Ancient Commentary on the Weidner God List

Category: Frameworks > Mesopotamian Polytheism > Cuneiform God Lists

1 Introduction


There is already an edition and translation (off-site link) of this text online, but in a form that is rather inscrutable to the non-specialist.

The etymographical arguments used in this commentary themselves call out for explanatory commentary. I have for the most part not attempted this, but with the gods’ graces may do so in the future.

2 Translation

(1′) Amaraḫēa (f., 𒀭𒀫xxxx ᵈAMAR.RA.HE₂,E₃.A)
𒀭 (ᵈ ~ DINGIR) = ‘lady’ (akk. bēlet).
[some text is lost]
(2′) Amarāzu (f., 𒀭𒀫xxx ᵈAMAR.RA.A.ZU)
(Amaraḫeˀeya and Amaraˀazu are) ‘heifer calves’ (akk. būrāti).
[text unintelligible/lost]
(They are are) two daughters of Sîn.
𒀫 (AMAR) = ‘heifer calf’ (akk. būrtu).
(3′) […]

Note: Amaraḫēya might also be read Amaraḫeˀeya.

(4’–6′) Innin (f., 𒀭𒈹 INNIN ~ DINGIR.MUŠ₂)
= ‘Lady of Splendor’ (akk. bēlet zīmu):
𒀭 (DINGIR) = ‘lady’ (akk. bēlet).
𒈹 (MUŠ₂) = ‘splendor’ (akk. zīmu).
(Compare) “Innin who like [rest of the quotation lost]
[ . . . ]
Alternatively, ‘Lady of the Land’ (akk. bēlet māti):
𒀭 (DINGIR) = ‘lady’ (akk. bēlet).
𒈹 (MUŠ₂) = ‘land’ (akk. māti).

(7’–8′) Dumuzi (m., 𒀭𒌉𒍣 ᵈDUMU.ZI ~ MU.ZI)
= ‘torn-out boy’ (akk. māru nasḫu), ‘torn-out shepherd’ (akk. rēˀû nasḫu):
𒌉 (MU) = ‘shepherd’ (akk. rēˀû).
𒍣 (ZI) = ‘torn, pulled out, uprooted’ (akk. nasḫu)
[His star] is Šitaddāru (𒀯𒉺𒇻𒍣𒀭𒈾 ᵐᵘˡSIPAD.ZI.AN.NA = ‘Orion’)
= ‘torn-out shepherd of Anu’ (akk. rēˀû nasḫu ᵈAnu).

Note: the commentator equates 𒌉 (MU) with 𒉺𒇻 (SIPAD), the Sumerian for ‘shepherd’, not because this was an established reading of MU, but because of the parallelism between DUMU.ZI in the god’s name and SIPAD.ZI in the name of his constellation.

Also note: the constellation’s Akkadian name Šitaddāru apparently means ‘struck by a weapon’; it only has the meaning of ‘Faithful(!) Servant of Heaven (Anu)’ etymographically, by virtue of the Sumerographic spelling.

(9’–10′) Ninšubur (m., 𒀭𒊩𒌆𒋚 ᵈNIN.ŠUBUR):
𒊩𒌆 (NIN) = ‘lord’ (akk. bēlu).
𒋚 (ŠUBUR) = ‘table’ (akk. paššuru).
(He is) Papsukkal, (lord of the) table of Anu.
[some lost text]
Alternatively, ‘lord of the underworld’ (akk. bēl erṣetu):
𒊩𒌆 (NIN) = ‘lord’.
𒋚 (ŠUBUR) = ‘underworld’.

Ninšubur and Papsukkal are commonly equated.

(11′) Labar (𒆷𒁀𒅈 LA.BA.AR)
= ‘minister’ (akk. sukkallu).
Labar (la-bar) = ‘servant’ (akk. ardu).
“You have improperly appointed him to the rank of Anuship” (Enūma Eliš IV.82)

Note: this name (here apparently understood as a common noun?) is absent in the base text; the association with the minister (sukkal) Ninšubur or the name Papsukkal seems to have brought it to the commentator’s mind. It is not clear how the quotation relates to the argument.

(12’–13′) Nanāya (f., 𒀭𒈾𒈾𒀀 ᵈNA.NA.A)
𒈾 (NA) = ‘to speak’ (akk. nabû).
𒀀 (A) = ‘she’ as a suffix (akk. šî šaplû).
Alternatively, [some text lost]
𒈾 (NA) = ‘yes’ (akk. anna)
𒈾 (NA) = ‘no’ (akk. ulla)
𒈾 (NA) = ‘to speak’ = ‘a sign of divination’ (akk. itti bīri)
= ‘Lady of Divination’ (akk. bēlet bīri)

Note: by the first explanation, the name seems to mean ‘She speaks’. By the second, ‘She speaks either yes or no’, i.e., ‘She gives signs by divination’.

(14′) E₂.UR₅.ŠA₃.BA […]
x (E₂) = […]
x (E₂) = […]
x (UR₅) = […]
x (ŠAB) = […]

Note: this is the name of a temple, not a deity. It seems to have spun out of the point about divination in the name of Nanāya.

(1–3) Bizila (f., 𒀭xxx ᵈBI₂.ZIL.LA₂]
= […]
x (LA₂) = […]
x (BI₂) = […]
x (ZIL) = […]
[ . . . ]

x (ZIL) = […]
x (LA₂) = […]

(4–6) Kanisurra (f., 𒀭xxxx ᵈKA.NI.SUR.RA)
= ‘Lady of the Gods’ (Bēlet-ilī).
= […]
x (GAN = kan) = [lost]
[some text lost]
x (RA) = […]
x (SUR) = […]
[some text lost]
x (KA) = […]
x (NI) = […]
x (KA) = […]
x (NI) = [lost]
[the rest is lost]

(7) [other entry?]

(7) Lulal (m., 𒀭xx ᵈLU₂.LAL₃)
= Sîn (30).
[some text lost]

(8) Lātarāk (m., 𒀭𒆷𒊏𒋫𒀝 ᵈla-ta-ra-ak)
= lā tariqu (akk. ‘unrelenting’).

(8–10) [other entries?]

(11) Lātarāk (m., 𒀭𒆷𒊏𒊩 ᵈla-ta-rak)
= ‘not’ (akk. )
tarāku (akk. ‘to whip’) = ‘to thrash’ (akk. naṭu).

(11) Šara (𒀭𒇋 ᵈŠARA ~ DINGIR.BARA₇)
= ‘Lord of the Abode’ (akk. bēl šubtu):
𒀭 (DINGIR) = [‘lord’.
𒇋 (BARA₇) = ‘abode’.
The rest is lost]

(12–14) Tišpak (m., 𒀭x ᵈTIŠPAK ~ ᵈMUŠ₃xZIB):
x (MUŠ₃) = ‘appearance’ (akk. zīmu).
x (ZIB) = ‘to beautify’ (akk. banû).
= ‘He who beautifies his appearance’ (akk. ša zīmušu bunnû).

Note: […]

(15) Ninazu (m., 𒀭𒊩𒌆xx NIN.A.ZU)
𒊩𒌆 (NIN) = ‘lord’ (akk. bēli).
xx (A.ZU) = [lost]