Thorkild Jacobsen is one of the pioneers in the study of Sumerian literature and civilization; he has made enormous contributions to our knowledge of Mesopotamia. As an archaeologist, he organized the excavations at Nippur. As an administrator, he directed the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute as well as the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary project. Jacobsen is best known, however, for his many clear and precise scholarly articles in which he demonstrates his mastery of meticulous scholarship and attention to detail. But he is not satisfied only with technical precision; his articles also have a philosophical depth and synthesizing scope that take them beyond technical mastery. Many of his most important articles have been collected in a volume Toward the Image of Tammuz (ed. W. Moran); these include seminal articles on the textile industry, on the irrigation system of Ur, and on major grammatical studies of both Sumerian and Akkadian. But, above all, in the realm of cultural history and in the study of political systems, law and religion, Jacobsen has illuminated Mesopotamian civilization and influenced future scholarship.