CCP 3.8.1.C - Iqqur īpuš, section 87: 7 C

Catalogue information
Yale Babylonian Collection
NBC 6197
ASJ 17 p. 13

Beaulieu, 1995P. - A. Beaulieu, An excerpt from a menology with reverse writing, Acta Sumerologica Japonica, vol. 17, pp. 1-14, 1995.: 1-14

DivinationMenologiesSérie générale


Base text: 
Iqqur īpuš, section 87: 7
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
Complete tablet
2,9 × 4,1 × 1,6 cm
Chaldean / early Achaemenid (late 7th / 6th cent) (mostly "Sippar Collection")

Beaulieu, 1995P. - A. Beaulieu, An excerpt from a menology with reverse writing, Acta Sumerologica Japonica, vol. 17, pp. 1-14, 1995.
: 1-14

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 32, 92, 216-17, 302

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 76 (4), 201, 209

Jiménez, 06/2014 (ATF Transliteration)
Jiménez, 06/2014 (Translation)
Jiménez, 06/2014 (Lemmatization)
Jiménez, 06/2014 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez |
Cite this edition
Jiménez, E., “Commentary on Iqqur īpuš, section 87: 7 (CCP no. 3.8.1.C),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (2017), at (accessed July 23, 2017)
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The small tablet NBC 6197 is remarkable in several ways. First, it contains a commentary on a single word from a single omen. The omen in question is attested in the menological series Iqqur īpuš §87 7, but it was probably attested also in some other astrological series. While this is not the only known example, single-omen commentary tablets are very rare (see also AO 10319 = CCP 3.1.53).

The most remarkable feature of this tablet is that some of the words in its lines are written retrographically: thus for instance in the last line the verb innappaḫū, "flares up," is written ḫu-pa-nap-in. As Beaulieu shows, retrography is attested in a few other cases in ancient Mesopotamia.

The word explained in the tablet, akukūtu, is also commented upon in the text K.50 (CCP 3.2.6.B.a), where it is glossed exactly as in this tablet, as "fire from the sky." K.50, however, tries to prove that akukūtu has this meaning through a complex process of notariqon.

According to Beaulieu, the script of the tablet "is typically Neo-Babylonian and allows us to date the tablet probably to the 6th century B.C. rather than earlier or later."1 It comes perhaps from Uruk, although its reverse is uninscribed and contains no colophon.


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


CBCY 01, p. 58, NBC 06197

o 1 o 1

* ina itiDU₆ a-ʾa₄-ku₆-ku₆-tu₄ KUR

(o 1) “If in the month of Tašrītu an akukūtu flares up, the army will suffer a defeat” (= Iqqur īpuš §87 7); what it says, akukūtu, (means) “a fire which flares up in the sky.”

o 2 2

ti₃*ŠUB niERIN₂ <<:>> šiGAL₂

o 3 3

a-ʾa₄-ku₆-ku₆-tu₄ ša₂ iq-bu-u₂

o 4 4

MIN⸣<(a-ʾa₄-ku₆-ku₆-tu₄)> IZI ša₂ ina eAN 1

o 5 5



1The commentary K.50 r 10'-11' (= CCP 3.2.6.B.a) also explains akukūtu as "fire from the sky" with a complex notariqon explanation.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

© Yale Babylonian Collection