Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 377 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
28 Before the oxen as they march
    in the grain thou liest down.
30 My knees are marching,
    my feet are not resting: 
    with no wealth of thine own,
    grain thou begettest for me.
34 A heifer am I;
    to the cow I am yoked: 
    the plough-handle is strong;
    lift it up, lift it up!
53 May he perform vengeance: 
    may he return also
    (to him) who gives.
55 The marsh as though it were not he passes;[2]
    the slain as though they were not ...[3] he makes good.
57 To the waters their god[4]
    has returned: 
    to the house of bright things
    he descended (as) an icicle: 
    (on) a seat of snow
    he grew not old in wisdom.
10 Like an oven
    (which is) old
    against thy foes
    be hard.
15 Thou wentest, thou spoiledst
    the land of the foe;
    (for) he went, he spoiled
    thy land, (even) the foe.
18 Kingship
    in its going forth
    (is) like a royal robe(?)
19 Into the river thou plungest, and
    thy water (is) swollen
    at the time:[5]
    into the orchard thou plungest, and
    thy fruit
    (is) bitter.
34 The corn (is) high,
    it is flourishing;
    is it known? 
    The corn (is) bearded,
    it is flourishing;
    is it known?
42 The fruit of death
    may the man eat,
    (and yet) the fruit of life
    may he achieve.

[Footnote 1:  Lacuna.]

[Footnote 2:  I have translated this line from the Accadian, the Assyrian text being wanting, and the words “a recent lacuna” being written instead.  This makes it clear that the scribe who copied the tablet for Assur-bani-pal’s library did not understand Accadian and could not therefore supply the translation.]

[Footnote 3:  Lacunae.]

[Footnote 4:  This seems to be quoted from a hymn describing the return of Oannes to the Persian Gulf.]

[Footnote 5:  See “Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia,” vol. i. 25, 10.]



These translations are taken from a French work published by Dr. Oppert and M. Menant; [Footnote:  The title of the work is “Documents juridiques de l’Assyrie et de la Chaldee,” par J. Oppert et J. Menant, Paris, 1877.] the versions have been revised, in some essential points, for the “Records of the Past,” by Dr. Oppert, who holds himself personally responsible for the exact representation of the sense of these documents; but on account of the unusual difficulty of these texts, the reader may easily be convinced that for a long time yet, and particularly in details of minor importance, there will remain room enough for a conscientious improvement of all previous translations.

Project Gutenberg
Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook