CCP 4.1.10 - Sagig 10-11

Catalogue information
British Museum
DT 87
Geers Heft N39
MedicalDiagnostic and prognostic

ṣâtu 3b/6a

Base text: 
Sagig 10-11
Tablet information
obv 11, rev 11
7,93 × 10,79 cm
Nabû-balāssu-iqbi s. Marduk-zēru-ibni d. Egibatila
Marduk-zēru-ibni (his son)

Borger, 1975R. Borger, Handbuch der Keilschriftliteratur. Band II. Supplement zu Band I. de Gruyter, 1975.: 132

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.: 51, 225, 308

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 75 (1), 135 (r 6′, r 7′)

Genty, 2010aT. Genty, Les commentaires dans les textes cunéiformes assyro-babyloniens. MA thesis, 2010.
: 377-378

Genty, 2010bT. Genty, Les commentaires à TDP 3-40. Première partie, Le Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes, vol. 16, pp. 1-38, 2010.
: 13

Heeßel, 2000N. P. Heeßel, Babylonisch-assyrische Diagnostik. Ugarit-Verlag, 2000.
: 143

Leichty, 1973E. Leichty, Two Late Commentaries, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 24, pp. 78-86, 1973.: 83

Stol, 1993M. Stol, Epilepsy in Babylonia. Styx, 1993.
: 7 fn. 21

Wee, 05/2014 (Unpublised Transliteration)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (ATF Transliteration)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Collation)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Translation)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Lemmatization)
Jiménez, 05/2014 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez |
Cite this edition
Jiménez, E., “Commentary on Sagig 10-11 (CCP no. 4.1.10),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (2017), at (accessed June 27, 2017)
Make a correction or suggestion

This tablet contains what is in all likelihood the latest known commentary on Sagig, the Akkadian treatise on medical diagnostics and prognostics. As in the case of CCP 3.5.31 (commentary on Šumma Ālu 31), the present tablet states in its colophon that it was copied by Marduk-zēru-ibni, son of Nabû-balāssu-iqbi, from the Egibatila family, for his father, probably as some sort of pedagogical exercise. Although not dated, its owner is known to have lived during the end of the second century BC. This was in all likelihood not an original composition, since written in smaller script in the very last line of the colophon the tablet is said to have been [copied], collated [and checked against its original].

The first few lines of the commentary deal with entries from the tenth tablet of Sagig. However, the last entries before the rubric explain omens from Sagig 11, and the rubric itself contains the incipit of Sagig 11. As first pointed out by Heeßel,1 this becomes explicable if it is assumed that the present tablet dealt with both Sagig 10 and 11 - probably the section devoted to Sagig 10 was followed by a rubric, now lost, similarly to the section commenting on Sagig 11. Based on the ratio of lines commented upon, it would appear that the preserved portion represents about 25% of the original tablet, which had perhaps some 40 lines per side.

The commentary seeks to provide in the first place syllabic renderings of difficult logograms, e.g. dul-ma from Sagig 10 1 is explained in line o 2 of the commentary as ukattam-ma, "he closes (his eyes)." Occasionally the explanations involve some philological speculation: this is the case of line o 5, where iḫtaniṭṭaššu, "it will beset him," from Sagig 10 6, is said to mean naḫāsu, "to recede" (the opposite!), due to the fact that both the verb ḫâṭu, "to beset," and naḫāsu, "to recede," share the logogram lal.

For these philological deductions the ancient exegete uses once the terminus technicus šanîš, "alternatively." He also employed the preposition ana for introducing the lemma from which the explanandum is said to derive. This lemma needs not be an infinitive: e.g. in line r 6' sāmta, "red spot," is said to derive from "redness" (ana sūmi). The last entry of the commentary uses ana apparently to derive the obscure form teḫsī-ma from the verb kabāsi, "to tread."

No copy of the present tablet has ever been published. The present transliteration is based on that prepared by J. Wee for his PhD thesis, which was in turn based on F.W. Geers' unpublished copy of the tablet. Although the tablet is now flaking off and Geers' copy occasionally shows it in a better shape than it is today, it has been possible to obtain some fresh collations, which are marked here with an asterisk.


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DT 087 (unpublished unassigned ?) [commentaries]

o 1 o 1

[* GIG GU₂]-⸢su ana* 15 NIGIN-ME il-ta-nam-ma ša₂-niš suḫ₄-⸢ḫur [x x x x x]

(o 1) "[If the sick man's] neck keeps looping (NIGIN.ME) to the right" (= Sagig 10 1); NIGIN.ME means "it keeps looping;" alternatively, it can mean "it is turned;" [... amšā (= Sagig 10 1) ... (can derive from)] "to forget" (mašû). DUL-ma (= Sagig 10 1) means "he closes (his eyes);" BAL-MEŠ (= Sagig 10 1) means "he rolls (his eyes);" [BAL means "to roll,"] BAL also means "to see."

o 2 2

[x x x] ma⸣-še-e : DUL-ma u₂-ka-at-tam-ma : BAL-MEŠ : ib*⸣-[ba-lak-kat₃ (x x)] 1

o 3 3

[BAL : na-bal-ku]-⸢x : BAL : pa-la-su : i-ḫar*-ru-ur : i-gar-⸢ru⸣-[ur x x x x] 2

(o 3) "It is convulsed" (iḫarrur) (= Sagig 10 2) means "it writhes" (igarrur); [...].

o 4 4

[na-pal-ku-u₂ :] ra⸣-pa-šu₂ : MIN<(na-pal-ku-u₂)> : pe-tu-u₂ : ina taq-<<x>>-ti-⸢it [x x x x]

(o 4) ["To be wide open" (napalkû)] (= Sagig 10 4) means "to be wide" (rapāšu), the same can also mean "to be open" (petû). "At the end of [...]" (= Sagig 10 5) [means ...]. "It will beset him" (= Sagig 10 6); LAL means "to beset," LAL also means "to recede," [...].

o 5 5

[iḫ-ta-niṭ-ṭa-aš₂]-šu₂ :* LAL : ḫa-a-ṭu : LAL : na-ḫa-su : i-⸢ne₂⸣-[x x x x x] 3

o 6 6

[x x x x SA].DUGUD : ša₂-aš₂-ša₂-ṭu : pi-qamqa MUDut x [x x x x x]

(o 6) [...] SA.DUGUD (= Sagig 10 10) means šaššaṭu-disease. "On (repeated) occasions he trembles" (= Sagig 10 11) means [...].

o 7 7

[(x x) ut-ta-nar :] GUR* : ta*-a*-ri* : GUR : sa-ḫa-ri [x x x x x]

(o 7) "He turns back (his neck)" (= Sagig 10 14) GUR means "to turn back," it also means "to turn towards."

o 8 8

[x x x x x x] x-la : na₄NUNUZ : e-rim-⸢ma⸣-[tu₂ x x x x]

(o 8) [...]. "na₄.NUNUZ-stone" (= Sagig 10 17) means erimmatu-bead.

o 9 9

[x x x x x x] KAR : e-ke-mu : du-⸢us⸣-[su x x x x x]

(o 9) [...] KAR (= Sagig 10 18) means "to deprive;" "his virility" (= Sagig 10 18) [means ...].

o 10 10

[x x x PA.AN-BI :] na⸣-pi-is-su : * pur-⸢qi₂⸣-[dam ŠUB-ma x x x]

(o 10) PA.AN-BI (= Sagig 10 24) means "his breath." "If he falls on his back" (= Sagig 10 26) means [...].

o 11 11

[x x x x x x x x] x x : šu-x-x-su [x x x x x]

(o 11) ...

r 1' r 1'

[x x x x x x x x x x x x x] x [x x x x x x]

(r 1') ...

r 2' 2'

[x x x x x x x] x x x ra x x x [x x x x x x]

r 3' 3'

[x x x x x x x] x x : -ret GAL-MEŠ [x x x x x x] 4

(r 3') [...] great sanctuaries [...].

r 4' 4'

[x x x x x x x] IGI?-MEŠ⸣-šu₂ it*-ta*-na*-aṣ-bar* : SUG? : x [x x x x x] 5

(r 4') [...] In "Continually rolls his eyes" (= Sagig 11 r 51), SUG means [...].

r 5' 5'

[x x x u-ba]-⸢na-tu*⸣-šu₂ i-lam-ma-am la-ma-ma [x x x x x]

(r 5') [...] "he chews his fingers" (ilammam) (= Sagig 11 r 52) derives from "to chew (lamāmu). [...]

r 6' 6'

[x x x x] x⸣-x-tu₂ : sa-am-ta : ana* su*-mu : x x [x x x]

(r 6') [...] "redness" (sāmta) (= Sagig 11 r 58-59) derives from "redness" (sūmu); [...].

r 7' 7'

[x x x x] x⸣-ši : te-eḫ-si*-ma : ana ka-ba-su ⸢:⸣ [x x x x] 6

(r 7') [...] teḫsī-ma (= Sagig 11 r 60) derives from "to tread upon something" (kabāsu), [since ...].

r 8' 8'

[ṣa-a-tu₂ u šu]-⸢ut KA ša₂ * GIG rit-ta-šu₂ ša₂ 15 GU₇-šu₂ x [x x x x]

(r 8') Lemmata and oral explanations relating to (the tablet) "If the sick man's right hand hurts him [...]" (= Sagig 11).

r 9' 9'

[imDUB md]⸢AG⸣-TIN-su-E A ša₂ mdAMAR.UTU-NUMUN-DU₃ A md[e₄-gi₇-ba-ti-la]

(r 9) Tablet of Nabû-balāssu-iqbi son of Marduk-zēru-ibni, descendant of Egibatila. Copied by Marduk-zēru-ibni, his son. He who reveres [Šamaš and Marduk (should not take it away)!]. Copied, collated and check against its original.

r 10' 10'

[ŠU-MIN md]⸢AMAR⸣.UTU-NUMUN-DU₃ A-šu₂ pa-liḫ [dUTU u dAMAR.UTU]

r 11' 11'

[GIM SUMUN-šu₂ SAR-ma IGI.TAB] IGI.⸢KAR₂ [(x x x)]

1The first word is perhaps an alternative interpretation of Sagig 10 1 amšā (from amāšu) as derived from mašû, "to forget."

2The line before BAL ends in two verticals and is neither TU nor TA. KIT is a possibility.

3At the end ineḫḫis (?) should perhaps be restored.

4The explanandum of this line is uncertain.

5Restore accordingly the line of Sagig 11 r 51. The reading of SUG, based on Ea I 62b (a-a SUG = ṣabāru ša mê, MSL 14 199) is uncertain.

6The rationale behind the derivation of the obscure form teḫsi-ma from kabāsu is unknown: it was perhaps explained at the end of the line, now missing.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum