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Niek Veldhuis

'A Cow of Sîn' is an Akkadian incantation for a woman in childbirth. It contains a small mythological narrative (about 20 lines) about the moongod and his beloved cow, Geme-Sîn. Sîn falls in love with his cow and impregantes her. When at the end of her pregnancy the birth-pangs begin, Sîn hears her cries in heaven. Two helping spirits descend to earth and perform a ritual to ease the birth. The incantation ends with a supplication: may this woman give birth as easily as Geme-Sîn. Veldhuis presents the various versions of the text and offers a literary analysis which takes into account the poetic and pragmatic aspects of the incantation. This study is meant both for the Assyriologist and for anyone interested in Akkadian literature.