CCP 4.1.18 - Sagig 18

Catalogue information
British Museum
BM 66873
Sippar(Sippar), 82-9-18 consignment
Lambert Folio 9840 [tr]
MedicalDiagnostic and prognostic

ṣâtu 3b

Base text: 
Sagig 18
Tablet information
1 (or >)
obv 4, rev 15
2,86 × 4,76 cm
Chaldean / early Achaemenid (late 7th / 6th cent) (mostly "Sippar Collection")

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 226, 287

Gabbay, 2016U. Gabbay, The Exegetical Terminology of Akkadian Commentaries. Brill, 2016.: 107 (r 9′–19′), 111 (r 7′), 130 (r 11′), 138 (r 3′–4′), 144 (r 10′)

Heeßel, 2000N. P. Heeßel, Babylonisch-assyrische Diagnostik. Ugarit-Verlag, 2000.: 135 and fn. 32

Leichty & Grayson, 1987E. Leichty and Grayson, A. K. , Catalogue of the Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. Volume VII: Tablets from Sippar 2. British Museum Publications, 1987.
[Commentary on TDP XVIII]
: 189

Scurlock, 2004J. A. Scurlock, The Hippocratic Treatise Humors, Chapter 1: A Humorous Student Commentary, Ktema, vol. 29, pp. 255-257, 2004.: 256

Jiménez, 06/2015 (Transliteration)
Jiménez, 06/2015 (Translation)
Jiménez, 06/2015 (Introduction)
Frazer, 06/2015 (Revision)
Frahm, 06/2015 (Reading suggestion [r 9'])
Gabbay, 06/2015 (Reading suggestion [r 4', 7', 11'])
Finkel, 06/2015 (Collation [r 1', 5', 9', 11'])
Jiménez, 08/2016 (Commentary markup)
By Enrique Jiménez | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Jiménez, E., 2015, “Commentary on Sagig 18 (CCP 4.1.18),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed June 14, 2024, at DOI: 10079/6hdr85n
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

This tablet is one of the few previously unpublished commentaries on the medical series of diagnostic and prognostic Sagig. It contains some 15 damaged lines belonging to the end of the tablet, followed by a ṣâtu 3b rubric. According to this rubric, the tablet would be a commentary in the 18th chapter of Sagig. Since the text of that chapter is only fragmentarily known, in most cases it is uncertain to which particular lines of the base text the individual commentarial entries refer. Only in the penultimate line is it clear that the logographic writing dul.dul-ma from the base text is rendered syllabically as it-ta-⸢nak-tam-ma⸣, “it is constantly covered.”

As in this last case, most of the lines seem to contain straightforward philological explanations. For instance r 6′ explains bāmat, “half,” by means of the more common synonym mišil. The commentary twice use the technical term libbū, “as in” (r 7′ and 11′): in the latter instance the word zûšu, “his excrement,” is equated by means of libbū with the rarer synonym šittašu.

It seems likely that the present tablet originally contained comments at least on Sagig 17 and 18. Only one other commentary on diagnostic omens from the “Sippar Collection” is known: CCP 4.1.4.B, which comments on Sagig 4, and which belongs to the same consignment as the present tablet (82-9-18).


The transliteration offered below has been kindly collated by I.L. Finkel, to whom several important improvements are due. E. Frahm and U. Gabbay have both offered valuable suggestions and corrections.


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(Base textCommentaryQuotations from other texts)


BM 066873

oo NaN  (beginning obverse missing)
o 1'o 1'

[...] x-bi


(3 lines missing)
o 5'5'



(1 line missing)
o 7'7'



o 8'8'



o 9'9'



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

[... MÚD?] ṣal-mu-tu₄1

[...] black [blood].

r 2'2'

[... MÚD].GE₆ : a-da-ma-tu₄

[... MÚD.G]E₆ (= Sagig unknown) means "red blood."

r 3'3'

[...] x-šú a-na UGU ra-bi-ti-šú

[...] ... concerning his greatness.

r 4'4'

[...] bi?-i-šu : GAL : ra-bu-ú

[(since) (...) GAL means] ... (and) GAL means "big."

r 5'5'

[... GÍD.GÍD : im-ta-na]-ag-ga-ag : GÍD.GÍD : ú-te-du-lu2

[... GÍD.GÍD (= Sagig unknown) "it is continually s]tiff," GÍD.GÍD also means "it is shut."

r 6'6'

[...] : ba-mat : mi-šil : DIŠ-át : ?-ta-at

[...] bāmat (= Sagig unknown) means "half." DIŠ-át (= Sagig unknown) means "one."

r 7'7'

[...] šá? lìb-bu-ú ki-is-sat i-šá-3

[...] ... as in kissatu-disease provoked by fever.

r 8'8'

[...] dEREŠ.KI.GAL kur IGI-šú KÚRru

[...] Ereškigal shall alter his weak-sightedness.

r 9'9'

[... it-ta-na-as-la-ʾ : i]-nak-kud : ri-mu- šá i-ram?-mu-ú4

[... "He is ill" (= Sagig unknown) means "he] is worried." "Paralysis" (rimûtu) (= Sagig unknown) (refers to the person) who becomes paralyzed.

r 10'10'

[...]- áš-šú ki--pi : DAB?tu₄ šá ka-mu-ú

[...] ... on account of sorcery. "Prisoner" (̌ṣabtu) (= Sagig unknown) (is said) of a captive.

r 11'11'

[...]-sis-su : zu-ú-šú : lìb-bu-ú šit-ta-šú5

[...] ... "his excrement" (= Sagig unknown) is as in his faeces.

r 12'12'

[...]-ta?-šu-ma : GIM U-MEŠ-šú : ri-kis? ú-ba-na-tu

[...] ... GIM U-MEŠ-šú (= Sagig unknown) means "band of the fingers."

r 13'13'

[... d]EREŠ.KI.GAL : DUL.DUL-ma : it-ta-nak-tam-ma

[... means] Ereškigal. DUL.DUL-ma (= Sagig 18 38') means "it is constantly covered."

r 14'14'

[...] x šá pi-i-šú    6

[...] ... of his mouth.

r 15'15'

[ṣa-a- u šu-ut] KA šá * GIG SU-šú KÚMim SED [u DAB-su KÚR.KÚRir]

[Lemmata and oral] explanations relating to "If the body (temperature) of the patient rises and falls, [and his seizure changes"] (= Sagig 18 incipit).

end of reverse

1Reading courtesy of I. Finkel.

2Reading courtesy of I. Finkel. On mitangugu in diagnostic texts, see CAD M/1 28b.

3On kissat išāti see CAD K 429a.

4it-ta-na-as-la-ʾ is restored with the Sagig commentary SpTU 1 41 l. 10 (CCP 4.1.40.A). At the end, Lambert's transliteration reads i-šem?-mu-ú. The reading ram? is courtesy of E. Frahm.

5The first sign could also be [...] ⸢x⸣ : [ILF]. Compare šittu = in the Sagig commentary GCCI 2 406 16 (CCP 4.1.13.B).

6It is uncertain to which line of the base text the present entry refers.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

Courtesy of the Trustees of the British Museum