We are happy to announce the launch of the website of the Cuneiform Commentaries Project (CCP), at http://ccp.yale.edu.
It seeks to make available to the scholarly community and a more general audience the world’s oldest cohesive group of hermeneutic texts, the commentaries from first millennium BCE Assyria and Babylonia. The website includes a comprehensive catalog of the ca. 850 known commentary tablets, at http://ccp.yale.edu/catalog. It also includes several introductory essays on different aspects of the Mesopotamian commentary tradition, such as the history of the genre, typology of commentaries, technical terms used in commentaries, and hermeneutic techniques, athttp://ccp.yale.edu/introduction. Eventually, the website will provide fully annotated electronic editions of all known commentary tablets.
The Cuneiform Commentaries Project was initiated in September 2013. It is directed by Eckart Frahm; Enrique Jiménez, whose position is funded by Yale University, serves as its senior editor. The website has been developed by Enrique Jiménez using the YaleSites/Drupal platform maintained by Yale ITS. CCP cooperates with several museums (listed as http://ccp.yale.edu/about-project), as well as the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (CDLI). It also collaborates with a number of scholars working on commentaries, especially I. Finkel, U. Gabbay, and J.C. Fincke.
The first stage of the project, now finished, entailed the creation of a searchable electronic database for the corpus and its publication online. The bibliographical component of the catalog aims at being exhaustive, and in some cases up to 35 references are given. The catalog is now available in its entirety on the website, under http://ccp.yale.edu/catalog. It continues to be updated on a regular basis.
The second goal of the project is to offer photographs of as many commentary tablets as possible, especially the unpublished tablets from the British Museum and those for which no photograph is available on CDLI or in the British Museum’s online catalog. Currently the photographic archive of the CCP consists of more than 5,000 photos of around 200 previously unpublished commentary tablets, which represent about 20% of the total. Many of them come from the British Museum’s “Babylon Collection” and were brought to our attention by Christopher Walker.
The third and most ambitious goal of the project is on-going. It involves the preparation of electronic editions of all known commentaries. The text editions are produced using the tools and protocols developed by Steve Tinney for the Oracc consortium, and are uploaded to the project’s twin Oracc portal (CCPo). From there they are embedded live into CCP. CCPo is fortunate to count on the generous help of Eleanor Robson and Niek Veldhuis.
As of now, editions of several dozen commentary tablets are available. They include some commentaries previously unidentified or unpublished, such as http://ccp.yale.edu/P461178,http://ccp.yale.edu/P461162 and http://ccp.yale.edu/P470025. There are also re-editions with collations of previously published texts, such as http://ccp.yale.edu/P461301,http://ccp.yale.edu/P293337 and http://ccp.yale.edu/P461299.
Scholars working on commentaries are kindly asked to provide us with their feedback or corrections using the forms that they will find on the website (please find a set of instructions athttp://ccp.yale.edu/home/how-use). We would also like to invite Assyriologists around the world to contribute their editions of unedited commentary tablets, for which they will receive full credit.