Title
The Donkey of Anshan: a Rhino in Ancient Mesopotamia? Notes on the Construction of Meaning in a Bilingual Proverb
Abstract
This paper is a detailed study of a short bilingual proverb about exotic animals. It is suggested that one of these animals is an Indian rhinoceros, and that the proverb is the earliest textual reference to this animal in world history. In support of this suggestion a comprehensive investigation of the evidence for rhinoceroses in Mesopotamia is presented, and a wide array of comparative material from ancient Greece, Rome, India, China, Persia, and Arabia is adduced. Alongside the discussion of the animals involved, the form and structure of the proverb is investigated, with consideration of the ways in which its poetic quality influenced its construction, and of the nuances behind the concluding simile.
Keywords
MesopotamiaProverbBilingualAnimalsDonkeyConstruction of MeaningPoetic
Object type
Language
English [eng]
Persistent identifier
https://phaidra.univie.ac.at/o:1542062
Appeared in
Title
Journal of Ancient Civilizations
Volume
37
Issue
1
ISSN
1004-9371
Issued
2022
From page
1
To page
31
Publisher
The Institute for the History of Ancient Civilizations, Northeast Normal University
Date available
2023-06-30
Date issued
2022
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