Review of “The Poem of the Righteous Sufferer” (ca. 1700–1280 BCE)


Šubši-mašrâ-Šakkan (writer).

Read in 2019.

Read in the fragmentary version that existed in 1995, as presented in Foster’s Before the Muses.

A fictionalized account of the rich narrator suffering various misfortunes including conspiracy and disease. Recovering, he attributes both his ordeal and his recovery to the god Marduk, while also speculating on the reasons why it happened.

What in one’s own heart seems abominable, could be good to one’s god!

Structurally and philosophically unsophisticated, but I can imagine that a major public reading by a temple troupe would have been impressive.

References here: Job (ca. 550–200 BCE).

text poetry fiction