NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH: BABYLONIAN DIVINATORY TEXTS

In his third volume of cuneiform texts in The Schøyen Collection, Professor A.R.George deals with 31 divinatory texts supplied by the Collection, along with 10 texts from other collections.

The volume deals with divination prayers, an oracular petition, extispicy reports from the insides of sacrificial lambs, liver and gall-bladder omens, a model of a liver, malformed-birth omens of humans and animals, lunar eclipse omens, an augury, diagrams and models of gut, a distribution list of lamb and goat brains, as well as drawings of labyrinths.

Most of the tablets are probably from Larsa ca 2000-1750 BC, six are from Tigunanum in northern Kurdistan ca 1630 BC, two are from the Fort of Dur Abieshuh ca 1600 BC, others are Middle and Neo-Babylonian ca. 1500-600 BC.

A typical lunar eclipse omen (MS 3118): "If the moon-god brings about an eclipse in Nisannu, day 15: There will be famine; people will trade their infant children for silver."

A typical monstrous birth omen (MS 3000): "If a miscarried foetus straight from its mother's womb has a single large eye on its forehead: There will be an all-powerful king in the land."

A further description and illustration of MS 3000 can be found on the website's collection 10.2. Babylonian Magical literature.

BabylonianDivinatoryTexts-George-CASUS 18

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Published Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection

Note to Editors:

The Schøyen Collection crosses borders and unites cultures, religions and unique materials found nowhere else. The Collection, based in London and Oslo, contains over 20,000 significant manuscripts of major cultural importance and is an important part of the world’s heritage.

There is no public collection that has the Schøyen Collection’s unique array of manuscripts from all the greatest manuscript hoards, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, The Cairo Genizah of Hebrew MSS, The Oxyrhynchus hoard of classical papyri, The Dishna Biblical papyri, The Nag Hammadi Gnostic papyri, the Dunhuang hoard of Buddhist MSS, and many others. Nor is there one with such a variety, geographically, linguistically and textually, and of scripts and writing materials, covering so a great span of time — 5,000 years of history.