The Shaʿtiqatu Narrative from the Ugaritic Story about the Healing of King Kirta

in Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
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Abstract

A comprehensive and detailed study of the Shaʿtiqatu Narrative found in KTU 1.16.5.10–1.16.6.14 including philological and epigraphic analysis. The present article presents the groundwork for a counterpart article exploring the identity and function of the Ugaritic figure known as Shaʿtiqatu who plays a key role in the healing of King Kirta.1

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References

1

See T. J. Lewis, “The Identity and Function of Ugaritic Shaʿtiqatu: A Divinely Made Apotropaic Figure,” JANER 14 (2014).

9

Cf. T. J. Lewis, “ ‘You Have Heard What the Kings of Assyria Have Done’: Disarmament Passages vis-à-vis Assyrian Rhetoric of Intimidation,” in Isaiah’s Vision of Peace in Biblical and Modern International Relations: Swords into Plowshares, ed. R. Cohen and R. Westbrook (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), 92.

11

B. Margalit, “The Legend of Keret,” in Handbook of Ugaritic Studies, ed. W. G. E. Watson and N. Wyatt (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999), 231.

13

See P. D. Miller, “El, the Creator of Earth,” BASOR 239 (1980): 43–46.

17

Cf. J. Sanmartín, “Das Handwerk in Ugarit: Eine lexikalische Studie,” SEL 12 (1995): 169–190 and J.-P. Vita, “The Society of Ugarit” in Handbook of Ugaritic Studies, ed. W. G. E. Watson and N. Wyatt (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1999), 486–490, esp. 488–490. As for the Hebrew Bible, H. Ringgren (“ḥāraš,” TDOT, Vol. V, 222) points out the decidedly cultic use of ḥrš craftsmen: “The ḥārāšîm are mentioned above all in connection with the building or ornamentation of the temple (or tent of meeting) . . . and as makers of idols.” Ringgren collects the relevant passages with regard to sacred space and cultic images, including the polemical passages against the crafting of such images.

18

Ginsberg, “Ugaritic Myths, Epics, and Legends,” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, ed. J. B. Pritchard (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969), 148 and The Legend of King Keret, 30, 48 (my emphasis). For cognate evidence, note the mention of ḥăkam ḥărāšîm “skilled enchanter” in Isaiah 3:3. Cf. too Aramaic ḥarrāšāʾ/ḥarrāštāʾ, “sorcerer/sorcereress,” ḥaršāʾ/ḥarrāšûtāʾ, “sorcery” and ḥiršîn “witchcraft,” as well as Deir Alla I.36 where ḥršn designates “incantations.” See B. A. Levine, Numbers 21–36 (New York: Doubleday, 2000), 245, 253 and T. J. Lewis, “Job 19 in the Light of the Ketef Hinnom Inscriptions and Amulets,” in Puzzling Out the Past: Studies in Northwest Semitic Languages and Literatures in Honor of Bruce Zuckerman, ed. M. J. Lundberg, S. Fine and W. T. Pitard (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2012), 101 (with additional bibliography).

20

T. J. Lewis, “ ʿAthtartu’s Incantations and the Use of Divine Names as Weapons,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71 (2011): 213–214.

25

Cf. de Moor, “El, the Creator,” 181–182; del Olmo Lete, Mitos y leyendas de Canaan, 318; Pardee, “The Kirta Epic,” 341 n. 91.

29

Cf. D. Pardee, Les textes rituels (RSO 12; Paris: Editions Recherche sur les Civilizations, 1988), 892; J. N. Ford, “The Ugaritic Incantation against Sorcery RIH 78/20 (KTU2 1.169),” Ugarit-Forschungen (2002): 197.

30

See Gibson, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 22; Ginsberg, “Ugaritic Myths, Epics, and Legends,” 48; Parker, The Pre-Biblical Narrative, 193; and Gordon, “Poetic Legends and Myths from Ugarit,” 56.

35

So Driver, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 45; G. A. Saliba, “A Cure for King Keret,” JAOS 92/1 (1972): 108; Gibson, Canaanite Myths and Legends, 101; Coogan, Stories from Ancient Canaan, 72; del Olmo Lete, Mitos y leyendas de Canaan, 319; de Moor, An Anthology of Religious Texts from Ugarit, 221; Parker, The Pre-Biblical Narrative, 194 and Wyatt, Religious Texts from Ugarit, 237. Contrast Ginsberg, Coogan, Smith and Greenstein who leave both bkt and nṣrt untranslated. See Ginsberg, The Legend of King Keret, 31; “Ugaritic Myths, Epics, and Legends,” 148; M. D. Coogan and M. S. Smith, Stories from Ancient Canaan, second edition (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2012), 93 and Greenstein, “Kirta,” 39.

41

R. Payne Smith, Thesaurus syriacus (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1999), Vol 2, cols 2442, 2444; J. Payne Smith, A Compendious Syriac Dictionary (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1998), 349 and C. Brockelmann, Lexicon Syriacum (Halis Saxonum, Sumptibus Max Niemeyer, 1928), 444; E. S. Drower and R. Macuch, A Mandaic Dictionary (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1963), 285–286 s.v. naṣuraia and naṣiruta; and S. A. Kaufman, The Akkadian Influences on Aramaic (Chicago: Oriental Institute, 1974), 78.

47

Saliba, “A Cure for King Keret,”109; Ginsberg, The Legend of King Keret, 31; “Ugaritic Myths, Epics, and Legends,” 148; Greenstein, “Kirta,” 39; C. Virolleaud, “Le roi Keret et son fils (IIK) troisième partie,” Syria 23 (1942–1943): 1–2, 5–6; del Olmo Lete, Mitos y leyendas de Canaan, 320; Xella, Gli Antenati di Dio, 177; Wyatt, Religious Texts from Ugarit, 237. On de Moor’s reading (mh) see note 48 below.

48

J. C. de Moor, “Contributions to the Ugaritic Lexicon,” Ugarit-Forschungen 11 (1979): 646; An Anthology of Religious Texts from Ugarit, 221. KTU2 also suggests the possibility of reading mh in a footnote. De Moor’s translation (followed by Dietrich and Loretz, Mythen und Epen IV [TUAT], 1250) has Shaʿtiqatu employing an incantation in KTU 1.16.6.6: “through the town she let her charm fly.” In addition, in the very broken KTU 1.16.5.45, de Moor (again followed by Dietrich and Loretz) reconstructs ʾIlu placing “a powerful charm” on Shaʿtiqatu’s lips. For support he notes how Marduk went to battle against Tiamat “holding an incantation ready on his lips” (Enuma Elish, Tablet IV, lines 61ff). While such interpretations would indeed fit our overall interpretation, they must be set aside as speculative based on the extremely broken nature of our texts. In addition, as will be shown below, reading the text as is (with mt rather than a hypothetical mh) fits the context superbly well. As can be seen from the enclosed photograph (Figure 1), the text as we have it clearly rules out Gray’s earlier reading of tbʾu tgh, “Into the city she enters in her work of release.” See J. Gray, The Krt Text in the Literature of Ras Shamra, 24, 56.

49

Virolleaud, “Le roi Keret et son fils (IIK) troisième partie,” 2.

54

Cf. de Moor, An Anthology of Religious Texts from Ugarit, 221; “Contributions to the Ugaritic Lexicon,” 646. Alternatively, one could analyze tdʾu as from the root ndʾ based on Arabic nadaʾ (*tandiʾu > taddiʾu “she disperses/frightens [death] away”); so del Olmo Lete, Mitos y leyendas de Canaan, 588; Wyatt, Religious Texts from Ugarit, 237; DULAT, 619. For the Arabic, see E. W. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon, Vol. 2 (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1984), 2777–2778. Cf. Hebrew and JAram ndʾ, “to separate” (HALOT, 671).

60

Cf. del Olmo Lete, Mitos y leyendas de Canaan, 320; DULAT, 687. While the word pṭr occurs only in our passage in Ugaritic, the PN pṭry occurs in 4.766.4. and KTU 4.724.10 (broken).

61

CAD P, pp. 290–292, 297–299, 302. Cf. too the use of the D stem (puṭṭuru) referring to the magical undoing of knots (kiṣru) and this seems to be reflected in the translations of Greenstein, “Kirta,” 39; and Coogan and Smith, Stories from Ancient Canaan, 94.

67

W. G. E. Watson, “Antithesis in Ugaritic Verse,” 415.

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