I’m back to messing around with the equine omens of Šumma Ālu. This work reminds me of how much I hate lacunae. Here’s every readable and nearly readable sign in CT 40 35-37(K. 3836+7211 +) obv.:51.
DIŠ NUN GIŠ.GIGIR U5–ma ANŠE.KUR.RA.MEŠ i-ka[b(?) . . . . M]U BE UGx
Aside from the gap itself, the first thing you’ll notice is that the KAB sign associated with what is almost certainly the verb of the protasis, is broken. And as you will see, it might not be a KAB sign. The more certain MU sign, presumably part of the apodosis, is also broken.
Using a more up-to-date transliteration scheme than did Nötscher, here is Nötscher’s, 24, reconstruction of the complete omen,
DIŠ NUN GIŠ.GIGIR U5–ma ANŠE.KUR.RA.MEŠ i-na[m-da-ru NUN(?) ina M]U BE UGx
Notice he read NA[M where I have KA[B. Nötscher seems to have taken i-na[m-da-ru as a form of the verb nadāru, “to rage.” Something very much like this occurs in the protases of a few other Šumma Ālu omens. See CAD N1, 60. But in Gadd’s, autograph, the sign following the i looks (to me) more like a KAB or perhaps a TUN/ḪUB sign and very little like a NAM sign. On this reading I reconstruct the verb, i-ka[b-ba-tu on the verb kabātu, “to become heavy, massive, fat, rich, lethargic (CAD K, 14)” and translate the protasis, “If a prince rides a chariot and the horses become let[hargic(?), . . .“
Now, what to do with the apodosis? Nötscher reads NUN(?) ina M]U BE UGx. Based on Gadd’s autograph, I think the MU is quite secure and I have no better suggestion at this time for the first few other lost signs of the apodosis. So, I’d read the whole omen,
DIŠ NUN GIŠ.GIGIR U5–ma ANŠE.KUR.RA.MEŠ i-ka[b-ba-tu(?) NUN(?) ina M]U BE UGx
If a prince rides a chariot and the horses become let[hargic(?), the prince] will die [in] that [ye]ar.
But who knows? My love/hate relationship with these omens continues.
Nötscher, Friedrich, “Die Omen-Serie šumma ālu ina mēlê šakin,” Orientalia, NS, 51-54 (1930)