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Babylonian chronicles: Dictionary





Nabonidus' chronicle. British Museum, London (Britain). Photo Marco Prins.
The Nabonidus Chronicle (British Museum)
Akkad
Archaic name of Babylonia.

Arsacids
Name of the royal house of the Parthian empire.

BÍl
Litt: "Lord". The name of the Babylonian supreme god Marduk was almost never pronounced or written down. His temple was the Esagila; another important monument was the temple tower Etemenanki. Greek authors called this complex sometimes the tomb of Belus, sometimes the temple of Belus. The name is related to Ba'al.

Egalmah
The temple of Gula in Isin. Gula was the goddess of medicine.

Egišhurankia
The "House of the ordinances of heaven and underworld", the sanctuary of BÍlet-Ninua (a title that we might render as Our Blessed Lady of Nineveh), also known as Ištar.

Egišnugal
One of the two temples of the moon god Sin in Babylon.

Ekur
The very ancient temple of Enlil in Nippur.

Emeslam
The temple of Nergal in Cuthah.

Enitenna
The "House of (pleasant) rest": the temple of Sin in eastern Babylon.

Erasure
An erased text on a clay tablet, often a writing error. Usually, traces of the old text can be read 'behind' the real text.

Eturkalamma
The temple of Ištar of Babylon, close to Esagila.

Ezida
The temple of NabŻ in Borsippa.

FGrH
F. Jacoby, Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker (1923- ): a large collection of fragments of Greek historians.

Gutium
Originally, the Gutians lived in the Zagros mountains east of  Babylon and north of Susa. In later cuneiform texts, the word Gutium can simply mean any land east of the Tigris.

Hanaeans
ha-ni-e is the name of a people and a kingdom (Hana) of the Old and Middle Babylonian periods situated on the middle Euphrates. It is also mentioned in the Agum-kakrime Inscription (Agum returns Marduk and Sarpanitum from the grasp of the Hanaeans II: 1-11); Longman assumes this composition to be neo-Assyrian and HanÓ to be the literary equivalent of Hatti (Longman 1991: 86-7), but Podany takes it simply to be the Middle Babylonian kingdom of Hana (Podany 1991-3). In the Hellenistic period the term is apparently a metaphor of Macedonia, or by extension Greeks and Macedonians (Cf. Briant 1994).

Hatti
Originally, the Hittite Empire, but after its disappearance in the twelfth century BCE, the name of the Neo-Hittite city states of Syria, which included the Phoenician towns. Hence: about everything in the west.

Karduniaš
Assyrian name of Babylonia.

Kiništu
Temple council; its chairman is the Šatammu.

Personenkeil
Determinative that indicates that the following name is that of a man or woman. A woman is indicated by the sign SAL, a man by a vertical wedge, which is sometimes confusing because this symbol can also indicate the number one.

Šatammu
The chairman of the temple council or kiništu. This council, which consisted of temple personnel and possibly prebend holders, was the governing body of the sanctuary and in Hellenistic time in effect the entire indigenous community of the city.

SE
Seleucid Era. The epoch from which the years were counted was "our" year 312/311. There are two variants: SEB and SEM. The first one is according to the Babylonian calendar (New Year in the Spring), the other one to the Macedonian one (New Year in the Autumn).

Winkelhaken
A sign resembling an angle bar or inverted L, which is made by pressing a stylus deep into the clay. 

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