There have been all of these fascinating snippets of news stories, recently, which I would love to weave into something—a poem, a quest, a novel of a quiet, thoughtful, language-ridden sort. What might emerge?
* A fleeting reference in computer code to the Book of Esther may or may not be a sign of an Israeli origin to the Stuxnet worm that is bedeviling Iranian computer systems.
* A "hidden" language spoken by only about 1,000 people has been discovered in the remote northeast corner of India . . .
* LONDON – The language of the Epic of Gilgamesh and King Hammurabi has found a new life online after being dead for some 2,000 years.
Academics from across the world have recorded audio of Babylonian epics, poems, and even a magic spell to the Internet in an effort to help scholars and laymen understand what the language of the ancient Near East sounded like.
The website hosts some 30 audio files, generally a few minutes long. Among them are extracts from "The Epic of Gilgamesh," and the "Codex Hammurabi," one of the world's oldest set of laws.
There are also several versions of the "Poem of the Righteous Sufferer," a Babylonian tale that closely parallels the Biblical story of Job, and other texts, including an erotic hymn to the goddess Ishtar and an incantation to prevent dog bites.