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PISA RO M A
FA B RI Z I O SE RRA E D ITORE
MMXI
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VARIA EPIGRAPHICA HATRENA 1
Marco Moriggi

B etween 1987 and 1995 the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra (Universit degli Studi di Tori-
no, Turin, Italy) dug out a large residential building (Edificio A) and a long stretch of road in the
area of the town located to the North of the central temenos. Edificio A in fact opens on to the main
road linking the temenos to the northern gate in the city wall of Hatra (Fig. 1). As regards chronol-
ogy, the dating of this building is based upon the text of inscription no. H 1021c, found in Edificio
A itself, and quoting the year 512 (Seleucid era = 200-201 ad).2
Before moving on to the unpublished inscriptions from Edificio A and its neighbourhood, it is
worth recalling the other texts found in the same area of the town:
- 3 inscriptions (H 1021a-c) engraved on the statue of a young god unearthed in 1987 in the central
courtyard of Edificio A (Fig. 2);3
- 2 inscriptions (H 1024-H 1025) engraved on two blocks of stone unearthed in Edificio A (rooms S
28 and S 19);4
- 7 inscriptions (H 1055a-g) painted with bitumen on the external surface of a pottery cylinder un-
earthed in the northern half of the street linking the temenos to the northern gate of the city
wall of Hatra.5
The new inscriptions presented in this article come from the same excavated area as the preced-
ing ones and are as yet unpublished.6
The first group of texts consists of a handful of short inscriptions painted or scratched on the
walls of Edificio A. In addition to these, a brief text incised on a small incense-altar will be dealt
with.

1. The inscriptions of Edificio A


Edificio A appears to be a quite large stately home. Currently its surface covers an area of more
than 1,850 m2 and it is centred on a wide courtyard. The plan (Fig. 2) of this house is organized ac-
cording to the separation of private from public spaces. Accordingly, the southern half of the build-
ing seems to have been devoted to residential purposes, while the northern half was meant for func-
tional ones. The rooms with inscriptions are the following: nos. S 14, S 15, S 16, S 18, S 28.
Among the most interesting rooms of Edificio A is room S 15, measuring 12 4,75 m and located
between the central courtyard and the southern half of the house. At the time of excavations the
walls of S 15 were 3,70 m high and, except for the northern wall, were still covered with the origi-
nal plaster. On the plaster surface a great deal of remains of paintings was detected, the latter in
their turn often covered by later graffiti. The present situation of these remains can be easily imag-

1 The author wishes to thank the following for kindly dis- co 1988, 1990, 1992. The numeration of the inscriptions fol-
cussing with him some previous drafts of this paper and lows Beyer 1998, 6, 109-110. For an outline of the Hatran in-
granting him useful and important improvements: prof. F. A. scriptions published after 1998, see Moriggi forthcoming.
Pennacchietti (Torino); prof. dr. K. Beyer (Heidelberg); dr. A. 3 Pennacchietti 1988, 43-47; Vattioni 1994, 91-92;
Mengozzi (Torino) and dr. E. Morano (Torino). Any misread- Bertolino 1995, 5, note 14; Beyer 1998, 109-110.
ing is the sole responsibility of the author. Prof. R. Ricciardi 4 Pennacchietti 1992; Vattioni 1994, 92; Beyer 1998,
Venco (Torino) provided all the material for study and al- 110.
lowed access to the notes of the Missione Archeologica Ita- 5 Pennacchietti 1996; Pennacchietti 1998; Beyer
liana a Hatra. Thanks are due to dr. C. Lippolis (Torino) for 2002, 88. For pictures of these texts and a summary of their
kind help and constant support and to dr. R. A. Henderson readings, see Moriggi forthcoming.
(Torino) for her helpfulness. The present work was carried 6 The author wishes to express his gratitude to prof. R.
out thanks to the funding granted to the author by the Prog- Ricciardi Venco (director, Missione Archeologica Italiana a
etti di Ricerca di Ateneo Project (Universit di Catania). Hatra) who, in an act of great generosity, allowed the study
2 For further details about Edificio A and the finds of the and publication of these texts.
Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra, see Ricciardi Ven-

parthica 12 2010
70 Marco Moriggi

Fig. 1. Plan of Edificio A and the road (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

ined if one considers that: wall plaster very quickly deteriorates and falls off, taking with it every-
thing including valuable graffiti and paintings.7 The only documentation of these precious testi-
monies to the art, language and culture of Hatra is thus that gathered by the Missione Archeolo-
gica Italiana a Hatra and now housed in Turin.8

7 Ricciardi Venco 1998, 187. Further details on room S 8 The inscriptions are documented only by drawings.
15 can be found in Eadem 1996, 147-151. Most of them were carefully traced from the walls of Edificio
A by T. Violi.
Varia Epigraphica Hatrena 71

Fig. 2. Plan of Edificio A (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

The pictures on the walls of room S 15 (and of the other rooms where traces of paintings have
been found) were usually painted in red directly on the dry plaster. They represent hunting scenes
with horsemen and wild animals. The graffiti in their turn partly trace the profiles of what is paint-
ed underneath but mainly represent animals, religious themes, dancing girls and the like, i.e. they
do not show that they are linked with the paintings from a thematic point of view.9

9 Ricciardi Venco 1996, 150, note 10; 151, notes 12-13; Eadem 1998, 188-189; Eadem 2004, 203. Cf. al-alihi 1996.
72 Marco Moriggi

Fig. 3. Inscription no. H 1057 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

As regards the paintings of room S 15, R. Ricciardi Venco singles out a date around or after 200,
probably before, though not much before, the taking of Hatra by Shapur I.10 As far as the graffiti
are concerned, the Italian scholar further suggests that: there is also no means of knowing how
much time elapsed before the graffiti were added []. It may be supposed, however, that all []
phases occurred within a short space of time, since the same floor was always used for as long as
the room was still fully covered.11
At the time of their unearthing, the inscriptions scratched or painted on the walls of Edificio A
were seriously damaged. Most of the readings proposed here are thus tentative.12

H 1057 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 3)13


1. twkrws >dy ()
1. Teukros (T), >Adday ()

The inscription seems to comprise two masculine personal names: Teukros and Adday. The first is
a Greek name not found until now in Hatran texts, whereas the second is well attested in Hatran
Aramaic texts (Beyer 1998, 154).

H 1058 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 4)14


1. () yhblh> () gzbr>
2. (nms(w)stky) ()
1. () Yhab(>)alaha () the treasurer
2. ()

The masculine personal name Yhab(>)alaha is not attested in Hatran Aramaic, but is well docu-
mented in Syriac (<yhb>lh>> /yahba(>)laha/ grapheme <h> with linea occultans; <yblh>> /yabal-

10 Ricciardi Venco 1996, 163-164. omission in original text; (x?) doubtful translation; <x> writ-
11 Ibidem, 164, note 52. Cf. Eadem 1998, 199, 204; Eadem ten spelling; /x/ phonematic rendering.
2004, 224. 13 <twkrws >dy>: reading suggested by Klaus Beyer (let-
12 Legenda: [.] one letter missing; [. .] two letters missing; ter to the author, 20 September 2010).
[] three or more letters missing; [x] reconstructed reading; 14 <gzbr>>: reading suggested by Klaus Beyer (letter to
(x) uncertain reading; () sequence without meaning; {x} the author, 20 September 2010).
Varia Epigraphica Hatrena 73

Fig. 4. Inscription no. H 1058 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

aha/).15 In Hatran Aramaic various names including the root yhb are met with, such as <yhbmrn>
/Yhabmaran/, <yhbm> /Yhabme/, and the like. Cf. the Palmyrene name <whblt> /Wahbal-
lat/.16 The reading <yhblh>> in this and in the following texts (H 1059, H 1061) is based upon the
assumption that the grapheme <h> in these texts is M-shaped. As a matter of fact another M-
shaped grapheme is attested in Hatran inscriptions, i.e., <h>.17 Although the M-shaped <h> is
sometimes distinguished, in carved epigraphs, from M-shaped <h> by a short stroke on the left,
the two graphemes are very similar in graffiti. The convergence of the two graphemes towards a
similar shape may be explained with the confluence of laryngeal phoneme /h/ and pharyngeal
phoneme /h/ towards a single phoneme /h/. This phenomenon is well attested in later Eastern
varieties of the Aramaic continuum ( Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, Mandaic, and Syriac incantation
bowls) and may have started already in the first centuries ad in the Hatran Aramaic of Eastern Jazi-
rah. In fact it is found that:
the magic bowls in Syriac script show numerous examples of these interchanges in general, which [] go in
both directions, i.e. both <h> for historical *h and <h> for historical (and in my opinion synchronic) *h. The
Aramaic magic bowls written in the Jewish script often employ a single grapheme to represent historical *h
and *h, while the scribes of the Talmudic manuscripts generally tended to employ the <h> grapheme only
for historical *h, though some exceptions are found. Mandaic preserves only one grapheme for the merged
phoneme, and that is based on the historical sign for *h, even though it is realized as /h/.18

H 1059 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 5)19


1. yhblh> ltb>
1. Yhab(>)alaha for good!

H 1060 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 5)20


1. lby (d>hl)() lmz>
2. (hdy)() (lb) ()
1. (Dressed?) () (for the hair?)
2. ()

15 Payne Smith 1879, 1542b, 1567a. from Seleucia on the Tigris (2nd century ad), where Arama-
16 Beyer 1998, 176; Stark 1971, 15-16, 85; Bertolino 2004, ic /h/ was written in Parthian logograms with <> (e.g. l. 9:
108 (Dura Europos). Parthian >L> = Aramaic <>lh>>, god). Pennacchietti
17 As regards the shapes of <h> and<h> in Hatran Ara- 1987, 173-177; Morano 1990.
maic script, see Klugkist 1982, 94-95, 274; Bertolino 1995, 19 <ltb>>: reading suggested by Klaus Beyer (letter to the
16; Idem 2008, 28-29. author, 20 September 2010).
18 Morgenstern 2010, 288. Cf. the Parthian text of the 20 <lmz>>: reading suggested by Klaus Beyer (letter to the
Greek-Parthian bilingual inscription of the statue of Heracles author, 20 September 2010).
74 Marco Moriggi

Fig. 5. Inscriptions nos. H 1059 and H 1060 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

The root lb is attested once in the Hatran Aramaic corpus (H 34, l. 5: <lbw>> /laboa/ dresser
(?), cf. Healey 2009, 296-297, for a summary of the proposed translations). The word <mz>>
/mezze/ (hair) may be interpreted according to Syriac.21

H 1061 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 6)


1. sr[ym] yhblh>
1. rim, Yhab(>)alaha

The name rim is attested in Hatran inscriptions (H 85, H 90; Beyer 1998, 50, 165).

H 1062 (S 15, Southern wall, dipinto - Fig. 7)


1. (lgndh)
2. ()
1. to his Fortune
2. ()

Fig. 6. Inscription no. H 1061


(courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).
Fig. 7. Inscription no. H 1062
21 Sokoloff 2009, 736b. (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).
Varia Epigraphica Hatrena 75

Fig. 8. Inscription no. H 1063 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

Fig. 9. Inscription no. H 1064 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

H 1063 (S 15, Southern wall, dipinto - Fig. 8)


1. [] (br> t>) () (br) () (wh)()(n lklb)[>]
2. () (>ln) ()k () (sb>) () (br)
3. () (l) [] (m) [] (h)
4. (tb) () (t) []
1. [] the son () the son of () to the dog (Nergol?)
2. () the son of
3. ()
4. (good?) ()
Fig. 10. Inscription no. H 1065
H 1064 (S 15, Southern wall, dipinto - Fig. 9) (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).
1. [] () (dylh) ()
1. (his?)

H 1065 (S 15, Southern wall, graffito - Fig. 10)22


1. d[k]yr hw ()
1. May he be remembered! ()

22 <d[k]yr hw>: reading suggested by Klaus Beyer (letter to the author, 20 September 2010).
76 Marco Moriggi

H 1066 (S 15, Eastern wall, dipinto - Fig. 11)


1. ()
2. dkyr qdm {h}dn
3. () br m ()
1. ()
2. remembered before (this?)
3. () the son of ()

H 1067 (S 14, Western wall, graffito - Fig. 12)


1. nt ()
1. The year ()

H 1068 (S 18, Eastern wall, graffito - Fig. 13)


Fig. 11. Inscription no. H 1066 1. () (brzqq <l hy> h{y}l> klhwn)
(courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).
1. () (Barzaqiqe?), for the life, (the power?). (All of
them?)

The sequence <brzqq> could tentatively be read as a form of the name <brzqyq>> spelt in scrip-
tio defectiva (Beyer: Barzaqiqe; H 24a; Beyer 1998, 34). The sequence <h{y}l>> could be read in its
turn as the word for power.23 The root hyl is found in an inscription from Assur, in the personal
name <>srhyl> (Beyer: >Assorhel; A 22, 3; Beyer 1998, 16).

Fig. 12. Inscription no. H 1067 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

Fig. 13. Inscription no. H 1068 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

23 Cf. Syriac <hyl>> /hayla/, Sokoloff 2009, 447b.


Varia Epigraphica Hatrena 77

H 1069 (S 28, Northern wall, graffito - Fig. 14)


1. (>rdk)[l>] ()
1. (The architect) ()

As the signs scratched on the plaster are very dif-


ficult to explain, the reading of this inscription is
particularly questionable. Fig. 14. Inscription no. H 1069
(courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).
H 1070 (S 16, Northern wall, graffito - Fig. 15)
1. () (zb> km) () kt
1. () (Zabba?) ()

The personal name <Zb>> is attested in Palmyrene inscriptions (Stark 1971, 16).

Fig. 15. Inscription no. H 1070 (courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

2. Inscription on an incense-altar from s 40 - h 1071 (Figs. 16-17)


On both sides of the road linking the temenos to the northern gate in the city walls of Hatra, a se-
ries of buildings was partially unearthed by the Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra. Among the
latter is a room (S 40), located just in front of Edificio A, on the opposite side of the road (Fig. 1).
In this room a little incense-altar was found. It is a block of Mosul marble (inv. no. HAT95-5; high:
20.6 cm; width: 12.7 cm; thick: 11.7 cm) whose frontal surface is decorated with a relief portraying
a crouched camel, while a swallowtail moulding decorates its upper part.
In the upper part of the frontal surface of the altar an inscription was carved. It reads as follows:24

1. <g>
2. dkyr
3. >n dy glp
1. <Aga
2. may be remembered
3. the one who carved

24 As for the reading and translation of this text, I am deeply indebted to Fabrizio A. Pennacchietti, who shared his notes
on it with me.
78 Marco Moriggi

Figs. 16-17. Incense-altar from S 40,


Inscription no. H 1071
(courtesy Missione Archeologica Italiana a Hatra).

The name <<g>> (Beyer: <Ogga) is quoted in


various Hatran inscriptions. It must be noticed
that the same name is featured in two texts com-
ing from Edificio A (H 1024, 1; H 1025; Beyer
1998, 110).25 The sequence <>n dy> (the one
who), where <>n> />na/replaces the more
frequent <mn> /man/, is found in another Ha-
tran inscription (H 344, 4: <lhy >n dlzbyn>
/ulhay >na d-lezben/ Execration of every-
one who buys).26 Cf. H 74, 7 (Beyer 1998, 46).
In the Old Syriac inscription of Birecik (6 ad) is found (ls. 5-6) <kl >n dy>t>> everyone who
comes.27

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SOMMARIO

Jrme Gaslain, lments de rflexion sur la conqute et loccupation arsacides de la Msopotamie


(ii e sicle av. n..) 9
Niccol Manassero, Tamga-like images on sealings from Old Nisa 17
Vito Messina, Jafar Mehr Kian, The Iranian-Italian joint expedition in Khuzistan. Hung-e
Azdhar: 1st campaign (2008) 31
Maja Rzeplinska, Terracotta from Bijan Island 47
Marco Moriggi, Varia epigraphica Hatrena 69
Tadashi Tanabe, Diffusion of the Greek gesture of touching anothers chin with raised hand in the
East 81
Matteo Compareti, A short note on a so-called Iskandar Dhul-Qarnayn in a Bactrian painting 95
Vassif A. Gaibov, Gennadij A. Koelenko, Galina V. Trebeleva, Archaeological
Gazetteer of Afghanistan, Addenda, i, Herat Oasis 107
Antonio Invernizzi, Tableaux persans. Rcits et images de voyage travers la Perse safavide 117
Gli autori di questo numero 151