Cuneiform Texts in the Collection of St. Martin Archabbey Beuron: Notes

1   The existence and present accommodation of the collection were kindly brought to my attention by Dr. Bonifatia Gesche OSB. Professor Dr. Benedikt Schwank OSB of St. Martin Archabbey Beuron generously granted me access to the cuneiform texts as well as the permission to publish them. I would like to thank Professor Schwank for his friendliness and hospitality during my visits to Beuron. Finally, thanks are due to cand. phil. Julia Rubin who skillfully and diligently assisted me in the documentation of the cuneiform texts edited here and in the preparation of §3, “Alphabetical Index of Words and Proper Names.”


2   Athanasius (Max) Miller (22 September 1881 - 17 April 1963) entered the archabbey of St. Martin at Beuron in 1901 and earned a doctoral degree in Theology in 1908. Being a true polymath, Miller travelled to the Near East three times (1910/1911, 1914, 1930/1931), taught as Professor of Old Testament at the Pontifi cal Athenaeum of Saint Anselm, Rome, from 1922 through 1949, and served as consultor (1940-1949) and secretary (1949-1962) of the Pontifi cal Biblical Commission. As his own, handwritten transliterations and translations of many cuneiform texts edited here demonstrate, he also possessed considerable assyriological expertise. A bibliography of his numerous publications may be found in Mayer 1963, 101-105.


3   For a concordance of the previously known texts, see §4, “Concordance of Registration Numbers (AM - EBKT),” below.


4   See Dhorme 1912 Pl. I AM 1; Pl. III AM 6; Pl. IV AM 9; Pl. VI AM 13; Pl. VII AM 14.


5   In addition to these 21 cuneiform texts, the archabbey of St. Martin at Beuron houses one more inscribed clay tablet identical to or a clay cast of RA 10, 65, 42-45. For the phenomenon and typology of such reproductions of cuneiform tablets, see Hilgert 1997, 45-47. The bibliographical abbreviations used here are explained at for_Assyriology. In addition, the text sigla “AM” and “EBKT” are abbreviations of “Athanasius Miller” and “Erzabtei Beuron, Keilschrifttexte,” respectively.


6   On the political signifi cance of the offi ce of šagina, see the remarks by Steinkeller 1987, 31 and note 44.


7   If the prince Ur-Suena attested in AuOr 16, 204-205 T.17 rev. 11, were indeed identical with the aforementioned son of Šulgi, the issue of the date of the administrative documents edited in Mander 1998 might have to be reconsidered (cf. Mander 1998, 193).


8   The chronological distribution of these documents makes it appear likely that the records without year date formula were also written during the reign of Šulgi (compare the preceding footnote). However, as the title dumu(-munus) lugal “prince(ss)” was kept even after the king and father had died (see, e. g., Jacobsen 1953, 37 note 6; Sallaberger 1999, 185), there remains a degree of uncertainty concerning the date of these tablets without year date formula.


9   In addition, it should be noted that all of these documents were issued in the tenth, eleventh, twelfth, or first month of the year, the hibernation season when the cubs of most bear species are born.


10   Several other terms for processed or prepared meat are well attested in Puzriš-Dagan administrative documents; see, e. g., Hilgert 2003, 52-53; Sallaberger 1993a, 113 and notes 510.511; Steinkeller 1995, 49 and 62 notes 3 through 7.


11   This line of argumentation does not rule out the possibility that nim was a qualification that did not describe the actual activity of preparing meat in a specific manner or the result of this procedure. Thus, nim might very well be connected with the generic ethnonym/ toponym nim “highland(er)” amply attested in the socalled “messenger texts” of the Ur III period (see, e. g., Sallaberger 1999, 306; compare CAD Š/II 16 s. v. šaqû A adj., lexical section) and, accordingly, “nim-meat” (“highlander meat” [?]) could denote a way of meat preparation originally typical - or held to be typical - of the regions or ethnic groups termed nim in the contemporary cuneiform sources (compare, e. g., the following German designations of meat products and meat dishes: “Frankfurter,” ”Kasseler,” “Krakauer,” “Szegediner Gulasch,” “Thüringer,” “Wiener”). Correspondingly, a reading elam (“Elam; Elamite”) of NIM in the expression at hand cannot be entirely excluded, either.


12   See Selz 1993, 41-42 (cf. Selz 1989, 394 zu Nik 1, 170, 1, 1 [with bibliographical references]); compare Sallaberger 1994, 146, as well as the references from Mari ARM 21, 13, 2' (udu nim; courtesy N. Ziegler) and ARM 24, 48, 13 (sila4 nim).


13   Within the present clause, i7 ˹pa2˺-ri7-ik-tum-ma is understood to represent the locative argument of the finite verbal form ba-gi4. However, it should be noted that in Ur III administrative documents, graphemic realizations of Akkadian loanwords (nominative case) with appended -ma occur in clauses where no locative argument is warranted and the function of the morpheme expressed by -ma remains uncertain or ambiguous (see, e. g., Hilgert 2002, 256 note 36, on A 2771, 9 [unpub., Umma: mu us2-sa dšu-dsuen lugal uri5ki-ma-ke4 bad3 mu-ri-i3-iq-tum-ma mu-du3]; ibid., 327-328 note 52, on šarrahum). A systematic analysis of these and other relevant graphemic representations is lacking.


14   See CAD P 187b s. v. parku adj. 1. b).


15   For 6N-T105, see Hilgert 2002, 47.


16   See Hilgert 2002, 208 note 154.


17   Just as the document at hand, Ontario 1, 167 (Amar-Suen 2-00-00) records a withdrawal by an individual named Kuli. However, the context of Ontario 1, 167 suggests that in this document the expression a-ša3 dal-ba-na is used as a proper name (“dalbana-field”) and not as a common noun. Still, EBKT 16 and Ontario 1, 167 are both characterized by exceptionally complex verbal clauses which might point to a common origin within one bureau.


18   H. Waetzoldt (oral communication) suggests a slightly different interpretation based on the assumption that kun represents the direct object (absolutive case) of the participle zu-de3, while a-ša3 dal-ba-na is a proper noun and occurs in a dimensional case (directive case [?]) resulting in the following translation of the passage in question: “they returned/were sent back to the dam of the transversal canal in order to explore the outlet (of the canal) by/next to the dalbana-field.” Due to the various uncertainties described above, I cannot decide which interpretation is more adequate.


19   Compare, however, note 17 above with reference to ROM 1, 167.


20   For examples from Puzriš-Dagan administrative documents, see, e. g., Hilgert 1998, 425-426.


21   CDLB 2007:2, 1 no. 2, obv. 1-3, reads: 1(u) la2 1(dištenû) udu / 1(diš) maš2 / la-a-MU agrig. Given the conspicuous similarity between this text and EBKT 20, one is tempted to speculate whether la-a-MU agrig (CDLB 2007:2, no. 2, 3) and la-ia3(NI)-MU (EBKT 20, 3) might refer to the same person. However, there is no evidence corroborating this hypothesis.


22   See, e. g., Dahl 2007, 86 note 308; Grégoire 1970, 133; Maeda 1995, 333; Studevent-Hickman 2006, 35-37; cf. Sallaberger 1993a, 268.


23   Is this Ab-ba-mu identical with an early city governor of Umma (ensi2) known by the same name (see Dahl 2007, 51-52)?


24   See Studevent-Hickman 2006, 31. 35-41.


25   This individual might be listed alongside Ur-gešgigir šabra (MVN 4, 17 obv. 4; see the remarks on EBKT 21 obv. 2, above) in MVN 4, 17 obv. 6; compare Maeda 1995, 333.


26   For Inim-Šara, see Studevent-Hickman 2006, 38.


27   On one Lugal-gu4-e nu-banda3 gu4, see Struve 1969 passim and Studevent-Hickman 2006, 41-44.


28   This difference had already been noted by Sallaberger 1989, 316 and note 41.


29   See, e. g., ASJ 19, 215, 42 obv. 4; BPOA 1, 1427 obv. 4; MVN 1, 88 rev. 11; MVN 4, 66 obv. 4; MVN 16, 825 obv. 4; MVN 21, 193 obv. 3; Nisaba 9, 335 obv. 4; SACT 2, 73 obv. 3; SAT 2, 875 rev. 12; UTI 3, 2122 obv. 2; YOS 18, 107 obv. 5.


30   Christina Tsouparopoulou is preparing a detailed study on the administrative activities of Naram-ili and the cuneiform texts bearing impressions of his seal. I would like to thank Ms. Tsouparopoulou for willingly sharing with me her expertise in this subject.


31   This index is based on data compiled by cand. phil. Julia Rubin. In order to classify the proper names attested, the following abbreviated expressions have been employed: divine name (DN); field name (FN); geographical name (GN); month name (MN); personal name (MN); royal name (RN). Text citations refer to corresponding number of §2 in the present paper follows information provided in the KVM catalogue.