Horsing Around With Scribal Training At Ugarit

Somewhat by accident, I ran across a paper by Robert Hawley on the alphabetic scribal curriculum at Ugarit. Interestingly, he called his paper “On the Alphabetic Scribal Curriculum at Ugarit.” To a very large degree, Hawley’s paper rests on several studies by van Soldt, primarily van Soldt’s 1995 paper. I used a good deal of van Soldt’s work in my aging third post on how to recognize a scribal school. Hawley moves beyond and a little away from van Soldt in a number of ways.
There are several things I may say about this paper when I’m not up to my ears in other stuff. Right now, I only want to mention that he too thinks that the horse veterinary texts from Ugarit were part of the scribal curriculum.
I do worry about him referring to these veterinary tablets and their texts as “a number of copies of a single manual of veterinary medicine.” This is true enough as a first order approximation but it is their differences that provide evidence as to how master scribes used them in training students. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Hawley, Robert, “On the Alphabetic Scribal Curriculum at Ugarit” in Biggs, Robert, Jennie Myers and Martha Roth, eds, Proceedings of the 51st Recontre Assyriologique Internationale, held at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, July 18-22, 2005, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization, 62, Chicago: University of Chicago, 2009, 57-67
Van Soldt, Wilfred. H., “Babylonian Lexical, Religious and Literary Texts, and Scribal Education at Ugarit and its Implications for the Alphabetic Literary Texts,” Ugarit: ein ostmediterranes Kulturzentrum in Alten Orient: Ergebnisse und Perspektiven der Forshung, Dietrich and Loretz eds., Abhandlungen zur Literatur Alt-Syrien-Palästinas,. 7, Münster: Ugarit-Verlag, 1995, 171-212