A Babylon Calendar Treatise: Scholars and Invaders in the Late First Millennium BC: Edited with Introduction, Commentary, and Cuneiform Texts

ISBN : 9780199539949

Frances Reynolds
480 ページ
189 x 246 mm

This volume publishes in full for the first time all known cuneiform manuscripts of an Akkadian calendar treatise that is unified by the theme of Babylonia's invasion. It was composed in the milieu of Marduk's Esagil temple in Babylon, probably in the Hellenistic period before c. 170 BC. Esagil rituals are presented as essential to protect Babylonia, and specifically Marduk's principal cult statue, from foreign attack. The treatise builds the case by drawing on traditional and late Babylonian cuneiform scholarship, including astronomy-astrology, accounts of warfare with Elam and Assyria, battle myths of Marduk and Ninurta, and wordplay. Calendrical sections contain an amalgam of apotropaic ritual against invasion, astrological omens of invasion as ritual triggers, past conflicts as historical precedent, divine combatants representing human foes, and sophisticated exegesis.
The work is partially preserved on damaged clay tablets in the British Museum's Babylonian collection and the volume presents hand-drawn cuneiform copies, a composite edition, and a manuscript score. A comprehensive contextualizing introduction provides readers in a range of fields - including Assyriology, classics and ancient history, ancient Iranian studies, Biblical studies, and ancient astronomy and astrology - with a key overview of topics in Mesopotamian scholarship, the manuscripts themselves, and their language and script. A detailed commentary explores how the treatise aims to demonstrate the critical importance of the traditional Esagil temple in Babylon for the security of Babylonia and its later imperial rulers.


Bibliographical Abbreviations
Selected Conventions
1. The calendar treatise and Mesopotamian scholarship
2. Topography: Babylonian cult and warfare
3. Manuscripts of the calendar treatise and the Musezib family
4. Language and script
Table of manuscripts
Previous publications
Calendar treatise: composite edition
MS A colophon and MS C vi: edition
Calendar treatise: manuscript score
SC 1 i 1-12: [Nisannu (day x)]
SC 2 i 1'-7': [Ayaru (day x)]
SC 3 i 8'-23': Simanu
SC 4 i 24'-35': Du'uzu
SC 5 ii 1-3: [Du'uzu] or [Abu (day x)]
SC 6 ii 1'-13': [Abu (day x)]
SC 7 ii 14'-iii 8: [Ululu]
SC 8 iii 9-15: Tasritu day 6
SC 9 iii 16-26: Tasritu day 8
SC 10 iii 27-30: Tasritu day 13
SC 12 iii 1''-5'': [Kislimu (day x)]
SC 13 iv 1-41: Tebetu
SC 14 iv 1'-12': [Addaru (day x)]
General index
Philological index
Selective index of texts and publications
Plates 1-8


Frances Reynolds is the Shillito Fellow in Assyriology in the Faculty of Oriental Studies, and Fellow and Tutor in Oriental Studies at St Benet's Hall, University of Oxford. After completing her BA in Classics and PhD in Ancient History and Archaeology (Assyriology), she held a British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Birmingham and worked as a State Archives of Assyria Editor at the University of Helsinki for three years. After teaching and carrying out research in Assyriology at a range of universities in the UK, she began her permanent appointment at the University of Oxford in 2006.