Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 261
Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.[On line 3]: 246, 248
Genty, 2010aT. Genty, Les commentaires dans les textes cunéiformes assyro-babyloniens. MA thesis, 2010.[Catalogue]: 389
Leichty, 1973E. Leichty, “Two Late Commentaries”, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 24, pp. 78-86, 1973.[K. 6151 is also an unpublished commentary but I have not seen this tablet and am unsure what it comments on.]: 83
This is a fragment from the upper right corner of a two or three-column Kuyunjik tablet written in Babylonian script. The obverse contains meager remains of a commentary that explains with short phrases names of planets and stars. At least some of the phrases apparently try to render the names by means of several sophisticated "etymological" operations: so for instance the planet Mercury (muludu.til) is said to mean "the killer of cattle" (mušmīt būli, where perhaps udu = būlu and til = mâtu)
The epithets describing the different planets are not unique to this fragment: some of them are known from other texts, most importantly from BM 42262 (5R 46/1).1 BM 42262 is a list that pairs star names and epithets: no fewer than 4 entries from its reverse are cited in the eight preserved lines of the obverse of K.6151. Occasionally the epithets are provided with a more or less fanciful etymology: so, for instance, the association of the "boat" star (mulmá.gur₈) with Nabû is apparently attributed to the fact that both má (from the star's name) and ag (from Nabû's name) mean "to create." For this demonstration the commentary uses the terminus technicus kī iqbû, written syllabically as ki-i iq-bu-ú.
The reverse of the tablet is much more damaged than the obverse, but it seems to contain some speculations on the name and associations of the Wagon star.
In spite of the parallels with BM 42262, the exact text on which the present fragment comments is unclear: it could perhaps be the Giškim text, a text concerned with stars and planets for which another Kuyunjik commentary written in Babylonian script is known (CCP 3.3.1).
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[mulSAG.ME.GAR : na-áš ṣa]-⸢ad⸣-du a-na da-ad-mi1
[(...) Jupiter is] the bearer of signals for the villages.
[mulMÁ.GUR₈ : x x :] ⸢MÁ⸣ : ba-nu-ú : ba-ni-tu₄2
[In "The boat constellation" (mul.MÁ.GUR₈) ...] MÁ means "creator," and hence "creatress,"
[x x x dAG] ki-i iq-bu-ú
[...]. Hence it is as if it said ["Nabû"].
[x x x x x x] : mulŠU!.PA : MUL na-me-ru3
[...]. The ŠUPA-star is the shining star.
[x x x x (x)]-ti ka-mu-ú
[The ... star is the star that] binds the [...].
[mulGAG.SI.SÁ? :] ⸢MUL⸣ mi-šá-ri4
[the Arrow star] is the righteous star.
[mulUDU.TIL :] ⸢muš⸣-mit bu-⸢lì⸣
[... Mercury (is)] the killer of cattle.
[mulṣal-bat-a-nu : muš]-ta-bar-ru-ú ⸢mu⸣-[ta-nu]5
[... Mars] (is) the bringer of continual plague.
[...] ⸢x x⸣
[...] ⸢DINGIR?⸣.MAḪ ⸢x⸣
[...] Bēlet-ilī ...,
[...] ⸢x⸣ mi-⸢x⸣
[...] ⸢x⸣ za?-ru-ú : ma-⸢šad?-du?⸣6
[...] "cart-pole" means "shaft" (of the wagon star).
[...]-⸢x⸣-bu GAM ina ma-a-ti MUL KUR ⸢KUR⸣ [(x x)]
[... the ...-star] bends back, in the country the star of the country will raise [...],
1Line 1 is paralleled in the star list BM 42262 (5R 46/1) r 3.
2The star mulMÁ.TU is equated with Nabû in BM 42262 (5R 46/1) r 2, whence the restoration. On the other hand, MÁ = banû is elsewhere unattested, but cp. MA = banû in the Commentary on the Names of Marduk K.4406 r 8 (CCP 1.1.B.b). The line probably tried to demonstrate that the star mulMÁ.GUR₈ is the star of Nabû by proving that both signs MÁ and AG (from Nabû's name) mean banû, "to create."
3Compare BM 42262 (5R 46/1) r 16: mul.ŠU.PA | MUL na-am-ru.
4The restoration of the star name is based on the possibility that mīšaru may be a translation of SI.SÁ. Note that the mulGAG.SI.SÁ star appears in BM 42262 (5R 46/1) r 15, where it is explained as kakkab mešrê, "wealthy star."
5Lines 7-8 are paralleled in the BM 42262 (5R 46/1) r 5-6.
6If correctly read, the line would be citing Malku II 208. Note that zarû, "cart-pole," appears in an astronomical context in Mulapin I i 16.