|GIFTS FROM THE HIGH AND MIGHTY OF ADAB TO THE HIGH PRIESTESS, ON THE OCCASION OF HER ELECTION TO THE TEMPLE|
|MS in Sumerian on creamy stone, Sumer, 26th c. BC, 1 tablet, 9, 2x9, 2x1, 2 cm, 6+6 columns, 120 compartments of cuneiform script by an expert scribe.|
Binding: Barking, Essex, 2000, brown mottled calf folding case by Aquarius.
Commentary: This tablet has no precedent. It is one of the earliest manuscript witnesses of religious practise. With its polished surface and staggering beauty, it would have been used as an illustration in most textbooks on the ancient Near East, had it been better known. Illustrated here for the first time.
|LEXICAL LIST OF GODS' NAMES IN ORDER OF SENIORITY AND IMPORTANCE: ENLIL, NINLIL, ENKI, NERGAL, HENDURSANGA, INANNA-ZABALAM, NINEBGAL, INANNA, UTU, NANNA|
|MS in Sumerian on clay, Sumer, 2400-2200 BC, 1 tablet, 9,8x9,8x2,5 cm, 4,7x4,4x1,7 cm, single column, 5+5 lines in cuneiform script.|
Binding: Barking, Essex, 1998, blue cloth gilt folding case by Aquarius.
Context:Other tablets with Gods' names, are MSS 2200/318, 2200/321, 2200/332 and 2422.
Commentary: This is clearly the beginning of the list, since Enlil, god of the town of Nippur, was the practical head of the pantheon at this time.
The Sumerian, Babylonian and Assyrian religions had thousands of gods, hence extensive lists to keep track of them.
No other copy of this particular list is so far known.
Published: Mentioned in: Miguel Civil: The Lexical Texts in the Schøyen Collection, Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology, vol. 12, Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, Cuneiform texts V. CDL Press, Bethesda, MD, 2010, text 8.6, p. 284.
Image in: Zondervan Illustrated Bible, Backgrounds, Commentary. John H. Walton, gen. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich., Zondervan, 2009, vol. 3, p. 229.
|DESCENT OF INANNA TO THE UNDERWORLD; SUMERIAN MYTH|
|MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC, 1 tablet, 24x10x4 cm, 3+3 columns, 208 lines (of 410) in cuneiform script.|
Commentary: There are similarities to the Greek myth of Persephone who was abdicted to the underworld by Hades, and released to see her mother, Demeter. The text also has parallels to the passion and resurrection in the Gospels.
See also MS 5283 with the story of Orpheus and Euridice.
|RITUAL OF THE PRIESTS' DIALOGUE WITH THE GODS CONCERNING INCANTATIONS AGAINST MIGRAINE, DRAWING ON MYTHOLOGICAL SOURCES|
|MS in Neo Sumerian on clay, Babylonia, 2000-1800 BC, 1 tablet, 9, 3x5, 5x2, 5 cm, 15+21 lines in cuneiform script.|
Binding: Barking, Essex, 1998, blue quarter morocco gilt folding case by Aquarius.
Commentary: All incantation texts begin with an outline of some complaint, physical or psychic, experienced by somebody. There is then a magical part that usually has the priest going off to "consult" with Inanna or another god. Finally the text ends with the gods' revealed advice for action which will lead to the resolution of the problem. The incantation texts used by the priest were something he knew and would probably be the same in each case; so this rite was an unwritten part of all incantation texts. The present text is this rite, possibly written down to assist novice priests. The text is possibly unique.
See also MS 2367/1, Enhedu'Anna: Hymn to Inanna, Babylonia, 20th – 17th BC
See also MS 5108, Atra-Hasis Epic, Babylonia, 1900-1700 BC
|INCANTATION. EA, SHAMASH, ASARLUHI, GREAT GODS –. YOUR INCANTATION IS LIFE, YOUR NAMES ARE PROSPERITY, YOUR UTTERANCE IS LIFE –|
|MS in Assyrian on clay, Assyria, 800-600 BC, 1 tablet, 10, 8x6, 1x2, 3 cm, 34 lines in cuneiform script, a pierced lug for suspension, 2 inscriptions and 3 pair of crossing lines on the lug handle.|
Commentary: This is the best preserved of only 6 such incantation amulet tablets known. The magic is related to the Maqlu type, but part of the text here seems to be new. Ea or Enki, was the god of the fresh water, creation, destinies, and was especially associated with wisdom, magic and incantations. He was one of the 3 supreme male gods, together with An and Enlil. Shamash or Utu, was the sun god and god of justice, truth and right. Asarluhi, son of Enki, city god of Kuara near Eridu, also used as an alternative name for Marduk in incantations and prayers.
See also MS 2447, Incantation from the series Hulbazizi, Assyria, 900-600 BC
See also MS 2180, Inscription to Nabu, Assyria, ca. 646 BC
|BOOK OF THE DEAD, CH. 110 & 125, WRITTEN FOR THE DECEASED WAB PRIEST OF AMON-RA, KING OF THE GODS|
|MS in Middle Egyptian on papyrus, Egypt, 20th dynasty, 1186-1069 BC, 1 scroll (complete), 16x102 cm, main texts in 19+19+10 columns, (13x97 cm), cursive hieroglyphs, signed by the scribe Nespaneferher, priest of Amon-Ra, a very large miniature, 5x32 cm, of agricultural activities in Fields of Blessed, another miniature, 7x32 cm, with the 14 divisions of the Underworld, and a 3rd miniature, 13x16 cm, where the Deceased offers to Osiris and asks for offerings, all in black and red.|
Context: 3 more papyrus scrolls of the same period, together with their wood statuettes, are in the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Provenance: 1. Mathias Komor, New York (1978); 2. Sotheby's 11.7.1988:41. Deaccession December 2010.
Commentary: Among the earliest "book-boxes" extant, about 1500 years older than any book-box or binding in private ownership, cf. the 4th c. leather binding, MS 1804/1.
See also MS 1638, Book of dead, Egypt, 15th c. BC
See also MS 125, Book of dead, Egypt, 325-30
|THE ICARIUS MIRROR
IKRA THE KING FROM MOUNT OSSA OF IXION,
|MS in Etruscan on bronze, Etruria, Italy, 6th c. BC, 1 mirror, diam. 13 cm, 4 lines or sections along the raised rim and 3 captions in early Etruscan script, illustration of Icarius standing, with a club over his shoulder, with a Phrygian style cap, in a chariot pulled by two bearded centaurs, one carries a bunch of grapes, the other a long cutting knife and a wine bag, above Icarius is a cherub sprinkling water, below is Icarius' dog Maera running.|
Context: This is the longest Etruscan mirror inscription known. For other Etruscan inscriptions, see MSS 565/1 and 564.
Provenance: 1. Silvio Salvino Collection, Switzerland (ca. 1965-2000); 2. Pars Antiques, London.
Commentary:So far this seems to be the only contemporary example of
Etruscan literature recorded, and where the text is illustrated in addition.
This records a part of Greek mythology that is not yet fully known, adding
some new information.
|HOMER: THE ILIAD XVI:2 - 15, 32 - 37, 40 - 43, 47 - 61, 75 - 91|
|MS in Greek on papyrus, Egypt, 1st c. BC - 1st c. AD, 5 fragments from a scroll, largest 8x10 cm and 11x3 cm, parts of 2 columns, (column size 35x17 cm), 15+23 lines of originally ca. 45 lines in Greek uncial.|
Provenance: 1. Antiquity dealer, Cairo (1969); 2. Dr. Anton Fackelmann Sr., Wien, Austria, MS 36 (-1986); 3. Anton Fackelmann Jr., Steyr, Austria (1986-1998).
Commentary: The text is the song of Patroklos, inkluding Zevs, Hera, Apollon, Athena, and others of the gods from the Greek Pantheon. Homer is represented in The Schøyen Collection by MS 112/33, The Iliad XV:511-515, ca. 100, MS 112/57, The Iliad II:195-197, 2nd c., MS 112/80, The Iliad XI: 1-5, 2nd c. (the earliest witness to the text and not otherwise extant on papyrus); MS 2628, The Iliad XVI:2-15. 32-37, 40-43, 47-61, 75-91, 1st c. BC-1st c. AD; MS 5094, Homer: The Iliad XVII:637-644, 679-685, + 1 extra and 1 new line (earliest witness to text); MS 5069, The Odyssey XII: 9 - 14; 17 - 28; 41 - 46, late 3rd -2nd c. BC (earliest witness to text); and MS 2629, The Odyssey XI: 509-603, ca. 1st c.
Published: Papyrologica Florentina, vol. XXXV. Rosario Pintaudi: Papyri Graecae Schøyen. Firenze, Edizioni Gonnelli, 2005 (Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection V: Greek papyri, vol. I), pp. 9-14.
Exhibited: Bibelmuseum, Münster, 1986 - 2002.
|EURIPIDES: BACCHAE, 681-6, 725-730, 1032-34, 1068-71|
|MS in Greek on papyrus, Egypt, 6th c., 4 fragments, 3,5x8,1 cm, 3,9x9,0 cm, 3,0x7,6 cm, 3,2x9,0 cm, single column, 3-5 lines in an informal sloping Greek half-uncial.|
Context: The 4 fragments were used as pastedown in a leather binding. Part of the leather adheres to fragment 3. Fragments 1 and 2 origins from a late classical codex. Fragment 3 is uninscribed, but has offsets of Bacchae 1032-4, and 725-30. Fragment 4 has 1 line of a commentary in Greek cursive, and offsets of Bacchae 1069-71.
Provenance: 1. 1. Mohammed Sha'ar, Cairo (1920'es); 2. Issa Marogi Collection, Jerusalem (ca. 1955-ca. 1984); 3. Heirs of Marogi family, Jerusalem (1984-1993); 4. Fayez Barakat, Los Angeles, California, March 1994.
Commentary: Bacchae (The women of Bacchus, or Dionysus) was Euripides' (485-406 BC) last play, written 408-606 BC for king Archelaos of Macedonia. It is the only preserved Greek Dionysian cult drama. Dionysus, god of wine and ecstasy, was son of Zeus and Semele, daughter of Cadmus, king of Thebes. Euripides' drama was about the introduction into Greece of a new religion, different from the cult of the traditional 12 Olympian gods. Nevertheless Dionysius' name has been found on linear B tablets, indicating his name and cult might be Minoan or Mycenaean in origin. Apart from the present papyrus, only 7 papyri of Bacchae survive.
Published: Papyrologica Florentina, vol. XXXV. Rosario Pintaudi: Papyri Graecae Schøyen. Firenze, Edizioni Gonnelli, 2005 (Manuscripts in The Schøyen Collection V: Greek papyri, vol. I), pp. 29-32.