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About the Author

Includes the name: Thorkid Jacobsen

Works by Thorkild Jacobsen

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Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Jacobsen, Thorkild
Legal name
Jacobsen, Thorkild Peter Rudolph
Birthdate
1904-06-07
Date of death
1993-05-02
Gender
male
Nationality
Denmark
Birthplace
Copenhagen, Denmark
Place of death
Lebanon, New Hampshire, USA
Places of residence
Bradford, New Hampshire, USA
Education
University of Copenhagen
University of Chicago
Occupations
archaeologist
ancient historian
assyriologist
translator
professor
college dean
Relationships
Frankfort, Henri (colleague)
Organizations
Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
American Oriental Society (president)
Harvard University
Awards and honors
Guggenheim Fellowship (Near Eastern Studies, 1968)
Short biography
Thorkild Jacobsen received his master's degree from the University of Copenhagen and then came to the USA to study at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, where he received his PhD. He became a field Assyriologist for the Institute's Iraq Expedition, which lasted from 1929 to 1937. He managed the excavation of the 2,600-year-old Sennacherib aqueduct at Jerwan, which at that time was the world's oldest-known aqueduct. He was considered an expert translator of cuneiform compositions and a brilliant interpreter of Sumerian and Akkadian cultures. In 1946, he was named director of the Institute. He also served as dean of the Humanities Division (1948–1951), as an editor of the Assyrian Dictionary (1955–1959), and as professor of Social Institutions (1946–1962). In 1962, Prof. Jacobsen took up an appointment as professor of Assyriology at Harvard University, where he remained until his retirement in 1974. He then served as a visiting professor at UCLA, where he helped develop a strong Assyriology program. He served as president of the American Oriental Society.

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Reviews

 
Flagged
SueJBeard | 3 other reviews | Feb 14, 2023 |
Fascinating if dense. If you're curious about ancient religions definitely worth a look.
 
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GaylaBassham | 2 other reviews | May 27, 2018 |
Unlike Kramer's "The Sumerians: Their History, Culture, and Character", this book is a slow burner and a more difficult read, demanding more patience at least in the first half of the book. No matter how fascinating the history of ancient Sumer is, and no matter how much Jacobsen tried to compose this book for the non-specialist, we're still faced with a demanding text dedicated to only a subtopic of Sumer from one of the top-notch scholars in the field.

After the warning above, I have to say that I found the last few chapters much more motivating and exciting. Starting from the "Rise of Personal Religion", continuing with "Enûma Elish", and reaching its peak with the most famous Gilgamesh epic, Jacobsen's analysis is a tour de force of connecting today's understanding with the world view of 4000 years ago, as well as their connections to other cultures such as ancient Greek literature, Judaism, and Christianity.

It is not easy to take such ancient material, values and ideas barely visible from the traces on clay tablets, and bring them to life in such a lively manner, providing the reader with enough context to support the mind opening analyses. The author succeeded in this, and I can recommend this book after Kramer's book, if only for its second part.
… (more)
 
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EmreSevinc | 2 other reviews | May 7, 2017 |

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Statistics

Works
15
Members
1,150
Popularity
#22,332
Rating
3.9
Reviews
8
ISBNs
26
Languages
3

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