The Faithful Lover

Introduction

The text entitled <i>The Faithful Lover</i> was first published by Wolfram von Soden in 1950 as &ldquo;Ein Zwiegespräch Hammurabis mit einer Frau,&rdquo; (von Soden 1950). In 1961 it was then re-edited and published in English translation by Moshe Held in a paper entitled &ldquo;A Faithful Lover in an Old Babylonian Dialogue,&rdquo; (Held 1961) from which Foster drew the title used here.

Von Soden had originally thought that it represented a dialogue between Hammurabi, the famous king of the First Dynasty of Babylon, and &ldquo;a young woman whom he seeks to influence to marry his son&rdquo; (Held 1961, 1), but as Held notes, &ldquo;[i]t has nothing to do with Hammurabi . . . the great king is mentioned in an oath formula invoking Nanâ, patroness of love, together with the king&rdquo; (Held 1961, 2).

Transliteration and translation

Strophe 1

Obv.

Col. I

1. qu2-ur2-bi tu-ur-ki ez-bi :: Draw near! Leave behind your hesitation! (Notes)

2. la ma-ga-al da-ba-bu-um :: Without much idle talk, (Notes)

3. qa2-be2-e qa2-bu-u2-um-ma :: my word is a word. (Notes)

4. u2-ul e-ni-a-ak-ki-im :: I wasn't shedding tears for you (fem.).

5. at-wa-a-am ma-li s,a-ab-ta#-a-ku :: I make one statement (about)

6. sza a-na si2-in-ni-isz-tim ip-pa-ra-qa2-du :: who was lying on one's back for a woman

7. sa3-x-x x-ri-im :: ?

8. szum-ma la it-x-x u2-ul a-wi-lum mi-h,i-ir-szu :: if he didn't X, the man is not worthy of his rank.

Strophe 2

9. li-iz-zi-iz ki-it-ti :: May my truth stand

10. i-na ma-h,a-ar isz8-tar2 szar-ra-tim :: before Ishtar of the queens.

11. li-ih,-pi2-it ra-mi li-ba-asz :: May my love triumph,

12. ka-ar-ri-isz-ti :: may my slanderer (fem.) be shamed.

13. ka-a-am pa-la-h,a-am ku-uz-zu-ba-am :: ?

14. i-ta-as2-h,u-ur ma-ri-im :: I turned towards ?

15. i-na qa2-be2-e {d}Na-na-a-a x x da-ri-isz :: with a word of Nana…forever

16. a-li me-h,i-ir-ti :: Where is my opponent/equal?

Strophe 3

17. e-li-ki h,a-as-sa3-a-ku :: I am remembering more than you,

18. a-na szi-ib-qi3-ki sza pa-na-nu-um :: to your schemes of before.

19. mu-ug-ri a-ta-al-ki :: Relent! Go!

20. a-na ma-li-ik-ti-ki szu-un-ni-i :: Be equal to your advisor!

21. ki-ma e-re-nu :: like X

Strophe 4

22. u2-s,a-ab-ba-at-ka-ma UD-ma-am :: I will take hold of you, and today (Notes)

23. ra-am-ka u3 ra-mi u&scaron;-ta-ma-ga-ar :: I will reconcile your love and my love. (Notes)

24. us-se2-ne-el-li-ma a-na dna-na-a-a :: X to Nana (Notes)

25. sa-li-im-ka be-li2 da-ri-a-am e-le-eq-qe2 :: your favor, my lord, I will take eternally (Notes)

26. :: na-ad-nam :: a gift. (Notes)

Strophe 5

27. a-la-wi-ki ni-tam i-na s,e-ri-ki :: I will enfold you in my grasp. (Notes)

28. ta&scaron;-bi-a a-ka-as,-s,a-ar :: I will organized your silence. (Notes)

29. mu-ta-ak-ki-il-ta-ki li-il-qe2-e :: Your supporter should accept, (Notes)

30. ru-HA-am ti-qi2-a-ti-ki hu-ul-li-[ma] :: your bewitching blasphemies; dissolve! and, (Notes) 31. li-qe2-e ki-na-tim :: learn the truth! (Notes) 32. (traces followed by a 14 line gap) === Strophe 6 === Col. II 1. [. . .] i-ig-gi-[x x] :: ? (Notes) 2. u2-ul i-ba-a&scaron;-&scaron;i-i-[ma] :: There isn't (Notes) 3. mi-im-ma u2-ul i-na li-ib-bi-ia [x] :: anything in my heart… (Notes) 4. i&scaron;-&scaron;a-aq-qa2-al-&scaron;i-im [x]-y-el-[z] :: (that) will be paid out for her… (Notes) 5. u2-s,a-am-ma [x]-me :: I will make thirsty… (Notes) === Strophe 7 === 6. e-li la ra-im-ti-ka mi-szi-tam li-[it-bu-uk] 7. szar-ra-tum Isztar 8. ki-ma ja-ti la s,a-la-lum [lu e-mi-is-si] 9. ka-li mu-szi-im li-ku-ur2 [li-id-li-ip] === Strophe 8 === 10. e-ze-er la mu-se-ep-pi2#-[ti x x x] 11. u2-ul a-h,a-asz-sze-eh, la-[la-a-sza] 12. u2-ul a-na-ad-di-isz-szi-im [x x x] 13. da-ba-bu-um a-na la [x x x] 14. mi-nam i-[x x] 15. u2-sza-ak-la da#-bi-ba-[ti-sza] 16. u2-ul e-sze-em-me sza […] 17. a-sza-ar zi-[…] 18. ra-mi [x] at-ta-di 19. mi-nam tu-sa-an-na-qa2-ni-in#-ni === Strophe 9 === 20. it-ta#-tu-ia u2-la-ap-<pa>-ta-ni-[in-ni] 21. sza-ap#-ti e-li-tum i-la-[ab-bi-ik] 22. lu sza-ap-li-tum-ma i-ru-ub-[ba-am] 23. e-di-ir-szu a-na-asz-szi-iq-[szu] 24. at-ta-na-ap-la-as2 el-[szu] 25. a-ka-asz-sza-ad ir-ni-it-ti [x x] 26. e-li da-[bi-ba-ti-ia] 27. u3 dam-qi2-isz ar-ra#-[i-mi-ia x x x] 28. i-nu-ma szi-it-an-ni# [x x x x x] 29. ni-ka-asz-sza-ad# === Strophe 10 === Col. III 1. […] 2. i-na […] 3. ar-wi-[tum x x x x x] 4. a-la-sum2 u2-ul e-li-i ka#-sza-sa3 5. a-na-Isztar id-di-na-asz-szu a-na qi2#-[isz-tim] === Strophe 11 === 6. a-na sza iq-ta-na-ab-bi-a-ni-ik-[ki-im] 7. u2-la-mi et-tum at#-[ti] 8. ki-le-e at-ba-al ra-mi u2-ul [x x] 9. ut-te-es-si2 i-na zu-um-ri-ki# 10. ki-ma sza-ar bi-ri in-bi-ia ur-ti-iq === Strophe 12 === 11. a-sa-ah,-h,u-ur in-bi-[ka] 12. be-li2 s,u2-um-ma-a-ku ra-am-[ka] 13. iq-qa2-at s,i2-h,a-tu-ka szu-[pi2-a] 14. lu pa-as!-ma an-su2-ur-ri u2-ul 15. ur-ri u3 mu-szi a-da-ab-bu-ub [it-ti-ka] === Strophe 13 === 16. lu-tu-ur2 u3 lu-tu-ur-ma lu-usz-[lu-usz] 17. a-na pi2-ia h,i-ba-am la u2-sze-x-x-[ki x x] 18. a-na u2-pa a-ap-tim ti-is,-ba-ti x x 19. ku-usz-di ga-na ra-mi === Strophe 14 === 20. an-h,a! i-na-ia da-an-ni-isz-[isz] 21. da-al-pa-a-ku i-na i-ta-ap-lu-si-szu 22. tu-sza i-ba-a ba-ab-ti# 23. UD-mu-um it-ta-la-ak a-li [ma-ru-um] === Strophe 15 === Col. IV 1. [a]-na# ka-[x x x x x x] 2. isz-ti-nam# [x x x x x] 3. mi-nam [x x x x] 4. ga-na lu-us,-ba-at bi-[x x x x] 5. lu-szi-ib lu-te-eq-qi2 szum-ma sza gir-ri-ia 6. at-ma-ki-im {d}na-na-a-a u3 h,a-am-mu-ra-pi2 szarram 7. sza ki-na-ti-ia lu a-qa2-ab-bi-ki-im 8. ra-am-ki e-li di-li-ip-tim 9. u3 a-szu-usz-tim la wa-at-ru i-na s,e-ri-ia === Strophe 16 === 10. e-ra-da-ni-im! asz-szum qi2-pa-a-ku ra-i-mi 11. da-bi-ba-tu-ia 12. e-li ka-ka-ab sza-me-e ma-da 13. li-ir-qi2-a li-ta-aq-ra 14. sza-ar i-na-an-na-ma li-it-ta-<ar>-qi2-a 15. a-na-ku usz-ba-am-ma 16. pi2#-i be-li2-ia esz-te-ne-em-me === Strophe 17 === 17. et-ti la ma-as2-ku 18. sza pa-na zi-mu-ki 19. [az]-zi-iz-ki-im-ma 20. [qa2-qa2]-ad#-ki te-te-en-di-[di] 21. [ma]-gi#-ir-tum szum-ki 22. [be]-le#-et mi-il-ki-i na-ba-ki 23. sza-ni-tum-ma! lu li-mu-ut-ta-ni 24. [ma]-h,a-ar Isztar == Notes == === I Lines 1-31 === Obv. 1. taka:lum [a/u]=beat, thump; be dark (G-Imp.) 4. naqu:m [i/i]= pour (water) 6. naparqudum= to lie on one's back, lie flat against (N Dur.) 14. saha:rum=to turn towards, favor (N Pret.) 19. 'atalki:' for the expected 'atlaki:' for the Gt Imperative form of ala:kum. (Held 1981 13). 20. szana:num [a/u]=to be equal/level (G Imp.) 21. 'e-re-nu' is an ambiguous form read as 're:num' (to wish) by von Soden (ZA 49, 177), and as e:rum (to awaken) by Held (CAD 4, 326b; von Soden, AHw, 247). There is also a nominal form 'ere:num' meaning "root". 27. ni:tam lawu:m as an idiomatic expression meaning, "surround completely" (Black 2000 256). 28. taszbia as the verbal noun of szubbu:m (Held 1961 14). 30. te:qi:tum interpreted as "utterances, especially of women who lose their temper and who, as a result, voice impudent and even mendacious words" (Held 1961 15). 30. h,a:lum=(D) dissolve (D Imp.) === II Lines 1-29 === Obv. 5. s,amu:m [u/u]=(D) to make thirsty. (Tentative reading) (von Soden ZA 49 165) == Bibliography == *Groneberg, 2002. In S. Parpola, R. Whiting, eds., Sex and Gender in the Ancient Near East, Proceedings of the 47th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Helsinki, July 2-6, 2001, pp. 175-182. RAI 47. Helsinki. *Hecker. In O. Kaiser, ed., Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments II/5, 743-747. Gütersloh. *Held, Moshe. 1961. A Faithful Lover in an Old Babylonian Dialogue. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 15(1): 1-26. *Held, Moshe. 1962. A Faithful Lover in an Old Babylonian Dialogue (JCS XV, pp. 1-26): Addenda et Corrigenda. Journal of Cuneiform Studies 16(2): 37-39. *Ponchia, S. 1990. La palma e il tamarisco e altri dialoghi mesopotamici. Venice. [see pp. 89-93, 115-119, 150-154] *von Soden, Wolfram. 1950. Ein Zwiegespräch Hammurabis mit einer Frau. Zeitschrift für Assyriologie'' 49: 159-194

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