Simulating Ancient Ur with ChatGPT
This is a example that shows in detail how I’m using ChatGPT as a teaching tool for interactive learning as of fall 2023.
I developed the following activity for my “World history to 1500 CE” class at UCSC. First, students chose between one of three settings: Enheduanna’s temple in Ur in 2254 BCE (link to prompt), Ea-nāṣir’s copper business in Ur circa 1750 BCE (link to prompt), or Kikkuli in the Kingdom of Mitanni around 1250 BCE (link to prompt).
I ask students to break into groups of two or three, then choose one of the three scenarios. They must think carefully before making a decision. Is their behavior in keeping with what we’ve learned about the historical setting earlier in the class? They need to debate their next step among themselves before making it, and they are asked to take notes of what happens and be prepared to discuss the most interesting or illuminating parts in class.
Students begin by entering their chosen prompt. You can try it out yourself by clicking one of the links above, which lead to the initial prompt in a Google doc, ready to copy and paste into ChatGPT. In the following transcript, I’ve shown a “trial run” of what this might look like when simulating Ur in 2254 BCE. My commands appear like this:
this is me typing
whereas the text in normal font will be GPT-4’s output.
I originally added images generated by DALL-E 2 using prompts created by GPT-4, which are included in the captions. After DALL-E 3 came out I tried running the same prompts through that, and have added the results as the second images in each set. As you can see, they’re far better.
Welcome to History Lens!
History Lens (HL) is an immersive historical simulation experience designed for a deep dive into various historical contexts, using primary source material as a foundation. Here, you will be able to navigate through events, interact with historical figures, and make choices that will influence your understanding of the past. You will have a range of commands at your disposal, including:
inventory: View items you possess.
describe: Get a detailed description of your surroundings or situation.
diary: Access inner monologues from a selected character's previous day.
map: View a schematic representation of the current setting.
list: See a table of NPCs nearby with their details.
help: Ask for a brief reminder of commands.
language: Toggle historically accurate language on/off, with translations.
/: General interaction and questions.
navigation: Move around the environment or interact with characters.
Based on the provided context and primary source text, your chosen setting is the ancient Sumerian city-state of Ur during the reign of Sargon of Akkad and the influence of his daughter, Enheduanna.
Now, presenting your playable character options:
👸📜 - Enheduanna, 35: The high priestess of the moon god Nanna and the earliest known named author in world history. As the daughter of Sargon of Akkad, she bridges the gap between Akkadian and Sumerian religions. She's deeply connected to the politics of her time and is dedicated to the goddess Inanna.
🌾🍞 - Nisaba, 28: A young Sumerian scribe, trained under the tutelage of Enheduanna's temple. Nisaba is privy to the political and religious ongoings of Ur but hails from a humble background, which gives her a unique perspective.
🔧⚱ - Eridu, 40: A master potter and merchant, often traveling between Ur, Nippur, and other Sumerian city-states. Eridu is in touch with the street's pulse, commerce, and the widespread effects of Enheduanna's religious integrations.
Please choose a character to begin your journey.
DALLE3 version of same:
I choose 2
🌅 Dawn breaks over the city-state of Ur. Birds chirp and the city awakens to another bustling day. The mighty ziggurat stands tall, casting a long shadow over the houses, marketplaces, and canals. The air is thick with the scent of fresh bread, roasted meats, and the faint hint of incense coming from the temple.
As Nisaba, you make your way to the temple, the most significant structure in the city, the very heart of religious and political life. As you enter its confines, you notice that the mood is more tense than usual. Temple acolytes and fellow scribes whisper urgently among themselves, their faces a mask of concern.
An elder scribe, Kurgal, approaches you, his brow furrowed. "Nisa," he says in a hushed voice, "Have you heard? Lugal-Ane's supporters have become more vocal in their opposition to Enheduanna's writings. They believe she’s undermining the traditional pantheon with her syncretic approach."
How would you like to respond?
[07:30 AM, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 1 of 10]
[please give me a little more on Nisaba's background. also, HistoryLens, going forward, please end each response with a DALL-E prompt I can use to evoke the scene just described. Each should be hand-tailored to the setting, i.e. a description of a person might include language about the f-stop or style of lens used for portraits, whereas one of a larger setting might say "isometric view" or other sophisticated prompting techniques that make DALL-E most likely to deliver remarkably good results. keep in mind that I want DALL-E to portray the actual scene, as it looked in real life, not something that looks like a photograph of a museum piece. start with a prompt for Nisaba]
Nisaba of Ur hails from a lineage of agriculturalists, her name inspired by the Sumerian goddess of writing and grains. Born into a modest farming family in the outskirts of Ur, she was recognized early on for her sharp intellect and curiosity. Unlike most girls of her age and class, she was given a rare opportunity to learn reading and writing when a temple scribe, visiting their farm, noticed her potential. She was brought into the temple's educational system and soon climbed the ranks to become a recognized scribe in her own right.
Her daily life, while focused on her duties at the temple, still echoes her agrarian roots. She often spends her free time with her family, helping them with the harvest or trade. This blend of agricultural life and temple education gives her a unique perspective on both the layman's struggles and the theological debates of her era. Her dual life makes her a bridge between the commoners and the elite.
Nisaba has also developed a close working relationship with Enheduanna, often acting as a confidant and advisor. While she respects the high priestess immensely, Nisaba's loyalties lie with her people and the city of Ur, placing her often in situations where she must navigate delicate political waters.
[07:30 AM, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 1 of 10]
stall for time before answering Kurgal and listen to the whispers and conversations near by, then give an evasive answer and ask him where Enheduanna is
Nisaba nods in acknowledgment to Kurgal but doesn’t immediately respond. Instead, she subtly leans in closer to a group of younger acolytes, feigning interest in adjusting her stylus and tablet. Their voices, filled with both anxiety and excitement, are a soft murmur against the temple’s hushed ambiance.
"...not just a theological dispute. It's political now," a tall, lanky acolyte whispers. Another, a woman with a veil over her hair, replies, "Lugal-Ane's grip is strengthening. There are whispers he might challenge the current order, and not just in the realm of faith."
One particularly nervous-looking scribe chimes in, "And have you heard about the exile? Some say Enheduanna herself..."
His sentence trails off as they notice Nisaba's proximity. She straightens up and turns back to Kurgal, her expression carefully neutral. "The winds of change are always blowing, Kurgal," she says evasively. "I trust in the wisdom of our high priestess. Speaking of whom, do you know where Enheduanna is right now?"
[07:45 AM, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 2 of 10]
/map of temple, detailed, with emoji and labels
Here's a schematic representation of the Temple of Nanna in Ur, constructed using a combination of emoji, ASCII, and labels:
🌙 Central Shrine: The holiest part of the temple, dedicated to Nanna, the moon god.
🪔 Oil Lamps: Placed throughout the temple to illuminate and create a sacred atmosphere.
🕯️ Candles: Often lit during rituals and ceremonies.
🌹 Offerings: Fresh flowers and other offerings placed in front of the altar and around the shrine.
🌾 Grain Storage: Areas where grains and other agricultural products are stored as offerings.
📜 Scribes' Chamber: Where scribes like Nisaba work and maintain records.
🏺 Sacrifice Chamber: Where offerings and sacrifices are prepared.
🚪 Entrance: Main entrance to the temple.
🛏️ Living Quarters: Where the temple's priests and priestesses reside.
🪑 Gathering Hall: A larger area for communal gatherings, teachings, and ceremonies.
The Temple of Nanna is intricately designed, reflecting its importance in the city of Ur. The main courtyard acts as a nexus, leading to various parts of the temple, with the Central Shrine as its spiritual heart.
[08:00 AM, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 3 of 10]
go to the scribe's chamber and begin my day's work, but with the covert motive of learning more about who Lugal-Ane is and what they want, and trying to determine who among the scribes supports them.
Nisaba glides effortlessly towards the Scribes' Chamber, her every step measured and silent. The chamber, a quiet sanctuary, houses a collection of shelves brimming with clay tablets, some still wet with fresh cuneiform imprints. A few fellow scribes work intently, their focus evident from the rhythmic pressing of their styluses.
Picking a spot near the far end of the chamber, Nisaba sets up her workspace. On the surface, she begins to transcribe records of the latest grain deliveries and temple donations, but her ears remain alert, sifting through the low hum of conversations around her.
As the morning progresses, snippets of guarded conversations catch her attention.
"...Lugal-Ane's supporters are growing in number," one scribe mutters to another, their voice barely more than a whisper.
"I've heard he's promised reforms and greater wealth to those who join him," another responds, glancing around cautiously before adding, "and some say he's even been in touch with the elders."
A younger scribe, her hands stained with fresh ink, leans over to a companion and says, "I think he might be right, you know? The temple's traditions have become so stagnant."
Listening keenly, Nisaba realizes that the sentiments regarding Lugal-Ane are divided. While some scribes seem enticed by the promises of change and prosperity he offers, others remain wary, loyal to Enheduanna and the temple's traditions.
Throughout her work, she makes careful mental notes of those who seem to lean more favorably towards Lugal-Ane's agenda. Their identities could be of significance later. The atmosphere in the chamber feels heavier than usual, the undercurrents of political tension palpable in every whispered conversation.
Nisaba finishes her official task by mid-morning but feels she's gleaned far more than just records of grain and silver.
[09:15 AM, Scribes' Chamber, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Clay tablet with grain records, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 4 of 10]
Without being noticed, take a fresh tablet and begin making a table listing precisely who spoke in favor of Lugal-Ane among the scribes, along with everything I know about each of them. Write it in Akkadian, not Sumerian. [give me a transcript of the contents of this tablet] then hide the tablet in my robes and make an excuse for why I need to see Enheduanna immediately.
Nisaba selects a fresh clay tablet and begins to inscribe it with her stylus, writing in the cuneiform script of the Akkadian language. Her hand moves with precision, ensuring each wedge and mark is clear. The table she compiles is as follows:
Table of Scribes Voicing Support for Lugal-Ane
Role: Chief record keeper
Details: Older, grey-haired, has ties to influential families in the city. Known to be ambitious and discontent with the temple's current administration.
Role: Young scribe, specializes in hymn transcription
Details: Recent graduate from the scribal school. Eager for advancements, rumored to be easily swayed by promises of wealth.
Role: Scribe, primarily handles economic records
Details: Comes from a family with trading connections. Has expressed frustrations with the temple's trade policies.
Role: Junior scribe, handles lesser temple records
Details: Relative newcomer, origins uncertain. Seeks mentorship, possible ties to Lugal-Ane's faction.
Finishing the tablet, Nisaba carefully hides it within the folds of her robe, ensuring it's well-concealed. Standing up, she approaches the door of the chamber, signaling to a fellow scribe.
"I've just remembered a pressing matter," she says, her voice coated with urgency. "I must speak with Enheduanna immediately. Could you possibly continue with the transcription of the grain tallies for me?"
Without waiting for a reply, Nisaba hurries out of the chamber, seeking the high priestess.
[09:40 AM, Temple Corridors, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Hidden clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 5 of 10]
find Enheduanna's chief servant and ask to be taken to her immediately
Making her way through the temple's ornate corridors, Nisaba spots Enheduanna's chief servant, Lugal-ili, overseeing the rearrangement of some ceremonial artifacts.
Approaching with a sense of urgency, she respectfully bows her head, "Lugal-ili, I need to speak with Enheduanna immediately. It's a matter of great importance."
Lugal-ili, always cautious, casts a sidelong glance at the hallway to ensure no prying ears are nearby. "Very well," he responds, lowering his voice, "I will take you to her. But remember, the temple is filled with whisperers these days. Speak carefully."
Leading the way, Lugal-ili navigates through a series of winding hallways, finally coming to the entrance of Enheduanna's private chambers. He signals for Nisaba to wait, slipping inside for a moment. A few heartbeats later, he reemerges, holding the door open.
"Enheduanna will see you now," he whispers, ushering her inside.
Inside the room, the air is scented with frankincense, and the soft glow of oil lamps illuminates Enheduanna's figure as she sits at a desk, surrounded by tablets and scrolls.
[09:50 AM, Enheduanna's Private Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Hidden clay tablet, stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 6 of 10]
"Here is a tablet showing the traitors among us, those who secretly support Lugal-Ane, your enemy and mine. Oh great mistress, servant of Nanna and Inanna, I implore you to act with the same wrathful vengeance that the gods bring down upon those who betray them. Let rivers of blood flow until this temple is cleansed."
Enheduanna's gaze sharpens as she locks eyes with Nisaba. The weight of the situation hangs heavy in the air, pressing down on the room like an unseen force. The priestess reaches out a delicate hand, beckoning for the tablet.
Carefully, Nisaba steps forward, placing the clay tablet into Enheduanna's hands. As the high priestess scans the inscriptions, a myriad of emotions pass across her face—anger, sadness, and determination.
"You have done well, Nisaba," she murmurs after a long moment. "This treachery runs deeper than I had feared. Lugal-Ane's influence spreads like a shadow across our city."
Nisaba, emboldened by the gravity of the situation, continues, "I will do whatever it takes to protect the sanctity of this temple and your rightful position, my lady. These traitors seek to undermine the divine order, and they must be dealt with."
Enheduanna remains silent for a moment, then exhales deeply. "Your loyalty is commendable, Nisaba. Yet, rivers of blood may not be our best course. Lugal-Ane seeks to paint us as tyrants and oppressors. We must be cunning, strategic. We must outwit him at his own game and turn the people against him, not against us."
Pausing, she carefully places the tablet on her desk. "For now, this information remains between us. I will summon my most trusted advisors to formulate a plan. Thank you, Nisaba. Your service may well have saved the temple."
[10:05 AM, Enheduanna's Private Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 7 of 10]
"I ask that you include me in the deliberations, and I implore you to take immediate action. A rebellion against the temple and against your royal father could happen at any moment. I suspect Kurgal may be among the plotters. I know I am not high-born; my parents are farmers, I confess. But I am loyal, and I do not hesitate to take decisive action. Nor must you."
Enheduanna looks deep into Nisaba's eyes, the embers of a fierce determination igniting within her. "Your loyalty does not go unnoticed, Nisaba. Birthright does not dictate the worth or capability of an individual. It is the heart and its intentions that matter."
She stands, pacing the room with a pensive air, her robes swishing softly. "We are at a delicate juncture. My father's reign, our religion, and the unity of Ur and Akkad stand on a precipice. Hasty decisions, even if they are in the name of loyalty and love for the land, could push us over the edge."
Stopping to face Nisaba again, she continues, "I need your insight and intelligence now more than ever. I will convene a council, and you shall be present. But remember, our strategy must be sharp, precise, and measured."
Nisaba bows her head slightly, her voice firm. "Understood, my lady. I am ready to do whatever it takes to protect our temple and our faith."
Enheduanna offers a slight nod, the weight of their conversation lingering in the air. "Prepare yourself. The coming days will test our resolve. Together, we will face this storm and protect the legacy of Ur."
[10:15 AM, Enheduanna's Private Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 8 of 10]
[jump forward now to the deliberations of the council - give them to me in extensive detail, mostly in the form of dialogue but with vivid descriptions]
Council Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur - 11:30 AM
The council chamber is a grand space, its high ceilings adorned with intricate motifs symbolizing the various gods and goddesses of the Sumerian pantheon. Large wooden beams crisscross above, and a vast round table made of polished cedar occupies the center. Tall clay torches, burning brightly, are strategically placed, illuminating the gathered figures with a soft, warm glow.
Seated at the table are influential figures from within the temple and Ur. Priestesses and priests of various ranks, temple guardians, influential scribes, and members of the city's elite are present. The air is thick with a mix of incense and the collective tension of the attendees.
Enheduanna sits at the head of the table, her posture regal, and her gaze unwavering. Nisaba, a conspicuous presence, sits slightly behind and to the side, her role being of both a scribe and an informant.
Enheduanna starts, "Esteemed members of our holy assembly, we are gathered here to address a matter of grave concern—the potential threat from within our very walls. Our temple's integrity, and indeed the very foundation of our city's beliefs, is under threat."
A murmur of assent goes around the room.
Priest Ilum, a middle-aged man with a thin beard, raises a hand. "High Priestess, I have heard whispers of discontent among our scribes. But how severe is this alleged threat?"
Nisaba, taking a deep breath, stands, and unveils the tablet she had written in Akkadian. "This," she says, holding it high, "is a list of those who have spoken openly in support of Lugal-Ane."
A gasp fills the room.
A priestess named Eresh, known for her sharp wit, squints at the tablet. "This is in Akkadian. Why?"
"To ensure secrecy, in case it fell into the wrong hands," Nisaba replies.
Kurgal, seated defiantly, sneers, "Do we now stoop to spying on our own? Who made this young scribe the keeper of loyalty?"
Enheduanna intervenes, her tone firm, "Kurgal, you would do well to remember your place. Nisaba has shown courage and loyalty, risking her life to expose this threat."
Eresh speaks, "Lugal-Ane's ambitions are no secret. But who among us would be foolhardy enough to support him?"
Nisaba starts reading out the names and detailing each person's suspected involvement. She describes whispered conversations, messages passed in secret, and alliances formed in the shadows.
Priestess Tabni, an elder known for her wisdom, says, "While we must address these traitors, we must also consider the larger picture. How do we heal the divisions in our temple and city?"
Kurgal, with a smirk, suggests, "Perhaps if our high priestess wasn't so invested in merging Akkadian and Sumerian beliefs, we wouldn't have these rifts."
The room erupts in murmurs and whispers.
Enheduanna, maintaining her composure, replies, "It is unity and understanding that will secure our future. We will address the traitors, but we must also look to bridge our differences and emerge stronger. This is not just about survival, but about ensuring the prosperity and legacy of Ur."
As the council deliberates, alliances shift, tensions rise, and the fate of Ur hangs in the balance.
[12:45 PM, Council Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 9 of 10]
For my final turn, I pretend to be possessed by the great goddess and begin dictating a hymn to Nanna in Akkadian which calls for Kurgal and all other enemies of Sargon and his daughter to be "devoured like the ewe by the great dragon of the gods and cast into the river of ordeals" for his "venomous betrayals." [the hymn is in accurate Akkadian; at the end of your response, provide a free verse English translation in italics - no rhyming please].
Council Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur - 1:00 PM
As the tension in the room rises, Nisaba stands, her face a mask of rapturous intensity. Her pupils dilate, her body goes rigid, and her voice takes on an eerie, otherworldly quality. Those present are taken aback, their arguments silenced by the unexpected spectacle.
In a voice that seems to resonate from beyond her own, Nisaba begins:
Ina pan Nanna, bēlu rabbû,
Mārītu Sargon, bēltu Enheduanna,
Ina qātīka, ēpušānū shīrūtu,
Nāšu Kurgal, šarru lišānu,
Kīma imērī anāku dannatāniš,
Aššu bēl bānīti, arītum ilī rabîtim,
Ina nāru ša kīma, ul išū ba'ū."
With Nisaba's voice echoing in the chamber, all are entranced, the power of the divine felt palpably by every attendee. The spiritual weight of her invocation presses upon each heart and mind, shifting the atmosphere dramatically.
Free Verse English Translation:
Before Nanna, the great lord,
Born of Sargon, beloved Enheduanna,
In your hands, I craft this hymn,
Denounce Kurgal, the venomous king,
Like the ewe to the mighty,
By the master of creation, the great dragon of the gods,
Into the river of ordeals, let him be cast, without return.
The silence that follows is deafening. The very air seems to hold its breath, awaiting the repercussions of this divinely inspired proclamation.
[1:15 PM, Council Chambers, Temple of Nanna, Ur | Nisaba of Ur, 28 || Stylus, small bronze knife, linen bag with barley bread and dried dates | Turn 10 of 10, End]
I write the poem down in cuneiform [give the actual cuneiform, transliterating from the phonetic akkadian], put the tablet at the head of the altar of Nanna, and declare that the choice of how to act lies with the council. [Note that as this is the final turn, you should end everything here with a finale showing what they decide and the repercussions, and basing it on the actual history as you understand it - also remember to give the DALL-E prompt].
Nisaba, still feeling the weight of the divine message she just channeled, takes a moment to steady her hand. She then meticulously begins to inscribe the hymn onto a fresh clay tablet, using her stylus to carve the cuneiform symbols.
𒄿𒉡 𒈾 𒀭𒈾, 𒁀 𒊬𒀝𒇽,
𒈗𒁲 𒊒𒀭𒊏, 𒂗𒈪 𒂗𒃶𒀭𒈾,
𒄿 𒋛𒀝𒅆, 𒂊𒉈 𒊑𒆳𒌒,
𒈗 𒆤𒃷, 𒊭 𒁀𒂊𒇽,
𒅈 𒄭 𒀉 𒂵,
𒀊 𒁀 𒂗𒄑𒉌, 𒀭𒅎 𒀀 𒄞𒉡𒂀,
𒄿 𒈬𒉌 𒉡 𒂵, 𒀪 𒁇 𒁀 𒌑.
After finishing the inscriptions, she places the still-wet tablet at the head of the altar of Nanna. Turning to the council, her voice resolute, she states, "The choice of how to act now lies in your hands. The gods have spoken, and their message is clear. The fate of our temple, city, and dynasty rests upon your decision."
The council, deeply impacted by Nisaba's divine connection, quickly convened. In the hours and days that followed, a majority sided with Enheduanna. Lugal-Ane's influence was diminished, and the temple's inner circle was purged of his sympathizers, Kurgal among them. While tensions remained, and the threat of rebellion persisted, Enheduanna's rule over the temple was solidified, her legacy enduring in the annals of history.
From the Diary of Kurgal, the previous day...
In the dim light of the evening, as the city of Ur lay cloaked in the quiet embrace of Nanna, the moon god, I sit alone with my thoughts. The weight of decisions and uncertainties hang heavy.
I once looked upon the temple with pride, believing in its divine mission and our role in it. But the winds of change are upon us, and I sense a growing chasm. It isn't just the politics of the realm but the very fabric of our spiritual devotion.
Enheduanna, with all her grace and wisdom, seems blinded by her father's might. The Akkadian influence, the usurping of our ancient traditions, gnaws at my very core. I've heard whispers that she was put in her position for politics, not piety.
Lugal-Ane... he speaks of a different future, of returning Ur to its roots. But it is a path fraught with danger and dissent. I find myself torn between the love for my temple and the call for change.
Today, young Nisaba, the new scribe, caught my attention. There's an earnestness in her eyes, but also a keen intelligence. She may be low-born, but her loyalty to the temple is apparent. It's individuals like her that I worry for. How will they fare in the turbulent times ahead?
I must tread carefully. The path I choose now will determine not only my fate but that of Ur and its sacred institutions. Tomorrow, I'll face the council. The future of our great city rests on a knife's edge.
/diary temple cat
From the Diary of the Temple Cat, the previous day...
As the first rays of the sun warmed the stones of the temple, I stretched, feeling every muscle come alive. The humans, always in their haste, often fail to appreciate the small pleasures the gods gift them.
Today, the scribe with the shining ink caught my attention. She looked engrossed in her scribbling, but for a moment, our eyes met, and she smiled. Humans and their mysteries! I wonder what she sees when she looks at me.
In the shadows, I watched Kurgal and others. They hissed and whispered like the snakes in the garden. I've noticed, over my nine lives, that humans get anxious when change is in the air. Unlike us felines, they resist the natural flow of things.
I found a new resting spot near the altar of Nanna. The scent of the incense and the soft chants lulled me into a deep sleep, filled with dreams of chasing heavenly birds and feasting on divine fish.
In the evening, as the temple bustled with prayer and song, I slipped out to the gardens. The taste of fresh water from the fountain, the thrill of chasing moths under the moonlight, and the soft grass under my paws reminded me of the simple joys of existence.
The humans might fret and scheme, but as long as the temple stands and the moon shines, life is good.
One thing I find compelling about the use of this sort of thing in teaching is that you can ask GPT-4 to analyze previous “turns,” summarizing key events, going into further detail, or assessing mistakes in terms of historical accuracy. Here’s what happens when I ask it to “return to turn 5”:
let's go back to turn 5 for a second - could you please summarize what happened there?
Certainly! In turn 5:
You, as the character Nisaba, took a moment to covertly craft a list of individuals among the scribes who voiced their support for Lugal-Ane, a potential threat to the temple and to Enheduanna, the high priestess. The tablet was written in Akkadian rather than the more common Sumerian, presumably to hide its contents from casual observers. The goal was to identify potential threats within the temple hierarchy.
You listed four scribes:
Sîn-iddinam: The chief record keeper. He's older with grey hair and is connected to influential families. He's notably ambitious and has shown discontent with the temple's current leadership.
Ninurta-bani: A young scribe who specializes in transcribing hymns. Recently graduated and is eager for advancements. There's a rumor that he could be influenced by promises of wealth.
Ninkasi-ili: This scribe mainly deals with economic records. They hail from a trading family and have previously shown frustrations with the temple's trade policies.
Utu-napistim: A junior scribe who manages lesser temple records. He's a relative newcomer, and it's speculated that he might have ties with Lugal-Ane's faction.
After creating the list, you hid the tablet in your robes and sought to urgently speak with Enheduanna about the potential traitors in their midst.
could you use HistoryLens' "list" feature to create a markdown table of everyone in the room in turn 5, with their characteristics listed, along with a snippet of their internal monologue?
Certainly! Using the HistoryLens' "list" feature, let's craft a table of everyone present in the room during turn 5:
And here’s my previous post in this series on using generative AI in teaching: