Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Ebla's Thephoric "Yah"

Expand Messages
  • aj
    George ... If that were the case, George, don t you think that we d find some written evidence of the presence of Ea at Ebla? But we don t, we only find
    Message 1 of 11 , Feb 1, 2010
    • 0 Attachment
      George

      > The Akkadians rose to power in Sumeria as early as 2300 BCE!!! - - which provides adequately, if not robustly, for contact with the Akkadian cult of EA as an equivalent to Enki.

      If that were the case, George, don't you think that we'd find some written evidence of the presence of Ea at Ebla? But we don't, we only find written evidence for his Sumerian form Enki. And whilst it may be true that Enki and Ea were essentially he same deity, the name clearly isn't, and Eblaite ia can't have evolved from Sumerian Enki.

      aj
    • historynow2002
      AJ, Since the Sargonid [Akkadian] empire conquered Ebla, we can be sure that the scribes of Ebla were acquainted with Ea, and for most of Ebla s history. So
      Message 2 of 11 , Feb 1, 2010
      • 0 Attachment
        AJ,

        Since the Sargonid [Akkadian] empire conquered Ebla, we can be sure that the scribes of Ebla were acquainted with Ea, and for most of Ebla's history.

        So the question becomes whether or not we think Ebla's scribes were happy to refer to Ea with their traditional term of Enki and/or whether or not Ea **is** referenced by Ebla scribes through their innovative use of "ia" in their own vocabulary.

        As we have discussed in prior posts, theophoric names were even transitioning from "el" suffixes to "ia" suffixes.

        So we have some choices here:

        1) Ebla's transition from "el" theophorics to "ia" has no explanation, or it is based on a completely unknown deity.

        or

        2) Ebla's scribes decided to use their own spelling for the name of "Ea" - namely, "Ia".

        You and I have already rejected Option (3) - that the theophoric "-ia" was based on Yahweh.

        So which option do you prefer, AJ? If you have another option, please list it.

        Thanks!

        Regards,

        George
      • aj
        George ... The first, only not based on a completely unkown deity. It s not only Ea who is absent from the list, George, it s also Ia. Pettinato, quoting
        Message 3 of 11 , Feb 2, 2010
        • 0 Attachment
          George

          > So we have some choices here:
          >
          > 1) Ebla's transition from "el" theophorics to "ia" has no explanation, or it is based on a completely unknown deity.
          >
          > or
          >
          > 2) Ebla's scribes decided to use their own spelling for the name of "Ea" - namely, "Ia".

          > So which option do you prefer, AJ?

          The first, only not based on a completely unkown deity.

          It's not only Ea who is absent from the list, George, it's also Ia. Pettinato, quoting Archi, wrote in his 'Elba and the Bible' (The Biblical Archaeologist; 1980); "'He was not even important enough to get into the onomasticon, nor, in the form of Ya(w), into the offering lists for the gods from Ebla.'" He then goes on to use the presence of names from Ebla which clearly bear the theophoric Ia as evidence that this god was known to the Eblaites, but I'm not convinced.

          I'm even less convinced that it's the Eblaite form of the Akkadian Ea, especially when we consider what we know of this word ia, what it actually means. In a hymn known as lugal-an-ki, or the hymn to the 'Lord of Heaven and Earth', the term ia appears in reference to something which we would hardly consider of Ea's nature, solar light-:

          lugal-an-ki
          nu-gub ki gin
          nu-sig u-ia gin
          zu-ur-ra nu-tuku
          ...

          Lord of heaven and earth,
          You had not made the earth exist, you created (it),
          You had not established the solar light, you created (it),
          You had not (yet) made exist the morning light,
          ...

          [END]

          Concerning this u-ia Pettinato wrote (again refuting Archi)-:

          "The syntagm UD.NI, read u-zal by Archi, cannot be read as such but rather u-ia on th basis of the variants in A2 i-i-a and in C a-a < aya. This last variant turns out to be very important to understand finally the meaning of Aya, the companion of the god Sun; it's meaning must be something like 'Shining Light'".

          [END]

          That's about as much as we have on this ia, scant as it is. It strikes me as sufficient, though, to refute firstly the suggestion that Ia was Ea, and secondly that Ia was Yahweh.

          aj
        • historynow2002
          AJ, You have extracted this sentence: nu-sig u-ia gin , and provide the translation: You had not established the solar light, you created (it) seeking to
          Message 4 of 11 , Feb 2, 2010
          • 0 Attachment
            AJ,

            You have extracted this sentence:

            "nu-sig u-ia gin", and provide the translation:

            "You had not established the solar light, you created (it)"

            seeking to demonstrate that "ia" is used in Ebla to mean "light".


            You are providing "ia" in a completely different context.... as some object of a deity's actions, rather than from an Eblaite text specifically referring to a deity.

            This would be somewhat like pointing out that since Arabic speakers says "La" to say "No", that the name of god as "Allah" means "EL La", or "God of No".

            A better comparison of Ebla texts are those that are actually cited by Ebla scholars, such as:

            Mi-ka-Il, `who is like El/God?'
            compared to
            Mi-ka-Ia, 'who is like Ia?'

            However, if you are proposing that the name "Mi-ka-ia" should be translated 'who is like LIGHT', then this would certainly be an interesting proposal.

            In the Ea/Enki thesis by Peeter Espak, we read this interesting footnote:

            Footnote 94 [page 23-24] "C.H. Gordon, Eblaitica 2 (1990), p. 145 tries to combine results from Sumerian, Eblaite and Ugaritic texts and prove that Baal is "Lord of the Earth" is also titled "Living" - possible name of Semitic "Ea"."

            On page 33, the Espak writes: "In [the] case of the original root *hyy, "to live," a relation to the adjective hayy(um) is obvious, 'which is used in Hebrew, Syriac, and Arabic to describe ***SPRING FED OR RUNNING WATER*** [**emphasis mine**].FN 154

            Footnote 154 Ibid [J.M. Roberts, E.S.P. "Earliest Semitic Pantheon, Johns Hopkins University, 1972] p. 80 note 117. Cf. CT 24: 14, 48: ... IDIM = E-a...."


            This footnote is the first time I have found academic support for Iddim being linked to the underworld deity of fresh water! Your position would minimize this possible connection based on the idea that the scribes of Ebla *would not* spell the name of Ea any other way than the way the Sumerian Akkadians spell it.

            Ebla is a variant language.... with lots of its own spelling and vocabulary. But let's set Ebla aside for now. I believe there is plenty of important material in the Espak paper. Research from Ebla can be the "frosting" for the discussion, rather than the fundamental evidence I look for.

            Regards,

            George
          • aj
            George ... No, George, it was not I but rather Giovanni Pettinato who sought to demonstrate that Eblaite ia means light , he being presumably one of the Ebla
            Message 5 of 11 , Feb 3, 2010
            • 0 Attachment
              George

              > AJ,
              >
              > You have extracted this sentence:
              >
              > "nu-sig u-ia gin", and provide the translation:
              >
              > "You had not established the solar light, you created (it)"
              >
              > seeking to demonstrate that "ia" is used in Ebla to mean "light".

              No, George, it was not I but rather Giovanni Pettinato who sought to demonstrate that Eblaite ia means 'light', he being presumably one of the Ebla scholars you later suggested I should utilise.

              > Footnote 94 [page 23-24] "C.H. Gordon, Eblaitica 2 (1990), p. 145 tries to combine results from Sumerian, Eblaite and Ugaritic texts and prove that Baal is "Lord of the Earth" is also titled "Living" - possible name of Semitic "Ea"."

              It's not Baal who was identified with Ea at Ugarit, it's the deity I referred to in my earlier post (and I'll have some more to say on this in the next day or two).

              Thanks for uploading Peeter Espak's dissertation on Enki and Ea - a brief read of it shows rather clearly that Ea and Ia cannot be one and the same deity, as the former was rendered a-u in Eblaite, the latter ia. The author also calls into doubt the interpretation of a-u as hyy, 'to live'.

              aj
            • historynow2002
              AJ, You write that it was: ... Giovanni Pettinato who sought to demonstrate that Eblaite ia means light . Did he use any further evidence than quoting from
              Message 6 of 11 , Feb 3, 2010
              • 0 Attachment
                AJ,

                You write that it was:
                "... Giovanni Pettinato who sought to demonstrate that Eblaite ia means 'light'."

                Did he use any further evidence than quoting from a few hymnal references to light? I found that information to be interesting but rather stark in its isolation.

                You write:
                "It's not Baal who was identified with Ea at Ugarit, it's the deity I referred to in my earlier post (and I'll have some more to say on this in the next day or two)."

                I would concur. I am more interested in tying "EL" with "Ea", which is already done in a Phoenician bi-lingual inscription in Karatepe. I look forward to your additional comments on Ugarit.

                You write:
                "The author also calls into doubt the interpretation of a-u as hyy, 'to live'."

                Well, actually, if you read all of the pertinent paragraphs on that, I does a very good job of writing "pro" and "con" regarding the possible etymologies of Enki and Ea. When he discounts something, it is frequently in context of whether the factor can be valid in combination with some other factor.

                Thus, in a dialectic methodology, he itemizes what would most likely have to be false for something else to be true.

                By the end of that section, I was rather impressed with his discussion regarding "living water" and Ea. But of course I'm biased in that direction

                The IDIM = Ea footnote is a rather dramatic fragment that I will research further. AJ, the hurdle that I have with your "spin" on "IA" is that you have not (yet) provided any information at all on what this **other** IA deity would be.

                It should not be ignored that in a multi-lingual culture where deities sharing the same phoneme might exist, one would EXPECT to find scribal efforts to distinguish between two deities that sound the same.

                While you emphasize that we don't find Ebla discussion of a god spelled "Ea", it cannot be because they didn't know of "Ea". They could not have corresponded and traded with the Akkadian empire without such knowledge. Thus any discussion of a purportedly different deity, spelled "Ia", really has to make special effort to demonstrate that this is not just an alternate spelling of "Ea".

                I look forward to your forthcoming data.

                Warmest regards,

                George
              • aj
                George (Hopefully the following will convey some of the confusion which appears to surround how ancient deities were perceived both locally and abroad, and how
                Message 7 of 11 , Feb 4, 2010
                • 0 Attachment
                  George

                  (Hopefully the following will convey some of the confusion which appears to surround how ancient deities were perceived both locally and abroad, and how the integration of one deity into another culture did not always retain that deity's original functions.)

                  > I am more interested in tying "EL" with "Ea", which is already done in a Phoenician bi-lingual inscription in Karatepe.

                  In south-eastern Anatolia, yes, but not not it would seem in northern Canaan.

                  But first to Aya.

                  > AJ, the hurdle that I have with your "spin" on "IA" is that you have not (yet) provided any information at all on what this **other** IA deity would be.

                  Aya was the Mesopotamian consort of Shamash, a goddess. It's she to whom Pettinato was referring when he wrote (and I cited)-:

                  "The syntagm UD.NI, read u-zal by Archi, cannot be read as such but rather u-ia on the basis of the variants in A2 i-i-a and in C a-a < aya. This last variant turns out to be very important to understand finally the meaning of Aya, the companion of the god Sun; it's meaning must be something like 'Shining Light'".
                  ('Ebla and the Bible', Giovanni Pettinato; 1980)

                  ... as a summation of the Eblaite hymn to the 'Lord of Heaven and Earth'-:

                  lugal-an-ki
                  nu-gub ki gin
                  nu-sig u-ia gin
                  zu-ur-ra nu-tuku
                  ...

                  Lord of heaven and earth,
                  You had not made the earth exist, you created (it),
                  You had not established the solar light, you created (it),
                  You had not (yet) made exist the morning light,
                  ...

                  [END]

                  So you see, George, I had provided information on this 'other' ia. And whilst the connection between our ia and this u-ia may seem at first sight somewhat delicate, it must be borne in mind that ia was always viewed as a hypocoristicon, and also that the multitudinous ways in which u-ia has been rendered at Ebla certainly allow for this identification - Archi also gives a-a and i-i-a as spellings (which Pettinato does allude to in the quote cited).

                  I actually came upon this information some 12 months back, but didn't pursue it because I couldn't see it leading anywhere due the gender of this particular deity. Now that I have delved a little deeper I find that in just the same way that Shamash's counterpart in Canaan was of the opposite sex, so too was his consort.

                  A trilingual text from Ugarit names a deity Aya, and identifies his Ugaritic counterpart as Kothar-and-Khasis, also known more simply as Kothar. Kothar was, of course, Ugarit's craftsman, crafting thrones, weapons and bribes alike. Interesting thing is, in this trilingual document Aya and Kothar are both identified with one Eyan, and he was the Hurrian counterpart to Mesopotamian Ea.

                  Confused? The relevant text reads-:

                  "Aya is mentioned in the trilingual Ugaritic god-list RS20.123+ : A-A : e-ia-an : ka-sar-ru. The logographic writing A-A is used in Mesopotamia to denote the goddess Aya, spouse of the sun-god Shamash. [..]
                  "In the Ugaritic god-list Aya is preceeded by the Ugaritic sun-goddess Shapshu. This deity was female, and thyis change in gender might have been the reason for connecting the logographic writing of her companion (A-A) with the almost homophonic Hurrian name Eyan (Ea), the Akkadian god of sweet waters and wisdom, and with his Ugaritic equivalent Kushara (ktr)."
                  ('Dictionary of deities and demons in the Bible', van der Toorn, Becking and van der Horst; 1995)

                  [END]

                  Clearly at Ugarit Ea was identified with Kothar, more because of his 'wisdom' than his connection to water (Kothar hasn't any). I can't comment on the Hurrian Eyan as I've not looked into it yet, but will do in the next couple of days.

                  Any Ea found at Ugarit therefore must have been devoid of his connection to water, and somehow managed to get himself identified with the Ugaritic male interpretation of the Mesopotamian sun-goddess Aya.

                  aj
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.