CCP 3.1.55.G - Enūma Anu Enlil 55 G

Catalogue information
Vorderasiatisches Museum
VAT 7830
DivinationAstrological. Enūma Anu Enlil
Base text: 
Enūma Anu Enlil 55
Commentary no: 
Tablet information
o 38, r 19
Neo/Late Babylonian, specifics unknown
Anu-aḫu-ušabši s. Kidin-Anu d. Ekurzakir
Ina-qibīt-Anu s. Anu-aḫu-ušabši d. Ekurzakir

CAD M/1 153a[On line 18]

CAD Š/2 442b[On line 5]

CAD H 105a[On line 18]

Frahm, 2011E. Frahm, Babylonian and Assyrian Text Commentaries. Origins of Interpretation. Ugarit-Verlag, 2011.: 150, 302

Meissner, 1925B. Meissner, Studien zur assyrischen Lexikographie. Pfeiffer, 1925.
[On line 18]
: 24 ad 287-292

Oelsner, 1986J. Oelsner, Materialien zur Babylonischen Gesellschaft und Kultur in Hellenistischer Zeit. Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem, 1986.: 177

Weidner, 1938E. F. Weidner, Ea am Himmel, Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 2, pp. 378-381, 1938.
[On line 16-17]
: 381

Weidner, 1941aE. F. Weidner, Die astrologische Serie Enûma Anu Enlil, Archiv für Orientforschung, vol. 14, pp. 172-195, 1941.
[On line 1]
: 184

Weidner, 1957E. F. Weidner, Fixsterne, Reallexikon der Assyriologie, vol. 3, pp. 72-82, 1957.
[On line 18]
: 81b

Jiménez, 08/2016 (Draft transliteration)
Frazer, 10/2016 (Transliteration)
Frahm & Jiménez, 10/2017 (Corrections & suggestions)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Introduction)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Translation)
Frazer, 10/2017 (Annotation)
Jiménez, 10/2017 (Lemmatization)
By Mary Frazer & Eckart Frahm | Make a correction or suggestion
How to cite
Frazer, M. & Frahm, E., 2016, “Commentary on Enūma Anu Enlil 55 (CCP 3.1.55.G),” Cuneiform Commentaries Project (E. Frahm, E. Jiménez, M. Frazer, and K. Wagensonner), 2013–2024; accessed May 18, 2024, at DOI: 10079/80gb60d
© Cuneiform Commentaries Project (Citation Guidelines)

Although cited in secondary literature already in 1925,1 this is the first published text edition of this commentary. The tablet, which is from Hellenistic Uruk, contains, in varying states of preservation, the first thirty-eight lines of a commentary on one of the higher-numbered chapters of Enūma Anu Enlil. The number by which the chapter was known at Uruk is uncertain,2 but at Assur it was Chapter 48 (according to the Assur catalogue of EAE) and at Nineveh it was Chapter 55 (?).3 Most of the text on the reverse is completely abraded, but it is clear that after several lines it was divided by a double ruling, and again after a further nine lines by a second double ruling. A rubric comes next, most of which is broken away, before the manuscript concludes with a colophon.

Although the commentary begins by citing an omen in its entirety (i.e., protasis and apodosis), it usually cites only an omen’s protasis, be it in whole or in part. The protases in question progress from those featuring the Yoke Constellation (ll. 1-11), the Kidney Star (ll. 12-15), the Habaṣīrānu Star (ll. 18-20, 22-23), the š Constellation (ll. 21-22), the Scorpion Constellation (ll. 24-31?), and the Nanny-Goat Constellation (ll. 37-38). With respect to the Yoke Constellation (written mulšudun and mulš, the commentary equates it with the planets Mercury (l. 3), Mars (l. 11) and especially Jupiter (ll. 8, 9, 10 and 11). The Kidney Star is equated with the planet Mercury (l. 12) and the Gula Star (l. 14). The Habaṣīrānu Star is also equated with the planet Mercury (ll. 18. 19, 20, 21 and probably 22), as are both the Yoke Constellation (written mulš, l. 22) and the Scorpion Constellation (l. 26). Also worthy of note is the chain of three equations used to connect Emutbal, a geographical name that was anachronistic by the Hellenistic period, with the planet Mars (l. 11).

In addition to equating the celestial bodies in the omens with planets – equations whose rationale is not always clear – the commentary occasionally performs etymological analysis, most notably when it uses the notarikon technique to explain the logographic writing of the Habaṣīrānu Star, (ll. 22-23). Synonyms are the other hermeneutic technique in use. Thus logograms are sometimes explained by recourse to an Akkadian equivalent: [è] (?) = napāhu (l. 2), ti = […] (l. 5), si = amāri (l. 29), and the old-fashioned word a-pí-il is explained by means of the contemporary ár-ku (l. 19).

Aside from cola, the commentary uses one rarely attested technical term, umma, “thus”. U. Gabbay suggests on the basis of the few appearances of umma in other commentaries that it is used to introduce paraphrases of the base text.4 Unfortunately, in this text it appears both times in broken contexts (ll. 30 and 35).


Though badly damaged, the colophon tells us that the tablet was written by Ina-qibīt-Anu “for his education” before he deposited it in the Bīt-Rēš temple. The particular blessing on the upper edge of the tablet – “At the word of Anu and Antu, may it be a success!” – is often found on tablets from Uruk that were produced in pedagogical contexts. The name of the tablet’s owner is badly damaged, but the traces are consistent with the name Anu-aḫu-ušabši. This reading finds additional support in the fact that Anu-ahu-ušabši / Kidin-Anu // Ekur-zakir and his son Ina-qibīt-Anu were the respective owner and copyist of another commentary on a high tablet number of Enūma Anu Enlil, CCP 3.1.52.K.

The ḫepi-gloss, literally “it is broken”, in l. 7 indicates that Ina-qibīt-Anu was using either a damaged manuscript of the base text or an earlier (damaged) manuscript of the same commentary. This commentary may well, therefore, have been composed before the Hellenistic period. The quality of an earlier manuscript may be to blame for the corruption of kur to in l. 6 and for the possible corruption of the constellation nameš.hum (= Centaurus) to in l. 22.

Finally, it remains to point out that the commentary’s opening line, when read in conjunction with the (also partially preserved) citation of the same line in a commentary from Nineveh, CCP 3.1.55.B (o 1 and r 9'), allows the incipit of the base text to be securely identified for the first time as šumma mulnīru ina āṣīšu šaqûma ītanmar (“If the Yoke Constellation, when it rises, is (literally: was) high and visible”).5


The tablet VAT 7830 is published here with the kind permission of the Vorderasiatisches Museum.


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VAT 07830

t.e. 0t.e. 0

[i-na a]-mat d60 u dan-tu₄ liš-lim

[At the w]ord of Anu and Antu may it be a success!

o 1o 1

[* mulŠUDUN ina] È-šú šá-qu-ma it-tan-mar BURU₁₄ KUR SI. : DINGIR-MEŠ [x x x]1

[If the Yoke Constellation, when] it rises, is high and visible, the harvest of the country will prosper” means “The gods []

o 22

[x x x x] : na-pa-ḫu : * KIMIN-ma šup-pu-ul-ma it-tan-mar [x x x]2

[ “…”] means “to rise/ glow”. “If ditto (i.e. the Yoke Constellation, when it rises), is low and visible” (= ACh Ištar 21, l. 4) []

o 33

[x x x *] KIMIN-ma ina È-šú ana dUTU.È IGI-šú GARnu : GU₄.UD ŠÚ-ma im[x x]3

[ “If] ditto (i.e. the Yoke Constellation), when it rises, faces east” means “Mercury sets and the [] wind

o 44

DU-ma [: * KIMIN-ma ...] x-šú ina dUTU.ŠÚ.A BABBAR-ma IGImar DIB-ma : * KIMIN-ma a-na [dUTU.ŠÚ.A]

blows.” [“If ditto (i.e., the Yoke Constellation, when it rises,) ] …” (means) “In the west it is shining and visible and passes by.” “If ditto (i.e., the Yoke Constellation, when it rises,) faces [west”] (= ACh Ištar 21, l. 12).”

o 55

IGI-šú GARan : KI dSÀG.ME.GAR ina GIŠ.ŠÚ TUR-ma ḫar-piš ŠÚ-ma : TI : sa-[x x]4

means “Together with Jupiter it grows small in the west and sets early.” “TI” means “… []

o 66

* KIMIN ina È-šú IGI-šú BI i-ḫi-ri : dSÀG.ME.GAR ina ÍL šá-ru-[ru]5

“If ditto (i.e., the Yoke Constellation), when it rises, faces a man (and) chooses that man” means “Jupiter, while having a brilliant sheen”

o 77

KI ḫe- -šúIGI-ma : UN-MEŠ : * KIMIN i-na È-šú ana Á-šú ki-lal-[la-an]6

is visible with (it is newly broken) “man” (means) “people.” “If ditto (i.e. the Yoke Constellation), when it rises,

o 88


the stars draw near to b[oth] sides and go” means “Saturn and Mars approach on the right and left of Jupiter.”

o 99

* ina IGI mulŠUDUN mulGE₆ IGI : GU₄.UD ina IGI dSÀG.ME.GAR IGI-ma : * mul[ŠUDUN]8

“If the Black One is visible in front of the Yoke Constellation” means Mercury is visible in front of Jupiter. “If the [Yoke] Constellation

o 1010

ina KI.GUB 20šú GUBiz : dSÀG.ME.GAR ŠÚ-ma GU₄.UD IGI-ma : * KIMIN imKUR.RA a-x9

stands in the position of the sun” means “Jupiter will set and Mercury will be visible.” “If ditto (i.e., the Yoke Constellation?) the east wind

o 1111

[DU? : dSÀG.ME].GAR ina ALLA TUR-ma : e-mu-ut-ba-lu : BÀD.ANki : mulŠU.PA : DINGIR10

[blows means “Jupit]er will grow small in the Crab”. “Emutbal” means (the city) “Dēr” means the “ŠU.PA (= Yoke?) Constellation” means “Mars.”

o 1212

[* mul]BIR ma-diš SA₅ : GU₄.UD šá-ru-ru ÍL-ma : * KIMIN ana dUDU.IDIM TE

[“If the Kid]ney Star is very red” means “Mercury has a brilliant sheen.” “If ditto (i.e., the Kidney Star) approaches a planet”

o 1313

[x (x)] x ḫal ina ÍL šá-ru-ru ana DINGIR TE : * KIMIN mulUGA i-mid

[] “… while having a brilliant sheen and approaches Mars”. “If ditto (i.e., the Kidney Star) leans on the Raven Constellation

o 1414

[x x x mul]gu-la IGI-ma : mulBIR : mulgu-la : * mulBIR x x x [x]

[] Gula is visible”. “Kidney Star” means “Gula Star”. “If the Kidney Star

o 1515

[x x : x x šá-ru]-ru ÍL-ma : GU₇ DINGIR : ú-kul-ti DINGIR : GU₇ : ú-[kul-ti]11

[ means “…] has a [brilliant sh]een”. “GU₇ of the god (Sumerian) means “devouring by (lit. of) the god” (because) KA means “de[vouring”]

o 1616

[* mul]ŠUDUN A.AB.BA a-dir : DINGIR ina ÍL šá-ru-ru ina itiKIN KI IGI.DU₈.A12

[“If the] Yoke of the Sea grows dark” (ACh Ištar 21, l. 41) means “Mars, while having a brilliant sheen, in the month of Ulūlu looks towards the earth.”

o 1717

[*] mulNUNki GU₄.UD TE-ma : dé-a a-dir AN.GE₆ ina gu-la GAR[an]13

“If the Eridu Star approaches Mercury” (ACh Ištar 21, l. 45) means “Ea grows dark (and) an eclipse will occur in Gula.”

o 1818

[* mul]EN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM ina È-šu mu-ul-lu-uḫ GU₄.UD ina ALLA ḫar-piš IGImar14

[If] the Habaṣirānu Star, when it rises, flickers (ACh Ištar 21, l. 47), Mercury will be visible early in the Crab”

o 1919

[a-]-il : ár-ku : * KIMIN SAG-šú ANe i-na-aṭ-<ṭa>-al : GU₄.UD ina AB.SÍN!(ZI) [IGI-ma]15

“Delayed” (a-pí-il, ACh Ištar 21, l. 49) means “later.” “If ditto (i.e., the Habaṣīrānu Star, when it rises), its head looks at the heavens” (ACh Ištar 21, l. 51) means “Mercury [is seen] in the Furrow (Star)

o 2020

[x (x)] * KIMIN ana ABZU šu-úr : GU₄.UD ina ŠÀ ALLA IGI-ma : * KIMIN ana 15 dṣal-[bat-a-nu]16

[] “If ditto (i.e., the Habaṣīrānu Star, when it rises), bows down to the Apsû” (ACh Ištar 21, l. 52) means “Mercury is visible within the Crab.” “If ditto (i.e., the Habaṣirānu Star, when it rises) [] to the right of M[ars]

o 2121

[x x x GU₄].UD? ina AB.SÍN!(ZI) KI IGI.DU₈.A šá mulₓ(AB₂)ŠU.PA ana DINGIR TE-ma mulŠU.PA : x [x]17

[(means) “Mercu]ry in the Furrow looks at the earth.” With respect to “The ŠU.PA Constellation draws near to the god” (cf. K.2314+ l. 20) “ŠU.PA Constellation” means []

o 2222

[mulŠU].PA? a-dir : GENNA KI GU₄.UD GUB-ma : EN.ME.EZ.ḪUM : GU₄.UD : EDIN : [ṣe-e-ri]18

[The ŠU.PA Constellation] grows dark” means “Saturn stands in the position of Mercury:” “Lord of …” means “Mercury;” “EDIN” (= from entenabarḫum) means [“steppe”;]

o 2323

[BAR : ṣe]-e-ri : BAR : a-ḫa-a-ta : ḪUM : ḫu-ru-ru : ḪUM : ḫu-ru-pu : * mulₓ(ÁB) x [x]19

[“BAR” means “st]eppe”, “BAR” means “surroundings”; “HUM” means “to be hollowed out”, “HUM” means very early. “If the star []

o 2424

[x (x)] x DU : dil-bat ina GÍR.TAB ana ŠÀ 30 KU₄-ma : IDIM-MEŠ : -še-gu-ú : i-bi₄bi-[x]

[] …” means “Dilbat in the Scorpion (Constellation) enters within the Moon.” “IDIM-MEŠ” means “they will rage.” (The word) i-bi₄-[x]

o 2525

[x (x)]-ú : * mulGÍR.TAB BABBAR-ma ana ŠÀ TÙR 30 SI-MEŠ-šú iḫ-lu-pa-ni : [x (x)]20

[(means) ]. “If the Scorpion Constellation is white and into the midst of the halo of the moon slip its (i.e., the moon’s) horns” means [“…]

o 2626

[x x (x)] KI? d30 GUB-ma : * mulGÍR.TAB GE₆ ina ŠÀ-šú : GU₄.UD ina GÍR.TAB IGI-ma

[] stands with the moon.” “If the Scorpion Constellation is dark in its center” means “Mercury is visible in Scorpion.”

o 2727

[x x x mul]UDU.IDIM GU₄.UD : mulGÍR.TAB IGI-šú SIG₇ : U₄.x.KAM GÍR.TAB IGI-ma?

[] the planet is Mercury. The Scorpion Constellation’s face is green. On day x, the Scorpion (Constellation) is visible.

o 2828

[x x x x] x : * mulGÍR.TAB i-ta-tu-šú uk-ku-lu : GENNA ina x [(x)]

[] “If the Scorpion Constellation, its surroundings grow dark” means “Saturn in []

o 2929

[x x x x] x GENNA DINGIR : SI : a-ma-ri : KUR e-si-iq-tu₄ : x [(x)]

[] Saturn is Mars. SI means “to see.” Assigned land” means “… […”]

o 3030

[x x x x :] us-su-qu : MIN : us-su-ru : um-ma KUR ana LUGAL [(x)]

[ means] “to assign,” ditto means “to be confined.” Thus, “The land [] to the king

o 3131

[x x x x x] [x] x ina SI GÍR.TAB GUB : DINGIR i-na ÍL šá-ru-ru

[ “…] stands in the Pincer of the Scorpion” means “Mars while having a brilliant sheen,

o 3232

[x x x x x x] x mulzi-ba-ni-tu₄ KI.GUB-su GI.NA

[] the Scales Constellation, is steady in its position.

o 3333

[x x x x x x x] x-ta ina KI.GUB GI.NA x x : * x x x d?a?-num?

[] is steady in position . “If Anu

o 3434

[x x x x x x x] x : IDIM is-si-ka : a-x-lal x [x x x]

[] the Heavy One []

o 3535

[x x x x x x x] x : um-ma KI.LAM x x [x x x x]21

[] Thus, “The exchange rate …” []

o 3636

[x x x x x x] [x x x] x-ma ana dSÀG.ME.GAR TE-ma [x x x x x]

[ “If ] and draws close to Jupiter” []

o 3737

[x x x x x x x x x] x ana mulÙZ mul[x x x x]22

[] to the Goat Constellation []

o 3838

[(x x) * mulÙZ mulGÁN].ÙR KURud : GU₄.UD [x x x (x)]

[ “If the Goat constellation] reaches [the Har]row” (ACh Ištar 21, l. 70) means “Mercury []

r (missing)
r 1'1'

[...] x [...]

[] []

r 2'2'

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

[] []

r 3'3'

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

[] []

r 4'4'

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

[] []

r 5'5'

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

[] []

r 6'6'

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

[] []

r 7'7'

[...] x x-šú [...] x me?-e? [...]

[] []

r 8'8'

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

[] []

r 9'9'

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

[] []

r 10'10'

[...] x x x bad [...] x mi

[] []

r 11'11'

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

[] []

r 12'12'

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

[] []

r 13'13'

[...] ina itiBÁRA x [x x]

[] in Nisannu []

r 14'14'

[...] x IM md60?-ŠEŠ?-[GÁLši]

[] Tablet of Anu-aḫa-[ušabši]

r 15'15'

[DUMU šá mki-din-d60 ŠÀ.BAL.BAL mÉ.KUR-za-kir (...) MAŠ.MAŠ d60 u dan-tu₄ ŠEŠ.GALi] É re?-? [x x]

[son of Kidin-Anu, descendant of Ekur-zakir] exorcist of Anu and Antu, chief priest of the Bīt Rēš, []

r 16'16'

[UMBISAG U₄ d60] dEN.LÍL. UNUGkiú qàt mina--bit-[d60] DUMU-šú ana a-ḫa-a-[zi-šú]

[scribe of Enūma Anu] Enlil, an Urukean. Handiwork of Ina-qibīt-[Anu], his son, for [his] educa[tion],

r 17'17'

[GÍD.DA] U₄-MEŠ-šú DIN ZI-šú kun-[nu] SUḪUŠ-MEŠ-šu la ba-šu-u GIG-MEŠ-šú

[the length] of his days, the preservation of his life, (and) the firm[ness] of his foundations. Let him never be ill

r 18'18'

[u MUD EN]u-ti-šú [SAR-ma ina UNUGki u É] re- É UMUNti-šú GI.[NA]

[and let him revere] his (i.e., Anu’s) [lord]ship! [Written in Uruk and] depo[sited (in) the Bīt]-Rēš, the house of his (i.e., Anu’s) lordship.

r 19'19'

[pa-liḫ d60] u an-tu₄ [ina šur-qa NU TÙM-šú x] x x x x (x) [x]

[Let he who reveres Anu] and Antu [not take it away by theft] []

1The opening words of the base text are restored from CCP 3.1.55.B r 9' (see CCP 3.1.55.B ad o 1 for discussion).

2If the lexical equation at the beginning of this line refers to the omen cited in the first line, then one is tempted to restore È as the missing first half of the equation because the equation of È and na-pa-ḫu is well attested, appearing as it does in the lexical lists Diri I 151 and Aa III/3 147 (references from CAD N/1 s.v. napāhu, lexical section).

3For the implicit equation of the Yoke Constellation with the planet Mercury compare SAA 8 73, l. 4 (Brown 2000: 60). The same omen protasis is cited in CCP 3.1.55.B o 4, but unfortunately that tablet breaks away before the explanation.

4The same protasis is explained differently in CCP 3.1.55.B, o 9 (“No wind will blow (and) there will be famine”). The second entry, concerning the logogram TI, refers to a new omen without citing the omen in question in full.

5Perhaps KUR!(), as in CCP 3.1.55.B, o 16: ¶ mulŠUDUN ina É-šú KUR IGI-šú.

6Compare CCP 3.1.55.B, l. 17: ¶ mulŠUDUN ina É-šú ki-lal-la-an MUL [...]

7For the implicit equation of the Yoke Constellation with the planet Jupiter compare SAA 8: 546 (Brown 2000: 60).

8Note the quotation of the same line in CCP 3.1.55.B, l. 12, which then seems to explain the omen by equating Saturn (‘the Black One’) with Jupiter.

9Note the commentary on the same line in CCP 3.1.55.B, l. 14: ¶ mulŠUDUN ina? KI.GUB d?UTU?šú? GUBiz x [...]

10To my knowledge, the equations of Emutbal with Dēr and of Dēr with the Yoke Constellation are not otherwise attested. For the use of dŠU.PA to mean the Yoke Constellation, see Brown (2000: 60), and for the implicit equation of the Yoke Constellation with the planet Mars compare SAA 8 383, r. 4 (Brown 2000: 60).

11The phrase ukulti īli or ukulti DN is attested in apodases of other tablets of EAE (see CAD U/W 64b for references), where ukultu is written syllabically. In lexical lists, the logographic writing of ukultu is KA×GAR (see CAD U/W 62a for details).

12The end of the line is restored on the basis of l. 21.

13Weidner (1938: 381) interprets the first words of the line as a continuation of the explanation in l. 17, thus: “Mars näherte sich zur Zeit (seines) ‘Glanztragens’ im Monat Elul gleichzeitig mit dem Aufgange des kakkabuEridu dem Merkur.” “Gula” = the Gula Constellation = Aquarius.

14For a similar omen see ACh Ištar 21, ll. 47-48: ¶ EN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM ina È-šú mu-lu-uḫ ina SAG itiŠU IGI-(ma) GAR SI. KI.LAM GI.NA dGU₄.UD ki-ma TÙM ḫa-an-ṭiš IGI-ma. See also SAA 8 158 l. 7-8. For the few attestations of mulluḫu, “to flicker?”, see CAD M/1 153a.

15See ACh Ištar 21, l. 51: ¶ EN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM SAG-šú ANe i-na-ṭa-la.

16See ACh Ištar 21, 52: ¶ EN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM ana ABZU šu-úr.

17Compare K.2314+ l. 20-21: ¶ mulŠU.PA ana MUL.MUL TE dIMIN.BI x [...] | dSAG.ME.GAR ina MUL.MUL DU [...]

18For the beginning, compare K.2314+ l. 23-24: ¶ mulŠU.PA a-dir LUGAL URIki ZI-ma KUR NIM.MAki [...] | dṣal-bat-a-nu ú-tan-[nat (...)]. The writing EN.ME.EZ.ḪUM is reminiscent of EN.TE.NA.MAŠ.ḪUM, ‘Centaurus’, attested in the ‘Jupiter Tablets’ published by Reiner & Pingree 2005. The rest of the line and the next line contain a notarikon justification of the equation of the constellation EN.TE.NA.BAR.ḪUM (Akkadian habaṣīrānu), whence the equations with Mercury.

19The equation BAR = ṣēru is attested in Nabnītu XXI 202 (MSL 16). For the two equations of ḪUM, compare gu-uz : LUM : ḫu-ur-ru-ru and gu-uz : LUM : ḫu-ur-ru-mu in Ea V 9-10.

20Compare DIR = ḫa-la-pu ša qar-ni (SAA 8 57, r.4).

21Compare ACh Ištar 21, l. 65: ZÁḪ KI.LAM.

22ACh Ištar 21, ll. 67 and following deal with the Goat Constellation.

Photos by Enrique Jiménez

© Vorderasiatisches Museum