CCP 1.2 - Lugale

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 51213
82-3-23,2209+ 82-3-23,3513 + 82-3-23,4372 + 85-11-27, 11
Sippar(Sippar), 82-3-23 consignment [Dilbat]
BM 51213+ BM 52279+ BM 53337+ BM 78074
Lambert apud van Dijk Lugale pl. lxxv-lxxvi
Lambert Folio 9943 [tr]


Base text: 
Tablet information
3 (Sum., Akk., explan.)
obv 32, rev 13
3,49 × 5,39 cm
Chaldean / early Achaemenid (late 7th / 6th cent) (mostly "Sippar Collection")

Finkel, 1986aI. L. Finkel, On the Lugale Commentaries, Revue d'Assyriologie, vol. 80, pp. 190-191, 1986.
[On the Lugale commentaries. - Since the publication of the Kuyunjik Late Assyrian library catalogue fragments K 13684+ and K 11922 by W. G. Lambert in Kramer AV 313-318, the existence of ṣâtu and mukallimlu commentaries to Lugaie has been known. Furthermore, the last-named scholar has suggested that the Late Babylonian tablet BM 51213+, joined and copied by him for inclusion in J. J. A. Van Dijk's recent edition as source ba, is a commentary tablet with excerpted lines (with the explanations still unrecovered), although this suggestion was not adopted by the editor of the volume, where it is classed as an "extrait". A further unnoticed mention of the second type of commentary occurs in the Assur Late Assyrian short catalogue Kôcher BAM 310, where a gentle emendation permits one to read rev. 5-7 as: mu-kal-lim-tu LUGAL.˹É! UD!˺ ME.˹LÁM.BI˺ NIR.GÁL.]
: 190-191

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 35, 117-19, 287

Frazer, 10/2017 (Introduction)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Transliteration)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Translation)
Veldhuis, 10/2017 (Lemmatization (Sumerian))
By Mary Frazer | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Frazer, M., 2017, “Commentary on Lugale (CCP 1.2),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2021; accessed December 7, 2021, at DOI: 10079/h44j1bm
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

In its current condition, this manuscript consists of four joined fragments from the centre of what must have originally been a large tablet with three columns on each side. The preserved text represents column II, which contained the Akkadian version of the base text; of column I – which contained the base text in its original Sumerian – only traces of the final signs in some lines remain. Of column III, the first sign or two are preserved in only a handful of lines (17'-27'). Since these meagre signs do not resemble the beginnings of Sumerian words (see especially l. 26'), and in some places can be explained as quotations from the corresponding line in column II (especially ll. 19' and 26'), they are nevertheless sufficient to identify column III as a commentary with some degree of confidence.1

The tablet thus conforms to none of the usual formats for commentary tablets – perhaps because it is the only bilingual text to have received a commentary.2 In addition to the contents of the tablet, external sources in the form of three text catalogues from the Neo-Assyrian empire mention a commentary on Lugal-e;3 they thus provide evidence for the existence of a commentary on this text, albeit at an earlier date than the probable date of this tablet.


The fragments belong to two museum consignments: 82-3-23 is a large consignment of a mixture of tablets from Sippar, Babylon, Borsippa and Dilbat, but none from the Assyrian site of Kuyunjik. 85-11-27 is a very small consignment of tablets purchased from the London dealer J.M. Shemtob. Thus, although the tablet’s origin cannot be ascertained, it is probably later in date than the Neo-Assyrian period. A bilingual version of Lugal-e was still current in the Seleucid period, as demonstrated by the existence of text SBH 71.4

The preserved lines are drawn from Chapters 1-3 and 11-14 of Lugal-e. One can therefore assume that the tablet originally contained a commentary on its entire 16 chapters. In addition to the identifications of Lugal-e lines made already by Lambert, r 10' is identifiable either with Lugale-e l. 569 or 582.


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CDLI Literary 000351, ex. 147 [ETCSL 1.06.02 Ninurta’s Exploits (witness); commentaries]

o 1'o 1'


[qar-ra-du šá a-na ta-ḫa-zi da-ap-niš iz-za]-az?-zu?


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O hero who sta]nds [aggressively for battle!” (Akkadian) : ]

o 2'2'


[be-lu šá ina qa-ti]-šú el-le-tu₄ [me-eṭ-ṭa na-šu-ú]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O lord who carries the miṭṭu-weapon in] his pure [hands!” (Akkadian) : “…” : ]

o 3'3'


[dMIN<(dnin-urta)> šar-ri ma-ri] šá a-bu-šú ana dan-nu-ti-[šu ḫa-du-ú


[“…” (Sumerian) : “Ditto, king, son] whose father [rejoices] in [his] strength” (Akkadian) [: “…”]

o 4'4'


[qar-ra-du šá pu]-luḫ-ta-šú ki-ma a-le-e [ma-a-ti kat-mat]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O hero whose awe] someness [covers the land] like an ālu-demon” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 5'5'


[dMIN<(dnin-urta)> a-gu-ka dman-za]-at ina pa-ni-ka ki-ma bir-qa [it-ta-nab-riq]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O Ninurta, your tiara is the rainb]ow, (and) [flashes] on your face like lightning” (Akkadian) [: “…”]

o 6'6'


[zi-iq-nu ru--e šá ri-ḫu]-tu₄ ra-ḫu-ú šar-tu₄ [ina zu-um-ri-šú ḫunₓ(LUM)-nu-ba-at]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O beard of a prince, which] a pure [see]d created, (the one) whose hair [is luxuriant on his body” (Akkadian) : ]

o 7'7'


[dMIN<(dnin-urta)> šar-ri ma-ri šá den]-líl ina rama-ni-šú ú-šá-ti-[ru-šú]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O Ninurta, king, son whom Enli]l willingly made surpa[ssing” (Akkadian) : ]

o 8'8'


[qar-ra-du šá šu-]-kal-la-šú a-a-bu ú-saḫ-[ḫa-pu]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “O hero whose battle]-net overwh[elms] the enemy” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 9'9'


dMIN<(dnin-urta)> pu-luḫ-ti [ṣil-li]-ka ana KUR tar-[ṣa-at]


[“…” (Sumerian) : ] “O Ninurta, the awesomeness of your [shadow] str[etches] over the land” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 10'10'

[...] x

dMIN<(dnin-urta)> šar-ru ma-ru šá a-bu-šú ana ru--e-ti ap-pa ú-[šal-bi-nu-šú]


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “O Ninurta, king, son to whom his father makes (the people) s[ubmit]] far and wide” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 11'11'

[...] x

dMIN<(dnin-urta)> ina te-es-li-ti ana šar-ri ina ut-nen-ni-šú


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “While ditto (=Baba) implored the king (=Ninurta) in prayer” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 12'12'

[...] x

dMIN<(dnin-urta)> a-na be-lu₄ dMIN i-x [x (x)]


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “Ditto (=Ninurta) to the lord ditto (=Enlil?) […” (Akkadian) : ]

o 13'13'


be-lu man-za-za šá-qu-ú i-na nap-ḫar be-lu a-šib [pa-rak-ki]


[“…” (Sumerian)] : “O lord, (who) is exalted in position among all the lords who dwell [on daises” (Akkadian) : ]

o 14'14'


ma-ru šá ana mu-še-niq-ti la -bu e-muq ši-zib in-[ni-qu]


[“…” (Sumerian)] : “A son who did not dwell (in the womb) for a wet-nurse, (yet who) su[cked] the strength of milk” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 15'15'

[...] x

eṭ-lu ṭar-ru šá ina pa-ni-šú bu-ul- la i-ba-[áš-šú-ú]


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “O bearded young man, on whose face the[re is] no sign of shame” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 16'16'

[...] x

mit-ḫa-riš MU-šú im-bu-ú šam-mu ana šar-ru-ti-šú-nu


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “Together they acclaimed “plant” to rule over them” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 17'17'


ina KURi šin-ni ku-ši-i a-ṣa-at-ma i-ta-nar-ra-ri

x [...]17

[“…” (Sumerian)] : “From the mountain came forth a tooth of a crocodile, trembling constantly” (Akkadian) : “…[…”]

o 18'18'


pa-ni-šú ana a-šar šu-a-ti -ta-kan

UR x [...]18

[“…” (Sumerian) :] “He turned his attention to that place” (Akkadian) : []

o 19'19'


qar-rad ana ab-bu-ti-ka!() -tal-lu₄

ab-bu-[ti ...]19

[“…” (Sumerian) :] “O hero, they have asked (you) because of your patronage” (Akkadian) : “Patrona[ge” means ]

o 20'20'

[...] x

ta-ra-aḫ da-nim šá KURa ina ṣu-up-ri-šú i-sap-pa-nu

dIŠKUR x [...]20

[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “O mountain goat of Anu, who flattens the mountain with its hooves” (Akkadian) : “Iškur” means “…[…”]

o 21'21'

[...] x

- šá ina par-ṣi ṣi-ru- i-šad-di-ḫu


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “My lord, who processes in exalted rites” (Akkadian) : []

o 22'22'

[...] x

nam-ru si-mat DINGIR-MEŠ


[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “O bright one, symbol of the gods” (Akkadian) : []

o 23'23'

[...] x

a-lap zi-i-mu ri-i-mu ra-bu-ú šá e-mu-qu i-šu-ú mu-du-ú ina -ku-ri

x [...]23

[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “O Ox (who has) features of a mighty bull who has strength, (you are) an expert in wax” (Akkadian) : []

o 24'24'


mu-du-u dé-a dnin-urta ina ap-si-i


[“…” (Sumerian)] : “The one who knows (the heart of) Ea, (who is like) Ninurta in the Apsû” (Akkadian) : []

o 25'25'

[...] x

da-nun-na-ki ki-ma ṣe-e-ni a-di šá-a-ri i-tar-ru

x x [...]25

[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “Who leads the Anunnaki everywhere as if they were a flock” (Akkadian) : []

o 26'26'

[...] x

it-tak-kip ki-ma <<ki-ma>> u₄-mu ana KUR nu-kúr-ti IM-MEŠ sa-ma-nu- ra-kib

USSU [...]26

[“…]…” (Sumerian) : “Like a storm he buts against the enemy country, mounted on eight winds” (Akkadian) : “Eight” [means ]

o 27'27'


ár-ka-a-ti i-dan i-ḫa-ma!-ma-šu

x [...]27

[“…” (Sumerian) :] “The arms (of Ninurta) gather spears” (Akkadian) : []

o 28'28'


[miṭ]-ṭa a-na KURi pi-i-šú pe-ti


[“…” (Sumerian) : “The miṭṭu-weapon]’s mouth is open against the mountain” (Akkadian) : []

o 29'29'


[i-di-ig]-lat e-šat ár-rat dal-ḫat u mar-sat


[“…” (Sumerian) : “The Tig]ris was confused, rough, perturbed and stirred” (Akkadian) : []

o 30'30'


[ni-šu-šu a-šar] il-la-ka ul i-da-a i-ga-ra-a- ú-naq-qa-pa-[ši-na-a-ti]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “His people] do not know [where] to go, they hurl [themselves] at the walls” (Akkadian) [: ]

o 31'31'


[MUŠEN-šu mu-pa-riš]- muḫ-ḫa-šú im-ma-ḫi-iṣ-ma kap-pa-a-šú er-[ṣe-tu₄ im-ta-ḫar]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “With respect to its fly]ing [birdlife,] their skulls were broken, their wings met the earth” (Akkadian) : ]

o 32'32'


[KU₆-šú ina ap-si-i] dIŠKUR ir-ḫi-iṣ-ma pi-i-šú ip-te-net-[te]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “Adad flooded his fish out from the deep waters, and they opened their mouths continuously” (Akkadian): ]

o 33'33'


[ina ṣe-e-ri bu-ul-šú] uk-ku-ku-ma ki-ma e-re-[]-e [i]-šá-a-[me]


[“…” (Sumerian) : “In the steppe his livestock] were weighed down, [ro]ast[ing] like locusts” (Akkadian) [: ]

r 1'r 1'

[lugal-ŋu₁₀ na₄-e im-ma]-gub

[be-lu a-na ab-ni iz-ziz-ma]


[“My king] stood [before of the stone” (Sumerian) : “My) lord stood before the stone” (Akkadian) : ]

r 2'2'

[na₄na-ta su im-ta--]-e

[ana zu-mur na-ʾ-i uz?-...]


[“From the stone it flaye]d(?) [(his) skin/body” (Sumerian)] : [“But the skin/body of the NA-stone …” (Akkadian) : ]

r 3'3'

[gurud-da () kíŋ-šè na-an-ak-e-en tur-tur-bi] til-la

na-[an-di-ma a-na šip-ri i te-en--pu- ina ṣu-uḫ-ḫu-ri nag-mir]


[“Throw (yourself) down! May you not be made into an artifact!] End up [in small pieces!” (Sumerian)] : [“Throw (yourself) down, and may you not be made into an artifact! End in small pieces!” (Akkadian) : ]

r 4'4'

[di-kud-gin₇ kur-kur-ra si-]-e

ki-[ma da-a-a-ni KUR-MEŠ šu-te-šir]


[“Like a judge, put in orde]r [the lands!” (Sumerian)] : “Li[ke a judge, put in order the lands!” (Akkadian) : ]

r 5'5'

[...] x-na

x [...]


r 6'6'

[...] x-ke₄

šá? [...]


r 7'7'

[ŋeš-kíŋ-ti-ŋu₁₀-šè igi ba-ab-DU]-na

ina kiš-[kát-te-e ina ma-aḫ-ri a-lik]


[“G]o [ahead into my kiln!” (Sumerian)] : [“Go ahead] into the ki[ln!” (Akkadian) : ]

r 8'8'

[e na₄ŋíri--gal-la min a]-na-bi

e ṣur-[ru šá an-niš ù ul-li-]


[“Hey, flint! W]hat [are two men?”] (Sumerian) : “Hey, fli[nt! (You) who were here and there!” (Akkadian) : ]

r 9'9'

[lugal-ŋu₁₀ na₄im-an-e ba]-gub

be-lu a-[na na₄im-ma-nak-ku] iz-ziz-ma


[“My king] stood [before the IM’AN-stone” (Sumerian)] : “The lord [stood before the immanakku-stone” (Akkadian) : ]

r 10'10'

[lugal-ŋu₁₀ na₄maš-da im-ma]-gub

be-lu [a-na na₄maš-de-e] iz-ziz-ma


[“My king] stood [before the gazelle-stone”] (Sumerian) : “The lord stood [before the ditto/mašdû-stone” (Akkadian) : ]

r 11'11'

[ka tar-re- barag-ba ù--in-gurud-]

ana da-li-li [ina pa-rak-ki in]-na-di [...]


[“In order to pay tribute to the dais …” (Sumerian) : “To praise [on the dais] …” (Akkadian) : ]

r 12'12'


na₄MIN [...]


r 13'13'

[lugal-ŋu₁₀ en dnin-urta-ra igi-ni-šè ḫa-ba-gub-bu-nam im-mi-dug₄-ga]-gin₇

be-lu dnin-[urta a-na-ku ki-ma a-na pa-ni-šu lu-zi-iz-mi taq-bu-ú]


[(I) will stand before my king, Lord Ninurta!] Thus [I say!” (Sumerian)] : [“I am] the lord Nin[urta! As you said: ‘I want to stay in his service!’” (Akkadian) : ]

r 14'14'


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


r 15'15'


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


r 16'16'


[...] šá x x x [...]


r 17'17'


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


r 18'18'


[...] x [...]


1According to Van Dijk, this line preserves traces of line 4 of the base text, but neither the traces as copied by Lambert nor the spacing of the line seem to support Van Dijk’s reading of the preserved signs as [iz-za]-⸢az-zu⸣.

2= line 5 (Sumerian: en šu-silig-ga gišmittu šu g̃ala₇)

3= line 7 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta lugal dumu a-a-ni kala-ga-ni-še₃ hul₂-la)

4= line 8 (Sumerian: ur-sag̃ tu₁₅-ulu₃-gim kur-ra dul-lu)

5= line 9 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta aga-zi {d}tirₓ-an-na igi nim-g̃ir₂ du₇-du₇)

6= line 10 (Sumerian: su₆-nun-e a-za-gin₃ ru-a ušum ni₂-ba gur-gur)

7= line 12 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta lugal {d}en-lil₂-le ni₂-te-na diri-ga)

8= line 13 (Sumerian: ur-sag̃ {sa}šu-uš-kal-bi lu₂-erim₂-ra šu₂-a)

9= line 14 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta ni₂-g̃issu-zu kalam-ma la₂-a)

10= line 16 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta lugal dumu a-a-ni-ir su₃-ud-bi-še₃ kiri₄ šu-g̃ala₇)

11= line 20 (Sumerian: {d}ba-ba₆ a-ra-zu lugal-la-ka u₃-gul g̃a₂-g̃a₂-da-ni)

12= line 21 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta dumu-{d}en-lil-la-ke₄ nam-tar-re-da-ni). From the surviving manuscripts, one expects dMIN be-lu ma-ru dMIN šim-ta ina šá-mi-šú, “While ditto (Ninurta), lord, son of ditto (Enlil), decreeing destiny …”

13= line 24 (Sumerian: en g̃išgal-an-na gu₂-en-na-ar bara₂-ge si-a)

14= line 28, referring to Asakku (Sumerian: dumu um-me-ga-la₂ nu-tuš-a ne₂-ga i₃-ku₂-e)

15= line 30 (Sumerian: šul ir-ta e₃-a igi teš₂ nu-g̃al₂-la)

16= line 35 (Sumerian: teš₂-ba mu bi₂-ib-sa₄ {na₄}u₂ lugal-bi-še₃)

17= line 39 (Sumerian: kur-ra zu₂-kušu₂-a mu-ne-mu₂ g̃iš mi-ni-ib-ur₃-ur₃). For the translation of kušû as ‘crocodile’ see A. Loktionov (NABU 2014 no. 103).

18= line 46 (igi-bi ki-bi-še₃ ba-ni-ib-g̃ar)

19= line 48 (Sumerian: ur-sag̃ a-a-zu-še₃ en₃ mu-e-ši-tar).

20= line 58 (Sumerian: dara₃-an-na kur umbin ba-an-si₃-ke). Concerning this line and ll. 21', 22' and 24', Frahm (2011: 118) makes the following proposal: “Since the Lugal-e verses preceding these entries (58, 65, 66, and 68) are all flattering addresses of the god Ninurta, it is possible that the commentator was prompted by the epithets the deity receives here to invoke other gods on whom identical praise was bestowed, in order to demonstrate that Ninurta was essentially identical with them.

21= line 65 (Sumerian: en me-mah-e a₂-kuš₃-su₃-su₃)

22= line 66 (Sumerian: še-er-zi me-te-dig̃ir-re-e-ne)

23= line 67 (Sumerian: gu₄ muš₃-ba am-gal murgu-tuku lal₃ gal-zu-ur₅-ra)

24= line 68 (Sumerian: {d}nin-urta alan-za {d}en-ki-ke₄ igi-bar-bar-ra-mu)

25= line 74 (Sumerian: {d}a-nun-na udu-gim ki-šar₂-ra ba-e-e₁₁-NE-re₇{+re}-eš)

26= line 77 (Sumerian: u₄-dam i₃-du₇-du₇ ki-bala-še₃ im-ussu mu-un-u₅)

27= line 78 (Sumerian: g̃iš-gid₂-da a₂ i₃-ur₄-ur₄-re)

28= line 79 (Sumerian: {giš}mi-tum-e kur-še₃ ka ba-ab-du₈)

29= line 89 (Sumerian: {i₇}idigna i₃-suh₃ i₃-ur₄-ur₄ i₃-lu₃ šu im-tu-bu-ur)

30= line 91 (Sumerian: un-be₂ ki-du-bi nu-un-zu e₂-g̃ar₈ DU₃ i₃-aka-ne)

31= line 92 (mušen-dal-le-be₂ sag̃ ib₂-ta-tum₂ a₂-bi ki-a mu-un-te-g̃a₂-e)

32= line 93 (ku₆-bi engur-ra u₄ mi-ni-ib-ra ka mu-un-ba-ba-e)

33= line 94 (edin-na maš₂-anše-bi u₂-gug mi-ni-ib-du₁₁ bur₅-re-eš šu mi-ni-hu-uz₃)

34= line 479

35= line 480

36= line 485

37= line 507

38= line ?

39= line ?

40= line 528?

41= line 549

42= line 557

43= line 569 (or 582)

44= line 592

45= line ?

46= line 617

47= line ?

48= line ?

49= line ?

50= line ?

51= line ?

Photos by Mary Frazer

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum