The Senders of the Reports

There are 14 Assyrian and 30 Babylonian scholars whose names appear as senders in the Reports (not counting broken names which cannot be restored). The number of Babylonians may have to be reduced if it turns out that Ṭabiya is identical with Ṭab-ṣilli-Marduk,[[33]] or that two of the three persons called Rašil are only one.

From some of the scholars who appear as senders of Reports we have also letters. The following scribes are documented by letters:

Assyrians: Adad-šsumu-uṣur, Akkullanu, Balasî, Issar-šumu-ereš, Nabûʾa, Nabû-ahhe-eriba, Urad-Ea.

Babylonians: Ahhešâ, Aplaya, Ašsaredu, Bel-naṣir, Bel-ušezib, Munnabitu, Nabû-iqbi, Nergal-eṭir, Rašil, Šuma-iddin, Zakir.

While there are many letters from the Assyrian scribes listed above, only a few by their Babylonian colleagues have been preserved.[[35]] and even these do rarely refer to celestial observations. The orthographic or other distinctive features of the Assyrian scribes were listed in LAS II Appendix M5 and M6. The Reports agree with these features as far as they are written in the NA dialect; the quotations from Enūma Anu Enlil are in SB and therefore written in a traditional orthography which has little room for scribal peculiarities.

The letters provide welcome illustration for the Reports. In the letters, omens are explained and actions proposed; the Reports usually just state the bare omens, sometimes with a few words on reading or interpretation. The relation between the king and his scholars, as it was described in LAS II p. XIVff, could not have been found from the Reports alone.

33 As proposed by A. L. Oppenheim, Centaurus 14 103.

35 With the exception of Bel-ušezib, see M. Dietrich, WO 4 233ff. and G. Lanfranchi, SAAB 3 (1989) 99-114.

Hermann Hunger

Hermann Hunger, 'The Senders of the Reports', Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings, SAA 8. Original publication: Helsinki, Helsinki University Press, 1992; online contents: SAAo/SAA08 Project, a sub-project of MOCCI, 2020 []

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