• SAA 10 294




  • Neo-Assyrian
  • Kuyunjik (Nineveh)
  • Scholarly Letter
  • from exorcists


LAS 031; SAA 10, 001

SAA 10 294. The Forlorn Scholar (ABL 1285) [from exorcists] [via SAAO/SAA10]

o 1o 1

[a-na LUGAL be--ia ARAD-ka mARADdgu-la]

(1) [To the king, my lord: your servant Urad-Gula]. [The best of health to the king, my lord]! May Marduk and [Zarpanitu, Nabû and Tašmetu, Ištar of Nineveh and Ištar] of Arbe[la, Ninurta and Gula, Nergal and Laṣ] very greatly bless [the king my lord, the jus]t one! May they bestow [long days and everlasting years] upon the king, my lord!

o 22

[lu-u DI-mu a-na LUGAL be--ia adan-niš] d*AMAR*.UTU* d⸣[zar-pa-ni-tum]

o 33

[dAG dtaš-me-tum d15 ša URU.NINA.KI d15] ša URU.⸢arba*⸣-[ìl dMAŠ dgu-la]

o 44

[dU.GUR dla-aṣ a-na LUGAL be--ia ke-e]-nu adan-niš adan-niš lik*-ru*⸣-[bu]

o 55

[UD-MEŠ GÍD-MEŠ MU.AN.NA-MEŠ da-ra]-⸢ti* a-⸢na LUGAL be--ia a-na ši-rik-ti liš-ru-ku

o 66

[DINGIR-MEŠ GAL-MEŠ ša AN-e KI.TIM] lik*-tar*⸣-ra-bu LUGAL-ut-ka na-din zi-bi-i-ka

(6) [May the great gods of Heaven and Earth] constantly bless your kingship, [may they love the pure] sacrifices you offer and [appreci]ate your priesthood, may they guard your steps [and straighten your path], may they defeat your enemies, slay your foes, dri[ve off your adversaries] and pick up their possessions; may they make your leadership as beneficial as choicest oil to the totality of all nations; may they keep the foundation of your throne firm as a rock forever; may Šamaš, the light of Heaven and Earth, be receptive to a just verdict concerning you.

o 77

[el-lu-ti li-ra-mu li-iḫ-šu]-⸢ḫu* .SANGA-ut-ka ki-bi-is GÌR.2-ka li⸣-iṣ*-⸢ṣu⸣-ru

o 88

[liš-te-ši-ru KASKAL.2-ka] ⸣.KÚR-MEŠ-ka lis-ki-pu li-šam--tu a.a-bi-ka

o 99

[ga-re-e-ka li-ṭa]-⸢ar*⸣-ri-du lil-qu-tu bi-⸢*⸣-šá*-šú-un

o 1010

.SIPA-ut-ka ki*-ma ú-lu ù Ì.GIŠ* UGU nap-ḫar kiš-šat UN*⸣-[MEŠ] li⸣-iṭ-ṭib-bu

o 1111

-di GIŠ.GU.ZA LUGAL-ti-ka ki-ma ši-pik KUR-i li-šar-ši-du a-na UD-me ṣa-a-ti

o 1212

dUTU ZÁLAG AN-e ù KI.TIM a-na de-en kit-ti-ka lit-taš-ka-na uz-na-a-šú

o 1313

LUGAL be- a-na de-ni ša ARAD-šú li-qu-la di-ib-bi gab-bu LUGAL le-e-mur

(13) May the king, my lord, heed the case of his servant, let the king see the whole situation! Initially, in (the days of) the king's father, I was a poor man, son of a poor man, a dead dog, a vile and limited person. He lifted me from the dung heap; I got to receive gifts from him, and my name was mentioned among men of good fortune. I used to enjoy generous 'leftovers'; intermittently, he used to give me a mule [or] an ox, and yearly I earned a mina or two of silver.

o 1414

TAv re-e-ši ina ŠÀ AD-šú ša LUGAL la-ap-nu DUMU la-ap-ni kal-bu mi-i-tu

o 1515

[sak]-⸢lu ù su-uk-ku-ku a-na-ku TAv ŠÀ ki-qil-li-ti in*-ta-at-ḫa-an-ni

o 1616

[na-mu]-⸢ra*⸣-te-šú a-maḫ-ḫar-šú TAv .ERIM-MEŠ SIG₅-MEŠ-ti šu-mi iz⸣-zak-kar

o 1717

[re]-⸢e⸣-ḫa-ti ma--da-a-ti ak-kal ina bi-ri-it i-ba-áš-ši ANŠE.GÌR.NUN.NA

o 1818

[o] GUD.NÍTA it-tan-na ù MU.AN.NA-ia KUG.UD 01 MA.NA 02 MA.NA a-kaš-šad

o 1919

[UD-MEŠ] ša DUMULUGAL be--ia TAv .MAŠ.MAŠ-MEŠ-šú re-ḫa-a-ti a-maḫ-ḫar

(19) [In the days] of my lord's crownprincehood I received 'leftovers' with your exorcists; I stood [at] the window openings, keeping watch; all the days that I spent in his service I guarded his privileges, I did not enter the house of a eunuch or a courtier without his permission. I was looked upon as one who eats lion's morsels, I appeased your god. Now, following his father, the king my lord has added to the good name he had established, but I have not been treated in accordance with my deeds; I have suffered as never before, and given up the ghost.

o 2020

[ina ŠÀ]-bi* ap-ta-⸢te* at-ti-ti-iz ma-aṣ-ṣar- at⸣-ta-aṣ-ṣar UD-mu ammar ina IGI-šú

o 2121

az⸣-zi-zu-u-ni ik-ki--e-šú at-ta-aṣ-ṣar ina É *.SAG ù šaziq*-ni

o 2222

ša la-a pi-i-šú la-a e-ru-ub a-kil* ú-ka-la-a-ti ša UR.MAḪ at-ta-ad-gíl

o 2323

DINGIR-ka* ú?-sal*⸣-li-ma ú-ma-a LUGAL be- idda-at AD-šú ur-ta-ad-di šu-mu SIG₅

o 2424

uk*-ta*-in* ù a-na-ku la-a ina pi-it-ti ep-še-ti-ia ep-šá-ak

o 2525

ki*-i* [la] ina* pa*⸣-ni-it-tim-ma ag-du-uṣ-ṣu-uṣ nap-šá-a-ti as-sa-kan

o 2626

MU la* SIG₅* li⸣-iḫ-šú ù še-eṣ-ṣu-ú ša a-bi-ti iz-zi-ʾa-ár

(26) Improper conduct, whispering about and revealing a secret are detestable things; I guarded the privileges of the king my lord, but I did not find benefactors. I endured [...] words, [I made] (my) office (my) night's resting place, I taught the servants, the non-eunuchs and eunuchs alike, submission, toil and fear of the palace, and what did I get for it?

o 2727

ik*-[ki]-⸢bi* ša* LUGAL* EN⸣-ia at-ta-aṣ-ṣar .EN-MEŠMUN la-a aṣ-ba-ta

o 2828

dib-⸢bi* x x x⸣+[x]-ú-tu as-sa-ad-da-ad ma-az-za-as-su nu-bat-tu

o 2929

x⸣+[x] x x x ú* ka-na-a-šú ka-da-a-ru ù pu-luḫ-tu ša É.GAL

o 3030

.ARAD*⸣-MEŠ ša—⸢ziq*-ni* ù .SAG-MEŠ us-sa-am-mid mi-i-nu ina ŠÀ-bi

o 3131

aḫ-⸢za*⸣-ku* šum*-⸢mu* il-la-ka .um-ma-a-ni dan-nu-ti ù .⸢02*-u⸣-ti

(31) If it is befitting that first-ranking scholars and (their) assistants receive mules, (surely) I should be granted one donkey; like[wise], (as) oxen are apportioned in Tebet (X), I too should [...] one ox!

o 3232

ANŠE*.GÌR*.NUN*.NA*-MEŠ* i-na-áš-ši-u ia-a-ši 01-en ANŠE.NÍTA lid-di-[nu]-u-ni

o 3333

i-⸢se⸣-[niš ina] ITI*⸣.AB GUD-MEŠ uz-za-uz-zu a-na-ku-⸢ma* 01*⸣-[en] GUD

o 3434

lu [x x]+⸢x ina ŠÀ ITI 02-šú 03-šú x x 03 04 a-na x⸣+[x x id-du]-nu*

(34) Two or three times within a month three to four [... are give]n to [...];

o 3535

x⸣+[x x x ].⸢šá⸣-mal*-lu-u* ša? [.MAŠ].MAŠ 02-i x⸣+[x x i-ṣab]-⸢bat

(35) [even ap]prentice [of the] assistant [... ge]ts [... and] enjoys [a sh]eep [......]; but [me], [what (compensation) do I d]raw, or for what pur[pose do I w]ork?

o 3636

[ù x] UDU*.NÍTA [x x x x x] ek*-kal ù [a-na-ku]-⸢ma

o 3737

[mi-i-nu a-na]-áš-ši ú-la-a dul-lu a-na mi-[i-ni ep-pa]-áš

o 3838

[x x x x x x x]-⸢ṭu*⸣-ú ša LUGAL la-a a-dag-gal la-[a x x x]+⸢x⸣-pi*

(38) I cannot look at the [......] of the king, no[r ......]

o 3939

[x x x x x UD]-mu ù MI ina IGI* gab-ʾi ša UR.MAḪ LUGAL* ú*⸣-ṣal-[la]

(39) [......] Day and night I pray to the king in front of the lion's pit [...... which ...] are not ... with morsels [......] my heart amidst my colleagues [......]

o 4040

[x x x x x x x x x x x]+⸢x⸣-ni ina ŠÀ ú-ka-la-a-ti la sa-am-mu-ú-⸢ni* [x]

o 4141

[x x x x x x x x]+⸢x ŠÀ*-bi bir-ti mi-iḫ-ri-⸢ia* [x]+⸢x [x x x]

b.e. 42b.e. 42

[x x x x x x x x x x x x]+⸢x x⸣+[x x x x]+⸢x⸣+[x x x x x x x]

(b.e. 42) (Break)

b.e. 4343

[x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x]

b.e. 4444

[x x x x x x x x x x x] kar [x x x x x]+⸢x da [x x x x x x]

b.e. 4545

[x x x x x x x] ù bir-ti ŠEŠ-MEŠ-ia is-se-niš x⸣+[x x x x x]

(45) [......] and likewise among my brothers [......]

r 1r 1

[x x x x] kal* ma-šá*⸣--it .a-su-ti nap*-šal-a*⸣-[ti x x x x x]

(r 1) [......] a medical potion, ointment[s ......]

r 22

[x x x x]+⸢x x x [x x x x] UDU⸣.U₈-MEŠ la ki-i an-ni-e* ina x⸣+[x x x]

(r 2) [......] aren't ewes [......] in this manner?

r 33

[x x x x]+⸢x⸣-du-ú-ti e-gír-tu ina ŠU.2 mLUGALZÁLAG .SAG a-na LUGAL EN-⸢ia

(r 3) [......]... [I sent] a letter to the king my lord through Šarru-nuri the eunuch; but I (only) heaped up the grief of my heart, writing to the king, my lord.

r 44

[a-sap-ra] ù mu-ru-uṣ ŠÀ-bi-ia uk-tam-me-ra a-na LUGAL EN-ia áš-pu-⸢ra

r 55

[x x nu-bat]-⸢tu* la-a -⸢e*⸣-da-at e-gír-tu LUGAL a-na ARAD-šú is-sap-ra

(r 5) The very same evening [...] the king sent a letter to his servant, [saying "I did not k]now that you are having such a hard time; (for) I [......] did send for you." The word of the king my lord is as difficult as a mountain!

r 66

[ma-a la ú]-da ki-i a-⸢kan*⸣-ni-⸢i šam-ru-ṣa-ka-a-ni ma-a a-na-ku

r 77

[x x x x]-ad a-ta-ba-ak-ka a-bu-tu ša LUGAL EN-ia ki-i KUR-e šap⸣-[šu-qat]

r 88

e⸣-[gír-tu] TAv GIŠ.GU.ZA ša dPA ina ŠÀ tukul*-ti as-sa-kan-ši ki-i DUMU e-⸢di*

(r 8) I placed the letter in safekeeping at the throne of Nabû and guarded it like (my) only son; (but) if my distress has in any way slackened, the king my lord should be very happy indeed. He should have remembered his servant, saying "Let him receive my necklace while [I] am looking on." There is another saying, too: "He who has been stabbed in the back has (still) got a mouth to speak, but he who has been stabbed in the mouth, how can he speak?"

r 99

at*⸣-[ta]-⸢ṣar*⸣-ši TAv ma-aṣ-ṣi si*-⸢in*⸣--ia paṭ-ru-u*-ni* LUGAL be- a*dan-[niš]

r 1010

ŠÀ-ba*-šú* lu-u DÙG.GA-šú ARAD-šú lu-u iḫ-su-sa* ma-a ina da-ga-a-li-[ia]

r 1111

li*⸣-iḫ-ḫu-ra ki⸣-šá-⸢di* a*-bu*⸣-tu ši-i* 02*-tu ma-a ša TAv ku-tal-[li-šú]

r 1212

ma⸣-ḫi-iṣ-ṣu-⸢ni* KA*-šú* lid-bu-ub ù ša ina KA-šú ma-ḫi-iṣ-⸢ṣu⸣-[ni]

r 1313

[ina] ŠÀ* mi-i*-ni* lid-bu-ub an-nu-rig 02-ta MU.AN.NA-MEŠ TAv mar 02 ú-⸢ma⸣-[me-ia]

(r 13) It is two years now since the two be[asts of mine] died; I have walked three times to Arbela and once to the city of Assur, (but) who has showed me any compassion by taking me by the hand or [leading me] into the presence of the king my lord? Why did the king summon an exorcist from Ekallate, while I had to take to the back (lit. desert) roads because of people asking me: "Why do you go on foot?"

r 1414

me-tu*⸣-ni 03-šú a-na URU.arba-ìl ma-la a-na URU.ŠÀURU ina GÌR.2-ia at-[ta-lak]

r 1515

[man]-nu ra-ʾi-i-ma-ni qa-ti iṣ-bat ù lu-u ina IGI LUGAL be--ia ú?⸣-[še-ri-ban-ni]

r 1616

a*⸣-ta-a ina ŠÀ URU.É.GAL-MEŠ SAG .MAŠ.MAŠ LUGAL -ši ù a-na-ku ḫu*⸣-[lu]

r 1717

ša mu-da-bi-ri aṣ-ṣa-bat TAv IGI ša UN-MEŠ i-šá-ʾu-lu-un-ni-ni o*

r 1818

ma-a a-ta-a* ina* GÌR*.2*-ka* tal*⸣-[la]-⸢ka* UN-MEŠ É et-te-qu dan-nu-ti ina GIŠ.GU.⸢ZA⸣-MEŠ

(r 18) People pass my house, the mighty on palanquins, the assistants in carts, (even) the juniors on mules, and I have to walk!

r 1919

.02-ú-ti ina GIŠ*.sa*-par-⸢ra*⸣-ti .ṣe-eḫ-ru-ti ina ŠÀ ANŠE.GÌR.NUN.NA-MEŠ

r 2020

a-na-ku ina GÌR.2-ia i-SAK-KUL LUGAL i-qab-bi ma-a DUMU ma-a-ti šu-u LUGAL liš*-al*

(r 20) Perhaps the king will say: "He is a citizen." The king can ask (anyone): My father portioned out 6 homers of field with his brother Nabû-zeru-lešir; I and my brother got three homers each, and in addition two souls! By the grace of the king my lord I have purchased 5 or 6 souls.

r 2121

AD-u-a 06 ANŠE-MEŠ A.ŠÀ TAv mdPANUMUNGIŠ ŠEŠ-šú ib-ta-at-qa ana-ku ù ŠEŠ-u-a

r 2222

03 ANŠE-MEŠ ni-it-ti-ši ù 02 .⸢ZI⸣-MEŠ is-se-niš ina GIŠ.MI LUGAL EN-ia

r 2323

.ZI-MEŠ 05* 06* aq-ṭu-nu ina Ékid-mur-ri e-ta-rab* qa-re-e-tu e-ta-pa-áš

(r 23) I have visited the Kidmuru temple and arranged a banquet, (yet) my wife has embarrassed me; for five years (she has been) neither dead nor alive, and I have no son. This year three women have fallen to me; but I have no farmer, no farm equipment, no farm. By Anu, Enlil and Ea who are firmly implanted in the head of the king, my lord, I cannot (even) afford a pair of sandals or the wages of a tailor, I have not got a spare suit of clothes, and I have incurred a debt of almost six minas of silver, plus the interest.

r 2424

ši-i ta-ad-dal-ḫa-an-ni 05 MU.AN.NA-MEŠ la*-a mu-ʾa-a-tu la ba-la-ṭu

r 2525

ù DUMU*-a.a la-áš-šú 03 -MEŠ MU.AN.NA an-ni-tu it-tuq-ta-an-ni ù .ENGAR*

r 2626

la-áš-šú É GIŠ.APIN A.ŠÀ la-áš-šú da-num dEN.LÍL u dÉ.A ša ina SAG.DU

r 2727

ša LUGAL EN-ia kun-nu-ni šúm-mu ammar KUŠ.E.SÍR ammar ig-ri

r 2828

ša .TÚG.KA.KÉŠ ma-aṣ-ṣa-ku-ni te-nu-ú ša TÚ i-ba-áš-šú-ni

r 2929

ù GÍN*⸣-MEŠ LAL-ṭi a-na 06 MA.NA KUG.UD SAG.DU la ḫab-bu-la-ku-u-ni

r 3030

[ù ina] MU⸣.AN.NA-MEŠ-ia ma-a a-na ši-bu-ti tak-šu-da tu-kul-ta-ka lu-u* man*-nu

(r 30) [Also], I am [50?] years (already) and they say: "Once you have reached old age, who will support you?" [The king] is not pleased with me; I go to the palace, I am no good; [I turned to] a prophet (but) did not find [any hop]e, he was adverse and did not see much. [O king] my [lord], seeing you is happiness, your attention is a fortune!

r 3131

[ina IGI x la]-a maḫ-rak el-li a-na É.GAL la-a tar-ṣa-ak : .ra-ag-gi-mu

r 3232

[as-sa-ʾa-al?] SIG₅? la-a a-mur ma*-aḫ-ḫur ù di-ig-lu un-ta-aṭ-ṭi

r 3333

[ša LUGAL be-]-ía a-ma-ár-ka SIG₅ : na-as-ḫur-ka maš-ru-ú

r 3434

[ŠÀ-bu x x ša] LUGAL* le-e-ṭi-ib liš-pur-an-ni ammar 02 ú-ma*-a-me*

(r 34) May the kin[g's .... heart] soften, and may he at least send me the two beasts, [......]..., and a spare suit of clothes! Guarding [......]..., for the crownprincehood of the king, my lord [...]

r 3535

[x x x x x]-ke-e ù te*--e ša TÚ ù na-ṣa-ri

r 3636

[x x x x x]-da-ta a-na DUMULUGAL-u-ti ša LUGAL be--[ía x x]

r 3737

[LUGAL be- TAv ŠÀ ṣe]-⸢ḫe⸣-ri-šú ud-dan-ni mu-uk la-a x⸣+[x x x x x]

(r 37) [The king my lord] knows me since the time he was a child; I have (always) said: "No [...]

r 3838

[x x x x x x x x]-ni-ba-šá x e x⸣+[x x x x x x]

(r 38) (Break)

e. 1e. 1

[x x x] ḫu?⸣-ub-tùm-ma* [x x x x x]+⸢x⸣-man*-ni TAv man-ni* LUGAL ú-šá-an-⸢mar? [x x x x]

(e. 1) [...] robbery [.....]... with whom will the king brighte[n ......]

e. 22

[x x x]-ú* man-nu le-e-mur EN? [x x x x]-MEŠ-šú li-⸢iṣ⸣-[bat x x x]+⸢x la i-ma-at*-[x x x]

(e. 2) who would see [......] and gra[sp] his [... will] not lif[t ......]

Adapted from Simo Parpola, Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (State Archives of Assyria, 10), 1993. Lemmatised by Mikko Luukko, 2016, as part of the research programme of the Alexander von Humboldt Chair in the Ancient History of the Near and Middle East at LMU Munich (Karen Radner, Humboldt Professorship 2015). The annotated edition is released under the Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license 3.0. Please cite this page as