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Lament For a City


UET 403: UET Summary: Old Babylonian laments of a goddess, in Akkadian, probably belonging to the class of Sumerian and bilingual laments for the god Tammuz found in the later literature. Contents of the obv. (invasion of the holy place, fate of a hero, plunder of flocks) are very similar to those of the text translated in S.B. Psalms pp. 304 f. On rev. is a lament for the goddess's birds with broken wings and for the bricks which she had laid in vain. It is possible that the lines on this tablet are not a connected text but rather a list quoting the first lines of laments, and thus a 'catalogue'.

Transliteration and translation


1. i-na ma-an-za-zi-ia ma-an-nu#-um# i-zi-iz i-ša-si2 From where I stand who would stand up and cry out?(Notes)

2. ki-ma la-li-i-im i-na ma-a-a-li-ša i-ša-si2 like a kid in bed, who is crying out; like a young goat in the stable, who is crying out

3. i-na a-li ša-ak-nu-tim a-li it-ta-ah-ba-aš in the cities of the established (cities), my city has been crushed(Notes)

4. i-na um-ma-ni-im ša-ki-tim a-wi-li it-te-pi2(Notes)

5. i-na MAŠ?.GAN2? wa-aš-bu-tim a-na-ku? u2-la uh-ta-al-qum? (Notes)

6. la-ah-ri i-na qa2-qa2-ar na-ak-ri-im i-ša-as-si2 my ewe is crying out in the land of the enemy, (Notes)

7. pu-ha-di i-ra-mu-um my lamb is roaring (bleating) (Notes)

8. la-ah-ri u3 pu-ha-sa3 it-ba-lu my ewe and her X are laying down (Notes)

9. la-ah-ri na-ra-am i-na e?-bi-ri-ša# my ewe is X on the river in…. (Notes)

10. pu-ha-sa3 i-na ki-ib-ri-im i-ta#-[di] and the X on the bank. (Notes)


1. ERIN2#? (Notes)

2. i-[na] ri-[di? . . .] it-ti-im (Notes)

3. i-s,u2-ra-tu-u2 a-[x x x] x x they spread out like rays/roots (Notes)

4. ša la i-di3-a ka-ap-pi-ši-na u2-na-ha-ta to/for my X they (fem.) are clipping their (fem.) wings (Notes)

5. a-li bi-ti ša a-ra-mu-u2 I care for the city of her possession/authority (Notes)


1. eze:zum=become angry; izuzzum=to stand. Given the defective orthography of the verb (i-zi-iz), a durative reading of the G stem is likely, eliminating the possibility of reading the verb as "stand" since the theme vowel is an /a/ in the present tense. Semantically, the ideas of anger and crying out are more closely related than standing/perspective and crying out. :: manza:zum>mazza:zum=position; szasu:m [i/i]=cry out (G-Durative) (Return to text)

2. la'u:=young goat/child (Return to text)

3. haba:szum [a/u; u/u]=crush (N-Pret.) (Return to text)

4. naqu:m=pour/sacrifice/slaughter [i/i] (Return to text)

5. hala:qum [i/i]=destroy; naqu:m=pour/sacrifice/slaughter [i/i] (instead of ana:ku?) (Return to text)

6. lahrum=ewe; qaqqarum=territory; szasu:m [i/i]=cry out (G-Durative) (Return to text)

7. puha:lum=ram, bull; puha:dum=lamb; rama:mum [u/u]=roar

8. taba:kum [a/u]=lay down/out (G-Pret.)


2. naha:tum=(D) clip wings (D-Durative) (Return to text)

3. s,ara:szum=(G unknown); (D) spread out, give rays (like a star), sprout out/put out shoots; continue (of descendants)

  • Gadd, UET 6/2 403
  • Wasserman, N., “A Forgotten Old-Babylonian Lament over a City's Destruction: UET 6/2, 403 and Its Possible Literary Content" (in Hebrew), Eretz-Israel 27 (2003), 127-132 (with photo)

(return to Old Babylonian Akkadian Literature)

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