V. We possess only the Semitic Assyrian version of this text; it was published in the “Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia,” Vol. IV, pl. 17, col. 2. As yet, no one has produced a complete translation of this hymn; but a few passages have been quoted by M. Friedrich Delitzsch ("G. Smith’s Chaldaeische Genesis” p. 284) and myself ("La Magie chez les Chaldeens” p. 164, and pp. 179, 180, of the English edition, 1877).
I refer the reader to the various publications above mentioned for a convincing proof of the entirely revised character of the translations here submitted to him, and I think he will grant that I have made some progress in this branch of knowledge, since my first attempts many years ago.
CHALDEAN HYMNS TO THE SUN
1 Magical incantation. 2 Sun, from the foundations
of heaven thou art risen; 3 thou hast unfastened
the bolts of the shining skies; 4 thou hast opened
the door of heaven. 5 Sun, above the countries thou
hast raised thy head. 6 Sun, thou hast covered the
immensity of the heavens and
the terrestrial countries.
(The fragments of the four following lines are too mutilated to furnish any connected sense; all the rest of the hymn is entirely wanting.)
SECOND HYMN [Footnote: See also Lenormant, “Chaldean Magic,” p. 180.]
1 Lord, illuminator of the darkness, who piercest
2 merciful god, who settest up those that are bowed down,
who sustainest the weak,
3 toward the light the great gods direct their glances, 4 the archangels of the abyss, every one of them, contemplate
eagerly thy face.
5 The language of praise, as one word, thou directest it. 6 The host of their heads seeks the light of the Sun in the
7 Like a bridegroom thou restest joyful and gracious. 8 In thy illumination thou dost reach afar to the boundaries
9 Thou art the banner of the vast earth. 10 O God! the men who dwell afar off contemplate thee and
11 The great gods fix ... 12 Nourisher of the luminous heavens, who favorest ... 13 He who has not turned his hands (toward thee ... 14 ....
[Footnote 1: In the Assyrian version, “The archangels of the earth.” ]
[Footnote 2: In the Assyrian version, “The eager language.”]
[Footnote 3: The Assyrian version has simply, “of the sun.” ]
[Footnote 4: “Like a wife thou submittest thyself, cheerful and kindly.”— Sayce.]
[Footnote 5: In the Assyrian version, “Thou art the illuminator of the limits of the distant heavens.”]
[Footnote 6: Here occurs a word which I cannot yet make out.]
[Footnote 7: Lacunae.]