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2016:002
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Remarks on the Putative Source A2
of the Ebla Bilingual Lexical List*

Marco Bonechi <marco.bonechi@isma.cnr.it>
Istituto di Studi sul Mediterraneo Antico (ISMA), CNR, Rome

Keywords
Cuneiform, Ebla, lexical lists


 

Abstract
The comparison of the entries of the two small Ebla bilingual lexical sources TM.75.G.1302 (= MEE 4, 74, putative source b) and TM.75.G.1301 (= MEE 4, 73, putative source a) with those of the putative main source A2 (TM.75.G.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64) of the Ebla Bilingual List shows that the two excerpts belong to the process of formation of the A2. This appellation of the latter source implies that it has been seen as the continuation of the putative main source A (TM.75.G.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+) and not of the other possible candidate, that is, the putative main source C (TM.75.G.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+). A further comparison of the entries of the excerpts b = TM.75.G.1302 and a = TM.75.G.1301 and of A2 with those of A and C suggests, however, that A2 is the continuation of C. Together with the excerpts TM.75.G.1302 and TM.75.G.1301, it was produced by the scribal milieu or circle that also produced source C.

 

§1.1. The small 3rd millennium Ebla lexical lists TM.75.G.1302 (= MEE 4, 74, putative source b) and TM.75.G.1301 (= MEE 4, 73, putative source a) are written on rounded tablets, both without a colophon (Pettinato 1982: 91-95). The almost complete text of the former includes the entirely preserved text of the latter. The shorter text a = 75.1301 starts with five entries unattested in the longer text b = 75.1302. Then, in its second part a = 75.1301 continues with 17 of the at least 63 entries of b = 75.1302, following the order of entries of the latter list (Pettinato 1984: 30).

 

§1.2. The selection of the entries in the first part of b = 75.1302, corresponding to the second part of a = 75.1301, is reminiscent of the first sections of 75.2422+ (= MEE 4, 115 = MEE 15, 1), that is, of the unilingual “eš2-bar-kin5” list with the Sumerian terms also found in the Ebla bilingual list.

 

§1.3. 75.1302 and 75.1301 follow the order of the sections of 75.2422+ in the following way (I indicate the sections of 75.2422+ and the entries of 75.1302 // 75.1301):

 

TM.75.G.2422+ key-word TM.75.G.1302//1
1 ninda 1-4
2 ka 7
3 sag 8-10
4 u2 11-14
5 sa 15-16
6 e2 17-19
7 geš 20-21
8 šu 22
9 a2 23
12 ša3 24, 26-27
11 BALAG 25, 28
13 a 29, 58'
20 an 30, 68'-69'
24 ki 31
36 tu 34-35
47 gir7 36

 

a = 75.1301 ends with an entry unattested in 75.2422+, i.e. VE 1427'. In obv. vi 3 b = 75.1302 has VE 1427' incorrectly written, followed by two entries also attested in 75.2422+ (from the sections i3 and geš3), and by an entry unattested in 75.2422+ and in the Ebla bilingual list. Then the text of b = 75.1302 continues with many entries not found in 75.2422+, but attested in other Ebla bilingual lists.

 

§2.1. Of greater interest are the so far unnoticed correspondences between this last part of the source b = 75.1302 (its reverse surface) and a part of the reverse of the putative source A2 of the Ebla bilingual lexical list, i.e. 75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64 (Pettinato 1982: 79-86), as demonstrated below.

 

‘source A2’ (75.10023+11301+) ‘source b’ (75.1302)
VE 1435' EV 0400b
  rev. ix 11'-12' [ŠID-gi4:]˹gi4˺ / [...]-gi-LUM   rev. i 4'-5' ŠID-gi4:gi4 / la-NE-LUM
VE 1436' EV 0402
  rev. ix 13'-14' NU11(LAK24)-˹ib2˺ / ʾa3-[ba]-šum!   rev. i 2'-3' NU11(LAK24)-˹ib2˺ / ʾa3-ba-šum
VE 1437' EV 086
  rev. ix 15'-16' gi-˹gid2˺ / ma-za-˹num2˺   rev. i 6'-7' gi-gid2 / ma-za-num2
VE 1438'
  rev. ix 17'-18' gitigidlax(ŠA3.TAR) / zi-LUM   rev. i 8'-9' gitigidlax(ŠA3.TAR) / zi-LUM
  EV 0416
  rev. ii 1-2 TAG-˹TAG?˺ / su-la-tum  
VE 1439' EV 0315
  rev. ix 19'-20' nu-UŠ / a-WU-um   rev. ii 3-4 nu-UŠ / lu-WU-um
VE 1440' / VE 1135 EV 0440
  rev. ix 21' u3-sar-aka / [...]   rev. ii 5-6 u3-sar-aka / sa-ʾa3-lum
  [...]
VE 1441' EV 0441 (here?)
  rev. ix 22'-23' x-[...] / ša-x-[...]   rev. ii 7 u3-zi
VE 1442' / VE 1134
  rev. ix 24'-25' u3-sar / la?-x-x-um
  EV 0439
  rev. x [...]   rev. ii 8 u3-NE-sag
VE 1443' EV 045
  rev. x 1'-2' ba-˹šub˺ / na-da-um   rev. iv 1-2 ˹ba˺-šub / na-da-um
VE 1444' EV 057
  rev. x 3'-4' DU-ba / ma-ga-tum   rev. iii 4-5 DU-ba / ma-ga-tum
  [...]
VE 1445'
  rev. x 5'-6' x-x / NI-me-zu-um
VE 1446' / VE 1081 EV 0216
  rev. x 7'-8' munu4sar / ḫa-zu-ri2-tum   rev. ii 9-10 munu4sar / ḫa-zu-ri2-tum
VE 1447' / VE 1117 = VE 1137 EV 0355
  rev. x 9'-10' si-sar / ga-ri2-tum 1 DU   rev. ii 11- iii 1 si-sar / gar3-<ri2>-tum
VE 1448' EV 077
  rev. x 11'-12' EZEN / mu-sa-ma-a-LUM   rev. iii 2-3 EZEN / mu-sa-ma-ʾa3-LUM
VE 1449' EV 0124
  rev. x 13'-14' i3-zi / ma-še3-LUM   rev. iii 8-9 i3-zi! / ma-šu-LUM
VE 1450' / VE 629 EV 0002
  rev. x 15'-16' a-nigin2 / [...]   rev. iii 10-11 a-nigin2 / da-wu-lum
  [...]
VE 1452' / VE 1189 EV 0398
  rev. xi 2'-3' šegbarx(ŠEG9) / wa-i3-lum   rev. iii 6 šegbarx(ŠEG9)
  EV 052
  [...]   rev. iii 7 DAGx(LAK457)

 

§2.2. Furthermore, the obverses of b = 75.1302 and a = 75.1301 have other entries also attested in source A2. These entries repeat those attested in the other sources between VE 1 and VE 1089:

 

‘source A2’ (75.10023+11301+) ‘source b’ (75.1302), ‘source a’ (75.1301)
VE 1424' / VE 118 EV 0282
  rev. viii 19-20 nig2-zaḫ2 / ma-zar3-tum   b obv. i 3-4 nig2-zaḫ2 / ma-zar3-tum
  a obv. ii 3-4 nig2-zaḫ2 / ma-zar3-tum  
VE 1425' / VE 315 EV 065
  rev. viii 21-22 e2-pap / sa-ʾa3-bu3   b obv. iii 8-9 e2-pap / ar3-ra-tum
  a rev. i 1-2 e2-pap / ʾa3-ra-tum  
VE 1426' / VE 598 EV 064
  rev. viii 23-24 e2-muš3 / u3-zu-gur-tum   b obv. iii 10 e2-muš3
  a rev. i 3-4 e2-muš3 / a-zu-gur-tum  
VE 1428' / VE 253 EV 0335
  rev. viii 26'-27' ˹sag˺-kešda / ib2-tum   b obv. ii 3-4 sag-kešda / ib2-tum
VE 1429' / VE 287 EV 0428
  rev. ix 0'-1' [u2-šimbulugx-ga] / bu3-lu-ḫu-um   b obv. ii 9-10 u2-šimbulugx!(ŠIM.GA)-ga {ḪU}
  / [bu3]-lu-˹ḫu˺-um
VE 1431' / VE 303 EV 0432
  rev. ix 4'-5' u2-gamun2 / ga-ba-na-na-u9   b obv. iii 2-3 u2-gamun2! / kab-na-ne-u9
VE 1432' / VE 306 EV 0430
  rev. ix 6'-7' u2-PI-naga / a-ri2-a-tum   b obv. iii 4-5 u2-PI-naga / a-ri2-a-tum
VE 1451' / VE 896 EV 0122, EV 0191!
  rev. xi 1' i3-gu7   b obv. ii 1-2 i3-gu7 / a-gul-la-du!?
  a obv. iii 3-4 ˹i3˺-gu7 / [a]-˹gu2˺-lu-um  

 

§2.3. Therefore, it seems almost certain to me that the source b = 75.1302 and the source a = 75.1301 belong to the process of formation of the source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64) of the Ebla bilingual lexical list. 75.1302 should have been written before rather than after A2, but most probably not by the same scribe. Concerning the relationship between 75.1302 and 75.1301, a derivation of 75.1301 from 75.1302 has been proposed (Pettinato 1984: 29ff. and 40), but it seems more likely to me that 75.1301, which bears a shorter text, was written before 75.1302, which bears a longer text.

 

§2.4. If so, these three lexical lists should have been redacted in the following chronological order:

 

75.1301 putative Estratto di Vocabolario a (Pettinato)
75.1302 putative Estratto di Vocabolario b (Pettinato)
75.10023+11301+ putative source A2 of the main bilingual lexical list (Archi)

 

§3.1. All this, if true, may help in the solution of a main problem. It is known (Archi 1992: 18, 2006: 109) that:

 

a) the putative source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64) begins with VE 1090,
b) the putative source A (75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+) ends with VE 1089, and
c) the putative source C (75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+) ends with VE 1090.

 

§3.2. The source A2 has been described in the following way (Archi 2006: 109): “the two large tablets C and A did not have enough space for the last 112 lexemes of the archetype [i.e. 2422+]. It was therefore decided to prepare another, smaller tablet, A2 (almost entirely reconstructed by joining nine fragments) which includes various other lexemes, reaching number 1475. The acrographic order is abandoned and previously ignored lexemes are gathered together by more or less obvious associations between the terms.” However, more specifically, it has been also stated that the source A2 is the continuation of the source A (“the chronological order ... is: D, C, A (+ A2), B”; Archi 2006: 107 n. 13) presumably because of the aforementioned situation of the entries VE 1089 and VE 1090.

 

§3.3. However, is the putative source A2 necessarily the continuation of the putative source A, or it could be the continuation of the putative source C (tertium non datur)?

 

§3.4. Besides the already seen entries between VE 1090 and VE 1452' (i.e. those in the main source A2, 75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64), the shorter lexical lists 75.1302 (source b) and 75.1301 (source a) also have many entries between VE 1 and VE 1089 (i.e. those in the main sources A, 75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+, and C, 75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+):

 

VE 98
  A nig2-sa-rum
  C b nig2-sa-rum = ba-la-gum2
  a <omitted>
VE 118
  A C nig2-zaḫ2
  b a nig2-zaḫ2 = ma-zar3-tum
VE 124
  A nig2-esirx(LAK173)e4-sa2
  C b a nig2-esirx(LAK173)e-sa2 = su-bu3-tum
VE 126
  A <omitted>
  C a nig2-di-di = du-da-ri2-bu3-um
  b nig2-di-di = du-da-ri2-bu3
VE 152
  A, C šika-PAD
  b šika-PAD = iš-ti zu (?)
  a šika-PAD = iš-ti zi-im (?)
VE 253
  A sag-kešda? = [...]
  C [...]
  b sag-kešda = ib2-tum
  a <omitted>
VE 258
  A! sag-bad = bur-zu-um
  C <omitted>
  b a sag-KAK-bad-bad = NE-ti-u3 sag
VE 260
  A C <omitted>
  b birx(SAG×KID2) = ma-maḫ-a-tum
  a birx(SAG+ZAG) = bar-a-tum
VE 287
  A a <omitted>
  C [...]
  b u2-šimbulugx!(ŠIM.GA)-ga {ḪU} = bu3-lu-ḫu-um
VE 303
  A a <omitted>
  C [...]
  b u2-gamun2! = kab-na-ne-u9
VE 306
  A a <omitted>
  C [...]
  b u2-PI-naga = a-ri2-a-tum
VE 312
  A C b sa-šu
  a <omitted>
VE 315
  A <omitted>
  C e2-pap = [(...)]
  b e2-pap = ar3-ra-tum
  a e2-pap = ʾa3-ra-tum
VE 389
  A geštu3
  C a geštu3 = ḫa-zi-zu-um
  b geštu3 = ḫa-zi-zu2
VE 419
  A C geš-gi-a2-nigin2
  b a! geš-gi-a2-nigin2 = gar3-a-tum
VE 531
  A b šu-šu-ra
  C [...]
  a šu-šu-ra = ma-ḫa-zi i-da-2
VE 557
  A a2-ḫum
  C [...]
  b a2-ḫumx(NINDA2×AŠ.KUR) = ga-ba-zu2
  a a2-ḫum = ga-ba-zi i-da-2
VE 586
  A ša3-tar-sur = gi-lu-um (?)
  C [...]
  b ša3-tar-sur = gir-bu16
  a <omitted>
VE 587
  A ša3-nig2-ŠUBUR = dal(-)da(-)ze2
  C [...]
  b ša3-nig2-ŠUBUR
  a <omitted>
VE 593
  A ša3-GURUŠ
  C [...]
  b! ša3-GURUŠ = da-gi-num2
  a <omitted>
VE 598
  A C <omitted>
  b e2-muš3
  a e2-muš3 = a-zu-gur-tum
VE 608
  A a <omitted>
  C [...]
  b zal-a-engur
VE 620
  A A.BALAGmušen = gu-gi-a-nu-um
  C A.BUmušen = 11-a-bu3
  b A.BALAGmušen = 12-a-bu3
  a <omitted>
VE 629
  A a-nigin2
  C a-nigin2 = du-lum
  b a-nigin2 = da-wu-lum
  a <omitted>
VE 797
  A b <omitted>
  C a dutu
VE 804
  A b an-en-te
  C an-en-te = iš-da-dar
  a <omitted>
VE 837
  A kikiri6
  C [...]
  b kikiri6 = ba-la-tum
  a <omitted>
VE 891
  A nimušen
  C [...]
  b nimušen = ti-la-um
  a <omitted>
VE 896
  A i3-gu7
  C [...]
  b i3-gu7 = a-gul-la-du!?
  a ˹i3˺-gu7 = [a]-˹gu2˺-lu-um
VE 915
  A tum12-gur4mušen
  C [...]
  b tum12-gur4mušen = ḫu-la-tum
  a <omitted>
VE 916
  A tum12-˹gur4˺-[turmušen = (...)]
  C [...]
  b tum12-gur4-turmušen
  a tum12-gur4-turmušen = ḫu-lu-tum
VE 1001
  A DU-LAGAB = ša-lu-um a-ba-si
  ˹C˺ DU-LAGAB = a-mu-mu-um
  b DU-LAGAB
  a DU-LAGAB = a-a-mu-um
VE 1081
  A a <omitted>
  C [...]
  b munu4sar = ḫa-zu-ri2-tum

 

§3.5. Regarding the relationship between b = 75.1302, A = 75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+ and C = 75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+, the following facts seem important to me:

 

the Sumerian terms:

  • in VE 124, b = 75.1302 and C have the same spelling of the Sumerian term, while A has a variant spelling; furthermore, in VE 258 (omitted in C) and VE 557 (not preserved in C), b = 75.1302 and A have variant spellings of the Sumerian term;
  • in VE 126, VE 287, VE 303, VE 306, VE 315, VE 608, VE 1081, A lacks the Sumerian terms, which are on the other hand attested in b = 75.1302; when the text of C is preserved (VE 126 and VE 315), it agrees with b = 75.1302.

the Semitic terms:

  • in VE 98, VE 124, VE 126, VE 389, VE 629, A lacks the Semitic translations, while the Semitic translations of b = 75.1302 agree with those in C (the same may have been true in VE 593, VE 837, VE 896, VE 891 and VE 915, entries lost in C);
  • in VE 258 (omitted in C) and VE 586 (C in lacuna [but see Fronzaroli forthcoming]), A has Semitic translations which are lexically different from those in b = 75.1302; furthermore, in VE 587 b = 75.1302 lacks the Semitic translation attested in A (C in lacuna);
  • in VE 620, the Semitic translation of b = 75.1302 lexically agrees with that in C and not with that in A;
  • in VE 1001 (untranslated in b = 75.1302), the Semitic translation of A is lexically different from that in 75.1301 (source a) and in C.

 

§3.6. Against these facts, which show that 75.1302 is nearer to the source C than to the source A, the following other facts could be invoked:

  • the Semitic translation in VE 118, VE 152 and VE 419 are unattested in both A and C, while they occur in b = 75.1302 (and in a = 75.1301);
  • the Sumerian terms in VE 260 and VE 598 are omitted in both A and C, while they occur in b = 75.1302 (and in a = 75.1301);
  • 75.1302, A and C agree as for the Sumerian term in VE 312;
  • the Sumerian term in VE 531 is untranslated in b = 75.1302 and in A, but its translation occurs in a = 75.1301 (C in lacuna);
  • in VE 620, b = 75.1302 agrees with A, against C, in the spelling of the Sumerian term;
  • in the Semitic translations of VE 620 and of VE 629, b = 75.1302 and C are in lexical agreement, but they have variant spellings;
  • in VE 797, b = 75.1302 and A lack the Sumerian term, attested in C (and in 75.1301);
  • in VE 804, b = 75.1302 and A lack the Semitic translation, attested in C.

 

§3.7. However, the relationship between the source b = 75.1302 and the source A2 = 75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64 (demonstrated above, §2) does not imply a mechanical identity of the spellings of these two sources. In fact, in the cases in which the entries of both b = 75.1302 and the source A2 are entirely preserved, the same spellings occur in VE 1436', VE 1437', VE 1438', VE 1443', VE 1444' and VE 1446', while variant spellings occur in VE 1435', VE 4139', VE 1447', VE 1448' and VE 1449'. Disagreements do remain at the level of the written notation, and do not affect the Semitic translations (an exception is VE 1425'/VE 315 vs. EV 065).

 

§4.1. An important feature of the source A2 = 75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64 is that it also bears many entries which occur between VE 1 and VE 1089, i.e. in the part of the list attested in the sources A = 75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+, and C = 75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+. As noted above, some of these entries also occur in the obverses of b = 75.1302 and a = 75.1301:

 

VE 118, VE 1424', EV 0282
  A C nig2-zaḫ2
  A2 b a nig2-zaḫ2 = ma-zar3-tum
VE 132, VE 1401', EV 0240, EV 0262
  A <omitted>
  C A2 nig2-mes-mes
VE 182, VE 1211
  A gu3-ga2-2 = ba-a-lu-um
  C gu3-di-2 = ba-a-lum
  A2 gu3-di-2 = ˹ba-la-lum˺
VE 202, VE 1344'
  A C zu2 di7 = si-nu a-ḫa-mu
  A2! zu2 dnamma = si-nu a-ḫa-mi-um
VE 248, VE 1220
  A sag-tum2 = ra-ba-gu-um
  C sag-tum2 = ra-ba-gu
  A2 ˹sag˺-DU = ne-si-um
VE 253, VE 1428', EV 0335
  A sag-kešda? = [...]
  C [...]
  A2 b sag-kešda = ib2-tum
VE 257, VE 1217, EV 0326
  A C sag-du7 = ga-na-um
  A2 sag-[du7] = zi-ḫi-lu sag wa ga-na-u9-um
VE 287, VE 1429', EV 0428
  A <omitted>
  C [...]
  A2 [u2-šimbulugx-ga] = bu3-lu-ḫu-um
  b u2-šimbulugx!(ŠIM.GA)-ga {ḪU} = bu3-lu-ḫu-um
VE 303, VE 1431', EV 0392, EV 0432
  A <omitted>
  C [...]
  A2 u2-gamun2 = ga-ba-na-na-u9
  b u2-gamun2! = kab-na-ne-u9
VE 306, VE 1432', EV 0430
  A <omitted>
  C [...]
  A2 b u2-PI-naga = a-ri2-a-tum
VE 315, VE 1425', EV 0065
  A <omitted>
  C [e2]-[pap] = ([...])
  A2 e2-pap = sa-ʾa3-bu3
  b e2-pap = ar3-ra-tum
  a e2-pap = ʾa3-ra-tum
VE 340, VE 1207
  A C <omitted>
  A2 [e2]-˹ur2˺ = [gi]-˹ma-tum˺
VE 443, VE 1331'
  A C nu:geš-kiri6
  A2 nu-kiri6 = ga-ri2-um
VE 444, VE 1360'
  A C A2 geš-alanx(KID2.ALAM)
VE 453, VE 1262'
  A geš-e2 = a-me-tum
  C geš-e2
  A2 geš-e2 = dur-bi2-gum2 {ZA}
VE 495, VE 1365'
  A geš-tukul
  C A2 geš-tukul = zu-gu2-lum
VE 572, VE 1242'
  A balag = gi-na-ru12-um
  C [...]
  A2 ˹balag˺
VE 598, VE 1426', EV 0064
  A C <omitted>
  A2 e2-muš3 = u3-zu-gur-tum
  b e2-muš3 = a-zu-gur-tum
  a e2-muš3
VE 607, VE 1330'
  A! zal-a
  C [...]
  A2 zal-a = na-za-um
VE 628, VE 641, VE 1417'
  A a-sa2
  C [a-sa2] = ḫa-a-˹gu2˺-um
  A2 a-sa2 = ḫa-a-gum2
VE 629, VE 1450', EV 0002
  A A2 a-nigin2
  C a-nigin2 = du-lum
  b a-nigin2 = da-wu-lum
VE 651, VE 1405'
  A še-in-gal2 = gi-zi-lu
  C še-in-gal2 = ([...])
  A2 še-in-gal2 = i3-bi2-[lum]
VE 671, EV 0041
  A <omitted>
  C [...]
  A2 še-gibil
VE 787, VE 1455'
  A an-us2 = a-ma-du-um
  C [...]
  A2 an-us2 = a-ma-tum (?)
VE 788, VE 1420'
  A an-zamx(LAK304a) = a-za-mu-mu
  C [...]
  A2 an-zamx(LAK304a)
VE 833, VE 1321'
  A <omitted>
  C gana = ʾa3-ba-gu-um
  A2 gana = ʾa3-ba-gum2
VE 858, VE 1272'
  A NIN-TUG2 = zi-NE zi-la-um
  C [...]
  A2 NIN-TUG2
VE 896, VE 1451', EV 0122, EV 0191
  A A2 i3-gu7
  C [...]
  b i3-gu7 = a-gul-la-du!?
  a [i3]-gu7 = [a]-˹gu2˺-lu-um
VE 903, VE 1391', EV 0423
  A A2 ti-li-NE
  C [...]
VE 1011, VE 1353'
  A kid
  A2 kid = ša-[...]
  C [...]
VE 1013, VE 1155
  A BAḪAR4-GI
  C [...]
  A2 BAḪAR!(EDIN)-GI = NE-NI-um
VE 1050, VE 1315'
  A zi = nu-bu3-uš-du-um
  C [...]
  A2 zi = nu-bu3-uš-tum
VE 1070, VE 1215, EV 0115
  A [...]
  C A2 šar2-li = ga-na-um
VE 1081, VE 1446', EV 0216
  A <omitted>
  C [...]
  A2 b munu4­sar = ḫa-zu-ri2-tum

 

§4.2. The following remarks on these entries of these three main sources—A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64), A (75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+) and C (75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+)—are in order (note that VE 118 and VE 253 bear irrelevant features):

 

the Sumerian terms:

  • in VE 132, A2 has the same spelling as C, while the A omits the term; other cases of Sumerian terms omitted by A, but present in A2 and with the entire equivalence of C in the lacuna, are VE 287 (partially), VE 303, VE 306, VE 671, VE 1081; the entries in VE 340, VE 598, VE 833, attested by A2, are omitted by both A and C;
  • in VE 202, A2 has the spelling also found in C, while A has a variant spelling;
  • in VE 202 and VE 443, the spelling of A and of C is a variant of that in A2;
  • in VE 248, A2 has an equivalence which most probably is lexically different from that in A and in C, and likely there is not a real repetition here;
  • in VE 315, A2 has the same term as C, while A omits it;
  • in VE 444, A2, A and C do agree;
  • in VE 896 and VE 903, A2 has the spellings also found in A, but in C it is in the lacuna;

the Semitic terms:

  • in VE 182, A2 lexically agrees with both A and C, but they have three different spellings;
  • in VE 202, A2 lexically agrees with both A and C, but has a spelling which is a variant of that found in these latter two sources;
  • in VE 248, A2 has an equivalence which most probably is lexically different from that of A and in C, and likely there is not a real repetition here;
  • in VE 257, A2 has a translation only partially in lexical agreement with that of A and C;
  • in VE 453, A2 has a translation lexically different from that in A, while C omits the translation; the same is true in VE 651, whereas the translation of C (if it existed) is today in the lacuna;
  • in VE 495, A2 has the same translation found in source C, while A omits the translation; the same is true in VE 628, where A2 and C have different spellings;
  • in VE 572, VE 788 and VE 858, A has the translation, while it is omitted by A2, but in C it is in the lacuna;
  • in VE 607, VE 1011 and VE 1013, A omits the translation, while it is attested by A2, but in C it is in the lacuna;
  • in VE 629, C has a translation omitted in A2 and A;
  • in VE 787 and VE 1050, A2 lexically agrees with A, even if they have variant spellings, but in C these entries are in the lacuna;
  • in VE 1070, A2 has the same translation as found in C, but in A it is in the lacuna.

 

§5. Particularly meaningful to me seem the cases found in:

VE 182, “to pray, beg, implore”: here the Sum. term is gu3-ga2-2 in A and gu3-di-2 in C and A2, while the Sem. translation is palālum < *pll in all these sources (see Bonechi 1989: 135ff., Conti 1990: 95);

VE 315, “(clay) pipe for libations over the grave”; here the Sum. term e2-pap—which is found in C, A2, and b = 75.1302 and a = 75.1301—is omitted in A, while the Sem. translations are šaḥḥabum < *šḥb in A2 and harratum < *hrr in 75.1302 and 75.1301 (see Fronzaroli 1997: 16 and n. 43), being that of C in lacuna;

VE 453, VE 1262’, “prop, buttress, stanchion”; here the Sum. term is giš-e2 in A, C and A2, while the Semitic translations are ʿamidum < *ʿmd in A (see Fronzaroli 1984: 155), = turpiqqum < *rpq in A2 (C omits);

VE 586: here the Sum. term is ša3-tar-sur , while the Sem. translations have been interpreted (Conti 1990: 164-165) as qīrum < *qiwrum < *qwr, “spring,” in A (but see Fronzaroli forthcoming), and girpum < *grp, “flow, flood,” in b = 75.1302;

VE 620, “cormorant,” A.BALAGmušen, translated as qūqiyānum in A, and “vulture,” A.BUmušen in C, A.BALAGmušen in 75.1302, in both instances translated as ʾidʾābum (see Bonechi 2000: 264ff.).

§6.1. In the previous paragraphs the following Ebla lexical lists have been contrasted:

in §1, the bilingual excerpts 75.1302 and 75.1301 (putative sources b and a) against the unilingual “eš2-bar-kin5” list 75.2422+ (= MEE 4, 115 = MEE 15 1);

in §2, the bilingual excerpts 75.1302 and 75.1301 (putative sources b and a) against the putative main bilingual source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64);

in §3, the bilingual excerpts 75.1302 and 75.1301 (putative sources b and a) against the putative main bilingual sources A (75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+) and C (75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+);

in §4, the putative main bilingual source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64) against the putative main bilingual sources A (75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+) and C (75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+).

§6.2. Balancing all the evidence, I consider of fundamental importance the cases of VE 182, VE 435 and VE 620 against that of VE 315. Consequently, it seems to me that the cases of agreement in spelling and/or lexicon of 75.1302 and 75.1301 (sources b and a), of the source C, and of the source A2 on one hand, against the source A on the other, are more important than every other kind of agreement or disagreement among the entries of all these sources.

 

§6.3. Since the putative source C ends with VE 1090 and the putative source A2 begins with VE 1090, if the putative source A2 is the continuation of the putative source C then we have an early occurrence of the “catch line” found in later lexical lists. Admittedly, this feature is not found in the only other known main source whose text is written in more than one tablet, that is the putative bilingual source D, composed by 75.2284 = MEE 4, 12, 75.1774 = MEE 4, 24, 75.1448 = MEE 4, 32, 75.1426 = MEE 4, 40 and 75.1825+3131 = MEE 4, 47+48. However, the source D is rather differently arranged, since the (always preserved) ends and the (always preserved) beginnings of its five tablets may show gaps between the Sumerian entries found in the monolingual list 75.2422+ = MEE 4, 115 = MEE 15, 1:

 

end of MEE 4, 12 = VE 204 (gap) VE 210 = beginning of MEE 4, 24
end of MEE 4, 24 = VE 339   VE 340 = beginning of MEE 4, 32
end of MEE 4, 32 = VE 423 (gap) VE 458 = beginning of MEE 4, 40
end of MEE 4, 40 = VE 575 (gap) VE 577 = beginning of MEE 4, 47+

 

§6.4. Considering the only case in which a gap seems to have been avoided by the scribe(s) of the putative source D, it is difficult to say if the last case of the last column of the reverse of the second tablet, that is MEE 4, 24 rev. vii 13, which was left blank by the scribe after he wrote the Sumerian term in VE 339, was intended to be filled by its Semitic translation or by the next Sumerian term, which occurs as the first entry of the next tablet, MEE 4, 32. In any case, the putative source D should be attributed to a scribal milieu or circle rather different from those to which the various sources discussed above may be attributed, and consequently the habits and aims of the various scribes may too have been rather different.

 

§7.1. To sum up, the modalities of the formation of the Ebla lexical materials discussed above look more complicated than usually thought, and the deepest research is needed (urgently regarding the palaeography).

 

§7.2. However, it seems to me that the evidence gathered above strongly suggests that the putative source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64) of the Ebla bilingual lexical list is not the continuation of the putative source A (75.2000+ = MEE 4, 1+), but rather the continuation of the putative source C (75.11252+ = MEE 4, 13+); a more apt denomination for “A2” would therefore be “C2.”

 

§7.3. It also results that the putative source A2 and the excerpts 75.1302 and 75.1301 (putative sources b and a) belong to the materials produced by the scribal milieu or circle which also produced the putative source C.

 

§7.4. Moreover, if the conjectures presented above have some ground, the following preliminary grouping of the manuscript families of the typical Ebla lexical sources—that is, the unilingual “eš2-bar-kin5” (EBK) and the bilingual (EBL) lists—may be suggested. My rough chronological order makes reference to at least three different scribal circles, probably at Ebla itself and during a rather short span of time, working on materials of Mesopotamian origin:

 

Sources Archi’s Designation Pettinato’s Edition Entries
(first phase)
EBL-1 D (five medium size tablets) MEE 4, 12, 24, 32, 40, 47+ 2-880
(second phase)
EBK-A (large tablet) MEE 4, 115 = MEE 15, 1+ 1-1119
EBL-2 A (large tablet) MEE 4, 1+ 1-1089
(third phase)
EBL-3 C (large tablet) MEE 4, 13+ 1-1090
  excerpts 75.1302 MEE 4, 74
  and 75.1301 MEE 4, 73
  A2 (medium size tablet) MEE 4, 63+64+71+ARET 3, 683 1090-1457
EBL-4 B (very large tablet) MEE 4, 8+ 1-1410+

 

§8. Addendum. It can be suggested that two already-published fragments of Ebla bilingual lists are joins of the putative source A2 (75.10023+11301+ = MEE 4, 63+64).They are 75.11317 (= MEE 4, 71, Pettinato 1982: 90, source BG) and 75.3757 (= ARET 3, 683, published among the administrative texts in Archi- Biga 1982: 187; as for this fragment see Bonechi 1992). This is the result of these suggested joins:

 

VE 1211
  MEE 4, 63-64 obv. viii 1-2 gu3-di-2 / ˹ba-la-lum˺
VE 671
  ARET 3, 683 obv. viii 3 še-gibil
  (entry unattested in VE, but to be collated)
  ARET 3, 683 obv. viii 4 KA-U2-KAK (Sumerian or Sem. gloss of še-gibil?)
VE 1212
  ARET 3, 683 obv. viii 5-6 KI.DARA3.DIM nig2-gar / a-bi2-lu za-a-tim
VE 1225
  MEE 4, 63-64 obv. viii 28-29 X-uḫ / ma-i-LUM
  [obv. ix 1-2] [wa] [...]
  ARET 3, 683 obv. ix 3-4 wa ri2-ma-tum
VE 1226
  ARET 3, 683 obv. ix 5-6 ˹din˺mušen / gi-ti-da-num2
VE 1227
  MEE 4, 71 obv. ix 7-8 a:tu22 / ʾa3-a-um
VE 1228
  MEE 4, 71 obv. ix 9-10 NAGA-DI / ba-sa-LUM
VE 1229
  MEE 4, 71 obv. ix 11-12 gi-sig / ša-ga-LUM
VE 1230
  MEE 4, 71 obv. ix 13-14 GI-KID2 / zi-[gal za-mu]
VE 1232
  MEE 4, 63-64 obv. ix [15]-16 [NIN-UŠmušen] / ir3-˹lu˺-um
VE 1259
  MEE 4, 63-64 obv. xi 1-2 ˹dam˺-[...] / gi-˹na˺-[...]
VE 1262
  MEE 4, 71 obv. xi [3]-4 [geš-e2] / dur-bi2-gum2 {ZA}
VE 1263
  MEE 4, 71 obv. xi 5-6 ab-lal / ur-bu3-um
VE 1264
  MEE 4, 71 obv. xi 7-9 ab-la2-˹la2˺ / ur-x-[...]
VE 1266
  MEE 4, 71+63-64 obv. xi 9-10 ˹šen?-e2˺ / a-ra-ḫi-iš A

 


 

Bibliography

 

Archi, Alfonso
1992 “Transmission of the Mesopotamian Lexical and Literary Texts.” In Fronzaroli, P., ed., Literature and Literary Language at Ebla. QuSem 18. Florence: University of Florence, pp. 1-39.
2006 “Eblaite in Its Geographical and Historical Context.” In Deutscher, G. & Kouwenberg, N. J. C., eds., The Akkadian Language in Its Semitic Context. Studies in the Akkadian of the Third and Second Millennium BC. PIHANS 106. Leiden: NINO, pp. 96-109.
Archi, Alfonso & Biga, Maria Giovanna
1982 Testi amministrativi di vario contenuto (Archivio L.2769; TM.G.3000-4101). ARET 3. Rome: Missione archeologica italiana in Siria.
Bonechi, Marco
1989 “Un atto di culto a Ebla.”In Fronzaroli, P., ed., Miscellanea Eblaitica 2, QuSem 16. Florence: University of Florence, pp. 131-147.
1992 “On ARET III 683.” NABU 1992/13.
2000 “Noms d'oiseaux à Ébla: les rapaces.” In Parayre, D., ed., Les animaux et les hommes dans le monde syro-mésopotamien aux époques historiques, Topoi Suppl. 2. Lyon: Maison de l’Orient méditerranéen, pp. 251-281.
Conti, Giovanni
1990 “Il sillabario della quarta fonte della lista lessicale bilingue eblaita.” In Fronzaroli, P., ed., Miscellanea Eblaitica 3. QuSem 17. Florence: University of Florence, pp. 1-220.
Fronzaroli, Pelio
1984 “Materiali per il lessico eblaita 1.” SEb 7, 145-190.
1997 “Divinazione a Ebla (TM.76.G.86).” In Fronzaroli, P., ed., Miscellanea Eblaitica 4. QuSem 19. Florence: University of Florence, pp. 1-22.
forthcoming “La conservation des céréales dans les textes de chancellerie d’Ébla.”
Pettinato, Giovanni
1982 Testi lessicali bilingui della Biblioteca L.2769. MEE 4. Naples: Istituto universitario orientale.
1984 “Rapporto tra il vocabolario princeps e gli estratti di vocabolario rinvenuti ad Ebla.” In Cagni, L., ed., Il bilinguismo a Ebla. Naples: Istituto universitario orientale, pp. 9-49.


Version: 19 December 2016