The fragment edited below represents the lower half of a commentary tablet on the series of “terrestrial” omens Šumma Ālu. It contains glosses on several chapters of the series, which deal with prognoses derived from sexual behavior. In this respect, it is interesting that the exegete repeatedly recognizes his inability to explain some sexual terms (see e.g. ll. 2′, 4′, 15′, 21′), a display of candor that is rarely found in other commentaries.
The preserved text is divided into three sections by means of two rubrics (ll. 8′ and 22′). The first one corresponds to the incipit of the 103rd chapter of Šumma Ālu, and in fact most of the explananda from this section are attested in the known manuscripts of that chapter (K.8268+ K.12711 [K.8268 was published as AMT 65/3] // VAT 13809 [KAL 1 no. 35]). The second section of the tablet would therefore be expected to comment on the well preserved (if poorly edited) 104th chapter of the series Šumma Ālu. However, although some rather faint matches can be found between the second section of the present commentary and Šumma Ālu 104 (see below ll. 9′ and 18′), the majority of the explananda do not feature in the alleged base text. Moreover, the rubric of the second section, “If a woman rejoices in a man’s house” (l. 22′), does not correspond to the incipit of Ālu 104, and is in fact elsewhere unattested. One must assume, therefore, that it comments on a variant version of Ālu 104. Likewise, the explananda of the third section of the present commentary cannot be matched with any known manuscript of Šumma Ālu 105.
The present tablet is very similar to other ṣâtu commentaries on Šumma Ālu written in Babylonian script and found in Ashurbanipal’s libraries: CCP 3.5.17 (Ālu 17-20), CCP 3.5.30 (Ālu 30-32), CCP 3.5.41 (Ālu 41-44), CCP 3.5.57 (Ālu 57-58), CCP 3.5.73 (Ālu 72-74), CCP 3.5.94 (on Ālu 94 alt [ṣâtu 2c]), and CCP 3.5.103 (Ālu [...], 103, 104 alt, and [...] [ṣâtu 2c]). All of them are small tablets with no colophon, which contain commentaries on three or more chapters of Šumma Ālu. In all of them each section is followed by a ṣâtu 2b or 2c rubric. It is conceivable that all these tablets originally stemmed from the same library, and were brought to Nineveh at a later point. More information on their provenance may be obtained from the study of the numeration of the chapters of Šumma Ālu reflected in their rubrics, which differs to a large extend from that of the Assyrian copies of Šumma Ālu found in Nineveh.