CCP 3.1.55.A - Enūma Anu Enlil 55 A

Catalogue information
British Museum
NinevehNineveh (Kuyunjik)
ACh Ištar 21 [composite copy]
DivinationAstrological. Enūma Anu Enlil


Base text: 
Enūma Anu Enlil 55
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
obv 16, rev 4
7,62 × 5,08 cm
7th cent (Assurbanipal libraries and other Assyrian cities)

CAD T 20b[On line 12]

CAD S 351b[On line 10]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 150

Reiner, 1998aE. Reiner, Celestial Omen Tablets and Fragments in the British Museum, in tikip santakki mala bašmu.. Festschrift für Rykle Borger zu seinem 65. Geburtstag am 24. Mai 1994, S. M. Maul, Ed. Styx, 1998, pp. 215-302.
[EAE 55 comm.]
: 218

Reiner, 1999E. Reiner, Babylonian Celestial Divination, in Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination, N. M. Swerdlow, Ed. Institute of Technology Press, 1999, pp. 21-37.
[On line 6-7]
: 28-29

Reiner, 2004E. Reiner, Constellation into Planet, in Studies in the History of the Exact Sciences in Honour of David Pingree, C. Burnett, Hogendijk, J. P. , Plofker, K. , and Yano, M. , Eds. Brill, 2004, pp. 3-15.
[On line 9-10, 6-7]
: 5, 10

Reiner, 2006E. Reiner, If Mars Comes Close to Pegasus.., in If a Man Builds a Joyful House: Assyriological Studies in Honor of Erle Verdun Leichty, A. K. Guinan, Ellis, MdeJ. , Ferrara, A. J. , Freedman, S. M. , Rutz, M. T. , Sassmannshausen, L. , Tinney, S. , and Waters, M. W. , Eds. Brill, 2006, pp. 313-323.
[On line 6']
: 319

Frazer, 08/2016 (Transliteration)
Frazer, 08/2016 (Translation)
Frazer, 08/2016 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
Frazer, 02/2018 (Corrections [introduction])
By Mary Frazer | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Frazer, M., 2016, “Commentary on Enūma Anu Enlil 55 (CCP 3.1.55.A),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/1g1jx5m
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet, found on Kuyunjik, Nineveh, preserves twenty lines from the middle of a commentary on the astrological series Enūma Anu Enlil. The preserved lines deal with the appearance of the Kidney Star (= Canopus?) (o 2′-8′) and the Ḫabaṣirânu Constellation (= Centaurus) (o 13′-17′, r 1′-2′), and these sections are delineated by single rulings.

The omens commented on in this tablet slightly overlap with the omens found in last lines preserved on the obverse of CCP 3.1.55.B.The preceding section of CCP 3.1.55.B cites omens that deal with the appearance of the Yoke Constellation, which features in an incipit of EAE Chapter 48 (according to the Assur recension) / 55 (Nineveh recension).1 Consequently, both the present text and CCP 3.1.55.B are commentaries on Tablet 55 of that series, according to the Nineveh recension.

Formally, this commentary is of the indentation-type. The majority of the explanations in the preserved lines depend on an equation of the astral body in the base text with the planet Mercury. Mercury is thrice described with the puzzling phrase gim tùm ḫanṭiš inammar, literally “like ... it will quickly be seen” (o 12’, 15’, 17’). In other astronomical contexts, tùm means tabālu in the sense of “to disappear,” but this meaning seems incongruous in the present context (CAD T 20b and tabālu A mng. 6a-1’ and 6b).


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ACh Ishtar 21

o 1'o 1'

    x x [...]

(means) [...]

o 2'2'

* mulÉLLAG ma-[diš SIG₇ ...]1

“If the Kidney Star ve[ry ...]

o 3'3'

    dSAG. ina mulx [...] x x x [...]

(means) “Saturn in the [...] Constellation [...].

o 4'4'

* mulÉLLAG ma-diš GE₆ [(x)] ka ŠE u x [x x x]2

“If the Kidney Star is very black ... [...].

o 5'5'

    dGU₄.UD ina mulgu-la ú-tan-[nat-ma]

(means) “Mercury grows faint in the Gula Constellation.”

o 6'6'

* mulÉLLAG mulUDU.IDIM it-te-ḫi ŠE.GIŠ.Ì SI.[]3

“If the Kidney Star comes close to a planet, sesame will pr[osper].”

o 7'7'

    dGU₄.UD ina mulgu-la ana dSAG. TEe?

(means) “Mercury in the Gula Constellation (i.e., Aquarius) comes close to Saturn.”

o 8'8'

* mulÉLLAG ana mulUGAmušen i-mid ŠE.GIŠ.Ì SIG₅ ŠU.BI..ÀM4

“If the Kidney Star leans on the Raven Constellation, sesame will be good (means) “ditto” (i.e., “Mercury in the Gula Constellation comes close to Saturn).”

o 9'9'

* dé-a a-dir GÁN.ZI NU SI.5

“If Ea grows dark, the field will not prosper”

o 10'10'

    dGU₄.UD ina mulSUḪUR.MÁŠku₆ ú-tan-nat

(means) “Mercury grows faint in the Goat-Fish Constellation.”

o 11'11'

* mulNUN.KI miš-ḫa im-šúḫ BURU₁₄ GÁN.ZI KUR SI.6

“If (with respect to) the Eridu Star, a meteor flares up, the harvest of the field of the land will prosper”

o 12'12'

    dGU₄.UD ki-ma TÙM ḫa-an-ṭiš IGI-ma7

(means) “Mercury, as though it had disappeared, will soon be seen.”

o 13'13'

* mulEN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM ina È-šu mu-lu-uḫ ina SAG itiŠU.NUMUN.NA IGI8

“If the Ḫabaṣirānu Constellation flickers when it rises (and) is seen at the beginning of the month of Dumuzi,

o 14'14'


the harvest of the land will prosper (and) business will shrink.”

o 15'15'

    dGU₄.UD ki-ma TÙM ḫa-an-ṭiš IGI-ma

(means) “Mercury, as though it had disappeared, will soon be seen.”

o 16'16'

[*] mulEN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM ina È-šu a--il BURU₁₄ NU SI. up-pu-lu : ka-a-šú9

(In) [If] the Ḫabaṣirānu Constellation is late when it rises, the harvest of the land will not prosper,” “to be late” means “to linger”

o 17'17'

    dGU₄.UD GIM TÙM a-danan-šú ina ANe DIBiq-ma10

(means) “Mercury, as though it had disappeared, exceeds its normal time in the sky.”

r 1'r 1'

[*] mulEN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM SAG?-šú? ANe? i-na-aṭ-ṭa-la ina MU BI11

[If] the Ḫabaṣirānu Constellation, its head looks at the heavens in that year”

r 2'2'

    x zi x x [x x x] x x x ú-tan-nat-ma

(means) ... [...] ... grows faint.”

r 3'3'

[*] mul[...]-kur-ru

[If] the [...] constellation [...]

r 4'4'


[...] ...

1Restoration based on ACh Ištar 21: 32.

2The traces of the sign following the signs ŠE u seem incompatible with the tempting restoration ŠE.[GIŠ.Ì SI.].

3Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 36.

4Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 39.

5Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 43.

6Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 45.

7CAD T 20b and abālu A mng. 6a-1’ and 6b.

8Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 47.

9Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 49.

10CAD A/1 100-101 but see also 99b (“exceeds its normal time”?), cp. BPO 3 p. 100 l. 11.

11Parallels ACh Ištar 21: 51.

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Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum