CCP 3.7.2.K - Alamdimmû K

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 41623

ṣâtu 7a

Base text: 
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
o 8, r 21
7,9 × 5,4 × 1,7 cm
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.
[On line r 10′]
: 145, 269

Jiménez, 2016aE. Jiménez, Loose Threads of Tradition. Two Late Hemerological Compilations, Journal of Cuneiform Studies, vol. 68, pp. 197-227, 2016.
[On line o 5′]
: 214

Jiménez, 07/2015 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 07/2015 (Translation)
Jiménez, 07/2015 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 07/2015 (Identification)
Gabbay, 07/2015 (Suggestions [l. 4'])
Finkel, 07/2015 (Collation, suggestions [esp. r 5', 7', 8', 11', 13'])
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2015, “Commentary on Alamdimmû (CCP 3.7.2.K),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/41ns24j
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

The present tablet contains a fragmentary commentary, classified in a badly damaged rubric as a ṣâtu 7a commentary. However, the section that should preserve the title of the text commented upon is broken. It seems very likely that the base text is a physiognomic treatise: this is suggested, first, by a series of protases that are fragmentarily preserved in this tablet and feature elsewhere only in physiognomic texts (see the textual notes on r 11′, r 14′, r 15′). Secondly, the fact that one of the entries appears in another ṣâtu commentary on physiognomic omens (r 10′, attested in CCP 3.7.2.C l. 48) also suggests that the present tablet comments on a text of physiognomic character. However, the identity of its base text remains unknown.

Although it takes some of its entries from bilingual lists (see e.g. the notes on o 5′ and 6′), the commentary’s main concern is not philological. In fact, an important section of the text seems to be devoted to the identification of certain features of the observed person’s body with constellations. Although the lacunae in the text preclude a proper understanding of the rationale behind this identifications, the situation is reminiscent of that of the commentary tablet SpTU 1 84 (CCP 3.2.u7), which combines a section dealing with astrological omens and a section on physiognomic omens.1 On the other hand, the obverse of the present tablet contains a quotation from a Sumerian literary text (o 4′).


The consignment to which this tablet belongs (81-6-25) also contains one of the very late Egibatila commentaries, which probably dates to the end of the second or the beginning of the first century BCE (CCP 3.5.31). It seems possible that the present tablet is also to be dated to the late Seleucid or Arsacid period. The other two known commentary tablets from the same consignment (CCP 7.2.u49 and CCP 7.2.u50) do not seem to be part of the same tablet as the present fragment.

Irving Finkel has been kind enough to collate the tablet, and his collations are noted in the edition below. Both Finkel and U. Gabbay have offered suggestions and corrections, which are likewise acknowledged in the textual notes.


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


BM 041623

o 1'o 1'

[...] x-ib- x [...]


o 2'2'

[...] : pi-riš- : ip-[...]

[...] secret ... [...],

o 3'3'

[...] ga-ṣi-ṣi : dALAD [x] kin--e d?IŠKUR : x [...]

[...] grinding. The protective spirit [...] mountain of Adad [...]

o 4'4'

[...]-ka ki-bala-a-šè ba-ab-súd-súd : DINGIR mu-x-[...]1

[...] "grinds his teeth against the enemy land" (= quotation from unknown Sumerian text) ... [...]

o 5'5'

[... ri]-qit- : ri--it- šin-ni : * ra-x [...]2

[... "stom]ach," written ri-qí-it-tú, means "tooth." If ... [...]

o 6'6'

[...] x-bi-bi : ZAG.GA : ti-iṣ-bur : da-[ba-bu ...]3

[...] ... "to prattle" means "to sp[eak" ...]

o 7'7'

[...] x : d30 : dLUGAL.KI.SUR.RA : x [...]

[...] Sîn is Lugalkisurra [...]

o 8'8'

[...] x : 15 15 x x [...]


r 1'r 1'

[x x x x x x x x x x x] x : x [...]


r 2'2'

[x x x x x x x x x x] x-su : * x [...]


r 3'3'

[x x x x x x x x x]-la-a-tu₄ : * U₄ x [...]


r 4'4'

[x x x x x x x x] x-ú- : 15 IGI-šú a-ri-[ik ...]4

[...] ... If the right (side) of his eyes is lo[ng ...].

r 5'5'

[x x x x x x x x] x-a-pi-is GE₆ GAR : i-na-a-šú [...]5

[...] ... has a black ... means "his eyes [..." ...]

r 6'6'

[x x x x x x x] x-sil/kut-ti GAR : pa-ni ki-nu-tu : * NUNUZ? [...]6

[...] ... "If he has ...kuttu" means "if he has a righteous face" (pānu kīnūtu). "If ... [...]

r 7'7'

[x x x x x x x]-ri/ar-ṣa-a-ni : dDUMU.ZI : SAG : qaq-qa-du [...]7

[...] ... means "Dumuzi"; SAG means "hea[d ...]

r 8'8'

[x x x x x x] x-šú? LÚGUD.DA 150 UGU mi-na-ti-šú GÍD.DA BA.UG₇? [...]

[... his right ...] is short and its left one is extraordinarily long, he will die [...]

r 9'9'

[x x x x x x d]ALAD? NU? sam-kát : áš-šú múlGU₄.AN.NA u múlḪUN. šá x [...]8

[... the protective sp]irit is not removed, (it is said) on account of the constellations Taurus and Aries, which [...].

r 10'10'

[x x x x x ig]-ri ul i-šet-su : ana i-di-šú in-nam-gar : ig-ri [...]9

[...] "There will be no wage remaining for him" means that he will be hired for a pay. "Wage" (igru) [refers to the constellation Aries (agru) ...].

r 11'11'

[x x x x x x] múlGU₄.AN.NA u múlḪUN. dLAMMA-šú-nu : * kin-ṣi-šú [...]10

[...] Taurus and Aries, the gate of their good fortune. If his shin [...]

r 12'12'

[x x x x x x] : ka-a-nu šá GÌR-MIN : * GÌR-MIN 15-šú ik-ru IBILA-šú UG₇ : la/si-[...]11

[...] means to be firm, said of feet. "If his right foot is short, his heir will die," [...]

r 13'13'

[x x x x x x] x-MEŠ-šú KAR-ma SIG₅ : KAR : pu-uḫ-ḫu-ru : ip-ḫur? [...]12

[... (In) "if] his ... KAR-ma and there will be good fortune," KAR means "to assemble" ... [...].

r 14'14'

[x x x x x] DAB? : ṣa-ba- : * U-MEŠ-šú GÌR-MEŠ-šú kup-pu-pa ul x-[...]13

[... DAB (?)] means "to seize." "His fingers (and) feet are bent, and do not [..." ...],

r 15'15'

[x x x x x x] x : šá-qu-ú : kib-si i-šá-ru : SI : i-šá-ri [...]14

[...] means "to raise." (In) "righteous path" (kibsu išaru), SI means "righteous" (išaru) [...],

r 16'16'

[x x x x x x] gi-mir ALAMla-ni-šú ut-ta-nam-ba : x-[...]15

[...] the whole of his figure (ALAM, with gloss lānu) constantly shines [...]

r 17'17'

[x x x x x x] ALAM : la-a-nu : ALAM : bu-un-na-nu-[ú ...]

[...] ALAM means "figure," ALAM means "featur[es" ...]

r 18'18'

[x x x x x x] gi-mir ALAM-šú ut-ta-nab-ba x [...]

[...] the whole of his figure turns

r 19'19'

[x x x x x x] UGU la-ni-šú tu-x-[...]

[...] upon his figure ... [...].

r 20'20'

[x x x x x x] x ú-šab-ba-ri [...]

[...] breaks up [...].

r 21'21'

[ṣa-a- u šu-ut] KA maš-a-[a-al-ti UM.ME.A šá ...]

[Lemmata and oral expla]nations, (materials for) a ‘que[stioning’ by a (master-)scholar, relating to ... (tablet incipit)].

r 22'22'

[x x x x x x x] x [...]


(rest of reverse missing)

1The line is a quotation from a Sumerian literary text. See Antagal A 166 (MSL 17 p. 186): KAzu-su-ud.RAD.MIN.RAD = gaṣāṣu šá šin-ni. Although the text quoted here cannot be identified as yet, U. Gabbay (privatim) points to the use of the same verb in Lugale 258 (šita lipiš diri-ga-ke₄ zú ì-súd-súd // kakku nasiḫ libbi šinna igaṣṣaṣ, “The weapon that pierces the heart grinds its teeth”), as well as in two Eršaḫungas (Maul, Herzberuhigungsklagen, p. 98 nos. 5-6:12, and p. 143, no. 18:15 (both in context of battle against enemies).

2Compare riqittu = šinnu in Ḫargud B IV 4 (MSL 9 p. 34) and BM 34584+ l. 63 (Jiménez JCS 68 [2016] p. 203).

3The restoration of dabābu follows Malku IV 103: tiṣburu = dabābu.

4Compare Böck Die babylonisch-assyrische Morphoskopie (2000) pp. 110-111 ll. 61-68 (omens beginning with DIŠ 15 IGI-šú). Ibid. l. 69 reads DIŠ 15 IGI-šú GÍD i-šár-. The sign ú seems to be written in a smaller script; it may be a gloss (perhaps [pe-ṣ]u!?-ú.BABBAR).

5As I.L. Finkel suggests (privatim), it would be possible to interpret the signs as [...]-x-a pi-is-mi. Although pismu (a bovine disease) is elsewhere attested only in lexical lists, the present of riqittu in the obverse of the tablet makes this possibility attractive.

6The explanation seems to be based on the phonetic similarity between ⸢x⸣-kutti and pānū kīnūtu.

7I.L. Finkel suggests that the association of [...a]r/ri-ṣa-a-ni with Dumuzi may have been triggered by an analysis of the first word as reʾî ṣēni, "shepherd of cattle."

8The reading [... d.KA]L×BAD? at the beginning is courtesy of I.L. Finkel.

9This explanation also appears in SpTU 1 83 r 12 (= Böck Morphoskopie (2000) pp. 256 l. 48): igru ul i-šet-su áš-šú a-na i-di-šú in-na-ag-ga-ru (= CCP 3.7.2.C).

10The correct understanding of dKAL-šú-nu escapes us. Compare Böck Die babylonisch-assyrische Morphoskopie (2000) pp. 264-265 ll. 12-18 (omens beginning with šumma kinṣu).

11Compare Sagig XIV iv 6' (TDP p. 142): šumma šēpšu ša imitti ik-te-ner-ru qāt ištar, "If his right foot is short - Hand of Ištar."

12KAR = puḫḫuru is elsewhere unattested, but compare .GAR + puḫḫuru in several lexical lists (CAD P 23b). The reading ḫu[r?] at the end is courtesy of I.L. Finkel, who also suggests that the passage may be a quotation from a text.

13Compare Böck Die babylonisch-assyrische Morphoskopie (2000) pp. 252 l. 3 (= CCP 3.7.2.E): DIŠ GÌR-MEŠ-šú kup-pu-pa lu [...].

14kibsu išaru is attested in Böck Die babylonisch-assyrische Morphoskopie (2000) p. 278 l. 11 (amēlu kibsa išara ikabbas). The apodosis is elsewhere uncommon.

15The form ut-ta-nam-ba, which seems to be explained in l. 18' as ut-ta-nab-ba, is difficult to explain.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum