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An Akkadian term (epinne)

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  • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
    In George G. Cameron, “The Annals of Shalmanezer III, King of Assyria,” Sumer 6 (1950), 6-26, Cameron translates the 16 Year Annal lines 4.45-46 as
    Message 1 of 3 , Feb 10, 2011
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      In George G. Cameron, “The Annals of Shalmanezer III, King of Assyria,”
      Sumer 6 (1950), 6-26, Cameron translates the 16 Year Annal lines 4.45-46
      as follows: “I set up plows (epinnē [GIŠ.APIN.MEŠ]) throughout the extent
      of my land (with the result that) I made more abundant (and) stored up
      more grain and straw than (ever) before.” The meaning of the Akkadian term in
      parentheses is somewhat disputed. It is elsewhere interpreted as
      "irrigation facilities" by Weidner. In The Descent of Ishtar it is used in parallel
      with habattu (pot or amphora) ("The water-works of the city shall be thy
      food; the pots of the city shall be thy drink"). In light of the creation of
      store-cities with barley and straw by Ashurnasirpal II, I wonder if epinnē
      might conceivably be connected with the idea of storage (cf. habattu) or
      store city, which seems to me a better match with the subject matter in
      Shalmaneser's annals. Is this within the realm of possibility? Are there texts
      where the meaning of this term is relatively unambiguous?

      Thanks,
      Russell Gmirkin
      Portland, Oregon


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    • Robert M Whiting
      ... This is a fairly common topos in Assyrian royal inscription. See CAD E, p. 236 s.v. epinnu 1. 5 for further examples. In the example cited for
      Message 2 of 3 , Feb 11, 2011
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        On Thu, 10 Feb 2011, RUSSELLGMIRKIN@... wrote:

        > In George G. Cameron, "The Annals of Shalmanezer III, King of Assyria,"
        > Sumer 6 (1950), 6-26, Cameron translates the 16 Year Annal lines 4.45-46
        > as follows: "I set up plows (epinne [GI&.APIN.ME&]) throughout the
        > extent of my land (with the result that) I made more abundant (and)
        > stored up more grain and straw than (ever) before." The meaning of the
        > Akkadian term in parentheses is somewhat disputed. It is elsewhere
        > interpreted as "irrigation facilities" by Weidner.

        This is a fairly common topos in Assyrian royal inscription. See CAD E,
        p. 236 s.v. epinnu 1. 5' for further examples. In the example cited for
        Tiglath-Pileser I, the verb associated with epinne is the shin stem of
        raka:su "to bind, tie up", which doesn't particularly go with the idea of
        a storage facility. It could be translated as "I had plows hitched up all
        over Assyria ...". The idea behind the topos is presumably that more land
        was brought under cultivation. Assyria is not Babylonia where agriculture
        is dependent on irrigation, so the idea of "irrigation facilites" doesn't
        really hold water.

        > In The Descent of Ishtar it is used in parallel with habattu (pot or
        > amphora) ("The water-works of the city shall be thy food; the pots of
        > the city shall be thy drink"). In light of the creation of store-cities
        > with barley and straw by Ashurnasirpal II, I wonder if epinn? might
        > conceivably be connected with the idea of storage (cf. habattu) or
        > store city, which seems to me a better match with the subject matter in
        > Shalmaneser's annals. Is this within the realm of possibility? Are
        > there texts where the meaning of this term is relatively unambiguous?

        First, the word in Ishtar's Descent is habannatu, not habattu (if the form
        were habattu, the construct would be *habnat, not habannat, by normal
        rules of Akkadian phonotactics). See CAD H, p. 7 s.v.

        Second, the idea of "pot or amphora" is too specific. "A container" is
        about as far as one can go on the available evidence. The occurrence in
        Ishtar's Descent is part of a curse so one can expect that the habannatu
        of the city is something fairly unpleasant.

        Third, I don't see that the translation "The water-works of the city shall
        be thy food" is an improvement.

        For the most recent discussion of the occurrence in Ishtar's Descent, see
        SAACT 6 (http://www.helsinki.fi/science/saa/saact-06.html), pp. 84-85 ad
        lines 100-108, with reference to earlier discussions and interpretations.

        Bob Whiting
        whiting@...
      • RUSSELLGMIRKIN@aol.com
        Bob Whiting, Thanks very much for your analysis and references. I m so happy I don t have to master Akkadian to satisfy my curiosity on this point. ... doesn t
        Message 3 of 3 , Feb 12, 2011
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          Bob Whiting,

          Thanks very much for your analysis and references. I'm so happy I don't
          have to master Akkadian to satisfy my curiosity on this point.

          > Assyria is not Babylonia where agriculture
          > is dependent on irrigation, so the idea of "irrigation facilities"
          doesn't
          > really hold water.



          Nicely phrased, if intended.

          Best regards,
          Russell Gmirkin
          Portland, Oregon







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