Excerpts_from_The_Day_of_the_False_King - Excerpts from Day...

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Excerpts from Day of the False King: A Novel of Murder in Ancient Babylon , by Brad Geagley ASSIGNMENT: Note the role that music and dancing play in this depiction of Ancient Babylon. 1. Compare Nidaba’s song with the (real) song of lamentation composed by Enheduanna, daughter of the emperor Sargon. 2. How is the Day of the False King similar to our Mardi Gras? How is it different? The story is set in Ancient Babylon around 1105 b.c. Semerket, an Egyptian, has been sent on a mission from his Pharaoh. He arrives to find that the Sumerians, the “Black Head” people, have been conquered by invaders from Elam. This is no problem for the Egyptians, but the Sumerians are bitterly unhappy, and long for the return of their own rulers. In this scene, Nidaba, a famous Sumerian singer, is entertaining guests from Elam and from Egypt, including Semerket and Menef, the Egyptian ambassador. … The concierge appeared to escort the Elamites to their seats. With their armor rattling loudly, the soldiers finally sat. A hush fell over the crowd, and servants went about the villa extinguishing the lams, giving many who hid in the back rooms another chance to escape. Only the dais at the center of the courtyardremained lit by lanterns, shining down on a hassock upholstered in rich purple. A palpable excitement charged the crowd with a serving woman brought Nidaba a lyre. As the crowd quieted, Nidaba tuned the strings of her instrument, taking her seat. Then Nidaba plucked a fierce, loud note, and her voice rant out in the night air – a thing of such vitality and power that Semerket was hard-pressed to believe it came from a human: Mistress of Holy Ur am I – This is my House! Where good food is not eaten anymore Where good drink is not drunk anymore … Semerket heard Menef gasp. “What audacity – she sings ‘The Lament’!” Semerket had no idea what the ambassador meant, but as he listened it became
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This note was uploaded on 05/18/2011 for the course HUMANITIES 151 taught by Professor Nicassio during the Spring '08 term at University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

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Excerpts_from_The_Day_of_the_False_King - Excerpts from Day...

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