The following tablet is a Late Babylonian commentary on the 14th tablet of the teratological divination series Šumma Izbu. The tablet was acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum at the beginning of the 20th century, and comes in all likelihood from uncontrolled excavations in Uruk or, as U. Gabbay suggests (private communication), in Nippur. It was first published by E. Leichty, and a new edition of the tablet by De Zorzi has recently appeared. The colophon of the tablet identifies it as belonging to the library of Anu-bēlšunu, which suggests dating it to the second or third century BCE.
The commentary is classified in its rubric as a ṣâtu 7c commentary, a type not uncommon among Izbu commentaries from ancient Uruk: CCP 3.6.3.A, CCP 3.6.3.B, and CCP 3.6.3.C, all of them from the library of Iqīšāya, belong to the same category.
The commentary focuses on philological matters. Usually single words are explained by means of synonyms: for instance, line 13 explains ina mārūtīšu, “in his childhood,” as ina ṣeḫērīšu, “in his youth.” The glosses also render logograms syllabically (e.g. l. 12, apin-ka : ir-riš-ka), or offer contemporizing spellings of archaizing writings, as in l. 7 (ku-us-sà-at : ku-us-sa-at). Occasionally the comments are more speculative, and alternative explanations introduced by šanîš are attested e.g. in ll. 8, 9, 19, and 22. In one case the commentary quotes explicitly from the lexical list Erimhuš (ll. 3-4): oddly enough, the series is quoted “vertically,” and with variant spellings unattested in any manuscript of it.
The commentary uses the technical term libbū, “(as derived) from (the fact that),” to introduce periphrastic explanations not strictly based on philological grounds. Thus, for instance the apodosis “[The royal weapon will not] be loosed” is explained “(as derived) from (the fact that) ‘the king's weapon will remain inactive’.”
One of the explanations introduced by libbū was discussed by de Zorzi & Jursa in a recent note, and reappraised by the present editor.