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Assyrian Education Network

MELAMMU: The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West

Posted: Monday, October 23, 2000 at 05:26 AM CT

The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West

"Ideologies as Intercultural Phenomena"
Note: This is a tentative program. The final list of papers will be made available at the registration desk.

October 27 (Friday)

Simo Parpola & Antonio Panaino, Opening section
David Stronach, "The Survival of Neo-Assyrian Imagery in tbe Arts of Achaemcnid Iran"
Richard Frye, "Mapping Assyria”
Philippe Talon, "King as God and God as King: The Mythical Aspects of Divine Kingship"
Gary Beckman, “ 'My Sun-God'-Reflections of Mesopotamian Conceptions of Kingship among the Hittites"
Reinhard Kratz, "From Nabonid to Cyrus: A case study for the intercultural contest of ideologies"
General Meeting of MELAMMU Project l

October 28 (Saturday)

Klaus Karttunen,The Naked Ascetics of India and other Eastern Religions in the Greek and Roman Sources of the Late Antiquity"
Bruno Jacobs, "Rueckbesinnung auf vergangene Groesse, Anspruch und Wirklichkeiteiniger Ideologeme des Antiochos I. von Kommagene"
Joachim Oelsner, "Hellenization ofthc Babylonian Culture?"
Scott Noegel, "Dreaming and the Ideology of Mantics: Homer and Ancient Near Eastern Oneiromancy"
Douglas R. Fralyne, "Gilgamesh and Odysseus"
Christian Marek, "Some aspects of Greek entertainement in the Eastern Roman Empire"
Chris Faraone, "From Magic Spell to Semiotic game: the Transformation of Neo-Assyrian love Spells in Classical and Hellenistic Greece"

October 30 (Monday)

Robert Rollingcr, "Ideology as means of demarcation: Herodotus, human violence and the Ancient Near East"
Tommaso Gnoli, "Hatra and Edessa: the case of 'pasgriba' between History and Religion"
Karen Nemet-Nejat, "Women in Business in Ancient Mesopotamia"
Baruch Levine, "On the Role of Aramaic in Transmitting Mesopotamian Royal Institution"
Joel Walker, "Syriac Christianity and the Assyrinn Past"
Amir Harrak, "The Assembly of Selucia on the Tigris According to the Acts of Mar Mari"
Eden Naby Frye, "Architectural and Funerary Connections of Assyrians in Iran"

October 31 (Tuesday)

Abdul Massih Saadi, "A Treasure-trove of Syriac Literature: Unearthing Demystifying and Cataloguing a Wealth of Manuscripts at LSTC"
Claudia Leurini, " 'Habent etiam episcopi diaconos'(Augustinus De Haer. 46): Short Remarks on a Manichaean Ecclesiastical Function"
Beate Pongratz-Leisten, "Lying Kings and False Prophets: 'Lie'and 'Truth' in the History of Ideas in the Ancient New East"
Andrea Piras, "Transformations of Hierogamy in Zoroastrian Iran"
Hanan Charaf, "Syriac cult places in Wadi Kadisha in Lebanon"
Giampiero Basello, "Persians and Elamites: the Evidence of the Calendars"
Ernest McClain, "Tonal mathology from Gilgamesh to David: a musicological study of its basic metaphors"

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The Intellectual Heritage of Assyria and Babylonia in East and West

The information found in this document reflects the date of its completion and is subject to updating and modification. The present version replaces the preliminary draft completed in December 1998 and circulated until April 1999. Questions, comments, criticisms, and suggestions regarding this document are welcome and should be sent to or to the MELAMMU Project, c/o State Archives of Assyria Project, Institute for Asian and African Studies, POB 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B), FIN-00014 University of Helsinki, Finland.



  1. The Background and Organization of the Project
  2. The Goals of the Project THE MELAMMU DATABASE
  3. Introduction to the Database
    3.1 Definition of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture
    3.2 Transmission and Diffusion of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture
    3.3 The Name and Logo of MELAMMU
    3.4 The Purpose of the Database
  4. The Scope of the Database
    4.1 Chronological Coverage
    4.2 Geographical Coverage
    4.3 Topical Coverage
    4.4 Problematic Data
    4.5 Impertinent Data
  5. Compilation and Management of the Database
    5.1 Compilation Strategy
    5.1.1 Easily Identifiable Data
    5.1.2 Scattered Data
    5.1.3 Collaboration with Other Projects
    5.2 Systematic Data Entry
    5.2.1 Research Assistants
    5.2.2 Invited Contributors
    5.3 Outside Contributors
    5.3.1 How to Contribute
    5.3.2 Bonuses
    5.3.3 Contact Data
    5.4 Database Manager
    5.5 Consultants
    5.6 Steering Committee
  6. General Plan of the Database
    6.1 Keywords
    6.2 Entries
    6.3 Data Search
    6.3.1 Keyword search
    6.3.2 Word, name or string search
    6.4 Online Data Submission
    6.5 The Language of the Database
  7. Content, Preparation and Structure of Database Entries
    7.1 Basic Data
    7.1.1 Text/Abstract and Document
    7.1.2 Illustration
    7.1.3 Bibliography
    7.2 Supplementary Information
    7.2.1 Name
    7.2.2 Type
    7.2.3 Keyword
    7.2.4 Period and Date
    7.2.5 Channel of Transmission
    7.2.6 Summary
    7.2.7 Authorship Indication
    7.2.8 Hypertext Links
    7.2.9 Remarks
    7.3 Preparing Material for the Database
    7.3.1 Normal Text
    7.3.2 Special Characters
    7.4 Editing Submitted Data
    7.4.1 Entry Number
    7.4.2 Field Identifiers, Keywords and Links
    7.4.3 Conversion into Database Format
    7.5 Database Entry Format
    7.5.1 Record Structure
    7.5.2 FI
    7.5.3 Two Samples of the Format of a Database Entry
    7.6 Database Files


    Appendix 1. Keywords

    1. Constituent Elements of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture
      1. Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery
      2. Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs
      3. Religious festivals, rituals and cults
      4. Religious and philosophical literature and poetry
      5. Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore
      6. Visual arts and architecture
      7. Crafts and economy
      8. Administrative systems
      9. Army and warfare
      10. Jurisdiction and legislature
      11. Language, communication, libraries and education
      12. Assyrian identity
    2. Periods
    3. Channels of Transmission Appendix 2. Samples of Database Entries
    4. Raw Entries
    5. Samples of Entries Converted into Database Format
      1. Raw entry
      2. Edited entry
      3. Entry in database format Appendix 3. Organization of MELAMMU
    6. Steering Committee
    7. Consultants
    8. Database Manager
    9. Research Assistants
    10. Supporting Institutions Appendix 4. MELAMMU Symposia
    11. Tvärminne 1998
    12. Paris 1999 Appendix 5. Contact Data
    13. Steering Committee Members
    14. Database Manager


  1. The Background and Organization of the Project

The Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage project (MELAMMU) investigates the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian imperial culture in the Mediterranean world from the thirteenth century BC until the advent of Islam. The project is expected to open many new perspectives and significantly contribute to the understanding of cultural evolution in the East and West. A specific goal of MELAMMU is to document the shaping and survival of Assyrian ethnic and cultural identity up to the present day and to trace the continuity of Assyrian cultural elements in post-Empire times, particularly in Graeco-Roman Syria and Mesopotamia and in Syriac Christianity.

The project was initiated in 1998 by the State Archives of Assyria Centre of Excellence of the University of Helsinki (SAA). While MELAMMU continues to be supported by SAA and some of its central functions are currently located in Helsinki, it is a completely independent project with no formal ties to SAA. In the opening symposium of MELAMMU held in Tvärminne, Finland, in October 1998, it was decided that the project will be directed by a nine-member international steering committee with chairmanship rotating yearly and that it will have a large interdisciplinary board of consultants and a staff of research assistants located in different countries. For details of the organization of MELAMMU see Appendix 3.

Financial support for MELAMMU is currently being provided by SAA only. It was agreed in Tvärminne that a non-profit fund to support the project would have to be established as soon as possible by the institutions represented at the meeting. The support given to the project will be visibly acknowledged on the home page of the MELAMMU database and in all MELAMMU publications. The supporting institutions have a representative on the steering committee, receive complimentary copies of project publications and are informed about the progress of the project, but are not involved in its research nor in its practical realization.

2. The Goals of the Project

The central objective of MELAMMU is to create an electronic database bringing together the textual, art-historical, archaeological and ethnographic evidence relevant to the study of Mesopotamian imperial culture and its diffusion and continuity in later times. The database will be compiled with international collaboration and will be made available on the Internet. In addition, the project organizes annual symposia focusing on different aspects of cultural continuity and evolution in the Mediterranean world. The theme of the opening symposium in Tvärminne was "The Heirs of Assyria." The second symposium, to be held in Paris on October 4-7, 1999, will deal with "Mythology and Mythologies: Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences." The proceedings of the meetings are published annually in a series bearing the name of the project and issued by SAA.

The compilation of the database will take several years, and annual symposia will continue to be arranged for at least this period.


3. Introduction to the Database

3.1 Definition of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture

"Mesopotamian imperial culture" as understood in this document refers to a complex system of ideological and religious doctrines, scientific knowledge and literature, theological, cosmological and mythological concepts, cultic rituals and festivals, court ceremony, visual arts, imagery and symbolism, etc. (see Appendix 1), that evolved in Mesopotamian imperial courts over a period of several millennia in an effort to justify the king's position as the earthly representative of god, to maintain his ritual purity, to serve his daily needs, to back up his power, and to propagate his glory to his subjects and to the outside world. Since higher learning and arts could in Mesopotamia be practiced only in the context of palace or temple, "Mesopotamian imperial culture" is largely synonymous with "Mesopotamian intellectual culture." It is important to note, however, that it is not synonymous with "Mesopotamian culture" in general, which is a much broader concept and largely falls outside the scope of the MELAMMU project (see section 4.3 below).

In line with its origin and development, Mesopotamian imperial culture can be regarded as an integrated, essentially homogenous whole making up a coherent system highly resistent to change. While it was subject to continuous refinement, modification and expansion in its details, its fundamentals remained essentially unchanged over the millennia. This was so because, in its orientation and overall value structure, the imperial culture was firmly anchored to its starting point, the institution of divine kingship, which constituted the pivotal point of Mesopotamian civilization at large. Any fundamental changes to the system as a whole were excluded as long as this pivotal point remained unchanged and was compatible with the prevalent world view.

3.2 Transmission and Diffusion of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture

Mesopotamian imperial culture was passed on to the first millennium BC in two principal variants, Assyrian and Babylonian, both of which derived from earlier Sumerian and Akkadian traditions, shared innumerable features, and considerably influenced each other over the centuries. While it is possible and indeed necessary to distinguish between the two in details, from the viewpoint of cultural evolution both must be considered just variants of the same system and will hence not be systematically distinguished in the MELAMMU project.

With the expansion of the Assyrian Empire, Mesopotamian imperial culture spread over the entire Near East, strongly influencing cultural development even outside the actual borders of the Empire. However, paradoxically it was only after the collapse of the Assyrian and Babylonian Empires that Mesopotamian imperial culture truly spread beyond its original home and became a major factor in the cultural evolution of the East and West. The Iranian, Macedonian and Roman dynasties that inherited imperial power from the Assyrians and Babylonians, each in their turn adopted the Mesopotamian imperial culture, made it their own, added to it, and actively spread it (in modified form) throughout the ancient world. The emergence of Hellenistic civilization and the orientalization of Rome are but later aspects of a long process of cultural expansion and assimilation that had it beginnings already in the early third millennium BC and even before.

3.3 The Name and Logo of MELAMMU

The name of the project (suggested by Antonio Panaino) and its logo (suggested by Simo Parpola) were chosen to illustrate essential aspects of the underlying diffusion and transformation process. The word melammu, which means "divine radiance, splendour, nimbus, aura," is an Akkadian loanword from Sumerian and thus concretely illustrates the transfer and continuity of a centrally important doctrinal concept from an earlier ideological system to a later one. In Mesopotamia alone, this concept has a documented continuity of over 4,500 years, from the earliest cuneiform religious and historical documents (ca. 2,600 BC) till the present day. The iconography of the concept has gone a long way from the radiance surrounding Mesopotamian gods to the halos surrounding the heads of Byzantine angels and saints and the loops hovering over the heads of Christian angels, but the concept itself has survived amazingly well and spread far beyond its original home.

The spread of the concept can be traced by observing the diffusion and transformations of the relevant iconographic motif. The logo of MELAMMU is taken from an Achaemenid seal discovered on the south coast of the Black Sea and represents the goddess Anahita, mounted on a lion and surrounded by the divine radiance, appearing to a Persian king. The details of the king's and the goddess's dress and crown are Persian, but in all other respects the seal is a faithful reproduction of centuries older Assyrian seals depicting appearances of the goddess Ishtar to members of the imperial ruling class. It thus illustrates not only the adoption of the Mesopotamian concept of "divine radiance" by the Persians, but also the assimilation of an important Iranian deity to a Mesopotamian one with the concomitant adoption of a whole system of religious beliefs, cultic practices, ideological doctrines, and artistic conventions. The fact that the seal was found outside the area controlled by the Assyrian Empire and possibly carved by a Greek artist, illustrates the dynamic diffusion of these ideas (through imperial propaganda) across geographical and cultural boundaries.

The radiance emitted by the goddess symbolizes to the project the powerful impact of Mesopotamian imperial culture on the surrounding world and later cultures, while the king symbolizes the crucial role of imperial courts in the preservation, transformation and diffusion of this cultural heritage.

3.4 The Purpose of the Database

The gradual transformation of Mesopotamian imperial culture into Hellenistic, Graeco-Roman and Iranian imperial culture has never been systematically investigated and there is a great deal to be gained from a detailed and comprehensive study of the subject.

The purpose of the MELAMMU database is to collect the available textual, art-historical, archaeological and ethnographic evidence relating to the subject and to make it available to researchers worldwide in a reliable and easily accessible and manageable form. Apart from furthering the specific goals of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage project, it is hoped that MELAMMU will become a gateway to Mesopotamian civilization in general and stimulate interdisciplinary research by making cuneiform sources better accessible to nonAssyriologists.

It should be stressed that the purpose of the database is emphatically NOT to "prove" that everything originated in ancient Assyria or Babylonia, nor to replace a Hellenocentric view of cultural evolution with a Pan-Mesopotamian one. Rather, by making available a great amount of interconnected diachronic cross-cultural data, MELAMMU will aid in understanding cultural evolution as a process of organic growth, with inherited cultural elements constantly merging with new elements introduced by the dynamics of contemporary life. The particular orientation of MELAMMU guarantees that many well-known phenomena will appear in a new light and can be evaluated from a multidimensional rather than unilateral perspective.

4. The Scope of the Database

4.1 Chronological Coverage

The time frame covered by MELAMMU is basically 1350 BC--AD 900. Within this period, the emphasis is on the time after 609 BC (the year marking the fall of the Assyrian Empire). The imperial culture of the period between 1350 and 609 BC, which forms the starting point and frame of reference of the database, will be covered by articles tied to the keywords listed in Appendix 1 A (see section 5.2.2). Hence no primary data attesting to cultural continuity in Mesopotamia proper during this period will be included in MELAMMU. Data attesting to the diffusion of imperial culture outside Mesopotamia during this period can however be included.

Since documenting the continuity of Mesopotamian imperial culture is a central objective of the MELAMMU project, the database can also include data from earlier Mesopotamian empires insofar as they conform with the list of keywords in Appendix 1 A. Even though the lowermost time limit for the database is AD 900, later data may also exceptionally be included.

4.2 Geographical Coverage

In principle, the database has no geographical limits. From the viewpoint of cultural history, it is important to document the diffusion of Mesopotamian ideas and cultural elements (e.g., the zodiac) to the outside world whenever possible. However, from the viewpoint of the project itself it would be nonsensical to try and trace the history of each borrowed item globally in its new environment(s). Quite apart from the magnitude of such an effort, the data collected would contribute nothing essential to the project itself. Hence MELAMMU will be geographically limited to the Mediterranean oikumene in the wide sense, which also includes India.

Within this geographical area, primary data on the history of borrowed items outside Mesopotamia proper will be collected inasfar as they meaningfully contribute to the general goals of the project. This means, for example, that extracts from the Platonic corpus will be included in the database wherever a dependance from Mesopotamian thought can be demonstrated or is suspected (see section 4.4), but the history of Platonic thought as such falls outside the scope of the database and will be covered by bibliographic references only. On the other hand, if it can be shown that Mesopotamian ideas/cultural items passed to the Greeks via Hittite or other Anatolian or Phoenician/Levantine intermediaries, the individual links in this chain of transmission obviously are of interest and should be documented in the database.

4.3 Topical Coverage

The topical coverage of MELAMMU is defined by the list of keywords in Appendix 1 A. Even though this list is by no means exhaustive and will be expanded and refined during the compilation of the database, it gives a good idea of the kind of data that should be included. To avoid misunderstandings, it must be stressed that the list is intended to cover Mesopotamian imperial culture only and should not expand into a survey of Mesopotamian culture in general.

Specifically, the database will systematically collect passages in ancient texts (cuneiform, Greek, Latin, Iranian, Elamite, Egyptian, Coptic, Phoenician, Punic, Hebrew, Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, or Indian) and well-documented modern studies that

—- refer to Assyria(ns), Babylonia(ns) or Chaldaean(s) in post-Empire times; —- explicitly assign specific religious beliefs and practices, cosmological or philosophical doctrines, scientific knowledge etc. to Assyrian, Babylonian or Chaldaean origins; —- attest to the continuity of central elements of Mesopotamian imperial culture in post-Empire times, even if these are not explicitly identified as Assyrian or Babylonian; —- attest to or discuss the transmission and diffusion of Mesopotamian ideas, doctrines, theories, rituals, symbolism, imagery, literary motifs and techniques, scientific and technological knowledge, hermeneutical methods etc. outside Mesopotamia; or —- explain or comment upon the meaning of symbols and imagery central to or attested in Mesopotamian imperial culture.

In addition, other kinds of primary data (archaeological, art-historical, ethnographic) attesting to the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian imperial culture will also be systematically collected and included in the database.

4.4 Problematic Data

In individual cases it is obviously sometimes impossible to be sure whether the occurrence of an item of Mesopotamian imperial culture elsewhere really is evidence of cultural continuity/diffusion or just a case of cultural parallelism. In such cases, the item should be included if

  • the parallelism is not just general and formal but specific and functional as well;
  • it is embedded in a larger system which is also parallel in both cultures;
  • the item concerned is attested in Mesopotamian sources earlier than in the other culture;
  • there is a viable method (e.g., geographical proximity) by which the item might have passed to the other culture; and
  • there is a viable reason (e.g., lack of a concept or specific knowledge) why the item should have been adopted by the other culture.

Since the purpose of the database is not just to further the goals of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage project but also to encourage and facilitate interdisciplinary research, it is not harmful if all the data included do not strictly pertain to cultural continuity/diffusion. After the database has been completed, the user will be able to decide the relevance of an item on the basis of the total evidence.

4.5 Impertinent Data

Apart from data falling outside the scope of MELAMMU as defined above, the following kinds of data do not belong in the database:

—- faulty or otherwise inadequate translations of primary texts found in obsolete publications; —- obsolete or inadequately documented scholarly discussions; —- information culled from non-scholarly publications (popular books and magazines, travel guides, newspapers etc.).

If no reliable translation of a primary text to be included in the database exists, a new translation must be prepared, preferably in collaboration with a member of the board of consultants.

5. Compilation and Management of the Database

5.1 Compilation Strategy

In view of the vast amount of data to be entered into the database, it is clear that an efficient compilation strategy is needed if the work is to be completed within reasonable time. The data relevant to MELAMMU fall into two major types, which must be approached differently.

5.1.1 Easily Identifiable Data

Many penetrating and well-documented scholarly studies analyze and discuss data that are clearly relevant to the database; in addition, many ancient sources contain relatively easily identifiable pertinent data. Such data can be assembled and systematically entered by a limited number of research assistants specifically hired for this purpose. While it is difficult to estimate the amount of data to be gathered in this way, it certainly constitutes a very significant portion of all information to be included in MELAMMU. By employing three to four assistants simultaneously, the work of excerpting such data can be completed within a few years (see section 5.2.1 below).

5.1.2 Scattered Data

An unknown quantity of other relevant data of course remains scattered in published and unpublished primary sources and secondary literature. Such scattered data may be well-known to specialists but are very difficult to identify and collect by systematic searching. Hence, it is essential that scholars who come across such data absent from the database contribute their findings to MELAMMU. Submitting data does not take much time, and a system of bonuses has been created for outside contributors (see section 5.3 below).

5.1.3 Collaboration with Other Projects and Institutions

Obviously, collaboration with other projects, research groups and institutions engaged in research related to the MELAMMU project may substantially help in the compilation process. This option will be discussed in detail in the annual meeting of the project in October 1999.

5.2 Systematic Data Entry

5.2.1 Research Assistants

The primary task of a research assistant is to go systematically through scholarly literature and primary sources relevant to the MELAMMU project, extract data from them, and convert them into entries to be sent to the database manager. The technical aspects of the work are described in section 7 below.

The assistant works under a member of the board of consultants who acts as his advisor and supervisor. Before the work begins, the assistant and the supervisor should devise a work plan (in practice, a list of publications to be excerpted) and a realistic timetable for its completion, copies of which should be sent to the steering committee (see 5.6 below). It is recommended that modern studies and primary sources be equally represented in the work plan. If ancient texts are referred to in a study, the assistant should routinely check the original source and use it rather than the study, excerpting the relevant passage and referring to the study in the bibliography. Of course, the relevant passage in the study can also be included as a separate entry depending on the case. The chairman of the steering committee should be kept informed of the progress of the work through periodic reports.

As of the writing of this document, MELAMMU has one research assistant working on an experimental basis. Further assistants will be hired as soon as possible. It is estimated that at least three to four assistants will be needed to make the database fully operational within three to four years.

5.2.2 Invited Contributors

The articles on Mesopotamian imperial culture (see 4.1 above) will be written by invited specialists who will be paid for their contributions. The articles will be of standard format and none of them may be longer than 300 words (including bibliography).

The writing of the articles will start as soon as funding is available and it is hoped that all the keywords in Appendix 1 A will be covered by the end of 2000.

5.3 Outside Contributors

In order to incorporate scattered or otherwise inaccessible data relevant to the database, MELAMMU invites all scholars specializing in the represented disciplines to submit items to the database. Contributions can be accepted from the moment the database has been opened for public use. Students are welcome to contribute, but they must check the relevance and accuracy of the data with their teacher or a senior scholar before submitting and provide the name of the person consulted together with the data. Contributions are not accepted from non-specialists.

5.3.1 How to Contribute

Contributing to MELAMMU is easy and does not take much time. Suppose one notices that a piece of information (e.g., a passage in an ancient text or an illustration) which belongs in the database is not included in it. One can simply photocopy the item, write a source reference and a brief explanatory note on it, and mail it to the database manager, who will ask for further details or clarifications if necessary. The information can also be sent by Internet (see section 6.4) or by email, in which case the conventions explained below in section 7.3 should be observed. For examples of entries submitted in simple "raw" format see Appendix 2. Each accepted contribution earns a bonus (see 5.3.2).

Of course, if there is no time pressure, it would help if the instructions in section 7 regarding the preparation of a standard entry could be taken into consideration when submitting the data. It is clear that the more "clean" the submitted data are, the more time can be saved in converting them into proper database entries. Entries submitted using the form on the web page will be correctly “pre-edited” providing the instructions on the page are followed.

5.3.2 Bonuses

Contributors receive discounts on publications issued by the State Archives of Assyria project (SAA Studies, SAA Cuneiform Texts, SAA Bulletin, PNA, Assyria 1995), which can be very substantial depending on the number of the items contributed. Each contributed and accepted item entitles the contributor to a 1% discount up to a maximum of 40% (= 40 contributed items). In order not to undercut sales of recently issued books, discounts are granted only on books more than two years old. Discounted books must be ordered directly from the SAA project and paid for by direct bank transfer to the project's bank account; normal VAT and postage charges will apply. A complete and up-to-date listing of SAA publications is to be found at the project's web site:

5.3.3 Contact Data

All data received will be ascribed to contributors in the database entries. In order to facilitate communication between the compilers of MELAMMU and to add to the usefulness of the database, contributors are asked to provide their mail and/or email addresses and phone and/or fax numbers when submitting database material. These data will be stored in a file which can be accessed by the users of the database with a simple click on the contributor's name. Contributors who do not wish their contact data to be publicly accessible should notify the database manager.

5.4 Database Manager

The project needs a full-time database manager to receive contributions to MELAMMU, edit them, convert the edited data into database entries, manage the database and respond to user feedback (see sections 6.4 and 7.4 below). In addition, the database manager is supposed to help in the organization the MELAMMU symposia and in the publication of their proceedings.

5.5 Consultants

The consultants, all of whom are internationally recognized experts in their respective fields of specialization, guarantee the scientific quality and reliability of the database. While they are not directly involved in data entry proper, they will be consulted by the database manager whenever there is any doubt about the relevance or pertinence of a submitted item. In addition, they can be consulted by the research assistants in matters falling within their fields of expertise, e.g., in the translation of primary texts lacking adequate English edition. To reduce the work load of individual consultants, the board includes several experts in each discipline represented in MELAMMU. The number of consultants is not limited and suggestions for additional board members are welcome.

The consultants can at any time make suggestions to the steering committee regarding material to be entered into the database. Such suggestions should be sent to the chairman of the steering committee, who will implement them after consultation with other committee members and the research assistants.

5.6 Steering Committee

The steering committee guides and represents the project and helps secure financial and other kinds of support for it. The committee convenes once a year at the annual symposium of MELAMMU. Each committee member can at any time present suggestions for improving the project or redirecting its activities (e.g., prioritizing the entry of a particular class of data). Such motions, if realizable, will be implemented by the chairman after consultation with other committee members without the necessity of arranging an extra meeting. Committee members should receive copies of the work plans of the research assistants, and they are entitled to modify them if necessary. Suggestions for modifications should be sent to the chairman.

The chairman is expected to do his best to further the objectives of the project and is responsible for organizing the annual symposium during his term. In addition, he should be in active contact with the steering committee and supporters of MELAMMU and keep them informed of the progress of the project.

Though it is hoped that individual committee members will serve for as long as possible, any committee member can resign at any time by notifying the chairman. The vacancy will be filled at the next annual meeting, which will also elect a new chairman and vice chairman for the project for the following year. All members of the project are eligible for chairmanship and vice chairmanship. If both are elected from outside the steering committee, the previous chair or his deputy will resign from the committee to keep its size manageable.

6. General Plan of the Database

MELAMMU resembles in its concept a regular encyclopaedia. Both consist of entries arranged under keywords, have a table of contents, and come with illustrations, bibliographies and crossreferences. When completed, the whole work or parts of it can if desired be published in book form as a multivolume encyclopaedia. However, MELAMMU differs from a normal encyclopaedia in three important respects. First, the entries in it are not traditional encyclopaedia articles but for the most part are primary data extracted from both ancient sources and modern studies. Second, MELAMMU contains no indices, but the data in it can be quickly accessed by a keyword search or by a word/name/string search. Third, MELAMMU is continuously expandable and modifiable, and new entries and corrections to it can also be submitted by its users.

6.1 Keywords

Since MELAMMU deals with the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian imperial culture, the starting point of the database is a breakdown of the imperial culture into its constituent elements. A classified list of such elements, reduced to keywords, is presented in Appendix 1 A. All entries in the database will be tied to this list (or an expanded and revised version of it), which will serve as the organizational framework of the database and as a point of orientation and reference for the users and compilers of MELAMMU. The keyword list is by no means yet in its final shape and the readers of this document are strongly urged to send comments, criticisms and additions at this stage. Any number of new keywords can be created and incorporated in the list, which is infinitely expandable.

6.2 Entries

The individual database entries are pieces of textual or graphic information documenting or relating to the continuity, transformation and diffusion of Mesopotamian imperial culture. A text entry usually consists of an excerpt from an ancient text or a modern scholarly article or monograph; a graphic entry can be a photograph, drawing, map, groundplan or diagram. Text entries can include any number of illustrations, and graphic entries are always accompanied by explanatory captions. Each entry contains a source reference and bibliographic information. Whenever possible, the entry also includes contact data and hypertext links to other databases or soures of information.

In principle, there is no upper limit to the number or size of individual entries. However, in order to prevent the database from becoming excessively cumbersome and time-consuming to use, it is essential to keep the text entries within reasonable limits (between 25-80 words or 2-7 lines of text, as illustrated in Appendix 2). Entries that cannot be reduced to this size without losing valuable information have to be entered twice, both in unabridged (document) and abridged (abstract) form, see section 7.1.1 below. The abstract will be used in data search and will be displayed after the search has been completed, but the full document can also be viewed if desired by clicking on the source reference of the displayed text. By the same token, all illustrations will be displayed in reduced size only at first but can be viewed in full (slower-to-load) size if desired.

6.3 Data Search

Each database session will open with the MELAMMU home page appearing on the screen. The home page contains a menu displaying the search options and other relevant information. The database can be searched either by keywords (topical search) or by words, names and strings. The user selects the desired option by clicking on the appropriate (highlighted) item in the menu.

6.3.1 Keyword search

If keyword search is selected, a list featuring the section headings of the keyword list will appear on the screen. Clicking on a heading will return all the keywords in the corresponding section. The user initiates the search by clicking on the selected keyword. The results of the search (all entries tied to the keyword, with texts and illustrations, captions, bibliographic references, and other supplementary information) will appear on the screen in chronological order. As explained above, any abridged texts and illustrations can now be viewed in full size if so desired.

It is also possible to narrow down the search to a certain period, source type, or channel of transmission, by selecting the appropriate section heading in the keyword menu.

6.3.2 Word, name or string search

If word, name or string search is selected, the user will be prompted for the search item. The search will begin after the item has been typed and entered by pressing the RETURN key. The user will receive a list of all occurrences of the search item in the database with source references and a few words of context to the right and left of the search item (centered and highlighted). Clicking on any source reference will display the full text of the corresponding entry.

6.4 Online Data Submission

The database will be constantly enlarged and updated by adding to and modifying the data already entered. Any user can easily submit additions or corrections by clicking on "New data" in the home-page menu and filling out the form subsequently displayed. The data submitted will be sent to the database manager who, after verification, will incorporate it in the database. For details of data submission see sections 5 and 7.

6.5 The Language of the Database

The basic language of the database is English, although some data can also be entered in other modern languages (see 7.1.1). Texts in ancient languages or scripts cannot be used for data search and are therefore not included in the database, but full bibliographic references to the best editions as well as hypertext links to existing on-line editions are attached to each text entry whenever available.

7. Content, Preparation and Structure of Database Entries

7.1 Basic Data

7.1.1 Text/Abstract and Document

A "text" is an extract from an ancient written source or from a modern study. The length of a text should not exceed 7 lines or about 80 words. Longer extracts (even entire compositions) can be included, but in that case an "abstract" must be prepared to serve as the text proper (see section 6.2 above), while the unabridged original is entered separately as a "document." Texts (both extracts and abstracts) up to 10 lines or 120 words can however exceptionally be allowed depending on the case. Abstracts and documents should be clearly distinguished from each other by inserting the relevant word in square brackets at the beginning of the entry; see the examples in Appendix 2. For the rendering of special characters in foreign names and words, see section 7.3.

All extracts from ancient texts, whether texts or documents, and all abstracts should be entered in English. Portions of modern studies entered as documents should be in the original language, if feasible. If the ancient text is not available in English translation or the modern study is not written in one of the major languages, an adequate English translation must be prepared, if necessary in collaboration with a MELAMMU consultant. All abstracts and translations will be signed by their authors.
7.1.2 Illustration

An "illustration" can be a photograph, line drawing, map, groundplan or diagram related to a keyword. Illustrations can be submitted either in the original or in high-resolution photocopy, in which case they should be sent to the database manager for optical scanning, or in digital form, in which case they need not be sent if stored in an Internet file and the URL of the file is provided. All illustrations should be accompanied by brief English captions.

7.1.3 Bibliography

Each text/illustration must be furnished with an indication of the source and other relevant bibliographic data (such as references to important studies and scholarly discussions). In each case only the best available and/or most recent editions and studies should be included. The references are to be given in abbreviated form (e.g., Burkert 1992:75-79), with full bibliographic details provided in a separate bibliography file. The entries in the bibliography file follow the conventions of the Chicago Manual of Style.

7.2 Supplementary Information

In order to reduce the work load of the database manager who has to convert the data into database entries proper (see 7.4), it is desireable, though not absolutely necessary, that the entries already be provided with additional secondary information (type, summary, keyword(s), period/ date, bibliography, and possible channel of transmission and hypertext links) at the time of submission. Each such item of supplementary information should be written on a separate line and marked with an appropriate letter code (field identifier) followed by an equal sign (see section 7.4.2 and examples in Appendix 2 B 2). It is recommended that this be done systematically following the order in which the items are discussed below. A form for supplying the desired information in the correct order will be available on the Internet. If a particular piece of information (e.g., a channel of transmission) asked for on this form cannot be provided, it can simply be ignored.

7.2.1 Name (N=)

A name for the entry, in practice the primary keyword under which it is to be found, e.g. "N=Mural crown."

7.2.2 Type (T=)

The general category or type of the entry data (e.g., "T=iconography, symbol").

7.2.3 Keyword (K=)

All keywords in Appendix 1 A that relate to the entry, with the corresponding numerical codes. If an appropriate keyword is not included in Appendix 1, the contributor may create a new one for the entry, to be written in CAPITAL LETTERS. There is no limit to the number of keywords per entry. The keyword should be entered in numerical form (e.g., "K=," not "K=Divine crown.")

7.2.4 Period and Date (P=)

The period/era/chronological context to which the entry pertains, entered using the corresponding numerical code (see Appendix 1 B; e.g., "P=13", meaning Seleucid Empire). If a particular period/era is not to be found in Appendix 1 B, it should be pointed out to the database manager by supplying the desired period in CAPITAL LETTERS without numerical code. If the entry can be dated exactly, the date should be appended to the period in parentheses (e.g., "P=13 (243 BC)").

7.2.5 Channel of Transmission (C=)

If the entry contains clear evidence of a channel through which Mesopotamian cultural elements were transmitted to another culture, its existence should be noted according to the keywords listed in Appendix 1 C. If a particular channel is not found in Appendix 1 C, it should be pointed out to the database manager by supplying the desired channel in CAPITAL LETTERS. Otherwise the numerical codes in Appendix 1 C should be used, e.g., "C=7.5.8" (referring to Emperor Elagabalus).

7.2.6 Summary (S=)

A one-sentence summary of the content and/or import of the entry. The formulation of the summary is free and does not have to cover all the information included the entry.

7.2.7 Authorship Indication (A=)

The name of the person (research assistant or individual scholar) who contributed the entry, e.g. "A=A. Piras". Cf. section 5.3.3 above.

7.2.8 Hypertext Links (L=)

If the entry text is available in more complete form elsewhere on the Internet, this should be indicated in the entry, e.g. "L="

7.2.9 Remarks (R=)

Miscellaneous remarks, e.g. comments on the relevance of an entry.

7.3 Preparing Material for the Database (by R. M. Whiting)

7.3.1 Normal Text

To try to eliminate confusion about entering material for the MELAMMU database, the following are the most important points.

  • Use 7-bit ASCII text only
  • NO word processor text
  • NO special fonts

7-bit ASCII is the normal keyboard character set (the first 128 characters, less the first 31 control characters). There should be no extended ASCII or control characters in the text for the database.

Similarly, text for the database should not be prepared with a word processor, but with a text editor. Word processors embed formatting codes in the file which cannot be used in the database. If a word processor is used to create database files, use only 7-bit ASCII characters and save the file as ASCII text only.

7.3.2 Special Characters

Special fonts are nice for word processors and the printed page, but they cannot be used in the database. If special characters are needed, unique character strings must be created to represent these characters in the text. The database management software will convert these unique character strings to the proper characters for display, but in a word processor file with special fonts, the proper characters cannot be disentangled from the formatting codes.

It does not matter what character strings are used for special characters, so long as:

—1) Each special character has a unique representation. —2) This representation is not used for anything else and cannot appear accidentally elsewhere in the text.
—3) A record is available of what special character is represented by a particular character string.

The SAA project uses for its Assyrian database the following symbols to represent characters for which no ASCII representation is available:

  1. Akkadian Phonemes

   lower-case Tsade             $               $almu

      "       Shin                      &               &arru

      "       Teth                      #               #uppu

   upper-case Tsade             \               \idu_nu

      "       Shin                      `               `ama&

      "       Teth                      %               %ebe_tu

              Aleph             '               ra'su

b) Vowel Length, Accented Vowels

   vowel (V) with macron        V               kaba_su

     "        "   circumflex    V^              Nabu^

     "        "   acute accent  V2              de2tente

     "        "   grave accent  V3              citta3

c) Other conventions

   superscript 'd' (dingir)     d=              d=AMAR.UTU

      "        'm' (mister)             1=              1=ba-ni-i

   half brackets                        < >             -na

   supplied sign                ( )             na-(bi)-u

   erroneously added sign       (( ))           na-((na))-bu-u

Many of these signs are used in transliterations where these signs cannot have any other value, but in mixed text longer character strings would be needed. For example, ' alone could not be used for aleph as it could easily be mistaken for a single quotation mark or vice versa. The SAA system also has no convention for representing vowels with dieresis (umlaut). To reiterate, it is not important what conventions are adopted at any particular stage so long as the three conditions that were stated above are adhered to.

Thus o with umlaut could be represented by a string like o\" or by the SGML code ö (or by any other unique character string). The database management software will convert the strings to the desired output character.

It will be best if sample entries can be sent to Helsinki for evaluation so that any problems can be isolated and dealt with at an early stage. Such entries can be sent by e-mail (since they will be 7-bit ASCII files) and can be evaluated quickly. A later version of this document will contain a complete list of the character strings to be used for the represention of special characters, based on feedback received from the contributors.

Special type can be indicated by the following conventions:

begin italics       {               {Asugallatu

begin bold          )               )

return to normal    }               {Asgelatas}

begin Greek type AsklepioV
end Greek type AsklepioV

7.4 Editing the Entries

All material for the database, whether prepared by the assistants or submitted by outside contributors, should be sent to the database manager, who checks and edits it and converts it to the format in which it is stored in the database, using a computer program written for the purpose. For an example of a fully edited entry, ready for the conversion run, see Appendix 2 B 2. The database manager may correct or reject any submitted data in accordance with the advice of the consultants, and may send raw entries to assistants for preliminary editing.

7.4.1 Entry Number

Each accepted entry receives an asterisked sequential number (SEQNO), to be inserted at the beginning of the entry as its first line. The SEQNO is always an eight-digit number, with leading zeros added by the computer program as necessary, but in order to avoid mistakes it must be entered without the leading zeros. The database manager assigns the SEQNOs while editing the entries and keeps track of them to make sure that all of them are unique and in sequential order.

7.4.2 Field Identifiers, Keywords and Links

The entry is then checked to make sure that all secondary information has been appropriately marked with relevant letter codes (field identifiers). If not, these codes must now be added according to the system explained below in 7.5.2. Each keyword, period and channel has to be represented by the corresponding numerical codes listed in Appendix 1. Items missing in these lists and submitted by contributors in CAPITAL LETTERS must now be incorporated in the master list and provided with appropriate numerical codes.

It must also be checked that items to be marked for links to other files have been encoded appropriately. These items include abstracts of text and studies (to be linked to the corresponding documents), bibliographic references (to be linked to the bibliography files), names of authors and contributors (to be linked to the contact data file), and illustrations (to be linked to the graphic files). The hypertext marking of these items will be carried out automatically by the conversion program once they have been provided with the appropriate field identifiers.

7.4.3 Conversion into Database Format

After a sufficient number of entries have been edited, they are run through a computer program which will convert them into the desired database format.

7.5 Database Format

7.5.1 Record Structure

Each database entry consists of a number of consecutive records, which basically correspond to consecutive lines of written text. The maximum length of each record is 80 characters. Each record is divided into three consecutive fields of fixed length: SEQNO (sequential number of the entry), FI (field identifier) and TEXT (text field). SEQNO occupies the first 8 character positions/columns of a record (1-8), FI the following three (9-11), and TEXT the rest (12-80). TEXT largely corresponds to the data submitted to the database manager. SEQNO and FI are generated from data supplied by the database manager and inserted at the beginning of each record by the conversion program.

All records in the database thus have the following structure:

00000001N @Mural Crown

|       |  |


7.5.2 FI

The FI specifies the nature of the text field and typically consists of a capital letter followed by a blank space and the @-sign. The space between the letters and the @-sign is automatically replaced by a sequential number whenever there is more than one successive but separate entry of the same type, e.g. illustrations or bibliographic references. See in more detail just below.

Key to the capital letters (field identifiers) occurring in the FI field:

N = Name
T = Type
K = Keyword
P = Period/date
C = Channel
S = Summary

  • text/abstract D = Document I = Illustration B = Bibliographic reference W = Writer L = hypertext Link R = Remarks

The nature and contents of the relevant data fields are explained in sections 7.1-2 above. Entry text proper is not specially marked and the FI field is left entirely blank except for the @-sign at the beginning of each paragraph..

Some of the field identifiers can occur more than once because each entry can have several (as many as needed) illustrations, bibliographic references, and hypertext links. Each separate entry in these categories should be on a separate line with its own field identifier. This will allow the "front end" program to identify multiple entries in these categories immediately and to treat eachseparately but in an identical manner. I-entries will be converted into a hypertext pointer to the graphics file and a caption to accompany it. B-entries will be expanded from the bibliography file. L-entries will be converted into a hypertext link and the text identifying it that will appear in the viewable file. Other field identifiers should only occur once per entry.

7.5.3 Two Samples of the Database Entry Format

00000001N @Mural Crown
00000001T @Iconography, Symbol
00000001K @,, 00000001P @14
00000001C @7.5
00000001S @Mural crown of Assyrian queens becomes the symbol of Cybele/Tyche 00000001I @decius1d.jpg;Detail of the Tyche of Antioch from a coin of Trajan 00000001I @Decius (AD 249-251).
00000001I2@genant1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on a coin of that city (AD 312). 00000001I3@justin1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on the reverse of a Greek Imperial 00000001I3@(Roman Provincial) bronze coin. 00000001 @The mural crown is attested is Assyrian reliefs as a device worn 00000001 by Assyrian queens as "images" of Mullissu, the queen of heaven. 00000001 The crown is later associated strongly with the Anatolian Cybele, 00000001 a mother and earth goddess, and with the Greek Tyche, goddess of 00000001 fortune (called by the Romans Fortuna), especially as the patroness 00000001 of a city. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Tyche of 00000001 Antioch, a well known statue of whom was represented in painting 00000001 and on coins from the first century BC until well into Byzantine 00000001 (Christian) times.
00000001B @Ho\"rig 1979:129-34
00000001B2@Sayles 1994:14-15
00000001B3@Parpola 1997:xcvii n.160
00000001A @R.M. Whiting
00000001L @;Tyche

00000002N @Asklepios, Aesculapius
00000002T @Name, word
00000002K @5.5.1, 5.5.2,, 5.5.3, 00000002P @8, 14
00000002S @The name of the Greek god of medicine and healing derives from the 00000002S @Akkadian word for "chief physician". 00000002I @coinasc1.jpg;The reverse of this silver denarius shows 00000002I @Aesculapius (god of medicine) standing holding a staff with 00000002I @a serpent entwined around it, a globe at his feet. This type 00000002I @was struck in AD 214 on the occasion of a visit by Caracalla 00000002I @to Pergamum to seek a cure from the shrine of Aesculapius. 00000002I @The obverse shows a mature bust of Caracalla. 00000002 @(AsklepioV) is the name of the Greek god of 00000002 medicine and healing (called by the Romans Aesculapius). 00000002 The name is taken by Burkert to derive from Akkadian 00000002 {asugall}({at}){u} "chief physician" which is in turn a 00000002 borrowing from Sumerian ) (with the same meaning). 00000002 {Asugallatu} was an epithet of Gula, the Mesopotamian 00000002 goddess of healing and medicine. The word went through a form 00000002 {Asgelatas}, an aspect of Apollo worshipped on the island 00000002 of Anaphe near Thera with a festival called {Asgelaia}. 00000002 @Asklepios, the son of Apollo, was not considered the god of 00000002 healing until the 5th century, and the Greeks placed his origin 00000002 in Thessaly.
00000002B @Burkert 1992:75-79
00000002L @;Asklepios

7.4 Database Files

All illustrations (graphics files) will be kept as separate entities with pointers to them in the database. The other entries will be kept both as separate entities (to enable a speedy retrieval of individual entries) and as a combined single file (to enable word and name searches).

Bibliographic and contact data are kept as separate files so that the relevant information can be entered in the database in abbreviated form and expanded at run time.


Appendix 1. Keywords

NB: The following list is by no means exhaustive or final and will be modified and expanded on the basis of feedback received both before and during the actual compilation of the database. A separate list of the keywords in alphabetic order is available and will be provided on request.

  1. Constituent Elements of Mesopotamian Imperial Culture
  2. Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

1.1 Cosmogonic and cosmological ideas 1.1.1 Primal undifferentiated unity     Primal father: sweet-water ocean (Apsu)     Primal mother: salt-water ocean (Tiamat)

1.1.2 Emergence of consciousness (Mummu) 1.1.3 Emergence of binary oppositions     Light vs. darkness     Purity vs. sin     Perfection vs. imperfection     Good vs. evil     Right vs. wrong/left     Life vs. death     Spirit vs. matter     Sweet water vs. salt water     Unity vs. plurality Universe of heaven vs. universe of earth 1.1.4 Emergence of gods
1.1.5 Emergence of chaos     Tiamat = angry sea = dragon     Creation of demons

1.1.6 Primordial battle and defeat of the Dragon 1.1.7 Establishment of cosmos     Fixing places for gods     Binding forces of evil     Building the heavenly city

1.1.8    Creation of physical world     Creation of man     Blending spirit and matter     Original sin

1.2 Human history
1.2.1 Three progressively deteriorating world ages 1.2.2 Descent of kingship from heaven 1.2.3 Antediluvian age     Seven andediluvian kings     Seven andediluvian cities     Seven sages     Longevity

1.2.4    Deluge     Sin = noise of mankind     Destruction of mankind through flood     Rescue of pious wise man

1.2.5    Postdeluvian age     Shortened life time

1.3 Kingship as divine institution
1.3.1 Divine origin of kingship
1.3.2 Seed of kingship
1.3.3 King as god's representative upon earth     Chosen by god     Called by god     Created by god     Tree planted by god     Son of god     Image of god     Consubstantiality with god     Perfect man     Incarnation of Ninurta (divine saviour) Incarnation of Tammuz (divine redeemer) 1.3.4 Mission of the king     Good shepherd     Light of the world     Righteous judge

1.3.5    Attributes of the king     Omnipotent     Omniscient     Wise     Righteous     Merciful     Lover of mankind     Empowered to raise and abase     Empowered to give life and death

1.3.6    Royal titulary     Great king     King of the universe     King of the lands     King of kings     Priest

1.3.7    Sanctity of kingship     Royal purity     Royal aura (melammu, šalummatu)

1.3.8 Apotheosis of the king
1.3.9 Deification of the king

1.4 Concept of god
1.4.1 Unity of god (monotheism/henotheism/cosmotheism)     God = universe of heaven     God = totality of gods     God's omnipotence     God's transcendence     God's immanence

1.4.2    Trinity of god     Divine Triad: Father, Mother, Son     Heavenly Father     Divine King     Creator of visible world     Holy Spirit     Spirit of God     Saviour     Son of god

1.4.3    Plurality of god (polytheism)     Emanation of gods     Creation of gods     Hierarchy of gods     Great gods      Anu (Heaven)      Ea (Wisdom)      Sin (Prudence)      Shamash (Justice)       Kittu (Truth)       Mesharu (Righteousness)      Adad (Glory, Thunder)      Marduk (Lordship, Mercy)      Ishtar (Love)       Mullissu (Queen of Heaven)       Sherua       Tashmetu       Nanaya       Kubaba (Cybele)       Shala (Hera)       Gula      Nabû/Ninurta (Victory)      Nergal (Power, Destruction)     Seven planetary gods      Sin (Moon)      Shamash (Sun)      Adad (Saturn)      Marduk (Jupiter)      Ishtar (Venus)      Nabû/Ninurta (Mercury)      Nergal (Mars)     Gods as divine powers     Gods as divine names     Gods as divine weapons     Gods as numbers Gods as tree Gods as garments

1.5 Celestial imagery
1.5.1 Pole connecting heaven and earth 1.5.2 Three-layered heaven
1.5.3 Seven-layered heaven
1.5.4 Planetary spheres
1.5.5 Heavenly city
1.5.6 Heavenly palace
1.5.7 Heavenly court
1.5.8 Celestial council
1.5.9 Throne of god
1.5.10 Heavenly book of life
1.5.11 Lamp of god
1.5.12 Divine chariot
1.5.13 Ladders to heaven
1.5.14 Gate to heaven
1.5.15 Gatekeepers of heaven

1.6 Netherworld imagery
1.6.1 Netherworld = Earth
1.6.2 Netherworld = Mountain
1.6.3 Netherworld = Prison
1.6.4 Netherworld = Foreign land
1.6.5 Netherworld river
1.6.6 Netherworld boatman
1.6.7 Seven gates of the netherwold
1.6.8 Gatekeepers of the netherwold
1.6.9 Infernal gods = Gods of the earth

2. Religious and ideological symbols and iconographic motifs

2.1 Astral and celestial symbols and imagery 2.1.1 Sun Winged solar disk
2.1.2 Moon     Crescent     Full moon

2.1.3 Eight-pointed star
2.1.4 Seven stars (Pleiades)
2.1.5 Starlet (Rosette)
2.1.6 Rainbow
2.1.7 Lightning

2.2 Cosmic symbols and imagery
2.2.1 Mountain
2.2.2 Ziggurat
2.2.3 Fire
2.2.4 Air
2.2.5 Water     Sweet water     Salt water     Streams emerging from vase or fountain

2.2.6 Earth
2.2.7 Desert

2.3 Mineral symbols
2.3.1 Metals     Gold     Silver     Lead     Iron     Copper     Bronze

2.3.2    Stones     Alabaster     Marble     Lapis lazuli     Serpentine     Haematite

2.4 Botanical symbols, imagery and iconographic motifs 2.4.1 Garden Jewel garden
2.4.2 Trees     Tree of life      Stylized tree      Sunflower-tree      Candelabrum-shaped tree      Anthropomorphic tree      Date palm     Cosmic tree      Mes-tree     Almond tree     Cedar     Cypress     Olive tree     Pine tree     Poplar     Willow

2.4.3    Fruits, flowers and parts of trees     Palmette     Pomegranate     Pine Cone     Garland     Lotus     Lily

2.5 Animal/theriomorphic symbols and iconographic motifs 2.5.1 Mammals     Bull     Wild bull     Cow     Cow and calf     Deer and calf     Stag     Horse     Sheep     Ewe and lamb Camel Cat Dog Fox Goat Ibex Lion
2.5.2 Birds     Cock     Crow and Raven     Dove     Duck     Eagle     Ostrich     Owl     Partridge     Swallow Vulture Walking bird
2.5.3 Reptiles and insects     Centipede     Scorpion     Snake     Spider     Bee     Fly     Gnat

2.5.4    Aquatic animals     Crab     Fish     Turtle     Shell     Conch

2.5.5    Composite beings     Lion-pawed dragon (Mušhuššu)     Man-bull (Kusariqqu)     Man-fish (Kululu)     Fish-man carrying cone and bucket (Apkallu, “sage”)     Eagle-headed man carrying cone and bucket (sage)     Winged man carrying cone and bucket (sage)     Scorpion-man (Girtablilu)     Lion-eagle (Anzû)     Fish-goat (Šuhurmašu) Winged human-headed bull (Aladlammu) Winged human-headed cow (Apsasu) Winged horse (Anzû/Pegasus) Centaur Unicorn Sphinx

2.6 Human/divine/anthropomorphic symbols, imagery and iconographic motifs
2.6.1 Female     Nude goddess     Armed goddess with wings     Pregnant woman/goddess     Mother suckling child     Virgin     Prostitute     Lady in window (Kililu)

2.6.2    Male     Nude hero with locks (lahmu)     Armed hero with wings     Youthful god struggling with bulls     Youthful god struggling with ostrichs     Youthful god shooting unicorn     Youthful god shooting winged horse     Mythological scenes      Killing of Humbaba      Killing of Bull of Heaven

2.6.3    Body parts     Beard     Ear      Left ear      Right ear     Eye     Foot      Right foot      Left foot     Hand      Right hand      Left hand     Penis     Vagina and uterus

2.7 Symbolism of weapons, tools and implements 2.7.1 Weapons and tools     Arrow     Bow     Dagger     Lance/spear     Mace     Net     Scepter     Shepherd's staff     Scimitar Sword
2.7.2 Implements     Bottle     Bucket     Ladder     Lamp     Mirror     Scales     Spindle

2.8 Symbolism of jewellery and dress
2.8.1 Crowns and headdresses     Divine (horned) crown     Royal crown/tiara     Diadem     Mural crown

2.8.2 Jewellery Earrings     Bracelets     Bangles/ankle rings

2.8.3    Garments     Veil     Star dress     Loincloth     Belt

2.9 Symbolism of gestures
2.9.1 Hand gestures     Prayer with uplifted hands     Prayer with crossed hands     Prayer with opened palms     Raised right hand     Shaking of hands     Slapping of hands

2.9.2 Pointed index finger
2.9.3 Trampling foot
2.9.4 Prostration
2.9.5 Kissing     Kissing the mouth     Kissing the ground

2.10 Abstract symbols
2.10.1 Cross Maltese cross
2.10.2 Circle Concentric circles

2.11 Symbolism of colours
2.11.1 White
2.11.2 Black
2.11.3 Blue
2.11.4 Red
2.11.5 Yellow/Green
2.11.6 Orange

3. Religious festivals, cults, rituals and practices

3.1 Public festivals
3.1.1 Spring New year's festival (Nisan/vernal equinox) Procession to Akitu house
3.1.2 Marriage of Nabû (Iyyar/April)
3.1.3 Festival of Tammuz (Tammuz/summer solstice)     Wailing of Tammuz     Healing of deadly sick

3.1.4 Festival of Ishtar (Elul)
3.1.5 Autumn New Year's festival (Tishri/autumnal equinox)
3.1.6 Race of Nabû (Christmas/winter solstice)     Victory over Anzû and Asakku (sin and death)     Good tidings (euangelion)

3.1.7    Royal hunt     Hunting park (paradeison)

3.1.8 Royal entry
3.1.9 Triumph

3.2 Cult of Ishtar
3.2.1 Doctrine of salvation     Heavenly origin of the soul     Descent/fall of the divine spirit     Loss of virtues/garments     Spiritual death = nakedness     Repentance

3.2.1.Prayer     Divine grace     Spiritual helper/rescuer      Bread of life (word of god)      Water of life (baptism)     Spiritual rebirth Ascent of the soul Union with god     Wedding night     Soul = Bride     God = Bridegroom    Redemption     Innocent sufferer Resurrection
3.2.2 Devotees of Ishtar     Effeminates (assinnu)     Eunuch devotees (kurgarru/gallos)

3.2.3    Ecstatic techniques     Asceticism     Fasting and weeping     Self-flagellation     Self-mutilation     Intoxicating music and dance

3.2.4    Transsexuality/androgyny     Self-castration     Transvetitism

3.2.5 Possession by god/frenzy
3.2.6 Prophecy

3.3 Service of god
3.3.1 Prostration before god
3.3.2 Illuminating god's face
3.3.3 Purifying the temple     Censers     Torches     Incensation

3.3.4    Feeding god     Setting the offering table (bread, fruit, nuts etc.)     Libations (wine, beer, honey and oil)     Animal offerings (sheep, ram, kids, ox, bull)     Burnt offerings (maqlutu)

3.3.5    Lamentations and chants     Choirs of castrated singers

3.3.6 Psalms and songs
3.3.7 Dressing and bathing gods
3.3.8 Lighting candles
3.3.9 Processions of divine images
3.3.10 Circumambulating the temple
3.3.11 Giving presents
3.3.12 Kissing the ground

3.4 Secular rituals
3.4.1 Marriage     Crown of bride     Veiling of bride     Wedding ring

3.4.2    Funeral ritual     Funeral display     Washing the feet     Wailing     Circumambulation of bed     Offerings to infernal gods     Breaking of glass     Funeral burning

4. Religious and philosophical literature and poetry

4.1 Myths
4.1.1 Adapa (ascent to heaven)
4.1.2 Atrahasis (flood)
4.1.3 Descent of Ishtar
4.1.4 Enuma eliš (creation)
4.1.5 Erra
4.1.6 Etana (ascent to heaven)
4.1.7 Gilgameš (search for life)
4.1.8 Nergal and Ereshkigal
4.1.9 Ninurta myths     Ninurta and Anzû     Ninurta and Asakku (Lugal ud melambi nirgal)     Return of Ninurta (Angimdimma)     Bin šar dadmi

4.1.10 Theomachia myths

4.2 Royal epics and legends
4.2.1 Sargon legends
4.2.2 Naram-Sin legends
4.2.3 Tukulti-Ninurta epic
4.2.4 Sargon II epic
4.2.5 Assurbanipal epic
4.2.6 Nebuchadnezzar epics

4.3 Wisdom literature
4.3.1 Philosophical and moral treatises     Babylonian Job (Ludlul bel nemeqi)     Advice to the Prince

4.3.2    Sapiential and educational treatises     Counsels of wisdom (Ummanu marshu imallik)     Examenstext A (Ummanu maršu isanniq)     In Praise of the Scribal Art

4.3.3    Dialogues and debates     Theodicy (Ašiš gana luqbika)     Tamarisk and palm (Iškar bini)

4.3.4    Fables and tales     Fable of fox (Iškar šelebi)     Poor man of Nippur (Mar Nippuri katû u lapnu)

4.3.5    Satires     Master and slave (Ardu šimanni)     Jester (Aluzinnu)

4.3.6    Proverb collections     Instructions of Shuruppak     Ahiqar     Series of Sidu

4.3.7    Novels     Netherworld vision of the crown prince

4.4 Court poetry
4.4.1 Paeans
4.4.2 Royal panegyric hymns
4.4.3 Royal hymns to gods
4.4.4 Secular elegies
4.4.5 Royal epics

4.5 Religious poetry and hymnology
4.5.1 Ballads
4.5.2 Divine love lyrics
4.5.3 Elegies lamenting the death of Tammuz
4.5.4 Lamentations/penitential psalms     Eršahunga     Eršemma     taqribtu

4.5.5 Psalms/cultic songs

4.6 Poetic and literary devices
4.6.1 Meter
4.6.2 Syllable count
4.6.3 Rhyme
4.6.4 Alliteration and assonance
4.6.5 Parallelism membrorum
4.6.6 Repetition/refrain
4.6.7 Anaphora
4.6.8 Paronomasy
4.6.9 Parataxis
4.6.10 Antithesis
4.6.11 Chiasm
4.6.12 Climax
4.6.13 Acrostic
4.6.14 Simile
4.6.15 Allegory
4.6.16 Metaphor
4.6.17 Diglossia
4.6.18 Intertextuality

5. Scientific knowledge and scholarly lore

5.1 Astrological and astronomical knowledge and theories
5.1.1 Circular (spherical?) model of cosmos "Circular Astrolabe"
5.1.2 Three fixed-star zones
5.1.3 Zodiac     Hypsomata     Triplicities

5.1.4 19-year intercalation cycle
5.1.5 Eclipse periods     Saros     Exeligmos

5.1.6    Planetary periods     Venus     Mars     Jupiter     Saturn

5.1.7 Great Year
5.1.8 Mathematical astronomy Linear zig-zag functions
5.1.9 Astronomical and astrological texts     Astronomical treatises (Mul Apin)     Star maps     Stellar distances     Star lists (astrolabes)      Great star list     Astrological reports     Astronomical diaries     Lunar ephemerids     Lunar tables     Planetary ephemerids Planetary tables Horoscopes

5.2 Omen interpretation
5.2.1 Celestial omens (Enuma Anu Enlil)
5.2.2 Terrestrial omens (Šumma alu)
5.2.3 Anomaly omens (Šumma izbu)
5.2.4 Hemerological and menological omens (Iqqur ipuš)
5.2.5 Dream omens (Zaqiqu)
5.2.6 Physiognomic omens (Alandimmû and Nigdimdimmû)
5.2.7 Speech omens (Kataduqqû)

See also Mantic and Magic

5.3 Mantic
5.3.1 Extispicy     Purity requirements of haruspices (Enmeduranki)     Liver omens (Barutu)     Extispicy theory texts (Multabiltu)      Liver = counterpart of the cosmos      Names of organs = places or agents in physical world      Three-tiered triadic structure of liver      Left side = pars hostilis = negative      Right side = pars familiaris = positive      Middle = neuter     Liver models     Queries to Sun god     Extispicy reports

5.3.2 Lecanomancy
5.3.3 Psephomancy

5.4 Magic and exorcism
5.4.1 Incantion-prayers and rituals (Šuilla)
5.4.2 Apotropaic magic Namburbi
5.4.3 Purification magic     Bit rimki     Bit sala' me^     Mouth-washing (mis pî)

5.4.4    Anti-witchcraft and anti-curse magic     Maqlû     Šurpu     Zikurudû     Namerimburrudû

5.4.5    Therapeutic magic     Diagnostic and prognostic omens (Enuma ana bet mar$i)     Exorcism      Utukku lemnutu      Asakku marsutu      Lamaštu      Soothing a baby      Zi-pa-incantations

5.4.6    Temple magic     Renewing a divine image     Renewing a temple     Mouth-opening (pit pî)     Ear-opening (pit uzni)

5.4.7    Practical magic (teppušma išallim)     Love charms     Potency charms (Shaziga)     Magic to secure brisk trade

5.5 Medicine and pharmacology
5.5.1 Patrons of medicine     Ninurta     Gula     Asklepios

5.5.2    Physicians     Chief physician

5.5.3 Diagnostic handbooks
5.5.4 Pharmaceutical handbooks     Shammu shikinshu     Uruanna

5.5.5    Minerological handbooks     Abnu shikinshu

5.5.6 Pharmacies
5.5.7 Medical recipes     Recipes against fever (Ummu)     Recipes against cough (Sualu)

5.5.8    Drugs and healers     Bandages     Drops     Fumigants     Ointments     Plasters     Potions     Pills     Suppositories     Surgical instruments Tampons
5.5.9 Medical reports and letters
5.5.10 Medical terms
5.5.11 Hospitals House of Gula

5.6 Lexicography and grammar
5.6.1 Dictionaries     Harra-hubullu     Nabnitu     Izi

5.6.2    Vocabularies     Emesal vocabulary

5.6.3 Synonym lists
5.6.4 Encyclopaedias     God lists (An-Anu)     Professions lists (Lu-amelu)

5.6.5    Syllabaries     Syllabary A and B     Diri

5.6.6 Grammars

5.7 Chronology and hemerology
5.7.1 Seven-day week     Beginning of day     Planetary days (Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Sun, Moon)     Weekly holiday (7th day)

5.7.2    Length of month     Beginning of month     Sighting of crescent     30-day month     29-day month

5.7.3 Month names (Nisan, Iyyar ...)
5.7.4 Length of year     Beginning of year     354-day lunar year     360-day cultic year     365-day solar year

5.7.5    Intercalation system     19-year intercalation cycle     Intercalary Adar     Intercalary Elul

5.7.6    Eponym dating     Eponym officials     Eponym lists     Selection of eponym (casting of lots)

5.7.7 Accession year
5.7.8 Chronometers     Clepsydra     Polos     Gnomon

5.7.9    Hemerologies     Abšegeda     Lists of auspicious dauys (Utukku/ume tabuti)

5.7.10 Royal menology Inbu bel arhi

5.8 Mathematics
5.8.1 Number systems Decimal system Sexagesimal system Place value notation
5.8.2 Zero
5.8.3 Pi
5.8.4 Negative numbers
5.8.5 Reciprocal numbers
5.8.6 Square roots
5.8.7 Cubic roots
5.8.8 Logarithms
5.8.9 Number series
5.8.10 Geometry Plane geometry Pythagorean theorem
5.8.11 Algebra Binomial equations Polynomial equations
5.8.12 Mathematical problem texts

5.9 Music and musical theory
5.9.1 Arithmetizing tuning theory     "Pythagorean" tuning     Scale patterns

5.9.2 Spiral-fifths tuning
5.9.3 Musical instruments 9-stringed lyre     Flute     Tambourine     Cymbal     Drums      Kettledrum

5.10 Esoteric lore and hermeneutics
5.10.1 Esoteric texts "Silbenalphabet" (creation through syllables) Inam gišhur ankia (esoteric numerology) "Secrets of the great gods/heaven and earth" Explanations of religious symbols and ritual acts Birdcall text (symbolism of birds and their calls) Words, names and texts written in numerical code Numerical values of letters Astronomical theory texts Mathematical theory texts Numbers of gods
5.10.2 Commentaries Explanations of obsolete words ($âtu) Explanations of hidden meanings of words (mukallimtu) Oral scholarly tradition (maš'alati u šut pî)
5.10.3 Hermenetical techniques Gematria (substituting words for numbers or vice versa) Notariqon (substituting words for syllables or vice versa) Temura (playing with different readings of logograms) Homophony Homonymy Allegory
5.10.4 Esoteric associations heaven = fire dove = mother goddess cosmic soul = human soul rainbow = bow of heaven (Anu) = deluge bow = weapon of Marduk rainbow = penis = bow = bow of Ishtar rainbow = Virgo = Venus = Bow Star = Rainbow Star ziggurat = Ishtar colours = planet(ary sphere)s = garments = divine powers palmette = crown of heaven right hand = shoulder = penis

5.11 Historiography
5.11.1 Royal annals
5.11.2 Historiographic texts Chronicles Synchronistic History King lists Eponym lists

5.12 Cosmo-, urano- and geography
5.12.1 Maps World maps City maps Field maps
5.12.2 Geo- and uranographic texts Sargon's empire Measurements of universe
5.12.3 Geographic notions Four quarters of the world

6. Visual arts and architecture

6.1 Architectural and decorative motifs
6.1.1 Columns
6.1.2 Caryatids
6.1.3 Porticos
6.1.4 Ornamental bands     Lotus     Palmette     Pomegranate     Pine-cone

6.1.5 Concentric circles

6.2 Artefacts
6.2.1 Luxury furniture (ivory-panelled and/or lion-pawed)     Couches (kline)     Chairs     Stools     Tables     Beds

6.2.2    Jewellery     Earrings     Necklaces     Bracelets     Signet rings     Ankle rings

6.2.3    Glyptics     Cylinder seals     Stamp seals

6.2.4    Weights     Lion-weights     Duck-weights

6.2.5    Arms and armor     Engraved helmets

6.2.6    Rhytons     Lion-headed     Ram-headed

6.2.7    Ivory writing-boards     Diptychs     Polyptychs

6.2.8    Objects for playing     Gaming boards     Dice

6.3 Sculpture
6.3.1 Narrative reliefs
6.3.2 Orthostats
6.3.3 Door panels
6.3.4 Monumental rock reliefs
6.3.5 Royal stelae
6.3.6 Sculpture in round     Statues of kings     Statues of gods

6.3.7 Bull colossi

6.4 Plastic arts
6.4.1 Terracotta figurines     Apotropaic figurines     Votive figurines

6.4.2 Ceramics

6.5 Painting and drawing
6.5.1 Wall paintings
6.5.2 Vase paintings
6.5.3 Paintings on glazed bricks and objects
6.5.4 Line drawings and sketches

6.6 Aesthetic principles
6.6.1 Frontality
6.6.2 Symmetry
6.6.3 Harmony
6.6.4 Proportionality
6.6.5 Numerical ratios (1:2, 1:3, 2:3, 3:4 etc.)

6.7 Performing arts
6.7.1 Comedy Jesters
6.7.2 Acrobats and jongleurs
6.7.3 Cultic drama     Dramatization of myths     Librettos of cultic dramas     Actors     Actors’ masks      Apotropaic clay masks      References to masks

7. Crafts and economy

7.1 Engineering and technology
7.1.1 Irrigation systems     Canals     Ditches     Dams     Aqueducts     Wells and cisterns     Water reservoirs     Water-hoisting devices

7.1.2    Hydraulic systems     Plumbing and plumbers     Gutters     Water-pipes

7.1.3 Vaults
7.1.4 Paved roads Milestones
7.1.5 Bridges
7.1.6 Causeways
7.1.7 Tunnels

7.2 Glassmaking and glazing
7.2.1 Glassmaking recipes
7.2.2 Lenses
7.2.3 Bottles
7.2.4 Glazing     Glazed bricks     Glazed pottery

7.3 Metallurgy
7.3.1 Mining
7.3.2 Casting
7.3.3 Minting
7.3.4 Alloying and refining     Electrum     Steel     Silver

7.3.5 Gilding
7.3.6 Smiths     Blacksmiths     Coppersmiths     Silver- and goldsmiths

7.4 Textile industry
7.4.1 Weaving     Carpets     Garments      Tunics (kitû)      Togas (šaddinnu)     Baldachins

7.4.2 Embroidered textiles
7.4.3 Cushions
7.4.4 Dyeing     Mineral dyes     Biological dyes      Purple

7.5 Food production
7.5.1 Oil industry     Olive oil      Oil presses      Oil pressers     Sesame oil     Flax     Animal oils

7.5.2    Agriculture     Ploughing and sowing      Ploughing implements         Ploughs     Watering     Threshing and winnowing     Storage of corn and hay      State granaries      Silos      Seed corn     Fallowing

7.5.3 Horticulture
7.5.4 Viticulture and brewing     Vinyards     Wines     Beer

7.5.5    Animal husbandry     Herding      Goats and sheep      Cattle       Horses       Oxen and cows      Poultry       Ducks       Geese     Bee-keeping      Honey     Milk products      Butter and ghee      Cheese      Yoghurt

7.5.6    Fishing and hunting     Nets     Traps     Pits

7.6 Trade and economy
7.6.1 Private traders Joint business ventures
7.6.2 Overland trade     Trade colonies     Caravan trade

7.6.3    Overseas trade     Ports

7.6.4    Banking     Bankers     Loans     Credits

7.6.5    Money     Silver     Copper     Ingots     Minted coins

7.7 Labour and trade organizations
7.7.1 Associations of craftsmen
7.7.2 Associations of traders

8. Administrative systems

8.1 Royal court
8.1.1 Royal advisors and ministers     Court scholars     Royal council      Cabinet of nine ministers including king       Chief scribe (royal scholar)       Vizier (sukkallu)       Chief judge (sartinnu)       Treasurer (masennu)       Chief eunuch (rab-šarisi)       Chief cupbearer (rab-saqe)       Commander-in-chief (turtanu)       Palace herald (nagir ekalli)      Royal council as "image" of divine council      Ministers as "images" of the "great gods"

8.1.2    Royal entourage     King's relatives     Bearded (uncastrated) courtiers     Eunuchs      Eunuch generals      Eunuch governors      Eunuch bodyguards     Foreign princes and nobility     Magnates

8.2 Court ceremony
8.2.1 Royal audience
8.2.2 Royal New Year's reception
8.2.3 Royal dinner
8.2.4 Royal Succession     Nursing and rearing of princes in temples     Choice of crown prince by extispicy     Binding the diadem     Introduction of heir into Succession Palace     Co-regency with king

8.3 Provincial administration
8.3.1 Provincial governors Provincial courts modelled after royal courts
8.3.2 Military governors
8.3.3 Vassal kings Royal deputy/delegate
8.3.4 Royal "eye and ear"
8.3.5 Administrative measures Deportations

8.4 Taxation
8.4.1 Tax-collector (makisu)
8.4.2 Tax-collection points (pirru)
8.4.3 Customs dues (miksu)
8.4.4 Corn and straw tax (šibšu u nusahi)
8.4.5 Military service (ilku)
8.4.6 Labour service (tupšikku)
8.4.7 First fruits (rešeti)

8.5 Administrative standards
8.5.1 Weights     Talent     Mina     Shekel

8.5.2    Measures     Seah     Homer     Finger     Half-cubit (span)     Cubit     Reed (nindanu)     Stadion (šiddu)     League/parasang (beru "double-hour")

8.5.3 Standardized pottery
8.5.4 Standard rations

8.6 Diplomacy and foreign relations
8.6.1 Correspondence with foreign rulers
8.6.2 Messengers
8.6.3 Ambassadors Embassies
8.6.4 Political methods     Honours      Dressing in purple      Granting insignia (golden torcs)     "Divide et impera"

8.6.5    Relations with vassals     Royal delegate at vassal court

8.6.6    Visits to the imperial court     Royal New Year's Reception     Tribute     "Asking the king's health"

8.6.7    Treaties     Friendship and peace treaties     Alliance pacts (treaties of peace and vassalage)     Vassal treaties     Allegiance pacts

8.6.8 Declaration of war

9. Army and warfare
9.1 Conscription system
9.1.1 Basic conscription unit (ki$ru "cohort")
9.1.2 Conscripts ($ab šarri "king's men")
9.1.3 Reserves (kutallu)
9.1.4 General levy
9.1.5 Equipment and provisioning of troops (ša$bussu)     Equipment     Provisions ($iditu)

9.1.6 Sustenance of troops ("bow field")
9.1.7 Muster of troops (mašartu)

9.2 Standing army
9.2.1 Imperial guard
9.2.2 Regional armies     Armies of cabinet ministers      Turtanu      Rabsake      Rab-saris      Nagir ekalli     Provincial troops

9.2.3 Professional troops
9.2.4 Mercenaries
9.2.5 Cavalry
9.2.6 Chariotry     Driver     Chariot fighter     Third man

9.2.7    Infantry     Archers     Slingers     Hoplites     Shield-bearers

9.2.8    Paramilitary troops     Scouts     Trackers     Pioneers and engineers     Sappers     Cooks     Artisans     Scribes     Diviners

9.4 Officers and units
9.4.1 Commander-of-fifty
9.4.2 Cohort commander (rab ki$ir)
9.4.3 Chiliarch (rab limi)
9.4.4 Prefect (šaknu)
9.4.5 Governor
9.3 Camps, garrisons and fortifications
9.3.1 Military camps     Content and structure of camp     Construction of camp     Moving camp

9.3.2    Garrisons     Training of troops

9.3.3    Forts and fortifications     Structure of fort     Construction of forts     Manning a fort     Equipping a fort

9.4 Siege methods and equipment
9.4.1 Siege engines
9.4.2 Ladders

10. Jurisdiction and legislature

10.1 Judges
10.1.1 Three-graded court system Local courts (hazannu) Ministerial court (Chief Judge and Vizier) Appeal to the king ("king's case") Petitions
10.1.2 City council
10.1.3 Royal council
10.1.4 Assembly of the country
10.1.5 Assembly of all lands

10.2 Law codes and edicts
10.2.1 Codex Hammurapi
10.2.2 Middle Assyrian laws

10.3     Legal documents

10.3.1     Royal edicts and decrees

10.3.2     Court decisions Criminal cases Settlements
10.3.3 Contracts Sale Prices Loan Interest rates Hire Wages Rent and lease Work contracts Trade contracts Marriage contracts
10.3.4 Receipts
10.3.5 Disbursements
10.3.6 Wills
10.3.7 Ordeal
10.3.8 Legal formulae Curse formulae Witnesses

11. Language, communication, libraries and education
11.1 Imperial languages
11.1.1 Assyrian
11.1.2 Babylonian
11.1.3 Aramaic
11.1.4 Minority languages
11.1.5 Shared linguistic items and features Technical terms Idiomatic expre Formulaic expressions Literary motifs and topoi Mesopotamian loanwords in later languages

11.2 Writing systems and writing media
11.2.1 Cuneiform script Clay tablets Waxed writing-boards
11.2.2 Alphabetic script Clay tablets Papyrus scrolls Leather scrolls Ostraca

11.3 Libraries and archives
11.3.1 Royal libraries
11.3.2 Royal archives
11.3.3 Temple libraries and archives
11.3.4 Private libraries
11.3.5 Private archives

11.4 Letters and imperial mail
11.4.1 Sealing
11.4.2 Envelopes
11.4.3 Epistolary formulae Address Salutation Blessing formulae
11.4.4 Post system Royal road Road stations Relay system Mule express Postmaster

11.5 Education and transmission of knowledge
11.5.1 Public education Palace schools Indoctrination of foreign nobility Temple schools
11.5.2 Private education Private teachers
11.5.3 Higher education Transmission of esoteric lore
11.5.4 School texts

12. Assyrian Identity
12.1 The shaping of Assyrian identity in imperial times
12.1.1 Aramaization of Assyria Annexation of Aramean West Mass deportations Systematic imposition of Aramaic as imperial lingua franca Bilingualiasm of Assyrian ruling elite Aramaic as first language of Akkadian scribes Aramaic influences on Assyrian     Phonology     Morphology     Syntax     Lexicon     Idiomatic expressions    Use of Aramaic and Aramaic script in imperial administration     Royal correspondence in Aramaic     Aramaic legal documents     Aramaic treaties     Aramaic administrative terms in Assyrian

12.1.2 Assyrianization of Arameans Extension of Assyrian citizenship to all provinces Integration of Aramean nobility into imperial elite Schooling of noble youths at court Bilingualism of Aramean nobility Assyrian influences on Aramaic     Phonology     Morphology     Syntax     Lexicon     Idiomatic expressions

12.1.3 Cultural homogenization of the Empire Imposition of imperial standards     Uniform money     Uniform calendar     Uniform weights and measures     Uniform taxation    Ideological and religious propaganda     Emperor cult     Notion of a single supreme ruler     Notion of a single supreme god     Uniform visual imagery and symbolism

12.2 Assyrian identity in post-Empire times
12.2.1 Assyrian in Neo- and Late Babylonian sources Personal names Individuals identified as Assyrians Assyrians as ethnic group Assyrian traditions in the Neo-Babylonian Empire Nabonidus as Assyrian king
12.2.2 Assyria and Assyrians in Achaemenid sources Assyria as political entity The Achaemenid province of Athura Assyrians as ethnic group
12.2.3 Assyria and Assyrians in Greek, Latin and Jewish sources Continuity of the Empire after the fall of Nineveh     Concept of "universal hegomony"     Concept of transfer of hegomony/sovereignty    Identification of the Babylonian Empire with Assyria/Syria     Babylon as capital of Assyria     Nebuchadnezzar as king of Assyria/Syria     Babylonia as "country of the Assyrians/Syrians"    Identification of the Achaemenid Empire with Assyria     Achaemenid kings as kings of Assyria/Babylonia     Mesopotamiazation of Achaemenid Persians    Designation of the Seleucid Empire as Syria/Assyria     Seleucia as capital of Assyria     "Syrianization" of Seleucid Greeks    Identification of Aramaic speaking areas as Assyria     Syro-Media Identification of speakers of Aramaic as Assyrians Aramaic alphabet as "Assyrian script" Aramaic as "Assyrian language" Interchange of Syria/Assyria in Greek and Latin sources Syria as a variant of Assyria "Syrians" as a designation of ancient Assyrians Syria as a designation of the Assyrian Empire Assyria as a designation of (geographical) Syria in Latin sources Syria (= Assyria) as opposed to Aturia (= Assyrian heartland)

12.3 Assyrian identity in Christian Era
12.3.1 Conversion of Syria/Mesopotamia to Christianity
12.3.2 Continuity of "Old Faith" beside Christianity Harran Sabians Edessa Hierapolis/Membig Emesa Heliopolis Palmyra Dura Europos Assur Hatra
12.3.3 Assyrian substratum features in early Syriac Christianity Veneration of images     Images of emperor     Images of angels     Images of saints    Sanctification of the emperor     Proskynesis     Halo     Incensation     Silence    Concept of god     God's transcendence and immanence     Distinction between essence and attributes of God    Developed angelology (Pseudo-Dionysios)     Archangels     Three-tiered three-ordered angelic hierarchy Ecclesiastial hierarchy as mirror of celestial order Redemptory death of Christ Resurrection and exaltation of Christ Trinitarian doctrine     God the Father as Demiurge and Divine King     Holy Spirit as feminine entity     Christ as Son of God and pre-existent saviour    Theotokos as Mother of God     Projection of features of the Goddess upon Madonna Imagery and symbolism Sun and its rays Fountain and rivers Tree of life Madonna and child Lamb of god Garments = virtues Mythology Hymn of the Pearl Fight against the Dragon Liturgy Circumambulation of church Processions Incensation Lighting of candles Animal sacrifices Prayer habits Clerical dress Priestly cap Asceticism Idealization of celibacy/androgyny Seclusion from the world Fasting and weeping Self-mutilation Mysticism Ascent of the soul
12.3.4 Assyrian genealogical traditions among nobility
12.3.5 Assyrian legends, myths and customs in hagiographic writings in Syrian historiography in folk tradition

B. Periods

  1. Archaic Uruk
  2. Akkadian Empire
  3. Sumerian Ur III Empire
  4. Old Assyrian and Old Babylonian Empires
  5. Cassite Empire
  6. Hittite Empire
  7. Middle Assyrian Empire
  8. Neo-Assyrian Empire
  9. Neo-Babylonian Empire
  10. Median Empire
  11. Achaemenid Empire
  12. Alexander's Empire
  13. Seleucid Empire
  14. Roman Empire
  15. Arsacid Empire
  16. Osrhoene
  17. Adiabene
  18. Armenia
  19. Sasanian Empire
  20. Byzantine Empire
  21. Umayyad Empire
  22. Abbasid Empire
  23. Papal Court
  24. Channels of Transmission
  25. Ionian and Greek poets

1.1 Hesiod
1.2 Homer
1.2 Archilochus

2. Ionian philosophers

2.1 Thales
2.2 Anaximander
2.3 Pythagoras
2.4 Parmenides
2.5 Empedocles
2.6 Heraclitus
2.7 Democritus

3. Ionian historians

3.1 Herodotus

4. Greek philosophers and scholars

4.1 Anaxagoras
4.2 Meton
4.3 Plato
4.4 Euclid
4.5 Hipparchus
4.6 Heron of Alexandria
4.7 Posidonius of Rhodes
4.8 Apollonius of Mys

5. Mesopotamian scholars and priests

5.1 Berosus
5.2 Sudines
5.3 Diogenes of Babylon
5.4 Chaldaeans
5.5 Magi (if used as a synonym of Chaldaeans)

6. Oriental mystery cults

6.1 Orphism
6.2 Cult of Cybele
6.3 Cult of Astarte
6.4 Cult of Dea Syria
6.5 Cult of Adonis
6.6 Cult of Mithras
6.7 Cult of Isis

7. Imperial courts and administration

7.1 Neo-Babylonian imperial court
7.2 Achaemenid imperial court
7.3 Alexander' court
7.4 Seleucid imperial court
7.5 Roman imperial court
7.5.1 Claudius
7.5.2 Nero
7.5.3 Domitian
7.5.4 Trajan
7.5.5 Julian the Chaldean
7.5.6 Marcus Aurelius
7.5.7 The Severans
7.5.8 Elagabalus
7.5.9 Aurelian
7.5.10 Julian the Apostate

8. Roman philosophers and scholars

8.1 Nigidius Figulus
8.2 Cicero
8.3 Seneca
8.4 Manilius
8.5 Strabo
8.6 Vettius Valens

9. Syrian, Levantine and Anatolian philosophers

9.1 Zenon
9.2 Tatian
9.3 Porphyry
9.4 Iamblichus
9.5 Proclus

Appendix 2. Samples of Database Entries

  1. Raw Entries

Entries submitted by individual contributors in the following raw format (simple extracts from primary sources or modern studies, with *summaries, bibliographical references and annotations) will be edited and converted into database format by MELAMMU staff; see sections 5.3 and 7.1-5. Examples of an edited and converted entry are given below, under B 1-3. Submitted entries do not necessarily have to conform to the format of the samples below. Note that the entries below do not include full bibliographic details, which must be submitted along with the entry if these details are not yet to be found in the cumulative bibliography file of MELAMMU. The excerpts from Greek and Roman texts are primarily from the Loeb editions of these texts.

*Transfer of hegemony
"For it was under [Sardanapallos] that the empire [hegemonia] of the Assyrians fell to the Medes, after it had lasted more than thirteen hundred years, as Ctesias of Cnidus says" (Diodorus II xxi 1)

*Transfer of hegemony
"After the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes... Cyaxares became for the Medes the founder of their universal empire" (Diodorus II xxxii 2, quoting Herodotus)

*Babylonia = Assyria
Nabunaid calls Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal his royal ancestors (VAB 4 221 i 47f)

*Nebuchadnezzar = king of Assyria
"Nebuchadnezzar, king of Assyria ... The Great King, lord of all the earth" (Judith 2:4-5)

*Aramaic script = script of Assyria
"[Darius] wrote the words ... of the laws of Egypt and they wrote a copy in a papyrus roll in script of Assyria (sh 'I&r = Aramaic) and of epistles (sh &'.t = demotic)" (Demotic chronicle, 30f; also Papyrus Cairo 50153 from Edfu, line 2) [W. Spiegelberg, Demotische Studien 7, Leipzig 1914]

*Demotic 'I&(w)r = Assyria = Syria = Aram Demotic 'I&(w)r denotes not only Assyria proper but also Syria/Aram; the latter usage is attested already in a papyrus dated 529 BC, probably from Elephantine. Some of the 'I&wr mentioned there have names which are definitely West-Semitic. The trilingual decree of Canopus [Roman period] equates 'I&r with Syria [ref.], but in the Persian period 'I&r may well have been equated with Assyria, evenwhen referring to Aram.
(Richard C. Steiner, "Why the Aramaic Script Was Called 'Assyrian' in Hebrew, Greek, and Demotic," Or n.s. 62 (1993) 80-82) (W. Erichsen, Klio 34 (1941) 57)
(K. Th. Zauzich, in J. Johnson, ed., "Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond" (Chicago 1992), 364) *Assyrians = Syrians
"Now the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the overthrow of the Syrians. It was much greater than Babylon, and was situated in the plain of Aturia. Aturia borders on the region of Arbela, with the Lycus River lying between them" (Strabo XVI i 3)

*King of Persia = king of Babylon
"Artaxerxes king of Babylon"
(Nehemiah 13:6; cf. Artaxerxes king of Persia, Ezra 7:1) "Cyrus king of Babylon"
(Ezra 1:1f, 3:7, cf. Cyrus king of Persia, ibid. 4:3)

*King of Persia = king of Assyria
The LORD had ... changed the disposition of [Darius] the king of Assyria towards them" (Ezra 6:22, cf. "Darius [I/II] king of Persia", ibid. 4:5/24, 5:13)

*King of Persia = king of Babylon
"We have sent to inform Your Majesty [Xerxes], in order that search be made in the annals of your predecessors [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, cf. 2:1]. You will discover ... that this [Jerusalem] has been a rebellious city, harmful to the monarchy and its provinces" (Ezra 4:14)

*Seleucia = A&&ur
"A&&ur is Seleucia (slyq')"
({baraitha| cited in BT Yoma 10a, Ketubbot 10b)

*Jewish square script = Assyrian writing *Babylonia = Assyria
Jewish "square" script = ketab A&uri "Assyrian writing" (BT Sanh. 21b, etc.; called so "because the Jews brought it with them from Ashur," Sanh. 22a, PT Megilla I, 71b)

*Babylonia = Assyria
"The god Bel had much glebe consecrated by the Assyrian kings, and much treasure too" (Arrian, Anabasis VII xvii 3)

*Babylonia = Assyria
"Cutting down the cypresses in Babylonia; for this is the only tree which grows freely in the Assyrian country, which is bare of everything else necessary for shipbuilding" (Arrian, Anabasis VII xix 4)

*Seleucid king = king of Syria
"The original town [Charax at the Persian Gulf] was ... restored by Antiochus, the fifth king of Syria, who gave it his own name"
(Pliny VI xxx xxxi 139)

*Assyrian language = Aramaic
"The whole of Mesopotamia once belonged to the Assyrians... Its name among the whole of the Assyrians is Narmalchas, which means the Royal River" (Pliny VI xxx 117)

*Babylonia = part of Assyria
"Babylon, which is the capital of the Chaldaean races, once held an outstanding celebrity among the cities of the whole of the world, and in consequence of this the remaining part of Mesopotamia and Assyria has received the name of Babylonia. It has two walls with a circuit of 60 miles, each wall being 200 ft. high and 50 ft. wide (the Assyrian foot measures 3 inches more than ours)" (Pliny VI xxx 121)

*Mesopotamian culture in Roman times
"There are in addition the following towns in Mesopotamia: Hippareni -- this also a school of Chaldaean learning like Babylon... also Orocheni, a third seat of Chaldaean learning" (Pliny VI xxx 123; cf. Strabo XVI i 6)

*Babylon and Seleucia = capital of Assyria "In ancient times Babylon was the metropolis of Assyria; but now Seleuceia is the metropolis... And as we call the country Babylonia, so also we call the men from there Babylonians, that is, not after the city, but after the country; but we do not call men after Seleuceia, if they are from there, as, for example, Diogenes the Stoic philosopher [who was known as Diogenes the Babylonian, Cicero, De Nat. Deorum 1.5]"
(Strabo XVI i 16)

*Persian customs = Assyrian customs
"... after briefly going over the customs of Assyria. Now in general their customs are like those of the Persians... And in accordance with a certain oracle all the Babylonian women have a custom of having intercourse with a foreigner, the woman going to a temple of Aphrodite" (Strabo XVI i 19-20)

*Babylonia = country of the Assyrians/Syrians = Aturia [ABSTRACT]
Strabo defines "the country of the Assyrians" as extending from Persis and Susiana to Black Sea (Euxine), Cilicia and Phoenicia, says it includes, besides Aturia and Babylonia, "those people who in a special sense of the term are called by the men of today Syrians, who extend as far as the Cilicians and the Phoenicians," and equates it with the "Syrian empire" which was overthrown by the Medes.
(Strabo XVI i 1-2)
"The country of the Assyrians borders on Persis and Susiana. This name is given to Babylonia and to much of the country all around, which latter, in part, is also called Aturia, in which are Ninus... Nisibis, as far as the Zeugma of the Euphrates [at Commagene, i 22], as also much of the country on the far side of the Euphrates... and those people who in a special sense of the term are called by the men of today Syrians, who extend as far as the Cilicians and the Phoenicians and the sea that is opposite the Aegyptian Sea and the Gulf of Iss. It seems that the name of the Syrians extended not only from Babylonia to the gulf of Issus, but also in ancient times from this gulf to the Euxine... When those who have written histories of the Syrian empire say that the Medes were overthrown by the Persians and the Syrians by the Medes, they mean by the Syrians no other people than those who built the royal palaces in Babylon and Ninus; and, of these Syrians, Ninus was the man who founded Ninus in Aturia, and his wife, Semiramis, was the woman who succeeded her husband and founded Babylon. These two gained the mastery of Asia... But later the empire passed over to the Medes"
(Strabo XVI i 1-2)

*Mesopotamian culture in Roman times
"There are also several tribes of the Chaldaean astronomers. For example, some are called Orcheni, others Borsippeni, and several others by different names, as though divided into different sects which hold to various different dogmas about the same subjects. And the mathematicians make mention of some of these men; as, for example, Cidenas and Naburianus and Sudinus. Seleucus of Seleuceia is also a Chaldaean, as are also several other noteworthy men" (Strabo XVI i 6)

*Syria in Roman times
"Syria is bounded on the north by Cilicia and Mt. Amanus; and the distance from the sea to the bridge of the Euphrates (from the gulf of Issus to the bridge at Commagene), which forms the boundary of that side... We set down as parts of Syria, beginning at Cilicia and Mt. Amanus, both Commagene and the Seleucis of Syria; and the Coele-Syria, and last, on the seaboard, Phoenicia, and in the interior, Judaea..."
(Strabo XVI ii 1)

*Athenian time-reckoning = Mesopotamian "The Athenians ... regard all the intervening time from one sunset to the next as one single day [as against the Romans, whose day extended from midnight to midnight]" (Aulus Gellius III ii 4)

*Mesopotamian literary topoi in apocrypha "I awoke with a start, shuddering... But the angel [Uriel] who had come and talked to me gave me strength... 'But, MY LORD,' I said..."
(2 Esdras 5:14)
[cf. "Gudea arose, it was a dream; he shuddered, it was a dream," Gudea Cyl A 12:12f; "[Kumm]aya awoke with a start ... it was a dream," SAA 3 32:37, etc.]

*Mesopotamian topoi in apocryphal literature "He now saw with alarm that he might be short of money, as had happened {or twice before|" (1 Macc. 3:30)
[cf. the Neo-Assyrian idiom {mala &ini_&u| "once or twice"]

*Seleucid empire = Syria
"[In 160 BC] the Syrian army [of King Demetrius son of Seleucus] left its camp and took up position to meet the Jews"
(1 Macc. 9:11)

*Nebuchadnezzar = king of Syria/Assyria "Hanging Garden, as it is called, which was built, not by Semiramis, but by a later Syrian king to please one of his concubines"
(Diodorus II x 1, quoting Ctesias II 10)

*Assyrian religion
"The Assyrians worship the dove as a god" (Diodorus II xix 2)

*Mesopotamian cultural influence [extispicy] in Greece "Peithagoras, one of those seers who prophesy from the flesh of victims ... sent a similar letter to Apollodorus about Alexander advising him to beware lest any danger should at this time come upon him"
(Arrian, Anabasis xviii 1)

*Babylonia(ns) = Assyria(ns)
"If, however, the bed of the Pallacopas was not in turn blocked... then the Assyrian plain would never be watered from it. But the outlets of the Euphrates into the Pallacopas were blocked by the satrap of Babylon... Yet even so for three months over ten thousand Assyrians were engaged in the task ... When this was reported to Alexander it incited him to try to assist the land of Assyria" (Arrian, Anabasis xxi 4f-6)

*Seleucid "Greeks" = Syrians
"The Macedonians of Alexandria in Egypt, of Seleuceia and Babylonia, have degenerated into Syrians, into Parthians, into Egyptians" (Livy XXXVIII, 17, 10, citing Manlius [189 BC])

*Seleucid "Greeks" = Syrians
"The armies of Antiochus III ... were all Syrians" (Livy XXXV 49, 8, citing Titus Flaminius)

*Seleucid "Greeks" = Syrians
The Syrian Greeks were regarded by the Greeks of the motherland as inferior to them (Polybios XXXII 6, 6)

*Contribution of the East to Hellenistic philosophy "They [the Stoics of Tarsus] have surpassed Alexandria and Athens ... as seats of learning and philosophical studies ... Here all students are natives... They have schools for all kinds of literary culture"
(Strabo XIV 673)

*Assyrian heritage in Seleucid empire
Members of the Seleucid royal council were called "purpurati" [cf. the Assyrian "magnates"]. Craterus the Eunuch is the "chief physician; his rank is that of the first friend" [cf. the office of Chief Eunuch in Assyria].
(Livy XXX 42, 6; XXXVII 23, 7).

*Achaemenid royal ideology = Assyrian
"The best of our many good customs is that we revere the King and worship him as the image of God, God who saves everything"
(Thucydides IV 50, quoting words of Persian Artaphernes)

*Aramaic = Assyrian language
Persian Artaphernes, who was carrying a message from the Great King to Sparta, was taken prisoner, brought to Athens, and the letters he was carrying were translated "from the Assyrian language"
(Thucydides IV 20)

*Mesopotamiazation of the Jews
"Our original ancestors were Chaldaeans, and they mention us Jews in their records because of the relationship between us"
(Josephus, Against Apionem I 13)

*Mesopotamiazation of the Jews
"Both Jews and Chaldaeans are called Yahu#ai in Mandean scripts, showing that they were considered one nation by the Mandeans... Generally, Nebuchadnezzar is called a Yahu#ai" (Drower, Mandeans p. 287)

*Continuity of Assyrian religion (Harranians) "All ... we know about them is that they profess monotheism and describe God as exempt from anything that is bad, using in this description the via negationis... The rule of the universe they attribute to the celestial globe and its bodies, which they consider as living, speaking, hearing and seeing bodies"
(Biruni, quoted in Drower, Mandeans p. xvii)

*Mesopotamian religion: belief in eternal life "The last named author [Theopompos, 4th cent. BC] says that according to the [Babylonian] Magi men will live in a future life and be immortal, and that the world will endure through their invocations"
(Diogenes Laërtius, Vitae philosophorum 1.9, trans. R.D. Hicks, Loeb Classical Library) [It is not excluded that "Magi" here is synonymous with "Chaldaeans"]

*Continuity of Assyrian religion
"Wahb ibn Ibrahim says that in the month of Tammuz, the women weep for the god Ta-uz [= Ass. Ta'u_z]"
(Green, City of the Moon God, p. 152)

*Continuity of Assyrian religion (Sabians) In esoteric Sabian doctrine, the planets became identified with the various philosophical abstractions such as the Soul, Intellect, Necessity, etc. (J. Tubach, Im Schatten des Sonnengottes: der Sonnenkultus in Edessa, Harran und Hatra am Vorabend der christlichen Mission, Wiesbaden 1985)

*Continuity of Assyrian religion (Harranians) "Most of them [the Harranians] are not Christians but are of the old faith" (Procopius, AD 544!)
(Green, City of the Moon God, p. 53)

*Continuity of Assyrian religion (Harranians) Harranians are "a class of Sabians who maintain the adored Creator is both one and many" (Sharestani)
(Green, City of the Moon God, p. 166)

*Mesopotamian origins of Platonic philosophy [ABSTRACT]
Plato compares man to an upside-down tree, whose roots are in the heavens and whose branches are in the earth.
(Plato Timaeus 90 A7-B2)

*Continuity of Assyrian culture
Liver omens in Harran in AD 736
(Green, City of the Moon God, p. 92)

*Assyrians in post-Empire [Roman] time
Harran became a town of the frontier that "divides Romans from Assyrians" (Green, City of the Moon God, p. 92)

*Assyrian traditions in Neo-Babylonian Empire "Some expressions occurring in Harran inscriptions do not appear anywhere else in the NB texts but are characteristic of NA royal inscriptions, particularly those of Assurbanipal's time. The Cyrus cylinder was also written by writers from Nabonidus' chancellary, who retained their positions under Cyrus"
(Zawadzki, The Fall of Assyria, p. 118)

*Transmission of Mesopotamian magical beliefs "Pliny the elder quotes Zachalias of Babylon as attributing to haematite a role in the of lawsuits and trials"
(Postgate, "Mesopotamian Petrology" (1997), 222 n. 40) (Thompson DACG (1936) 86)
(Reiner, Astral magic (1995) 124)

*Continuity of Assyrian culture (Arbela/4th-7th cent. AD) [ABSTRACT]
A place called Melqi (MLQI) in the vicinity of Arbela figures in Nestorian literary sources as the burial place of Mar Qardagh of Arbela (c. AD 360), a descendant of the royal house of "Athor" (Assyria) via Sennacherib on his mother's side and Nimrod on his father's side. It is highly likely that the site, where there was a fire temple and church complex, is identical with Milqia known from Assyrian sources as the site of an important Ishtar temple. (Joel Walker )

"My questions emerge out of a research project (my dissertation based at Princeton) which centers on a Syriac martyr's legend of the 7th century AD -- Mar Qardagh of Arbela, Sasanian marzban of northern Iraq under Shapur II in the 360's AD. The text has several interesting connections with traditions/memories of Assyria, beginning with Qardagh's genealogy traced from the royal house of "Athor" (Assyria) via Sennacherib on his mother's side and Nimrod on his father's side.

According to his hagiographer, Qardagh's cult began at a place called Melqi (MLQI) in the vicinity of Arbela, where there was a fire temple and church complex that was later converted into a church and market complex and eventually became a monastery. But the site appears to have declined (or changed names??) during the medieval period, and modern scholarship has been unable to locate it. The story of the saint's life and his travels in the highlands north and east of Arbela make a location immediately to the NE of Arbela an attractive hypothesis.

Is the cult site of Mar Qardagh at "Melqi" described in the Nestorian literary sources identical with "Milqia", site of an Ishtar temple, noted in the Assyrian sources? If so, we have a very interesting case of long-term continuity in the religious topography of north Mesopotamia." [Joel Walker , 4 Nov 1997]
(J.M. Fiey, Assyrie Chrétienne)

B. Samples of Entries Converted into Database Format

  1. Raw entries

*Mural crown of Assyrian queens --> symbol of Cybele/Tyche The mural crown is attested is Assyrian reliefs as a device worn by Assyrian queens as "images" of Mullissu, the queen of heaven. The crown is later associated strongly with the Anatolian Cybele, a mother and earth goddess, and with the Greek Tyche, goddess of fortune (called by the Romans Fortuna), especially as the patroness of a city. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Tyche of Antioch, awell known statue of whom was represented in painting and on coins from the first century BC until well into Byzantine (Christian) times. (H”rig 1979:129-34; Sayles 1994:14-15)
decius1d.jpg;Detail of the Tyche of Antioch from a coin of Trajan Decius (AD 249-251). genant1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on a coin of that city (AD 312). justin1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on the reverse of a Greek Imperial (Roman Provincial) bronze coin. [R.M. Whiting]

*Demotic 'I&(w)r = Assyria = Syria = Aram Demotic 'I&(w)r denotes not only Assyria proper but also Syria/Aram; the latter usage is attested already in a papyrus dated 529 BC, probably from Elephantine. Some of the 'I&wr mentioned there have names which are definitely West-Semitic. The trilingual decree of Canopus [Roman period] equates 'I&r with Syria [ref.], but in the Persian period 'I&r may well have been equated with Assyria, even when referring to Aram.
(Richard C. Steiner, "Why the Aramaic Script Was Called 'Assyrian' in Hebrew, Greek, and Demotic," Or n.s. 62 (1993) 80-82)
(W. Erichsen, Klio 34 (1941) 57)
(K. Th. Zauzich, in J. Johnson, ed., "Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond" (Chicago 1992), 364)

*Assyrians = Syrians
"Now the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the overthrow of the Syrians. It was much greater than Babylon, and was situated in the plain of Aturia. Aturia borders on the region of Arbela, with the Lycus River lying between them" (Strabo XVI i 3)

2. Edited Entries

*1                                         [entry number]

N=Mural Crown                              [entry name]

T=Iconography, Symbol                      [type]

K=,,        [keywords]

P=14                                       [period]

C=7.5                                      [channel]

S=Mural crown of Assyrian queens

becomes the symbol of Cybele/Tyche  [summary]

I=decius1d.jpg;Detail of the Tyche of Antioch from a coin of Trajan Decius (AD 249-251). I=genant1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on a coin of that city (AD 312). I=justin1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on the reverse of a Greek Imperial (Roman Provincial) bronze coin.
The mural crown is attested is Assyrian reliefs as a device worn byAssyrian queens as "images" of Mullissu, the queen of heaven. The crown is later associated strongly with the Anatolian Cybele, a mother and earth goddess, and with the Greek Tyche, goddess of fortune (called by the Romans Fortuna), especially as the patroness of a city. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Tyche of Antioch, a well known statue of whom was represented in painting and on coins from the first century BC until well into Byzantine (Christian) times.

B=H"rig 1979:129-34                                  [bibliography]

B=Sayles 1994:14-15                                  [bibliography]

B=Parpola 1997:xcvii n.160                           [bibliography]

A=R.M. Whiting                                       [author]

L=;Tyche  [hypertext link]

R=                                                   [remarks]

*33                                                  [entry number]

N=Assyrian Identity                                  [entry name]

T=Name, Word                                         [type]

K=12.2, 12.2.2,                             [keywords]

P=11, 14                                             [period]

C=7                                                  [channel]

S=Demotic 'I&(w)r = Assyria = Syria = Aram           [summary]

I=                                                   [illustration]

Demotic 'I&(w)r denotes not only Assyria proper but also Syria/Aram; the latter usage is
attested already in a papyrus dated 529 BC, probably from Elephantine. Some of the 'I&wr
mentioned there have names which are definitely West-Semitic. The trilingual decree of
Canopus [Roman period] equates 'I&r with Syria, but in the Persian period 'I&r may well
have been equated with Assyria, even when referring to Aram.

D=Steiner 1993                                       [document]

B=R. Steiner 1993:80-82                              [bibliography]

B=Erichsen 1941:57                                   [bibliography]

B=Zauzich 1992:364                                   [bibliography]

A=S. Parpola                                         [author]

L=                                                   [hypertext link]

R=                                                   [remarks]

*34                                                  [entry number]

N=Assyrian Identity                                  [entry name]

T=Name, Word                                         [type]

K=12.2, 12.2.3,,                 [keywords]

P=14                                                 [period]

C=9                                                  [channel]

S=Assyrians = Syrians                                [summary]

I=                                                   [illustration]

"Now the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the overthrow

of the Syrians. It was much greater than Babylon, and was situated

in the plain of Aturia. Aturia borders on the region of Arbela,

with the Lycus River lying between them"
B=Strabo 16.1.3                                      [bibliography]

A=S. Parpola                                         [author]

L=                                                   [hypertext link]

R=                                                   [remarks]

3. Entries in database format (after conversion run)

00000001N @Mural Crown
00000001T @Iconography, Symbol
00000001K @,, 00000001P @14
00000001C @7.5
00000001S @Mural crown of Assyrian queens becomes the symbol of Cybele/Tyche 00000001I @decius1d.jpg;Detail of the Tyche of Antioch from a coin of Trajan 00000001I @Decius (AD 249-251).
00000001I2@genant1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on a coin of that city (AD 312). 00000001I3@justin1a.jpg;Tyche of Antioch on the reverse of a Greek Imperial 00000001I3@(Roman Provincial) bronze coin. 00000001 @The mural crown is attested is Assyrian reliefs as a device worn 00000001 by Assyrian queens as "images" of Mullissu, the queen of heaven. 00000001 The crown is later associated strongly with the Anatolian Cybele, 00000001 a mother and earth goddess, and with the Greek Tyche, goddess of 00000001 fortune (called by the Romans Fortuna), especially as the patroness 00000001 of a city. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Tyche of 00000001 Antioch, a well known statue of whom was represented in painting 00000001 and on coins from the first century BC until well into Byzantine 00000001 (Christian) times.
00000001B @Ho\"rig 1979:129-34
00000001B2@Sayles 1994:14-15
00000001B3@Parpola 1997:xcvii n.160
00000001A @R.M. Whiting
00000001L @;Tyche

00000033N @Assyrian Identity
00000033T @Name, Word
00000033K @12.2, 12.2.2,
00000033P @11, 14
00000033C @7
00000033S @Demotic 'I&(w)r = Assyria = Syria = Aram 00000033 @Demotic 'I&(w)r denotes not only Assyria proper but also Syria/Aram; 00000033 the latter usage is attested already in a papyrus dated 529 BC, 00000033 probably from Elephantine. Some of the 'I&wr mentioned there have 00000033 names which are definitely West-Semitic. The trilingual decree of 00000033 Canopus [Roman period] equates 'I&r with Syria, but in the Persian 00000033 period 'I&r may well have been equated with Assyria, even when 00000033 referring to Aram.
00000033D @Steiner 1993
00000033B @R. Steiner 1993:80-82
00000033B2@Erichsen 1941:57
00000033B3@Zauzich 1992:364
00000033A @S. Parpola

00000034N @Assyrian Identity
00000034T @Name, Word
00000034K @12.2, 12.2.3,, 00000034P @14
00000034C @9
00000034S @Assyrians = Syrians
00000034 @"Now the city of Ninus was wiped out immediately after the 00000034 overthrow of the Syrians. It was much greater than Babylon, 00000034 and was situated in the plain of Aturia. Aturia borders on 00000034 the region of Arbela, with the Lycus River lying between them." 00000034B @Strabo 16.1.3
00000034A @S. Parpola

Appendix 3. Organization of MELAMMU

  1. Steering Committee

Simo Parpola (Helsinki), Chairman (term expires October, 1999) Robert Whiting (Helsinki), Vice Chairman (term expires October, 1999) Walter Burkert (Basel)
Martti Nissinen (Helsinki)
Antonio Panaino (Ravenna)
Kurt A. Raaflaub (Washington)
Abdul Massih Saadi (Chicago)
Martin L. West (Oxford)
Joan G. Westenholz (Chicago/Jerusalem)

2. Consultants

John Baines (Oxford)
John J. Collins (Chicago)
Riccardo Contini (Venezia)
Cristiano Grottanelli (Pisa)
Ithamar Gruenwald (Tel Aviv)
Volkert Haas (Berlin)
William W. Hallo (Yale)
Amir Harrak (Toronto)
Moshe Idel (Jerusalem)
Bruno Jacobs (Köln)
Othmar Keel (Freiburg/Schweiz)
Amelie Kuhrt (London)
Giovanni B. Lanfranchi (Padua)
Baruch A. Levine (New York)
Abraham Malamat (Jerusalem)
Christian Marek (Zürich)
Walter Mayer (Münster)
Ernest G. McClain (Belmont)
Fergus Millar (Oxford)
Joachim Oelsner (Leipzig)
Heikki Palva (Helsinki)
Asko Parpola (Helsinki)
Shalom Paul (Jerusalem)
David Pingree (Providence)
Rüdiger Schmitt (Saarbrücken)
Guy G. Stroumsa (Jerusalem)
Werner Sunderman (Jerusalem)
Christoph Ühlinger (Freiburg/Schweiz) Moshe Weinfeld (Jerusalem)
Josef Wiesehöfer (Kiel)

3. Database Manager

Sanna Aro-Valjus (Helsinki)
Pirjo Lapinkivi (Helsinki) (May-August 1999)

4. Research Assistants

Andrea Piras (Ravenna) / Iranian Studies (supervisor: A. Panaino) Eleanora Cussini (Padua) / Assyriology and Classics (proposed) NN (Chicago) / Syriac Literature (supervisor: A. M. Saadi) (proposed)

5. Supporting Institutions

Assyrian Academic Society, Chicago
Assurbanipal Library, Chicago
Mesopotamian Museum, Chicago
University of Helsinki

Appendix 4. MELAMMU Symposia

  1. Tvärminne 1998 "The Heirs of Assyria" Opening Symposium of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project (MELAMMU) Tvärminne, Finland, October 8-11, 1998

Planing Sessions
S. Parpola: Scope and Structure of the Database R. M. Whiting: Database Format Options
S. Parpola and R. M. Whiting: Compilation and Management of the Database S. Parpola: Organization of the Project

M. J. Geller: Mesopotamia's Intellectual Heritage in Babylonian Talmud G. B. Lanfranchi: The Ideological and Political Impact of the Assyrian Imperial Expansion on the Greek World in the 8th sand 7th Centuries BC A. Panaino: The Mesopotamian Heritage of the Achaemenid Kingship K. Raaflaub: Influence, Adaptation, and Interaction: Eastern and Early Greek Political Thought R. Rollinger: Altorientalische Geisteswelt und die Historien Herodots A. M. Saadi: The Originality of the Syriac Historiography and the Beginning of the West-Syriac Tradition
M. L. West: Fable and Disputation
J. Westenholz: The King, the Emperor, and the Empire: royal representation in text and image R. M. Whiting, The Survival of Symbols: An Example

2. Paris 1999

"Mythology and Mythologies: Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences"

Second Annual Meeting of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project (MELAMMU)
Institut finlandais, 60 rue des Ecoles, Paris, October 4-7, 1999

T. Abusch (Brandeis): The Epic of Gilgamesh C. Grottanelli (Pisa): Combabos, Absalom, and the Epic of Gilgamesh I. Gruenwald (Tel Aviv): Dining with the Gods: The Intercultural Nexus A. Harrak (Toronto): Tales About Sennacherib: The Contribution of the Syriac Sources J. Hämeen-Anttila (Helsinki): Descent and Ascent in Islamic Myth C. Kessler (Emskirchen): Mandaean Mythology J. Lawson (Dover): Mesopotamian Precursors to the Stoic concept of Logos E. Y. Odisho (Chicago): The Ethnic, Cultural and Linguistic Identity of Modern Assyrians A. Panaino (Ravenna): Some Remarks about the Unicorn in Mesopotamia, India and Iran S. Parpola (Helsinki): Mesopotamian Precursors of the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl B. Pongratz-Leisten (Tübingen): The "Antagonistic World View" of Mythology and its Everyday "Sitz im Leben" in Ancient Mesopotamia and Greece R. Rollinger (Innsbruck): The Ancient Greeks and the Impact of the Ancient Near East: Textual Evidence and Historical Perspective
P. Talon (Bruxelles): Enuma eliš and the Transmission of Babylonian Cosmology to the West M. Weinfeld (Jerusalem): The Reflection of Melammu in Biblical Literature

2. Chicago 2000
"Assyrians 2600 years after the Empire"

Third Annual Meeting of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project (MELAMMU) Chicago, Illinois, October 27-31, 2000


Appendix 5. Contact Data

  1. Steering Committee

Prof. Dr. Walter Burkert
Wildsbergstrasse 8
CH-8610 Uster
Phone/Fax: +41-1-9403013

Dr. Martti Nissinen
Raidepolku 2 B
FIN-00750 Helsinki
Phone: +358-9-3892979, +358-9-3894452

Prof. Antonio Panaino
Dipartimento di Studi linguistici e orientali Università di Bologna
Via Zamboni 16
I-40126 Bologna
Phone: +39-2-738 5857, +39-54-235298 (fax)

Prof. Simo Parpola
Institute for Asian and African Studies POB 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358-9-1356164 (home),+358-9-191-22093 (office), +358-9-191-22094 (fax)

Prof. Kurt A. Raaflaub
Center for Hellenic Studies
3100 Whitehaven Street N.W.
Washington, DC 2000-3684
Phone: +1-202-234-3738, ext. 17, +1-202-797-3745 (fax)

Prof. Abdul Massih Saadi
Lutheran School of Theology
1100 E. 55th Street
Chicago, IL 60615

Dr. Martin L. West
All Souls College
Oxford OX1 4AL
Phone: +44-1865-556060, +44-1865-279299 (fax)

Dr. Joan Goodnick Westenholz
Oriental Institute
1155 East 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637-1569
Phone: +1-773-702-9543 (work), +1-773-684-5352 (home)

Dr. Robert Whiting
Institute for Asian and African Studies POB 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358-9-191-23289, +358-9-191-22094 (fax)

2. Database Manager

Pirjo Lapinkivi
c/o Institute for Asian and African Studies POB 59 (Unioninkatu 38 B)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Phone: +358-9-191-22674, +358-9-191-22094 (fax)

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