CCP 4.2.A.b - Therapeutic (én munus ù-tu-ud-da-a-ni) A

Catalogue information
British Museum
UET 6/3 897
MedicalTherapeutic texts


Base text: 
Therapeutic (én munus ù-tu-ud-da-a-ni)
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
obv 13, rev 15
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown

Frahm, 2010eE. Frahm, Akkadische Texte des 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. 6. Kommentare zu medizinischen Texten [Texte zur Heilkunde], in Texte zur Heilkunde, B. Janowski and Schwemer, D. , Eds. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, 2010, pp. 171-176.
[Partial translation]
: 175-176

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 67, 104, 113, 231, 241, 312

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 77 (r 7′–8′), 131' (r 6, 8′), 132 (r 7′), 158 (11′–13′), 196 (r 19′), 234 (r 3′–5′), 157–158 (4′–6′), 161, 162 (7′)

Hätinen, 2017A. Hätinen, “I am a fully laden boat!” A Mesopotamian Metaphor Revisited, Kaskal, vol. 14, pp. 169-186, 2017.
[On line r 9'-10']
: 179

Römer, 2007W. H. P. Römer, Review of Schaffer Ur Excavation Texts VI, Bibliotheca Orientalis, vol. 64, pp. 180-182, 2007.
[Identified by M. Stol as a partial duplicate to 11N-T3.]
: 182

Steinert, 2017U. Steinert, Concepts of the Female Body in Mesopotamian Gynecological Texts, in The Comparable Body. Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine, J. Wee, Ed. Brill, 2017, pp. 275-357.
[On line e 3'-4', 9'-10']
: 331-335

Gabbay, 10/2015 (Transliteration)
Gabbay & Jiménez, 10/2015 (Translation)
Gabbay, 10/2015 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 10/2015 (Suggestions, identification [o 8′ & r 6′])
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
Gabbay, 06.2018 (Revision)
By Uri Gabbay | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Gabbay, U., 2015, “Commentary on Therapeutic (én munus ù-tu-ud-da-a-ni) (CCP 4.2.A.b),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed July 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/d2547s7
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet, which probably dates to the Achaemenid period, is one of the only two known commentaries from the city of Ur (the other is UET 4 208 = CCP 6.3.18). It contains a commentary on a compilation of incantations and rituals to assist women during childbirth. The text shares many entries with the other known commentary on this composition, from Late Babylonian Nippur (11N-T3 = CCP 4.2.A.a), although it is not identical.

In a few places, and more so than its Nippur counterpart, the Ur commentary contextualizes entries from the various incantations in the base text by citing other texts. Thus, besides the citation from Gilgameš (line rev. 7′) that occurs also in the Nippur text, the Ur text also cites a line from Udug-hul (line rev. 6′), and a line from a compendium of incantations (line obv 8′) that are not cited in the Nippur text.1 All these citations are introduced by the technical term libbū, “as in.”

In two cases, the commentary provides phonological variants of words from the base text. Thus, in lines rev. 8′-9′ the variant kittamru for kittabru occurs, and in line rev. 11′, edītu and edû are rendered as medītu and medû, respectively.


Unlike the similar commentary from Nippur, the Ur commentary proceeds further with the text after the last section that is commented on in the Nippur text. This is the incantation known as the Cow of Sîn.2 Not much remains of the commentary on this section before the text breaks, but the commentary seems to be more factual than the commentary on the previous sections, concentrating more on lexicon than on the larger context.


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


UET 6, 0897[via ccpo]

oo NaN  (beginning obverse missing)
o 1'o 1'

[ina qar-ni]-šá qaq-qar ṭe-[rat ...]

(o 1') “With her [horns] she is beating (ṭerât) the ground,” [...].

o 2'2'

[ša? el]-lam-me-e DU-MEŠak di-ma?-[šu? x x]1

(o 2') The tears [of] Ellammê flowed [...]; alternatively, si egarbi tilla means “Elammû” [means Sîn], whose figure brings the light to an end,” [(since) si means “light,” e]gar means figure, bi means “his,” and til means “to bring to an end;” (this is said) on account of a complete eclipse.

o 3'3'

[šá]-niš si é-gar₈-bi til-la : el-lam-mu-ú [(x) : d30?]

o 4'4'

šá nu-ru la-ni-šú ú--et!-ta-a [(x) : si : nu]-ru? : É?.GAR₈? : la!?-ni?

o 5'5'

bi : šu-ú : til : qa-tu-ú : šá AN?.[TA.] TIL GARnu

o 6'6'

áš-šú ÁB-MU la a-lit-ti : áš-šú d[30 EN la]-a-tu₄ -MEŠ2

(o 6') “Because of my barren cow,” (is said) on account of [Sîn, the lord of] the pure [co]ws.

o 7'7'

-šal-pa-a : e-ti-qa : la-ra-[aḫ x x x x x x] x

(o 7') “To slither” means “to pass accross.” “Straits” mean [...], as in “straits are stuck to his body” (quotation from the Compendium).

o 8'8'

lìb-bu-ú la-ra-aḫ gig-ga su-ni-ta kéš-da3

o 9'9'

na-ḫu-un-di : d30 : na-ru-un-du : dUTU

(o 9') “Naḫundi” means Sîn, “Narundi” means Šamaš.

o 10'10'

ul-la dUTU : ul-la : an-na4

(o 10') (In) “Now Šamaš!,” “now!” means “he[re].

o 11'11'

Ì.GIŠ BUR šá ina giGAG.U₄.TAG.GA in-di?

(o 11') (In) “oil of the bowl which touches the arrow,” “arrow” (gi.gag.u₄ means “arrow” (šiltāḫu), “arrow” (gi.gag.u₄ means “dart” (mulmullu, written mul-mul). Dart ([mul-mu]l?) means “arrow” and dart (m[ul?-mul]) [means “seed”].

o 12'12'

giGAG.U₄.TAG.GA : šil-ta-ḫu gi[GAG].U₄.TAG.GA : [mul-mul?]

o 13'13'

[mul]-mul? : šil-ta-ḫu :? mul?-[mul? : ze-ri]

(rest of obverse missing)
rr NaN  (beginning reverse missing)
r 1'r 1'

na-ma-ri : KASKAL? [...]

(r 1') “Path” means “way” [...].

r 2'2'

giš? : tam- šá?-niš? x [x x x x x x x] x ḫu? x5

(r 2') Boat means sea, alternatively, ... [...]

r 3'3'

šá ŠÀ na₄-qil-lat li-kal-lim nu?-ru? a-na MUNUS.PEŠ₄ iq-ta-bi

(r 3') “Let him show the light to the one living in the shell!” refers to the pregnant woman (munus.peš₄), because “shell” (lit. “the pregnant stone,” na₄.peš₄) means “shell,” alternatively, it means “mother.” Thirdly, it can mean “pregnant woman.”

r 4'4'

na₄iškila : ṣil-lat šá-niš um-mi šal-šiš MUNUS.PEŠ₄

r 5'5'

ul sa-an-qa-at GABA-sa : šá ku-lu-lu-ša la kut-tu-mu6

(r 5') “Her chest is not ..."; one whose locks are not covered as in, “the chest was ..., they stripped away the veil” (quotation from “Evil Demons”).

r 6'6'

lìb-bu-ú ir-tu₄ ar-da?-at pa-su-um-tu₄ -ḫu-ṭu7

r 7'7'

ḫur-da-at-su : su-un MUNUS! : lìb-bu-ú ŠU-MIN-ka šu-ta-am-ṣa-am-ma8

(r 7') “Her vulva” means “female loin,” as in “put our your hand and stroke our vulva!” (quotation from Gilgameš VI 69). “In his arm” means “in his side,” since “arm” means “side.”

r 8'8'

lu-pu-ut ḫur-da-at-ni : ina kit-tab-ri-šú : ina i-di-šú

r 9'9'

kit-tam-ri : i-di : ṭurṭu-ur-da giš : ṭú-ur-da : giš?9

(r 9') “Boat, send forth! (written DUR-da) means “Boat, send forth (written ṭu-ur-da). “Boat” means “pregnant woman", thus (the sentence means) “Pregnant woman, send forth (written TU-ri-di)!

r 10'10'

giš : MUNUS.PEŠ₄ : um-ma MUNUS.PEŠ₄ tu-ri-di?10

r 11'11'

e-di-ti : mi-di-ti : e-du-ú : mi-du-ú11

(r 11') “Known” means “known” (dialectal). “To know” means “to know” (dialectal). “Drop-of-heaven stone” ... you recite.

r 12'12'

NA₄ ti-ki ANe x (x) NUMUN DUG₄.DUG₄ub12

r 13'13'

[x] x x [x] x-ti kaz-bat : ba-na-at13

(r 13') [...] ... “charming” means “beautiful.”

r 14'14'

[nam?-ru? šá? d?30?] nu?-úr? šá d?30? : nu-ru-ub Ú-[ME]14

(r 14') “Brilliant of Sîn” means “light of Sîn.” “The softest grass” means [...].

r 15'15'

[...] x ni x [x]

(r 15') ...

(rest of reverse missing)

1The base text is preserved in BAM 401, i:41 and duplicates (Veldhuis, ASJ 11, 243: 41): el-lam-me-e i-il-la-ka di-ma-šu.

2Note the use of alliteration in the base text and the commentary: lītiya lā ālitti and lâti ellēti (cf. also Veldhuis 1989, 257, n. 4)

3This line is a quotation from Compendium 3 l. 39 (see Schramm, W. GBAO 2 (2008) p. 36): la-ra-aḫ gig-ga su-a-n[i-t]a keš₂-⸢da⸣.

4If the second word is emended to an-na!, ulla and anna should perhaps be taken as deictic elements or adverbial particles (status absolutus of ullû and annû), with the meaning “that, this” (or else, “there, here,” or “now, well”). Note, however, that ulla and anna appear together in divinatory context (CAD U/W 75a), as well as in the commentary to the Weidner List cited ibid., but in the present context they need not mean “yes” and “no.”

5The first two signs may also be {giš}GA₂?

6Cf. Lambert Iraq 31 (1969) p. 31 l. 44: ul sa-qa-at uzuGABA-sa -pu-ḫu ku-lu-lu-šá, “Her breast is not..., her locks are scattered.” The line is preserved in BAM 248 ii 28. It is not certain whether the entire line is a quotation from the base text, or contains an explanation as well.

7The line contains a quotation from the Akkadian part of Udug-ḫul 13/15 l. 32: [ga]ba šú-ki-a [x x x b]a-an-sìg-ga-eš || ir-ti [x x x] pa-su-un-tu -ḫu-ṭu. The word after irtu is not preserved in any manuscript of Udug-ḫul: in the present tablet, the signs are damaged, but they may be read as kat?-ma?-at, “covered,” ár-ša-at, “unclean,” or ár-da-at, or “maiden” (i.e., "they stripped away the veil from the maiden's chest"). The word pa-su-um-tu₄ (which is probably pusumtu, “veil,” previously attested only in Malku, see CAD P 538a) is probably motivated by a semantic association of the verb katāmu in the previous line with pasāmu, “to veil” [ILF].

8The sign after su-un may be ši, i.e., su-un-ši, “her lap” (on -ši instead of -ša as the fs possessive suffix, see George Gilgamesh (2003) p. 882) [EJ].

9The reading of this and the following line follows Steinert 2017 p. 333, which is based on collation of BAM 248 ii 51: ṭur-da giš ana kar šul-me, “send forth the boat to the safe mooring place.” Previous speculations should be discarded (cp. “The signs read as tu-lu ša? may be tu-ur ša giš (tu-ur would stand for ṭurru, “rope”) [EJ], or else DURṭu-ur.DA giš : tu-ur-da giš (i.e. dur-da = *turdu?) [ILF]. The rope of the boat may stand for the “umbilical cord” (abunnatu = LI.DUR), for the baby is the boat moored at the key of death by the rope and wants to break free [ILF].”)

10The particle umma is used in a few occasions in commentaries as a technical term introducing a paraphrase of the base text in light of the preceding interpretation. As discussed by Hätinen 2017, the “boat” is here interpreted as the “pregnant woman” (note the reading in Hätinen 2017: 179, li-re-di as redû N).

11See BAM 248 iii 4: an-nu ki-nu šá dé-a i-di-tu₄ ÉN ša dma-mi. The second Glossenkeil might be written over an erasure.

12See BAM 248 ii 56, 70, and iii 7: ..BI na₄ti-iq ANe SAḪAR sa-mit BÀD ŠUBti. The last phrase would seem like a citation from a ritual instruction in the base text, but it does not appear in the main manuscript of this text (BAM 248).

13See BAM 248, iii 12: bi-nu- kaz-bat i-mur-ši-ma d30 i-ra-am-ši, "Sîn saw the charming creature and fell in love with her." Frahm GMTR 5 (2011) p. 241 with n. 1128 cautiously suggests reading bi?-nu?-ti, but, as noted by him, this is difficult to reconcile with the traces of the signs in the tablet.

14See BAM 248, iii 13: nam-ru šá d30 šu-ba-ḫi -ta-kan-ši; and 16: ina nu-ru-ub Ú-ME i-re-ʾ-ú-ši!(ME), "he pastured her in the softest grass."

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum