition of Sumerian royal hymns and an attempt at classifying the non-standard orthography found in Urnamma’s hymns. The third chapter (III) deals with correlations of Urnamma’s hymns with other textual sources pertaining to him. A fourth chapter (IV) is devoted to aspects of continuity and change in royal hymnography by analyzing the Urnamma hymns in relation to other royal hymns and related genres. A discussion of topoi of legitimation and kingship and narrative materials in different text types during different periods of time and other findings concerning statues, stelas and royal hymns add new perspectives to the ongoing discussion of the original setting of royal hymns. Also, reasons are given why a version of the Sumerian King List may well be dated to Urnamma and the thesis advanced that Išmēdagan of Isin was not only an imitator of Šulgi but also of Urnamma. The final of the chapter IV shows that Urnamma A, also known as Urnamma’s Death, uses the language of lamentation literature and Curse of Agade which describe the destruction of cities, and applies it to the death of a king. The last chapter (V) presents critical editions of Urnamma hymns A-H.