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STILL LIFE WITH SHARUR
Poems in Posthuman Akkadian

TODESSA SEASON 02, EPISODE 10

Livestream from Todessa

Camera: Tman
Cast: Totleb & Co.
Editor: Todito
Soundmix: Todonsky Junior
Directed by: T.L.

POEMS IN POSTHUMAN AKKADIAN

written by General Totleben
© Ivan Stanev, executor testamentarius

Read STILL LIFE WITH SHARUR h e r e

Topics
Ninurta, Sharur, talking mace, Proto-Elamite, Wunderwaffe, Ka, growth-decay, acceleration

Ninurta
Ninurta was a Sumerian and Akkadian god of hunting and war. He was worshipped in Babylonia and Assyria and in Lagash he was identified with the city god Ningirsu. In older transliteration the name is rendered Ninib and Ninip, and in early commentary he was sometimes portrayed as a solar deity, a god of victory and a god of Thunder and Lightning and the South Wind. Ninurta was also a god of wisdom patronizing scribal activities.

Sharur = dŠÁR.UR4

Sharur was God Ninurta’s mace-like weapon which had earned the title of ‘smasher of thousands’. It possessed the abilities to fly across vast distances and to communicate with its wielder. It not only used to play the role of a weapon in the battle but also used to supply its owner with crucial information.
Sharur was capable of speech.

Determinatives
A determinative, also known as a taxogram or semagram, is an ideogram used to mark semantic categories of words in logographic scripts, which helps to disambiguate interpretation. They have no direct counterpart in spoken language, though they may derive historically from glyphs for real words, and functionally they resemble classifiers in East Asian and sign languages. For example, Egyptian hieroglyphic determinatives include symbols for divinities, people, parts of the body, animals, plants, and books/abstract ideas, which helped in reading but none of which were pronounced.
In cuneiform texts of Sumerian, Akkadian and Hittite languages, many nouns are preceded or followed by a Sumerian word acting as a determinative; this specifies that the associated word belongs to a particular semantic group.These determinatives were not pronounced. In transliterations of Sumerian, the determinatives are written in superscript in lower case. Whether a given sign is a mere determinative (not pronounced) or a Sumerogram (a logographic spelling of a word intended to be pronounced) can not always be determined unambiguously since their use is not always consistent.

Personification
The Gods and Goddesses of the Mesopotamian pantheon as originally conceived were often personifications of natural phenomena or aspects of the cosmos, concepts rather than anthropomorphic beings. Often they were paired as male and female aspects of the same phenomenon.

Жар-птица 
In Slavic folklore the Firebird (Russian: Жар-птица, Zhar-ptitsa) is a magical glowing bird from a faraway land, which is both a blessing and a bringer of doom to its captor. Some believe it can see the future.

Катюша
Katyusha multiple rocket launchers (Russian: Катюша [kɐˈtʲuʂə]) are a type of rocket artillery first built and fielded by the Soviet Union in World War II. Multiple rocket launchers such as these deliver explosives to a target area more quickly than conventional artillery, but with lower accuracy and requiring a longer time to reload. They are fragile compared to artillery guns, but are inexpensive, easy to produce, and usable on any chassis. Katyushas of World War II, the first self-propelled artillery mass-produced by the Soviet Union, were usually mounted on ordinary trucks. This mobility gave the Katyusha (and other self-propelled artillery) another advantage: being able to deliver a large blow all at once, and then move before being located and attacked with counter-battery fire.

Wunderwaffe
Wunderwaffe (German pronunciation: [ˈvʊndɐˌvafə]) is German for “Wonder Weapon” and was a term assigned during World War II by the Nazi Germany propaganda ministry to a few revolutionary “superweapons”. Most of these weapons however remained prototypes, which either never reached the combat theater, or if they did, then too late or in too insignificant numbers to have a military effect.

Akephalos – ἀκέφαλος
The Greek adjective akephalos, literally “headless,” was used as the name or title of a divine power of the Greco-Egyptian magical tradition. Greco-Egyptian papyri and amulets, from the third to fifth centuries CE, mention a Headless One who appears to be efficacious in spells for revelation.

Kouros – κοῦρος
plural kouroi, an archaic Greek statue representing a young standing male. Although the influence of many nations can be discerned in particular elements of these figures, the first appearance of such monumental stone figures seems to coincide with the reopening of Greek trade with Egypt (c. 672 BCE). The kouros remained a popular form of sculpture until about 460 BCE. The large stone figures began to appear in Greece about 615–590 BCE. While many aspects of the kouroi directly reflect Egyptian influence—especially the application in some kouroi of the contemporary Egyptian canon of proportions—they gradually took on distinctly Greek characteristics. Unlike the Egyptian sculptures, the kouroi had no explicit religious purpose, serving, for example, as tombstones and commemorative markers. They sometimes represented the god Apollo, but they also depicted local heroes, such as athletes. Another difference between the Egyptian and Greek figures is evident shortly after the first appearance of archaic Greek statues: the Egyptians had developed a formula for the human figure that—with rare exceptions—they followed strictly over a period of thousands of years; distinctions between individuals were indicated chiefly by facial features. The earliest kouroi closely followed the Egyptian geometric norm: the figures were cubic, starkly frontal, broad-shouldered, and narrow-waisted. The arms were held close to the sides, fists usually clenched, and both feet were firmly planted on the ground, knees rigid, with the left foot slightly advanced. As Greek understanding of human anatomy increased, the kouroi became increasingly naturalistic. By the end of the kouros period, the figures were no longer frontal, nor were the arms and legs rigid. Having mastered the anatomy of the human figure and the problem of balance, Greek sculptors turned their sights to gesture and the depiction of action.

Paкeтa
Raketa (Russian: Paкéтa; IPA: [rɐˈkʲɛtə], “rocket”) watches, have been manufactured since 1961 by the Petrodvorets Watch Factory in Saint Petersburg. The Petrodvoretz Watch Factory is Russia’s oldest factory and was founded by Peter the Great in 1721. Raketa watches were produced for the Red Army, the Soviet Navy, for North Pole expeditions, as well as for civilians. As of today Raketa is one of the rare watch brands in the world producing its movements from A to Z.
On April 12, 1961, Yuri Gagarin made the first manned flight in outer space on the rocket Vostok 1. In honor of this, the Petrodvorets Watch Factory named its watches “rocket”, or Raketa in Russian. At the height of the Cold War, however, the name “Raketa” was perceived negatively in the West, as the word was associated with the latest generation of Soviet intercontinental ballistic missiles, the R-16. During Soviet times it became one of the most produced watch brands in the world. In the 1970s the factory produced about 5 million mechanical watches per year.

Ka
The hieroglyph for ka represents two raised arms, i.e., a stylized representation of an embrace. This gesture could mean protection (Assmann: 1979, 71) or the transfer from the father to the son of that which is symbolized by the ka (Kaplony: 1980, 275). It seems less probable that the ka hieroglyph might be a gesture of adoration and indicate man’s ability to have intercourse with the deity (Morenz: 1960, 214 Anm. 89). Maspero (1878, 7, 47, 77ff.) called the ka the spiritual double, and Steindorff (1911, 152-159) referred to it as the genius or protective spirit of a man. The ka can, also in earlier times, be written with the single letter signs k and aleph. Jacobsohn (1939, 57) connected the ka with the divine sexual or creative power and pointed out that the word ka, written with bull or phallus, can mean ‘bull’. The king’s ka would, in modern language, be ‘die Erbmasse der Dynastie’. Frankfort (1948, 62) called the ka the ‘vital force’. J. Sainte Fare Garnot (1955, 20) in his definition of the ka expressly used the term person: “le ka est l’ensemble des forces vitales qui permettent à l’homme et à d’autres créatures raisonnables et conscientes (notamment les dieux) de subsister en tant qu’être et d’exister en tant que personnes.” In describing the ka Gardiner used the concepts ‘spirit’, ‘personality’, ‘soul’, ‘individuality’,‘temperament’, ‘fortune’ and ‘position’ (1957, 172)…
It seems clear even without entering here into a full account of the two monographs devoted to the ka by Greeven (1952) and Schweitzer (1956), that the concept ‘ka’ is at least as complex as our concept ‘person’. In text translations Egyptologists usually leave the word untranslated. In recent lexicographical research (Meeks: 1981, 393 and 1982, 306) the translation ‘person’ is also given for ka, besides other shades of meaning. Summing up, one might call the ka the vital energy of men or gods or the ability to function as a person. It must be remarked here that the emphasis is not upon the person as an individual but on the person as a type, entirely in accordance with the fact that in Egyptian literature and art and other Egyptian phenomena it is not the individual but the typical which is stressed. Men and gods have a ka, have a personality structure that they have usually inherited or received from their ancestors. In so far as one would wish to go on ranking the ka among the various conceptions of the soul, the ka is the ancestral soul, the total of hereditary qualities that an individual human has received from the ancestors, his typical personal structure.

Throat Singing
Throat-singing, a guttural style of singing or chanting, is one of the world’s oldest forms of music. In throat-singing, a singer can produce two or more notes simultaneously through a specialized vocalization technique taking advantage of the throat’s resonance characteristics. By precise movements of the lips, tongue, jaw, velum, and larynx, throat-singers produce unique harmonies using only their bodies. Throat-singing is most identified with parts of Central Asia, but it is also practiced in northern Canada and South Africa where the technique takes on different styles and meanings.

Dictionaries
Russian
oкаменевшая – petrified
жизнь – life
говорите – to speak, talk
German
Vorzeit – prehistoric times; in der Vorzeit in prehistoric times(= vor Langem), in the dim and distant past
French
le couperet, la lunette fr.
guillotine parts: blade + lunette

Online Translator
Babylon Online Translator

Languages / scripts used: Sumerian, Akkadian, Proto-Elamite, Ancient Greek, Russian, German, French, English

Acknowledgements
archive.org; freesound.org; oracc.museum.upenn.edu; cdli.ucla.edu; The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature (ETCSL); Encylopaedia Britannica, Herman te Velde, Buryat Throat-Singing

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