Becoming Marduk: A New Look at a Commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons from Assur

In: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions
Uri Gabbay Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near East, Hebrew University Jerusalem Israel

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The article deals with a commentary on the Akkadian composition Marduk’s Address to the Demons from the city of Assur. The first part of the article discusses the unique religious view found in Marduk’s Address and its commentary, in which the āšipu priest is identified with the god Marduk. The second part presents a new philological edition of the commentary.


The article deals with a commentary on the Akkadian composition Marduk’s Address to the Demons from the city of Assur. The first part of the article discusses the unique religious view found in Marduk’s Address and its commentary, in which the āšipu priest is identified with the god Marduk. The second part presents a new philological edition of the commentary.

To my teacher Wayne Horowitz, in appreciation and gratitude

1 Introduction

The following article deals with the commentary A.163+A.195 from Assur on the composition Marduk’s Address to the Demons. In the first part of the article, the ancient significance of Marduk’s Address to the Demons is examined, both as a scholarly literary text and as a performative ritual text. The second part of the article discusses some formal, hermeneutical, and contextual aspects of the commentary A.163+A.195 and presents a new edition of the text.1

2 Commenting on Marduk’s Address to the Demons: The Āšipu as a Priest and Scholar

2.1 Marduk’s Address to the Demons and Its Commentaries

Modern scholars have assigned the title Marduk’s Address to the Demons to a long list (98 lines) of epithets and characteristics of Marduk, each preceded by the first-person utterance, “I am Asalluḫi (= Marduk), (who)” (Geller 2016: 343–63, ll. 10–107). This list is found within the eleventh chapter (“tablet”) of the exorcistic series Udug-ḫul (Akk.: Utukku Lemnūtu), “Evil Demons,” and in that context it is understood as the words that Marduk speaks to the demons he wishes to exorcise, enumerating in the first person his various powers. By extension, the title Marduk’s Address to the Demons refers to Tablet 11 of Udug-ḫul in its entirety, including also those parts that do not present Marduk speaking in the first person (Lambert 1999).

Four commentaries to Udug-ḫul are known, of which three deal with Marduk’s Address to the Demons (compare Frahm 2011: 123–7):

  1. VAT 8286 (LKA 82; Geller 2006, pl. 137; Frahm 2015)

  2. A.163+A.195 (edited and discussed below)

  3. JRL 1053 (Al-Rawi 2000, 48; Geller 2016: 393; Frahm, Jiménez, and Frazer 2016; George and Taniguchi 2019, no. 213)

  4. BM 47529+47685 (Geller 2014: 60–3; 2016: 396–7; Wee 2016; George and Taniguchi 2019, no. 214)2

The first Udug-ḫul commentary listed here, VAT 8286 (LKA 82), is from the āšipu’s house in square N4 in Assur (Frahm 2011: 268–9; see Maul 2010; May 2018). It does not treat Marduk’s Address to the Demons.

The next two Udug-ḫul commentaries, A.163+A.195 and JRL 1053, are also from the āšipu’s house in square N4 in Assur. Both texts comment on Marduk’s Address to the Demons, and both were written in the seventh century BCE by the young āšipu Kiṣir-Nabû (who probably wrote LKA 82 as well).

A.163+A.195, the subject of this study, contains lines from the entire Udug-ḫul 11, most of which comment on the core of Marduk’s Address to the Demons, i.e., the first-person utterances, but the end of the commentary contains interpretations of lines that occur later on in the tablet. The nature of the comments on the first-person utterances and the comments on the “regular” lines from the latter part of the tablet are significantly different: the first-person utterances are interpreted contextually and the “regular” lines lexically (see below).

JRL 1053, the other Assur commentary on Marduk’s Address, contains interpretations of two lines from Marduk’s Address; the first interpretation is identical to one of the interpretations of l. 8 of A.163+A.195, and the second deals with the line from Marduk’s Address that is interpreted in l. 7 of A.163+A.195, but gives a different explanation of it. It also comments on one line from Muššu’u, and one line from Udug-ḫul 3. It was written, according to the colophon, as the “questioning” (maš’alti, cf. Gabbay 2016: 22–4) of the same Kiṣir-Nabû who wrote A.163+A.195.

Finally, BM 47529+, is a Marduk’s Address commentary from Late Babylonian Babylon. Some of the lines commented on in this commentary are also treated in A.163+A.195, but the interpretations are entirely different. The Late Babylonian commentary focuses mostly on astral identifications of the commented lines (Wee 2016).

2.2 Why Was Marduk’s Address the Subject of Commentaries?

The commentaries on Marduk’s Address to the Demons are part of a small group of commentaries on literary and magical texts (Frahm 2011: 111–28).3 This small group is greatly outnumbered by the much larger groups of commentaries on medical, lexical, and especially omen texts. In what follows, I would like to investigate features that these groups share while keeping the distinctions between the groups in mind.

Mesopotamian commentaries were mostly created for literature that is considered “technical,” especially omens (Frahm 2011: 128–256). But omens are not only technical texts; they are religious texts, and specifically they are texts that investigate the divine nature; they deal, in a technical and legalistic way, with the presence of the divine message and of the divine itself throughout the universe, whether in the stars, in the internal organs of the sacrificial animal, or elsewhere (Maul 2013). Among the few “literary” texts that have commentaries, one stands out for having garnered several preserved in multiple copies: Enūma eliš (Frahm 2011: 112–7; Frahm and Jiménez 2015). Here, too, in addition to being “literary,” Enūma eliš is a religious text concerned with the nature of divinity: it deals with the god Marduk, with his kingship, with his battles, with his creation, and generally with his character.

Another literary religious text that has spawned several commentaries is Marduk’s Address to the Demons. While the religious significance of this text is apparent – it lists epithets of Marduk – it may still be surprising that there are three tablets containing commentaries on it, whereas for most other literary religious texts we do not even have a single commentary. This surprise may also have to do with our own attitude to Marduk’s Address to the Demons: While Enūma eliš, cited so frequently in scholarly literature both in Assyriology and also in other disciplines, such as Biblical studies and Religious studies, is understood by modern researchers as deserving a commentary, Marduk’s Address is rarely discussed, even by Assyriologists.

In fact, however, Marduk’s Address to the Demons is one of the most striking religious texts of Babylonia; it deals with the divine nature and presence of Marduk, and the commentaries on it attest to the significance it had for Babylonian and Assyrian scholars. This explains not only the number of commentaries on Marduk’s Address, but also their character. Unlike many commentaries, especially those produced during the Neo-Assyrian period, that attend solely to lexical matters, the commentaries on Marduk’s Address to the Demons interpret it contextually, going beyond the simple meaning of individual words and phrases; as such these are quite similar to the commentary on Enūma eliš IVII (Frahm and Jiménez 2015). The Assur commentary A.163+A.195 dealt with here illustrates the different styles of interpretation. This text treats Tablet 11 of Udug-ḫul, which contains the main part of Marduk’s Address (namely, his first-person utterances), as well as other elements, and the differences between its contextual interpretations of the main part of Marduk’s Address and its lexical interpretations of other parts of Tablet 11 are immediately and clearly evident (see in the edition below, ll. 1–18 versus ll. 19–23). Moreover, the contextual interpretations applied to the commentary on Marduk’s Address A.163+A.195 deal with the same theme of Marduk’s Address itself, namely, Marduk’s divine manifestation, whether in cult, in astronomy, or in the āšipu himself, as will be discussed below.

Thus, Marduk’s Address, Enūma eliš, and omen texts, although belonging to different genres and different literary traditions, have something in common: they all deal with the essence of the divine, and in particular with the way a god manifests himself or “presences” himself in the world (Pongratz-Leisten and Sonik 2015), whether in myth (in Enūma eliš), in natural and ritual phenomena (in omen texts), or in the āšipu’s cult (in Marduk’s Address to the Demons). These divine manifestations were the subject of interest, study, and investigation in the ancient Mesopotamian scholarly tradition, as the commentaries on these compositions demonstrate.

But Marduk’s Address to the Demons was not only the subject of scholarly interest. It was also a subject of interest by the āšipu as a performer. Marduk’s divine manifestation in cult was not separate from the āšipu’s participance in that cult, and was in fact embodied by him, as we shall see in the following paragraphs.

2.3 Marduk Speaking through the Āšipu: Becoming Marduk and “Scholarly Possession” in Marduk’s Address to the Demons and Its Commentary

Marduk’s Address to the Demons is a long treatise that enumerates many of Marduk’s characteristics – perhaps, according to ancient perception, even all of them. Moreover, this treatise is spoken by Marduk himself, in the first person, and thus the composition can be understood as a record of the chief deity verbally revealing details of his essence. But this revelation is not only a textual one; it was understood to be a ritual one as well. When the āšipu, performing Marduk’s Address to the Demons, recites, “I am Asalluḫi (= Marduk),” it is Marduk who speaks with his voice, it is Marduk’s speech manifest in the world, and consequently it is Marduk himself manifest in the world.4 In other words, when the āšipu utters, “I am Asalluḫi,” it is actually Marduk uttering what follows and not (only) the āšipu himself. Thus, Marduk’s Address to the Demons is not only a list of epithets of Marduk; its performance by the āšipu indicates that the āšipu is, in some way, Marduk.

Furthermore, Marduk’s Address is not only about the āšipu being Marduk, it is also about Marduk being the āšipu. He is the exorcist in the text, even though the actual exorcist in the ritual is the human āšipu. The first lines of the first-person utterances of Marduk’s Address to the Demons emphasize this: “I am Asalluḫi, exorcist (mašmaššu) of the gods, the holy god! I am Asalluḫi, the holy god, the āšipu of life!” (Geller 2016: 343, ll. 10–11). In the following lines too (Geller 2016: 344, ll. 12–14), Marduk introduces himself as apkallu, “(ritual) sage,” again as mašmaššu, “exorcist,” as ŠIM.MÚ (probably šā’ilu, “diviner,” or ašīpu), and as mullilu, “purifier” – all titles associated or identified with the āšipu himself.5

This explicit identification of the human āšipu priest with the supreme god Marduk in Marduk’s Address to the Demons was noted by Lambert (1999: 292, 295), who treated it with discomfort as something alien to Mesopotamian religion. Normally the āšipu acts through the authority of the god (Maul 1994: 41; 2019, 18–19 // 41) but he is not identified with the god. Indeed, the āšipu sometimes explicitly states: “the incantation is not mine, it is the incantation of the god …” (šiptu ul yattu(n) šipat DN) (Lenzi 2010). In this utterance the authority is shifted from human to divine, but this does not entail an identification of the human with the divine. Moreover, when stating “the incantation is not mine,” the āšipu stresses that the first-person “self” speaking the incantation (which he describes as “not mine”) is still he himself, the human āšipu.6 In other words, while normally the human āšipu is understood to be an agent in the ritual action, even if another divine agency is involved, and even if there is some relationship or overlap of these agencies, when the āšipu performs Marduk’s Address to the Demons, the agency of the human āšipu is replaced completely by Marduk’s agency, so that when the āšipu speaks the word “I,” it does not refer to his own self anymore, but rather to Marduk’s.7

There are several ways of conceptualizing this strong identification between the āšipu and Marduk. One way, following Sanders (2017: 71–89) who dealt with the relationship between the āšipu and Adapa, would be to see the āšipu as wearing the “mask” or “persona” of Marduk on himself. Another related way would be to view this identification as a type of likeness, imitation, or representation, i.e., as a kind of mimesis. Indeed, one can argue that when the āšipu enacts Marduk through a first-person text, he is engaging in a theatrical ritual performance, and this is no different from the mimesis common to all role-playing. But, as argued by Zgoll (2012a; 2012b) and by Pongratz-Leisten and Sonik (2015), it is better to view this identification as a manifestation, a “presencing,” or a “re-presentation” (as opposed to “representation”; see especially Pongratz-Leisten and Sonik 2015: 12–13). According to this conceptualization, the āšipu is neither acting like a divine being nor wearing a mask of a divine being; rather he is “presencing” the divine being. Pongratz-Leisten and Sonik (2015) deal with the animation of objects, but their observations could also apply to persons (Zgoll 2012a; 2012b). In the present context, one can also apply this “presencing” to the human āšipu.

While Lambert regarded the identification of the āšipu with Marduk as something unusual and difficult to explain, one may consider this to be the deep theological background standing behind the āšipu’s cultic activities (and the Assur commentary of Marduk’s Address indicates this explicitly, as discussed below). This does not mean that the āšipu was always entirely identified with Marduk. Rather, the degree of relationship between the āšipu and Marduk can be viewed as a spectrum: on one end, the two are entirely separate beings, and the āšipu is merely acting as a representative of Marduk, while on the other end, the two are identified with one another, with the āšipu making Marduk manifest himself within him. In most cases, the degree of identification is somewhere between these two extremes.8 Marduk’s Address to the Demons and its commentary, therefore, can be seen as a theological treatise about the manifestation or presencing part of this spectrum, perhaps as an ideal that in reality is only seldom reached.9

Before exploring the significance of the identification of Marduk and the āšipu in the commentary, a question arises that may weaken the performative argument raised above, namely, that in the ritual utterance of Marduk’s Address the āšipu is identified with Marduk. Do we have any evidence that Marduk’s Address to the Demons was indeed performed? Is there evidence for the performance of the Udug-ḫul series (to which Marduk’s Address belongs)? It seems likely that these texts were not just written and read, but also performed, at least on some occasions (cf. also Lambert 1999: 295; Geller 2016: 21–6). Indeed, individual incantations included in Udug-ḫul are prescribed for performance according to ritual texts.10 Furthermore, a tradition of performing Marduk’s Address would explain the many allusions to ritual in the commentary to the text, and especially those interpretations in which the āšipu is identified with Marduk through his costume (see below). But even if Marduk’s Address was not (always) performed, it is important to recognize that in the eyes of the priests and scholars of Mesopotamia, specifically an āšipu in Assur in the seventh century BCE writing the commentary A.163+A.195, the text was understood to represent either a performed ritual text or to serve as a model for a performance.

As noted, Marduk’s Address to the Demons is uttered by the āšipu who identifies himself (“I am”) with Marduk. The commentary to Marduk’s Address to the Demons shows that our decision to take the first-person utterances seriously as a manifestation of Marduk through the āšipu corresponds to the ancient approach to the text. The commentary takes the Marduk-āšipu identification in the base text one step further in its explanation of these utterances, affirming that Marduk is manifest in the āšipu while he cultically utters them. This is clearly seen in ll. 11–12 of the commentary:

“I [am] Asalluḫi who is dressed with splendor, full of terror” (l. 61) – … Secondly: it said (it) concerning the āšipu who wears a red naḫlaptu(?)- garment.

“Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) wearing a crown, whose aura is adorned with awe” (l. 62) – It said (it) (concerning) that in the House of Confinement (bīt mēseri) the āšipu wears a red kubšu(?)-garment.

By interpreting Marduk’s first-person utterances about being clad in terror or awe as referring to the red dress of the āšipu, the ancient commentator saw Marduk’s Address as a manifestation of Marduk in ritual through the āšipu (Gabbay 2018a).

In order to understand the phenomenon in which Marduk is manifest through the āšipu, it is perhaps relevant to introduce cautiously the notion of “possession.” Possession is a concept used in anthropology (as well as in religious studies and psychology) for a variety of phenomena in which, according to emic understandings, entities, especially spirits, gods, or ghosts, control (“possess”) an individual, who is often said to be in a trance. This control affects his (or often: her) body and behavior, sometimes causing sickness or helping in healing. The literature on the subject is vast and full of debates (indeed, almost all of the concepts used in the previous sentence, e.g., “spirits,” “control,” “affecting,” “body,” and “trance” are somewhere contested), leaving no satisfactory and acceptable definition of possession,11 although there is a working agreement about the general features of this phenomenon (as is frequently the case with other concepts regarding human individuals and societies, above all the concepts of “religion” and “ritual,” for example).12

The reference to possession in the context of Marduk’s Address to the Demons may be regarded as methodologically problematic for two reasons. First, possession is usually not acknowledged as a phenomenon in Mesopotamian religion, even in medical conditions that were associated with demons, because the “trance” element is missing (but cf. Scurlock 2006: 5–6)13 and because the evidence suggests that demons remained in the vicinity of the patient, “reaching” or “seizing” him but usually not entering or dwelling within his or her body, and in any case not displacing his or her consciousness or “self” (Stol 1993: 51–3; Geller 2016: 28 n. 52).14 If the patient was not viewed as possessed, it would be far-fetched to claim that the healer was. Secondly, owing to the general tendency of anthropology to focus on wider, “folk” levels of society rather than on its elite priestly-scholarly levels, the significance of the phenomenon of possession in Mesopotamian texts (which belong to the priestly-scholarly elite) usually goes unappreciated;15 as such it is questionable whether this theoretical perspective should be brought into discussions of the texts and rituals of the priest-scholars of ancient Mesopotamia.

With all these caveats in place, and without striving to answer whether Mesopotamian religion itself involved possession, the concept will be used in the following paragraphs to frame conceptually the role of the commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons regarding the identification of Marduk and the āšipu.16 Indeed, there is no good evidence that the āšipu’s ritual performance involved self-inducing a trance that led to an altered state of consciousness in which his “self” was replaced by that of Marduk, especially not in the first millennium BCE. Still, as we have seen, Marduk’s Address to the Demons implies that in some way the āšipu did become identified with Marduk while he performed the text, and as shown above, the commentary accepts the identification of the āšipu with Marduk and elaborates on it.17

I suggest that the commentary may allow us to posit a sort of “intellectual” or “scholarly” possession. The intellectual activity of the āšipu who identifies himself with Marduk can be regarded as a kind of possession in itself (or at least as a shift of the “self”), intellectually leading to an internalization such that, when it is performed, the ritual act can be understood through exegetical activity as an act performed by Marduk.18 The study of the text, then, as evidenced by the commentary, replaces the more common trance often associated with possession, leading to an “altered state of consciousness,” an intellectual consciousness that becomes a ritual consciousness, resulting in the identification of the āšipu with Marduk – a “possession” of the āšipu by Marduk – when the āšipu ritually says: “I am Asalluḫi.”19

Coming back to the specific tablet from Assur, A.163+A.195, containing the commentary on Marduk’s Address, it is no coincidence that the textual and performative aspects of Marduk’s Address are the subject of investigation by an āšipu, a member of a group whose professional (and probably personal and communal) world consists of texts intertwined within scholarship and cultic performance. For these scholar-priests, both the text and its performance and the text and its scholarly study do not represent two separate spheres as is the case in modern scholarship, in which ritual texts and incantations are often investigated separately from matters understood as relating to intellectual history. For the āšipu priest, the significance of Marduk’s Address was not only in the meaning of its text but also in its meaning within performance, when cultically uttered by the āšipu. Notably, this meaning was not separated from the intellectual investigation of the text. It is not crucial whether the text was an actual ritual text or a potential ritual text (see above). It served, in either case, as a theological authority for the āšipu’s ritual actions.

When the young Kiṣir-Nabû wrote the tablet A.163+A.195 containing the commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons, designating himself in the colophon as belonging to a family of āšipu priests (but also to a family of scribes and scholars), he, as an āšipu, was dealing with himself, with what he may be performing.20 He himself may be the āšipu ritually speaking Marduk’s words in the first person, and he himself belongs to a social group that wishes to investigate and understand this phenomenon, and especially, as indicated by the commentary, to understand how the text of Marduk’s Address is related to its performance, and how this relation between text and performance is channeled through him and even embodied by him. Thus, the āšipu’s intellectual involvement with the text is not a relationship between a subject (the āšipu) and an object of study (the text), since what he sees in the text is himself, and thus he is not only the subject studying the text, but also the subject of the text (see also below). This intellectual blurring of the boundaries between subject and object may also be related to the ritual blurring of subjects in the performance itself, between the first-person utterances of Marduk in the text and the first-person utterances of the āšipu in performance, leading to the “intellectual” possession discussed above.

Specifically, when Kiṣir-Nabû comments on the text – for example, when he writes (and here I paraphrase) that “when Marduk, ritually speaking from the āšipu’s throat, says that he wears a crown and is adorned with awe, this refers to the āšipu wearing his cultic dress while performing rituals” (ll. 11–12) – he is visualizing and writing about himself: it is he who is, or will be (actually or potentially), performing such rituals, and it is he who is, or will be, reciting first-person statements of Marduk in ritual. Marduk will be speaking in those instances from Kiṣir-Nabû’s throat, and Kiṣir-Nabû’s cultic clothes will be Marduk’s mythological traits. In other words, the commentary indicates that Kiṣir-Nabû, who will be acting as Marduk during the ritual, is studying how to be Marduk.

3 A.163+A.195: Context and Edition

3.1 The Tablet A.163+A.195

The Assur tablet A.163+A.195 has been published a few times. Nevertheless, due to the broken state of parts of the tablet, as well as its complex publication history, it may be useful to take another look at it, even if many problems still remain.

The story of the publication of the commentary is long and complex (Lambert 1999: 291). The commentary comprises two fragments, A.163 (Ass. 13955fx) and A.195 (Ass. 13955gt), which were treated separately in earlier copies and editions (Frankena, AfO 19, pl. xxvi; Lambert 1954–56; 1959–60). There were some problems in these initial publications. Frankena identified the obverse of A.163 as its reverse (as in the independent edition of this tablet by Ebeling 1931: 24–6, no. 5). When Frankena copied A.195, the original tablet was badly damaged: very little of the obverse had survived, and the reverse was entirely lost. Until recently there was some uncertainty about whether the two fragments A.163 and A.195 belong to the same tablet (Lambert 1999: 291; Frahm 2011: 124–5).

Lambert’s (1954–56: 1959–60) edition of the commentary – which is placed in the margins of his edition of the main text of Marduk’s Address to the Demons, making it difficult to grasp the commentary’s independent textual structure – relies on Frankena’s copy of the damaged fragment A.195. When the tablet was photographed soon after excavation, however, it was in a much better state of preservation, as the Assur photograph 4130 shows. When Lambert examined the excavation photographs (Assur photographs 4125, 4130, K 554), he recognized that A.163 and A.195 belong together. He copied both fragments from the photographs and prepared a preliminary transliteration (both unpublished). Lambert’s copies and transliteration were used by Geller to prepare his editions (Geller 2014: 64–8; 2016, 394–6), but Geller did not consult the original photographs. Furthermore, due to the nature of the publications in which his editions appeared, Geller provided hardly any remarks or interpretations of the text. Therefore, it may be rewarding to reexamine this text, relying on the important contributions of Lambert and Geller.

The transliteration presented below is based on the materials noted above, including the Assur photographs.21

3.2 Content: Formal and Hermeneutic Features of the Commentary

The commentary A.163+A.195 on Marduk’s Address to the Demons, like the Enūma eliš IVII commentary (Frahm and Jiménez 2015), cites entire lines from the base text in the order in which they appear there, but there is no apparent reason why particular lines have been singled out for discussion (although sometimes thematic connections can be found, see immediately below). There are no fixed gaps between the lines, although some groups of lines are clustered together. Each citation is followed by a contextual, usually descriptive interpretation (often beginning with ša, and containing other exegetical terminology)22 beginning on a new, indented line. In its format, the commentary resembles the mukallimtu-commentaries, especially those on extispicy, known from the Neo-Assyrian period, which are arranged physically on the tablet in a similar way (Frahm 2011: 35–6). The commentary notes that the lines are extracted from “Incantation: Be gone evil,” i.e., Udug-ḫul 11, and it contains a catchline to a different composition that is related to divination (see note to l. 25).

The commentary deals with a number of themes, although almost all can be grouped together as dealing with the general theme of the different manifestations of Marduk (in the world, in ritual, in celestial bodies, in the āšipu himself; see above). These themes include: Marduk as Enlil (ll. 1–3), Marduk’s cultic clothes (ll. 1, 11), the āšipu priest’s cultic clothes (ll. 11–12), Marduk and the cosmos (ll. 4–5, 9, 18?), Marduk and the sun (ll. 14, 16), Marduk as Jupiter (ll. 7, 16), Marduk as ritual light (probably in a healing context) (ll. 10?, 13), Marduk and healing (l. 6), Marduk and justice (ll. 16–17), Marduk and creation (l. 8), Marduk and battle (l. 15), and various cultic occasions and “popular” ritual customs related to Marduk (ll. 7, 8, 10?). The end of the commentary deals with lines from Udug-ḫul 11 that do not include Marduk’s first person speech, and their interpretation does not go beyond the lexical level (ll. 19–23).

There are several hermeneutical features in the commentary, most of them shared also by other commentaries. These features act on different levels: Some reflect “higher” concerns, such as specification (Gabbay 2015), which occurs in almost every line of the commentary where a general (and often vague) statement of Marduk is interpreted as a specific ritual (often a healing, purification, or exorcistic ritual)23 or other concrete realities;24 harmonization of contradictions (ll. 9–14); internal interpretation (i.e., an interpretation on an interpretation, ll. 1–2);25 and perhaps two alternative ways of arriving at the same interpretation (l. 8).26 Other features reflect techniques whereby material for addressing these higher concerns is generated, for example, explanation through paraphrase (changing a lexeme but maintaining the grammatical structure, thereby weaving the innovative interpretation of the text upon the syntactical authority of the base text, ll. 7, 8, 9), and notarikon (an analysis of the signs making up a word) (ll. 8, 9, 16).

3.3 The Commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons and Other Texts: A Network of Texts and Interpretations

Like others, and probably to an even greater extent, the commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons is not an isolated text; it refers to many other texts, which can be seen as sources for the compilation of the commentary. Thus, the measurement of the world in ll. 4–5, the reference to Tiāmat as Marduk’s seat in l. 7, the reference to Marduk within the sun in l. 14, the lexical equations in ll. 6, 9, 22, 23, and the divine descriptions in ll. 15 and 16, are found (either identically or similarly) in other texts (see the notes on these lines below). In addition, explicit sources are mentioned in l. 8: ša pī ummâni šanê, “according to a second scholar,” and in l. 9: ša mukallimte šū, “it is according to a mukallimtu commentary.”

While it is legitimate to see these other texts as sources that “supply” the commentary, (i.e., each source leading in a linear way and in one direction into the commentary) or to look at these connections on the level of the written text as “intertextuality,” one may also view this process in a nonlinear way and beyond the narrow textual level. An alternative conception of the relationships between these texts would be of a net, according to which each source is connected or tied to many other sources, with text influence “flowing” in many directions.

The commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons from Assur, like other commentaries, is a partial reflection of the study and investigation process of ancient Mesopotamian scholar-priests (Gabbay 2016: 13–4). The specific tablet presented here reflects the study of a specific scholar-priest, the āšipu Kiṣir-Nabû. This person also studied other compositions, as is evident in other texts copied by him, especially commentaries (see above). These texts, while we know them as physical objects limited by their physical boundaries, were not limited in such a way in the minds of those who wrote or possessed them in written form. They were connected to each other, and together formed a picture or net in which each text was both an individual entity and part of a larger textual “organism.” Indeed, even in the commentaries themselves one sees the melting down of textual boundaries, first by the various intertextual connections as noted above, and second by the fact that the commentary tablets, unlike the texts that they comment on, often link together texts that would otherwise not appear together. Thus, e.g., our commentary does not end with a catchline to the next chapter of Marduk’s Address (Tablet 12) but rather to a text related to divination (see note to l. 25); and JRL 1053, which contains another commentary to Marduk’s Address by Kiṣir-Nabû (one of its interpretations is identical to one of the interpretations in our tablet), contains also interpretations of other texts from the repertoire of the āšipu (see above).

But the commentary on Marduk’s Address does not only interact in a multi-directional way regarding other commentaries; it also interacts in a multi-directional way with Marduk’s Address itself. Rather than viewing the commentary as a secondary text that is simply derived from Marduk’s Address to the Demons, one can also conceive the two in a two-way relationship. The very act of interpretation of texts that sometimes contain vague or poorly understood passages bestows on them a new authority and significance, which in turn can become the subject of new discussions and interpretations. Thus, it is interpretation that keeps the texts “alive” and actually gives them new life or agency, leading to a continuous cycle of text, interpretation, and authority that preserves a living religious textual tradition. And as noted above, this new life of the base text is not disconnected from other nodes in the textual net.

In some ways, the attitude of the ancient scholars towards the texts they studied was similar to our own scholarly attitude to ancient Mesopotamian texts. But in other ways it was very different. While our own methodologies place texts within disciplinary categories, grouping some together and dividing others (according to our research interests, in ways that texts are arranged in thematic publication series, or in the way they are placed on library shelves), and our attempt to connect texts with each other is based on philological methodologies (e.g., the citation of texts together in a dictionary entry owing to shared vocabulary, resulting in a set of “references” on a certain topic), for ancient Mesopotamian scholars the texts were linked to each other differently, connected in ways that we do not necessarily assume (e.g., through performative similarities). The connection of two texts with each other is not (only) through the collection of “references” in a philological endeavor, but rather through their association with each other in “dialogue” within the textual (and performative) network engrained in the minds, but also in the performative bodies of the scholar-priests, both as individuals and as a community. And while for us there is usually a clear distinction between ourselves, as subjects, studying the ancient texts as objects, in the ancient case the subject and the object were intertwined. This is firstly because the texts were not only written entities to which the scholar’s hand was extended and the reader’s eyes were directed; rather these were also mental entities that were part of his memory and understanding of the world; and second, because some of the texts were actually about the scholar himself, as in the case of the commentary on Marduk’s Address to the Demons (see above).27

3.3.1 Transliteration

1a ana-ku dasal-lú-ḫi šá pu-luḫ-tú ez-ze-tú ḫi-it-lu-pu / šu-tu-ru nam-ri-ir

1b MU EN šá TA* ITI.BÁRA EN ITI.KIN GU4?.N[E]?.MEŠ MUD!? lab-šu-ma

1c den-líl-ú-ta -šú den-líl dAMAR.UTU ina UGU-ḫi-maqa-bi

2 KI.MIN den-líl DINGIR.MEŠ a-ši-ir kib-ra-teinaUGU-ḫi-ma qa-bi

3a KI.MINšáina é-u6-nir ib-ba-nu-u ma-lu-u ḫur-ba-šu

3b é-u6-nir ziq-qur-rat EN.LÍLki

4a KI.MIN šá AN-e ru-qu-te me-la-šú-nu i-ḫi-ṭu

4b 20 MA.NA KI.LÁ 2! (“3?”) ME LIM 16 LIM DANNA TA* ⸢MURUB4-at?AN-e a-di i-[rat KI-tì?]

5a KI.MIN šá ḫu-bur pal-ka-ti šu-pul-šá i-di

5b 40 MA.NA KI.LÁ ⸢4!ME LIM 32 LIM DANNA TA MURUB4-at AN-e a-di i-[rat asurraki?]

5c 33?MA⸣.NA ME? 1? LIM? 44? LIM DANNA ku?-ṣu-re-e AN-e

5d 18? DANNA mu-bu-u (x x x) šá AN-e

5e inalìb?-bi?⸣ [(x)] x x x ⸢KI.LÁ AN?-e?

6a [KI.MIN] ⸢e-ṭir ka-me-e ṣa-bit ŠU.II na-as-ku

6b ka-mu-ú : gar-ba-nu

7a [KI.MIN] ⸢a-šar šil-la-te la i-qab-bu-u a-na-ku

7b [M]U EN šá ina á-ki-it ina qa-bal tam-tì áš-bu

7c [š]á-niš šá ina É ÉR LÚ ina GABA.RI-šú la i-kar-ra-bu

7d šal-šiš MU DUMU.MEŠ KÁ.DINGIR.⸢RAki

7e šá ina MUL.SAG.ME.GAR la i-tam-m[u]-u

8a KI.MIN šáinaṭè-me-šú ib-ba-nu-u a-na-ku

8b ÍL x x x ⸢ITI?⸣.[Š]U UD.13.KAM ina IGI EN GAR-nu

8c šá-niš ma-ainaUGUú-lu-lu AN.ŠÁR qa-bi

8d šá KA um-ma-ni MIN-e dné-bi-ru : dMES šá ana ra-ma-ni-šú -u

8e dní-bi7(KU)-rú RA : šá-a : RA : i-na : UMUŠ (KU) : ṭè-e-mu : : ba-nu-u

8f : ra-ma-nu : dné-bi-ru : dní-bi7-rú

9a [K]I.⸢MINDINGIR el-lu a-šib me-lam-me a-na-ku

9b [M]E : AN-e : LAM : er-ṣe-tú : a-šib AN-e KI-tì ki qa-bu-u

9c šá mu-kal-lim-te šu-u

10a [KI.MI]N šá ina É mit-ga-ri!(“IK?”) ka-ri-bu a-na-ku : šá ina É LÚ ki-ma NE GAR x(-)[(x)]

10b ⸢i-kar-ra-buma?-a?(-)laana šú-u i-kar-rab ma-a⸣ x [  ]

10c [ ] x TE? DU x dA[MAR.UTU(?)]



11a [ana]-⸢kudasal-lú-ḫi šá nam-ri-ir lit-bu-šú ma-lu-upul-ḫa-ti

11b MU EN šá TA* ITI.ZÍZ EN ITI.ŠE me-e-qa NI x

11c dlàḫ-mu il-lab-bi-šú da-nu-ta!(“UM”) -šú

11d šá-niš MU LÚ.MAŠ.MAŠ šáTÚG.DÙL!SA5 GAR-nu iq-t[a?-bi?]

12a KI.MIN a-pir a-ge-e šá me-lam-mu-šúra-šub-ba-tú za-’-na!?⸣ (x)

12b šá ina É me-sír LÚ.MAŠ.MAŠ TÚG.U!?.SAG SA5 GAR-nu iq-t[a-bi]

13a KI.MIN šá u-me-šam-ma KA!(“UGU”) UN.MEŠ i-ḫi-ru?

13b ma-a a-na IZI.GAR i-qab-bi

14a KI.MIN šá šá-ru-ru-šu ú-nam-ma-ru KUR.KUR.MEŠ

14b MU ṣu-lum šá ŠÀ-bi dUTU dMES iq-ta-bi

15 KI.MIN šá GIŠ.TUKUL-šú a-bu-bu ez-zu : dmuš-te-šir-ḫab-lim GIŠ.TUKUL dŠÀ.ZU

16a KI.MIN šá ki-ma dUTU-ši i-bar-ru-u KUR.KUR.MEŠ : dUTU dŠÚ šá de-e-ni

16b šá-niš : BABBAR (= UTU) : dšá-maš : NAB : AN.BABBAR (= NAB.dUTU) : dšul-pa-è-a

17 ⸢KI⸣.MIN šá ina ÍD ub-ba-bu ke-e-nu u rag-gu : MU ḫur-sa-an iq-ta-bi

18a [KI.MIN] ḫa-iṭ làl-gar ba-ši-mu ĝiš-ḫur-ri

18b ⸢MU iṣ?⸣-ṣur-tú šáina? UGU?⸣ x x (x) ⸢iq-ta-bi

18c [šá-niš(?)] ⸢KU?⸣ x ⸢iq-ta-bi

18d [šal-šiš(?)] x x dAMAR.UTU šá x [  ]

19 ⸢a-na dAG SUKKAL-šú a-ma-tú i-za-kar : ⸢suk?-kal?-l[u? ]

20a lu-u li-lu-u šá ḫa-aṣ-b[u-ra-a-te ta-ta-nab-lak-ka-tú]

20b ḫa-aṣ-bu-ra-a-te⸣ : li-[ ]

21a lu-u pi-it-ka-a-te ta-at-na-bal-ka-ta anari?⸣-x [ ]

21b pi-ti-iq-t[ú x] x x x šá-niš KUR m[u?]

22a lu-u šá ina IGI LÚ.GIGki-ma UR⸣.KI ta-at-ta-na-ad-ma-m[a]

22b UR.KI UR.GIR7-ur-ṣi ga-ri-du šá ÍD

23a lu-ušáina IGILÚ.GIG ki-ma ku-za-zi ta-at⸣-ta-nap-ri-[šú]

23b [ku-z]a-zu : pi-lak d15

24 [ina lìb-b]i(?) ÉN dup-pir lem-nu


25 [(x x) e-r]eb ÉRIN ana ka-ra-ši EGIR-šú iš-šaṭ-ṭar

26 [ana I]GI.LÁ-šú mki-ṣir-dAG šá dAGNIR-su


28 [(x)] x x x x x (x)-šú? x x (x)

3.3.2 Translation

  1. “I am Asalluḫi who is clad in fierce awe, great in splendor” (l. 24) –

    Concerning Bēl who from the month of Nisannu to the month of Ulūlu wears dark(?) … and performs Enlilūtu; (The equation of) Enlil (with) Marduk is said here within (i.e., within Marduk’s Address itself):

  2. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi), Enlil of the gods, who looks after the world regions” (l. 73) –

    It (i.e., the Enlil = Marduk equation) is said here within.

  3. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who was created in E’unir, full of terror” (l. 25) –

    E’unir = the ziggurat of Nippur.

  4. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who surveys the height of the distant heaven” (l. 27) –

    20 minas weight, 216,000 leagues (is the distance) from the middle of heaven until the su[rface of earth](?).

  5. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who knows the bottom of the vast Ḫubur (= netherworld)” (l. 28) –

    40 minas weight, 432,000 leagues (is the distance) from the middle of heaven to the su[rface of the asurraku].

    33 minas (weight), 144,000 leagues (is the size of) the bonds(?) of heaven.

    18(?) leagues is the thickness (…) of heaven, inside(?) … weight of heaven(?).

  6. “[Ditto] (= I am Asalluḫi) who rescues the captive, holds the hands of the fallen” (l. 35) –

    captive = leper.

  7. “[Ditto] (= I am Asalluḫi) (who) does not speak in the place of blasphemy, am I” (l. 45) –

    Concerning Bēl who in the Akītu sits in the middle of Tâmtu.

    Secondly: that in the house of mourning a man does not pray during his mishap(?).

    Thirdly: concerning the people of Babylon who do not swear by Jupiter.

  8. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who was created by his (own) decree, am I” (l. 47) –

    The … which is set before Bēl in the month Du’ūzu(?), day 13.

    Secondly, thus: it is said concerning(?) Ulūlu(?) = Anšar.

    According to a second scholar: Nēbiru = Marduk who was created by himself – ní-bi7(KU)-rú (): RA = who, RA = in (i.e., by), UMUŠ (= KU) = decree, =to create, = oneself; Nēbiru = ní-bi7-rú.

  9. “[Di]tto (= I am Asalluḫi), the pure god who dwells in radiance, am I” (l. 49) –

    ME = heaven, LAM = earth; it is like (= as if) “who dwells in heaven and earth” is said. It is according to a mukallimtu text.

  10. “[Dit]to (= I am Asalluḫi) who in the favorable(?) house is a ‘blesser’, am I” (l. 50) –

    That in the house he blesses a man like … it is he who blesses the man … […]…. […]

  11. “I [am] Asalluḫi who is dressed with splendor, full of terror” (l. 61) –

    concerning Bēl who from the month of Šabāṭu to the month of Adarru is dressed in … of Laḫmu(?), and performs Anūtu.

    Secondly: it sa[id] (it) concerning the āšipu who wears a red naḫlaptu(?)-garment.

  12. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) wearing a crown, whose aura is adorned with awe” (l. 62) –

    It sa[id] (it) (concerning) that in the House of Confinement (bīt mēseri) the āšipu wears a red kubšu(?)-headdress.

  13. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who daily considers(?) the mouths of the people” (l. 67) –

    Thus: it says (it) about the torch.

  14. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) whose auras light the lands” (l. 68) –

    It said it concerning (that) the blackness in the midst of the Sun is Marduk.

  15. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) whose weapon is the raging flood” (l. 71) –

    (The god) Muštēšir-ḫablim is the weapon of Marduk.

  16. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who like the Sun watches the lands” (l. 80) –

    Šamaš = Marduk of judgment.

    Secondly: (the element) BABBAR (from “white star”, MUL.BABBAR, when read UTU) = Šamaš; (MUL.BABBAR = NAB.AN.UTU =) NAB.dUTU = Šulpaea (= Jupiter).

  17. “Ditto (= I am Asalluḫi) who purifies (the judgement of) the righteous and the wicked in the river” (l. 82) –

    it said (this) concerning the river ordeal.

  18. “[Ditto] (= I am Asalluḫi), who watches the abyss, creates the designs” (l. 86) –

    It said (this) concerning the drawing(?) that is in …

    [Secondly](?): It said (this) … […]

    [Thirdly(?) …]: … Marduk who […]

  19. “To Nabû, his minster, he says a word” (l. 109) –

    Minister(?) [= …].

  20. “Or (be you) spirits [who constantly climb over] the sherds [of the roof]” (l. 122+, cf. II: 19) –

    … […].

  21. “Or (be you) (ones) who constantly climb over mud-walls to …” (l. II 4) –

    mud-wall = […].

    Secondly: … […].

  22. “Or (be you) (ones) who constantly moan like a badger in front of the sick person” (l. II 45) –

    badger = dog-of-the-earth = beaver(?) of the river.

  23. “Or (be you) (ones) who constantly fly like a wasp in front of the sick person” (l. 59) –

    wasp = the “spindle-of-Ištar” insect.

  24. [(Lines) fro]m “Incantation: Be gone evil!” (= Udug-ḫul 11)


  25. [“(…) the enter]ing of an army to the military camp” is written after it.

  26. (Written) [for] his viewing – Kiṣir-Nabû whose protection is Nabû,

  27. son of Šamaš-ibni, āšipu of the temple of Aš[šur].

  28. … his …

3.3.3 Notes

1–2. These lines present an example of a rare phenomenon in commentaries in which one interpretation itself becomes the subject of another interpretation (see above with n. 25). In l. 1, the commentary explains the description of Marduk clad in awe as referring to his cultic dress during the spring and summer when he performs Enlilūtu, i.e., acts as Enlil, the active divine king. While the link between Marduk’s cultic dress and the base text is clear, the remark that he acts as Enlil does not seem to be supported by the base text in l. 1. Did the commentator simply assume, without any textual basis, that Marduk acts as Enlil, or even that he identified with him? The commentary answers this question by noting that indeed, Marduk is equated with Enlil in this text itself (ina muḫḫima qabi, “it is said here within”),28 citing (in l. 2) a line from Marduk’s Address to the Demons in which this is made explicit. Understanding l. 2 as an interpretation of the interpretation given in l. 1 explains why the base text cited in l. 2 is cited out of sequence (l. 1 of the commentary cites l. 24 of the base text, l. 2 cites l. 73 of the base text, and l. 3 cites l. 25 of the base text). L. 2 of the commentary, then, can be understood as an internal interpretation of the commentary’s own interpretation of l. 24 of the base text, clarifying that l. 74 of Marduk’s Address to the Demons proves that Marduk can be equated with Enlil. L. 3 of the commentary, which returns to l. 25 of the base text, reinforces the identification of Marduk with Enlil, since it interprets the temple name in the base text as referring to the ziggurat of Nippur, Enlil’s city, as the place where Marduk was created.

The internal interpretation in l. 2 of the commentary not only clarifies the first interpretation but also harmonizes different parts of the text. In this case, a line that does not deal with Enlil (l. 24 of the base text) is interpreted as a reference to Enlil by connecting it to other lines in the base text that deal with him (ll. 25 and 73). This use of one part of the text to interpret another part of the text is also part of the “net” nature of the text (see above).

1. Geller (2014: 64, 66; 2016: 394–5) reads Ú.MEŠ ik-tan-šu-ma, “plants prostrate themselves,” in l. 1b. A broken Ú is copied by Lambert, but the photograph does not support this, and there seem to be two signs, the first resembling GU4 and the second perhaps a broken NE, although these specific interpretations of the signs are very uncertain. It is very probable that the verb should be lab-šu-ma (so also in a correction by Lambert in his unpublished transliteration), since contextually this commentary interprets descriptions of Marduk surrounded by, or clad in, radiance and awe as (red) clothes (see ll. 11–12 and the references cited in the notes to those lines). Therefore, the sign following MEŠ, although resembling IK, is emended here to MUD (perhaps the bottom final part of the sign is covered by the next sign), i.e., da’mu (or feminine da’matu), which can refer to dark or red objects, including clothes (see CAD D, 75a; see Thavapalan 2019: 90). Related to the base text is its association with fear and awe (note the use of MUD for palāḫu in colophons in CAD P, 44, and Izbu Commentary: 287 [Leichty 1970: 220; De Zorzi 2014: 563], from which puluḫtu in the base text of our line is derived). For the statement at the end of the line that equates Marduk and Enlil, see the discussion above.

3. E’unir, equated here with the ziggurat of Nippur, was actually the Ziggurat of Ea in Eridu (George 1993, no. 1150), which fits the context of the line better since Marduk is Ea’s son. It is not clear on what grounds the commentary identified it with the Ziggurat of Nippur. Perhaps é-u6-nir was construed as the common noun ziqqurratu, and thus the commentator specified that é-u6-nir refers here to the ziggurat in Nippur. In any case, the interpretation is in keeping with the interpretations of ll. 1–2, which link Marduk and Enlil.

4–5. Some of the numerals in these lines are read slightly different from Geller (who followed Lambert’s copy). My readings are based on collation of the photographs, combined with the expected numerals that should appear. Although not all details in these lines are certain, it is clear that, hermeneutically, the commentary seeks to specify exactly what it means that Marduk surveys and knows the height of the sky and the bottom of the netherworld (= Ḫubur).29 What are these dimensions? To answer these questions, the commentary provides the measurements of these cosmic heights and depths, i.e., the measurements of the entire world.

L. 4 of our commentary, dealing with the “height of heaven,” provides the distance between the middle of the heaven and the earth. In other words, if we portray the cosmos as a ball that is divided into an “upper-sky” dome (kippatu? see BM 123379: 2 below, but see Horowitz 1998: 264–5) and a “lower sky” dome (Steinkeller 2005), by the circular disk of the earth, then the measurement in this line refers to the radius of the upper dome as measured from the middle of the disk of the earth. This distance is given in leagues, namely 216,000 leagues (as noted by Horowitz 1998: 178, the significance of this number is that it is 3,600 × 60), but also in units of weight, specifically 20 minas, which represent time measurements according to a water clock, and here perhaps related to the degrees of the arc (see Horowitz 1998, 182) from the middle part of the heaven to earth. The ratio between the weight and length measurements is 1:10,800, which is also a ratio found in BM 123379 (see below), and which can be deduced from other texts as well (see Horowitz 1998, 184 who notes the ratio 1 mina:6 , while 1 equals 1,800 leagues, i.e., 6 × 1,800 = 10,800).

L. 5b provides a measurement that is twice as long (432,000 leagues), and accordingly twice as “heavy” (40 minas) as the measurements in l. 4, and in the context of the line dealing with Marduk observing the depth of the netherworld (Ḫubur), it seems likely that this dimension refers to the distance from the top of the sky to the earth (as in the previous line), plus the distance from the earth to the central bottom part of the “lower sky” (the central part of the lower dome). This lower dome of the universe, and specifically its center, is probably what the term asurakku refers to, and it is restored here according to BM 123379 (see below). The noun asurakku can refer to the underground waters (and specifically the Apsû) but also to a celestial feature (see Horowitz 1998: 179, 306–7, 310–1; Oshima 2011: 310), i.e., the “lower sky” (Steinkeller 2005), and thus it is possible that it refers to the bottom point of the lower dome of the universe.30 The connection between Marduk and the asurakku as a cosmic feature is supported by two lines from a hymn to Marduk (K.3351, Oshima 2011: 306: 19–20).

The reading and meaning of ku-ṣu-re-e in the following entry (l. 5c) is unclear. Geller 2014, 64 with n. 29, 66, suggests to read zì-ṣu-re-e, for zisurrû, “circle,” here perhaps with the meaning “circumference,” but this is uncertain. Perhaps ku?-ṣu-re-e AN-e is a related to the terms kiṣru, “knot, bond,” but also in astronomical context, perhaps relating to a meteorite or another astronomical phenomenon (compare CAD K, 441–2; George 2003: 793). In our text it may refer to the bonds that stretch out from the middle point of the top of heaven and reach the earth, holding the earth in place. The numbers at the beginning of this line are difficult to decipher from the photograph, but if the numerals are read correctly as 144,000, this would refer to a third of the 432,000 leagues from the top point of the upper dome to the bottom point of the bottom dome (or two thirds of the 216,000 leagues from each of these points to the center of the earth). Perhaps after calculating the measurements to the “surface of the earth” dividing the universe sphere into two domes in the previous entries, now the earth itself had to be taken as more than just a two-dimensional circle, but rather as a thick three-dimensional disc that is divided in its middle: above the disc is the actual mass of the earth, and below it is the netherworld, consisting together as a third of the central diameter of the sphere. This leaves another third for the visible upper dome of the sky above earth (and a third for the lower dome below the ground of the netherworld). The bonds stretching from the top point of the upper dome to the surface of the earth would then measure 144,000 leagues, a third of the measurement from the same point to the bottom point of the lower dome.

The next entry (l. 5d) refers to the thickness of the sky itself: 18(?) leagues, and this is followed perhaps by another measurement (l. 5e).

As noted above, the measurements in these lines are not unique to the commentary, and similar measurements are recorded also in BM 123379 (CT 46, 55) from Nineveh (which, although very similar to our text, does not seem to be a duplicate of our commentary). Below is a transliteration of the obverse of BM 123379, based on Horowitz 1998: 178, and according to collation from a photograph (CDLI P285861) (the reverse contains the end of the Ashurbanipal colophon type c–d, Hunger 1968, no. 319):

1 [ K]I.LÁ AN-e

2 [ ki]p?-pat AN-e


3 [(…) 20 MA.NA KI.LÁ 2 M]E? 16 LIM DANNA

4 [ MURU]B4!-a[t! A]N-e

5 [ a-na](?) ⸢a-sur-rak-ki


6 [ KI]. [(x x)] 14? ME 32 LIM DANNA

7 [ ] ⸢TAK[I?-tì?] a-na a-sur-rak-ki


8 [(…) 20 MA.NA] 2 ME 16 LIM DANNA

9 [TA MURUB4-at](?) AN-e

10 [a-na i-rat](?) KI-tì

(rest broken)


L. 2: Alternatively, perhaps read [ ] paṭ AN-e (i.e., pāṭ šamê, “border of heaven, horizon”).

Ll. 3–5: L. 3 corresponds to the measurements in l. 4 of our commentary, but while in the commentary I understand this measurement to refer to the distance between the midst of the sky and the earth, which is half the distance between the midst of the sky to the asurakku, BM 123379 seems at first to assign this measurement from the midst of the sky to the asurakku. However, these measurements are also found in ll. 8–10, and in addition it is likely that there is more to restore than just TA and a-na in ll. 4 and 5, respectively. Therefore, it seems that l. 4 refers to the distance from the earth to the midst of the sky, and l. 5 to the distance between the earth and the asurakku, each with the equal measurement of 216,000 leagues (i.e., restore perhaps: [(…) 20 MA.NA KI.LÁ 2 M]E? 16 LIM DANNA / [TA KI-tì a-na](?) [MURU]B4!-a[t! A]N-e / [ù TA KI-tì a-na](?) ⸢a-sur-rak-ki).

Ll. 6–7: Although the number in these lines is similar to the measurement 432,000 in l. 5 of our commentary, the first numeral seems to be 14 rather than 4 (i.e., 1,432,000, see Horowitz 1998: 178). However, it is not unlikely that what seems to be a Winkelhaken before the numeral 4 is simply a scratch, in which case the number would be identical to that in our commentary.

Ll. 8–10: These lines correspond to l. 4 of our commentary.

6. The equation of kamû, “captive” with garbānu, “leper,” is found also in a medical commentary, where “blood of a captive” is understood as “blood of a leper”: MÚD ka-mi-i MÚD ga-ar-ba-nu áš-šú ka-mu-ú : / ga-ar-ba-nu (BRM 4, 32: 7–8, see Geller 2010: 169; Frazer 2017). It is unclear whether this equation is due to the leper being confined (“captive,” CAD K, 127–8, s.v. kamû B), or due to him being separated from society, thus standing outside of it (“outside,” CAD K, 126–7, s.v. kamû A); see Geller 2010: 171, 200 n. 265; Frazer 2017: n. 8. The hermeneutical reason for defining the “captive” (or “outsider”) as a leper in the general description of Marduk as a savior (also in parallel passages) is the concrete magico-medical healing context of Marduk’s Address to the Demons. Thus, when the āšipu pronounces “I am Asalluḫi who saves the captive (or: outsider)” to the demons, this refers specifically to the sick patient, whose sickness (such as leprosy) was caused by demons. Note that the healing of the “captive” (or “outsider”) may also be implied by a line in a Marduk prayer, where the verb balāṭu is mentioned with kamû; see Oshima 2011: 246, l. 100: [ina] ḫi-is-sat dAMAR.UTU ib-lu-ṭu ka-mu-te, “by the mention of Marduk, the ‘captives’ stay alive (or: are healed, are saved).”

7. The commentary presents three alternative interpretations of a line in the base text that is indeed unclear.31 What is the “place of blasphemy”? And who is “speaking”? The text, according to the most likely understanding of its syntax, seems to identify Marduk as the subject of the verb “speak,” but the commentary, on the other hand, seems to indicate that the subject of the verb is someone else who is “speaking (of) Marduk,” i.e., making an utterance that is related to Marduk (thus reflecting an understanding of the line as “I am Asalluḫi, of whom one does not speak in the place of blasphemy, am I”). The commentary is therefore concerned with the question: What are the occasions on which utterances related to Marduk are to be avoided, and what are the occasions when such an utterance would be considered a blasphemy?

The first interpretation is related to Tintir I: 1: ti-amat = šu-bat dEN šá dEN ina UGU-ḫi áš-bu, “Tiāmat = the seat of Bēl on which Bēl sits” (George 1992: 44–5, 268–9; see Frahm 2011: 94). It would appear to relate to the period when Marduk’s cultic image sits in his Tiāmat-seat during the Akītu festival (or in the Akītu House), i.e., probably during 8th–11th Nisannu (although possibly the text refers more strictly to the 9th and the 10th). In this period there are no prayers to Marduk in his regular cella, where his cultic image is normally stationed, and the commentary implies that there are no prayers to him when he is in the Tiāmat seat in the Akītu House. Perhaps the Tiāmat seat was considered a place of blasphemy or offense because of the war and the enemies that it represents (Frahm 2011: 94).32

The second interpretation seems to refer to funerary rites, assuming that É ÉR refers to a mourning chamber or the like, although this is uncertain. Geller (2014: 64, 66; 2016: 394–5; compare Lambert 1954–56: 315, 318), reading ina qab-ri-šú, translates: “The one in the ‘house of mourning’ – the man in his tomb – cannot pray,” implying, probably, that the grave is considered a place of blasphemy. But it is unclear why this would be so; in addition, “the man in his tomb” seems to refer to the dead man himself, and it seems unlikely that the commentary, which is otherwise very laconic, would remark that a dead person cannot pray. Therefore, while I cannot disregard the possibility of reading ina qab-ri-šú, I prefer to read ina GABA.RI-šú (for ina miḫrišu) as referring either to a miḫru offering (CAD M/II, 59b, para. 5), or, more likely, to the specific meaning “mishap, unfortunate accident” of the noun miḫru, found especially in magical texts (CAD M/II, 59–60, para. 6), which is equivalent to the meaning “untoward event or words, offense, misdeed” of the noun šillatu in the base text (CAD Š/II, 446–7, para. 2, esp. c). Thus, according to the commentary, when a man is in a time of misfortune (šillatu, miḫru), specifically when he mourns the death of someone, he does not (or should not) make (regular) blessings or prayers (to Marduk).33

The third interpretation understands the utterance as an oath: the Babylonians do not swear in the name of Jupiter, the star associated with Marduk, probably because an oath proven to be false or wrong would be considered a blasphemy against the god, and a source of much trouble and sickness to the person taking the oath (Maul 2019, 1–24 // 25–46).

8. This line presents three interpretations. But these three interpretations should probably be understood as two main interpretations, with the second one containing two variant explanations for one phenomenon (for this phenomenon, see above with n. 26).

The line from the base text may contain a strong theological statement that Marduk was created by his own order or by his own mind, i.e., that he was in charge of his own creation, and thus existed before his own creation (or better: manifestation). This perception is not alien to Mesopotamian theology, in which Marduk is identified with his own ancestors (compare Gabbay 2018b: 40–3), resulting in his own generation of himself.34 But it is also possible that the statement in the text is less theological, and that the verb in the base text does not refer to the creation of Marduk but of something else, i.e., “I am Asalluḫi, according to whose command, it (= something, anything) was created.” In such a case, the line would refer to Marduk as a general creator, and not as the creator of himself, emphasizing that his creation is done according to his oral command. Perhaps this is the rationale of the first interpretation, which does not seem to refer to Marduk creating himself. Unfortunately, the meaning of the first interpretation is uncertain due to its broken state. If the sign ÍL in the beginning of the line refers to tupšikku (to be read DUSU), “earth basket” (so Geller 2014: 65 n. 30; 2016: 394–5), this probably refers to the “creating” in the line. However, tupšikku is usually written with the determinative GI or GIŠ, and the restoration of the following signs is not certain either. Especially the restoration of ITI, although seemingly expected, does not seem to fit well. Another possibility for the first signs, proposed by Frahm (2011: 356), is to read SANGA4 (= ÍL.⸢DÚB⸣) for mullilu, “purifier,” referring to a purifying object.35 Perhaps the reading SANGA4 can also refer to the purifying function of a priest (see CAD M/II, 189a) (although this seems less compatible with the verb šakānu at the end of the line), which, as noted by Frahm (2011: 358), occurs as an epithet of Marduk in Enūma eliš VII: 86–87, together with a reference to him as creator: dmu-um-mu ba-an AN-e u KI-tì … / DINGIR mul-lil AN-e u KI-tì, “Mummu, creator of heaven and earth, … the god, purifier of heaven and earth” (Lambert 2013: 128–9, 488).36 And, of course, Marduk is designated as “purifier of heaven and earth” (mullilu) also in Marduk’s Address to the Demons itself (l. 14): ana-ku dasal-lú-ḫi ŠIM.MÚ (var. [š]am-me) ba-la-ṭi (var. TIN) mul-lil AN-e (u) KI-tì, “I am Asalluḫi, exorcist of life, purifier of heaven and earth” (Geller 2016: 344: 14, see also above). If indeed the text refers to the thirteenth day of Du’ūzu, this can be compared to a section in a commentary on the Elamite month names (Frahm and Jiménez 2015: 338, 340: 12–15, §4) that mentions a certain cultic or astral event on this day, relating it to Šamaš, and adds a reference to Marduk assigning the roles of the moon and sun in the creation episode in Enūma eliš V: 24 (Lambert 2013: 98). It is perhaps significant that both commentaries refer to this day as relating to creation.

The second interpretation, introduced as usual by šanîš, contains two alternatives, both referring to an oral authority, as seen by the particle introducing the first alternative, and by the second alternative’s allusion to its oral scholarly source. Both these alternatives interpret what it means for Marduk to be the creator of himself. The first relates implicitly to Marduk as Anšar, the ancestral god, who according to Enūma eliš existed before Marduk was born, and thus demonstrates the concept of Marduk creating himself (as discussed above).37 The same interpretation occurs also in the Assur commentary JRL 1053: 6 (cf. 10, 16) (Geller 2016: 393). As for the precise meaning of the line, it would seem that this refers to Marduk’s manifestation as Anšar in the month Elūlu, although the syntax is not entirely clear, and the syllabic writing for the month would also be unusual; in particular, it is not certain whether ina muḫḫi should be understood as “concerning” (Gabbay 2016: 237–41, 281–2), or literally “within,” as in l. 1 of the commentary (Geller 2016: 395: “in advance”). Frahm (2011: 356, 358) understands ú-lu-lu not as a writing for the month Elūlu, but as ullulu, “to purify,” connecting the verb to his reading of mullilu in the first interpretation.

The second alternative demonstrates that Marduk inherently contains his own creation. It does this by writing the name of Marduk’s star, Nēbiru, in an unconventional form in which each element stands for a word (according to correspondences known from lexical texts); the resulting sequence of words yields “who was created by himself, by his command (or thought)” (the correct interpretation of this line was first suggested by Lambert 2013: 165, n. 13).

9. This line reinterprets the unique and unusual pairing of ašābu, “to sit, dwell,” with melammu (this contradicts the typical descriptions of gods clad in melammu, not dwelling in it) through notarikon. It relies on infrequent equations of the elements me and lam with heaven and earth, respectively (see CAD Š/I, 339b, CAD L, 68a), and interprets the complete phrase as “dwelling in heaven and earth” – a common trait of gods, especially Marduk. For this line, and the phrase kī qabû, see Gabbay 2016: 251–2. The commentary also notes that this interpretation (or the lexical equations used for the interpretation) is taken from a mukallimtu commentary.

10. Both Frankena and Lambert copied the sign IK after GA, leading to the reading šá ina é-ug7-ga ik-ka-ri-bu, “who is blessed in the Eugga” (Lambert 1959–60: 118; Geller 2014: 65, 67; 2016: 394–5). But the other three manuscripts of this line (in the base text) have -ru here, giving the reading šá ina É mit-ga-ru (variant: É mit-gu-ru) ka-ri-bu (Geller 2016: 351: 50). According to photographs, the sign may indeed resemble IK, but since it is quite broken, it is likely that what seem to be the final two Winkelhaken of the sign are simply a broken and scratched final vertical of RI (or less likely, that this is a scribal mistake). In any case, it seems risky to interpret the line according to this (supposed) variant (as is done by Geller 2016: 351: 50). The form ka-ri-bu, a stative meaning “is blessed” (with a subjunctive marker), would perhaps fit the context, but the expected form for this would be *karbu, and therefore it is interpreted here as the participle kāribu. The adjective mitgaru is attested a few times in the same context where magru, “favorable,” would be expected. The variant mitguru, however, may indicate “agreeing, in concord,” or even a noun with a similar meaning to mitgurtu, “agreement” (CAD M/II, 131–2), and thus the phrase in the base text may actually mean “house of agreement.”

Since the commentary is broken, it is difficult to understand its details; because the verb karābu appears in it twice, it is evident that it deals with the form kāribu in the base text, perhaps investigating whether this refers to the man in the house or to Marduk. Geller (2014: 65, 67; 2016: 394–395) reads and translates the first two lines of the commentary as follows: šá ina É LÚ ki-ma IZI.GAR š[u-u] / i-kar-ra-buma-ala ana šú-u i-kar-rab ma-a [], “the one who was blessed in a person’s house like a lamp, this does not mean he himself greets a man, it means …” However, the restoration š[u-u] at the end of the first line is uncertain and contextually problematic, and the interpretation kīma IZI.GAR here is also uncertain.38 In the next line too, ma-a is uncertain, and lā ana would be syntactically awkward.39 Unfortunately, the photographs do not allow a clear solution to these lines.

11. This line, like l. 1 and l. 12, interprets Marduk clad or dressed in awe as a reference to concrete cultic garments. The same type of interpretation, where Marduk’s awe is explained as a garment, is found in the Babylonian commentary BM 47529+ to this line (Geller 2014: 61, l. 2; 2016: 396, l. 2; Wee 2016: 136, ll. 3–4), which refers to the lubāru garment.

The commentary offers two interpretations, the first referring to the garment of Marduk and the second referring to the garment of the āšipu. In the first interpretation, as in l. 1, it is unclear what this garment is. Lambert (1954–56: 313) read: mi-e qa-ni x (with no translation), and Geller (2014: 65, 67; 2016: 394) read: mé-e-qa ṣal-t[i] (without translating the first noun). Perhaps mé-e should be understood in keeping with lists of clothes for Šamaš from Neo-Babylonian Sippar, which sometimes have me or me-e before types of clothes, including before SIG5-qa (see Zawadzki 2006: 95–8, who explains this as related to mēzeḫu, but this is uncertain). Unless the sign qa in our text is related to SIG5-qa (with a textual error?), it is also possible that it was related to , “flax, string” (although qu would have been expected). The signs that follow are uncertain. Perhaps we should read ṣal-m[u]!, “black, dark” (see now Thavapalan 2019: 154–62), standing here for a concrete cultic rendering of the “terror” in which Marduk is dressed in the base text. Or, perhaps these signs belong together with the previous qa sign, i.e., qa-ni-t[i]?, cf. the use of the unclear noun qanītu in cultic context in SAA 13, 130: 15. The mention of Laḫmu here is unexpected, even if it can be understood in relation to the appearance of this god in Enūma eliš. Perhaps the writing here actually refers to an adjective describing the dress worn by Marduk as “hairy” (from laḫāmu, although such a meaning is otherwise restricted to other periods and genres; see CAD L, 38, 41).

The second interpretation equates Marduk in the base text with the āšipu wearing red during the ritual. Previously, the name of the garment was read as TÚG.ÁB.SAG SA5 (Geller 2015: 65; 2016: 394). As noted by Frahm (2011: 82 with n. 410; see also Frahm and Jiménez 2015: 316–7), when the signs are read literally, this could refer to a red garment made from or resembling a cow. But Frahm (2011: 82 n. 410 with reference) also noted that this may be a corruption for DÙL, standing for the naḫlaptu garment, and this is supported by the mention of the TÚG.DÙL SA5 of the āšipu performing an exorcism in a Neo-Assyrian letter (SAA 10, 238: 15). Indeed, collation of the sign on the photos indicates that the sign is probably DÙL, with the bottom left part broken and scratched in a way that may resemble ÁB.40

12. This line, like the previous line, interprets the awesome attire of Marduk in the base text as the cultic dress of the āšipu reciting the text. As in the previous line, the signs were previously read as TÚG.ÁB.SAG SA5 (Geller 2015: 65; 2016: 394). But collation indicates that ÁB would be quite condensed, and although one horizontal seems to be visible, it is probably better to read the signs as U.SAG (or, less likely, as a corrupted U.DÙL, perhaps influenced by the previous line), i.e., a kubšu headdress (which fits the context of the crown better; for the kubšu worn by priests, see Quillien 2019: 74 with references in n. 14). The line is interpreted also in BM 47259+ (Geller 2014: 61, l. 3; 2016: 396, l. 3; Wee 2016: 136, ll. 5–6), where the crown in the base text is understood as a šukūsu-headdress.

In the first part of the line, Geller (2014: 65, 67; 2016: 394) reads šip-pu, but it is much more likely that this refers to the bīt mēseri cultic space where the ritual occurs (so Lambert 1954–56: 313; see Gabbay 2018a: 299 n. 12).

13. The commentary seems to deal with two hermeneutical questions that the line in the base text raises: First, what is the ritual way in which Marduk performs the act in the base text? And second, what is the significance of the adverb “daily” (ūmešam), since this can refer to either a perpetual action or a diurnal action, and while it is clear that Marduk acts in the daytime (as is indicated in the commentary in ll. 14 and 16, where Marduk is associated with the sun), the question arises how the continuous action of Marduk lasts also during the night. The commentary answers both questions with a laconic interpretation: Marduk acts also at night – he is not manifest only as the daylight but also as a nocturnal light, a ritual fire. This ritual fire answers also the first question about the ritual specification of this line.41 The commentary probably relates to the torch that plays a part in the Udug-ḫul incantations, to which Marduk’s Address to the Demons belongs. Thus, a torch is carried by Marduk while exorcising the demons in Udug-ḫul 10: 38 (Geller 2016: 330), and fire (i.e., a lit torch) is placed next to the patient’s head day and night in Udug-ḫul 13: 77–81 (see Geller 2016: 25, 330, 456–7).42

14. The base text raises a problem: How does Marduk light the land with his aura? Doesn’t this contradict the regular view that the Sun god lights the land?43 The commentary therefore admits that the line refers to the sun, but notes that the dark spots seen when looking directly at the sun are actually Marduk. The idea that Marduk is within the sun is also found in KAR 307 (SAA 3, 39), r.5: šá ŠÀ dU[TU dAM]AR.UTU, “that which is within the Sun is Marduk”; see Beaulieu 1999. See also BM 32574: 6 (STC 1, 216; Jiménez 2015): dUTU šá KUR-ḫa NU šá dAMAR.UTU ina lìb-bi-šúšu??-[ma], “Šamaš of the sunrise (or: who rises), the image of Marduk [is](?) inside it.” Note also the identification of Marduk and Šamaš in a syncretistic hymn to Marduk, Fadhil, and Jiménez 2022: 8, 16, ll. 38–40.

15. The commentary specifies who the weapon of Marduk is, namely it is the god Muštēšir-ḫablim (see Lambert 2013: 497). Note Muštēšir-ḫablim’s role also in legal procedures, manifesting the malevolent consequences (also in the form of sickness) that befall a person swearing a false oath (Streck 1993; Maul 2019, 11 // 34).

16. As in l. 14, Marduk is described performing an action usually associated with Šamaš, and here it is explicitly noted that he is “like Šamaš.” The commentary seeks to determine what this relationship between Šamaš and Marduk actually is and offers two possibilities. The first interpretation notes that Šamaš, the Sungod and god of justice, is actually a manifestation of Marduk in his role as god of justice. As noted by Lambert 1959–60: 115 and Beaulieu 2020: 112, the same perception is expressed using a slightly different vocabulary in CT 24, 50: 9 (Beaulieu 2020: 110): dUTU = dAMAR.UTU šá ki-na-a-ti.

The second interpretation, although formulated quite laconically, attempts to associate Šamaš with Marduk by analyzing the (rare) writing for Jupiter, Marduk’s astral manifestation, as MUL.BABBAR, the “white star.”44 But in other contexts the sign UD = BABBAR can be read as UTU, i.e., Šamaš, and therefore Jupiter, the “white star,” contains within it an identification with Šamaš. Moreover, the commentary parses the sign for “white star” in such a way that the presence of Šamaš, dUTU, is clearly seen within it. The sign MUL is a combination of NAB and AN, but by identifying Šamaš in this star name, the element AN is shifted to the second part of the logogram by placing a Glossenkeil before it, resulting in dUTU.45

17. The commentary explains the statement that Marduk purifies the judgments (i.e., decides the verdicts) of the righteous and wicked in the river and remarks that this is related to the river ordeal (note the equation of the river ordeal god Id-lu-rugu with Marduk, e.g., in Marduk Emesal litanies, Cohen 1988: 414, l. 14).

18. Geller (2014: 65, 67; 2016: 394–5), following Lambert’s copy, reads l. 8a thus: ⸢MUiṣ-ṣur-tú šáina UGU d?UTU? KU?⸣ x ⸢iq-ta-bi. If the reading is correct, iṣṣurtu may be a female bird (so Geller 2014: 67; 2016: 395), or, more likely, a variant of uṣurtu (or a pun on uṣurtu according to Geller 2014: 67 n. 34), referring to gišḫurru in the base text. But perhaps the reading GIŠ is incorrect, and this is actually a deformed DINGIR, i.e., ⸢d!⸣AMAR.UTU, Marduk. Following this, the signs are very broken and ina muḫḫi Šamaš seems unlikely in the context of the base text.

19. Geller (2014: 65; 2016: 394), following Lambert’s copy, reads: ir-ta-x, but the first sign seems to be SUK, i.e., the commentary renders the logogram SUKKAL syllabically.

20. For the reading haṣbūrāti (i.e., reading the sign BU as bu, rather than sír, correctly in Geller 2016: 365: 122+, but with the reading sír in p. 394), see Farber 2014: 228, ad II 19.

Geller (2014: 65; 2016: 394–5) restores the first word of the commentary as li-[lu-u], but it seems less probable that the lilû demons from the base text would be used for the lexical explanation of ḫaṣbūrāti.

22. The literal equation UR.KI = kalab urṣi is found also in Hh 14: 86 (MSL 8/2, 13).

23. The equation in the commentary is related to several texts, which usually equate the noun ḫanzizītu with the “spindle-of-Ištar” insect, but ḫanzizītu itself is equated with both kuzāzu and with the “spindle-of-Ištar” in Hg C: 306, B: 41 (MSL 8/2, 170, 173; Mirelman 2015: 176). See CAD P, 371b.

24. The restoration ina libbi follows JRL 1053: 10, 15 (Geller 2016: 393; George and Taniguchi 2019, no. 213; Frahm, Jiménez, and Frazer 2016) and KAR 94: r.36′, 45′ (Frahm 2011: 385–6). Geller (2014: 66, 68; 2016: 395–6) restores this correctly and translates “according to the incantation Duppir Lemnu,” but ina libbi here should be understood more concretely. The commentary tablet is not a treatise according to the incantation Duppir Lemnu, but rather comprises lines extracted from (ina libbi) Tablet 11 of the composition Udug-ḫul (including especially the direct speech of Marduk that forms the main part of Marduk’s Address to the Demons), which begins with the incipit “Incantation: Be gone Evil!” (see, correctly, also Frahm 2011: 387).

25. The catchline was previously read as [u]ṣ-ṣab a-na ka-ra-ši (Geller 2014: 66; 2016: 396). But this should be read as [e-r]eb ÉRIN a-na ka-ra-ši, found in the last section of the Diviner’s Manual; see Oppenheim 1974: 200: 73.

28. The photograph does not allow a clear reading of the final line of the colophon, and it is not included in Geller’s (2014: 66; 2016: 395) transliteration. The only sign that seems to be certain is -šú, which is found in the last line of other colophons of Kiṣir-Nabû in the formulas: ša ittabalu Nabû ḫalaqšu liqbi, kīma labīrišu šaṭirma bari, and ana malsûtišu zamar nasiḫ (see Hunger 1968, nos. 208–217), but none of these formulas fits what can be seen of the traces with certainty.46


This article was written within the framework of the project Ancient Mesopotamian Priestly Scholasticism. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No 101000850).


Citation: Journal of Ancient Near Eastern Religions 22, 2 (2022) ; 10.1163/15692124-12341330


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