CCP 3.4.1.H - Bārûtu 1 Isru (?) H

Catalogue information
British Museum
NinevehNineveh (Kuyunjik)
CT 30 43
DivinationExtispicy (Bārûtu)


Base text: 
Bārûtu 1 Isru (?)
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
Fragment, left side
1 (or >)
obv 20, rev 8
4,44 × 8,89 cm
7th cent (Assurbanipal libraries and other Assyrian cities)

CAD A/2 141b[On line r 6: Subscript]

CAD M/2 182[On line r 6': Rubric]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.
[A few entries seem to duplicate lines from a niṣirti bārûti section, so perhaps this is a mukallimtu commentary on it.]
: 190

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 36 (15′), 54 (r 6′), 279, 15, 279 (r 7′)

Nougayrol, 1945J. Nougayrol, Textes hépatoscopiques d'époque ancienne conservés au musée du Louvre (II), Revue d'Assyriologie, vol. 40, pp. 56-97, 1945.: 66

Weidner, 1973E. F. Weidner, Review of Handcock CT 30, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 24, pp. 142-143, 1973.: 143a

Jiménez, 09/2014 (ATF Transliteration)
Jiménez, 09/2014 (Collation)
Jiménez, 09/2014 (Translation)
Jiménez, 09/2014 (Lemmatization)
Jiménez, 09/2014 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2014, “Commentary on Bārûtu 1 Isru (?) (CCP 3.4.1.H),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed June 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/905qg6r
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet contains meager remains of a text classified in the rubric as a mukallimtu-commentary. Only the citations from the base text are preserved, and not a single explanation (with the possible exception of r 5').


In spite of its damaged state, this tablet stood out in U.S. Koch's edition of the niṣirti bārûti texts as the only known example of a commentary on such texts. E. Frahm, following with caution Koch's analysis, states that "it seems [...] that at least a rudimentary commentary tradition had developed in ancient Mesopotamia around the niṣirti bārûti texts."1

Koch's main argument for classifying this text as niṣirti bārûti commentary is her interpretation of the final rubric of the tablet, which she restores as annû mukallimtu ša du [kaskal dib uru u mimma -šú me-a gar-nu], "this is a mukallimtu-commentary on the tablet 'Going [on a campaign, seizing a city of doing anything else'"] (2). The second part of Koch's restoration (beginning with du) is in fact attested in the rubric of a niṣirti bārûti text,3 as annûtu šīrū latkūtu amrūtu ša ana du kaskal dib uru (...): hence the purported identification. However, the modest remains of our commentary's rubric differ from the wording of the niṣirti bārûti text (there is no preposition before the alleged du). Moreover, Koch's restoration assumes that "ana du kaskal dib uru" is the title of that niṣirti bārûti text, for which there is no proof.

Upon collation of the tablet, the sign transliterated by Koch as du has proven to be partially broken: only the remains of two consecutive horizontals in the lower register and a parallel one in the upper register are preserved. This fits well the reading of the rubric adopted in CAD M/182, annû mukallimtu ša šumma (sc. šu[m-ma]) ... The conjuction šumma is indeed what would be expected after mukallimtu ša, introducing the incipit of the tablet commented upon. There is thus no proof that the base text of this commentary tablet is a niṣirti bārûti text.

Moreover, CAD cites the only other known instance of a rubric beginning annû mukallimtu ša, "this is the mukallimtu-commentary on...": it appears in the tablet LKU 133 r 6 (CCP 3.4.1.A.h), a commentary on Bārûtu 1 (Isru). Since Isru is indeed mentioned in the last line of our commentary (probably a catchline), It is assumed here somewhat haphazardly that our tablet is also a commentary on Isru.


The individual entries can be shown to parallel omens in various parts of Bārûtu. Thus Frahm4 cites parallels in the niṣirti bārûti text mentioned above. Moreover line o 16' also appears in a mukallimtu-commentary on Bārûtu 3 Manzāzu Rm.2,103 (CCP 3.4.3.A.a) iv 35.5 However the base text for the tablet cannot be identifed as yet.


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


CT 30, pl. 43, 1889-04-26 Bu, 171

o 1'o 1'

BE x-x-x [x x x x x x x x x]

If [...].

o 2'2'

BE 10 ŠÀ.NIGIN x [x x x x x x x]

If the coils of the colon are 10 [...].

o 3'3'

BE šub-bat u [x x x x x x x]

If the gall bladder is unsteady and [...].

o 4'4'

BE GAG.TI šá 15 u 2.30 [x x x x x x x]

If the right and left sides of the breastbone [...].

o 5'5'

BE GAG.TI šá [x x x x x x x x x]

If the [...] sides of the breastbone [...].

o 6'6'

BE ŠÀ.NIGIN [x x x x x x x]

If the coils of the colon [...].

o 7'7'

BE MÚRU NÍG.TAB [GÍR BAR-ma DU₈ x x x x]

If the center of the crucible of [the path is divided and loosen ...].

o 8'8'

BE UGUnu ME.NI [BAR-ma DU₈ x x x x]

If the upper part of the palace [is divided and loosen ...].

o 9'9'

BE SAG BAR-ma [DU₈ x x x x x x x]

If the head of the gall bladder is divided and [loosen ...].

o 10'10'

BE SAG ŠU.SI BAR-ma [DU₈ x x x x x x x x x]

If the head of the processus pyramidalis is divided [and loosen ...].

o 11'11'

BE SAG BAR-ma [DU₈ x x x x x x x x x]

If the head of the liver is divided [and loosen ...].

o 12'12'

BE DU₈ DAL.BA.AN.NA BAR-ma [DU₈ x x x]

If a split in the middle area is divided [and loosen ...].

o 13'13'

BE x-x-li x x-šú ana ti-[x x x x x x x x]

If ... [...].

o 14'14'

BE NA GIM GÍR GÍR GIM NA e-ṣir x [x x x x x x]

If the station is drawn like the path and the path like the station [...].

o 15'15'

an-nu-tu₄ UZU-MEŠ šá ḪAL mam-[ma NU ZUú]

This are omens which [not] every diviner [knows].

o 16'16'

BE NA kab-su KALAG BALut ú-[šal-lam-šú x x x x x]1

If the station is obliterated and the reinforcement is crossed over: it will benefit him [...].

o 17'17'

BE KIŠIB 15 na*-ḫi*-is* na-aḫ-sat SILIMát? [x x x x x]2

If the right vertebra is receded: It is favourable, [...].

o 18'18'

BE 10 ŠÀ.NIGIN u KIŠIB-MEŠ -MEŠ [x x x x x x]3

If the coils of the colon are 10 and the intestines are receded, [...].

o 19'19'

BE 10 ŠÀ.NIGIN [x x x x x x x x]

If the coils of the colon are 10 [...].

o 20'20'

[BE 10] ŠÀ.NIGIN [x x x x x x x]

If the coils of the colon are 10 [...].

(rest of obverse missing)
r 1'r 1'

BE [8 KIŠIB-MEŠ x x x x x x x x]

If [the vertebras are 8 ...].

r 2'2'

BE 9 [KIŠIB-MEŠ x x x x x x x]

If [the vertebras] are 9 [...].

r 3'3'

BE 10 [KIŠIB-MEŠ x x x x x x x]

If [the vertebras] are 10 [...].

r 4'4'

BE 11 KIŠIB-MEŠ ana UZU [x x x x x x x x]

If the vertebras are 11 [...].

r 5'5'

    MUNUS.ÙRU x [x x x x x x x x]

secret [...].

r 6'6'

an-nu-ú mu-kal-lim-tu₄ šá šum*-[ma IGI.BAR x x x x x x]4

This is a mukallimtu-commentary on “If [the eye-slit ...]."

r 7'7'

BEma MU-MEŠ šá ina ba-ru-ti KÚR-MEŠ-ma [GIŠKIM-šú-nu ana la-ma-di KURát]

Omens which are strange in extispicy and [their signs are suitable for learning].

r 8'8'

BE is-ri 15 ZALAGir BÙR ŠUB-ma IGI u ŠÀ*.[NIGIN x x x x x x x x]

If the right Isru is bright and there is a visible hole and the coils of the colon [...] (Catchline).

(rest of reverse blank)

1Restored with the mukallimtu-commentary on Manzāzu Rm.2,103 (CCP 3.4.3.A.a) iv 35, see Jeyes, U. JEOL 32 (1992/1992) pp. 35-36.

2Collated. Compare Koch, U.S. AOAT 326 (2005) p. 345 l. 67.

3As pointed out by Frahm, E. GMTR 5 (2011) p. 190, obv 18'-20' seem to duplicate the niṣirti bārûti text from Koch AOAT 326 (2005) p. 339-340 no. 41 ll. 40-42.

4On the reading of the line see the introduction to the commentary.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum