Monday, January 29, 2007

Akkadian Gift

A while back I blogged about a coffee mug Eisenbrauns was offering around the time of last Fall's AAR/SBL Annual Meeting. My Akkadian professor was kind enough to acquire enough of these mugs for my whole class! A very cool surprise (well, for an Akkadian nerd anyway!)The text is the first two lines of Enuma Eliš, the traditional Babylonian creation story.

e-nu-ma e-liš la na-bu-ú šá-ma-mu
šap-liš am-ma-tum šu-ma la zak-rat

"When on high no name was given to heaven,
nor below was the netherworld called by name..."
The smaller insription, which is just above "" reads:
LÚ.DAM.GÀR kib-rat erbe-tim

"Merchants of the four corners [of the Earth]"
The--extremely esoteric--joke being that "of the four corners" was a common epithet of the Neo-Assyrian kings!


jps said...

Glad you like it. We figured only Assyriologists would get the joke.


The background image on this page is a Hebrew translation of the verse from Bob Dylan's song  It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding), from which the title of this blog is taken. Translation courtesy of Yoram Aharon of Hod-HaSharon's page--found via YudelLine-- which has many Dylan lyrics in Hebrew.