By Sanae Ito

The public examination of my doctoral dissertation, entitled “Royal Image and Political Thinking in the Letters of Assurbanipal” was held in the main building of the University of Helsinki on 15.4.2015. The Custos was Prof. Jaakko Hämeen-Anttila and the Opponent was Prof. Giovanni-Battista Lanfranchi from the University of Padova.

After my introductory lecture (Lectio praecursoria), Prof. Lanfranchi made comments on and asked questions about the issue of draft and copy, meaning of the preserved royal letters, social institutions in the south, the royal image, and the Assyrian royal ideology, and we discussed these matters for one hour. Most of the Finnish Assyriologists and the people in the related research field, Prof. Simo Parpola, Dr. Raija Mattila, Dr. Sanna Aro-Valjus, Dr. Saana Svärd, Prof. Martti Nissinen, FM Jouni Harjumäki, came to see my defence. They also participated in the dinner party (Karonkka). I was deeply moved by the speech made by Prof. Parpola there.

I am grateful to the Foundation for Finnish Assyriological Research for giving me the financial support in 2012, 2013, and 2014. After the graduation, I will continuously work for the Intellectual Heritage of the Ancient Near East project and then start my own project funded by the Finnish Cultural Foundation. I plan to publish a revised version of my thesis in the SAAS (State Archive of Assyria Studies) series.

Photo by Sanna Aro.