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ISBN 978-9985-58-839-0
204 pages
Published 2017

Witchcraft Texts of Ancient Mesopotamia (in Estonian)
Amar Annus

10.20 €


Belief in witchcraft has accompanied the humankind throughout written history. Thousands of clay tablets speaking of magical practices originate from ancient Mesopotamia. Most are witchcraft texts describing the essence of witches and demons, and the ways of getting rid of or preventing the damage they cause. For neutralizing the possible witchcraft, Babylonian priests sang incantations many of which were performed in series and accompanied by lengthy festive rituals.

“Witchcraft Texts of Ancient Mesopotamia” contains the longest preserved Babylonian anti-witchcraft incantation series “Burning” and a little shorter series “Curse, curse…”. These are poetic texts aimed at facing the invisible evil with the power of the word, and rendering it harmless.

The foreword of the book provides a thorough overview of the place of magical beliefs in the realm of spirits in ancient Mesopotamia and mythical geography. Also, an introduction is given to the neurological mechanisms that provide the basis for the belief in witchcraft and are universal for the human nature, explaining the occurrence of magical beliefs throughout the recorded history. This book offers exciting reading to everyone who is interested in history, religion and esotericism, and suits well as an introduction to learning about the magical beliefs of the ancient world.

Amar Annus (b. 1974) is an associate professor of Middle Eastern religious history at the University of Tartu. He acquired a doctoral degree at the University of Helsinki in 2003. Annus has previously worked at the University of Helsinki, the University of Chicago and the Free University of Berlin. He has published translations of Middle Eastern classical texts into Estonian in books “Anthology of the law collections of the antiquity” (“Muinasaja seadusekogumike antoloogia”) (2001), “Anthology of ancient literature” (“Muinasaja kirjanduse antoloogia”) (2005) and “The Epic of Gilgamesh” (“Gilgameši eepos”) (2010).


ISBN 978-9985-58-811-6
192 pages

From the Foundation of the City. Book I (in Estonian)
Linna asutamisest alates. Esimene raamat.
Titus Livius 
Translated from Latin by Kristi Viiding, Mart Noorkõiv, Tuuli Triin Truusalu.

12,45 €


„From the Foundation of the City“ (Ab urbe condita) by Roman historian Titus Livius (64/59 BC–17 AD) of Patavian origin is a monumental approach to the history of Rome from its first centuries in the history of the city until Livius’s times. By the duration and quantity of events that the author has addressed as well as by the length of text, this is the most comprehensive work remained from pagan antique literature, even despite the fact that three fourths of 142 books have been destroyed or missing. The opening book of the work describes the earliest period in Roman history – period of kings – and, by its approach, links to the idea of the work as a whole: to describe the rise and fall of Rome.

The first book is an enticing read for those interested in antique mythology and history: birth and deeds of Romulus and Remus, rape of the Sabine women, battle between the Horatii and the Curiatii, the story of the humiliation of Lucretia and fall of the empire described in the opening book are most widely known. However, the book is a classic also in historical urbanism because Livius describes, through historical events, the development of Rome as the mother city of European urban culture as well as the development of its districts and nearby areas. Livius mentions political-military undertakings often rather casually, as preconditions for how different areas of the city, institutions or buildings came into being. He interprets the roots of socio-historical phenomena such as census of population, deportation, founding of prisons, secularization of sacred objects, measures for increasing the popularity of new districts, etc. The book provides many examples also for those who study the history of public communication, i.e. communication between leaders and people, as well as for individuals who are interested in the early European history of law.


ISBN 978-9985-58-786-7
109 pages

Amenemhet I õpetus oma pojale Senusertile
Instructions of Amenemhat I to His Son Senusret
Translated from ancient Egyptian with a commentary by Sergei Stadnikow

9 €


In this book, the translator and commentator, Egyptologist Sergei Stadnikow, analyses the essence of the institution of the “god-king” during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt (2040-1782 BC). With reference to this institution, the author concentrates on the tie between the world order (Maat) and the emperor, his almost boundless power and privileges as well as his obligations. The author provides an insight into the process of fixation of the kingdom from the end of the IV millennium until the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. From the subject-related texts, the author concentrates mostly on the use of royal titles for the pharaohs, the Pyramid Texts, Teaching for King MerikareTeaching of Amenemhat I to His Son Senusretand The Tale of Sinuhe.

Special attention is given to the literary, philological, historico-political and belief-related analysis of the popular didactical work written in the name of Amenemhat I. The respective notes, conclusions and hypotheses will echo in the abundance of remarks and comments.

One should especially acknowledge the author for the many comparisons of various translations and writings; for example, the studies of Egyptologists H. Brunner, R. Parkinson, G. Posener, W. Helck, A. Volten, E. Blumenthal, M. A. Korostovtsev and others are analysed in the book.

Moreover, S. Stadnikow seeks to position Teaching of Amenemhat I to His Son Senusret in the context of direct and indirect communication between the subjects of world literature.


ISBN 978-9985-58-723-2
158 pages

Ptahhotepi elutarkus
The Wisdom of Ptahhotep (in Estonian)
Translated from the ancient Egyptian language and commented by Sergei Stadnikov 

11.00 €

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The Wisdom of Ptahhotep is an ancient literary work attributed to Ptahhotep, a vizier King Isesi of the Egyptian Fifth Dynasty ca 2414-2375 BC. It is a collection of maxims and advice on the topic of human relations, written in the sebayt genre, that are directed to his son. Having lived to an old man, the king decided to pass on his experience via a collection of sayings.
Miraculously preserved, his work could lay claim to being the oldest book in the world; it offers not only wisdom, but also exceptional insight into the life and philosophy of the ancient world.
Ptahhotep's work is crucial to our understanding of the golden age of the Ancient Empire.


ISBN 978-9985-58-722-5
159 pages

Catilina vandenõu
The Conspiracy of Catiline (in Estonian)
Gaius Sallustius Crispus 
Translated from Latin and commented by Maria-Kristiina Lotman, Kai Tafenau

11.00 €

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The topic of Sallust's The Conspiracy of Catiline is the bloody rebellion of young Roman aristocrats during the final decades of the Roman Republic. It was led by Lucius Sergius Catilina, who hoped to seize power with the help of the impoverished and debased aristocrats. Although they suffered a devastating defeat, the memory of this terrible event remained in the Roman consciousness for hundreds years.


ISBN 9789985587058
242 pages

Gilgameši eepos
The Epic of Gilgamesh (in Estonian)
Translation from the Akkadi language and comments by Amar Annus

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This epic poem from Mesopotamia is among the earliest known works of literature. The most complete version existing today is preserved on 12 clay tablets from the library of the 7th-century B.C. Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. After nearly one hundred fifty years of archaeology and patient scholarship, the general consensus is that the 7th-century tablets, written in the Semitic Akkadian language, are a copy of a 12-tablet "Standard Version" dating back to about 1200 B.C. This version is in turn a conflation and revision of earlier Babylonian traditions, themselves rooted in a number of Sumerian stories recorded centuries earlier in the third millennium. Since neither the Sumerians nor Babylonians wrote history in the modern sense, exact dating is difficult, so do we not know with certainty when and where the epic version actually originated.
Translated from the Akkadian language into Estonian by Amar Annus.