CCP 3.8.2.A - Iqqur īpuš, série mensuelle (Tašrītu) A

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 42286
81-7-1,46+ 81-7-1,1107
BM 42286+ BM 43343
CT 41 39 [BM 42286]

Labat, 1933R. Labat, Commentaires assyro-babyloniens sur les présages. Imprimerie-Librairie de l’Université, 1933.: 98-103

Labat, 1965R. Labat, Un calendrier Babylonien des travaux des signes et mois (séries iqqur īpuš). Librairie Honoré Champion, 1965.: 218, §§ 1, 30-31, 66, 103-105

DivinationMenologiesSéries mensuelles

ṣâtu 7a

Base text: 
Iqqur īpuš, série mensuelle (Tašrītu)
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
Complete tablet
obv 18, rev 17
Šamaš-aḫḫē-bulliṭ s. Nabû-šumu-ibni d. [Iddin-Papsukkal] (?), kalû (?) of Nabû
Nabû-apla-uṣur s. Nabû-aḫḫē-iddin d. Iddin-Papsukkal

Fincke, 2013bJ. C. Fincke, Additions to the Venus Tablets of the Omen Series Enūma Anu Enlil (EAE) Published in BPO 3 as Group F, Kaskal, vol. 10, pp. 89-110, 2013.
[On line obv 6-7]
: 103 ad 6

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 53, 121, 217, 289, 310

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 74 (11), 106 (r 3), 128 (r 15′), 139 (r 16′), 236 (5–8), 74–75 (18)

Genty, 2010aT. Genty, Les commentaires dans les textes cunéiformes assyro-babyloniens. MA thesis, 2010.
[Catalogue [thrice repeated]]
: 242-243, 439-440, 455-456

George, 1987A. R. George, Review of Tsukimoto Untersuchungen zur Totenpflege (kispum) im alten Mesopotamien (AOAT 216), Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, vol. 50, pp. 538-539, 1987.
[On line r 11'-12']
: 538-539

George, 1992A. R. George, Babylonian Topographical Texts. Peeters, 1992.
[On line 10: hul.gig = ze-e-ri]
: 258 ad 26

Hunger, 1968H. Hunger, Babylonische und assyrische Kolophone. Neukirchener Verlag, 1968.
: 120 no. 409

Jiménez & Schmidtchen, 2017bE. Jiménez and Schmidtchen, E. , Explaining Diagnosis. Two New Commentaries on the Diagnostic Series Sagig, Welt des Orients, vol. 47, pp. 216-241, 2017.
[On line o 16-17]
: 236 fn. 33

Labat, 1965R. Labat, Un calendrier Babylonien des travaux des signes et mois (séries iqqur īpuš). Librairie Honoré Champion, 1965.: 218, §§ 1, 30-31, 66, 103-105

Lambert, 2013W. G. Lambert, Babylonian Creation Myths. Eisenbrauns, 2013.
[On line r 11'-12']
: 303

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.: 298

Tsukimoto, 1985A. Tsukimoto, Untersuchungen zur Totenpflege (kispum) im alten Mesopotamien. Neukirchener Verlag, 1985.
[On line r 9'-12']
: 202-203

Wee, 2017J. Wee, Pan-astronomical Hermeneutics and the Arts of the Lamentation Priest, Zeitschrift für Assyriologie, vol. 107, pp. 236-260, 2017.
: 240

Finkel, 03/2002 (Join)
Gabbay, 01/2010 (Photos)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Translation)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Introduction)
Jiménez, 03/2015 (Lemmatization)
Finkel, 06/2015 (Collation)
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2015, “Commentary on Iqqur īpuš, série mensuelle (Tašrītu) (CCP 3.8.2.A),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed July 24, 2024, at DOI: 10079/9ghx3tb
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This commentary is preserved in a fragmentary tablet from the British Museum's "Babylon Collection," published in CT 41 39. It was edited by Labat many years ago,1 but this edition is now substantially outdated. A new fragment (BM 43343) was identified and joined to the main manuscript by I. L. Finkel. A preliminary transliteration of it was made from photos kindly made available by U. Gabbay. This transliteration was generously collated by I. L. Finkel in June 2015, and the collations and ideas suggested by Finkel are acknowledge in the notes below.

The colophon of the tablet states that its copyist was Nabû-apla-uṣur son of Nabû-aḫḫē-iddin, of the Iddin-Papsukkal family, and that it was copied from an original from Borsippa and owned by another member of the same family. Although it is not dated, the presence of a lišlim-formula on the top edge of the tablet suggests that it may date to the Hellenistic period.2


The tablet contains a commentary on the menology Iqqur īpuš. This text consists of paragraphs which describe activities as favorable or unfavorable depending on the month in which they are carried out. Two different recensions of Iqqur īpuš are known: the série mensuelle, which groups the prognoses of the series according to the month they refer to; and the série générale, in which prognoses for each month are given under the title of the activity or event in question. The present tablet contains a commentary on the seventh section of the série mensuelle, which deals with the month Tašrītu (VII). However, in the edition below the references to the base text refer to the paragraphs of the série générale rather than to those the série mensuelle, since no manuscript of the latter for the Tašrītu section is known.


This commentary uses both double and triple cola, the former to introduce quotations from the base text and the latter to separate successive commentarial entries (see the section Technical Terms and Signs). In addition, it uses the unusual technical terms ša išṭuru, "what is written" (obv 5-6), which seems to be an equivalent of ša iqbû, "what is said" (on the latter, see Technical Terms and Signs); and ana ... šaṭir, "it is written about ..." (obv 8), which is apparently identical with the more common ana ... qabi, "it is said about ..."


Very few of the comments in this text try to elucidate philological problems. As often the case of commentaries on divination texts, the main concern of the present tablet seems to be to demonstrate the validity of its base text. This occurs, for instance, in the section of the commentary that deals with a line of Iqqur īpuš that equates the month Tašrītu with the god Šamaš (rev 9'-14'). The commentary tries to justify the association with an astrological syllogism: since (a) the month of Tašrītu is the month in which the constellation "Scales" become visible, and since (b) that constellation is elsewhere said to be equivalent to Saturn, and since (c) Saturn is elsewhere equated with Šamaš, then the association between Tašrītu and Šamaš is justified.

At least on one occasion the commentary redefines the scope of the main text by means of a sophisticated mathematical operation. In lines obv 17-18 the prognosis "[he will ...] for ten years" is said to mean "when the night lasts 6 double hours" (i.e., during the equinox), on account of the fact that the reciprocal of 10 is, in the hexagesimal system, 1/6. With this ingenuous operation a prognosis pertaining long-term events is set on a specific date.

  • 1. R. Labat, Commentaires assyro-babyloniens sur les présages. Imprimerie-Librairie de l’Université, 1933. Pp. 98-133
  • 2. The lišlim-formula invokes Bēl and Nabû. The same pair is mentioned in the formula of the Theodicy commentary tablet CCP 1.4, a tablet that also appears to stem from Borsippa.

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CT 41, pl. 39, BM 042286[via ccpo]

t.e. 0t.e. 0

    ina a-mat dEN u dAG liš-lim

(t.e. 0) By the command of Bēl and Nabû, may (this work) suceed!

o 1o 1

* ina itiDU₆ UŠ₈ É BAD-ma SIG₄ ŠUBdi [x x x x x x x DINGIR-šú]1

(o 1) In "If in the month of Tašrītu he opens the foundations of a house and lays a brick" (= Iqqur īpuš §1) [... means ... In "His god] will follow him with prosperity" (= Iqqur īpuš §1), ME means "prosperity;" ME also means [...]. In the month of Tašrītu the constellation of Bēlet-ilī, the woman in labor, becomes visible. LA means "prosperity" (lalû), and lalû ("young goat") means "child"; LAH₄ means "to plunder" [...] means "to plunder"; (this) is said about a good or evil (prediction).

o 22

    ina la-li-šú ÚS-MEŠ-šú : ME : la-lu-ú : ME : -[me?-lu? x x x x]2

o 33

    ina itiDU₆ múlNIN.MAḪ a-lit-tu₄ IGImar : múlNIN.MAḪ [x x x x x]

o 44

    LA : la-lu-ú : la-lu-ú : ṣe*-ḫer : LAḪ₄ : šá-la-lu : x [x x x]3

o 55

    : šá-la-lu : a-na du-un-qu u lum-nu qa-ba-a :. * pa-an u ar-[kàt x (x) šá]4

(o 5) In "front and rear" (= Iqqur īpuš unknown), [... what] is written, is like the apparition of the "Weighing Scales" constellation (= Libra). The "Scales" is the constellation of Šamaš-of-Justice. A thing that weighs is a scale, together with [...], (this) is written about a good (prediction).

o 66

    -ṭu-ru ki ta-mar*-tu₄ šá múlzi-ba-ni-tu₄ : múlzi-ba-ni-[tu₄ MÚL dUTU]5

o 77

    šá ki-na-a-tu₄ : mu-šaq-qil-tu₄ : zi-ba-ni-tu₄ it-ti šit?-[x x x]6

o 88

    a-na dum- šá-ṭi-ir :. * lu KUN.SAG lu UB.LÍL. lu BÁRA lu BÁRA.[SI (lu IM..A) ]7

(o 8) "If [he builds] a sanctuary, a chapel, an altar, or [a small shrine], his word will have a bad effect (ilammin)" (= Iqqur īpuš §30) means "he will be disliked (izzeʾʾer) on account of his words," since ḪUL means have a bad effect [and ḪUL also mean] "to dislike."

o 99

    a-mat-su i-lam-mìn : ina a-ma-ti-šú iz-ze-ʾ-er : ḪUL : lum-mu-nu : ḪUL

o 1010

    ze-e-ri :. * DINGIR-šú lu DINGIR šul-pu- ud-diš : ARḪUŠ DINGIR ana GÁL!ši DINGIR-šú [šu-u (x x x)]8

(o 10) "If he restores the ruined (statue of) his god or of (another) god, a god's mercy will be set on the man, [he] will be his god" (= Iqqur īpuš §31) [...] means "to be at peace"; alternatively, (it means) "his house will submit to him," where "to submit" means "to fear."

o 1111

    sa-la-mu šá-niš É-su GÚR-su : ka-na-šú : pa-la-ḫu :. * IZI ana É.[GAL ŠUBut]

(o 11) "If fire [falls] on the palace, the gods will humiliate the king of the land" (= Iqqur īpuš §66), ḪUL means "to humiliate," ḪUL also means "to depose."

o 1212

    DINGIR-MEŠ LUGAL KUR ú-qal-la-lu : ḪUL : qu-ul-lu-lu : ḪUL : šul-[pu-tu]

o 1313

* U₄* 29?.KAM* NU È : EZEN x a-di 7-šú IGImar ù šá itiDU₆ šá [x x (x)]9

(o 13) "On the 29th day he should not leave through a door" (= Iqqur īpuš §59) [...] will be seen seven times, and of Tašrītu [...].

o 1414

    lu [x x x] NU È x x x u itiDU₆ ba-ši-i ina itiBÁRA [x (x)]

o 1515

    U₄mu ŠÚ x x [x x] x [x x] x KI BAD dU.DAR DUMU?-MEŠ x [x x x]10

(o 15) The day clouds over [...] Ištar the children [...]. The "Scales" with ... The constellation "Scorpion" is the god Išḫara [...].

o 1616

    múlzi-ba-ni-tu₄ it-[ti x x x] múlGÍR.TAB* :* d-ḫa-[ra x x x]11

o 1717

* gišKIRI₆ ina ŠÀ URU iz-qup 10 MU.AN.NA-MEŠ [MAŠ?.EN?].GAG ina lìb-bi x (x⸣) x [x x x x]12

(o 17) "If he plants a garden in the middle of a city, for ten years, [a humble p]erson in the middle of [...] he will do [...]" (cf. Iqqur īpuš §47) [...] a 12 hours night, because the reciprocal of 1/6 is 10.

o 1818

    6 DANNA mu-ši : IGI.6.GÁL.BI 10 :. * giš!KIRI₆ iz!-qup x [x x x x]13

(o 18) "If he plants a garden [...], U₄.DA means "appropiate time."

o 1919

    U₄.DA : a-dan-nu :. * 30 gišḪUR NIGINmi : ILLU ina IDIM* LAL-MEŠ [x x x x x (x)]14

(o 19) "If the moon is surrounded by a halo, the flood will lessen at its source" (cf. Iqqur īpuš §77') [means "...] will take [...]", alternatively, (it means) "the minister's attendant [will seize] the trone," [...].

o 2020

    IM? x x DABbat šá-niš GÌR..GA SUKKAL gišGU*.ZA [DABbat x x x x x]

o 2121

[ina múl]ḪUN. AN.GE₆-šú : múlḪUN. : dx x [x x x x x x]15

(o 21) Its eclipse (sc. the moon's?) is in the constellation of Aries, the "constellation of Aries" (stands for) the god [...].

o 2222

[x x x] x x x x x [x x x x x x x x x]

r 1'r 1'

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

(r 1') ...

r 2'2'

[...] KI SI ME [...]

r 3'3'

[...] še/nam-ri : SI : ka-ṣa-[ṣa ...]16

r 4'4'

[(x x) x x x DINGIR-MEŠ ana] KUR ARḪUŠ TUKU-MEŠ EBUR KUR SI.[ x x x x (x x)]

(r 4') [...] "the gods will have mercy on the land, and the harvest of the land will prosper" (= Iqqur īpuš §90), [...] and it will be good.

r 5'5'

[(x x) x x] x x x-ma SIG₅iq :. * dIŠKUR -šú ŠUB-ma KI [ i-ḫi-il x x (x x)]

(r 5') "If Adad roars and the land exudes bile" (= Iqqur īpuš §92), [...]. In "poplar will thrive in the land" (= Iqqur īpuš §92), "to thrive" means "to grow." [...]

r 6'6'

    gišÁSAL ina KUR i-šá-am-mu-uḫ : šá-ma-ḫu : ba-nu-ú : [x x x x x x (x x)]17

r 7'7'

* U₄ 7.KAM ANú DUik : ḫa-rab ŠÈG : ḫa-rab? [x (x)] x : ni-du?-[x x x x (x x)]

(r 7') In "If on the 7th day there is rain" (= Iqqur īpuš §97) (means) "destruction brought about by rain," i.e. (?), destruction ... [...]. "For three months Erra will devour the country," [...].

r 8'8'

    3 MU-MEŠ : dÈR.RA KUR GU₇ : x [x :. *] ILLU DUkam ḪÉ.GÁL [ina KUR GÁL (x x)]

(r 8') In "If the flood comes, there will be prosperity [in the land" (= Iqqur īpuš §103), in "prosperity" (HÉ.GÁL)], means "to prosper," said of [..., and GÁL] means "to be available."

r 9'9'

    ḪÉ : na-ḫa-ši? šá? x x [x x GÁL? :] ba?-šu-ú :. * ILLU DUkam [A-šú GIM MÚD ṣar-pu (x x)]18

(r 9') In "If the flood comes and [its water is reddened like blood,] the harvest [will prosper and there will be abundance of grain" (= Iqqur īpuš §104),] "abundance" (means) "to be full," (which means) "to be abundant," said of a plurality.

r 10'10'

    EBUR SI.[ na-pa-áš dNISABA : na]-pa-áš : DIRI : na-pa-šú šá ma-ʾa-[de-e]19

r 11'11'

* ina itiDU₆ šá dUTU qu-ra-du : ina itiDU₆ múlzi-ba-ni-tu₄ IGImar : múlGE₆ [(x x)]20

(r 11') "The month of Tašrītu (belongs) to Šamaš, the warrior" (= Iqqur īpuš §105). In the month of Tašrītu the "Scales" (= Libra) becomes visible. (The "Scales") is the "Black Star," i.e., Saturn, i.e., the star of Šamaš.

r 12'12'

    dUDU.IDIM.SAG.ÚS : MUL dUTU : ina itiDU₆ SÍSKUR šá KUR.KUR ana d[a-nun-na-ki BAL]21

(r 12') In "In the month of Tašrītu pure sacrifices of the lands [are made for the Anunnaki], offerings of the dead are made to the Anunnaki. It is the month of the grandfather of Enlil," (= quotation from Astrolabe B) (refers to) "Lugaldukuga a-a Enlil" (= quotation from An = Anu I 147), i.e., ditto (Lugaldukuga) is the grandfather of Enlil. Lugaldukuga is Ea.

r 13'13'

    KI..GA a-na da-nun-na-ki ik-kás-sap ITI a-bi a-bi šá den-líl d*lugal*-[du₆--ga]

r 14'14'

    a-a den-líl--ke₄ : dMIN<(lugal-du₆--ga)> a-bi a-bi šá den-líl : dlugal-du₆--ga : dé-a [x x (x)]22

r 15'15'

    e-pe-šú šá ši-pi-ir .A.BI : KI dBAD : itiDU₆ : taš-ri-tu₄ šá 6 ITI ina UGU?23

(r 15') [...] means "to do," said of any action. "The abode of Enlil," iti.DU₆ means "begining (tašrītu) of 6 month(s)," on account of (the equation) "iti.DU₆ means Tašrītu," (and) on account of (the equation) "ŠUB means 'to cut'.". iti.DU₆ means Tašrītu, i.e. (?), Nissaba [(...)].

r 16'16'

    itiDU₆ : taš-ri-tu₄ : a-na UGU ŠUB : na-ka-su : itiDU₆ : taš-ri- : dNISABA [(x x)]24

r 17'17'

ṣa-a- u šu-ut KA maš-a-a-al- UM.ME.A šá ina itiDU₆ iq-qur AL.TIL

(r 17') Lemmata and oral explanations, (materials for) a 'questioning' by a (master-)scholar, relating to "In the month of Tašrītu," from Iqqur īpuš. Finished.

r 18'18'

GABA.RI bár-sípki GIM SUMUN-šú SAR-ma IGI.KÁR imgìd-di mdUTU-ŠEŠ-MEŠ-bul-liṭ A-šú šá mdAG-MU- A m[MU-dSUKKAL]

(r 18') Original from Borsippa, copied and checked from its original. One-column tablet of Šamaš-aḫḫē-bulliṭ, son of Nabû-šumu-ibni, descendant of [Iddin-Papsukkal], the lamentation-priest of Nabû.

r 19'19'

LAGAB dAG ŠU-MIN mdAG-EDURU-ÙRU A-šú šá mdAG-ŠEŠ-MEŠ-MU A mMU-dSUKKAL pa-liḫ [dAG? x x x x x]25

(r 19') Handwriting of Nabû-apla-uṣur, son of Nabû-aḫḫē-iddin, descendant of Iddin-Papsukkal. The reverer of [Nabû should not steal the tablet!]

1The commentary seems to explain the nameless god of the base text as the goddess Bēlet-ilī, whose constellation becomes visible during the month of Tašrītu.

2The equation ME = lalû is well attested, see CAD L 49a. The reading of the last word was suggested by I.L. Finkel.

3The equation LA = lalû is well attested, see CAD L 49a. The second equation is based on the homophone lalû, "kid, young goat." At the end of the line a tick from the head of a lower horizontal is visible on the tablet [ILF].

4As observed by U. Gabbay (personal communication), the strange spelling qa-ba-a is also attested in the commentary fragment CCP 3.1.u45 l. 10'. This may be indicative of some connection between the two commentaries.

5The collation mar* is courtesy of I.L. Finkel.

6The reading ŠI[D? is courtesy of I.L. Finkel.

7Restored with Iqqur īpuš §30.

8The line is attested in Iqqur īpuš §31, but none of the manuscripts preserves a reading SILIM-im vel sim., which seems to be the reading of the commentary.

9The signs before adi are probably EZEN followed by a small sign, perhaps a colon [ILF]. The

10The reading DUMU? is courtesy of I.L. Finkel.

11The equation múlGÍR.TAB = d.išḫāra is also attested in CCP 7.2.u43 5'.

12The reading [MAŠ.EN].GAG was suggested by I.L. Finkel.

13The commentary apparently reinterprets the prognosis "[he will ...] for ten years" using a complex numerical substitution. Apparently the new interpretation takes the "ten years" to mean "when the night lasts 6 double hours" (i.e., during the equinox), on account of the fact that the reciprocal of 10 is, in the hexagesimal system, 1/6. Compare "On the x of Nisannu the day and the night were in balance (šitqulu): 12 hours the day and 12 hours the night (6 DANNA u₄-mu 6 DANNA mu-ši), in SAA 8 140 and 141.

14It is unclear to which line of Iqqur īpuš this and the previous line refer. Compare perhaps Iqqur īpuš §57 (which begins ¶ amēlu mukīl rēšīšu).

15Less likely, AN.GE₆ ŠÚ.

16The restoration is uncertain, compare SI = kaṣāṣu ša enzi in Nabnītu XVII 325 (MSL 16 164).

17For the attestations of the equation šamāḫu = banû in commentaries, see Jiménez Iraq 76 (2014) p. 13 fn. 9.

18If correcty deciphered, the first part of the line would contain a notarikon analysis of the word ḪÉ.GÁL.

19Compare pe- PEŠ = napāšu ša ma-de-e, in Idu II 137 (cited CAD M/1 19b). DIRI = napāšu is seemingly elsewhere unattested.

20This and next line seem to equate the "Scales" (= Libra) with Saturn. To do that they first state that the "Scales" and "the black star" (múlGE₆) are equivalent (this equation is also attested in CCP 3.1.3.H r 3 and MSL 11 40 39-41 [Ḫargud]). Note that Mulapin II i 64 equates Saturn with "the Scales," and calls the latter the "star of Šamaš."

21The line is a quotation from Astrolabe B, see Reiner & Pingree BPO 2 (1985) p. 63.

22As discussed by Lambert MC 16 (2013) p. 303, the Sumerian line is a quotation from An = Anu I 147. The Akkadian provided by the commentator takes each a in the Sumerian aʾa to mean "father," thus finding that Lugaldukuga is the "father's father" (i.e., "grandfather") of Enlil. On the identification of Lugaldukuga with Ea at the end of the line see Lambert MC 16 (2013) p. 304.

23epēšu probably explains the Sumerian name of the month, DU(₆). The rationale behind the equations in the second part of the line is obscure. The reading of the last two signs of the line is courtesy of I.L. Finkel.

24ŠUB = nakāsu is elsewhere attested apparently only in the Iqqur īpuš commentary CCP 3.8.2.B l. 60 (DT 35). The commentary probably introduces this equation to provide an etymology for the name of the month.

25The reading of LAGAB as kalû follows Frahm GMTR 5 (2011) p. 217 fn. 1016. Note however that the sign LAGAB here looks different from that of line o 7.

Photos by Uri Gabbay

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum