L’eroe e l’effeminato: osservazioni sul corpo ideale, il corpo normale e il corpo disabile nell’antica Mesopotamia by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: The paper examines some fundamental aspects of the Ancient Mesopotamian cultural construction of the body. Through a close investigation of the Ancient Mesopotamian conception and representation of “normal”, “ideal” and “disabled” bodies as they are reflected by a variety of especially literary and divinatory sources, the paper reveals the network of cultural meanings and values that shaped Ancient Mesopotamian ideas and beliefs about the human body. In particular, the paper demonstrates how ideas about the body are critical to defining the role and the functions ascribed to the male and the female in Ancient Mesopotamia society.

in “S.Crippa (ed.), Corpi e saperi: riflessioni sulla trasmissione della conoscenza, Pendragon, Bologna, 2019, 25-52.”

Literature as Scholarship: Some Reflections on Repetition with Variation and the Construction of Meaning in the Šamaš Hymn 112-117 by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: The paper aims to offer an insight into the micro-structure of the Šamaš hymn by focusing on the lines describing the fate of the dishonest lender of barley, ll. 112-117. These have been the subject of much discussion. Nevertheless, they have hitherto not been understood completely. The paper is divided in three parts. The first part introduces the most important previous studies of these lines. The second part focuses on the meaning of the keyword biltu in l. 115; the question of its possible figurative usage in the Šamaš Hymn and in other texts (especially in Assurbanipal’s letter to the Babylonians ABL 301 and in Šimâ Milka) is discussed. In the final part, a new interpretation of Šamaš Hymn ll. 112-117 is offered.

in “Kaskal: rivista di storia, ambiente e culture del vicino oriente antico 16 (2019), pp. 159-182.  ISSN: 2036-5845.” 

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Ninurta bēl nignakki no more by Frank Simons

Abstract: A brief corollary to my earlier article on the Goddess Kusu, in which I demonstrate that the god Ninurta was not given the epithet bēl nignakki ‘Lord of the Censer’.

in “Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires 2020, 1 (2020), pp 58-59.  ISSN: 0989-5671.”

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News on Enūma Anu Enlil 47 and its Nuzi forerunner by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: The paper contains the edition of the fragment K 2280, which is a new manuscript of Enūma Anu Enlil Tablet 47 and joins one of the texts published by E. Gehlken in his edition of Tablet 47. This new text solves many of the questions which were left open in the previous edition. In addition, Tablet 47 can now be shown to follow quite closely a ‘forerunner’ text from Nuzi which preserves a sequence of earthquake omens. The correspondences and variants between the Nuzi text and the late (first millennium, Nineveh) version are discussed in the commentary to the new score edition.

in “KASKAL: rivista di storia, ambienti e culture del Vicino Oriente Antico 17 (2020).”

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Explanatory texts related to the extispicy series Bārûtu: BM 131658 joins K 10877 (Koch 2005, 412-428 no. 65 ms. B) by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: The paper contains the edition of an unpublished divinatory fragment belonging to the cuneiform collection of the British Museum, BM 131658. This fragment joins K 10877, which was published by U.S. Koch, Secrets of Extispicy (2005).

in “Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires 2020, 4 (2021), pp. 253-255. ISSN: 0989-5671.”

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YOS 3, 26 – A letter from the early reign of Nebuchadnezzar II from the temple of Amurru in the Sealand by Martina Schmidl

Abstract: This note suggests an addition to the early administrative letter corpus of the Eanna temple, by identifying the sender of YOS 3, 26 as the temple administrator of the temple of Amurru, implying a date around the begining of Nebuchadnezzar II’s reign. The argument rests on an analysis of patters of interaction between different officials, the chronological distribution of a particular rhetorical element as well as on the contents of the letter. It includes a re-edition of the letter.

in “’Nouvelles Assyriologiques Brèves et Utilitaires 2020, 4 (2021), pp. 262-265. ISSN: 0989-5671.”

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In Press (forthcoming)

Ancient Mesopotamian divinatory series in the British Museum: New texts and joins by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: The paper contains the edition of three previously unpublished omen texts and one commentary text belonging to the cuneiform collection of the British Museum. BM 36165 and BM 34999 are new Late Babylonian manuscripts of Šumma ālu Tablet 1, K 6260 is a new join to Šumma izbu Tablet 4. BM 47684+ is part of a large Late Babylonian four-column tablet containing a new commentary on physiognomic omens. The edition of these tablets is accompanied by an extensive commentary which discusses paleographical, orthographical, and interpretative issues.

to be published in “Journal of Cuneiform Studies 73 (2021).”

Written on the lungs: the Neo Assyrian lung model Rm 620 and Ancient Mesopotamian lung divination by Nicla De Zorzi

Abstract: Several sources prove that sheep lungs played an important role in Ancient Mesopotamian extispicy practice. Nevertheless, they have received comparatively little attention in Assyriology. Especially the terminology used by ancient diviners to describe the various parts of the divinatory lung represents a neglected area of research. This article represents a new attempt at resolving the problems created by the ancient terminology. It demonstrates how different type of sources associated with the divinatory inspection of the lungs give us clues to identify many previously unidentified parts of the divinatory lung. In particular, the article offers a new edition of the Neo-Assyrian lung model Rm 620 and discusses the identification of two elusive parts of the divinatory lung, imēr ḫašî “the Donkey of the lung,” and muštašnintu.

to be published in “Die Welt des Orients 51/2 (2021).”

Bang a Gong (Demons Gone): The Mighty Copper and Magic with Automatic Consent by Frank Simons

Abstract: This paper is a study of an unusual type of incantation, in which the role of the gods is much reduced. In addition, it offers a study of both the urudunigkalagga ‘Mighty Copper (instrument)’, and of the god Erragal, concluding that the former is most likely to have been a sort of gong, and the latter was, at least on some level, associated with destructive flooding.

to be published in E. Zomer (ed.) Proceedings of the Workshop “Legitimising Magic” held at Marburg University 13-14/7/2018.

Ad astra: Graphic Signalling of the Divine in the Acrostic Hymn of Nebuchadnezzar II (BM 55469) by Martina Schmidl

Abstract: This short note discusses the first stanza of the Acrostic Hymn of Nebuchadnezzar II. It is shown that the content of the stanza is mirrored in its orthography, thereby enhancing the central message of the passage.

 to be published.