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Subject:Reference to Ancient Technical Writers From:"Carma C Allen" <ccallen -at- beckman -dot- com> To:techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com Date:Wed, 6 Oct 1999 17:41:36 -0800
"Manuals of instruction were often written in the name of a [Sumerian] god:
a manual on farming (a perennial best-seller, since copies of it have turned
up everywhere in the Sumerian ruins) claims to be authored by the god
Ninurta, "trustworthy farmer of Enlil" - the great god of the Sumerian
pantheon. The human farmer is advised to watch carefully over his crop and
to take precautions, both human and superhuman: 'After the sprout has broken
through the ground' he is to scare off the flying birds, but he is also to
pray to Ninkilim, goddess of field mice, so that she will keep her
sharp-toothed little subjects away from the growing grain. Even the process
of brewing (the Sumerians were great beer drinkers) had a sponsoring
divinity...The Sumerians were practical, down-to-earth businessmen, more
interested in calculating the extent of their fields and the capacity of
their warehouses than they were anything else." (p. 16)
So, after all these centuries nothing has changed--us gods and goddesses are
still writing the manuals of instruction.