Nuˁmu-Rašpu or Mudammiq-Nergal

How should I understand the name of the scribe who crafted the now fragmentary Akkadian account of the Flood (RS 25.421) from Ugarit? The first line of the colophon reads ŠU mSIG5.dGÌR.UNU.GAL, “(By the) hand of . . . ” – well by the hand of somebody. The same scribe’s name appears to also be written mSIG5.dMAS.MAS and mSIG5.dKAL. He likely worked at Ugarit during the reigns of Ammittamrru II, Ibrianu and Niqmaddu III.
The same signs I transliterated mSIG5.dGÌR.UNU.GAL are sometimes transliterated mSIG5.dNÈ.IRI11(x).GAL. Various scholars have preferences in this matter but those preferences are not based on the cuneiform signs themselves.
Let’s start with the theophoric element, dGÌR.UNU.GAL. This and dMAS.MAS are rather common writings for the Mesopotamian god Nergal. But in the pantheon texts from Ugarit (RS 1.017:27, 24.264:26, 20.024:26, 24.642:8) dGÌR.UNU.GAL equates to rsp. Not too surprising that Mesopotamian Nergal would equate to Ugaritic Rašap/Rašpu. There’s really nothing controversial about this. A dozen personal names from Ugarit have rsp as a theophoric element and either dGÌR.UNU.GAL or dMAS.MAS generally represents rsp in Akkadian texts from Ugarit. For example, alphabetic ilršp is written mdAN. MAS.MAS in RS 17.61:18.
Now for the first element: SIG5 generally stands for Akkadian damqu. Akkadian damqu is (nearly) semantically equivalent to Ugaritic ncm. Both mean “good, pleasant, beautiful.” We see mnu-ma-re-ša-ip in a list of 16 otherwise unidentified people (RS 2007:2). This is not necessarily our scribe but the name does represent a spelled out version of a very similar name in a western (Ugaritic?) form. [Note for later reference the u vowel in nu-ma-.] The alphabetic place name ykncm is written URUia-ku-SIG5 in RS 11:800:13’ and elsewhere. Finally one should note mSIG5na (RS 17.150+17.34:36 and elsewhere) which almost certainly equates to the Ugaritic personal name ncmn.
For the record, Nougayrol (Ug 5, 303) rendered our scribe’s name Na’amrašap; Lambert and Millard (Atra-Ḫasīs, 133) rendered it Mudammiq-Nergal; and Huehnergard (The Akkadian of Ugarit, 344) rendered it Nucmu-Rašpu. On this Münniche (The God Resheph in the Ancient Near East, 145, n240) says, “Lambert & Millard 1969, 132-133 translate the name as Mudammiq-Nergal, which is improbable at Ugarit both because of the Mesopotamian form of the god’s name and the reading of the sign SIG5.”
So how should I render mSIG5.dGÌR.UNU.GAL? I’m not sure. If I think this scribe is from Mesopotamia as Naḫiš-šalmu likely was, something like Mudammiq-Nergal might be on or near the mark. Such a name is known from Mesopotamia. But if I think he was born and raised at Ugarit or at least in the West then I think I need to render it Nucmu-Rašpu or the like.
Now if you thought that was fun, I bet you can’t wait for my post on the line in RS 22.121’s colophon that follows ŠU mSIG5.dGÌR.UNU.GAL. It reads S[A]G(?) dŠU.GAR .DURU2.NA or something very much like that. These concerns are diversions from the issue I’m really working on. Maybe I’ll get past these diversions and have something abnormally interesting to say about the Flood account as known at Ugarit.
Update: January 16, 2014
I just noticed that I posted the complete text and my translation of this tablet in August of 2010. What a memory! I still have a couple of things I what to say that I didn’t say then but it may take me a while to get them together.