Babylonian and Assyrian Literature eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 283 pages of information about Babylonian and Assyrian Literature.
The second part contains two altars; one of them bears a sort of arrow-head which for a long time has been taken for the symbol of the Cuneiform writing, because it resembles the element of these characters, On the other part there is a triangular symbol, then, between both altars, two kneeling monsters; only the fore part of their body is visible.  On the left behind the altar there is to be seen a symbolical figure preceding a downward pointed arrow.  On the back side of the monument there is a scorpion, a bird roosting.  On the ground there is a bird, on the head of which is to be seen an unknown symbol composed of two other monsters, one bears a bird’s head, and the other has a hideous horned face; the rest of the body is wrapped up in a sort of sheath; opposite to which a dog kneeling.  The top of the stone is bordered with an immense snake; its tail extends into the very inscriptions, its head touches the head of the dog.  On each side of the monument in its lower part, there are two columns of cuneiform texts, which contain altogether ninety-five lines.

This monument is now kept since 1801 in the “Cabinet des Medailles” at Paris (No. 702).  Since that epoch it has always attracted the attention of scholars; it was published by M. Millin in 1802, “Monuments inedits” t.  I, pl. viii, ix.  Muenter first attempted to explain the symbolical figures ("Religion der Babylonier," p. 102, pl.  III).  Sir Henry Rawlinson has also published the inscription again, in “W.A.I.,” Vol.  I, p. 70.  The sense of this text has been fixed for the first time, in 1856, by M. Oppert’s translation in the “Bulletin Archeologique de l’Atheneum Francais” After this translation, Mr. Fox Talbot gave one in 1861, in the “Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society,” Vol.  XVIII, p. 54.


20 hin of corn is the quantity for seeding an arura.[1] The field is situated near the town of Kar-Nabu, on the bank of the river Mekaldan, depending of the property of Kilnamandu.

The field is measured as follows:[2] Three stades in length toward the East, in the direction of the town of Bagdad; three stades in length toward the West, adjoining the house of Tunamissah; 1 stade 50 fathoms[3] in breadth toward the North, adjoining the property of Kilnamandu; 1 stade 50 fathoms up in the South, adjoining the property of Kilnamandu.

Sirusur, son of Kilnamandu, gave it for all future days to Dur-Sarginaiti, his daughter, the bride[4] of Tab-asap-Marduk, son of Ina-e-saggatu-irbu (the pretended), who wrote this; and Tab-asap-Marduk, son of Ina-e-saggatu-irbu, who wrote this in order to perpetuate without interruption the memory of this gift, and commemorated on this stone the will of the great gods and the god Serah.

[Footnote 1:  Or the great U, namely, of the field in question.]

[Footnote 2:  Dr. Oppert’s first translation of this passage, which is to be found in almost all documents of this kind, has been corrected in “L’Etalon des mesures assyriennes,” p. 42.  The field of Kilnamandu was a rectangle of 1-5/6 stades in breadth and 3 stades long, viz., 5-1/2 square stades, amounting to 19.64 hectares, or 48-1/2 English acres.  The Stone of Micheux is the only one which affords a valuation of the land.

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Babylonian and Assyrian Literature from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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