Sumerian term amar.KUD
- 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.
Texas A&M University - Commerce
From: richfaussette <RFaussette@...>
Sent: Wednesday, February 8, 2012 5:24 PM
Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Sumerian term amar.KUD
--- In ANEfirstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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