This has nothing to do with fire, but I thought the curse was very interesting.
The Sumerians’ cuneiform writing system is the oldest which has been deciphered. The Sumerians were among the first astronomers, mapping the stars into sets of constellations, many of which survived in the zodiac and were also recognized by the ancient Greeks.They invented and developed arithmetic by using several different number systems.They may have invented military formations and introduced the basic divisions between infantry, cavalry, and archers. They developed the first known codified legal and administrative systems, complete with courts, jails, and government records. The first true city states arose in Sumer, roughly contemporaneously with similar entities in what is now Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Finally, the Sumerians ushered in the age of intensive agriculture and irrigation. All this sometime around 5,000 BC – give or take a few centuries.
So if you like the curse, send it to someone you don’t like, and see what happens.
May your groves be heaped up like dust,
May your clay bricks return to their abyss,
May your trees return to their forests,
Your slaughtered oxen– May you slaughter your wives instead,
Your butchered sheep– May you slaughter your children instead,
Your poor– May they be forced to drown their precious children,
May your palace built with joyful heart,
be turned into a depressing ruin,
May the fox who haunts the ruined mounds glide his tail,
May your canal-boat towpaths grow nothing but weeds,
May your chariot-roads grow nothing but the “wailing plant,”
May no human being walk because of the wild-goats vermin,
snake, and mountain scorpion,
May your plains where grew the heart-soothing plants,
grown nothing but the “reed of tears,”
Instead of your sweet-flowing water,
May the bitter water flow,
May dust be heaped upon your lives,
May you not find in any city a good dwelling place,
May you not find in any city a good sleeping-place.
OH yeah – forgot to tell you, they lived in what it now Iraq.
Response sent by a reader
This is a rather well-known passage from Gilgamesh, the Sumerian epic
written down around 2300 B.C., probably from an oral epic that went
back further. The clay tablets were discovered in mid-19th century, by
an indiana jones british army guy who climbed a
solid rock face to transcribe the passage that led to the decipherment
of the sumerian and akkadian writing, much like michael ventris, who
did the same with the discovery and decipherment of ancient greek
using the rosetta stone. It took over 50 years for the tablets to be
translated, at least about 70% of what was still legible.