A Marduk God List

Category: Frameworks > Mesopotamian Polytheism > Cuneiform God Lists

1 Introduction

This text (BM 47406 = CT 24.50)* from the end of the 2nd millennium BCE, sometimes wrongly called a hymn, is a miniature god list explaining various gods as Marduk (much in the manner of the An = Anu ša amēli god list), combined with another list that interprets certain human functions as representative of gods, specifically (as Parpola has suggested) a group of gods who are called “the seven Ninurtas” in KAR 142. Some of these seven gods are also found in the god list, but not all of them (due to text loss?).

(*CT = Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum, vol. 24, plate 50.)

I was only able to use snippets of Simo Parpola’ “The Assyrian Cabinet” (in Vom Alten Orient zum Alten Testament. Festschrift für Wolfram Freiherrn von Soden zum 85. Geburtstag, 1995), where the tablet text is edited and translated, but hope to revise this page in light of the full text in the future.

In addition to my construal of the text, I include images of the obverse and reverse of the tablet taken from CT 24, plate 50; you can find the volume and the rest of the series here (off-site link).

2 Text / translation of the obverse

(1) Uraš (ᵈURAŠ) = Marduk (ᵈAMAR.UTU) of agriculture (ša₂ e-re-šu₂)
(2) Lugalakida (ᵈLUKAL.A.KI.A) = Marduk of underground water (ša₂ nag-bi)
(3) Ninurta (ᵈNIN.URTA) = Marduk of the hoe (ša₂ al-li)
(4) Nerigal (ᵈNE₃.ERI₁₁.GAL) = Marduk of war (ša₂ qab-lu)
(5) Zababa (ᵈZA.BA₄.BA₄) = Marduk of battle (ša₂ ta-ḫa-zi)
(6) Enlil (ᵈEN.LIL₂) = Marduk of lordship and deliberation (ša₂ be-lu-tu₂ u mit-lu-uk-tu)
(7) Nabû (ᵈna-bi-um) = Marduk of accounting (ša₂ NIG₂.ŠID = nikassi)
(8) Sîn (ᵈEN.ZU) = Marduk who illuminates the night (mu-nam-mir mu-ši)
(9) Šamaš (ᵈUTU) = Marduk of justice (ša₂ ki-na-a-ti)
(10) Adad (ᵈIŠKUR) = Marduk of rain (ša₂ zu-un-nu)
(11) Tišpak (ᵈTIŠPAK) = Marduk of the army (ša₂ um-ma-nu)
(12) Ištaran (AN.GAL) = Marduk of [unintelligible word] (ša₂ ḪAB-zi-zi)
(13) Šuqamunu (ᵈšu-qa-mu-nu) = Marduk of the container (ša₂ pi-sa-an-nu)
(14) [Mardu]k ([ᵈAMAR.UT]U) = Marduk of the whole (ša₂ [ku]l-la-ti)

(On 1) Uraš in this case is the male god associated with farming (and sometimes identified with Ninurta), not the goddess paired with Anu.
(On 2) Lugalakida (if that is the right reading) is Sumerian for ‘lord of subterranean waters’. The name is not known from other surviving texts.
(On 3) Ninurta, like Uraš, he is associated with farming.
(On 4) Nerigal is/rules the planet Mars, and like the planet in astrology is warlike.
(On 5) Zababa again is a warlike god.
(On 6) Enlil is a wise ruler; so much so that Marduk’s rule is sometimes explained as his having been granted ‘Enlilship’ (enlilūtu or illilūtu).
(On 7) Nabû (who is/rules the planet Mercury) oversees scholarship, including scribal work and accounting.
(On 8) Sîn is the Moon.
(On 9) Šamaš is the Sun, strongly associated with justice.
(On 10) Adad governs the weather, especially storms and fertile rain. Cf. Zeus.
(On 13) Tišpak is another warlike god, like Nerigal and Zababa.
(On 12) Ištaran is sometimes equated with Great Heaven (sum. Angal, akk. Anu rabû, hence the spelling AN.GAL). What precisely is meant here is unclear, since the key word at the end of the line is unintelligible.
(On 13) Šuqamunu (also Šugamuna, etc.) is a Kassite god; see his section in the An = Anu ša amēli God List.
(On 14) I propose the reading “Marduk” here based on context (who but Marduk would be the Marduk of all things?) and the scant remains of the name, but it is no more than a plausible guess.

3 Text / translation of the reverse

[Based on the parallel in KAR 142, as noted by Parpola, probably the names of Uraš and Ninurta have been lost, along with the human roles corresponding to them.]

(1) [lost name is an image of] Zababa (ᵈZA.BA₄.BA₄)
(2) The treasurer (ˡᵘ²maš-en) is an image (ṣa-lam) of Nabû (ᵈna-bi-um)
(3) The sakrumaš (ˡᵘ²sak-ru-maš) is an image (ṣa-lam) of Nerigal (ᵈU.GUR)
(4) The announcer (ˡᵘ²mu-bar-ru-u) is an image (ṣa-lam) of Ma(n)dānu (ᵈDI.KUD)
(5) The zazakku (ˡᵘ²za-zak-ku) is an image (ṣa-lam) of Pabilsaŋ (ᵈPA₂.BIL.SAG)

(6) The seven people (LU₂ 7) are the image (ṣa-lam) of the great gods (DINGIR.MEŠ GAL.MEŠ = ilāni rabûti)

(6–9) [Colophon remains to be translated]