CCP 3.4.1.A.i - Bārûtu 1 Isru A

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 92705
DT 84

Heeßel & Koch, forthcomingN. P. Heeßel and Koch, U. S. , The two first chapters of the Art of the Diviner. .

DivinationExtispicy (Bārûtu)


Base text: 
Bārûtu 1 Isru
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
obv 8, rev 4
3,49 × 9,2 cm
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi s. Marduk-zēru-ibni d. Egibatila

Finkel, 2005I. L. Finkel, No. 69: Explanatory Commentary on a List of Materia Medica, in Cuneiform texts in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, I. Spar and Lambert, W. G. Metropolitan Museum, 2005, pp. 279-283.
[Colophon, cryptographic writing, copied from a parchment scroll]
: 283

Frahm, 2005E. Frahm, On Some Recently Published Late Babylonian Copies of Royal Letters, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 2005/43, 2005.
[Egibatila tablet?]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 31, 172, 239, 308

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 39 (1), 72 (4, 6, 7), 135 (2), 291

Hunger, 1968H. Hunger, Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone. Neukirchener Verlag, 1968.: 133 no. 478

Reiner, 1998aE. Reiner, Celestial Omen Tablets and Fragments in the British Museum, in tikip santakki mala bašmu.. Festschrift für Rykle Borger zu seinem 65. Geburtstag am 24. Mai 1994, S. M. Maul Styx, 1998, pp. 215-302.
[comm. on ext.?]
: 281

Starr, 1992I. Starr, Chapters 1 and 2 of the bārûtu, State Archives of Assyria. Bulletin, vol. 6, pp. 45-53, 1992.
[Description of the chapter and its commentaries]
: 45-52

Jiménez, 05/2014 (ATF Transliteration)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Translation)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Lemmatization)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
Y. Cohen, 06/2017 (Reading suggestion [o 6: larsinnu])
By Enrique Jiménez |
Cite this edition
Jiménez, E., “Commentary on Bārûtu 1 Isru (CCP no. 3.4.1.A.i),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (2017), at (accessed July 26, 2017)
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This tablet represents the latest known exemplar of the commentary on Isru, the first chapter of the series Barûtu. Several duplicates of this long commentary, termed here CCP 3.4.1.A, are known, the longest of which is K.3978+ (CCP 3.4.1.A.a), a tablet of originally around 250 lines. Specifically, lines 2-8 of the present tablet are duplicated by K.6540+ o 3-8 and K.3978+ i 3, 7-10.

The most interesting aspect of this tablet is its colophon, which records the name of its owner, Nabû-balāssu-iqbi (the theonym is written cryptographically with the sign dingir plus the sign ud repeated nine times). This scribe, a member of the Egibatila family who lived in Arsacid Babylon, was the owner of eight other commentary tablets. Dating to around the end of the second century BC, they represent the latest known group of commentaries. The present tablet is in fact the only commentary by this scribe for which much older copies are known, which testifies to the vitality of the "stream of tradition" still in this late period. Besides the present tablet, the only known manuscript of this commentary from outside of Kuyunjik is LKU 133 (CCP 3.4.1.A.h).


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


DT 084 (unpublished unassigned ?)

t.e. 1 t.e. 1

i-na a-mat dEN u dGAŠAN-ia₂ liš-lim

By the command of Bēl and Bēltīya, may (this endeavour) be successful!

o 1 o 1

BEma šu-ma-at ši-bu u mu-kal-lim-ti ša₂ is⸣-[ri a-na IGI-ka]

"If you have the omen entries, (their) old versions, and the mukallimtu-commentary on Isru before you."

o 2 2

BE is-ri 15 ZALAG₂ir ul-lu-uṣ lib₃-bi ERIN₂[ni BE is-ri 15 ZALAG₂ir ana IGI-ka] 1

"If the right isru is bright, the army will rejoice" (= Šumma Isru I 1). [If you have "If the right isru is bright" (ibid.) before you,]

o 3 3

    IGI pir-si ma-gal SA₅ ul-lu-⸢uṣ [lib₃-bi ERIN₂ni] 2

(you will find that it means) "If the surface of the pirsu is very red, [the army] will rejoice."

o 4 4

BE MANu₂ MU-NI ina is-ri ša₂ 15 BUR₃ ŠUB-ma ŠA₃ BUR₃ [u₃ IGI BUR₃ SA₅ BE is-ri 15 ZALAG₂ir ta-qab-bi] 3

[Second (possible) entry]: "If in the right isru there is a perforation, and the interior [and the surface of the perforation are red," you may say that "If the right isru is bright"]

o 5 5

    SA₅ ZALAG₂ GIM MUL ši⸣-[kin-šu₂ (...)]

"it is red" means "it is bright, [its appearance] is like a star."

o 6 6

[BE šal-šu₂] MU⸣-NI lar-sin-ni 15 ZALAG₂ir ul-lu-⸢uṣ [lib₃-bi ERIN₂ni lar-sin-nu is-ri ina EME] 4

[Third (possible) entry]: "If the right larsinnu is bright, the [army] will rejoice." [Larsinnu means isru in the bilingual lists].

o 7 7

[BE 4-u₂ MU]-NI ina ŠA₃ BUR₃ 15 U₄ ZALAG₂ ŠUBdi LUGAL ana LU₂ ŠUR₂⸣[iz-ma ...]

[Fourth (possible) entry]: "If the center of the right perforation there is a bright light, the king will be angry with the man." [...].

o 8 8

[x x x x x x x x] x u₃ x ni [...]


r 1' r 1'

[ša₂ ina] UGU kušma⸣-gal-lat ša₂ TA x [...] 5

[...] which was written on a parchment scroll from [...].

r 2' 2'


Nabû-balāssu-iqbi, [son of Marduk-zēru-ibni,]

r 3' 3'

A mde₄-gi₇-ba-ti-la a-na ši⸣-[ta-as-si-šu₂ -ṭur-ma]

descendant of Egibatila, [copied,]

r 4' 4'

DU₃-ma ib-[ri]

made and collated it.

1As noted by Frahm GMTR 5 (2011) p. 112 and Heeßel KAL 5 (2012) p. 52 ad I 0-1, this first entry is also cited in Multābiltu I 21 (Koch AOAT 326 [2005] p. 95).

2For another attestation of the word pirsu (in OB extispicy), see Stol OLZ 103 (2008) p. 353.

3Lines 4-6, as attested in K.3978+ i 7-8 (CCP 3.4.1.A.a), are cited in CAD I/J 203b.

4The reading larsinnu, as opposed to PA-sin-nu, was established by von Soden, “Seltene akkadische Wörter”, StOr 46 (1975), p. 325; see also Cohen, Y. “Sheep Anatomical Terminology in the šumma immeru Omen Series and Additional Texts”, in J. C. Fincke (ed.), Divination as Science (2016), p. 89 fn. 46 [reading and references courtesy of Y. Cohen].

5The reading of the colophon follows Finkel CTMMA 2 (2005) p. 283 and Frahm GMTR 5 (2011) p. 172 and fn. 808.

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