CCP 3.5.34 - Ālu 34

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 40749
Lambert Folio 9292 [tr]
DivinationTerrestrial omens (Šumma Ālu)


Base text: 
Ālu 34
Tablet information
Fragment (upper portion of a small tablet)
obv. 9, rev. 6
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown

CAD T 240a[ : ta-ar-pa-šu BM 40749:4 (comm., courtesy W. G. Lambert).]

Jiménez, 2018E. Jiménez, Highway to Hell: The Winds as Cosmic Conveyors in Mesopotamian Incantation Texts, in Sources of Evil. Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore, G. Van Buylaere, Luukko, M. , Schwemer, D. , and Mertens-Wagschal, A. , Eds. Brill, 2018, pp. 316-350.
[Ninkilim (wrongly cited as BM “40739”!)]
: 336 fn. 48

Jiménez, 02/2016 (Identification)
Jiménez, 02/2016 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 02/2016 (Translation)
Jiménez, 02/2016 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2016, “Commentary on Ālu 34 (CCP 3.5.34),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed April 23, 2024, at DOI: 10079/51c5bbs
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This fragment belongs to the British Museum’s “Babylon Collection” (its accession number is 81-4-28,294). It contains a previously unidentified commentary on the 34th chapter of the series of terrestrial omens Šumma Ālu, whose incipit is “If a mongoose.” The poor state of preservation of both the chapter of the base text and the present tablet makes the edition offered below very provisional.

Only the upper half of the present text is preserved. The tablet was originally of small format: it can be compared e.g. with the commentary on physiognomic omens BM 38788 (CCP 3.7.2.J), or with the commentary tablet BM 38684 (CCP 7.2.u109, which incidentally also deals with mongooses).

The main goal of the commentary is to provide glosses for difficult words or writings. For instance, the rare logogram is explained as tarpašu, “otter.” The commentary uses the technical terms šanîš (o 2 and 6?), used to adduce alternative explanations, and ša (o 8), used to introduce periphrastic definitions.


Powered by Oracc
(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


BM 040749 (unpublished unassigned ?) [commentaries]

o 1o 1

dNIN.KILIM : ner-tu₄ : ḫi-ṭu

(o 1) (From the tablet) “If a mongoose” (= Šumma Ālu 34 1) “Murder” (= Šumma Ālu 34 2) means “crime”; alternatively, it means “to kill.”

o 22

šá-niš da-a-ku

o 33

iḫ-ta-na-ru-ur : ir-ta-na-kab

(o 3) “He continually trembles” (= Šumma Ālu 34 unknown) means “he continually pushes forward.”

o 44

dNIN.KILIM.BAR.BAR : ta-ar-pa-šú

(o 4) NIN.KILIM.BAR.BAR (= Šumma Ālu 34 29-32) means “otter.”

o 55

ra-pa-gu : mut-tap-ri-šú1

(o 5) The word rapāgu (= Šumma Ālu 34 unknown) means “winged.”

o 66

NA BI EZEN šá-niš : UG₅ lu-u

(o 6) “That man will EZEN, alternatively, UG₅ or UG₅.GA” (= Šumma Ālu 34 unknown) means “dead.”

o 77

UG₅.GA : mi-i-

o 88

iḫ-ta-na-ru-ur : šá ta-EZEN? ib-bu-ú

(o 8) “He continually trembles” (= Šumma Ālu 34 unknown) refers to (the man) who is called ...

(rest of obverse missing)
rr NaN  (beginning reverse missing)
r 1'r 1'

[x x (x)] x x [x x (x)]

(r 1') ...

r 2'2'

x-šu-ku : maš-x? : x [x x (x)]

r 3'3'

ú-ta-áš-šá-ab : ut-tan-na-aḫ?2

(r 3') utaššab means uttannaḫ.

r 4'4'

ú-ta-sa-ab : sa-a-[x x x] x

(r 4') ú-ta-sa-ab means ... [...].

r 5'5'

KU₁₀.KU₁₀ <:> la-ra-a ir-ši

(r 5') KU₁₀.KU₁₀ <means> it has twigs; KU₁₀.KU₁₀ means “Nissaba ...

r 6'6'

KU₁₀.KU₁₀ : dŠE.NAGA x x UD

(rest of reverse blank)

1The reading of the first word seems clear, but its meaning is uncertain.

2The decipherment of lines 3′-4′ remains uncertain.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum