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Sumerian term amar.KUD

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  • Trudy Kawami
    While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that it meant a
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 7, 2012
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      While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that it meant a (castrated) ox, equid or human being. The source was given as K. Maekewa, "Animal and Human Castration in Sumer. Part II: Human Castration in the Ur III Period." ZINBUN 16 (1980), Kyoto University, pp. 1-55. Times change & ideas develop, so I wonder if this identification was still accepted. I can see how amar.KUD might mean an(young) ox, but how it could be applied to an equid (anshe) probably a donkey, let alone a human being puzzles me.

      Trudy S. Kawami,
      Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
      New York, NY 10022



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Max Dashu
      I d say slavery, chatteldom, with or without formalized eunuch roles, but those would be something to consider in that timeframe. I don t know if evidence
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 7, 2012
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        I'd say slavery, chatteldom, with or without formalized eunuch roles, but those would be something to consider in that timeframe. I don't know if evidence exists for that in Sumerian/Akkadian/Babylonian contexts, or for something like religious or third-gender self-castration in (later) western Anatolian contexts.

        Castration is a known pattern in some slaveholding societies, related to genital infibulation (of males as well as females) in Roman empire for purposes of sexual and reproductive control. Castration of captives for the slave market was later practiced in Europe (especially Slavs castrated at Verdun and sent to Spain and points south) and North Africa, but in those cases a market demand for eunuchs is visible and documented.

        Max

        > While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that it meant a (castrated) ox, equid or human being. The source was given as K. Maekewa, "Animal and Human Castration in Sumer. Part II: Human Castration in the Ur III Period." ZINBUN 16 (1980), Kyoto University, pp. 1-55. Times change & ideas develop, so I wonder if this identification was still accepted. I can see how amar.KUD might mean an(young) ox, but how it could be applied to an equid (anshe) probably a donkey, let alone a human being puzzles me.
        >
        > Trudy S. Kawami,
        > Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
        > New York, NY 10022
        >
        >

        Max Dashu
        Suppressed Histories Archives
        http://www.suppressedhistories.net

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Giuseppe Del Monte
        The qualification is brought out by the sign KUD. If interpreted as Sumerian ku(d) to cut , then we have an amar-kud, a castrated young bovide, a ma$2-kud,
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 8, 2012
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          The qualification is brought out by the sign KUD. If interpreted as
          Sumerian ku(d) "to cut", then we have an amar-kud, a castrated young
          bovide, a ma$2-kud, a castrated capride, and so on theoretically (but I
          know only of amar-kud and ma$2-kud). Besides, amar is a young bovide, but
          also a "foal", or a "kid" in the sense of a young animal (see CAD B p. 342
          s.v. buru A, CAD A p. 497 s.v. atmu), and metonymically applied also (per
          Maekawa) to young men in Ur III times.. The pertinent study is the first of
          three articles by Kazuya Maekawa: "Animal and human castration in Sumer,
          Part I: Cattle and equids in pre-Sargonic times", in: Zinbun 15, 1979, pp.
          95-137, expanded in Part II, and again in "Animal Castration in Sumer. Part
          III: More texts of Ur III Lagash on the term amar-KUD", in Zinbun 18, 1982,
          pp. 95-121. Kilian Butz objected to this interpretation in a footnote to a
          study (that has nothing to do with animal husbandry): "On Salt Again...
          Lexikalische Randbemerkungen, in: Journal of the Economic and Social
          History of the Orient 27, 1984 (pp. 272-316), p. 293f. note 90: retracing
          the history of the sign Kilian concluded that it has nothing to do with
          "castration" and with Sumerian kud, but denotes a young animal or man "noch
          nicht geschlechtsreif", "noch nicht zur Zucht verwendbar, zu jung", "die
          pubertären Kinder" etc. I'm not aware of developments on the topic after
          the nineties of the past century, when I had the opportunity to study the
          sign editing a Hittite magic ritual ("Un rituale contro la peste", in:
          Egitto e Vicino Oriente 18, 1995, pp. 173-182).

          Giuseppe Del Monte

          At 22.51 07/02/2012, you wrote:
          >While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came
          >across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that
          >it meant a (castrated) ox, equid or human being. The source was given as
          >K. Maekewa, "Animal and Human Castration in Sumer. Part II: Human
          >Castration in the Ur III Period." ZINBUN 16 (1980), Kyoto University, pp.
          >1-55. Times change & ideas develop, so I wonder if this identification
          >was still accepted. I can see how amar.KUD might mean an(young) ox, but
          >how it could be applied to an equid (anshe) probably a donkey, let alone a
          >human being puzzles me.
          >
          >Trudy S. Kawami,
          >Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
          >New York, NY 10022




          Prof. Giuseppe del Monte
          Professore Ordinario di
          Storia del Vicino Oriente antico
          Dpt. Scienze storiche del mondo antico
          Università di Pisa
          via Galvani 1 - I-56100 Pisa
          Fax 39-050-500668 - E-mail <gdelmonte@...>



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        • richfaussette
          ... They are all domesticated animals. The ox and the equid certainly - and men also when you consider the Persian domestication of the Ionians recorded in
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 8, 2012
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            --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...> wrote:
            >
            > While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that it meant a (castrated) ox, equid or human being. The source was given as K. Maekewa, "Animal and Human Castration in Sumer. Part II: Human Castration in the Ur III Period." ZINBUN 16 (1980), Kyoto University, pp. 1-55. Times change & ideas develop, so I wonder if this identification was still accepted. I can see how amar.KUD might mean an(young) ox, but how it could be applied to an equid (anshe) probably a donkey, let alone a human being puzzles me.
            >
            > Trudy S. Kawami,
            > Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
            > New York, NY 10022



            They are all 'domesticated' animals.

            The ox and the equid certainly - and men also when you consider the Persian 'domestication' of the Ionians recorded in Herodotus:

            "Whenever the Persians took one of the islands, they `trawled' for the inhabitants. Trawling involves forming a chain of men with linked arms across the island from the northern coast to the southern coast, who then traverse the whole length of the island hunting people down…
            When they [the Persians] had conquered the settlements, they picked the best looking boys and castrated them, cutting off their testicles and turning them into eunuchs; they also took the most attractive girls and sent them to the king as slaves."

            From Herodotus, The Histories (Oxford University Press, 1998) Book 6:31-32, p.362

            The Persians then gave the Ionian land to others.

            They have removed the finest breeding stock. The remaining population will be more manageable - domestic.

            Herodotus also mentions less radical methods of domesticating a population. In the Histories, we also find Croesus persuading King Cyrus to spare the Lydians. Rather than kill them, Croesus suggests that Cyrus

            "Send a message that they are forbidden to own weapons of war, that they are to wear tunics under their coats and slippers on their feet, they are to take up the cithara and the harp, and that they are to raise their sons to be retailers. Before long, my lord, you will see them become women instead of men, and so there will be no danger of them rising up against you."
            Book 1:155, p.69

            Ox, equids and homo sapiens can all be domesticated.

            Regards,
            Rich Faussette
            NYC
          • Trudy Kawami
            My thanks to those who replied. I guess I should have phrased my question more carefully. I wanted to know if Maekawa s reading of amar (which always means
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 9, 2012
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              My thanks to those who replied. I guess I should have phrased my question more carefully. I wanted to know if Maekawa's reading of "amar" (which always means "calf") as meaning young equid or young human was accepted. As far as I can tell, as a Sumerian-illiterate art historian, the distinction between animals and humans in enumerations is pretty consistent. In other words, I am curious about the species identification, not the castration part.

              Trudy S. Kawami
              New York, NY



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Diana Gainer
              Halloran (2006, Sumerian Lexicon ) gives amar-kud (not capitalized) the meaning separated, weaned young animal from calf + to cut away from.   The
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 9, 2012
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                Halloran (2006, "Sumerian Lexicon") gives amar-kud (not capitalized) the meaning "separated, weaned young animal" from "calf" + "to cut away from."  The source words suggest castration rather than weaning, a literal meaning for kud/KUD rather than metaphorical.  Halloran also defines amar as "calf; young animal."  In English, each domestic animal has separate terminology for adult male, adult female, castrated male, and young animal (e.g., bull, cow, ox or steer, calf; ram, ewe, wether, lamb).  But when speaking of wild animals, we often use a term that normally refers to a very different domestic animal.  I have heard of adult female bears as sows, a word normally used of pigs.  Young wolves may be termed pups just as young dogs are, not much of a stretch, but this word also has been used for young seals.  If the Sumerians were very familiar with cattle, they would likely have had specialized vocabulary for this species.  But others domesticated
                later or just less common might be referred to with the specialized vocabulary that already existed for cattle, at least to begin with.  This is speculation, of course.  So is the notion that perhaps using a specialized animal term for humans was far more recent than the domestication of animals, due to the fact that humans weren't castrated regularly as early.
                 
                Diana Gainer
                Texas A&M University - Commerce
                Greenville, Texas


                ________________________________
                From: richfaussette <RFaussette@...>
                To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 5:24 PM
                Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Sumerian term amar.KUD



                 



                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...> wrote:
                >
                > While researching some aspects of animal husbandry in the ANE, I came across a 1994 reference to the Sumerian term amar.KUD which stated that it meant a (castrated) ox, equid or human being. The source was given as K. Maekewa, "Animal and Human Castration in Sumer. Part II: Human Castration in the Ur III Period." ZINBUN 16 (1980), Kyoto University, pp. 1-55. Times change & ideas develop, so I wonder if this identification was still accepted. I can see how amar.KUD might mean an(young) ox, but how it could be applied to an equid (anshe) probably a donkey, let alone a human being puzzles me.
                >
                > Trudy S. Kawami,
                > Arthur M. Sackler Foundation
                > New York, NY 10022

                They are all 'domesticated' animals.

                The ox and the equid certainly - and men also when you consider the Persian 'domestication' of the Ionians recorded in Herodotus:

                "Whenever the Persians took one of the islands, they `trawled' for the inhabitants. Trawling involves forming a chain of men with linked arms across the island from the northern coast to the southern coast, who then traverse the whole length of the island hunting people down…
                When they [the Persians] had conquered the settlements, they picked the best looking boys and castrated them, cutting off their testicles and turning them into eunuchs; they also took the most attractive girls and sent them to the king as slaves."

                From Herodotus, The Histories (Oxford University Press, 1998) Book 6:31-32, p.362

                The Persians then gave the Ionian land to others.

                They have removed the finest breeding stock. The remaining population will be more manageable - domestic.

                Herodotus also mentions less radical methods of domesticating a population. In the Histories, we also find Croesus persuading King Cyrus to spare the Lydians. Rather than kill them, Croesus suggests that Cyrus

                "Send a message that they are forbidden to own weapons of war, that they are to wear tunics under their coats and slippers on their feet, they are to take up the cithara and the harp, and that they are to raise their sons to be retailers. Before long, my lord, you will see them become women instead of men, and so there will be no danger of them rising up against you."
                Book 1:155, p.69

                Ox, equids and homo sapiens can all be domesticated.

                Regards,
                Rich Faussette
                NYC




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