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Oriental Institute News & Notes online

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  • Charles E. Jones
    The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News & Notes online are now online http://tinyurl.com/38ycltm -Chuck Jones- New York
    Message 1 of 9 , Apr 23, 2010
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      The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News & Notes
      online are now online
      http://tinyurl.com/38ycltm

      -Chuck Jones-
      New York
    • Tim Cashion
      Yay! This took so long that I was the supervising editor on the first three issues... besser spaet als niemals. T ________________________________ From:
      Message 2 of 9 , Apr 23, 2010
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        Yay!

        This took so long that I was the supervising editor on the first three issues... besser spaet als niemals.

        T




        ________________________________
        From: Charles E. Jones <cejo@...>
        To: ANE-2 <ANE-2@yahoogroups.com>; EEF <eef@...>
        Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 3:42:53 PM
        Subject: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes online


        The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News & Notes
        online are now online
        http://tinyurl. com/38ycltm

        -Chuck Jones-
        New York





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Peter T. Daniels
        Are they ever going to post the issues _I_ was the editor of -- from 1973 to 1976?  -- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net
        Message 3 of 9 , Apr 23, 2010
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          Are they ever going to post the issues _I_ was the editor of -- from 1973 to 1976?
           --
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...




          ________________________________
          From: Tim Cashion <timothy.mink@...>
          To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 4:51:22 PM
          Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes online

           
          Yay!

          This took so long that I was the supervising editor on the first three issues... besser spaet als niemals.

          T

          ____________ _________ _________ __
          From: Charles E. Jones <cejo@uchicago. edu>
          To: ANE-2 <ANE-2@yahoogroups. com>; EEF <eef@.... edu>
          Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 3:42:53 PM
          Subject: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes online

          The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News & Notes
          online are now online
          http://tinyurl. com/38ycltm

          -Chuck Jones-
          New York

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Charles E. Jones
          Since hardly anyone from there is visibly among the 1072 ANE-2 subscribers, you might direct your question to someone at http://oi.uchicago.edu/contact/ . I d
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 24, 2010
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            Since hardly anyone from there is visibly among the 1072 ANE-2
            subscribers, you might direct your question to someone at
            http://oi.uchicago.edu/contact/ . I'd suggest Gil Stein or
            Tom Urban.

            -Chuck Jones-
            ISAW - NYU

            ---- Original message ----
            >Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 15:15:05 -0700 (PDT)
            >From: "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
            >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes online
            >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            >
            >
            >
            > Are they ever going to post the issues _I_ was
            > the editor of -- from 1973 to 1976?
            >  --
            > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
            >
            > ________________________________
            > From: Tim Cashion <timothy.mink@...>
            > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 4:51:22 PM
            > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes
            > online
            >
            >  
            > Yay!
            >
            > This took so long that I was the supervising editor
            > on the first three issues... besser spaet als
            > niemals.
            >
            > T
            >
            > ____________ _________ _________ __
            > From: Charles E. Jones <cejo@uchicago. edu>
            > To: ANE-2 <ANE-2@yahoogroups. com>; EEF
            > <eef@.... edu>
            > Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 3:42:53 PM
            > Subject: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes
            > online
            >
            > The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News
            > & Notes
            > online are now online
            > http://tinyurl. com/38ycltm
            >
            > -Chuck Jones-
            > New York
          • Foy Scalf
            There is a plan to make all News and Notes available, but they first need to be scanned. It is in the works. Foy Scalf Sent from iPhone On Apr 24, 2010, at
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 24, 2010
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              There is a plan to make all News and Notes available, but they first
              need to be scanned. It is in the works.

              Foy Scalf

              Sent from iPhone

              On Apr 24, 2010, at 8:03 PM, "Charles E. Jones" <cejo@...>
              wrote:

              > Since hardly anyone from there is visibly among the 1072 ANE-2
              > subscribers, you might direct your question to someone at
              > http://oi.uchicago.edu/contact/ . I'd suggest Gil Stein or
              > Tom Urban.
              >
              > -Chuck Jones-
              > ISAW - NYU
              >
              > ---- Original message ----
              > >Date: Fri, 23 Apr 2010 15:15:05 -0700 (PDT)
              > >From: "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
              > >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes online
              > >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              > >
              > >
              > >
              > > Are they ever going to post the issues _I_ was
              > > the editor of -- from 1973 to 1976?
              > > --
              > > Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
              > >
              > > ________________________________
              > > From: Tim Cashion <timothy.mink@...>
              > > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
              > > Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 4:51:22 PM
              > > Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes
              > > online
              > >
              > >
              > > Yay!
              > >
              > > This took so long that I was the supervising editor
              > > on the first three issues... besser spaet als
              > > niemals.
              > >
              > > T
              > >
              > > ____________ _________ _________ __
              > > From: Charles E. Jones <cejo@uchicago. edu>
              > > To: ANE-2 <ANE-2@yahoogroups. com>; EEF
              > > <eef@.... edu>
              > > Sent: Fri, April 23, 2010 3:42:53 PM
              > > Subject: [ANE-2] Oriental Institute News & Notes
              > > online
              > >
              > > The most recent 34 issues of Oriental Institute News
              > > & Notes
              > > online are now online
              > > http://tinyurl. com/38ycltm
              > >
              > > -Chuck Jones-
              > > New York
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Rolf Furuli
              Dear colleagues, In the transliteration and translation of astronomical cuneiform tablets we often find guesses and circular reasonings. But the scholar who
              Message 6 of 9 , May 1, 2010
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                Dear colleagues,

                In the transliteration and translation of astronomical cuneiform
                tablets we often find guesses and circular reasonings. But the
                scholar who scrutinizes a tablet in order to make a transliteration,
                usually faithfully tries to transliterate all the signs that he or
                she sees.

                BM 41536 is believed to list lunar eclipses and is applied to year 42
                of Nebuchadnezzar II. I was very surprised when I compared the
                transliteration and translation in H. Hunger et al. 2001.
                "Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia" V, I pp. 30,
                31 with the drawing of the tablet in A. J, Sachs. 1955. "Late
                Babylonian Astronomical and Related Texts Copied by T. G. Pinches and
                J. N. Strassmaier," p. 223. I have not collated the tablet, but I
                assume that the beautiful hand of Pinches or Strassmaier faithfully
                reproduces all the signs they saw on the tablet.

                I found that of the 31 clear signs (I count each number as one sign),
                8 (26%) were not transliterated. If these 8 signs are taken into
                account, the interpretation of the tablet could be very different
                from the one given by Hunger et al. So it seems to me that the
                authors are misleading their readers. Because the authors are highly
                qualified scholars who are experts on astronomical tablets, this
                situation is strange indeed. So I would like to hear the opinion of
                other list members regarding this situation.


                Best regards,

                Rolf Furuli Ph.D
                University of Oslo
              • hermannhunger
                Dear colleagues, there are not so many transliterations and translations of stronomical cunei9form tablets available in print. I therefore would like a more
                Message 7 of 9 , May 20, 2010
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                  Dear colleagues,

                  there are not so many "transliterations and translations of stronomical cunei9form tablets" available in print. I therefore would like a more precise information on "we often find guesses and circular reasoning". What is "often"? Are 10% of the transliterations guesses? Which translations contain "circular reasoning"?

                  As for BM 41536, the copy by Pinches can be compared to the photo published by me in the work quoted by Dr. Furuli. As usual, Pinches' copy is very good.
                  In my translteration, there are 6 signs marked by "x" which are broken so that I could not read them. I counted the signs on the copy but I did not arrive at 31, which is probably not important. I do not see which "8 clear signs" I did not transliterate.
                  If I happen to read another scholar's transliteration and come to the conclusion that there are errors in it that are important enough to be corrected, I publish the corrections in an appropriate medium, e.g. on ANE-2 or in a journal. I do not insinuate that a colleague is "misleading their readers", but rather say what I think is the correct reading, interpretation etc.

                  So I expect to hear from Dr. Furuli what is wrong in my transliteration and translation, and what he thinks is correct.

                  Hermann Hunger




                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Rolf Furuli <furuli@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Dear colleagues,
                  >
                  > In the transliteration and translation of astronomical cuneiform
                  > tablets we often find guesses and circular reasonings. But the
                  > scholar who scrutinizes a tablet in order to make a transliteration,
                  > usually faithfully tries to transliterate all the signs that he or
                  > she sees.
                  >
                  > BM 41536 is believed to list lunar eclipses and is applied to year 42
                  > of Nebuchadnezzar II. I was very surprised when I compared the
                  > transliteration and translation in H. Hunger et al. 2001.
                  > "Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia" V, I pp. 30,
                  > 31 with the drawing of the tablet in A. J, Sachs. 1955. "Late
                  > Babylonian Astronomical and Related Texts Copied by T. G. Pinches and
                  > J. N. Strassmaier," p. 223. I have not collated the tablet, but I
                  > assume that the beautiful hand of Pinches or Strassmaier faithfully
                  > reproduces all the signs they saw on the tablet.
                  >
                  > I found that of the 31 clear signs (I count each number as one sign),
                  > 8 (26%) were not transliterated. If these 8 signs are taken into
                  > account, the interpretation of the tablet could be very different
                  > from the one given by Hunger et al. So it seems to me that the
                  > authors are misleading their readers. Because the authors are highly
                  > qualified scholars who are experts on astronomical tablets, this
                  > situation is strange indeed. So I would like to hear the opinion of
                  > other list members regarding this situation.
                  >
                  >
                  > Best regards,
                  >
                  > Rolf Furuli Ph.D
                  > University of Oslo
                  >
                • Gracie Callier
                  Dear colleagues, Hermann Hunger noted below regarding corrections: If I happen to read another scholar s transliteration and come to the conclusion that
                  Message 8 of 9 , May 25, 2010
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                    Dear colleagues,

                    Hermann Hunger noted below regarding corrections:

                    "If I happen to read another scholar's transliteration and come to the conclusion that there are errors in it that are important enough to be corrected, I publish the corrections in an appropriate medium, e.g. on ANE-2 or in a journal. I do not insinuate that a colleague is "misleading their readers", but rather say what I think is the correct reading, interpretation etc."

                    This is a very good news and reflects the inevitable refinements and corrections we make as closer looks and better resources are available, such as electronic astronomical programs that afford easy and more accurate comparisons of the ancient skies.  However, there was clearly an error made by Sachs/Hunger in their translation/interpretation of a blank found in Line 18 of the VAT4956.  The context of this Line 18 is the 15th of Sivan, the same date as an eclipse.  Sachs/Hunger render that line as follows with the presumed missing text noted in brackets:

                    LINE 18:  "[the moon was be]low the bright star at the end of the [Lion's foot]"

                    The part of the text that was broken off does not give the planet or moon that would have been in this position around the 15th.  Of note, two previous lines in this text give the lunar position in both Libra and Scorpio:

                    Line 15 notes "Night of the 8th, first part of the night. The moon stood 2.5 cubits below beta-Librae".

                    Line 16 notes "Night of the 10th, first part of the night. The moon was balanced 3.5 cubits above Scorpii"

                    Line 17 introduces an eclipse on the 15th of Sivan then continues with a planet that is "below" the "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot" in Line 18.   But the actual planet is not noted, that part of the text being missing; only that on this date it was "sap" (immediately BELOW) the "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot" (BSELF)(MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A).  But here Sachs/Hunger inserted the "Moon" as being in this position on this date without noting any "error."  This is incorrect for 2 reasons:

                    1.  As noted in Line 14, when the moon was actually in Virgo on the 5th, it was actually ABOVE the BSELF.  Sachs/Hunger assign the BSELF to eta-Virginis.

                    Line 14: "Night of the 5th, beginning of the night.  The moon passed towards the east 1 cubit (above:below) the bright star of the end of the Lion's foot." 

                    If you check an astronomy program for this date, you'll see that the moon is about 1 cubit past eta-Virginis but also above it.  Thus during this month, the moon passed by ABOVE both beta-Virginis and eta-Virginis, two bright stars that follow each other in Virgo.  So even on the 5th while the moon was actually in Virgo, it never would have been "sap" or "below" the BSELF which Sachs/Hunger have assigned to eta-Virginis, noting no mismatch for Line 14.

                    See some of the astronomy graphics here for the VAT4956:
                    http://adamoh.org/TreeOfLife.wan.io/OTCh/VAT4956/VAT4956ATranscriptionOfItsTranslationAndComments.htm

                    So that is problem #1 here.  The moon specifically was never "below" eta-Virginis or beta-Virginis as the text describes.  That is clue #1 this could not be a reference to the moon.

                    2.  The second problem, of course, is that the moon had long left out of Virgo by the 15th.  Even on the 5th it was 1 cubit past eta-Virginis (BSELF) and already in Libra on the 8th and Scropio on the 10th.  It is now the 15th! The moon was now in Capricorn.  Sachs/Hunger would have known the moon was in Capricorn on this date had they observed the location of the eclipse event this date from Line 17.

                    So how is it that Sachs/Hunger thought this was a reference to the moon on the 15th of this month and that it was BELOW instead of above eta-Virginis? 

                    Further, in Line 3, when the moon was noted to be out of position in regards to being 1 cubit in front of the "Rear Foot of the Lion" (GIR ar sa UR-A) which Sachs/Hunger assign to beta-Virginis, they note "an error for the 8th" when the text gives that lunar position for the 9th. Therefore, one wonders, even if they thought the moon had regressed by 10 days back into Virgo why there was no note this was a 10-day "error"?  Not to mention the incorrect position noted as being below rather than above eta-Virginis? Without a note of any "error" the presumption is that this is the astronomically correct position for the moon for this date and that the missing text is correct for the moon; which, of course, it is not.

                    Having noted this, though, there is still the issue as to whether this is a spurious reference or not for the 15th.  That is, if the moon clearly is the incorrect choice here, then is this a legitimate position for some other planet?  Well, if you look up the 15th of Sivan for 568 BCE, you will note that the planet Venus is immediately *below* ("sap"=immediately below) beta-Virginis on the 15th.  Thus Venus is clearly in reference here and the obvious match. 

                    So the questions for Sachs/Hunger are:

                    1.  How could they have missed such an obvious application of the Planet Venus here for Line 18?

                    2.  If they truly believed that the BSELF (MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A) indeed was eta-Virginis and not beta-Virginis, then why not note an error for the planet Venus for the 15th by a few days as they noted in Line 3 for the moon?  That is, if Venus didn't work out for eta-Virginis only a few days in error, then why presume the moon here, which was some 10 days in error?  And again, why not note of an error for either Venus or the Moon here.  As noted, making no note of an error would mislead readers into thinking the moon was correctly positioned here, in case they didn't notice the impossibility of the moon being here either on this date or "below" eta-Virginis (or beta-Virginis).

                    3. And finally, having noted this error, in what scholarly journal or discussion board post did Sachs/Hunger ever officially correct this error? Reference please.

                    THE CORRECTION:

                    The actual correction would involve three lines.  Lines 3, 14 and 18.  That's because if Line 18 is correct in identifying Venus being immediately below ("sap") the "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot" then Line 18 confirms that the BSELF is none other than beta-Virginis and not eta-Virgins as Sachs/Hunger assign (note Line 14 position for the BSELF is eta-Virgins).   So correction #1 would be assigning Venus to the blank in Line 18.

                    Correction #2 would be assigning the BSELF not to eta-Virginis but to beta-Virginis.  The BSELF occurs in Lines 14 and 18.  Therefore Line 14 needs to be corrected from eta-Virginis to beta-Virginis and an error of 1 day noted rather than a match. That is, the Moon is said to be 1 cubit behind eta-Virginis on the 5th, which it is, but should have been 1 cubit behind beta-Virginis, which is an error of about 1 day, just as in Line 3.  This error of 1 day had already been noted by another professor, P.V. Neugebauer, for Line 14; however, Neugebauer presumed that the BSELF was actually a reference to beta-Virginis rather than eta-Virginis. Neugebaur, of course, was correct in making that star assignment. So Correction #2 would be an error of 1 day for Line 14 when the BSELF is corrected from eta-Virginis to beta-Virginis.

                    Finally Correction #3 would be Line 3 where the "Rear Foot of the Lion" (GIR ar sa UR-A) is assigned by Sachs/Hunger to beta-Virginis.  Since Venus below the BSELF on the 15th confirms the BSELF is none other than beta-Virginis and not eta-Virginis, then that means the "Rear Foot of the Line" in Line 3 must be the star in front of the BSELF, thus sigma-Leonis.  Of course, sigma-Leonis does actually make up the Rear Foot of Leo!  So that is a perfectly accurate generic reference "the Rear Foot Of the Lion."   In fact, what is akward, now that we are looking at it, is that beta-Virginis would ever be considered the Rear Foot of the Lion since beta-Virginis is not actually in Leo. The "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot" or a better translation for "TIL" being "behind" and thus the "bright star BEHIND the Lion's Foot" is a perfect generic description of beta-Virginis which follows behind sigma-Leonis, the star that actually makes up the Rear
                    Foot of Leo.  

                    In summary, there are three obvious errors that need to be corrected in the VAT4956 by Sachs/Hunger. For one, the moon in no way around the 15th of Sivan was still Virgo, and was never "below" either beta-Virginis or eta-Virginis even when it was in Virgo around the 5th. 

                    Second, clearly this reference matches the position of Venus for this date which should be corrected.

                    However, if this is presumed to be a correct match for Venus on the 15th, then the BSELF is a misassignment by Sachs/Hunger for eta-Virginis for this entire text. The BSELF (MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A) should be assigned to beta-Virginis rather than eta-Virginis. The BSELF is referenced in Line 14 where the moon is noted to be 1 cubit behind and above eta-Virginis and thus no "error" is noted for Line 14 by Sachs/Hunger, though P.V. Neugebauer notes an error of 1 day when he correctly assigns that star to beta-Virginis.  So an "error of 1 day" would be the correction for Line 14 when the BSELF becomes beta-Virginis rather than eta-Virginis.

                    Finally, if we assign the BSELF in Lines 14 and 18 to beta-Virginis, which we must, then Line 3's reference to beta-Virginis as the "Rear Foot of the Lion"(GIR ar sa UR-A) by Sachs/Hunger is incorrect and needs to be corrected to sigma-Leonis, which literally makes up rear foot of Leo.

                    These transliterations were published years ago and thus plenty of time has passed by to note this error, which some have.  So I would like to know from Professor Hunger in which journals did he make an attempt to formally correct Line 18, and respectively also Lines 14 and 3?  Or if he hasn't actually corrected it yet, does he actually intend to do so now when an obvious error or improvement is noted?

                    Thank you, Professor Hunger, for your reply.  But just out of curiously, if you wish, could you please explain why you and Sachs choose the "moon" rather than Venus for application to Line 18?  Also, why didn't you note an "error of 10 days" for the moon in this position since you noted an 'error' of 1 day for the moon in Line 3?

                    If you have formally corrected this, please provide the reference for that correction for us.  If not, how soon would you be planning a formal correction of Lines 3, 14 and 18, and in which scholarly journals?

                    Regards,


                    L. Lynn (Callier) Wilson
                    Independent Biblical Chronologist
                    Texas, USA




                    ________________________________
                    From: hermannhunger <hermann.hunger@...>
                    To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                    Sent: Thu, May 20, 2010 9:20:39 AM
                    Subject: [ANE-2] Re: BM 41536 (LBAT 1421)

                     
                    Dear colleagues and Prof. Hunger,
                    there are not so many "transliterations and translations of stronomical cunei9form tablets" available in print. I therefore would like a more precise information on "we often find guesses and circular reasoning". What is "often"? Are 10% of the transliterations guesses? Which translations contain "circular reasoning"?

                    As for BM 41536, the copy by Pinches can be compared to the photo published by me in the work quoted by Dr. Furuli. As usual, Pinches' copy is very good.
                    In my translteration, there are 6 signs marked by "x" which are broken so that I could not read them. I counted the signs on the copy but I did not arrive at 31, which is probably not important. I do not see which "8 clear signs" I did not transliterate.
                    If I happen to read another scholar's transliteration and come to the conclusion that there are errors in it that are important enough to be corrected, I publish the corrections in an appropriate medium, e.g. on ANE-2 or in a journal. I do not insinuate that a colleague is "misleading their readers", but rather say what I think is the correct reading, interpretation etc.

                    So I expect to hear from Dr. Furuli what is wrong in my transliteration and translation, and what he thinks is correct.

                    Hermann Hunger

                    --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Rolf Furuli <furuli@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Dear colleagues,
                    >
                    > In the transliteration and translation of astronomical cuneiform
                    > tablets we often find guesses and circular reasonings. But the
                    > scholar who scrutinizes a tablet in order to make a transliteration,
                    > usually faithfully tries to transliterate all the signs that he or
                    > she sees.
                    >
                    > BM 41536 is believed to list lunar eclipses and is applied to year 42
                    > of Nebuchadnezzar II. I was very surprised when I compared the
                    > transliteration and translation in H. Hunger et al. 2001.
                    > "Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia" V, I pp. 30,
                    > 31 with the drawing of the tablet in A. J, Sachs. 1955. "Late
                    > Babylonian Astronomical and Related Texts Copied by T. G. Pinches and
                    > J. N. Strassmaier," p. 223. I have not collated the tablet, but I
                    > assume that the beautiful hand of Pinches or Strassmaier faithfully
                    > reproduces all the signs they saw on the tablet.
                    >
                    > I found that of the 31 clear signs (I count each number as one sign),
                    > 8 (26%) were not transliterated. If these 8 signs are taken into
                    > account, the interpretation of the tablet could be very different
                    > from the one given by Hunger et al. So it seems to me that the
                    > authors are misleading their readers. Because the authors are highly
                    > qualified scholars who are experts on astronomical tablets, this
                    > situation is strange indeed. So I would like to hear the opinion of
                    > other list members regarding this situation.
                    >
                    >
                    > Best regards,
                    >
                    > Rolf Furuli Ph.D
                    > University of Oslo
                    >







                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Hermann Hunger
                    I may first note that, as is obvious from the book s preface, Sachs was dead at the time of publication. In the translation of VAT 4956 obv. 18, the moon is
                    Message 9 of 9 , May 26, 2010
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                      I may first note that, as is obvious from the book's preface, Sachs was
                      dead at the time of publication.

                      In the translation of VAT 4956 obv. 18, "the moon" is a simple mistake -
                      as can be seen from the fact that it is not present in the
                      transliteration. I don't remember how I came to write it, but in any
                      case it is wrong, and I did not argue specifically anywhere that the
                      moon was meant. Had I checked it I would very likely have found the
                      error. I am very sorry for this mistake. Whenever someone pointed it out
                      to me I readily agreed to it.

                      It is clear from many other astronomical texts that "the rear foot of
                      the Lion" is beta Virginis. I therefore translated it as such in obv. 3.
                      To indicate that "the bright star at the end of the Lion's foot" may be
                      a different star, I did translate it literally and not propose an
                      identification.

                      I cannot find anywhere that I proposed an identification with eta Virginis.

                      If I was unable or hesitant to propose an identification for a star
                      named in the text, everyone is welcome to propose one.
                      This is what I meant by "to publish the corrections in an appropriate
                      medium".

                      "3. And finally, having noted this error, in what scholarly journal or
                      discussion board post did Sachs/Hunger ever officially correct this
                      error? Reference please." is the style in which a prosecutor addresses
                      the accused.

                      To remain in the comparison, I confess to be guilty only of erroneously
                      restoring "the moon" in obv. 18 where I should have left it blank.

                      Hermann Hunger
                      Vienna


                      Gracie Callier schrieb:
                      > Dear colleagues,
                      >
                      > Hermann Hunger noted below regarding corrections:
                      >
                      > "If I happen to read another scholar's transliteration and come to the
                      > conclusion that there are errors in it that are important enough to be
                      > corrected, I publish the corrections in an appropriate medium, e.g. on
                      > ANE-2 or in a journal. I do not insinuate that a colleague is
                      > "misleading their readers", but rather say what I think is the correct
                      > reading, interpretation etc."
                      >
                      > This is a very good news and reflects the inevitable refinements and
                      > corrections we make as closer looks and better resources are
                      > available, such as electronic astronomical programs that afford easy
                      > and more accurate comparisons of the ancient skies. However, there
                      > was clearly an error made by Sachs/Hunger in their
                      > translation/interpretation of a blank found in Line 18 of the
                      > VAT4956. The context of this Line 18 is the 15th of Sivan, the same
                      > date as an eclipse. Sachs/Hunger render that line as follows with the
                      > presumed missing text noted in brackets:
                      >
                      > LINE 18: "[the moon was be]low the bright star at the end of the
                      > [Lion's foot]"
                      >
                      > The part of the text that was broken off does not give the planet or
                      > moon that would have been in this position around the 15th. Of note,
                      > two previous lines in this text give the lunar position in both Libra
                      > and Scorpio:
                      >
                      > Line 15 notes "Night of the 8th, first part of the night. The moon
                      > stood 2.5 cubits below beta-Librae".
                      >
                      > Line 16 notes "Night of the 10th, first part of the night. The moon
                      > was balanced 3.5 cubits above Scorpii"
                      >
                      > Line 17 introduces an eclipse on the 15th of Sivan then continues with
                      > a planet that is "below" the "bright star at the end of the Lion's
                      > Foot" in Line 18. But the actual planet is not noted, that part of
                      > the text being missing; only that on this date it was "sap"
                      > (immediately BELOW) the "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot"
                      > (BSELF)(MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A). But here Sachs/Hunger inserted the
                      > "Moon" as being in this position on this date without noting any
                      > "error." This is incorrect for 2 reasons:
                      >
                      > 1. As noted in Line 14, when the moon was actually in Virgo on the
                      > 5th, it was actually ABOVE the BSELF. Sachs/Hunger assign the BSELF
                      > to eta-Virginis.
                      >
                      > Line 14: "Night of the 5th, beginning of the night. The moon passed
                      > towards the east 1 cubit (above:below) the bright star of the end of
                      > the Lion's foot."
                      >
                      > If you check an astronomy program for this date, you'll see that the
                      > moon is about 1 cubit past eta-Virginis but also above it. Thus
                      > during this month, the moon passed by ABOVE both beta-Virginis and
                      > eta-Virginis, two bright stars that follow each other in Virgo. So
                      > even on the 5th while the moon was actually in Virgo, it never would
                      > have been "sap" or "below" the BSELF which Sachs/Hunger have assigned
                      > to eta-Virginis, noting no mismatch for Line 14.
                      >
                      > See some of the astronomy graphics here for the VAT4956:
                      > http://adamoh.org/TreeOfLife.wan.io/OTCh/VAT4956/VAT4956ATranscriptionOfItsTranslationAndComments.htm
                      >
                      > So that is problem #1 here. The moon specifically was never "below"
                      > eta-Virginis or beta-Virginis as the text describes. That is clue #1
                      > this could not be a reference to the moon.
                      >
                      > 2. The second problem, of course, is that the moon had long left out
                      > of Virgo by the 15th. Even on the 5th it was 1 cubit past
                      > eta-Virginis (BSELF) and already in Libra on the 8th and Scropio on
                      > the 10th. It is now the 15th! The moon was now in Capricorn.
                      > Sachs/Hunger would have known the moon was in Capricorn on this date
                      > had they observed the location of the eclipse event this date from
                      > Line 17.
                      >
                      > So how is it that Sachs/Hunger thought this was a reference to the
                      > moon on the 15th of this month and that it was BELOW instead of above
                      > eta-Virginis?
                      >
                      > Further, in Line 3, when the moon was noted to be out of position in
                      > regards to being 1 cubit in front of the "Rear Foot of the Lion" (GIR
                      > ar sa UR-A) which Sachs/Hunger assign to beta-Virginis, they note "an
                      > error for the 8th" when the text gives that lunar position for the
                      > 9th. Therefore, one wonders, even if they thought the moon had
                      > regressed by 10 days back into Virgo why there was no note this was a
                      > 10-day "error"? Not to mention the incorrect position noted as being
                      > below rather than above eta-Virginis? Without a note of any "error"
                      > the presumption is that this is the astronomically correct position
                      > for the moon for this date and that the missing text is correct for
                      > the moon; which, of course, it is not.
                      >
                      > Having noted this, though, there is still the issue as to whether this
                      > is a spurious reference or not for the 15th. That is, if the moon
                      > clearly is the incorrect choice here, then is this a legitimate
                      > position for some other planet? Well, if you look up the 15th of
                      > Sivan for 568 BCE, you will note that the planet Venus is
                      > immediately *below* ("sap"=immediately below) beta-Virginis on the
                      > 15th. Thus Venus is clearly in reference here and the obvious match.
                      >
                      > So the questions for Sachs/Hunger are:
                      >
                      > 1. How could they have missed such an obvious application of the
                      > Planet Venus here for Line 18?
                      >
                      > 2. If they truly believed that the BSELF (MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A)
                      > indeed was eta-Virginis and not beta-Virginis, then why not note an
                      > error for the planet Venus for the 15th by a few days as they noted in
                      > Line 3 for the moon? That is, if Venus didn't work out for
                      > eta-Virginis only a few days in error, then why presume the moon here,
                      > which was some 10 days in error? And again, why not note of an error
                      > for either Venus or the Moon here. As noted, making no note of an
                      > error would mislead readers into thinking the moon was correctly
                      > positioned here, in case they didn't notice the impossibility of the
                      > moon being here either on this date or "below" eta-Virginis (or
                      > beta-Virginis).
                      >
                      > 3. And finally, having noted this error, in what scholarly journal or
                      > discussion board post did Sachs/Hunger ever officially correct this
                      > error? Reference please.
                      >
                      > THE CORRECTION:
                      >
                      > The actual correction would involve three lines. Lines 3, 14 and 18.
                      > That's because if Line 18 is correct in identifying Venus being
                      > immediately below ("sap") the "bright star at the end of the Lion's
                      > Foot" then Line 18 confirms that the BSELF is none other than
                      > beta-Virginis and not eta-Virgins as Sachs/Hunger assign (note Line 14
                      > position for the BSELF is eta-Virgins). So correction #1 would be
                      > assigning Venus to the blank in Line 18.
                      >
                      > Correction #2 would be assigning the BSELF not to eta-Virginis but to
                      > beta-Virginis. The BSELF occurs in Lines 14 and 18. Therefore Line
                      > 14 needs to be corrected from eta-Virginis to beta-Virginis and an
                      > error of 1 day noted rather than a match. That is, the Moon is said to
                      > be 1 cubit behind eta-Virginis on the 5th, which it is, but should
                      > have been 1 cubit behind beta-Virginis, which is an error of about 1
                      > day, just as in Line 3. This error of 1 day had already been noted by
                      > another professor, P.V. Neugebauer, for Line 14; however, Neugebauer
                      > presumed that the BSELF was actually a reference to beta-Virginis
                      > rather than eta-Virginis. Neugebaur, of course, was correct in making
                      > that star assignment. So Correction #2 would be an error of 1 day for
                      > Line 14 when the BSELF is corrected from eta-Virginis to beta-Virginis.
                      >
                      > Finally Correction #3 would be Line 3 where the "Rear Foot of the
                      > Lion" (GIR ar sa UR-A) is assigned by Sachs/Hunger to beta-Virginis.
                      > Since Venus below the BSELF on the 15th confirms the BSELF is none
                      > other than beta-Virginis and not eta-Virginis, then that means the
                      > "Rear Foot of the Line" in Line 3 must be the star in front of the
                      > BSELF, thus sigma-Leonis. Of course, sigma-Leonis does actually make
                      > up the Rear Foot of Leo! So that is a perfectly accurate generic
                      > reference "the Rear Foot Of the Lion." In fact, what is akward, now
                      > that we are looking at it, is that beta-Virginis would ever be
                      > considered the Rear Foot of the Lion since beta-Virginis is not
                      > actually in Leo. The "bright star at the end of the Lion's Foot" or a
                      > better translation for "TIL" being "behind" and thus the "bright star
                      > BEHIND the Lion's Foot" is a perfect generic description of
                      > beta-Virginis which follows behind sigma-Leonis, the star that
                      > actually makes up the Rear Foot of Leo.
                      >
                      > In summary, there are three obvious errors that need to be corrected
                      > in the VAT4956 by Sachs/Hunger. For one, the moon in no way around the
                      > 15th of Sivan was still Virgo, and was never "below" either
                      > beta-Virginis or eta-Virginis even when it was in Virgo around the 5th.
                      >
                      > Second, clearly this reference matches the position of Venus for this
                      > date which should be corrected.
                      >
                      > However, if this is presumed to be a correct match for Venus on the
                      > 15th, then the BSELF is a misassignment by Sachs/Hunger for
                      > eta-Virginis for this entire text. The BSELF (MUL KUR sa TIL GIR UR-A)
                      > should be assigned to beta-Virginis rather than eta-Virginis. The
                      > BSELF is referenced in Line 14 where the moon is noted to be 1 cubit
                      > behind and above eta-Virginis and thus no "error" is noted for Line 14
                      > by Sachs/Hunger, though P.V. Neugebauer notes an error of 1 day when
                      > he correctly assigns that star to beta-Virginis. So an "error of 1
                      > day" would be the correction for Line 14 when the BSELF becomes
                      > beta-Virginis rather than eta-Virginis.
                      >
                      > Finally, if we assign the BSELF in Lines 14 and 18 to beta-Virginis,
                      > which we must, then Line 3's reference to beta-Virginis as the "Rear
                      > Foot of the Lion"(GIR ar sa UR-A) by Sachs/Hunger is incorrect
                      > and needs to be corrected to sigma-Leonis, which literally makes
                      > up rear foot of Leo.
                      >
                      > These transliterations were published years ago and thus plenty of
                      > time has passed by to note this error, which some have. So I would
                      > like to know from Professor Hunger in which journals did he make an
                      > attempt to formally correct Line 18, and respectively also Lines 14
                      > and 3? Or if he hasn't actually corrected it yet, does he actually
                      > intend to do so now when an obvious error or improvement is noted?
                      >
                      > Thank you, Professor Hunger, for your reply. But just out of
                      > curiously, if you wish, could you please explain why you and
                      > Sachs choose the "moon" rather than Venus for application to Line 18?
                      > Also, why didn't you note an "error of 10 days" for the moon in this
                      > position since you noted an 'error' of 1 day for the moon in Line 3?
                      >
                      > If you have formally corrected this, please provide the reference for
                      > that correction for us. If not, how soon would you be planning a
                      > formal correction of Lines 3, 14 and 18, and in which scholarly journals?
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      >
                      >
                      > L. Lynn (Callier) Wilson
                      > Independent Biblical Chronologist
                      > Texas, USA
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > *From:* hermannhunger <hermann.hunger@...>
                      > *To:* ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                      > *Sent:* Thu, May 20, 2010 9:20:39 AM
                      > *Subject:* [ANE-2] Re: BM 41536 (LBAT 1421)
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > Dear colleagues and Prof. Hunger,
                      >
                      > there are not so many "transliterations and translations of
                      > stronomical cunei9form tablets" available in print. I therefore would
                      > like a more precise information on "we often find guesses and circular
                      > reasoning". What is "often"? Are 10% of the transliterations guesses?
                      > Which translations contain "circular reasoning"?
                      >
                      > As for BM 41536, the copy by Pinches can be compared to the photo
                      > published by me in the work quoted by Dr. Furuli. As usual, Pinches'
                      > copy is very good.
                      > In my translteration, there are 6 signs marked by "x" which are broken
                      > so that I could not read them. I counted the signs on the copy but I
                      > did not arrive at 31, which is probably not important. I do not see
                      > which "8 clear signs" I did not transliterate.
                      > If I happen to read another scholar's transliteration and come to the
                      > conclusion that there are errors in it that are important enough to be
                      > corrected, I publish the corrections in an appropriate medium, e.g. on
                      > ANE-2 or in a journal. I do not insinuate that a colleague is
                      > "misleading their readers", but rather say what I think is the correct
                      > reading, interpretation etc.
                      >
                      > So I expect to hear from Dr. Furuli what is wrong in my
                      > transliteration and translation, and what he thinks is correct.
                      >
                      > Hermann Hunger
                      >
                      > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com>, Rolf
                      > Furuli <furuli@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > Dear colleagues,
                      > >
                      > > In the transliteration and translation of astronomical cuneiform
                      > > tablets we often find guesses and circular reasonings. But the
                      > > scholar who scrutinizes a tablet in order to make a transliteration,
                      > > usually faithfully tries to transliterate all the signs that he or
                      > > she sees.
                      > >
                      > > BM 41536 is believed to list lunar eclipses and is applied to year 42
                      > > of Nebuchadnezzar II. I was very surprised when I compared the
                      > > transliteration and translation in H. Hunger et al. 2001.
                      > > "Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia" V, I pp. 30,
                      > > 31 with the drawing of the tablet in A. J, Sachs. 1955. "Late
                      > > Babylonian Astronomical and Related Texts Copied by T. G. Pinches and
                      > > J. N. Strassmaier," p. 223. I have not collated the tablet, but I
                      > > assume that the beautiful hand of Pinches or Strassmaier faithfully
                      > > reproduces all the signs they saw on the tablet.
                      > >
                      > > I found that of the 31 clear signs (I count each number as one sign),
                      > > 8 (26%) were not transliterated. If these 8 signs are taken into
                      > > account, the interpretation of the tablet could be very different
                      > > from the one given by Hunger et al. So it seems to me that the
                      > > authors are misleading their readers. Because the authors are highly
                      > > qualified scholars who are experts on astronomical tablets, this
                      > > situation is strange indeed. So I would like to hear the opinion of
                      > > other list members regarding this situation.
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > Best regards,
                      > >
                      > > Rolf Furuli Ph.D
                      > > University of Oslo
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >


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