CCP 2.2.2 - Udug-hul 2-4

Catalogue information
Vorderasiatisches Museum
VAT 8286
Ass 13955 ao
AššurAššur, House of the Exorcist
BAM 8 pl. 137
LKA 82
BAM 8 pl. 137
Ph. Ass. 3935 S
MagicUdughul, Marduk’s addressUdughul


Base text: 
Udug-hul 2-4
Tablet information
obv 10, edge 2
7th cent (Assurbanipal libraries and other Assyrian cities)

Borger, 1975R. Borger, Handbuch der Keilschriftliteratur. Band II. Supplement zu Band I. de Gruyter, 1975.: 60

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 126-27, 269

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 106 (11), 268 (12), 29–30 (3–6), 29, 171 (1–2)

Geller, 2016M. J. Geller, Healing Magic and Evil Demons. Healing Magic and Evil Demons. De Gruyter, 2016.: 10, 74 fn. 47, 112 fn. 110, 135 ffnn. 4-5, and 393

Katz, 2005D. Katz, Death They Dispensed to Mankind The Funerary World of Ancient Mesopotamia, Historiae, vol. 2, pp. 55-90, 2005.
[On line 11-12]
: 71

Pedersén, 1986O. Pedersén, Archives and Libraries in the City of Assur. A Survey of the Material from the German Excavations. Almqvist & Wiksell, 1986.: 60 no. 39

Frahm, 05/2015 (Transliteration)
Frahm, 05/2015 (Translation)
Frahm, 05/2015 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Eckart Frahm | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Frahm, E., 2015, “Commentary on Udug-hul 2-4 (CCP 2.2.2),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/z34tn2f
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This small one-column tablet, Ass. 13955ao (VAT 8286, LKA 82), contains a commentary on selected lines from Udug-ḫul II, III and IV. Like other commentaries on Marduk’s Address to the Demons (CCP 2.2.1.A.a and CCP 2.2.1.A.b), it originates from the “house of the exorcists” in Assur. Only the tablet’s obverse is preserved. Of particular interest is its beginning, one of the few commentary entries that quote and explain both the Sumerian and the Akkadian version of a bilingual text (Udug-ḫul II 47):


nam-lú-u₁₉-lu un sag-gi₆-ga-ke₄

a-me-lu-tú ni-ši ṣal-mat qaq-qa-di an-nu-u na-mir šu-lu-šá!(IÁ)-a

nam-lú-u₁₉-lu un sag-gi₆-ga-ke₄ − “mankind, the people, the black-headed,” this is clear: (it is) each threefold.


Unfortunately, this entry, beyond the obvious point it makes about three words being used for “mankind” in both the Sumerian and the Akkadian versions of the line, remains more or less obscure.1 The following two sections of the commentary, divided from each other by horizontal rulings, quote only the Akkadian lines of the base text. Lines 3-7 duplicate JRL 1053 (CCP 2.2.1.A.b), lines 11-16, while lines 8-12 offer the Akkadian text of Udug-ḫul IV 1-5, but provide explanations only for the last two lines.


[Adapted from E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011. Pp. 126-127]

  • 1. One could speculate that the explanation refers to a difficult line (also alluded to in Assurbanipal’s L4 inscription, i 17’) of the so-called Examenstext A (Å. W. Sjöberg, Der Examenstext A, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, vol. 64, pp. 137-176, 1975. P. 142:15), which mentions šulūšā in the context of a passage on how to translate from Sumerian into Akkadian. Manuscripts of Examenstext A were found in the “house of the exorcists.” Alternatively, the explanation could be a subtle allusion to Enūma eliš VI 155, where Marduk receives the name Namru as the third of his Asalluḫi names. “Marduk’s Address” and many other texts demonstrate that Asalluḫi was the name Marduk bore when he was worshipped as the patron of exorcism. Yet both these explanations seem rather far-fetched. Note that AHw and CAD do not quote the LKA 82 reference to šulūšā.

Powered by Oracc
(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


LKA 082

o 1o 1

nam--u₁₉-lu ùŋ saŋ-gíg-ga-ke₄

(o 1) Humanity, the people, the black-headed ones (Udugḫul II 47), (Akkad.:) "humanity, the people, the black-headed ones" (Udugḫul II 48). This is its Sumerian ...

o 22

a-me-lu- ni-ši ṣal-mat qaq-qa-di an-nu-u šu*-mer-šu KI?.A GAR.A1

o 33

a-na É ina e-re-bi-ia

(o 3) "When I enter the house, Šamaš is in front of me and Sîn is behind me" (Udugḫul III 142 und 144). (To be interpreted) as follows: When my face is directed towards the rising sun, the following (applies): Šamaš is in front of me, Sîn is behind me.

o 44

dUTU ina IGI-ia d30 ina ár-ki-ia ma-a šum-ma ina dUTU.È pa-ni-ia GAR*nu

o 55

    ma-a dUTU ina IGI-ia d30 ina ár-ki-ia

o 66

dU.GUR ina im-ni-ia dMAŠ ina GÙB-ia ina KA-ia ḫa-riš2

(o 6) "Nergal is to my right, Ninurta is to my left." (Udugḫul III 146 und 148) In my mouth ....

o 77

    ina ŠÀ pu-ṭur lem-nu3

(o 7) From: "Be released, evil!"

o 88

šá ri-ḫu-ut da-nu re-ḫu-u DUMU-MEŠ i-lit-ti KI šú-nu

(o 8) "The ones poured out as progeny of Anu, they are children born by the netherworld. They belong to an evil nurse. They sucked the milk of an evil wet-nurse" (Udugḫul III 2, 4 und 6).

o 99

šá ta-ri-ti ḪUL šú-nu

o 1010

šá mu-še-niq-ti le-mut-ti ši-iz-ba i-ni-qu šú-nu

b.e. 11b.e. 11

ina a-ra-al-le-e še-pa i-šak-nu ma-a šá da-a-ki šú-u

(b.e. 11) "They set their feet into the netherworld (arallû)" (Udugḫul III 8). (To be interpreted) as follows: It refers to acts of killing.

b.e. 1212

ina qab-ri ba-a-bi ip-tu-u ma-a ina KI ba-a-bi ip-te-tu-u4

(b.e. 12) "In the tomb, they opened a door" (Udugḫul III 10). (To be interpreted) as follows: They opened a door in the netherworld.

reverse uninscribed

1In contrast to the following passages, both the Sumerian and the Akkadian versions are quoted here. Based on collation (8/2016), the reading suggested in GMTR 5 pp. 26-27 is probably not correct. The reading šu-mer-šu follows the suggestion by Geller BAM 8 (2016); the interpretation of the following signs follows Gabbay CHANE 82 (2016) p. 171.

2Pace Borger, HKL 2, ll. 3-6 comment on Udug-hul 3 and not Udug-hul 2. The comments in ll. 4f. imply that the ritual accompanying the recitation took place in the early morning. harāšu can be translated as "to bind," but its exact meaning in this context remains obscure.

3The incantation puṭur lemnu introduces the second and not the third tablet of Udug-hul (Geller, SAACT 5, 96); but it seems that the author of the commentary considered Udug-hul 2 and 3 as a kind of unit.

4Unlike the comments in ll. 4-5, those in ll. 11-12 seem to have a theological rather than a practical scope. The explanation in l. 11 may draw on the fact that the sign combination used to write arali, É-KUR-BAD, includes the element BAD, which can mean "to die" when read úš.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

© Vorderasiatisches Museum