Akkadian love poem
A poem transliteration!
Maṭṭaltaki ina mušālim
U ḫumṭī, iḫalliq.
"Arâmki" annûm gamir yâti.
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Girls of Babylon and Akkadian
My love poem translated into Akkadian (Assyro-Babylonian), a dead Eastern Semitic language, spoken in ancient Mesopotamia (between the Tigris and the Euphrates), present-day Iraq. With it I want to sing about the beauty of the girls of Babylon and northern Mesopotamia... in the third millennium BC.
Akkadian was the lingua franca of the city of Akkad, founded by Sargon, and we find many clay tablets written in this language. It was not until the 19th century, when we began to decipher cuneiform, that we rediscovered Akkadian. Texts written in Akkadian, are still, gradually discovered and deciphered. They tell, history, counts, religion, laws, and of course poetry, which is often one of the first written expressions to transcribe the imagination (let us quote here for this genre Gilgamesh).
In the Assyrian empire in -600, the administrative language is Akkadian, which succeeds to Sumerian; like it, it is written in cuneiform. There are two main dialects, Babylonian (in southern Mesopotamia), and Assyrian in the northern part. This caesura will take place in the 3rd millennium BC, each of the two dialects evolving on its own. In the form of Babylonian, Akkadian, will continue to be used until the beginning of the Christian era.
If we speak of ancient Akkadian, before this caesura between Babylonian and Assyrian, this dialect caesura, being difficult to establish, we must better say, that it designates the language up to about -2,000. Subsequently, of its two dialects, it's Babylonian which became the literary language. It should be noted the influence that Sumerian will have had on it, the speakers of Akkadian, having integrated many forms coming from Sumerian.
In the first millennium BC, Aramaic, the mother tongue and the language spread by skilful merchants, will gradually take its place, and around -500 we will stop speaking Akkadian. Akkadian alone constitutes the eastern branch of the Semitic languages, of which it is the oldest attested.
Akkadian writing has syllabic symbols, which represent single vowels, and sequences associating vowel and consonant. Akkadian was written on clay tablets in cuneiform script. The cuneiform alphabet in which it is written remains the trace of the very first ways of writing of humanity. The wedge-shaped signs were the marks left on clay tablets by the end of a cut reed. Akkadian has been used to write a dozen languages for 3 millennia.
The cuneiform writing which appears 3000 years before JC is an evolution of the pictograms (writing of Sumer), towards a simplification of these drawings towards symbols. Most often it was used on clay tablets that were marked with a calame (cut reed). The wedge shape of these calamus marks gave to this writing its name.