CCP 3.1.21 - Enūma Anu Enlil 21

Catalogue information
British Museum
NinevehNineveh (Kuyunjik)

Rochberg, 1988F. Rochberg, Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Eclipse Tablets of Enūma Anu Enlil. Berger & Söhne, 1988.: 249-250

DivinationAstrological. Enūma Anu Enlil


Base text: 
Enūma Anu Enlil 21
Tablet information
1 (or >)
obv. 9, rev. 8
2,85 × 5,39 cm
7th cent (Assurbanipal libraries and other Assyrian cities)

CAD Q 80b[On line r 8]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.
[New composition?]
: 145, 335

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.: 277

Rochberg, 1988F. Rochberg, Aspects of Babylonian Celestial Divination: The Lunar Eclipse Tablets of Enūma Anu Enlil. Berger & Söhne, 1988.
: 249-250

Frazer, 10/2017 (Transliteration)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Translation)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 10/2017 (Revision)
By Mary Frazer | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Frazer, M., 2017, “Commentary on Enūma Anu Enlil 21 (CCP 3.1.21),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/2jm649k
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

A fragment from the lower edge of a tablet written in Neo-Assyrian script. The preserved lines explain Enūma Anu Enlil § II, 3-5 by means of phonetic glosses and synonyms. On the obverse, line 9' is written in smaller script, giving the impression that it was a later addition, squeezed between o 8′ and 10′ in order to explain 8′. On the reverse, ll. 17′ and 18′ are separated by a single ruling.

The most interesting feature of this commentary is that it explains what appears to be a mistake of one of the manuscripts of the base text. In Enūma Anu Enlil XXI § II, 3, one of the manuscripts (K.2275+ o 12) reads pa-aṣ (i.e., imaḫḫaṣ), whereas another (K.270+ i 14′) reads giš.gan, an obvious mistake for pa.gan = ság = maḫāṣu. Interestingly, the present commentary explains the latter form, giš.gan, as a writing of ság(pa.gan), providing the name of the diri-sign pa.gan in ll. 4′–5′. The commentary was, therefore, composed either for K.270+ i 14′ or for another manuscript that contained the same mistake.1


Powered by Oracc
(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


Sm 0683


[...] x [...]



[* U₄.16.KAM AN].GE₆ [GAR LUGAL ÚŠ-ma]1

[“If an ecl]ipse [occurs on the sixteenth day, the king will die,]


    [KUR] i-ḫar-ru?-[ub na-me-e KÚR GIŠ.GAN]2

[the land] will become deser[ted, (and) the enemy will smite(sic.!) the steppe”] (= EAE XXI § II, 3).


    [...] SÁG(PA.GAN) : GIŠ.GAN3

[] “PA.GAN” means “GIŠ.GAN”


    [GIŠ.GAN : u-gu-la ḫe]-ḫu-úSÁG(PA.GAN) : MIN<(GIŠ.GAN)> : ma-ḫa-ṣu4

[GIŠ.GAN] is (the sign) PA.GAN, (whose name is) ugula ḫeḫû. “Ditto” (i.e., GIŠ.GAN) means “to beat”.


    [...] : ka-ma-su5

[] means to gather


[* U₄].21.KÁM AN.GE₆ GAR ḫi-ṣib A.AB.BA ZÁḪ-ma6

[“If] on the [twenty-first] day an eclipse occurs, the produce of the sea will disappear,


    [(...)] ap-pa-ru i-EZEN qin-nu MUŠEN -šu7

marsh will ... [the sea], the bird will nest (there) (= EAE XXI § II, 5).


    [A.AB.BA] ap-pa-ru im-mi qin-nu iṣ-ṣu-ri i-qa-an-nun-šú

[(means) “the sea] will become marsh, the bird will nest (there).”


    [e-mu]-ú : ma-šá-lu : : qa-na-nu8

[(because) “to becom]e” means “to equal”; “to nest (Sumerian) means “to nest (Akkadian)


[*] U₄.20!(21)KAM AN.GE₆ GAR ina itiNE dIŠKUR

[“If] an eclipse occurs on the twenty-first day, in month V Adad


    [-šú] ŠUBdi-ma DINGIR GU₇

will th[under] and the god will devastate;



[after the yea]r Adad will smite the herds” (= EAE XXI §IV, 4).


    [itiNE :] ITI šu-a-tu₄ : NE : šu-a-tu₄9

[“ITI.NE”] means “that month” (because) “NE” means “that”


[* U₄.20].KÁM AN.GE₆ GAR ŠÈG-ME ina ANe

[“If] an eclipse occurs [on the twentieth day], rain from the sky


    [ILLU-ME ina IDIM KU₅]-MEŠ KUR ana KUR i-ḫa-aq-ma SILIMmu GAR

[(and) floods from the source will cease, land will go against (another) land and peace will occur” (= EAE XXI §VI, 4).


    [ḫa-a-qu :] a-la-ku10

[ḫâqu means] “to go.”


[* U₄.x.KAM] AN.GE₆ GAR [...]

[“If] an eclipse occurs [on the x day …”]

1The restorations of this and the following line are based on the assumption that they = EAE XXI § II, 3 (Rochberg 1988: 236).

2For the tentative restoration of GIŠ.GAN, see the note to the next line.

3The sign sequence PA.GAN clearly refers to maḫāṣu in EAE XXI § II, 3 (Rochberg 1988: 236). The equation of PA.GAN and mahāṣu is elsewhere attested in the lexical list Diri = (w)atru, Tablet V: 85 (reference from CAD M/1 72a). As Rochberg (1988: 236 Textual Note 3) notes, GIŠ.GAN appears instead of PA.GAN in source A of the base text, and so the author of this commentary may have referred to source A in order to create this commentary.

4The gloss at the beginning probably provides the reading of the sign PA.GAN as MIN<(u-gu-la)> ḫe-ḫu-ú (see Gong Die Namen der Keilschriftzeichen, AOAT 268 [2000]), p. 170.

5Compare EAE XXI §II, 4 (Rochberg 1988: 236), although the equation of šapāku, “to heap up”, with kamāsu A, “to gather”, is not otherwise attested.

6This and the following line = EAE XXI § II, 5 (Rochberg 1988: 236).

7In light of the commentary in the following two lines, the sign sequence i-EZEN is difficult to explain: for discussion see Rochberg (1988: 236 Textual note 5). The explanation is probably based on a parsing of the signs as i-mú.

8The equation of emû with mašālu is also attested in the commentary on Ludlul bēl nēmeqi (CCP 1.3 o 13'); is equated with qanānu in the lexical list An-ta-gál = šaqû D 74f (reference from CAD Q 80b, where the present line is read as : ma-šá-lu : : qa-na-nu, which is epigraphically impossible).

9An identical explanation of itiNE occurs in CCP 3.2.1.A.a l. 50, with the additional comment that “it is said in the ṣâtu.” Compare also [iti]GAN? = ITI šu-a-tu₄ KAM šu-a-tu₄ in CCP 3.1.47 l. 43′. Otherwise, NE usually means annû.

10ḫâqu = alāqu is attested in BM 35509 i 14′ (LBAT 1577 = CCP 3.1.u19).

© Trustees of the British Museum

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum