قاموس شيكاغو للغة الآشورية

 

بدأ مشروع قاموس شيكاغو للغة الآشورية في أوائل 1920، بعد وقت قصير على تأسيس جيمس هنري بريستيد لمعهد الشرق في عام 1919، وبالكاد بعد مائة سنة من فك رموز النص المسماري. هذا الإنجاز الكبير والإنجازات التي ستتبعه في فهم اللغات التي كتبت بها مئات الألاف من الألواح الطينية، فتحت كنزا لا ينضب لدراسة وتثمين أحد أقدم الحضارات في العالم.

تم تصميم قاموس شيكاغو الآشوري لتقديم ما هو أكثر من مجرد معلومات معجمية بحتة، أي ما هو أكثر من مرادف مقابل مرادف بين الكلمات الأكدية والإنجليزية. وذلك من خلال تقديم كل كلمة في سياق هادف، مع ترجمة كاملة وذكر للمصطلحات المستخدمة فيها الكلمة، في إطار اعادة لخلق البيئة الثقافية، وبالتالي فإن هذا القاموس يرقى في وظيفته الى وظيفة الموسوعة. وتتراوح مصادر هذا القاموس زمنيا من الألفية الثالثة قبل الميلاد إلى القرن الأول الميلادي، ومن البحر الأبيض المتوسط ​​في الغرب إلى جبال زاغروس في الشرق جغرافيا. يعد قاموس شيكاغو الآشوري الذي أنجز في عام 2010 مصدرا لا يقدر بثمن لدراسة حضارات الشرق الأدنى القديم وتاريخها السياسي والثقافي وإنجازاتها في علوم الطب وعلم الفلك والرياضيات واللغويات ونافذة على جمال اشعارها الخالدة. اضغط هنا للتحميل أو لزيارة موقع القاموس.

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Eye Idol Plaque

Mesopotamian Eye Idol Plaque, Euphrates Valley, Late Uruk Period, Late 4th ML BC

This type of carving is known as an ‘eye idol’, and may have been an offering left at a temple. Eye idols were also made in the form of free standing statuettes (example). Wide eyes are believed to have been a demonstration of attentiveness to the gods in much of Mesopotamian art.

The Uruk period (c. 4000 to 3100 BC) existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period and succeeded by the Jemdet Nasr period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk,  this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. It was followed by the Sumerian civilization. The late Uruk period (34th to 32nd centuries) saw the gradual emergence of the cuneiform script and corresponds to the Early Bronze Age; it may also be called the Protoliterate period.

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Statue of Ningal

Statue of the Sumerian reed goddess Ningal found at Ur (in modern day Iraq), 1953-1935 B.C.

Diorite, Penn-museum                    


Ningal was the daughter of Enki and Ningikurga and was the mother of Inanna, Utu, and Ereshkigal.

The statue contains an inscription on the side (picture to the right) from a priestess named Enannatumma, the daughter of Ishem-Dagan, possibly a Sumerian king.  The inscription says that the statue itself is dedicated to the goddess Ningal.

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The drinking God

God/Ilu seated on his throne, as depicted on a Ugaritic stele. Note the horns on his head. (Museum of Aleppo)

 

The following text is from ancient Ugarit (located in modern Syria), a city whose textual archives from the 15th-13th centuries BCE have provided a huge trove of literary epics, mythic lore, and linguistic data.

Ever wonder where the phrases “hair of the dog” and “he looks like hell” first appeared?  Look no further.  This is the epic saga of how God (Ilu/El, the father god in Levantine religion) got so drunk that his sons had to carry him to bed, while their lady friends cooked up a hangover cure.  Really.


I. The Gods Feast

God slaughtered venison in his home, [1]
       livestock within his palace,
       and welcomed the gods to the feast.
The gods ate and drank;
       they grew tipsy on wine,
       drunk on beer.

Moon-God Yarihu prepared his goblet;
       like a dog, he clambered [2]
       underneath the table.
Each god who recognized him
       prepared him scraps of meat —
but each god who did not recognized him
       hit him with a stick, [3]
       underneath the table.

When Astarte and Anat arrived,
       Astarte offered him a rump steak,
       and Anat a shoulder cut. [4]
The gatekeeper of God’s house scolded them:
       “Hey! Why are you offering a dog rump steak,
       offering a shoulder cut to a mongrel?
He scolded God, his father: “He is sitting (there)!” [5]

II. God Over-Indulges

God invited in the drinkers;
       God sat down in his saloon.
He grew tipsy on wine,
       drunk on beer.
God headed back to his house
       and entered his chambers.
They loaded him onto Thukamunu and Shunamu, his sons,
       and the two chastized the groaning man, [6]
       he who had horns and a tail.
He soiled himself with shit and piss,
       and God fell down as if dead;
       God (looked) like someone descending to Hades.

Anat and Astarte began to hunt.

[The next several lines are nearly unreadable; the only legible phrases are “holy,” “Astarte and Anat,” and “and with them, she brought back.”  Most scholars assume that the women are hunting down the ingredients for their cure.]

As soon as she treated (him), he was suddenly revived.

III. The Medical Treatment

The following should be placed:
on his forehead, the hairs of a dog, [7]
and (on) the head, colocynth, and (on) his navel. [8]
At the same time, he should drink green olive juice. [9]

Source: The Marzeah in the Prophetic Literature: References and Allusions in Light, by John L. MacLaughlin (2001). pp.24–6. ISBN 9004099956. Quoted as fair use.


[1] “Venison” is used in the archaic sense of “any animal hunted for meat.”  The exact species of animal being eaten is unclear.

[2] Scholars are divided here; this verb may mean one of several dog-like activities: crawling, digging, or even swishing a tail.

[3] Alternately, Yarihu could be the subject: “if a god doesn’t notice him, [Yarihu] hits [the other god] with a stick.”  That alternative makes a bit more narrative sense, to be honest.  However, this version works better with my theory about the dog hair (cf. note 7): for whatever reason, the gods give a painful hangover to drinkers whom they don’t recognize.

[4] Again, the meat identifications are a bit tentative.  But if they are accurate, they may be allusions to the goddess’s associations; Astarte’s domain included sexuality, connected to the thigh (cf. Enkidu throwing the Bull of Heaven’s thigh at Ishtar [=Astarte]), while Anat was associated with warfare and the strength of arm and shoulder.

[5] Most translations include “He is sitting” with the next stanza; either this line continues the direct speech (“Scold God, his father!”) or adds an addendum (“He [also] scolds God, his father.”).  The problem with that line division is that it creates an odd redundancy: Ilu is sitting, then calls for his fellow drinkers, then sits again.

[6] Here I follow Noegel, who reads the Ugaritic ḥabayu as an epithet for Ilu, mumbling and groaning like a mooing cow in his intoxication.  Since Ilu is frequently described as a bull, the horns and tail are not surprising attributes; they may emphasize that while drunk, he resembles a strong but unthinking animal.  (Fun fact: Ilu’s title is specifically ṯôru Ilu, “Bull God.”  Ṯôru is probably one of the rare words so ancient that it’s shared by Semitic and Indo-European languages — so it’s ultimately related to “taurus” and “steer.”)  The other alternative, which was the mainstream translation for many years, translates Habayu as a demonic figure who appears on the scene, frightening Ilu until he soils himself.  (If this reading is accurate, an allusion to the horned Habayu may also appear in the Hebrew Bible in Habakkuk 3:4.)

[7] Placing dog hairs on the forehead clearly has no modern medical value; while the motives behind ancient magico-medical treatments are not always straightforward, the fact that a dog is mentioned twice earlier in the story is likely no coincidence.  (A dog may have appeared a third time in the textual gap if it was the women’s prey; their verb does normally refer to animal hunting, not vegetable harvesting.)  There’s no scholarly consensus about the purpose of the ingredient.  My very tentative guess is that the dog hairs ritually place the patient in the role of Yarihu, who acted “like a dog” in the first section of the story.  Despite the chastising of Ilu’s gatekeeper, the gods feed Yarihu scraps of meat and allow him to enjoy his drink — unless they don’t recognize him, in which they beat him, perhaps causing the headache of a hangover.  In contrast, Ilu’s attempt at maintaining dignity leaves him unconscious in his own excrement.  By humbling himself to the role of a dog, the patient will receive divine pity.

[8] There is some dispute over the meaning of this line, although “head” and “his navel” are pretty straightforward.  The term in between (PQQ) could be two words — “mouth (and) throat” — or a single name, perhaps for a plant.  In Akkadian, peqqūtu/peqû is a name for the colocynth, a bitter melon that’s widespread in the Middle East.  The colocynth was used extensively in medical concoctions in the ancient world, and its notoriously bitter flavor might further have shocked an unconscious patient into wakefulness, so I have gone with this translation.  If the term means “mouth (and) throat,” it could refer either to applying the dog hairs to those locations on the patient, or to sacrificing a dog and literally placing its head, mouth, and throat on the patient.

[9] “Green olive juice” is, more literally, “the blood/juice of an olive of autumn.”  Since ripe olives are harvested in November/December, an “autumn olive” may have been a green (i.e. unripe) olive, as contrasted to a ripe “winter olive.”  The oil from unripe olives is especially bitter and grassy, so it could have assisted the colocynth in waking the patient.  However (contra most translations), I don’t think that this necessarily refers to oil, since Ugaritic has another perfectly good word for oil.  Amurca, the liquid byproduct of olive oil production, is bitter-tasting and dark-colored, and it inhibits food-borne pathogens.  The dark color would explain the term “blood” (not the normal term for juice, let alone oil), and the bitter flavor and antibiotic properties would explain its medical use.

 

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خدمة العملاء في وادي الرافدين

رسالة شكوى من تاجر بابلي الى تاجر نحاس من دلمون (البحرين) يتذمر فيها من سوء التعامل ورداءة النحاس المرسل اليه، مكتوبة على لوح طيني في مدينة أور في حوالي سنة 1750 ق.م.

من ضمن القطع الأثرية من أرض الرافدين التي يحتفظ بها المتحف البريطاني، رسالة شكوى وتذمر كتبها التاجر البابلي “ناني” الى التاجر “إي-ناصر” من دلمون (البحرين) في سنة 1750 ق.م. والتي تدور حول مشاكل رافقت استلامه شحنة رديئة من النحاس.

ظهرت الترجمة الكاملة لهذه الرسالة في كتاب استاذ علم الآشوريات، ليو أوبنهايم الموسوم “رسائل من أرض الرافدين“، حيث نقرأ فيها:

“من ناني الى إي-ناصر

عندما جئت الى هنا قلت لي الآتي: عندما يأتيني جيميل-سين سأعطيه سبائك ممتازة من النحاس، ثم سافرت. لكنك لم تفِ بوعدك. وضعت امام رسولي عندما جاء اليك سبائك نحاس رديئة. وقلت له: هذه هي نوعية النحاس التي عندي، خذها إن أعجبتك أو ارحل بدونها.

كيف تسول لك نفسك أن تعاملني بهذا الازدراء؟ أرسلت لك سابقا رجالا محترمين، مثلي ومثلك، ليحصّلوا الدين الذي لي عليك، نقودي التي لا تزال عندك. لكنك اسأت معاملتهم وأرسلتهم خاليي الوفاض في كل مرة، هذا وأنت تعلم انهم عليهم أن يمروا في أراضي العدو ليصلوا اليك! لا أحد من تجار دلمون اساء معاملتي كما فعلت، أنت الوحيد الذي يزدري رسلي ويسيء معاملتهم! إذا كان رطل الفضة التافه، الذي أدين لك به، هو الذي يجعلك تتصرف بهذه الطريقة، في الوقت الذي دفعت انا عنك 1080 رطلا من النحاس ضريبة الى القصر، ومثلها فعل أومي-أبوم عندما دفع عنك 1080 رطلا من النحاس هو الأخر. ناهيك عن الرسائل التي كتبناها وختمناها بأختامنا لتوضع في معبد الإله شماش.

لكن أنظر كيف أسأت معاملتي في صفقة النحاس. احتفظت بنقودي في أرض الأعداء، الان جاء دورك لتردها لي كاملة بدون نقصان.

ليكن بعلمك، من الآن فصاعدا، لن اقبل منك أي شحنة نحاس ان لم تكن ممتازة النوعية. من اليوم، سأفحص سبائك النحاس التي ترسلها بنفسي، وسأمارس حقي الشرعي في رفض السبائك الرديئة وسأعيدها اليك، لأنك عاملتني بازدراء.”

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