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Diary about messengers of the politai

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The Messengers Fragment. Photo Bert van der Spek.
The "messengers fragment", obverse (British Museum; **)
The Diary about messengers of the "politai" ("messengers fragment") is a small piece from an Astronomical Diary from ancient Babylonia; it dates to the Hellenistic Period.

The cuneiform tablet (known as BM 34434 and Sp. 557) is in the British Museum. On this website, a reading is proposed by Bert van der Spek of the Free University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Irving Finkel of the British Museum.* Please notice that this is a preliminary version of what will be the diary's very first edition. This web publication is therefore intended to invite suggestions for better readings, comments and interpretations (go here to contact Van der Spek).

The editors owe a lot to the suggestions of professor Hermann Hunger of Vienna, especially as regards the astronomical section.

Babylonian Chronicles
Description
Text and translation
Commentary

Literature

 

Description of the tablet

Small piece of an Astronomical Diary published here for the first time.
Width: 3,4 cm (longest line); height: 3 cm (text part); thickness: 9 mm. Reverse: lost. It is impossible to reconstruct the length of the lines.
TEXT
TRANSLATION
1' (trace)  ......] ... [......
2' ...... U4?] 21 22 2[3 ...... ......  day?] 21, 22, 2[3 ......
3' ......] KU4-ub U4-mu BI ŠÀ.TAM x[ ...... ......] enteredsg. That day, the šatammu x[ ......
4' ......] EN ERÍN.MEŠ-šú-nu TA lú?ERÍN?.M[EŠ? ...... ......] together with their troops with the tr[oops??.....
5' ......] URI.KI ŠÀ.TAM É.SAG.GÍL x [...... ...... the satrap of] Akkad, the šatammu of Esagila x [ ......
6' ...... l]úA šip-ratmeššápu-li-&[e-e ...... ......] the messengers of the polit[ai .....
7' ...... U]RU Si-lu-ku-’-a URU.MEŠ u x [...... ......] Seleucia, the cities and x [......
8' ......]x GIM šá AM.SI  pa-a-gu šap-lu x[...... That month a ... was born and the new born had the ]x as of an elephant (and) a lower jaw x[ ......
8/9'  
9' ...... D]IR AN ZA SI G[IN] 1(?) ina še-rì ŠÚ.ŠÚ AN UTA[H  ...... ...... c]louds were in the sky, the north wind blew. The 1st?, in the morning, very  overcast, rain shower [....
10'  ......] MAH AN DUL-/hat\ ULÙ GIN 3 ina še-rì [...... .....] much [....], rain DUL, the south wind blew. The 3rd, in the morning,[......
11'  ......] šur GUR šá x [x] x x [..... ......] bêta/zêta Tauri [....] .... [.....
to part two (commentary)
Bert van der Spek © 2005
Latest revision: 31 March 2006
 
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