Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.

PENITENTIAL PSALMS

(These lamentations seem frequently to be incoherent.  A few specimens are taken from the same work as the preceding. [Footnote:  “Trans.  Soc.  Bib.  Arch.,” vol. ii. p. 60.])

O my Lord! my sins are many, my trespasses are great; and the wrath of the gods has plagued me with disease and with sickness and sorrow.

I fainted:  but no one stretched forth his hand!

I groaned:  but no one drew nigh!

I cried aloud:  but no one heard!

O Lord! do not abandon thy servant!

In the waters of the great storm, seize his hand!

The sins which he has committed, turn thou to righteousness!

ELSEWHERE WE FIND

1 O my god! my sins are seven times seven! 2 O my goddess! my sins are seven times seven!

(And then a prayer follows, that those sins may be pardoned as a father and mother would pardon them!)

AN ADDRESS TO SOME DEITY

  In heaven who is great?  Thou alone art great! 
  On earth who is great?  Thou alone art great! 
  When thy voice resounds in heaven, the gods fall prostrate! 
  When thy voice resounds on earth, the genii kiss the dust!

ELSEWHERE [Footnote:  Ibid., vol. ii. p. 51.]

  O Thou; thy words who can resist? who can rival them? 
  Among the gods thy brothers, thou hast no equal!

A PRAYER [Footnote:  Idem.]

  The god my creator, may he stand by my side! 
  Keep thou the door of my lips! guard thou my hands, O Lord of light!

ODE TO FIRE

(The original text of this will be found in 4 R 14 l. 6 which is a lithographic copy of the tablet K, 44.  A part of it was translated some years ago from a photograph of that tablet; see No. 430 of my Glossary.

Very few Assyrian odes are so simple and intelligible as this is:  unfortunately most of them are mystical and hard of interpretation.)

1 O Fire, great Lord, who art the most exalted in the world, 2 noble Son of heaven, who art the most exalted in the world, 3 O Fire, with thy bright flame 4 in the dark house thou dost cause light. 5 Of all things that can be named, Thou dost form the fabric! 6 Of bronze and of lead, Thou art the melter! 7 Of silver and of gold, Thou art the refiner! 8 Of ...  Thou art the purifier! 9 Of the wicked man in the night time Thou dost repel the
    assault!
10 But the man who serves his god, Thou wilt give him light
    for his actions!

ASSYRIAN TALISMANS AND EXORCISMS TRANSLATED BY H.F.  TALBOT, F.R.S.

DEMONIACAL POSSESSION AND EXORCISM

Diseases were attributed to the influence of Evil Spirits.  Exorcisms were used to drive away those tormentors:  and this seems to have been the sole remedy employed, for I believe that no mention has been found of medicine.

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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