OMENS ON NEW BORNS

MS 3000
MS Short Title OMENS ON NEW BORNS
Text OMENS: ISBU - NEW BORN BABIES WITH DEFORMITIES; 69 OMENS
Description MS in Old Babylonian on clay, Larsa or Ur, Babylonia, ca. 1800 BC, 1 tablet, 17,1x11,8x3,0 cm, single column, 92 lines in cuneiform script.
Binding Barking, Essex, 2000, blue cloth gilt folding case by Aquarius.
Commentary The total number, 69, of this collection of medical omens is given at the end of the tablet. This text is only known from the ca. 1000 years later Neo Babylonian versions. Omens was collections of observations made over hundreds of years, concerning the stars, the appearance of the liver of a sacrificial sheep, movement of birds, abnormal births, etc. The individual omens ran into many thousands collected in carefully ordered tablets that reached over one hundred. The texts were consulted in the library before important decisions should be taken by a king or a military commander, or in everyday's life. This type of divination first spread to Syria and Palestine, where liver models of clay to aid in this science have been excavated at Hazor. It eventually passed to the Etruscans, and so became known to the Romans.
Place of origin Babylonia
Dates ca 1800 BC

Location