Ancient Zodiacs, Star Names, and Constellations: Essays and Critiques


Mesopotamian Star Lists and Star Names in the First Millennium BCE by Gary D. Thompson

Copyright 2011-2018 by Gary D. Thompson


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Mesopotamian Star Lists and Star Names in the First Millennium BCE

Note:

"Abstract: Sumerian and Akkadian names of stars and constellations occur in cuneiform texts for over 2,000 years, from the third millennium BC down to the death of cuneiform in the early first millennium AD, but no fully comprehensive list was ever compiled in antiquity. Lists of stars and constellations are available in both the lexical tradition and astronomical-astrological tradition of the cuneiform scribes. The longest list in the former is that in the series Urra = hubullu, in the latter, those in Mul-Apin. Introduction: Cuneiform texts bearing names of stars and constellations are available from the early second millennium BC down to the time of the last available cuneiform tablets of the first-century AD ..., but there is no such thing as an authoritative [standardised] Mesopotamian star list, that is, a standard list of all the stars, or the main stars, known to a set of Ancient Mesopotamians in any one time or place. ... [W]hen speaking of Mesopotamian star lists, what is generally meant is a collection of names of constellations, with the occasional name of a fixed star or planet included. Star lists are found in two very different parts of the cuneiform corpus. First are dictionary lists in the lexical tradition that is best known from the canonical Sumerian-Akkadian series Urra = hubulla ... And the second, sets of star names in the astronomical/astrological tradition. For example, the stars of the Paths of Anu, Enlil, and Ea - the traditional divisions of the Mesopotamian sky. The Lexical Tradition: The canonical version of series Urra = hubulla, dating to ca. 1000 BC, was comprised of 24 tablets with a total of more than 10,000 entries when complete. Included in Tablet 22 of the series was list of star names with a Sumerian name on the left translated by its Akkadian name equivalent on the right. As is typical of the series as a whole, the list begins with the standard sign for stars, that is, the star determinative, Sumerian mul = Akkadian kakkabu, the latter being cognate to terms for stars in the other Semitic languages." (Horowitz, Wayne. (2014). "Mesopotamian Star Lists." In: Ruggles, Clive. (Editor). Handbook of Archaeoastronomy and Ethnoastronomy. (Pages 1829-1833).)

In the 1st-millennium BCE Sumerian names were not normally translated into Akkadian, but rather rendered in the original Sumerian as loan-words/scientific terms.

Chronology:

(1) The Late Assyrian Period (circa 900-600 BCE)

(2) The Neo-Babylonian (Chaldean) Period (626-539 BCE)

(3) The Persian (Achaemenid) Period (539-331 BCE)

(4) Macedonian Period (331-circa 275 BCE)

(5) Seleucid (Hellenistic) Period (275 BCE - 116 CE)

=========================================

Some Late 2nd-Millennium Stars

Example: Star List/Star Catalogue (Select Mul.Apin Stars/Constellations).

Example: The Circumpolar Stars And Constellations.

Source: Mul Apin by Hermann Hunger and David Pingree (1989).

In MUL.APIN six circumpolar stars are counted in the Path of Enlil. Since the Paths of Enlil, Anu, and Ea are defined by the arcs on the eastern horizon over which the stars, Sun, Moon, and planets rise, the circumpolar stars ought not to be counted among the stars of Enlil.

1.                  (15) The Wagon. Ursa Major.

2.                  (16) The Fox. 80-86 Ursae Maioris?

3.                  (17) The Ewe. Northeastern part of Bootes?

4.                  (18) The Hitched Yoke. a Draconis?

5.                  (19) The Wagon of Heaven. Ursa Minor.

6.                  (20) The Heir of the Sublime Temple. a Ursae Minoris?

Example: Stars in the Path of the Moon.

Source: Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy by Bartel van der Waerden (1974).

The Stars and Constellations in the Path of the Moon.

1.                  MUL.MUL

2.                  mulGUD.AN.NA

3.                  mulSIBA.ZI.AN.NA

4.                  mulSHU.GI

5.                  mulGAM

6.                  mulMASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL

7.                  mulAL.LUL

8.                  mulUR.GU.LA

9.                  mulAB.SIN

10.              mulzi.ba.ni.tum

11.              mulGIR.TAB

12.              mulPA.BIL.SAG

13.              mulSUHUR.MASH

14.              mulGU.LA

15.              zibbatimesh

16.              mulSIM.MAH

17.              mulA-nu-ti-tum

18.              mulLU.HUN.GA

The number 18 is not quite certain because the "tails" zibbatimesh are probably to be taken together with both the following names ("tails of SHIM.MAH and Anunitum).

If we omit the six names GUD.AN.NA (Taurus), SIBA.ZI.AN.NA (Orion), SHU.GI (Perseus + and northern part of Taurus?), GAM (Auriga or Capella), SHIM.MAH (south-west part of Pisces) and Anunitum (north-east part of Pisces), those remaining are exactly the Babylonian names of the later signs of the zodiac, beginning with Taurus (MUL.MUL, actually Pleiades), and continuing in sequence to Aries (LU.HUN.GA).

In later times the zodiacal signs were named after the constellations they contained. In the beginning there were certain variations: the sign of Taurus could be denoted equally well by the names MUL.MUL (Pleiades), GUD.AN.NA (Taurus), or is li-e (Hyades - Aldebaran); it was only later that the names became standardised.

Example: Ziqpu Star List.

Source: Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy by Bartel van der Waerden (1974).

The ziqpu stars lie in the path of Enlil. (Some) Ziqpu stars listed in Mul.Apin.

SHU.PA

BAL.UR.A

AN.GUB.BAmesh

UR.KU.UZA

UD.KA.DUH.A

LU.LIM

SHU.GI

GAM

MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL

AL.LUL

UR.GU.LA

ERU

HE.GAL.A.A

Example: The 36 Morning Risings (Mul.Apin).

Source: Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy by Bartel van der Waerden (1974).

Month 1          day 1 LU.HUNGA rises.

                       day 20 GAM rises.

Month 2          day 1 MUL.MUL rises.

                       day 20 is li-e rises.

Month 3          day 10 SIBA.ZI.AN.NA and MASH.TAR.BA.GAL.GAL rise.

Month 4          day 5 MASH.TAB.BA.TUR.TUR and AL.LUL rise.

                       day 15 KAK.SI.DI, MUSH and UR.GU.LA rise.

Month 5          day 5 BAN and LUGAL rise.

Month 6          day 10 NUNki and UGA rise.

                       day 15 SHU.PA rises.

                       day 25 AB.SIN rises.

Month 7          day 15 zibanitu, UR.IDIM, EN.TE.NA.MASH.LUM and UR.KU rise.

Month 8          day 5 GIR.TAB rises.

                       day 15 UZA and GAB.GIR.TAB rise.

Month 9          day 15 UD.KA.DUH.A, Amushen and PA.BIL.SAG rise.

Month 10        day 15 SHIM.MA, shi-nu-nu-tum and IM.SIS rise.

Month 11        day 5 GU.LA, IKU and LU.LIM rise.

                       day 25 Anunitu rises.

Month 12        day 15 KUA and SHU.GI rise.

The best fit is obtained for Babylon between 1300 and 1000 BCE.

Example: Planet Names (Mul.Apin Series).

Source: Mul Apin by Hermann Hunger and David Pingree (1989).

Planet                          Name(s)

Sun                              dUTU (Samas)

Moon                           dSin

Saturn                          UDU.IDIM.SAG.US (the stable planet

                                    zibanitu (Scales)

                                    MUL dUTU (Star of the Sun)

Jupiter             Sagmegar

                                    dSulpaea

                                    dAMAR.UTU (Marduk)

Mars                            Salbatanu

Venus                          Dilibat

Mercury                       UDU.IDIM.GU4.UD

sa Ninurta sumsu (the jumping planet whose name is Ninurta)

Example: Particular Star Uses.

Source: Mul Apin by Hermann Hunger and David Pingree (1989)? 

The stars associated with directions.

North               Wagon (the first circumpolar star)

South               Fish (the first star of Ea)

West                Scorpion (sets when Stars rise)

East                 Old Man and Stars (Stars rise when Scorpion sets; Old Man rises with Fish)

Ura = hubulla star listing

The Ura[Urra]=hubullu (ur5-ra=ḫubullu) is a major (and also oldest known) Babylonian glossary/dictionary (or "encyclopedia") consisting of Sumerian and Akkadian lexical lists ordered by topic. The series of tablets comprise bilingual word lists in Sumerian and Akkadian. The late (circa 1000 BCE) canonical version extends to 24 tablets. The conventional title is the first gloss, ur5-ra and ḫubullu meaning "interest-bearing debt" in Sumerian and Akkadian, respectively. Tablet 22 of the series includes a list of 61 star names. "... [A]fter the sublist e = iku, is a list of stars that begin with ul = kakkabu and mul = kakkabu at Ura XXII: 266'-267'. Immediately after this are entries for mul.mul, "The Stars" (The Pleiades), and then sixty more stars which brings us down to Ura XXII: 327'. This star list occupies most of the fifth column of a number of manuscripts." (Block, Yigal. and Horowitz, Wayne. (2015). "Ura = hubulla XXII: The Standard Recension." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 67, Pages 71-125).) (A detailed discussion of the star list is being prepared (2015) by Yigal Block and Wayne Horowitz.) The text of Ura XXII is currently (2015) based on 12 main sources and 20 school tablets. The majority of tablets come from Babylonia: Babylon, Kish, Uruk, and Ur; and possibly Borsippa, Dilbat, and Sippar. A small number of tablets come from Assyria: Huzirina, and Assur. One bilingual version excavated from Ugarit [RS2.(23)+] is Sumerian/Hurrian rather than Sumerian/Akkadian. It was excavated at Ebla in modern Syria and dates from the early 2nd millennium BCE. The bulk of the series was compiled in the Old Babylonian period (early 2nd millennium BCE), with pre-canonical forerunner documents extending back to the late 3rd millennium BCE. The extant sources for Ura XXII are written in 1st millennium script and dated to circa 1000 BCE. A Neo-Assyrian copy of the lexical text ur5-ra = hubullu is K 4386 (CT 1919) (formerly II R 48 (a list)).

The Listing in the table below is based on: Block, Yigal. and Horowitz, Wayne. (2015). "Ura = hubulla XXII: The Standard Recension." (Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 67, Pages 71-125).

Line Sumerian Akkadian
266 ul kak-ka-bu
267 mul MIN
268 mul-mul MIN
269 mul-mul ka-li-tum
270 mul-mul za-ap-pu
271 mulšudun ni-i-r[u]
272 mulikux (AŠ+GN) i-ku-
273 mulgu4-an-na is le-e
274 mulsipa-zi-an-na ši-da-al-lu-u
275 mulkak-si-s šu-ku-du
276 mul[giš]pan qa-aš-tum
277 [mu]leriduki ŠU
278 [mu]l dnin-tu dbe-let DIĜIR.MEŠ
279 muludu-til ŠU
280 muludu-til bi-ib-bi
281 muludu-til dSal-bat-a-nu
282 mulmar-d a-mur-ru
283 mul dnin-si4-an-na dIš-tar MUL.MEŠ
284 multir-an-na man-za-tu[m]
285 mulĝr-tab zu-qa-qi-pi
286 mulzi-ba-an-na zi-ba-ni-tum
287 mulur-gu-la la-ta-rak
288 mulur-gir15 kal-bi
289 mullu-lim lu-li-mu
290 mul ĝišgigir dEn-[me-šr]-ra
291 mulgm [                ]
292 [mul x (x)] x x [x x (x)] x
293 mulmaš [tu]-a-ma
294 mulmaš-maš ma-šu!-u
295 mulmaš-tab-ba tu-a-mu
296 mulal-lub al-lu-ut-tum
297 mulMU.BU-kš-da ni-i-ri
298 [mu]len-te-na-bar-hum ḫa-ba-si-ra-nu
299 mulmar-gd-da e-req-qu
300 mul ĝišapin e-pi-in-nu
301 mul ĝišgn-r maš-ka-ka-tum
302 mulab-sn ši-ir-u
303 mul dnu.nu dA-nu-ni-tum
304 mul dnirah ni-ra-ḫu
305 mulim-šu-rin-na nu-kš--e-ne kak-kab ti-nu-ri al-ma-na-a-ti
306 mulz en-zu
307 mulšah dDa-mu
308 multi8mušen e-ru-
309 mulsim-mahmušen si-nun-tum
310 mulud-al-tar dŠul-pa--a
311 mulan-ta-sur-ra sa-ri-ri
312 mulin-um an-na mi-ši-iḫ dPa-bil-sag
313 [mule-tu-r]a-am-me SUKKAL dA-nu-ni-tum
314 [mul…] x-am-me mulUR.GU.LA
315 mul lsa-gaz ḫab-ba-tum
316 mul lhun-ĝ ag-ri
317 mulugamušen a-ri-bi
318 mulku6 nu--nu
319 mulmušen is-su-ru
320 mulgu-la ŠU
321 mullul-la sa-ar-ri
322 mul ka-aka5-a še-el-le-bi
323 mulnu-muš-da nam-maš-šu-
324 mul dmarduk (AMAR.UTU) ni-bi-ri
325 mul dšul-pa--a ŠU
326 mulu4-zal-la kak-kab na-ma-ri
327 mul-g-zi-ga MIN še-re-e-tum

(1) The Late Assyrian Period (circa 900-600 BCE)

Example: Star Names and Constellations mentioned in Astrological Reports to the Kings. 

Source 1: Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars by Simo Parpola (1993).

1.            Agru (Aries): MUL.HUN.GA

2.            Alluttu (Cancer): MUL.AL.LUL

3.            Bibbu ("The Planet", a name of Mercury): UDU.IDIM

4.            Dilibat (Venus): dil.bat

5.            Enzu ("Goat", Lyra): MUL.UZ

6.            Epinnu ("Plough", a star): MUL.APIN

7.            Kaiamanu (Saturn): dUDU.IDIM.SAG.US

8.            Kumaru ("Shoulder (of the Panther)", d Cygni): MUL.ku-ma-ru

9.            Lisi (Antares): li-si [MUL.LI9.SI4]

10.         Masu (Gemini): dma-a-si

11.         Narkabtu ("Chariot", a constellation): MUL.GIS.GIGIR

12.         Neberu (a name of Jupiter): MUL.ne-bi-ru

13.         Nesu (Leo): MUL.UR.MAH

14.         Nimru ("Panther", Cygnus): MUL.UD.KA.DU8.A

15.         Pabilsag (Sagittarius): MUL.PA.BIL.SAG

16.         Sagmegar (Jupiter, reading uncertain): SAG.ME.GAR

17.         Sebetti ("The Seven", a name of the Pleiades): d7.BI

18.         Sin (moon): d30

19.         Salbatanu (Mars): dsal-bat-a-nu

20.         Samas (sun, god of justice): dsa-mas

21.         Sanumma (a name of Mars): MUL.MIN-ma

22.         Sarru (Regulus): MUL.LUGAL

23.         Sibu (Perseus): MUL.SU.GI

24.         Sihtu (Mercury): dGUD.UD

25.         Siru (Virgo): MUL.AB.SIN

26.         Sitaddaru (Orion): MUL.SIPA.ZI.AN.NA

27.         Sukudu (Sirius): MUL.GAG.SI.SA

28.         Urgulu (Leo): MUL.UR.GU.LA

29.         Zappu ("Bristle", Pleiades): MUL.MUL

30.         Zibanitu (Scales): MUL.ZI.BA.AN.NA

31.         Zibbati ("Tails", Pisces): KUN.MES

32.         Zuqaqipu (Scorpius): MUL.GIR.TAB

Source 2: Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings by Hermann Hunger (1992).

1.            Agru ("Hired Man", Aries) MUL.LU.HUN.GA

2.            Alluttu ("Crab", Cancer): MUL.AL.LUL

3.            Alu (Taurus, Aldebaran): MUL.GUD.AN.NA

4.            Anunitu (part of Pisces): MUL.an-nu-ni-tum

5.            Anu agu ("Anu-Crown", Hyades): MUL.a-nu-AGA

6.            Anzu (a star): MUL.IM.DUGUD

7.            Aribu ("Raven", Corvus): u-ga [MUL.UGA]

8.            Barbaru ("Wolf", a star): MUL.UR.BAR.RA

9.            Bibbu ("planet", most probably Saturn or Mercury): dUDU.IDIM

10.         Dilibat (Venus): ddil-bat [MUL.dil-bat]

11.         Engisgalanna (a name of Jupiter, reading uncertain): MUL.EN.GISGAL.AN.NA

12.         Enmesarra (a part of Perseus): MUL.EN.ME.SAR

13.         Enzu ("Goat", Lyra): u-za [MUL.UZ]

14.         Epinnu ("Plough", a star): MUL.APIN

15.         Eru'a ("Frond", a star): MUL.A.EDIN

16.         Gamlu (Auriga): dGAM

17.         Gilimma (a star, reading uncertain): MUL.GILIM.MA

18.         Habasiranu (Centaurus): MUL.EN.TE.NA.BAR.GUZ

19.         Idiglat ("Tigris", a group of stars): MUL.ID.IDIG-NA

20.         Iku ("Field", Pegasus): MUL.AS.GAN

21.         Indubanna (a part of Sagittaurius, reading uncertain): MUL.IN.DUB.AN.NA

22.         Irat Zuqaqipi (a part of Scorpius): MUL.GABA-GIR.TAB

23.         Is Le ("Jaw of the Bull", Hyades): MUL.is-le-e

24.         Kaiamanu (Saturn): dSAG.US

25.         Kalitu ("Kidney", Puppis): MUL.BIR

26.         Lisi (Antares): MUL.LI9.SI4

27.         Neberu (a name of Jupiter): dne-bi-ru [MUL.ne-bi-ru]

28.         Nesu ("Lion", Leo): MUL.UR.MAH

29.         Nimru ("Panther", Cygnus etc.): MUL.UD.KA.DU8

30.         Niru ("Yoke", Bootes): su-du-un [MUL.SUDUN]

31.         Nunu ("Fish", Piscis austrinus): MUL.KU6

32.         Nun same ("Fish of the Sky", Piscis austrinus): MUL.KU6

33.         Pabilsag ("Presbyter", Sagittaurius): dPA.BIL.SAG [MUL.PA.BIL.SAG]

34.         Pasittu ("Deleter", a part of Andromeda): MUL.KA.MUS.I.KU.E

35.         Qastu ("Bow" a part of Canis major): MUL.dBAN [MUL.BAN]

36.         Rappu ("Bridle", a star): MUL.rap.pu

37.         Sagmegar (Jupiter, reading uncertain): dSAG.ME.GAR [MUL.SAG.ME.GAR]

38.         Sarru ("False", a name of Mars): MUL.sa-ar-ri

39.         Sebetti ("The Seven", "Pleiades"): d7.BI

40.         Sin (moon god): d30

41.         Suhurmasu (Capricorn): MUL.SUHUR.MAS

42.         Salbatanu (Mars): dsal-bat-an-nu [MUL.sal-bat-a-nu]

43.         Sariru (a part of Sagittarius): MUL.AN.TA.SUR.RA

44.         Surru ("Obsidian", a star in Scorpius): MUL.sur-ru

45.         Samas (sun-god): dsa-mas

46.         Sanumma ("Strange", a name of Mars): MUL.MIN-ma

47.         Sargaz (a part of Scorpius): dSAR.GAZ [MUL.SAR.GAZ]

48.         Sarru ("King", Regulus): MUL.LUGAL

49.         Sarur (a part of Scorpius): dSAR.UR [MUL.SAR.UR]

50.         Selabu ("Fox", a star): MUL.KA.A

51.         Ser'u ("Furrow", Virgo): MUL.AB.SIN

52.         Sibu ("Old Man", Perseus): MUL.SI.GI

53.         Sihtu (Mercury): dGUD.UD [MUL.GUD.UD]

54.         Sinunutu ("Swallow", part of Pisces): si-im-ma-a [MUL.SIM.MAH]

55.         Sukudu ("Arrow", Sirius): MUL.GAG.SI.SA

56.         Sulpae (a name of Jupiter): dSUL.PA.E [MUL.SUL.PA.E]

57.         Tu'amu ("Twins", Gemini): MUL.MAS.TAB.BA

58.         Tu'amu rabutu ("Great Twins", Gemini): MUL.MAS.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL.

59.         Tultu ("Worm", a star): MUL.tul-tum

60.         Urgulu ("Lion", Leo): MUL.UR.GU.LA

61.         Usurtu ("Drawing", a name of Gemini): MUL.u-sur-ti

62.         Zappu ("Bristle", Pleiades): MUL.MUL

63.         Zibanitu ("Scales", Libra): MUL.zi-ba-ni-tum

64.         Zuqaqipu ("Scorpion", Scorpius): MUL.GIR.TAB

Example: Star List/Star Catalogue.

Source: A Scientific Humanist: Studies in Memory of Abraham Sachs edited by Erle Liechty, et al. (1988).

Star Names Listed In Star Catalogue BM 78161. Tablet BM 78161 comes from either Babylon or Sippar and dates from the 7th to 5th centuries BCE.

Stars

Classification

Identification

Sipa-zi-an-na

Anu 8

b Ori.

dar lugal

Anu 10

m Lep.

front feet and hands of mas-tab-ba-gal-gal

ziqpu 18

q Gem.

n Gem.

right hand and rear heel of sipa-zi-an-na

Anu

x Ori.

k Ori.

middle of dar-lugal

Anu

a Lep.

rear foot of mas-tab-ba-tur-tur

ziqpu 19

x Gem.

mas-tab-ba-tur-tur

Enlil 6

z Gem.

kak-si-sa

Anu 11

b Can. Mai.

al-lul

ziqpu 20

e Canc.

mus

Anu 13

b Canc.

ban

Anu 12

h Can. Mai

left foot of kak-si-sa

Anu

p Puppis

5 us after al-lul

-

-

Jupiter's position after al-lul and before ur-gu-la

-

-

LU of kak-si-sa

Anu

r Puppis

two stars of the head of ur-a

ziqpu 21

m Leo

e Leo

middle of mus

Anu

q Hydra

elbow of kak-si-sa

Anu

a Pyx

hands of nun-ki

Ea

g Vel.

four stars of the chest of ur-a

ziqpu 22

z Leo.

g Leo.

h Leo.

a Leo.

right front foot of ur-a

Enlil

p Leo.

middle of mus

Anu

k Hydra

nun-ki

Ea 3

l Vel.

1 danna16 after the four of its chest

-

-

foot in the middle of ur-a

Enlil

r Leo.

hand of nin-mah

Ea 4

j Vel.

two stars of the rump of ur-a

ziqpu 23

d Leo.

q Leo.

tail of uga

Anu

a Crat.

bite of gis-gan-gur

Ea

m Vel.

single star of the tail of ur-a

ziqpu 24

b Leo.

middle of uga

Anu

g Corv.

hand of en-te-na-bar-hum

Ea

d Cent.

e4-ru6

ziqpu 25

g Com.

ab-sin

Anu 15

a Virg.

dsullat and hanis

Ea 7

e Cent.

Mercury's position between ab-sin and uga

-

-

1 danna after e4-ru6

-

-

dingir-ku-a-mes

Enlil 22

i Virg. (?)

front pan of gis-rin

Anu

l Virg.

nu-mus-da

Ea 8

h Cent.

Saturn's position before gis-rin

-

-

na-at-tul-lum

ziqpu 26

u Boot.

middle of zi-ba-nit

Anu

b Libr.

horn of gir-tab

Ea

g Scor. = Libra

eye of ur-idim

Ea

g Lupi

su-pa

ziqpu 1

a Boot.

middle of zi-ba-nit

Anu

g Libr.

stars of head of gir-tab

Ea

d Scor.

middle of ur-idim

Ea

h Lupi

na-at-tul-lum 2

ziqpu 2

x Boot.

star of chest of gir-tab

Ea

a Scor.

tail of gir-tab

Ea

m1 Scor.

rear of foot of ur-idim

Ea

z2 Scor.

kip-pat

ziqpu 3

a Cor. Bor.

eye of za-ba4-ba4

Anu

h Oph.

dsar-urdsar-gaz

Ea 12

l Scor.

n Scor.

sa-mas-a-ti

ziqpu 4

b Her.

g Her.

middle of za-ba4-ba4

Anu

n Oph.

left hand of pa-bil-sag which is on the bow

Ea

d Sag.

mar-gur8

Ea 14

e Sag.

tak-sa-a-tu

ziqpu 5

d Her.

knee of za-ba4-ba4

Anu

h Serp.

[right hand] of pa-bil-sag which is on the arrow

Ea

j Sag.

single star of the knee of uz

ziqpu 6

m Her.

foot of za-ba4-ba4

Anu

l Aquil.

pa-bil-sag- above ma-gur8

Ea

i Lyr.

crook of uz

ziqpu 7

a Lyr.

bright star of a-musen18

Anu

a Aquil.

(2) The Neo-Babylonian (Chaldean) Period (626-539 BCE)

Example: Late Astrological Text. 

Source: Mesopotamian Astrology by Ulla Koch-Westenholz (1995).

The "Great Star List": "Among the several lists of stars, the most astrological is the so-called Great Star List …. This text is a motley of mythological and astrological data on planets and stars, mixed with other materials. Much of it seems to have been assembled from blocks excerpted from other texts. … Its composite character indicates that the text is not very old. Probably it was meant to serve as a vademecum for the astrologers."

The Great Star List Source G (see: Koch-Westenholz, Mesopotamian Astrology, pages 187-205) is known only from a hand-copy and transliteration given by Vincent Scheil in Revue d'assyriologie et d'archologie orientale, Volume 24, 1927, pages 32-34 (hand-copy on page 33). The tablet is noted by Vincent Scheil as coming from Mosul and being purchased by M. Pierre Viennot, assistant de Gologie applique la Facult des Sciences de Paris. (Assistant de gologie applique la Facult des Sciences de Paris et l'un des dirigeants les plus en vue du laboratoire de Gologie de la Sorbonne. Vice-prsident de la Socit gologique de France.) The present location of this tablet is unclear. A Neo-Assyrian duplicate or relative to the "Great Star List" is K 2067 (CT 26 45) (formerly III R 57 (a list)).

[Select reproduction of the contents appears below:]

[- - - -]

[d]min

[- - - - - - - -]

ditto

[dnin.gul.ti]

ana mas-si-e

Ningulti

is for a leader

[ddil].bat

ana si.sa bu-lim

Venus

is for thriving cattle

[mu]l im.su.rin.na.nu.kus.u: ddil.bat

The Widow's Oven

Venus

mul dil.bar

dis-tar be-let kur.kur

Venus

Istar, queen of all lands

mul a-nu-ni-tum

dis-tar min

Annunitu

Istar, ditto

mul a-ri-tum

dis-tar min

The Shield-bearer

Istar, ditto

mul is-ha-ra

dis-tar min

Ishara

Istar, ditto

mul gir.tab

dis-ha-ra

The Scorpion

Ishara

mul gir.tab

dmin ti-amat

The Scorpion

ditto Tiamat

mul gir.an.na

mul gir.tab

The Sword of Heaven

The Scorpion

mul nin.mah

mul min

Ninmah

ditto

mul nin.mah

dingir.mah du-at an u ki

Ninmah

Belet-ili, creator of Heaven and Earth

mul nin.girim

be-let te-lil-ti

Ningirim

Goddess of Purification

 

dis-ha-ra

 

Ishara

mul.ban

mul ab.sin

The Bow

The Furrow (Virgo)

mul gilim

mul min

The Reed-bundle

ditto

mul tir.an.na

 

mul min

The Rainbow

ditto

mul a-ri-tum

mul min

The Shield(bearer)

ditto

mul mar.gid.da

mul [- - - - -] x

The Wagon

[- - - - -]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - ditto]

mu[l - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - - - -]-star

[ditto]

mul pa [- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

. . -star

[ditto]

mul udu [- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - -]-planet

[ditto]

mul ka.mus.i.gu7.[e - - - - - - - - - - - -]

The Deleter

[ditto]

mul nun.me [- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

The Sage

[ditto]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -]

24 lines missing

[- - - - - - - - - - - - -]

[d]min

[- - - - - - - -]

ditto

mul x x [- - - - -] x

dmin

[- - - - - - - -]

ditto

mul x [- - - - -]

distaran

. . . . . .

Ishtaran

mul i-li-ab-[rat]

dmin

Ilabrat

ditto

mul dumu.[zi]

dmin

Dumuzi

ditto

AN AN NI x [x]

dsal-bat-a-nu

. . . . . .

Mars

mul [- - - - - -]

dmin

[- - - -]-star

ditto

mul ma-ak-ru-u

dmin

The Fiery Red

ditto

mul sa5

dmin

The Red

ditto

mul sig7

dmin

The Yellow

ditto

[mu]l man-ma

dmin

The Sinister

ditto

mul a-hu-u

dmin

The Strange

ditto

mul [n]a-ka-ru

dmin

The Hostile

ditto

mul s[ar6]-ru

dmin

The Liar

ditto

mul hul

dmin

The Evil

ditto

mul ka5.a

dmin

The Fox

ditto

mul nim.ma

dmin

The Star of Elam

ditto

mul lu.sa.gaz

dmin

The Robber

ditto

mul ur.bar.ra

dmin

The Wolf

ditto

mul ti8musen

dmin

The Eagle

ditto

mul lu-um-nu

dmin

The Evil

ditto

mul si-mu-ut

dmin

Simut

ditto

mul la sid.mes

dmin

The Incalculable

ditto

mul apin

dmin

The Plough

ditto

mul sudun

dmin

The Yoke

ditto

mul su.pa

dmin

SU-PA

ditto

mul bal.tes.a

dmin

The Star of Dignity

ditto

mul ug5.ga

dmin

The Raven

ditto

mul bir

dmin

The Kidney

ditto

mul nunki

dmin

The Star of Eridu

ditto

mul ud.ka.duh.a

dmin

The Panther

ditto

[- - - - - - -] x

dmin

[- - - - - - -]

ditto

[- - - - - -] ki gal

dmin

[- - - - - - -]

ditto

[- - - - - -]

dmin mu.bi

[- - - - -]

ditto, is its name

[- - - - - -]

du.gur

[- - - - -]

Nergal

[- - - - - -]

[d]min

[- - - - -]

ditto

[----]

[den.me].sar.ra

[----]

Enmesarra

10 lines missing

mul nu.mus.da

[- - - - - -]

Numusda

[- - - - - - - - -]

mul min

d[- - - - - - -]

ditto

[divine name]

mul min

damar.utu

ditto

Marduk

mul li9.si4

dx [- - -]

Lisi

. . . . . . .

mul min

du.gur

ditto

Nergal

mul min

dnin.urta

ditto

Ninrta

mul ra-ap-pu

mul ur.gu.la

The Bridle

The Lion

mul e-tu-ram-mi

mul min

Eturammi

ditto

mul sag ur.gi7

mul min

The Dog's Head

ditto

mul an.ta.sur.ra

dsullat u hanis

The Flashing

Sullat and Hanis

mul an.ta.sur.ra

dutu

The Flashing

Samas

mul an.ta.sur.ra

me-sih mul

The Flashing

A meteor(?)

mul an.ta.sur.ra

me-sih dpa.bil.sag

The Flashing

Flashing of Pabilsag

mul ur-um an.na

dmin

. . . . .

ditto

mul bur-ru-um an.na

dmin

. . . . .

ditto

mul al.lul

ididigna

The Crab

Tigris

mul ididigna

da-nu-ni-tum

Tigris

Annunitum

mul idburanun

mul sim.mah

Euphrates

The Swallow

mul.mes igi.mes sa mul al.lul: ididigna

The front stars of The Crab

Tigris

egir.mes-tum

idburanunki

the rear ones

Euphrates

igi.mes kur4.mes-ma sa5.me-ma ididigna du-kam

The front stars shine brightly and are red: the Tigris will flow.

murub.mes sa5.me-ma zi im

The middle stars are red: rising of wind.

egir.mes sa5.me-ma idburanunki du-kam nim.mes si.sa.mes

The rear stars are red: the Euphrates will flow and the early (crop) will thrive.

mul.dingir.gub.ba.mes

d30 u dutu

The Standing Gods

Sin and Shamash

kun mul ur.gi7

mul im.su.rin.na.al.ma.nu.u

The tail of The Dog

The Widow's Oven

mul kak.ban

mul kak.si.sa

The Arrow

The Arrow

mul ha-ba-si-ra-nu

dnin.gir.su

The Mouse-like

Ningirsu

mul da-mu

 

dgu.la

Damu

Gula

mul dim.dugudmusen

mul anse.kur.ra

The Anzu-bird

The Horse

mul ka

mul lu.us

The Mouth

The Corpse

mul ag.an.bur ana bala til.lum nap-sur-tum gam-lum

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

mul za-ru-u

ma-sad-du

The Pole

The Pole

mul sipa.zi.an.na

sita.da.ru sa ina gistukul mah-su

The True Shepherd of Anu: Sitadaru, the one who was struck with the mace.

mul tul-tum

da-nu-ni-tum

The Maggot

Anunitum

ku6.mes tu-la-a-tum u musen.mes hu-u8-u

"Sea-worms"

"Hoot-owls"

tir.an.na ud nu-uh-su mu.bi mar-ra-tum

Rainbow, its name is "day of plenty", the rainbow

ul babbar

dsal-bat-a-nu

The White Star

Mars

ul gi6

dpap.sukkal

The Black Star

Papsukkal

ul sa5

dudu.idim

The Red Star

The Planet (Mars)

ul sig7

ddumu.zi

The Yellow Star

Dumuzi

ul sa5

sub-tim izi

The Red Star

Falling of Fire

ul sig7

an.mi

The Yellow Star

Eclipse

[mul dil.bat

mul.mul]

Venus

The Stars

[mul ur.gu.la

mul mas.tab.ba]

The Lion

The Twins

[mul ban

mul uga]

The Bow

The Raven

[mul en.te.na.bar.hum]

mul gir.tab

Entenabarhum

The Scorpion

mul ud.ka.duh.a]

mul gu.la

The Panther

The Great

mul n[u.mus.da

mul ku6]

Numusda

The Fish

12 mul.mes

kur. nim.ma[ki]

Twelve stars of Elam

mul apin

mul a-nu-ni-tum

The Plow

Annunitum

mul sipa.zi.an.na

mul ud.al.tar

The True Shepherd of Anu

Jupiter

mul mar.gid.da

mul su.pa

The Wagon

SU.PA

mul zi-ba-ni-tum

mul ur.idim

The Scales

The Mad Dog

mul uz

mul ti8musen

The Goat

The Eagle

mul da-mu

mul ne-be-rum

Damu

The Ford

12 mul.mes

kur uriki

Twelve stars of Akkad

mul as.gan

mul su.gi

The Field

The Old Man

mul mus

mul kak.si.sa

The Serpent

The Arrow

mul mas.tab.ba.gal.gal

mul bir

The Great Twins

The Kidney

mul nin.mah

mul lugal

Belet-ili

The King

mul sal-bat-a-nu

mul al.lul

Mars

The Crab

mul sim.mah

mul ka5.a

The Swallow

The Fox

12 mul.mes

kur mar.tuki

Twelve stars of Amurru

mul gam

mul lugal

The Crook

The King

mul u5.ri.in

mul ka.mus.i.nag.a

The Eagle

The Deleter

mul is li-e

mul mus mul li9.si4

The Jaw of the Bull

The Sepent Lisi

7 ti-ik-pi

Seven "Point" (tikpu) stars

mul su.gi

mul ud.ka.duh.a

The Old Man

The Panther

mul sipa.zi.an.na

mul kak.si.sa

The True Shepherd of Anu

 

The Arrow

mul en.te.<na>.bar.

hum

mul ti8musen

Entenabarhum

The Eagle

mul pa.bil.sag

 

Pabilsag

 

7 lu-ma-su

Seven lumasu

mul mas.tab.ba.gal.gal

mul mas.tab.ba.tur.tur

The Great Twins

The Small Twins

mul mas.tab.ba sa ina igi-it mul sipa.zi.an.na gub-zu

The Twins which stand in front of The True Shepherd of Anu

mul nin.mu

mul ir.ra.gal

Ninmu

Erragal

mul dsullat

mul hanis

mul sar.ur4

mul sar.gaz

Sullat     Hanis

Sarur     Sargaz

mul zi.ba.an.na

The Scales

7 ma-a-su

Seven Twins

ul man-ma     mul a-hu-u     ul na-ka-ru

The Sinister     The Strange    

The Hostile

ul sar6-ru     ul hul     ul ka5.a    

ul nim.ma.ki

The Liar     The Evil     The Fox    

The Star of Elam

ul sal-bat-a-nu

Mars

 

7 zik-ru-su

 

 

Its seven names

 

d30 u duru dsul.pa.e mul dil.bat

The moon and the sun Jupiter

Venus

mul udu.idim mul sag.us dudu.idim.gu4.ud

"Wild Sheep": Saturn

Mercury

ul sal-bat-a-nu

Mars

 

7 mul udu.idim.mes

 

 

Seven Planets

 

igi mus dban.ba.an.sur da-'-ik an.ki

Before The Serpent is Banbansur, killer of heaven and earth

igi mus dla.ba.an.sur da-'-ik an.ki

Before The Serpent is Labansur, killer of heaven and earth

igi nim-ri dka-mu-u da-'-ik [an.ki]

Before The Panther is The Catcher, killer of heaven and earth

[- - - - -] di da-'-ik [an.ki]

[- - - - - - - - - - - - -] killer of heaven and earth

Example: Planisphere.

Source: Koch, Johannes. (1989). Neue Untersuchungen zur Topographie des babylonischen Fixsternhimmels.

Star Name And Constellations Listed On Planisphere K 8538. Listed analysis by Koch.

Sektor (Sector) Kurzbezeichnung (Short name) Sternfigur (Star figure) Babylonisches Sternbild (Babylonian Constellation) Sternidentifizierung (Star identification)
0 Pfeilfigur (Arrow figure)   mulgag-si-s Sirius + Betelgeuse
1 Figur zweier Dreiecke (Two triangular figures) a mulĂS-iku (Field = Pegasus square) Stars forming part of Pegasus
b mulapin (Plough) Stars forming part of Andromeda
2 No constellation(s)/star name(s) preserved -- -- --
3 Ellipse mit eingeschlossenen Dreiecken (Ellipse enclosing two triangles)   mulmul Pleiades
mulgu4-an-na Stars forming part of Taurus
4 Figur mit Zeigerstab (Figure holding pointed staff)   mulmaš-tab-ba-ga-gal/mulmaš-tab-ba-tur-tur/[etc]/izzazumeš-zu Gemini
mulSipa-zi-an-na Orion
5 Kleinfiguren (Small figures) a Schwanzende des mulmuš Stars forming part of Crater
b mulugamušen Stars forming part of Corvus
c mulab-sn Stars forming part of Virgo
6 Waage-Figur (Scale figure)   mulGI-GI (mulzi-ba-an-na) Stars forming part of Libra + Centaurus
7 No constellation(s)/star name(s) -- -- --

(3) The Persian (Achaemenid) Period (539-331 BCE)

Example: Particular Star Designations.

Source: Handbuch der Altorientalischen Geisteskultur by Alfred Jeremias (1929).

The Lumasi Stars [CT XXVI]:

SU.GI (d. i. Perseus und Sterne im Stier nrdlich von den Hyaden = Perseus and stars in the bull north from the Hyaden)

UT.KA.DU.A (d. i. Cygnus and Lacerta)

SIB.ZI.AN.NA (d, i. Orion)

KAK.SI.DA (d. i. Sirius)

EN.TE.NA.MAS.SIG [habasiranu] (d. i. Sterne Sdlich vom Krebs Nasru d. i. Adler = Stars south from the Crab [Cancer] Nasru d. i. Eagle)

PA.BIL.SAG (d. i. Schtze = Would protect [Sagittaurius])

 The Masu Stars:

Tu'amu rabuti (d. s. die groen Zwillinge (a and b geminorum) = the large twins (a and b geminorum))

Tu'amu sihruti (d. s. die kleinen Zwillinge = the little twins) [K 250 and VAT 9418]

Tu'amu sa ina mihrit SIB.ZI.AN.NA izzazu (d. s. die Zwillings-sterne, die gegenber dem Orion stehen, wohl g und t geminorum = the twins-stars that stand vis--vis the Orion, probably g and t geminorum)

NIN.SAR (and IR.RA.GAL) (d. s. ?)

PA and LU.GAL (d. i. ?)

SAR.UR and SAR.GAZ (d. s. l and u Scorpion, s. S. 222 ff.)

Zibanitu (d. s. Wage = [Dares] The Scales [Libra])

The Tikpi Stars:

SU.GI (d. i. Perseus)

GU.AN.NA (d. i. Bull [Taurus])

SIB.ZI.AN.NA (d. i. Orion)

UR.GU.LA (d. i. Lion [Leo])

Siru (d. i. Hydra)

GIR.TAB (d. i. Scorpion)

LU.LIM (d. i. Andromeda)

Example: Particular Star Designations.

Source: Weidner, Ernst. (1957-1971). "Fixsterne." In: Weidner, Ernst. and von Soden, Wolfram. (Editors). Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archologie. (Volume 3).

The lumasi Stars:

msu-gi (Perseus)

mu4-ka-du-a (Cygnus + Cepheus)

msipa-zi-an-na (Orion)

mkak-si-sa (Sirius)

men-te-na-bar-sig (Centaurus?)

mnasru (Aquila)

mpa-bil-sag (Sagittarius)

The tikpi Stars:

msu-gi (Perseus)

mgu4-an-[na] (Taurus)

msipa-zi-an-na (Orion)

mur-gu-[la] (Leo)

mmus (Hydra)

mgir-tab (Scorpius)

mlu-[lim(?)] (Cassiopeia)

mgam (Auriga)

mlugal (a Leonis)

mu5-ri-in (?)

mka-mus-ni-ku-e (a Cassiopeia)

mis li-e (Hyades)

mmus (Hydra)

mNE-gun (a Scorpii)

The masu Stars:

mmas-tab-ba-gal-gal (a + b Geminorum)

mmas-tab-ba-tur-tur (i + n or z + l Geminorum)

mmas-tab-ba vis--vis the msipa-zi-an-na (Orion) (e + g Geminorum)

mnin-sar mir-ra-gal (h + q Lyrae?)

mhanis msullat (a + b Centauri)

msar-ur4 msar-gaz (l + n Scorpii)

mzi-ba-an-na (Variation mku-an-na mku-ki-sikil-la) (a + b Librae)

Example: Particular Star Designations.

Source: Antike Beobachtungen farbiger Sterne by Franz Boll (1918) (Ancient Observations of Coloured Stars).

Lists: K 250 and VAT 9418.

The Lumasi Stars [= Jupiter Stars]:

Su.gi = Perseus

Nimru = Cygnus + Cepheus + x

Sitaddulu = Orion

Sukudu = Sirius + Procyon

Habasiranu = Centaurus

Nasru = Eagle

Pa.bil.sag = Sagittarius

The Masu Stars:

Tu'amu rabuti = a + b Gemini

Tu'amu sihruti = l + z Gemini

Tu'amu sa ina mihrit Sitaddali izzazu = ? a + g Orionis

Nin.sar and Ur(?).ra.gal = ? Not yet identified

Pa and Lu.gal = Not yet identified

Sar.ur and Sar.gaz = l and u Scorpii

Zibanitu = Libra

The Tikpi Stars:

(a)

Su.gi = Perseus

Gu.an.na = Taurus

Sitaddalu = Orion

Urgu[lu] = Leo

Siru = Hydra + b Cancer

Zuqaqipu = Scorpius

Lu.[lim?] = Cassiopeia + Andromeda + x

(b)

Gumlu = Auriga

Sarru = Regulus

A-zu(?)-in = Not yet identified

Ka-mus.niku.a = Andromeda-fog(?)

Gisli = Taurus

Siru = Hydra + b Cancri

Us.si = Antares

Example: Zodiacal Text.

Source: Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy by Bartel van der Waerden (1974) (for text from Uruk published by Thureau-Dangin).

Zodiacal Signs Listed In VAT 4956.

1.                  LU.HUN.GA =Aries

2.                  MUL = Taurus

3.                  MASH = Gemini

4.                  NANGAR = Cancer

5.                  UR.A = Leo

6.                  AB.SIN = Virgo

7.                  zi.ba-ni-tu = Libra

8.                  GIR.TAB = Scorpio

9.                  PA = Sagittaurius

10.              SUHUR = Capricornus

11.              GU = Aquarius

12.              zib = Pisces

Example: Stars Names Listed In Normal-Star Almanacs.

Source: Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, Volume 1 by Hermann Hunger (and Abraham Sachs) (1988).

"In order to give the positions of the moon and the planets a number of stars close to the ecliptic are used for reference. These have been called "Normalsterne" [normal stars] by Epping and the term has remained in use ever since. [The Babylonian term is 'counting stars.'] The following table lists the Babylonian names, their translations, the modern names …."

(1) MUL KUR sa DUR nu-nu

The bright star of the Ribbon of the Fishes.

h Piscium

(2) MUL IGI sa SAG HUN

The bright star at the head of the Hired Man.

b Arietis

(3) MUL ar sa SAG HUN

The rear star of the head of the Hired Man.

a Arietis

(4) MUL-MUL

The Bristle.

h Tauri

(5) is le10

The Jaw of the Bull.

a Tauri

(6) SUR GIGIR sa SI

The northern …. of the Chariot.

b Tauri

(7) SUR GIGIR sa ULU

The southern …. of the Chariot.

z Tauri

(8) MUL IGI sa se-pit MAS-MAS

The front star of the Twins' feet.

h Geminorum

(9) MUL ar sa se-pit MAS-MAS

The rear star of the Twins' feet.

m Geminorum

(10) MAS-MAS sa SIPA

The Twins' star near the Shepherd.

g Geminorum

(11) MAS-MAS IGI

The front Twin star.

a Geminorum

(12) MAS-MAS ar

The rear Twin star.

b Geminorum

(13) MUL IGI sa ALLA sa SI

The front star of the Crab to the north.

h Cancri

(14) MUL IGI sa ALLA sa ULU

The front star of the Crab to the south.

q Cancri

[APOVET also lists e Cnc., a cluster, as a Babylonian normal star.]

(15) MUL ar sa ALLA sa SI

The rear star of the Crab to the north.

g Cancri

(16) MUL ar sa ALLA sa ULU

The rear star of the Crab to the south.

d Cancri

(17) SAG A

The Head of the Lion.

e Leonis

(18) LUGAL

The King.

a Leonis

(19) MUL TUR sa 4 KUS ar LUGAL

The small star which is 4 cubits behind the King.

r Leonis

(20) GIS KUN A

The Rump of the Lion.

q Leonis

(21) GIR ar sa A

The rear foot of the Lion.

b Virginis

(22) DELE sa IGI ABSIN

The Single star in front of the Furrow.

g Virginis

(23) SA4 sa ABSIN

The bright star of the Furrow.

a Virginis

(24) RIN sa ULU

The southern part of the Scales.

a Librae [APOVET lists it as a2 Lib.]

(25) RIN sa SI

The northern part of the Scales.

b Librae

(26) MUL MURUB4 sa SAG GIR-TAB

The middle star of the Head of the Scorpion.

d Scorpii

(27) MUL e sa SAG GIR-TAB

The upper star of the Head of the Scorpion.

b Scorpii [APOVET lists it as b1 Sco.]

(28) SI4

(the god) Lisi

a Scorpii

(29) MUL KUR sa KIR4 sil PA

The bright star on the tip of Pabilsag's arrow.

q Ophiuchi

(30) SI MAS

The Horn of the Goat-fish.

b Capricorni [APOVET lists it as ab Cap., stating it denotes a combination of three stars that the Babylonians did not usually distinguish.]

[APOVET by Newton also lists y [?] Cap., as a Babylonian normal star.]

[APOVET by Newton also lists w Cap., as a Babylonian normal star.]

(31) MUL IGI sa SUHUR MAS

The front star of the Goat-fish.

g Capricorni

(32) MUL ar sa SUHUR MAS

The rear star of the Goat-fish.

d Capricorni

The stars contained in the above list are by far the most common normal stars.

Example: Counting Stars (= Normal Stars).

Source: Ancient Planetary Observations and the Validity of Ephemeris Time by Robert Newton (1976).

Babylonian Reference Stars other than Normal Stars.

m Cet.

q Tau. (A doublet that the observers did not separate into components.)

z Gem.

a C.Mi.

d Leo.

h Vir

b Cap.

f Agr.

Example: List Of Ziqpu Stars.

Source: Schaumberger, Johann. "Die Ziqpu-Gestirne nach neuen Keilschrifttexten." Zeitschrift fr Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archologie, Band 50 [= Neue Folge, 16], 1952, Pages 214-229.

Cuneiform Text AO 6478.

I           mulSUDUN = 18 a Bootis = Arcturus

II         mulSUDUN ANSU EGIR-ti (= arkiti) = 19 x Bootis (+ o, p oder z)

III        mulGAM-ti (= kipparti) = 20 a Coronae = Gemma

IV        mulsa mas-a-ti = 21 b Herculis

V         mulsa tas-ka-a-ti = 22 a Herculis = Ras Algethi

VI        mulDIL (= edu) = 23 m Herculis

VII      mulGASAN.TIN (= belet balati) = 24 a Lyrae = Wega

VIII     mulku-ma-ri sa PIRIG.KA.DU8.A = 25 b Cygni = Albireo

IX        mulni-bi-I sa irti-su = 1 a Cygni = Deneb

X         mulkin-su = 2 15 Lacertae (Gruppe)

XI        mula-si-di = 3 s Andromedae?

XII      mulIV sa mulLU.LIM = 4 p, o, x, n Cassiopeiae

XIII     mulum-mu-lu-ti = 5 h Persei (Gruppe)

XIV     mulni-bi-i sa SU.GI = 6 a Persei = Algenib

XV      mulna-as-ra-pi = 7 b, c, Persei (Gruppe)

XVI     mulGAM (= gamli) = 8 a Aurigae

XVII   mulritti GAM = 9 b Aurigae

XVIII  mulMAS.TAB.BA                                            a Geminorum = Castor

                                                                        = 10

XIX     mulMAS.TAB.BA EGIR-i (= arki)                  b Geminorum = Pollux

XX      mulAL.LUL = 11 Praespe in Cancer (Gruppe)

XXI     mulII mulmes sa SAG.DU mulUR.GU.LA = 12 e Lionis

                                                                                   m Leonis

XXII   mulIV sa GAB (= irti)-su = 13 a Leonis = Regulus

                                                            g Leonis

                                                            h Leonis

                                                            z Leonis

XXIII  mulII sa gisKUN (= rapasti)-su = 14 d Leonis

                                                                     q Leonis

XXIV  mulDIL (= edu) sa KUN (= zibbati)-su = 15 b Leonis

XXV   mulA.EDEN = 16 g Comae Berenices

XXVI  mulSUDUN.ANSU = 17 u Bootis

      I    mulSUDUN                     h Bootis

naphar (= Summe)

(5) Seleucid (Hellenistic) Period (275 BCE - 116 CE) 

Example: Zodiacal Text.

Source: Foxvog, Daniel. (1993). "Astral Dumuzi." In: Cohen, Mark. et al. (Editors). The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo.

Tablet: SBTU II No 43 (W 22646) (circa 200 BCE?).

Month

Symbol

Zodiacal Sign

Modern Name

BARA2

UDU.NIT[A2] "ram"

LU2

Aries

GU4

al-pi 1-i[n?]

"single(?) bull"

MUL2

Taurus (Pleiades)

SIG4

a-me-lu "men"

SIPA u MAS.MAS

Orion and Gemini

SU

A.MES "waters"

NAGAR

Cancer

NE

UR.MAH "lion"

UR

Leo

KIN

SE.BAR "grain"

AB.SIN2

Virgo

DU6

RIN2 "scales"

ZI

Libra

APIN

G[IR2?[(.TAB)]

GIR2

Scorpio

GAN

DIR x x ?

PA

Sagittarius

AB

u-ri-sa "goat"

MAS2

Capricorn

ZIZ2

sal-mu "figure"

GU

Aquarius

SE

SE IM ?

KUN

Pisces

 Appendix 1: Babylonian Star and Constellation Catalogue

Source: After the list compiled by the American academic Hope Anthony and placed on his now defunct 1996 website.

"The Sumerian transliteration is in all-caps, and then the Akkadian is in italics. The English translation of the name is in quotes, followed by the modern star or constellation to which it refers. Alternate spellings for any of the constellation names are not included, as this would lead to a maze of circular definitions. Also, this catalogue is alphabetized by the Sumerian. In the event that the Sumerian name is not known, the constellation is still included and alphabetized by its Akkadian name, but only in this event."

A

1.         AB.SN

            "The Furrow"; The star Spica in Virgo

2.         A.EDIN = Erua

            gamma Comae Berenices (?) and possibly others

3.         AGA dA-nim

            "The Crown of Anu"

4.         AL.LUL = alluttu

            "The Crab"; Cancer

5.         dAMAR.UD = dMarduk

            Jupiter

6.         .MUSHEN = er

            "The Eagle"; Aquila

7.         ANSHE.KUR.RA = sis

            "The Horse"

8.         AN.TA.SUR.RA = sariru

            "Flashing"; Probably a meteor

9.         AN.TA.SHUB.SHUB.BA

            "Falling from Above"; Probably a meteorite

10.       APIN = epinnu

            "The Plow"; Triangulum Boreale with gamma Andromedae

11.       ASH.GN = ik

            "The Field"; alpha, beta and gamma Pegasi with alpha Andromedae

B

12.       BAL.TSH.A = kakkab balti

            "Star of Dignity"; Corona Borealis (?)

13.       BAN (GISH.BAN) = qashtu

            "The Bow"; tao, delta, sigma, and epsilon Canis Maioris

14.       BIR = kalitu

            "The Kidney"; zeta Puppis

15.       BURANUN = Purattu

            "The Euphrates"

D

16.       DAR.LUGAL

            "The Rooster"; Canis Minor (?)

17.       DINGIR.GUB.BA.MESH

            "The Standing Gods"

18.       DINGIR.KU.A.MESH

            "The Sitting (?) Gods"

19.       DUMU.USH..MAH

            Polaris (?)

E

20.       EN.GISHGAL.AN.NA

            Jupiter

21.       EN.ME.SHR.RA

            zeta and omicron Persei with, perhaps, the northern stars of Taurus

22.       EN.TE.NA.BAR.HUM = habasiranu

            Centaurus

23.       ESH4.DAR = Ishtar

            Venus

24.       .TR = tarbasu

            "The Cattle Pen"

G

25.       GABA SHU.GI

            "The Chest of the Old Man"; Probably delta Persei

26.       GAL = rabbu, rab

            "The Great"

27.       GM = gamlu

            "The Crook"; Auriga

28.       GN.R(.RA) (GISH.GN.R) = mashkakatu

            "The Harrow"

29.       GIGIR (GISH.GIGIR) = narkabtu

            "The Chariot"

30.       GR.MESH SHU.GI

            "The Feet of the Old Man"; Probably beta Persei

31.       GR.TAB = zuqaqipu

            "The Scorpion"; Scorpius

32.       GISH.KAK dEN.ME.SHR.RA

            "The Cart Pole of EN.ME.SHR.RA"; Probably zeta Persei

33.       GU4.AN.NA

            "The Bull of Heaven"; Taurus

34.       GU.LA

            "Great"; Aquarius

35.       GU4.UD = shihtu

            "Jumping"; Mercury

H

36.       H.GL-a-a = kakkab nushi

            "Star of Abundance"; Part of Coma Berenices (?)

I

37.       IDIGNA = Idiglat

            "The Tigris"

38.       dIM.DUGUD.MUSHEN = Anz

            "The Anz Bird"

39.       dIMIN.BI = ilu sibitti

            "The Seven Gods"; The deities of MUL.MUL (the Pleiades)

40.       IM.SHU.RIN.NA = tinuru

            "The Oven"

K

41.       KA5.A = shelebu

            "The Fox"; Ursae Maioris (?)

42.       KAK.SI.S = shukudu

            "The Arrow"; alpha Canis Maioris

43.       KA.MUSH..K.E = Pashittu

            beta Andromedae

44.       KU6 = nunu

            "The Fish"; Piscis Austrinus

L

45.       dLAMMA

            alpha Lyrae

46.       LI.DUR SIPA.ZI.AN.NA

            "The Navel of the True Shepherd of Anu"; Probably alpha Orionis

47.       LI9.SI4

            alpha Scorpii

48.       LUGAL = sharru

            "The King"; alpha Leonis

49.       L.HUN.G = argu

            "The Hired Man"; Aries

50.       LU.LIM = lulimu

            "The Stag"; Andromeda

51.       LUL.LA = sarru

            "False"; Probably not a real star

M

52.       MAR.GD.DA = eriqqu

            "The Wagon"; Ursa Major

53.       MAR.GD.DA.AN.NA

            "The Wagon of Heaven"; Ursa Minor

54.       MASH.TAB.BA.GAL.GAL = tu'amu rabtu

            "The Great Twins"; alpha and beta Geminorum

55.       MASH.TAB.BA.TUR.TUR

            "The Little Twins"; zeta and lamda Geminorium

56.       MUL.MUL = zappu

            "The Stars" (Sum.) or "The Bristle" (Akk.); The Pleiades

57.       MUSH

            "The Snake"; Hydra

N

58.       dNIN.KILIM = shikk

            "The Mongoose"

P

59.       PA.BIL.SAG

            Sagittarius

S

60.       SIM.MAH = shinunutu

            "The Swallow"; Western fish of Pisces

61.       SIPA.ZI.AN.NA = shidallu

            "The True Shepherd of Anu"; Orion

62.       SUHUR.MSH = suhurmash

            "The Goat Fish"; Capricorn

Sh

63.       SHAH

            "The Pig"; Delphinus

64.       SHAR.GAZ

            lamda or upsilon Scorpii

65.       SHAR.UR4

            lamda or upsilon Scorpii

66.       SHUDUN = niru

            "The Yoke"; Botes

67.       SHU.GI = shibu

            "The Old Man"; Perseus

68.       SHU.PA

            Botes

T

69.       TIR.AN.NA = manzt

            "The Rainbow"

70.       tultu

            "The Worm"

U

71.       UD.KA.DU8.A

            "The Demon with the Gaping Mouth"; Cygnus and part of Cepheus

72.       UGA(.MUSHEN) = aribu

            "The Raven"; Corvus

 73.       UR.BAR.RA = barbaru

            "The Wolf"; alpha Trianguli

74.       UR.GU.LA

            "The Lion"; Leo

75.       UR.IDIM

            "The Mad Dog"; Lupus

76.       Z = enzu

            "The She-Goat"; Lyra

Z

77.       ZI.BA.AN.NA = zibanitu

"The Scales" (Akk.); Libra

78.       ziqit GR.TAB

"The Sting of the Scorpion"; Identified with SHAR.GAZ and SHAR.UR4

Appendix 2: Astronomical Texts from Mesopotamia in the First Millennium BCE  (After: "Celestial Measurement in Babylonian Astronomy." by John Steele (Annals of Science, Volume 64, Number 3, 2007, Pages 293-325.)

These can be divided into four main groups:

1. Letters and reports sent by state-employed scholars to the Neo-Assyrian kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal during the seventh century BCE. Much of this correspondence concerns observed astronomical phenomena and their interpretation as celestial omens. (The letters are edited in S. Parpola, Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (1993) (earlier edition S. Parpola, Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. Part 1: Texts (1970), with a detailed commentary in S. Parpola Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. Part 1: Commentaries and Appendices (1983). The reports are edited in H. Hunger, Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings (1992).)

2. Systematic reports of astronomical observations made in Babylon (and occasionally other cities in southern Mesopotamia) during the last seven and a half centuries BCE. These observations are recorded in texts known as 'Astronomical Diaries,' 'Excerpt Texts,' and 'Goal-Year Texts,' The Diaries contain night-by-night observations (and sometimes predictions) of astronomical phenomena such as passages of the Moon and planets by certain stars (known today as ‘Normal Stars’), first and last visibilities and stations of the planets, and eclipses of the Sun and Moon, and are presumed to be the source of the material in the Excerpt Texts and Goal-Year Texts. These latter two types of text contain collections of observations of particular planetary and lunar phenomena. They may be arranged either chronologically or into characteristic astronomical periods (e.g. 8 years for Venus, 46 years for Mercury, 18 years for the Moon) for the Excerpt Texts or by extracting reports for one planetary period earlier than a specific 'goal' year for the Goal-Year Texts. (All datable Astronomical Diaries are edited in A.Sachs and H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, Volumes 1-3 (1988, 1989, 1996), and the Excerpt Texts in H. Hunger, Astronomical Diaries and Related Texts from Babylonia, Volume 5 (2001). Publication of the Goal-Year Texts is forthcoming from H. Hunger.)

3. Astronomical phenomena for a particular year predicted by non-mathematical period schemes. These predicted phenomena were recorded on texts known as 'Almanacs' and 'Normal Star Almanacs.' Both types of text contain predictions of the dates and zodiacal signs of the first and last visibilities and stations of the planets, lunar and solar eclipses, and certain lunar phenomena. In addition, the Almanacs contain the dates of the entries of the planets into each sign of the zodiac, whereas the Normal Star Almanacs contain calculated planetary passages by the Normal Stars. The predicted data were obtained by applying the goal-year periods to the data contained in the Goal-Year Texts. (Goal-year texts contain collections of past astronomical records, believed to have been abstracted from the astronomical diaries, that are used to enable the prediction of of astronomical events for a particular (forth-coming) "goal year." Surviving goal-year texts are dated within the period 236 BCE to 24 BCE.) Suitable corrections to the dates of phenomena were applied to the data as the goal-year periods are not fully accurate. A few texts describe the methods of making some of these predictions, most importantly TU 11, BM 45728, and BM 41004 (also known as 'Atypical Text E'). (For the classification of astronomical texts from Babylon, see A. Sachs, "A Classification of the Babylonian Astronomical Tablets of the Seleucid Period." Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 2 (1948), Pages 271-90, H. Hunger, "Non-Mathematical Astronomical Texts and Their Relationships." In: Ancient Astronomy and Celestial Divination, edited by N. Swerdlow (1999) and H. Hunger and D. Pingree, Astral Sciences in Mesopotamia (1999). Copies of many astronomical texts of all kinds are published in A. Sachs, Late Babylonian Astronomical and Related Texts (1955). For TU 11, see L. Brack-Bernsen and H. Hunger, "TU 11: A Collection of Rules for the Prediction of Lunar Phases and of Month Lengths." SCIAMVS Volume 3, (2002), Pages 3-90; for BM 45728, see J. Britton, "Treatments of Annual Phenomena in Cuneiform Sources." In: Under One Sky: Astronomy and Mathematics in the Ancient Near East, edited by J. Steele and A. Imhausen (2002), Pages 21-78; for Atypical Text E, see O. Neugebauer and A. Sachs, "Some Atypical Astronomical Cuneiform Texts I." Journal of Cuneiform Studies, Volume 21, (1967), Pages 183-218.)

4. Texts of mathematical astronomy including 'Ephemerides,' tables of calculated astronomical phenomena, and 'Procedure Texts,' explanatory texts detailing how to calculate Ephemerides. These texts employ abstract methods including for the lunar theories the separation of compound variability into lunar and solar components. In the Ephemerides, calculated positions of the Moon and planets are always given as a number of UŠ ('degrees') within one of twelve zodiacal signs, each of which is divided into 30 UŠ. Type (ii) and (iii) texts together are often referred to as 'Non-Mathematical Astronomical Texts' or 'NMAT' texts and those of type (iv) either as 'ACT' texts, after Neugebauer's Astronomical Cuneiform Texts, or as 'Mathematical Astronomical Texts' or 'MAT' texts. The relationship between the NMAT and MAT texts is never discussed in Babylonian sources. (The primary publication of mathematical astronomical texts is O. Neugebauer, Astronomical Cuneiform Texts, Parts 1-3 (1955).)

The assyriologist Francesca Rochberg (Bablonian Horoscopes (1998, Page xi) would include "the horoscopes together with diaries, almanacs, goal-year texts, ephemerides and procedure texts as sources for our reconstruction of the repertoire of Babylonian astronomy in the late first millennium."

Appendix 3: Mesopotamian Astronomical Sources 

Mesopotamian Astronomical Sources

1) Iconography (containing astral symbols)

Example(s):

-          Cylinder Seals (circa 3000 BCE)

-          Kudurru (circa 1200 BCE)

2) Inscriptions (containing astronomical information)

Example(s):

-          Cylinders of Gudea (circa 2300 BCE)

3) Religious-Mythological Texts (containing astronomical information)

Example(s):

-          Prayer to the Gods of the Night (circa 1800 BCE)

4) Omen Texts (containing astronomical information)

Example(s):

-          The Venus Tablets (circa 1600 BCE)

-          Enuma Anu Enlil (circa 1100 BCE)

5) Astronomical Texts (nonmathematical and mathematical)

Nonmathematical Example(s):

-          Star Calendars ("Astrolabes"; circa 1200 BCE)

-          Star Catalogues (Mul.Apin; circa 700 BCE)

-          Planisphere (diagrammatic sky chart; circa 600 BCE)

-          Star Lists (ziqpu stars/normal stars; circa 600/300 BCE)

Mathematical Example(s):

-          Astronomical Tables (Ephemerides; circa 500 BCE)

-          Goal Year Texts (circa 300 BCE)

 


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