A fragment of the Babylonian 'Dibbara' epic

by Morris Jastrow | 1891 | 16,670 words

Translations and comments for text relating to Dibbara. (Anu gave the order to destroy all Human life to Dibbara, aka. Dibbarra)....

Chapter III



2. About the city Inmarmaru, which appears for the first time here in cuneiform literature, I have been unable to ascertain anything at all. Only with reference to the name I venture to make a few suggestions. In tjie vocabulary II R 31, No. 3, 71, and its duplicate, V R 41, No. 1 obv. 35, marmaru, written precisely as here, is explained to mean restu, "first" or "chief."

The word is evidently a reduplication of maru, and equivalent in force to the compound mar-restu. Again, the element in appears in the composition of such names as the goddess Innina, [1] (i. e.. In and Nina), the mountain Ingina, (II R 51, 8a), Inzabtum (Strassmaier, Liverpool Inscriptions, p. 28). Inbani (ib.) from In and bana, and I am inclined to add to this list Inbi (ib.).

There are some facts which point to an ultimate indentification of in with " Sumero-Akkadian", en "lord", "master", as in Enki, Enlil and the like, and upon this supposition we would obtain a satisfactory explanation of the name, assuming it to be thus compounded.

The etymology would then lead us to seek for Inmarmaru on " Semitic" soil, and since, as will be shown, the fragment reverts to a Babylonian prototype, we may settle provisionally upon Southern Mesopotamia as the scene of action.[2]

Furthermore, from the description in the following lines, it appears that the city was of considerable size, surrounded by a wall, probably, and with a " suburb " attached to it, both of which are important indications for the period when the story assumed its present shape.

Finally, the opinion may be hazarded that Inmarmaru will turn out to be another and possibly older name for a well-known Babylonian city, much as Ma-uru (see note above, and Jensen, Kosmologie d. Babylonier, pp. 495 and 515, and Delitzsch, Paradies, p. 223) is another name for Surippak ; and more the like. But until we meet with the name again, it is idle to enter upon further speculations.

3. From Sargon, Silver. Inscrip. (Lyon, p. 52) 1. 25, where we read umam sade u tiamat, it follows that umam is applied to the animal world in general, with the exception of birds. Schrader's remark, therefore (KAT,2 p. 17), that umam is equivalent to the Hebrew behemoth does not appear to be exact, inasmuch as behema is never applied to water-inhabiting animals.

Nor is umam in Assyrian restricted in its usage as the Hebrew behema to animals of large proportions. The passage in the creation fragment, Nos. 345, 248, 147 (Del., AL8 p. 94), which enumerates in succession bul seri umam seri and nammassi seri points to umam. as holding a place intermediate between the great beasts and the small insects, and finally, I R28, 31a is to be noted, where umdm is contrasted with the winged creation.

5. Usahrabu may be either a plural form of the Shaf el imperfect or a singular with overlapping vowel u in place of the a that appears in eriba and userida (Delitzsch Gram., § 147), and it is difficult to make a choice between these possibilities ; if it be the former, it might either have some reference to the umam sadi, or the destructive agent, whose deeds are here recounted, may be represented as associating other powers with him. In 1. 8, we have the singular ulamman, which militates against the latter supposition.

The restoration which suggests itself as a parallel to line 3, namely, la userida, would be acceptable were it not that userida is invariably used, even in its metaphorical extension, with sadH, or bringing down from some higher place. Still, it may well be that a verb with similar force may have stood here. At all events, it is tempting to suppose that some contrast between mountain and field animals is intended to be brought out.

7. The occurrence of the expression rebit ali in this connection is rather interesting. As is well known, Esarhaddon and Sargon make mention of a rebit Nina (see the passages, Del. Par., p. 260 and Lyon, Sargon in glossary), and the latter in one place, also of the rebit Durilu (Cylinder, 1. 17). If the city here referred to is, as would seem but natural, the Inmarmaru of 1. 2, a third instance of a rebitu attached to a city would be furnished. It seems likely that the rebitu was originally the open space up to a certain distance around the city after the fashion of the "Haram" around Mecca and the mark or common in the Aryan village community, and only as the city grew became its suburb proper.

8. Ittu, in the sense of boundary, with the plural itdti, is applied to river shore as well as to the limits of towns, as the expression i- it nari (II R 56, 26) shows. The attack upon the city Inmarmaru is evidently described in these lines. The ribitu is first assailed, then the ittu is injured, by which we are perhaps to understand that a breach in the wall has been made, and finally the city itself is reached. The rebitu would accordingly be situated beyond the walls or boundary proper of the city.

If the restoration mahazu be accepted — and there seems scarcely room for doubt — a further support would be given to Pater Scheil's (Samsiramman IV, p. 36) objections to Schrader's view (Keils. Bibl., I, p. vii), that alu is restricted in its usage to poetry, whereas the common word for city is mahazu — a relation, by the way, precisely the reverse of the Hebrew cir and mahoz.

The fact seems to be that while at one time such a difference as Schrader claims may have actually existed in the use of the two terms, later on either word was used indifferently irw poetry or prose, just as the formal difference between a mahazu and an alu, which it is but natural to assume also prevailed, gave way to a complete identification, precisely as we in English use town and city interchangeably; and so also in post-Biblical Hebrew mahoz is as frequent as cir.

To ema kibsi, it may be noted that IV R 15, Rev. 6, the seven evil spirits are described ibat absi ana kabasi idhuni

"drawing nigh for destroying (lit., treading down) the shores of the deep."

10. My reading of the signs at the beginning of this line is suggested by IVR 5, col. I, 10, and col. II, 27. In both passages murim res limutti is an epithet applied to the seven evil spirits, and since the expression does not occur elsewhere in a connected text, [3] so far as I am aware, it is legitimate to conclude that here, too, there is the same, or a similar, reference.

One is tempted, then, to complete the ninth line as follows: ana subat ilani limnute. The traces to be seen after the sign for god might very well be the plural sign, but what follows is entirely too vague to warrant an opinion one way or the other. IV R. S, col. I, 51, there is a reference to this "subtu" of the evil spirits' and it also appears from this passage that the seat in question over which Anu, the king of the seven spirits, presides is none other than the samii rapastu — the broad expanse of heaven.

So in the Hymn (K. 8235 and 8234) published by Brunnow (ZA. IV, p. 228), Anu is described as Asibu samami — "inhabiting the heavens". As for the expression, murim res limutti, it is clear that a literal rendering will help us but little. Lenormant {Et Aec. Ill, p. 122 and 126) proposes "complotant (dans) les tetes mechantes", which has the double defect of being obscure and unsatisfactory.

Sayce (Hibbert Lectures, p. 463), "enlarging their evil heads", marks no improvement, while Hommel (Sem. Voelk I, p. 307) evades the difficulty by leaving the words untranslated. I take res here in the figurative sense which the word has in all Semitic languages of "source" or "essence", and render the phrase, the stirrers up, [4] — murim being either singular or plural (construct) — of the very source of evil, or more simply, the "primeval causes of evil" — an epithet which accords well not only with the character of these spirits, but also with the phrase immediately preceding in IV R 5, col. I, 8, "epes marusti sunu", which would then stand in a sort of parallelism to our phrase, though there is also implied a certain progress in the thought.

A free rendering would be

"Evil-doers are they; nay, the very source of evil."

In accordance with what has above been pointed out, the subtu referred to, if my restoration be accepted, would be the same broad expanse of heaven as mentioned in the quoted passages of IV R 5. The few remaining words of this side of the fragment are entirely too vague to furnish a clue for tracing the further progress of the events, but so much is certain that after the capture of Inmarmaru the scene is transferred to another place.


LI. 1-3. The reverse of the fragment opens with an invocation to the gods. It is evident that, in addition to Ea, Samas and Sin, some other deities were invoked in the pi-ayer.

The syllable li, in line 2, is certainly the precative particle attached to some verb expressive of a request of some kind, and on the supposition that lipti, of 1. 3, belongs to a different subject, there would be five deities, at least, who are appealed to. In view of this, it will not be considered too bold to regard age, of line i, as part of some such phrase as bel age or sar age, and the title of some god.

Now, while in the historical and religious texts Sin[5] (or Nannar) is the only one of the gods to whom such titles are applied, bil age (IVR 9, 14. Tigl. Pil., I, 5, VR I, 3) and sar age (Salm. Obel. 6), the crown, as such, is an emblem of divinity in general.

So Tstar (IV R 68, 36, c), Samas [6] (M. 192, according to Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 286), and Marduk (VR 33, col. II, 52) have crowns, and so also Bel is spoken of as apir agasu, "decked with his crown", while in K. 646, 7 (published by Delitzsch, Woerterbuch, p. 141 [7]) there is a reference to the "crown of Anu".

The title might therefore apply to any of these, and, for that matter, even these would not exhaust the possibilities. It cannot refer to Sin, for he is mentioned just below, and again Marduk may be excluded from consideration, for he. appears in a different role further on in the tablet.

Now Anu or Bel (or even both) would fittingly enter as deities to be addressed in the appeal for help (ana turultisunu, 1. 7) that is being made, but this supposition, as will appear further on, would carry with it such important conclusions as to the position of the fragment in Babylonian mythology that it ought not to be admitted without satisfactory evidence.

As for Istar, a word must be said. In the tale of the seven spirits in the incantation texts. Sin, Samas and Istar are introduced side by side (see IV R I, col. II, 30-34, and IV R 5, col. I, 60), and so also on the devices accompanying the Aboo-Habba tablet (V R 60) Sin, Samas and Istar (with absn as representing Ea) are brought together.

Further on, the connection between the story of our fragment and these episodes — extracted evidently from some collection — will be dwelt upon, and from what will there be said it will appear more than plausible that I star was among the gods here invoked. In her capacity as daughter of the Moon-god — so, e.g., in the tale of the "Descent to Hades" — the title of belit agi, or satrat agi, would be appropriate.

4-5. The translation of the words to be seen in these lines is simple enough, but their relation to what precedes and follows is not altogether clear. Milammu namrir might be the epithet of some deity and synonymous in force with saM namriri, applied to Sin (Tigl. PiL, I, 5, and Salm. Obel. 6).

Sakka-naku, the well-known priestly title, [8] does not appear applicable to a deity, but it is to be noted that in a tablet dealing with the ravages of the plague-god (M. 55, Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, pp. 311-312), it seems that the epithet is applied to that god, and, furthermore, IV R. I, col. II, 45, the fire-god Gibil is designated as sa-ka-nak.[9]

The latter deity may, indeed, be meant here, and the further designation as melammu namrir would accord well with the character of this god, who, for instance, is elsewhere described as litpusu melammi, " clothed in glory" (IV R 26, No. 3, 38).

It is to be noted, also, that in the magical text ASKT., p. 96, Gibil is invoked against the evil spirits immediately after Marduk, while in IV R I, he is brought into close connection with the seven spirits as one of their opponents, and finally, K. 2585, (Sayce, Hibbert Lectures, p. 570) he is shown to be the direct enemy of the plague-god — all of which points to the appropriateness of his being introduced into our fragment.

Assuming the above considerations to have a sufficient foundation, we would have, in the first lines of the reverse, a prayer for help addressed to the fire and water, sun and moon, with Tstar as a fifth, representing, perhaps, the planets or stars.

7. The reading Sam-su for the sun-god, with the phonetic complement, is noteworthy, and our passage furnishes a welcome confirmation for the reading ukallimu sam-su in the Bellino Cyl. of Sennacherib, 1. 47, already proposed by George Smith, but rejected by Evetts (ZA, iii, p. 325 and Note, p. 330).

Evetts' translation misses the point entirely. The words must be rendered "exposed to the sun", and the passage is to be interpreted in accordance with the suggestions of Jeremias' Vorstell vom Leben n. d. Tode, p. 52. Asurn I, 10 and Salm. Ob. 16, the phonetic writing, Sam-su, for the deity occurs, though in both cases the other sign for su (Delitzsch, Schrifttafel, No. 199) is the one used, but in the hymn ZA. V., p. 77, 34, the word appears written just as in our fragment.

8. The verbs amdru and palasu are here synonymously used as frequently (see Zimmern Busspsalmen, pp. 17-18. Jeremias' Vorstell V. Leben nach dem Tode, p. 55). At the end of the sixth line we must also supply some verb with a similar meaning, possibly lihit from hatu, which VR 64, 37a and VR 34. col. Ill, 11. 12 and 15, is found as a synonym of palasu.


9-10. Of the gods appealed to, EJa alone appears to respond. IV R 5, col, II, 53-55, where Ea is informed by Nusku, the messenger of Bel, of the ravages and audacity of the evil spirits, the following phrase is used, which offers an interesting parallel to our passage:

Ea ina absi amat su [atu isme ma] sipatsu issuk.

"Ea of the deep heard of that affair and bit his lip". [10]

Again, in the same tale. Col. I, 54 ffg, Bel's feelings are thus described:

Inusu Bel tema suatu ismema amata ana libbisu isdud.

"At the time that Bel heard the report, he took it to heart."

Thirdly, in the story of the Deluge, when Bel sees the ship with Sitnapistim, as Jensen (Kosmologie, p. 384), would have us read the narne of the hero who has survived the flood, there occurs the same phrase as 1. 10 of our brick, libbati imtali, written precisely with the same signs, barring the omission of a after ba of libbati.

The recurrence of the phrase here disposes finally of Haupt's supposition of a possible clerical error in the Deluge passage (see KAT, p. 78). [11]

The phrase is a very forcible idiomatic expression (literally "filled with hearts") for anger. A similar expression is found K ii2,9, 21, mimma libbatia la imallu.

In contrast to these passages, where the wrath of Ea is described, we have finally one where his joy is spoken of.

In the creation, fragment 18, celebrating the praises of Marduk for his conquest of Kinbis-Tiamat, the "dragon", Ea, upon hearing of the glorious epithets bestowed upon his son, we are told,

"ismema Ea kabittasu itingu"

— "Ea heard, and his spirit (lit., liver) rejoiced",

and he crowns the honors heaped upon Marduk by declaring that the latter's name should be Ea, just as his own. The bearings of these passages upon the story of our fragment will be taken up further on.

From a comparison of the above passages, it follows

  1. that assu and inusu may be used quite synonymously; and
  2. that temu and sipru are synonyms. [12]

There appear to be at least three different dssu in Assyrian, as follows:

  1. expressive of a reason, with the force of because, as regards to;
  2. expressive of a purpose, in order to; and
  3. expressive of time, when, at the time when.

In line 10, there is an instance of the latter, whereas in line 11, the second is probably intended. These three assu must be sharply distinguished from one another, and although identical in form, they arise from a contraction of different elements.

The first corresponds to Arabic inna, with the addition of the demonstrative particle su; the second is the Arabic anna, with the same emphatic addition; while the third, I take to be a combination of the common Assyrian temporal particle in (u), with su, and for which the uncontracted forms inusu and inusuma are also found.

One is inclined to believe that the attempt was made at one time by the Assyrian scribes to distinguish, at least in writing, between these several assu by availing themselves of the existence of the two signs for su (Nos. 199 and 294 of Delitzsch's Schrifttafel), and certainly I have come across no instance of asm in the temporal sense written otherwise than with the sign No. 199, but between the other two assu there now reigns a hopeless confusion in the texts, for although the second one appears always to be written with the su No. 294, the first appears quite indifferently with the one or the other, and it is only from the context that we can conclude which of the two is meant. ,

Lines 11, 12 are exceedingly difficult. They apparently furnish a further explanation for the anger of Ea. None of the readings that suggest themselves for the first two signs appear satisfactory, and I suspect them to constitute some ideograph. While not absolutely certain of the reading hu-bu-us — the characters are very much crowded and faint — still I feel quite sure of its being right.

The stem habasu has not been met with frequently as yet in the texts. We have it in hi-bi-is-ti, a word that occurs several times in the inscriptions of Sargon (see Lyon and Winckler for the passages), and also in those of Sennacherib (Pognon Bavian, pp. 64-5), though it is to be remembered that the reading hisimtu adopted by Briinnow (List of Cuneiform Ideographs, No. 5794) is also possible, even if quite improbable.

For the Sargon passages, a meaning like "product" seems to be demanded by the context in all but one. In the Bull Inscription, line 41, and, also, in the Sennacherib passages, some species of trees or plants are clearly described by the word.

Again, in the syllabary III R, 70, 158, we find ha-ab-su in a group explanatory of No. 71 of the Schrifttafel. It is accompanied by a synonym, sa . . . . which, since the sign is explained elsewhere by sararu or saralm (see Briinnow's List, Nos. 2986-7) is to be filled out accordingly, though za[maru], suggested by Brunnow (No. 2995) is also possible.

But, after all, zamaru, sing, and sararu, cry, are closely related in sense, and on the other hand sararu, ogpose (?), and sarahu contain the same root, sr, expressive of some violent action.

So much then may be concluded from the connection in which ha-ab-su occurs, that it may have some such force as destruction or humiliation.

Thirdly, hi-ib-su is the specification or description of some garment in the clothing list, VR 14, 40b, but, unfortunately, the left-hand column of the list is here wanting, and the words within which it is grouped are not of a kind to warrant any safe conclusions (misru, cut (?), hilsu, strong, sintu, torn), though they show at least an accord with the general meaning, that we have hit upon for the stem. [13]

12. The meaning "present" or "offering" for taklimu is sufficiently established by VR 11, 2b, where it is placed berftreen nindabu and kistu (Cf. Haupt Hebraica, III, p. 109).

Latrille's explanation (ZA, I, p. 37) from the stem kalamu, to show, is satisfactory, and this further suggests a comparison with the Hebrew panim, in the phrase lehem hap-panun, "shew-bread".

The word occurs again, and is written just as here, in the mythological fragment K, 2087, 8 (published by Sayce, Trans. Soc. Bibl. Arch., IV, pp. 305-6) where it appears to be used in parallelism with diimkn., which furnishes a further confirmation of its meaning. And so also in tlie hymn to Marduk, published by Briinnow (ZA, IV, pp. 36-9), we have the singular form tandmdin taklhna ana darts, "thou grantest a present eternally".

A different word, though closely related, is taklimtu, shown by VR 22b, to be a synonym of tertti, law, and which, therefore, upon the supposition of a derivation from "show" is the exact parallel of our word "revelation". There is no doubt that we have the plural of tl\is word in tak-la-ma-at on one of the Tel-el-Amarna tablets (PSBA, xi, p. 332) though Sayce reads tag-la-ma-at, and moreover confesses the word with taklime, and renders "votive offerings".

Regarding the meaning of the verb preceding taklime, and upon which so much depends, I confess to being in puzzling doubt. The most natural reading is su-uh-mut — the Shafel of hamdiu, glow or burn, [14] but su-uh-mud is also possible, and from II R 22, 63, it is seen that the Assyrian really had a vexhkamddti. (Strass AV, 3154).

Unfortunately, the vocabulary in which it occurs is badly mutilated, and it is quite impossible to conjecture from the group of words there mentioned what the force of hamadu is. If l. 64, ta-a [bu] were absolutely certain, something more definitely might be said than that some of the following words signify "strong," "pressed," and the like.

As it is, we have only hamttu as our guide, which Sayce (PSBA, XI, p. 336) derives from hamddu, and renders quite satisfactorily — judging from the context — as "gift". It is with considerable reserve, and only after long deliberation, that I venture to suggest the meaning "presentation" for the verb in our passage, which in connection with "offerings" and "give" of the following line seems to me to accord with the context.

13. For the expression ina la adannisu, of so frequent occurrence in astronomical texts, see Delitzsch., Woert., p. 135, though it is questionable whether he is right in deriving adannu [15] from the stem, edu.

The phrase appears to have been used originally for unseasonable events happening previous to the expected time, and it is probably owing to this nuance that it interchanges with ina la minatisu "against calculations", while in the course of further development along this line it acquired the force "in former times", (so e.g., VR 65, col, I, 22), and then quite indiscriminately "out of season", with ina la simdnisu as a synonym.

See now also Jensen, Kosmologie, etc., p. 415. The trace of a sign which might be nu is to be seen at the end of this line.


14. Cf. "Black Stone", of Esarhaddon, IR 49, col. I, 21, where Marduk, enraged at the events in Babylonia, is spoken of

ana sapan mati hulluku nise iktapud,

"planning the destruction of the land and the annihilation of men."

15-16. The unmistakable signs for "sarru" here [16] determine definitely the reading IR 66, obv. 24 f., 29 e.. Rev. 27 b., and IR 34, 135, as "Ea sarru", and not "man" as Thiele, Gesch., p. 519, and others believe.

With our passage as a variant, Thiele's conjectures and theories as to the identity of Ea-mannu and Sulmanu, based upon I R 23, 135, also fall to the ground.

Peiser (K. B. I., p. 96), while also reading mannu, yet suggests in a note that nu may be a clerical error for aku, in which case, he says, we would be obliged to read sarru. Why may we not read simply sarrunu "our King".

If a clerical error exists, I should certainly seek for it in the repetition of nu after Gu-la. At all events, there can no longer be any question as to the reading of sarru in all these passages.

Ea evidently calls upon his son and servant, Marduk, to oppose the evil for the removal of which he has been appealed to. In view of the double sense of amatu, as "order" and " report", there may be some hesitation between rendering "Ea . . . . . spread the report", or "Ea gave the command", but the latter is the more probable.

The only other point here calling for remark is the ideograph "EN-NA = adi". It is certainly rather curious to meet with this in a text distinguished for its preponderating "phonetic" style, and while EN occurs very often in Assyrian texts, the addition of the phonetic complement [17] suggests a different explanation, upon which I shall touch at the conclusion of my article.

17. For the verb banu in combination with salmu instead of the more common and usual epesu or nazazu, see Asurn. II, 133 salam Ninib . . . abni, and Tigl. Pil. Ill, II R 67, 81 salam abni.

The form abnu with overlapping vowel is due to the relative clause (Delitzch Gram., p. 147). The ordinary plural form of salmu is salmanu, but of course a second plural, salme, is legitimate. [18]

Still, it is not altogether certain whether the plural is here intended, for sa-al-me may be used as the singular nominative, as the gloss., II R. 49, No. 3, 42, shows, and so it is likely also that II R 45, 54e salme is a nominative as the preceding words are.

To add to the confusion, salmu seems to be indifferently used for singular or plural. Certainly II R 67, 81, the plural is intended, as the suffix in bunsin proves, and so, too, there can be no doubt that salam ilani rabute (Layard, Inscriptions, etc., pi. 19, 4), refers to several images. The context leads me to believe that several images are spoken of in our text also.

18. For la i-ir-ru, and the meaning here assigned to it, compare the similar phrase, IV R i, 34-36b.

Istar sa ana kibitisa Annunaki istanu la i-ir-ru

— "Istar, against whose command not a single one of the Annunaki stirs."

For the stem see Delitzch Woert., p. 358. At the end of the line some verb with the meaning "endowed" is no doubt to be supplied; also verbs of a similar meaning are demanded at the ends of the two following lines.

The parallelism of itself suggests that isdu is a noun, and more especially apart of the body. While in his Lesestuecke, Schrifttafel No. 128, Delitzsch appears to restrict isdu to the sense of "foundation", and adopts the reading sunu when the ideograph stands for "limbs" or "loins", in his Grammar, p. 26, No. 83, he includes the latter under the reading isdu.

Our passage furnishes a further support for the double usage of isdu, and incidentally shows that, we would be justified in reading the same way in the Descent of Istar, Obv. 35, and Rev. 21.

Whether Delitzsch adopts this reading already in his Assyr. Studien, p. 121-22, note, [19] is not altogether clear, but certainly as much may be said in favor of this reading as for Mnu, which is adopted by Jeremias, Vorstellungen, etc., pp. 12 and 18, chiefly in view of II R 35, No. 4, 11. 63 and 67.

To determine the meaning of this word, the passage VR, 25, 2 c-d must be taken into consideration, and from this passage I think it is clear that our word has become a legal term to express the coitus.

In II R 35, it has a similar force, while ASKT., 118, Rev. 5, it stands in parallellism with birku, "knee". May it not be that sunu are the genitalia proper, while "isdu" are the loins ?

21. The expression uzni isruksunute is evidently but a variant for the phrase uznu . . . isrukum occurring in the colophon attached to the tablets of Asurbanabal's library.

Compare also Haupt, "Nimrodepos", p. 5, 41, "Ea urappisu uzunsu", and also a lengthier phrase, II R 67,67, "ina usni nikilti hasisi palki sa isruka abkallu ilu rubu Ea", etc.

22. "Sukuttu" has attained an extended use in Assyrian, as is but natural that a word with so general a meaning as "fabric" should.

II R 67, 28, and elsewhere, it is applied to a product made of gold; I R 13, 66, of iron, and V R 6, 12, it is introduced to describe precious stones, and assuming the same reading ib. 16, which appears almost certain, the word is used in connection with the garment that betokens royalty.

Jensen (Keilsckr. Bibl. II, p. 204, note) questions the correctness of Amiaud's deductions {Zeits. f. Keilschr., I, 251-2), that would establish for the word also the meaning of a dwelling, more particularly, "tabernacle", but there is certainly no reason, "a priori", why "sukuttu" should not be applied to an edifice.

I am strongly inclined to believe that VR 6, 45, Amiaud is right in his interpretation. At all events, the "sukutte" there mentioned, together with the namk&ru and the holy vessels, form part of the worship of the gods, and it is such a sukuttu which is certainly referred to in our passage. A confirmation of this view is furnished by the verb usanbitu, which is invariably used in connection with constructions. [20]

23. Sayce [21] reads the name of the plague-god Nerra, without, however, stating the grounds upon which he does so.

Jensen [22] declares the "non-Semitic " pronunciation to have been Girra or Mirra, while in his recent work [23], he wavers between Ura and Gira.

From the fact that the sign No. 250 of the Schrifttafel has the phonetic value "ne" (S2 14), which is evidently curtailed from neru (yoke) shown by S2 II, to be one of the meanings of the ideograph, it would seem but proper to conclude from II R 59, 46, that the name of the god was Ne-ra or Nerra, and not Gira, as Jensen believe; but the fatal objection against supposing this to be the Assyrian name of the god is that the column in which it occurs is clearly "non-Semitic".

Jensen seems to appreciate the weakness of his position [24], but in his Kosmologie makes no reference to the difficulty. After all, we are not much nearer a solution at present than we were at the time when George Smith published his Chaldizan Genesis, where [25] he read the name of the deity Lubara, and for which [26], suggested as a preferable reading "Dibbarra", connecting it with the Hebrew "deber", pestilence.

The objections against regarding the passage adduced by Smith as final are too obvious to be stated, but still it is the best evidence for the actual pronunciation that is as yet forthcoming. I do not see how Jensen can afford to ignore this passage altogether, and pending the final solution, which is not possible with the insufficient material at our disposal, I retain, provisionally, Delitzsch's reading of the name.

In view of IV R 5, col. I, 67, my conjecture at the end of this line stands assured. [27]

24. Uzuz might, of course, be the imperative Kal of nazazu, but since the context argues against this supposition, we must take it as the singular corresponding to the plural uzuzzu, which occurs IV R 5, col. I, 67.

From S. 954, Obv. 4 (Del. AL.8 p. 134), where Istar is addressed "ina irsiti ina uzuziki", there can be no further question as to the existence of an infinitive form, uzuzu[28] to which uzuz and uzuzzu would be the third person singular and plural permansive, respectively.

Furthermore, the ideographic equivalent in the two passages, IV R and S. 954, apart from other considerations, point unmistakably to a stem, nazazu, but Delitzsch [29] can hardly be right in claiming the infinitive uzuzu to be a form derived from the Shafel useziz.

It seems much more natural and simpler to regard uzuzu as a somewhat irregular form for the Infinitive Piel of the stem, which ought to be written uzzuzu. Uzuz and uzzuzu would then be permansives, following the analogy of this infinitive form.

25. If my reading at the end of the line be correct, malikut would either be a second plural for maliku by the side of "malike" [30], or the abstract noun, as malikutu, in the fourth tablet of the creation series. [31]

Footnotes and references:


Mentioned by the side of Utar in the cylinder of Marduktabikzirim published by me Zeits. f. Assyr. (IV, 3oi»-24) , and in an unpublished tablet quoted by Delitzsch., Assyr, Woert.^ p. 408, hues 2 and 7, which, by the way, settles the question of her sex and also her close relation to Isiar. Cf. also In-nin with the epithet etellat (ASKT, 94, 61) .


At the same time, marmaru reminds us forcibly of ma-uru, shown by K 4378, col. V, I, to be another name for Surippak, the scene of the Babylonian deluge, particularly if we accept Halevy's opinion (Z A , III, p. 195), which identifies mar in mar-KI with mauru ; only, if there is any connection between the two, instead of taking mar as Halevy does, as a contraction from ma-ur, it seems to me more likely that ma-ur, i. e., "Ship-city", is "rebus" or play upon mar, which would thus be the older form. While, of course, this resemblance with marmaru as a reduplication of mar or maur may be purely accidental, still, taken in connection with other indications, I regard it as worthy of notice.


II R. 32, 24e, the expression occurs in a vocabulary.


The ideogram corresponding to murim, viz: HA ZA (evidently Semitic 'Ijz), has the general force of holding, as Del. Woeri, p. 301, shows. The verb rAmu may, therefore, also have this meaning, and there is no reason for reading mukW in such passages as I, R. 29, 3, Asurn, I, 2, etc., as Scheil, (Samsiramman IV, p. 2). would have us do. See Jensen, Kosmologie der Babylonier, p. 245.


Asur has alko the title nadin hatti or age (Tiprl. Pil., I, 2) , but the story being Babylonian (as will be shown) , Asur is, oi course, out of the question.


The agu (?) Samas of the Aboo-Habba tablet or kudur Samas (see my paper on kudtiru, PAOS, October, i88g) can no longer be admitted as evidence that the Sun-god has a crown, as Sayce {Hibbert Lectures, p. 285) takes it, for the word refers to the' ring which the deity holds in his hand, as W. H. Ward has conclusively shown (PAOS, May, 1887) . Both Scheil and Jeremias, in their recent translations of the inscription, ought to have taken notice of Dr. Ward's important paper. Delitzsch Woert., p. 85, will also have to be corrected accordingly.


See also Strassmaier, Verzekhniss, etc., p, 23.


Cf. Lyon Sargon, p. 79.


Note, too, that the ideographic equivalent for sakkhnciku enters into the composition of Nergal (Jensen, Kosmologie, p. 477).


In the "Descent of Istar", Rev. 21, Istar bites her finger as a siE;n of her wrath.


From Haupt, Delitzsch Beitraege zur Assyriologie, I, p. 131, it appears that Haupt has himself abandoned this supposition. He refers also to the phrase ina malt libbUi, v R. 7, 26.


Amaru also appears as a synonym of these words Hommel, Semifen, p. 30S).


Assuming: a Semitic origin, which seems more than lilcely. we have the stem also in the mountain, Hubsan, mentioned IIR 60, 7b. Does the same element perhaps lurk in Hubu kia?


In the hymn ZA. IV, p. ii, 14 and the fourth creation tablet, 1. 40, are examples of the Shafel of this verb.


See my remarks, Proc. Am. Phil. Ass , 1S87, p. xiii. Haupt (Beitraege z. Assyr. I, p. 1 20) derives the word from a stem mediae waw and compares Hebrew noun-forms like lason


The same in the Hymn published ZA., IV, p. 8 (1. 22).


Strassmaier (quoted by Delitzsch Woert., yjij, reads "EN-NA = adi" in the sense of "and", but this is more than doubtful.


Jensen, in Keilschr. Bibl. II, p-206, 0. 48), adopts a plural salme.


He there reads Hit, and proposes an etymology which no doubt he has long since abvindoned.


Nebuch., E.I.H., II, 45; T.P.III, II R 67, 82, and Nabonid, V R 64, II 13.


in his "Hibbert Lectures", p. 310


Z.A., I, p. 56


Kosmologie d. Babylonier, p. 145 and 445


in ZA, I, p. 57


starting from the passage II R 25, I3, g-h


Delitzsch. (Germ. Edition, p. 309)


See, also, the Creation fragment, K, 3561, 14.


Sayce, Hibbert Lectures^ p. 464, very carelessly fails to distinguish between izuz., from a stem, "izuz", and our "uzuzzu", rendering both words by "divide".


Gram., p. 276


TR I, 35


PSBA. X, 86, pi. I, 2.

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