My Heroic Days

I spent yesterday and today trying to track down an UR.SAG series or something that might indicate that there was such a series. This is cleanup effort from my work on one of the Shamash prayers. The mean nasty demanding project leader and editor, Alan Lenzi, made me do it. The sumerogram complex UR.SAG stands for Akkadian qarrādu, meaning something in the general neighborhood of “hero, warrior.” The issue is that the incipit (roughly a title formed from the first few words of a text), surbû gitmālu, “O most exalted perfect one,” of the Shamash prayer is mentioned in the medical text BAM 322. Several incantations and incipits in BAM 322 begin UR.SAG. This raises the possibility that the Shamash prayer is part of a series of other prayers many of which begin with UR.SAG. Such an association might indicate an alternative ritual context for the Shamash prayer. The prayer’s most common ritual context appears to be bīt salā’ mê, “Water-sprinkling house.” But it is also known to be associated with another medical ritual. My next task is to convince Alan that this is a wild goose chase head over to the UCLA Bio-medical Library (yep, that’s where they house Die babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen [BAM]), get a copy of BAM 322 and start working my way through it.

3 thoughts on “My Heroic Days”

  1. Duane, I’m not sure the series exists, actually. Something I saw suggested to me that it was a series. Did you check Wiggerman’s book? (As you know, I could be wrong and this could be a wild goose chase. If so, I’m sorry. But rigor demands we do these from time to time.)

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