The Law Code of Hammurabi: Transliterated and Literally Translated from its Early Classical Arabic Language

The Law Code of Hammurabi: Transliterated and Literally Translated from its Early Classical Arabic Language

by Saad D Abulhab


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This book is the second book by the author examining, from a historical Arabic linguistic perspective, a lengthy ancient Mesopotamian text containing both Akkadian and Sumerian words. The first book offered Arabic transliterations and Arabic and English translations of three tablets from the Epic of Gilgamesh written in a late Babylonian literary language style, while this current book provides similar transliterations and Arabic and English translations of a much earlier non-literary work written in an old Babylonian language style, namely the Codex of Hammurabi, the oldest known law code in the world.

When used in conjunction with the author's previous Epic of Gilgamesh book, the two books would provide students and scholars a detailed insight into the pioneering methodology used by the author to decipher old Mesopotamian texts primarily using the historical etymological Arabic manuscripts which were written by hundreds of accomplished scholars more than a thousand years ago. The result of using this methodology does not only provide more accurate, non-speculated, translations, and preserve the spirit and linguistic style of the original texts, but also provide more realistic phonetic values of the cuneiform signs leading to more realistic text pronunciations suitable to the natural and homogeneous geographical and historical environment where these texts were produced, namely the greater Arabian peninsula. The old Arabic linguistic tools provide us the opportunity to correct the many awkward translations currently presumed for both of these texts.

The text of the Hammurabi stele offers students of both Arabic and Assyriology a perfect and unique opportunity to accurately study the language and grammar of its ancient Arabic language. To offer a textbook reference value, the author provided the numbered, phonetic transcriptions for each law right above its corresponding, numbered Arabic transcriptions. Furthermore, he translated the text of each line literally, into Arabic and English, in order to illustrate how he came up with his translations, and to account for each and every word included in the actual text and preserve its writing style. A full subject guide to the laws of Hammurabi is also given, to illustrate the well-thought organization of the codex and to facilitate easier reading experience. For ease of use, the full reference entries from both the historical Arabic manuscripts and the modern linguistic tools of Assyriology are provided as author's referenced words index in the appendix. In his expanded introduction, the author also discussed the layout, script, and language of the Hammurabi stele, and discussed through the evidence of Hammurabi's own words in a key paragraph in his prologue, the meaning possibilities of his nickname.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781981340903
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/15/2017
Pages: 224
Product dimensions: 7.99(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.47(d)

About the Author

Saad D. Abulhab is a known Arabic type designer, librarian, systems engineer, and independent scholar. Born 1958 in Sacramento, California, and grew up in Iraq. He moved to New York in 1979, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science. Prior to his new translation of the Hammurabi Codex, Mr. Abulhab offered equally important new readings of several tablets from the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was published as a book in 2016. In addition to his pioneering readings of the ancient Mesopotamian languages, he had also offered important new readings of the major Nabataean and early Arabic inscriptions, and significant contributions in the study of the pre-Islamic Arabic Musnad script, and the early Quranic Arabic Kufic script.

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