An example from the Assyrian community:
First, I need to thank the University of Chicago for making available, FREE OF CHARGE, the complete 21-volume Assyrian Dictionary. They have allowed me (and countless others) to access knowledge that would not have otherwise been possible (the print editions are cost prohibitive to non-academics, and ordinary folks).
After 90 Years, a Dictionary of an Ancient World
New York Times
By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Published: June 6, 2011
Ninety years in the making, the 21-volume dictionary of the language of ancient Mesopotamia and its Babylonian and Assyrian dialects, unspoken for 2,000 years but preserved on clay tablets and in stone inscriptions deciphered over the last two centuries, has finally been completed by scholars at the University of Chicago.
This was the language that Sargon the Great, king of Akkad in the 24th century B.C., spoke to command what is reputed to be the world’s first empire, and that Hammurabi used around 1700 B.C. to proclaim the first known code of laws. It was the vocabulary of the Epic of Gilgamesh, the first masterpiece of world literature. Nebuchadnezzar II presumably called on these words to soothe his wife, homesick for her native land, with the promise of cultivating the wondrous Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
"Martha Roth, dean of humanities at the University of Chicago, and Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute there."
"A Babylonian grammatical text stone tablet used in the research and assembly of the ancient dictionary."
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From the CAD's volume (8) for letter "K."
Last edited by Humanist; 2012-07-10 at 00:58.
From Dr. McGrath's blog: Anush-Uthra vs. Jesus: Smackdown in Jerusalem
A bit from the (as usual) entertaining and thought-provoking entry:
An “Uthra” is a spirit being – an Aeon or angel – but because both those terms are loaded from other traditions, it seemed best not to render the term using either of those words. We may change our minds about that, and some of you may remember me blogging about this very translation issue before. Anush corresponds to the name Enosh or perhaps Enoch*.
I know this must get tiresome for folks who read this thread, but I feel it necessary to again preface what I am about to post by making clear I do not know a great deal about Mandaeans, and in particular their faith, Mandaeism.
Two things caught my attention in the definition for the Akkadian word "atru":
1. The intercalary days have religious significance to the Mandaeans. What, if anything this has to do with Uthras I have no idea.
2. Atra-Hasis (see below)
Atra-Hasis ("exceedingly wise") is the protagonist and namesake of an 18th century BCE Akkadian epic. An "Atra-Hasis" appears on one of the Sumerian king lists as king of Shuruppak in the times before the flood. The Atra-Hasis tablets include both a creation myth and a flood account, which is one of three surviving Babylonian deluge stories. The oldest known copy of the epic tradition concerning Atrahasis can be dated by colophon (scribal identification) to the reign of Hammurabi’s great-grandson, Ammi-Saduqa (1646–1626 BCE), but various Old Babylonian fragments exist; it continued to be copied into the first millennium BCE. The Atrahasis story also exists in a later fragmentary Assyrian version, having been first rediscovered in the library of Ashurbanipal, but, because of the fragmentary condition of the tablets and ambiguous words, translations had been uncertain. Its fragments were assembled and translated first by George Smith as The Chaldean Account of Genesis; the name of its hero was corrected to Atra-Hasis by Heinrich Zimmern in 1899.
Tablet III of the Atrahasis Epic contains the flood story. This is the part that was adapted in the Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet XI. Tablet III of Atrahasis tells how the god Enki warns the hero Atrahasis (“Extremely Wise”) of Shuruppak, speaking through a reed wall (suggestive of an oracle) to dismantle his house (perhaps to provide a construction site) and build a boat to escape the flood planned by the god Enlil to destroy humankind. The boat is to have a roof “like Apsu” (a subterranean, fresh water realm presided over by the god Enki), upper and lower decks, and to be sealed with bitumen. Atrahasis boards the boat with his family and animals and seals the door. The storm and flood begin. Even the gods are afraid. After seven days the flood ends and Atrahasis offers sacrifices to the gods. Enlil is furious with Enki for violating his oath. But Enki denies violating his oath and argues: “I made sure life was preserved.” Enki and Enlil agree on other means for controlling the human population.
"Cuneiform tablet with the Atra-Hasis Epic in the British Museum"
Enoch (Hebrew: חֲנוֹךְ, Modern H̱anokh Tiberian Ḥănōḵ; Arabic: إدريس ʼIdrīs) is a character that appears in the Book of Genesis and a figure in the Generations of Adam. Enoch is described as the greatx4 grandson of Adam (through Seth) (Genesis 5:3-18), the son of Jared, the father of Methuselah, and the great-grandfather of Noah.
Enoch appears in Genesis as the seventh of the ten pre-Deluge Patriarchs. Genesis claims that each of the pre-Flood Patriarchs lives for several centuries, has a son, lives more centuries, and then dies. The exception is Enoch, who ascends into Heaven without experiencing death. However, Genesis 5:22-29 states that Enoch lived 365 years which is extremely short in the context of his peers.
The Wikipedia article on Atra-Hasis mentioned the Anunnaki.
Wikipedia:The Anunnaki (also transcribed as: Anunna, Anunnaku, Ananaki and other variations) are a group of Mesopotamian (Sumerian, Akkadian, Assyrian and Babylonian) deities. The name is variously written "a-nuna", "a-nuna-ke-ne", or "a-nun-na", meaning something to the effect of "those of royal blood" or 'princely offspring'. Their relation to the group of gods known as the Igigi is unclear — at times the names are used synonymously but in the Atra-Hasis flood myth they have to work for the Anunnaki, rebelling after 40 days and replaced by the creation of humans.
The Anunnaki appear in the Babylonian creation myth, Enuma Elish. In the late version magnifying Marduk, after the creation of mankind, Marduk divides the Anunnaki and assigns them to their proper stations, three hundred in heaven, three hundred on the earth. In gratitude, the Anunnaki, the "Great Gods", built Esagila, the splendid: "They raised high the head of Esagila equaling Apsu. Having built a stage-tower as high as Apsu, they set up in it an abode for Marduk, Enlil, Ea." Then they built their own shrines.
According to later Assyrian and Babylonian myth, the Anunnaki were the children of Anu and Ki, brother and sister gods, themselves the children of Anshar and Kishar (Skypivot and Earthpivot, the Celestial poles), who in turn were the children of Lahamu and Lahmu ("the muddy ones"), names given to the gatekeepers of the Abzu temple at Eridu, the site at which the creation was thought to have occurred. Finally, Lahamu and Lahmu were the children of Tiamat (Goddess of the Ocean) and Abzu (God of Fresh Water).
Last edited by Humanist; 2012-07-10 at 06:12.
Babylonian speaking professor, Dr Martin Worthington poses in the library of School of Oriental and African Studies in London, Friday, Oct. 1, 2010. The ancient language of Babylonian can be heard for the first time in almost 2,000 years after Cambridge University scholars posted readings and poems online. The project of resurrecting the ancient tongue by discovering how the language was pronounced and spoken is the brainchild of Dr Martin Worthington. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Gilgamesh at SOAS | University of London
A few of the recordings:
The Old Babylonian Period (c. 1900-1500 BCE)
Atra-Hasīs, Old Babylonian Version, Tablet I
Lines i.1-iii.16, read by Claus Wilcke
The First Millennium BC
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Standard Version, Tablet XI
Lines 1-239, read by Karl Hecker
The Babylonian Epic of Creation (Enūma elîš), Tablet I
Lines 1-16, read by Jan Keetman
I have no idea what the origin of our word for fruit is. It may be a loan from another language. If it looks familiar to anybody out there, please consider replying to this post.
What I find interesting is the similarity between our word for fruit and a particular word/god in Sumerian.
(Wikipedia)Emesh is a Sumerian god of vegetation. He was created, alongside the god Enten, at the wish of Enlil to take responsibility on earth for woods, fields, sheep folds, and stables. He is identified with the abundance of the earth and with summer.
Dalley, Stephanie. Myths from Mesopotamia. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989, 1-2.Atrahasis the wise man, who built an ark and save mankind from destruction, is a figure of immense prestige and antiquity to which various literary and really just traditions were attached... the story of the Flood was one of the most popular tales of ancient times, and is found in several ancient languages, reworked to suit different areas and cultures so that the different settings and details are found in each version...
According to one version of the Sumerian King list, in the years just before the Flood swept over the earth, Ubara-Tutu (who is named as the father of Atrahasis in Gilgamesh) was King of Shuruppak, modern Tell Fara in central southern Mesopotamia, where some of the earliest writings know in the whole world have been unearthed. According to a different version of the Sumerian king list, Atrahasis, called there by his Sumerian name Ziusudra, himself ruled the city Shuruppak, preceded by his father who was named like the city, Shuruppak and he was presumably regarded as the eponymous ancestor of the citizens there. A waste and composition known as the instructions of Shuruppak is now attested on clay tablets from the Early Dynastic period in their early third millennium BC, and contains sage advice given by Shuruppak to his son Ziusudra. Atrahasis was a notable figure at the dawn of history and literary tradition was attached to him at an extremely early period.
'Extra-wise' is the meaning of his name in Atrahasis, he is Ut-Napishtim and Uta-na'ishtim in Gilgamesh, a name which can mean 'He found life.' Sumerian Ziusudra is an approximate translation of Akkadian Ut-napishtim together with his epithet, in which the element sudra corresponds to Atrahasis' epithet ru_qu, 'the far distant.' The name used by Berossus for the survivor of the flood is Xisuthros, probably a phonetic rendering of Ziusudra....
So, we have:
WikipediaBerossus (Akkadian: Bēl-rē'ušu, "Bel is his shepherd"; Greek: Βήρωσσος) was a Hellenistic-era Babylonian writer, a priest of Bel Marduk and astronomer writing in Greek, who was active at the beginning of the 3rd century BC. Versions of two excerpts of his writings survive, at several removes.
Ziusudra and Xisuthros
Zi-ud-sura is known to us from the following sources:
From the Sumerian Flood myth discussed above.
In reference to his immortality in some versions of The Death of Gilgamesh
Again in reference to his immortality in The Poem of Early Rulers
As Xisuthros (or Xisouthros, Ξίσουθρος) in Berossus' Hellenistic account of the ancient Near East Flood myth, preserved in later excerpts.
Xisuthros was also included in Berossus' king list, also preserved in later excerpts.
Last edited by Humanist; 2012-07-10 at 12:17.
Not sure about this one. Well, more uncertain than usual.
The Sureth definition given is not consistent with what I am familiar with. If I had to define it, I would say "fool," "moron."
Last edited by Humanist; 2012-07-10 at 19:13.
From street altar to palace: reading the built environment of urban BabyloniaThe individual in the role of private worshipper in the first millennium BC has been detected in interpretations of the term kāribu. Linssen (2004 : 161), for example, explains the term as ‘perhaps not a priest but a citizen, a praying, private person, who offers on special occasions’. Offerings of the kāribu, frequently consisting of sheep, are often paired with offerings of the king (e.g. niqī šarri / niqī kāribi). However, the administrative texts indicate that the actual offerings were made collectively (Da Riva 2002), even if they derived ultimately from individuals, and so the identity of the individual was submerged in the process.
Heather D Baker
In: K. Radner and E. Robson (eds), The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture. Oxford: OUP (2011) 533-552.
The word for "wrestler" in Akkadian. And "fists," in the Sureth word for "boxing."
Annus, Amar. “The Soul's Journeys and Tauroctony. On Babylonian Sediment in the Syncretic Religious Doctrines of Late Antiquity.” In: Manfried L. G. Dietrich and Tarmu Kulmar (eds.). Body and Soul in the Conceptions of the Religions. Forschungen zur Anthropologie und Religionsgeschichte 42. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag 2008