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The Rôle of Amulets in Mesopotamian Ritual Texts Author(s): Beatrice L. Goff Source: Journal of

The Rôle of Amulets in Mesopotamian Ritual Texts Author(s): Beatrice L. Goff

Source: Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 19, No. 1/2 (Jan. - Jun., 1956),

pp. 1-39

Published by: The Warburg Institute

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THE

ROLE

OF

AMULETS

IN

TEXTS

MESOPOTAMIAN

RITUAL

By Beatrice L. Goff

is a contradiction

between the generally accepted

way

to the artifactswhich come to

view of the relation in which that know-

light in excavations.'

the ceremonies

practices which

continually searching

accounting

partly

and

for the

in the

partly in

the

of

people I shall discuss

in

my

There

of

religion and magic in Mesopotamia

that

and the

ledge is commonly applied

It is

of the official cult as well as the domestic rites

might be called magical.

for

explanations artifacts which

widely recognized

throughout Mesopotamian history

time,

constantly

scholars are

used

At the same

which reduce the

element of magic in

in excavations.

among

appear The reason for this attitude

scholars appears to lie

customary to-day Weltanschauung of from our own.

people

We

conflicting

situations

derogatory

failure

a

ancient

at greater length

attitude towards magic which is

to grasp the

Mesopotamia,

implications

which

differs

of the

book

The

this controversial

markedly

nature of the world view of these

the

Symbolsof Prehistoric Mesopotamia, but space

my forth-

con-

may say briefly interests that

they approached

that the

forbids

coming

sidering

lives of the Sumerians seem to have been so full of

they

their environment with a "common-sense"

day,

their world.

sense that

seemed not

object

only

friendly,

They

the

men,

were likely

however,

subject fully here.2

did not hold a consistentworld view.

so

was

There were

many

other

In many

point

as we do to-

that they distinguished between personal and non-personal entities in

lost their

like shoes or torches or stones

of view much

when

occasions, however,

objects

living personalities

they

things inhabited by spirits

potentially alive,

Spirits

were inanimate. Then

but

like themselves.

Any

and whether it was alive or not could be known

of

this sort were capricious. They were often

dangerous spirits.

like

of

against potentially

had to be

approached

special groups

times,

which

Code

as it revealed itself.

and

people

sought

their aid

could not be handled like machines.

that

they

They were. There were

unpredictable personalities

the

priests, to be effective in

What we now call "black

who knew traditions handed down from earlier

handling

these

spirits.

It was

always possible,

unfavourably.

religious

of

that for some unknown reason the spirits would react

magic"

was

distinguished

as

from other early as the

ritual and condemned.

We see such condemnation

1 I wish

to

express special appreciation for

J. Stephens

throughout

Professor

the

Erwin R.

many

to

Professor Ferris

suggestions

article.

has been

this

helpful

of

preparation

specific

Professor

Goodenough

points;

text

constructive

ready with advice on

Briggs

and

kind

in

Buchanan,

in

Professor Robert

reading

offering

many

I am writing

and

and

Bailey,

exceedingly

article

suggestions.

not

Akkadian

Mr.

Moses

H. Pfeiffer were

of this

the

Because

for readers who are

and

necessarily specialists

languages

I

in the Sumerian

am avoiding

the use of

diacritical

of "sh"

"h"

marks as far as possible

by

placing

omission

no

hook

the use

the

of marks for long

by

for s,

under

and

by the

vowels.

2 It

has

been

discussed

in:

H.

and

H. A.

Frankfortand others, TheIntellectualAdventure

I

of Ancient

Man,

by

Chicago,

1946;

in a review

of this book

CuneiformStudies),II,

a

Jacobsen in JNES (Journalof NearEastern Studies),XII,

Kramer in

JCS (Journalof

and in

1948, pp. 39-70;

discussion between

and Kramer

1953,

PP.

I60-88.

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2

BEATRICE L. GOFF

Hammurabi

accepted

individual and the

and on through

later codes of law.'

But "white

magic"

was

both the

and

practised by every level of the population and for

community.

had

not

been invented until the end of the

appeared

in

wide use of

Though

writing

prehistoric excavations give evidence that

for

period,

give

however,

also in

temples

beads.

sometimes used

geratedly large strings

beads

such a setting.

minimizing

beads in

brought by worshippers,

selves.

viduals,

were many other kinds of amulets. in the earliest sites where remnants of

have

throughout prehistoric levels.

amulets were used

tion in a way similar to that described in later ritual texts.

the artifacts which have

it in

the earliest

Mesopotamian cultures made

community

present

"magical" practices

both individual and

full, though

I

hope

graves

to

needs. We cannot here

my

later volume.

We

Among

both these seals

the evidence in

may suggest briefly, areas and

in

appearance these amulets were

make it clear that beads were

that amulets of various kinds were found in

and in the

temples.

The significance

fully appreciated.

I a2

and

Ib3)

occupational

of their

seems not to have been

Two

cylinder

in

seals

(Pls.

On

the cult.

among objects

their

Their exaggerated

importance.

the foundations of the

worshippers bring exag-

placed had not sometimes been used in

of beads to shrines. The artists would not have

used in the cult if

size

they

is

a factor which

in

prevents

us from

Mallowan found "hundreds of thousands" of

Gray Eye-Temple

Brak,4 some evidently

bricks them-

very in rites for indi-

this outstanding building. With the beads

cultures

numbers

that

but others

they

rites for

incorporated had been used not

into the

It is therefore clear that

but in

community

only

Figurines appear

been

village

large

discovered. Amulets of

continuously

kinds continue in

of

many

We are justified, therefore, in

from the

inferring

beginning

Mesopotamian

civiliza-

Pre-Babylonian ritualtexts

Falkenstein5 believes that

the

earliest incantation texts originated

of Ur.

in

Even

Dynasty

popular religion,6 but

Sumerian times and continued in use until the Third

at that early stage, however, they

are literary creations, entrusted to certain priests who know their proper use.

are not a product of

A number of these are for aid in sickness. For example, there is one7which

1

S. H. Hooke, Babylonian and Assyrian Reli-

Harper,

?2,

gion, London, 1953, PP. 78

The Code

pp.

BabylonianLaws, Oxford,

Io f.;

The

Driver and

Idem,

f.; R.

C.

F.

of Hammurabi,Chicago, 1904,

G. R.

J.

1952, pp.

Miles,

The

61-5;

Assyrian Laws, Oxford,

1935, pp.

118-26.

2 Of the Uruk Period. From H. H. von der

Osten,

Mr.

Publications,

XXXIX,

Frankfort, CylinderSeals,London, 1939, P. 19

and

AncientOrientalSealsin theCollection of Edward T. Newell (Oriental Institute

P1.

XXII),

669,

cf.

2.

Chicago,

p. 83.

1934,

No.

See

also H.

Text-fig.

3 Of the Gawra

Period,

found at Billa.

it

From W. Andrae, Die ionische Sdule,

Berlin,

39 f. See also Frank-

III, d. Andrae

became

Gawra. Mallowan in Iraq, IX, I947, PP- 32 f.,

36 f., 254- Adam

sumerischen Beschw6rung(Leipziger

tische

to Tepe

fort, CylinderSeals,p.

1933, P1. IV, c; cf. pp.

confused

4

5

19 and Pl.

and assigned

Die

I), Leipzig,

Falkenstein,

N.F.

Haupttypen der

semitis-

193I, pp. 7f.

Studien,

6 Ibid., p.

7

V.

20.

Scheil in RA (Revued'assyriologie),

XXIV,

1927, P. 42.

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THE ROLE

OF AMULETS

IN MESOPOTAMIAN

RITUAL

TEXTS

3

starts

his case

is concerned with the

potamia,

text,'

It also invokes the whose illness is in

Brummer thinks that a fourth3was intended to cure not

sick calf.

concerned

great gods

by recalling

how

Lu-Sukal,

son

of Gudea,

people.

was healed, and then makes

If the

of Meso-

great gods concern. A second

setting in the temple of Ea.

a man

should he too not

patient

asks,

is a

worshipper

to

aid

these,

though

before the

parallel of Ea and of his

be cured?

to the illnesses of other

goddess Geshtinanna,

the incantation

only

This text

obviously demons who are

not with any

of popular

for aid in

rheumatism,

gods

his

too, probably

seems to have its

Enki and Ninki.

head,

calls

upon

A third

early text,2

Ashar-lu-[dug?],

the son of Enki.

human illness, but a

This,

was addressed to Ea.

All of

with the

of the

problems of individuals, lay those problems

which were

country.

We have said that

many objects

apparently potent came from

interesting :4

graves. So an early incantation which was used in a funeral is

God, god, god, god, god, god, god,

Spirit, spirit, spirit, spirit, spirit, spirit, spirit;

Divine

Enlil,

Lord, divine Ea, brother(?)

lord,

divine

divine Utu, house .

spirit

of the

evil

he has obtained;

the urn

dead

the corpse, the water of Ea

in the

abysmal have covered it

dead, hearken,

abode

high. out of the

bounds(?) shall not

go(?)

This rite is not a

of the deceased for

Sheol,

for

frightening spirit of the dead himself. Yet once again it

great gods of Mesopotamia who are invoked;

is enhanced

Here the number seven, which

the art of

this literary form. Clearly the

simple preparation

living in a dreary

handling

is the well-known

of the words and

"spirit."

in

in

but it is intended to be

something potent for handling the perplexing

this now

powers by whom the dead is

by

the seven-fold

surrounded,

repetition

or

perhaps

and the

potency

"god"

of the words for

was imposed artificially on various designs

is now utilized

just

as abstractly

prehistoric Mesopotamia,

number seven had mysterious potency.

Legrain gives us an early and fragmentary incantation which he says

to be a part of the

liturgy of Ea."5

"seems

1 H.

F.

Lutz,

Selected Sumerian and Baby-

[University

of Pennsyl-

p. 64.

lonian Texts (UMBS

phia,

2

Huber '9I9,

No.

in

107,

vania, The University Museum, Publications

of the Babylonian Section], I, 2), Philadel-

Hilprecht Anniversary Volume,

1909, pp. 219-22.

3 V. Brummer

in Recueil de travaux relatifs a

la philologie et a l'archdologieegyptiennes et assyri-

ennes, XXVIII,

1906, pp.

214-27.

Brummer

argues

Gudea.

that this text comes from the time of

4L.

Legrain in

UMBS, XIII,

p. 66.

5 Ibid., No. 35, pp. 67 f.

No.

33,

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4

BEATRICE L. GOFF

Obverse

Bent reed, reed of Engur, Spread offerings, away;

Pure

away; great cypress, great cypress of purification as smoke

piled up

Balmy cedar, balmy

reed,

clear cane

offering, away;

cedar

bent,

brought out; full, shall not rise, filled, away;

pure place, away for the pure place, has

,

brought;

the temple of En

,

away;

the park

the yard,

Reverse

the

enclosure

the abode of Apsu

for Ea

they spread,

the stone

the

, away,

the

statues,

Doves, birds of destiny stones

7

7

all

stones

away;

they were, 7 indeed, away.

they were,

statues

While the other texts we have mentioned were concerned with rites for

problems

munity.

interesting that ritualistic objects find their place in this

they are the same as were common in early art. For

and plants, which in art are the most common

reeds, the cypress,

of individuals, this seems to be concerned with rites for the com-

Yet we

might just as easily apply

the term

is

incantation, and there are trees

example, fertilitysymbol, here specifically as

To both

"magical"

to it.

It

and cedar trees. Doves are

given symbolic significance

figurines.

Then we hear of sacred stones and of

brought

into the domain of these

Lutz.1

"birds of destiny."

the

potent The tamarisk and a ritual vase are

number seven is attached.

charms in yet another early text reproduced by

1 Op. cit., No. I23, pp. 8I f.

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THE

ROLE

OF

AMULETS

IN

MESOPOTAMIAN

RITUAL

TEXTS

5

Ritual texts from theOld Babylonian PeriodandtheFirst MillenniumB.C.

From the Old Babylonian

Period a much larger number of ritual texts

seems to

has been

great

series of the first millennium

the ritual texts

probably text occurs in different series.2

had been established for many of the incantations. The great series had been

Period

the same is true

text makes it

were

especially clear.4

Now mashmashuis the name for

in the ritual of the

were the chief officiants

for later

We have seen how incantations were used in both for personal concerns and for community

canonized.3

preserved, the time when

most of them found in

Nippur.' many incantations now

B.c.

Babylonian

This

period

have been

embedded in the

originated, for there are points

Period, however,

of contact

between the two. In the Old

were in a state of flux. There are several instances where the same

By the first millennium a normative sequence

periods

is

everywhere apparent;

gives

their

This text to have in

the pre-Babylonian

rites.

That

but one

unique

a list of the incantations which the mashmashu

repertoire.

officials.5

They

principal

laying

the

supposed

one class of

priests, who were royal

recourse for a list of rites

great gods, exorcisms or for cures of illness. As we

which were

foundation of a

washing.6

times also for the house of an individual.'

the

statutes of the

next line,

spirits

there were little

one rite concerned with

another to quiet a little child.14 There are rites to bring about the removal of

courage,la

of

and were likewise the

have said,

They

gives include rites for

one text

the mashmashu's responsibility.

house, and,

mentioned in the same

line,

community building, it is true,

the ritual of mouth-

primarily

but at

a part of

are

mentioned in the

The first is sometimes for a

The second is

community ritual.8 There are rites for certain months and there

kingship,9

all the concern of the

state,

a rite for rheumatism.10 In the next

and,

four lines exorcisms of evil

though

succeeding lines we hear

inspire

with

and charms for different illnesses are listed beside each other as

difference between them.11 In

imprisonment,12

one to

1 Falkenstein,

2 Ibid., p.

3Ibid., '

op. cit., p.

8.

1o.

p. I I.

(E. Ebeling,

KAR

Keilschrifttexte aus Assur

Ver6ffent-

religidsen Inhalts

lichung

XXVIII,

zig,

mern in ZA (Zeitschriftfiir Assyriologie), XXX,

[Wissenschaftliche

translated

der

Deutschen

Orient-Gesellschaft,

1-5 Hft.],

by

Leip-
Zim-

1-4 Hft., XXXIV, No.

44;

1915-1923),

1915-1916,

pp.

204-29.

5 Walther

Schrank

(Babylonische Siihnriten

Priester

und Biisser

besondersmit Riicksicht auf

[Leipziger

1947,

1920,

semitistische

Studien,

III],

Leip- word

zig,

a Sumerian

but

magie chez les assyriens

certain;

pp. I-14, 96-98)

equivalent

f.,

and

considers the

for the

see G.

Assyrian ashipu,

Contenau,

La

this is not

pp.

105

les babyloniens,Paris, H.

et

Zimmern,

Beitrdge

zur Kenntnis der babylonischenReligion, Leipzig,

1901,

6

pp. 81-95-

KAR, No.

44, Obv.,

line 2.

7 For the dedication

the

king

of a house

and

city

is con-

for the

where

cerned, see UMBS,

dedication of a house

vidual, see Zimmern in

Shamash-shum-ukin

I,

2,

pp.

42

f.;

mouthwashing

Beitrdge

pp.

by

belonging to an indi-

ZA, XXIII, I909,

is discussed

pp.

pp.

369-76.

8 The ritual of

Zimmern

in

in his

1906,

pp.

959-67;

Leben

Berlin,

for further

9 KAR,

nach den

1931,

pp.

10

by

babylonischenReligion,

article

zum siebzigsten Geburtstag gewidmet, Giessen,

zur Kenntnis der

f.,

n.

e;

in

his

Ebeling,

der

Tod und

Babylonier,

138

OrientalischeStudien TheodorNdldeke

and

Vorstellungen

10O-122.

See these articles

line 5.

references.

No. 44, Obv.,

Line 6.

11 Lines 7-10.

12Line

13 Line

14 Line

II.

14-

15.

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6

BEATRICE L. GOFF

punishment and plague,1 rites for sacrifices,2 rites for the city, house, field,

orchard, river, and

when a canal (?) is dug,4 when there is a flood,5 a scourge of locusts,6 and

to avoid hostile attack when one has to travel

through

are rites intended to

the herd would not become sick.8 There are rites for

and

some idea of

a royal official, responsible

embraced all the activities of both state and individuals.

be called

as in the homes.

magic, then magic was practised in the temples and palaces, as well

If these rites are to

flowers (?) of Nidaba.3 There are rites to be performed

purify

the

the desert.'

There

barnyard, presumably of evil spirits,

preparing

so that

sacred stones9

drugs.10 The examples I have selected from a much longer list will give

the comprehensive

nature of the

priest's responsibilities.

He was

for the great state ceremonials;

but his concerns

The text just cited gives only titles of incantations or their

with rites

lines.

opening with directions for

We shall consider some of these texts, first those

for the community, secondly those concerned primarily

Many texts have preserved the incantations themselves,

the accompanying ritual.

dealing

with the individual.

Community rites

For two thousand years, from the middle of the third to the middle of the

the New

Year's,

the Akitu

Festival, was the

the

principal

most comprehensive

excavations

Pallis has made

of all the

pertinent material," drawing upon archaeological

be

and

liturgical

used for our

used for our

purpose.

in Sachs'

recent translation.12

rites of the third day, the

a woodworker, and a goldsmith

treasury

of the

to

god

texts for his information. Much of what

Here I would refer to three

describes could

I. For the

they

are

the ritual, as given

preparatory

urigallu-priest is instructed

make two

Marduk.

metalworker,

working,

the artisans are to be fed from the sacrificial meat

the temple.

Precise directions are given for the images:

first millennium B.C.,

religious festival in Mesopotamia.

study

of Babylon, ritual texts,

he

sections of

to assemble a

images, materials for which shall come from the

While

offered in

Those two images (which

high.

One

(shall

the artisans

made) of

are to make) cedar, one

gold

shall be 7

of tamarisk.

of

finger

Four

(-widths)

be

dusu-stonesshall be mounted in

(205) [One image]

raising

its

shall hold in

settings

its left hand a snake

of

(made) The second (image)

weighing four shekels.

cedar,

shall hold

right [hand] to the god Nabu.

1

Line 20.

 

2

Line 20.

3

Line

21.

4

Line 22.

 

5

Line 23.

6

Line

23.

7

Lines 23, 24.

8

Rev.,

line

I.

9

Line 3.

10 Line

3.

11 Svend

Aage

Pallis,

The Babylonian Akitu

Festival (Danske

Meddelelser, hist.-fil.

hagen,

for references

literature on the

recent article in

Videnskabernes

KI.,

XII,

book

should

I),

be

the large

subject.

amount

Orientalia, XX,

Pp.

1952,

Selskab,

Copen-

consulted

1926.

This

to

of earlier

See also Ebeling's

1951,

pp.

129-48;

XXII,

399-405;

XXI,

1953,

PP. 25-46.

12 A. Sachs,

"Akkadian

Rituals,"

in J.

B.

Pritchard,

ton,

1950,

Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Prince-

pp. 331-4.

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THE ROLE

OF AMULETS

IN MESOPOTAMIAN

RITUAL

TEXTS

7

in its [left hand] a scorpion, raising its right hand [to the god] Nabu.

They shall be clothed in red garments, [bou]nd in the middle [with] a

palm [br] anch.

The

images

placed

as is

are to stand in before the gods.

a temple until the sixth day, receiving such food

On the sixth day

the

(of the month),

slaughterer

when the

god

Nabu reaches the

Then,

temple Ehursagtila,

shall strike off their heads.

a fire having been started (215)

shall be thrown into it.

This text gives us a vivid

in the presence of the god Nabu, they

picture of two small figurines, only seven finger-

scorpion respectively,

are to be

and with a

symbolic

adorned with four dushu

widths

palm branch

stones,

told

the meaning

destroyed

figurines

incantations

are

benefit of individuals.

ing

high, holding

a snake and

forming their girdles. They

about whose

potency we are of these

figurines,

process

informed in another text.'

but we see them

is

intentionally

comparable to the making

magic"

In the

text

series Maqlu the

We are not broken and and

destroy-

as we see it in such

the rites

in a fire. Such a

as, for example,

community

of a

of

to counteract the effect of "black

Maqlu.2

the series

festival; in the

quoted rites are for the

part

2. On the fifth day various ceremonies of purification are performed. The

urigallu-priest:

shall call (340) a malmas~u-priest to

temple.

a censer and a torch

courtyard;

Beltiya.

the temple Ezida, into the

and

egubbfl-vessel to purify

Tigris

and

the

malmalu-priest shall

temple and sprinkle water,

(taken from) a cistern of the Tigris and a cistern of the Euphrates, on the

He shall have

shall remainin the

and

purify the

He shall beat the kettle-drum

he shall not enter the

When the

purification

of the

temple,

inside the temple.

[He (?)]

brought into the temple.

sanctuary

of the deities Bel

(345)

he shall enter

with censer, torch, water

(from)

He shall smear

the sanctuary,

shall place a silver censer, upon which he shall mix aromatic ingredients

of

temple is completed,

and he shall

sprinkle

sanctuary of the god Nabu,

the

Euphrates cisterns on the sanctuary. (350)

sanctuary with cedar resin.

In the court of

use in

performing

the

all the doors of the

he

and cypress. He shall call a slaughterer to decapitate a ram, the body

which the

temple.

He shall purify the whole sanctuary, including its environs, and

remove the censer.

(355) He shall recite the incantations for exorcising

kuppuru-ritual for the

the

temple.

shall

The malmalu-priest shall

proceed to the river.

the river.

lift up the body of the afore-

mentioned ram and

body of the ram into

open country.

head.

country.

Facing west, he shall throw the

(360) He shall (then) go out into the

The slaughterer shall do the same thing with the ram's

The masmalu-priest and the slaughterer shall go out into the open

1 See below,

p. 23.

2 See below, pp. I1f.

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8

BEATRICE L. GOFF

In this text

English word.

The drum is beaten. A censer and a torch are used.

with resin; and a ram is slaughtered.

incantations are recited for

incantations serve a

process of "purification"

is

"purifying" certainly

does not have the usual significance of our

Water is only one of the means of "purifying" the temples.

The

doors are smeared

that

specifically says seems clear that the

The whole

Also the text

It

exorcising the temple.

similar to these other rites.

purpose very

actually a process of exorcism.

3.

at

long, uncut,

A

into it).

a

On a later day of the festival the following rite is prescribed:

sunset, the urigallu-priest shall tie together forty reeds-each

(455) unbroken, straight-using

dug

in the Exalted

put

a

palm

he

hole shall be

Courtyard and

shall put (the

He shall

(in it) honey, cream, first-quality

the

hole].

The

king

shall

a white

bull [before

burning reed.

three cubits

branch as the bond.

bundle

. He shall

[set all this afire] with

Once again the reeds and the palm

art of

is "magical." The

branch,

which

appeared constantly in the

description

prehistoric Mesopotamia,

covering of the temple's

performance

are used in rites for which the usual

kettle-drum was also an occasion which called

for careful

according very elaborate rites began. I quote some of them:

the cover first had

of ritual.1 The bull whose hide was to be used for

to

certain specifications. Then

to be selected

You shall scatter sand beneath the

reed

hair.

drum. You shall set

up [two] egubba-vessels for the deities Kusug and

Ningirim.

loaves of barley bread, seven loaves of emmer bread, a paste of honey and

cream, dates, and s'asqu-flour.2

Washing

bull's right ear the incantation entitled

shall

entitled

"Alpu resin. You shall

You

whisper through a reed tube into the

"Gugalgumah u kius'kuga."(Io) the bull's left ear the incantation

besprinkle the bull with cedar

On the bull you shall perform the rite of

You shall set up [two] stands; on each you shall place seven

goat's , in a bronze

mat, the bull on the

shall surround the reed mat with sand. You shall set

You shall lay down a reed mat.

and

you reed mat, tying his legs with a bond made of

(15) Opposite the bull, you shall place beer (made of)

the Mouth.

You shall

whisper through

a reed tube into

ilittu z? attdma." You shall

purify the bull, using

draw a ring of zisurra-flour around the

a brazier and bull.

a torch. You shall

The slaughter of the bull and the

The kettle-drum is

cerned with the occasion is given. Then the text goes on:

disposal

of his various parts are described.

list of deities con-

prepared for later ceremonies. A long

shall cause the bronze kettle-drum to be

brought forth to the presence of the god Shamash. You shall prepare five

(15)

On the fifteenth

day, you

1 Sachs, op. cit., pp.

334-8. The following from Text A.

passages are excerpts

2 1 omit some lines at this point.

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THE

ROLE

OF AMULETS

IN MESOPOTAMIAN

RITUAL

TEXTS

9

sacrifices for the deities

Kettle-Drum. You shall sacrifice a

and roastedmeat. You shall make a

and

and with water from the

composition entitled) formed the rite of the

drum). You shall anoint it with animal fat and filtered oil. The

priest (25) shall lay

remove the (sacrificial) accoutrements (and) shall purify it (that is, the

kettle-drum) with brazier and torch. You shall grasp

(called?)

kettle-drum (and bring it?) to the presence of the

the "hand" of the

gods, setting it in

You shall (then)

Ea,

Shamash, Marduk, Lumha,

and the Divine

,

sheep and offer the thigh, the

libation of

(20) prime beer, wi[ne,

with brazier and torch

milk].

You shall

perform the purifications

egubba-vessel.

You

.adede." of the Mouth

"Enki Utu

Washing

upon

shall recite three times (the

You shall cause to be per-

on it (that is, the kettle-

kalamahhu-

the bronze kettle-drum.

(aromatic?) barley seed.

"Lugale

You shall perform the lamentation

dimmerankia."

In this ritual it is

with "brazier and torch and with water from the

again

specifically

said that

"purification" was to be accomplished

So it is clear

physical cleansing.

and the animal sacrifice seem

we say this, we are not saying that

and

else" in the number of loaves

seven loaves

egubba-vessel."

not for

were votive

of

drawing

of this

that the word is used for

that, however,

removing evil spirits,

the food

offerings

When

More than

of these rites of exorcism.

a part were not votive

something

they

of bread which are demanded-"seven

of emmer bread."

with the recitation of incantations and

round the bull. Whatever

had,

were both

favourable

offerings. We see the

They probably

"something

loaves

intermingling

with

the

rBle each part

offerings

else as well.

of barley bread,

offerings

of a

We see it in the

special

and sacrifice

magic circle

have

ceremony may

all the rites described here seem to have shared a common function. All

removing evil powers and simultaneously building a reservoir of powers.

Mesopotamia

Furthermore,

living

not

this text illustrates how what to us

in themselves.

merely

might

have seemed in-

receive

to the men of ancient

The deities who are to

know by name,

Washing

by

improbable to

thus

implying

point;

at this

the

but even the

the Mouth so also

the hand and led

the gods whom we

figured

in the rite of

which is a literal translation

Sachs, for

Assyrian text,'

in

quotation

The

"handle."

respect

apparently marks the word for

seems somewhat

"hand,"

that it

may

Assyrian word is ambiguous

psychology

of the

and perhaps

period, which was sincerely

it is true to the

being.

Similarly in ritual to be performed in a temple

the Shoe, and the Torch

at Uruk on special days

are treated like animate beings:2

animate symbols of a living presence,

seemed

sacrifice are

presences

kettle-drum. Ju