The present tablet, previously unidentified, consists of two nearly joinable fragments from the British Museum’s “Sippar Collection,” which in all likelihood stem from Babylon or Borsippa. The colophon dates the tablet to the 8th month of the 46th year of an Antiochus, during a period of co-regency with another Antiochus, “his son.” The only possible date is 266 BCE.
The tablet contains a previously unidentified commentary on the third chapter of the diagnostic and prognostic medical series, Sagig. Only one other commentary on that chapter was previously known, SpTU 1 29 (CCP 4.1.3.A). The tablet preserves the beginning of the text, which is of great interest. The first two chapters of Sagig deal with ominous events that the exorcist may encounter on his way to the patient’s house. The third chapter is the first in which actual symptoms are studied. The first line of the tablet urges the exorcist to recite an incantation to protect himself before approaching the sick person. The commentary specifies that it should be one of two incantations: either “I am the man of Namma, the man of Nanše,” or “I am the messenger of the great gods.” The latter incantation, attested in a tablet from Assur KAR 31 and in several Kuyunjik duplicates, has long been suspected of being identical with the incantation prescribed in the first line of Sagig 3: this idea is now confirmed by the present commentary.
The rest of the preserved entries provide glosses for the often difficult to parse words of the first ten lines of Sagig 3. Alternative explanations are offered frequently: thus, the difficult ne-ʾa-a from Sagig 3 5 is first explained as nuḫḫā, “calmed”; then an alternative explanation (nêʾu, i.e., “turned back”) is introduced by the adverb šanîš.
The commentary features two quotations from bilingual texts. Remarkably, one of them is explicitly said to come from Ginutaqqû, a text previously known only in the “Exorcist’s Manual” (KAR 44 o 3).
A printed edition of this tablet, together with other unpublished commentaries on Sagig, appeared as , “Explaining Diagnosis. Two New Commentaries on the Diagnostic Series Sagig”, Welt des Orients, vol. 47, pp. 216-241, 2017.