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The present tablet contains remains of a commentary on a therapeutic text concerned with ear treatments. A few of the lines from the base text can be identified in certain medical texts (see ll. 8′–9′ below) but, as is often the case in commentaries on therapeutic texts, the specific text commented upon is unknown.
The commentary features several highly interesting hermeneutical operations. The most ingenious ones occur in lines 10′–14′. In these lines, the commentator tries to explain why putting “blood from an ox’s kidney” into someone’s ear should be an appropriate treatment. To do so, it first establishes that the “kidney” is prescribed on account of the “Kidney” star (kalītu), which is a star closely associated with Ea in other texts.1 Having established this, the exegete proceeds to demonstrate that the word “ear” is also connected with Ea, and for that purpose he quotes in vertical several entries from the lexical list Diri concerned with the sign géštu(giš.túg.pi),2 This hermeneutical tour de force concludes with a previously unidentified explicit quotation from the first chapter of the physiognomic series Alamdimmû, which establishes that the word “ear,” and in particular its synonym “intelligence,” are identical with Ea.3 The tertium comparationis between the “kidney” and the “ear” is, therefore, the god Ea.
The edition below has benefited from collation of the excavation photographs of the tablet, kindly made available by H. Hunger.
Powered by Oracc(Base text – Commentary – Quotations from other texts)
[...] x [x x x (x)]
[…] … […]
[...] ⸢x⸣-lab-⸢bi?⸣ [x x x]
[...] ⸢šu?⸣-li-i : ⸢x⸣ [x (x)]
[...] ⸢x x⸣-te ta-ṣap-pár : BAR : ṣa-pa-[ru]
[…] … “you wink” — bar means “to wi[nk].”
[...] i-na ú-ba-an ši-ta-<<x>>-⸢da-x⸣-[(x)]
[…] … in the finger … […]
[...]-⸢x⸣-ḫu ú-ba-ni-ka GALtu₄ : U MAN-ma1
“Your thumb” (lit. “the big finger”) means “the index finger” (lit., “the second finger”);
[...] ⸢x⸣ : DAB : ṣa-ba-tu : šá-niš MU-šú ⸢mi?-x⸣-[(x)]
[…] … dab means “to seize.” Alternatively his name …
[...]-ru-ú : da-mi-šú : MÚD BURU₅.ḪABRUD.DAmušen2
[…] … “his blood” (= AO 6774 ii 10) means “blood of a partridge”
[... BAR] ⸢giš⸣NU.ÚR.MA ta-maḫ-ḫar : BAR gišNU.ÚR.MA3
[…] You receive [peel of p]omegranate” (= AO 6774 ii 10) — “Peel of pomegranate”
[...] NENNI tu-kàṣ-ṣa : MÚD ÉLLAG GU₄ ana ŠÀ GEŠTU-MIN-šú
[means …] you cool down. (In) what it says, (namely) “The blood of an ox’s kidney (éllag) [you …] inside his ears
[...]-⸢x⸣ TAG šá DUG₄ú : mulÉLLAG : ka-li-ti
[and …] …, the “Kidney” star (muléllag) means “kidney”
[mulÉLLAG : d]⸢é*⸣-a : GIŠ.TÚG.PI ge-eš-ṭu gi-iš-tu-nu : gi-iš-te-nu-ú4
[(and) the “Kidney” star (muléllag) means E]a. giš.túg.pi (is the sign) gešṭu — gištunu-sign (i.e., pi) means the giš tenû-sign;
[...] ⸢uz*⸣-nu : ḫa-si-si : ḫa-si-si dé-a
[…] means “ear,” (i.e.) “intelligence,” (as in) “Intelligence is Ea”
[lìb-bu-ú *] SAG.DU IGI.KID BAR DINGIR-MEŠ : ru-ú-tu₄ dé-a EN KU₆5
[(a quotation) from “If] the head … is an image of the gods” (= incipit of Alamdimmû I). The spittle is Ea, lord of the fish.
[ta-ṣar]-ru-ru : ṣa-ra-ra : a-la-ku
“You tri]ckle” (stems from) “to trickle,” (which) means “to flow.”
BI.IZ : na-ta-ka
bi-iz means “to drip”.
[...] x x x [x] ⸢giš⸣NU.ÚR.MA NÍG.GIG d15
[…] … […] pomegranate, taboo of Ištar;
[...] ⸢x zu?⸣-mur
[…] … body;
[...] ⸢x x x x-ra⸣
[...] ⸢x x⸣
[...] ⸢x x⸣ d15
[…] … Ištar
1The thumb is often mentioned in medical texts: see CAD U/W 4–5.
2The “blood of a partridge” is frequently attested in ritual texts.
3The instruction “You receive peel of pomegranate” is attested in AO 6774 ii 10 (Geller JMC 14 p. 29).
4gešṭu = GIŠ.TÚG.PI; gištunu = PI (see Diri III 62-63, MSL XV 138). Lines 12′–13′ seem to cite Diri III 62-63 “in vertical.”
5The text contains an explicit quotation from the tablet entitled [¶] SAG.DU IGI.KÁR BAR DINGIR-MEŠ. This tablet is, in fact, BM 141780 (TBP 64), edited by Böck, Morphoskopie (2000) p. 262. The line quoted here is in all likelihood obv 8: [...] dé-a (note that a duplicate of this tablet from the Sippar Library was announced by Al Rawi & George Iraq 52 p. 149 fn. 1).