Primary Source: Ancient Proverbs

8 Nov
One of the favorite activities for Mesopotamian school students was copying proverbs, or wise sayings (see page 102 in your textbook). Scribes collected and organized hundreds of these popular sayings on tablets. Many are still popular today. Here are a few:
1. Into an open mouth, a fly enters.
2. Friendship lasts a day, kinship lasts forever.
3. Wealth is hard to come by, but poverty lasts forever.
4. If you take the field of an enemy, the enemy will come and take your field.
5. He who leaves the fight unfinished is not at peace.
6. Tell a lie; then if you tell the truth, it will be deemed a lie.
7. Fear the goat from the front, the horse from the rear and man from all sides.
8. The traveler from distant places is an everlasting liar.
9. The rich would have to eat money, if the poor did not provide food.
10. Tell me your friends, and I’ll tell you who you are.
In the comment section, write down the number of the proverb (#1-10) and tell me what you think it means.  Proverbs are very famous and come from all over the world, and many are similar in meaning. Good luck!

3 Responses to “Primary Source: Ancient Proverbs”

  1. Harin November 9, 2013 at 10:52 am #

    2. Friendship lasts a day, kinship lasts forever.
    I think this sentence mean like the friendship was not keep forever
    But the kinship(like the cousin or family) was keep forever


    • Advika November 12, 2013 at 1:05 pm #

      I agree, Harin. I also think it means you can choose your friends, but your relatives are related to you forever.


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