CCP 3.6.3.D - Izbu 14 D

Catalogue information
Royal Ontario Museum of Archaeology
ROM 910x209.458
ROM D991 (olim)

de Zorzi, 2014N. de Zorzi, La serie teratomantica Šumma Izbu. Testo, tradizione, orizzonti culturali. Sargon Editice e Libreria, 2014.: 699-700

Leichty, 1970E. Leichty, The Omen Series Šumma Izbu. Augustin, 1970.: 23, 232-233

DivinationTeratological omensIzbu cola LB Uruk

ṣâtu 7c

Base text: 
Izbu 14
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
Seleucid / Parthian (3rd cent - ca 100 BCE) (Babylon / Uruk)
[...] Anu-bēlšunu [...]

Cavigneaux, 1976A. Cavigneaux, Die sumerisch-akkadischen Zeichenlisten. Überlieferungsprobleme. PhD thesis, 1976.
[Discussion of the Erimḫuš entry]
: 151-152

de Zorzi & Jursa, 2011bN. de Zorzi and Jursa, M. , The Courtier in the Commentary, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 2011/33, 2011.
[Collation colophon, ll. 6-7]

Finkel, 2006I. L. Finkel, On an Izbu VII commentary, 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. 139-148.
["Vertical" style of quotation]
: 144

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 55, 88, 208-09, 293-94, 297

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 74 (9, 19, 22), 128 (23), 129 (17), 168 (6–7), 227 (2–4), 74, 109 (8)

Gabbay & Jiménez, forthcomingU. Gabbay and Jiménez, E. , From Nippur to Uruk: The Tablets of the Gimil-Sîn Family.
[On the colophon]

Kraus, 2015N. Kraus, Revisiting the Courtier in the Commentary, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 2015/55, 2015.
[On line 6-7: New interpretation]

Leichty, 1970E. Leichty, The Omen Series Šumma Izbu. Augustin, 1970.
: 23, 232-233

Reiner, 1996E. Reiner, The synonym Iist Anšar = Anu, N.A.B.U. Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires, vol. 1996/125, 1996.
[On line 4: Explicit quotation from Erimḫuš]

Kraus, 01/2015 (ATF Transliteration)
Kraus, 01/2015 (Translation)
Jiménez, 01/2015 (Revision)
Jiménez, 01/2015 (Lemmatization)
Kraus, 01/2015 (Introduction)
Gabbay, 04/2015 (Suggestions (introduction))
Frazer, 02/2016 (Corrections [Introduction])
Y. Cohen, 03/2016 (Corrections [ll. 10-11 and 15])
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Nicholas Kraus | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Kraus, N., 2015, “Commentary on Izbu 14 (CCP 3.6.3.D),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed July 12, 2024, at DOI: 10079/dfn2zg1
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

The following tablet is a Late Babylonian commentary on the 14th tablet of the teratological divination series Šumma Izbu. The tablet was acquired by the Royal Ontario Museum at the beginning of the 20th century, and comes in all likelihood from uncontrolled excavations in Uruk or, as U. Gabbay suggests (private communication), in Nippur. It was first published by E. Leichty,1 and a new edition of the tablet by De Zorzi has recently appeared. The colophon of the tablet identifies it as belonging to the library of Anu-bēlšunu, which suggests dating it to the second or third century BCE.2

The commentary is classified in its rubric as a ṣâtu 7c commentary, a type not uncommon among Izbu commentaries from ancient Uruk: CCP 3.6.3.A, CCP 3.6.3.B, and CCP 3.6.3.C, all of them from the library of Iqīšāya, belong to the same category.


The commentary focuses on philological matters. Usually single words are explained by means of synonyms: for instance, line 13 explains ina mārūtīšu, “in his childhood,” as ina ṣeḫērīšu, “in his youth.” The glosses also render logograms syllabically (e.g. l. 12, apin-ka : ir-riš-ka), or offer contemporizing spellings of archaizing writings, as in l. 7 (ku-us-sà-at : ku-us-sa-at). Occasionally the comments are more speculative, and alternative explanations introduced by šanîš are attested e.g. in ll. 8, 9, 19, and 22. In one case the commentary quotes explicitly from the lexical list Erimhuš (ll. 3-4): oddly enough, the series is quoted “vertically,” and with variant spellings unattested in any manuscript of it.

The commentary uses the technical term libbū, “(as derived) from (the fact that),” to introduce periphrastic explanations not strictly based on philological grounds. Thus, for instance the apodosis “[The royal weapon will not] be loosed” is explained “(as derived) from (the fact that) ‘the king's weapon will remain inactive’.”

One of the explanations introduced by libbū was discussed by de Zorzi & Jursa in a recent note, and reappraised by the present editor.3


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ROM 910x209.458[via ccpo]


[BE iz-bu ku-ri-it 15-šú] NU GÁL DAM LUGAL BA.UG₇ É BI BIRaḫ

(1) ["If an anomaly does not have its right calf], the wife of the king will die, that house will be dispersed" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 1)


[sa- : sa-qi] : ERIM-ka ana šal-la-ti-šá GURár : um-man-ka1

(2) [The word saqi (= Šumma Izbu XIV 3) means "thigh".] "Your army will become prisoner" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 5) means "your army [is taken for] plunder." Because of (the passage) DUL₂.LA₂ = A.DUL₂.LA₂ = LAḪ₄.LAḪ₄ means [ridûtu ("confiscation")] (i.e.,) "confiscated" (etellû), (i.e.), "to plunder" (šalālu), it is said in (the series) Erimḫuš (= quote from Erimḫuš I 198-200), (the base text) "[your army] will become captive" (can also mean) "the enemy will plunder your army."


[a-na šal-la]-ti i-ta-ri lib-bu-ú dúl- : a-dúl- : laḫ₄-laḫ₄ :


[ri-du-tu] : e-tel-lu-ú : šá-la-lu ina ERIM.ḪUŠ qa-bi2


[um-man]-ka ana šal-la-ti-šú GURár : um-man-ka KÚR i-šal-lal


[x x x] : DUMU É.GAL : šá re- ina lìb-bi šá ṣe-eḫ-ru-ma

(6) [...] son of the palace (= Šumma Izbu XIV 10) means a court official because he is young and [...] he did not become a father."


[x x] x-ú a-na a-bi la i-tu-ru : ku-us--at : ku-us-sa-at3

(7) The word ku-us-sà-at (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) (is the same as) ku-us-sa-at, and means [...], alternatively, it means "it is bound" (raksat), (since) DIB means "prisoner," (i.e.), he who is [...] with his brothers. Alternatively, (it means) "it is reduced," (since) LAL means "to bind" and LAL means "to be reduced."


[x x]-ti šá-niš ra-ak-sa-at : DIB : ka-su-ú šá it-ti ŠEŠ-MEŠ-šú


[x] x-tu šá-niš ma-ṭa-a-tu : LAL : ka-su-ú : LAL : ma-ṭu-ú


[x] x : ina MA.SÌL-šú na-ši : : eq-bi : MA.SIL : ku-tal-la

(10) [...]. "It is on its hoof (ina MA.SÌL-šú)" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 24), (the logogram) MA.SÌL (when QA is read as SÌL) means "hoof," MA.SÌL (also) means "back," [MA.S]ÌL (also) means "buttocks."


[MA].SIL : qin-na-tu₄ : wa-tar : a-tar : KÚR li-di APIN-ka :

(11) The word watar ("it is in excess") (= Šumma Izbu XIV 33) (is the same as) atar. In "The enemy will covet you līdu" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown), [līdu] means "strength;" līdu (also) means "property." APIN-ka means "he will covet you."


[li-di :] da-na-nu : li-di : bu-šu-ú : APIN-ka : ir-riš-ka


[x x] e-da-a : ina ma-ru-ti-šú : ina ṣe-ḫe-ri-šú4

(13) [...] (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) means "alone." "In his childhood" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) means "in his youth."


[x x] x : meṭ-lu-tu : lit-tu-tu : MIN<(meṭ-lu-tu)> : it-ba-ru-tu

(14) [...] "maturity" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) means "old age," the same thing (i.e. meṭlūtu) means "skill."


[KÚR SAG] ERIM ana ḪULti ú-kal : KÚR pa-ni ERIM-ia ana ḪUL i-dàg-gal

(15) ["The enemy] will take care of (my) army with evil (intentions)" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) means "the enemy will look at my army with evil (intentions)."


[SAG. : ka]-a-a-nu : SAG. : mu-kil re- : 5

(16) [SAG.UŠ] (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) means "regular," SAG (also) means "a constant attendant."


[gišTUKUL LUGAL] NU ip-pa-ṭar lib-bu-ú gišTUKUL LUGAL i-rab-bi-ṣu

(17) ["The royal weapon will not] be loosed," (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown), is as if (it said) "the king's weapon will remain inactive."


[x x x x] x saḫ₄-maš-tum : te-šu-ú : us-su-la : us-su-lu

(18) [...]. "Rebellion" (= Šumma Izbu XIV K.3595+ 11' (?)) means "confusion." ussula ("it is paralysed") (= Šumma Izbu XIV 82-3-23,84 10) (stems from) ussulu ("to paralyse"), (and it means) ["it is captured,"] (since) DIB means "to paralyse," and DIB means "to capture." Alternatively ussulu means [...], ussu]lu means "to seal."


[ṣa-bit : DAB : us-su]-lu : DAB : ṣa-ba-tu šá-niš us-su-lu


[x x x x x x us-su]-lu : pe-ḫu-ú6


[NUNUZ LUGAL] gišGU.ZA ul i-ṣab-bat : NUNUZ : ma-ru

(21) [In "The descendant (NUNUZ) of the king] will not seize the throne" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown), NUNUZ means "son."


[gaṣ-ṣa-at :] GAZ : ḫe-pu-ú šá-niš ga-aṣ-ṣa-at

(22) [gaṣ-ṣa-at] (?) (= Šumma Izbu XIV 70-74) (is written with) GAZ, (which) means "to break;" alternatively, gaṣṣat (= Šumma Izbu XIV 70) means [...].


[... x]-as : ina GIŠ ŠU-MIN u se-me-ri lib-bu-ú

(23) "In handcuffs and shackles" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown) is as if (it said) [someone ...] whose hands and feet they are restrained. [...] LAL means "to bind."


[...] x x x ṣab?-ti šá ŠU-MIN u GÌR-MIN ka-lu-ú7


[...]-lu : LAL : ka-su-ú


[...] še-it [: ina kin]-ṣi*-šú* KI i-kab-ba-as

(26) ["The lower part of] his leg tramples the earth" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 80-81) means [...] .


[... ana ŠÀ]nu pa-[as-la] : a-na qer--nu

(27) "They are turned inward" (= Šumma Izbu XIV unknown, cf. Šumma Izbu XIV 93-97) means "toward the inside." [... (since) pesēlu "to turn outward"] means "to restrain." [...]


[pa-as-la ...] x : pe-se-[e]-lu : ka-lu-ú


[...] x-x-an : a-ḫe-e : a-ḫa-meš

(29) "Separately" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 97) means "mutually." [...]


[... pa-pa]-an lìb-bi

(30) "The papānu of the stomach" (= Šumma Izbu XIV 103 (?)) [means ...].


[...] x : lem-nu

(31) [...] means evil.


[BE iz-bu GÌR-šú šá 15 il-mi-ma ana IGI KUN-šú] UMBIN-šú ú-kal

(32) [If an anomaly, its foot is surrounded on the right, and in front of its hair] its hoof is held.


[ṣa-a- šu-ut KA u maš]-al- šá KA um-man-nu

(33) [Lemmata, oral explanations, and (materials for) a 'questioning'] following the sayings of a (master-)scholar.


[... im-gíd]-da

(34) [...] one-column tablet of [..., son of] Anu-Bēlšunu, [...].


[... A šá d]60-EN-šú-nu


[...] x-ku-ú8

1The restoration at the beginning of the line is based on the first line of the main commentary on tablet XIV, cf. Leichty 1970

2For the Erimḫuš quote see Maekawa ASJ 18 (1996) p. 105, Sjöberg Fs Jacobsen (1975) p. 164 and dcclt/Q000203 and notes ad loc.

3The interpretation of this line differs from that of De Zorzi and Jursa NABU 2011/33; see Kraus NABU 2015/55. The second part of the line renders the archaizing writing ku-us-sà-at with the regular first millennium spelling ku-us-sa-at.

4The equation of mārūtu = ṣeḫēru is otherwise unattested.

5Compare [ka-a]-°a-nu = mukīl rēš in BM 37655 o 6' [EJ].

6lu could also be read DIB, but the equation DIB = peḫû is unattested.

7The interpretation of ll. 23-25 is based on CAD S 224a.

8The traces do not seem to allow a reading [... UNU]ú, and [ú-r]u-ku-ú vel. sim. seems too far-fetched

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