The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia 9004430768, 9789004430761

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia offers an overview of the study of emotions in ancient texts

296 87 2MB

English Pages 536 [535] Year 2020

Report DMCA / Copyright

DOWNLOAD PDF FILE

Table of contents :
‎Contents
‎Notes on Contributors
‎Chapter 1. The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia: An Introduction (Hsu and Llop Raduà)
‎Part 1. The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt
‎Chapter 2. History of Horror: A Diachronic Overview of Fear(s) in Ancient Egyptian Texts (Eicke)
‎Chapter 3. “I Wish I Could Die”: Depression in Ancient Egypt (Hsu)
‎Chapter 4. Royal Rage and Private Anger in Ancient Egypt (Köhler)
‎Chapter 5. Everybody Hurts: Understanding and Visualizing Pain in Ancient Egypt (Prakash)
‎Chapter 6. “Without You I Am an Orphan”: Exploring Emotion and Interpersonal Pragmatics in the Late Ramesside Letters (Ridealgh)
‎Chapter 7. Indexes of Emotions in Pianchy’s Great Stela with Some Cultural Comparisons (Spalinger)
‎Chapter 8. “Do Not Cast an Eye on Another One’s Goods …!”: Aspects of Envy, Jealousy and Greed in Ancient Egypt (Verbovsek)
‎Part 2. The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Mesopotamia
‎Chapter 9. Depression at the Royal Courts of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal (Van Buylaere)
‎Chapter 10. Shaping Gender, Shaping Emotions: On the Mutual Construction of Gender Identities and Emotional Roles in Ancient Mesopotamia (Garcia-Ventura)
‎Chapter 11. Emotions and Their Expression in a Religious Historical Perspective in Ancient Mesopotamia (Jaques)
‎Chapter 12. Expressions of Joy and Happiness in Neo-Assyrian (Luukko)
‎Chapter 13. From Landscape to Ritual Performances: Emotions in Sumerian Literature (Rendu Loisel)
‎Chapter 14. Jealousy in Akkadian Love Literature: Zarpanītu in the Divine Love Lyrics (Da Riva)
‎Chapter 15. Visible Death and Audible Distress: The Personification of Death (Mūtu) and Associated Emotions as Inherent Conditions of Life in Akkadian Sources (Sibbing-Plantholt)
‎Chapter 16. Gilgamesh and Emotional Excess: The King without Counsel in the SB Gilgamesh Epic (Sonik)
‎Chapter 17. Pounding Hearts and Burning Livers: The “Sentimental Body” in Mesopotamian Medicine and Literature (Steinert)
‎Chapter 18. Fear in Akkadian Texts: New Digital Perspectives on Lexical Semantics (Svärd, Alstola, Jauhiainen, Sahala and Lindén)
‎Index of Sources
‎Index of Words
‎Index of Subjects and Names
Recommend Papers

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia
 9004430768, 9789004430761

  • 0 0 0
  • Like this paper and download? You can publish your own PDF file online for free in a few minutes! Sign Up
File loading please wait...
Citation preview

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

Culture and History of the Ancient Near East Founding Editor M.H.E. Weippert

Editor-in-Chief Jonathan Stökl

Editors Eckart Frahm W. Randall Garr B. Halpern Theo P.J. van den Hout Leslie Anne Warden Irene J. Winter

volume 116

The titles published in this series are listed at brill.com/chan

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia Edited by

Shih-Wei Hsu Jaume Llop Raduà

LEIDEN | BOSTON

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Hsu, Shih-Wei, editor. | Llop-Raduà, Jaume, editor. Title: The expression of emotions in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia / edited by Shih-Wei Hsu, Jaume Llop Raduà. Other titles: Culture and history of the ancient Near East ; 116. Description: Boston : Brill, 2020. | Series: Culture and history of the ancient Near East, 15662055 ; 116 | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020036025 (print) | LCCN 2020036026 (ebook) | ISBN 9789004430754 (hardback) | ISBN 9789004430761 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Emotions in literature. | Egyptian literature–History and criticism. | Assyro-Babylonian literature–History and criticism. Classification: LCC PJ1488 .E97 2020 (print) | LCC PJ1488 (ebook) | DDC 893/.1–dc23 LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020036025 LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020036026

Typeface for the Latin, Greek, and Cyrillic scripts: “Brill”. See and download: brill.com/brill‑typeface. ISSN 1566-2055 ISBN 978-90-04-43075-4 (hardback) ISBN 978-90-04-43076-1 (e-book) Copyright 2021 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands, except where stated otherwise. Koninklijke Brill NV incorporates the imprints Brill, Brill Hes & De Graaf, Brill Nijhoff, Brill Rodopi, Brill Sense, Hotei Publishing, mentis Verlag, Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh and Wilhelm Fink Verlag. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, translated, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Requests for re-use and/or translations must be addressed to Koninklijke Brill NV via brill.com or copyright.com. This book is printed on acid-free paper and produced in a sustainable manner.

Contents Notes on Contributors 1

ix

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia: An Introduction 1 Shih-Wei Hsu and Jaume Llop Raduà

Part 1 The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt 2

History of Horror: A Diachronic Overview of Fear(s) in Ancient Egyptian Texts 25 Sven Eicke

3

“I Wish I Could Die”: Depression in Ancient Egypt Shih-Wei Hsu

4

Royal Rage and Private Anger in Ancient Egypt Ines Köhler

5

Everybody Hurts: Understanding and Visualizing Pain in Ancient Egypt 103 Tara Prakash

6

“Without You I Am an Orphan”: Exploring Emotion and Interpersonal Pragmatics in the Late Ramesside Letters 126 Kim Ridealgh

7

Indexes of Emotions in Pianchy’s Great Stela with Some Cultural Comparisons 144 Anthony Spalinger

8

“Do Not Cast an Eye on Another One’s Goods …!”: Aspects of Envy, Jealousy and Greed in Ancient Egypt 169 Alexandra Verbovsek

52

88

vi

contents

Part 2 The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Mesopotamia 9

Depression at the Royal Courts of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal Greta Van Buylaere

201

10

Shaping Gender, Shaping Emotions: On the Mutual Construction of Gender Identities and Emotional Roles in Ancient Mesopotamia 220 Agnès Garcia-Ventura

11

Emotions and Their Expression in a Religious Historical Perspective in Ancient Mesopotamia 238 Margaret Jaques

12

Expressions of Joy and Happiness in Neo-Assyrian Mikko Luukko

13

From Landscape to Ritual Performances: Emotions in Sumerian Literature 283 Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel

14

Jealousy in Akkadian Love Literature: Zarpanītu in the Divine Love Lyrics 306 Rocío Da Riva

15

Visible Death and Audible Distress: The Personification of Death (Mūtu) and Associated Emotions as Inherent Conditions of Life in Akkadian Sources 335 Irene Sibbing-Plantholt

16

Gilgamesh and Emotional Excess: The King without Counsel in the SB Gilgamesh Epic 390 Karen Sonik

17

Pounding Hearts and Burning Livers: The “Sentimental Body” in Mesopotamian Medicine and Literature 410 Ulrike Steinert

255

vii

contents

18

Fear in Akkadian Texts: New Digital Perspectives on Lexical Semantics 470 Saana Svärd, Tero Alstola, Heidi Jauhiainen, Aleksi Sahala and Krister Lindén Index of Sources 503 Index of Words 509 Index of Subjects and Names

514

Notes on Contributors Tero Alstola University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected] Greta Van Buylaere Würzburg University, Germany [email protected] Sven Eicke University of Cologne, Germany [email protected] Agnès Garcia-Ventura IPOA, Universitat de Barcelona, Spain [email protected] Shih-Wei Hsu Nankai University, Tianjin, P.R. China [email protected] Margaret Jaques University of Zurich, Switzerland [email protected] Heidi Jauhiainen University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected] Ines Köhler Free University of Berlin, Germany [email protected] Krister Lindén University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected]

x

notes on contributors

Jaume Llop Raduà Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain [email protected] Mikko Luukko University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected] Irene Sibbing-Plantholt Freie Universität Berlin, Germany [email protected] Tara Prakash College of Charleston, USA [email protected] Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel University of Strasburg, UMR 7044 ArcHiMedE, France [email protected] Kim Ridealgh University of East Anglia, UK [email protected] Rocío Da Riva University of Barcelona, Spain [email protected] Aleksi Sahala University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected] Karen Sonik Auburn University, USA [email protected] Anthony Spalinger University of Auckland, New Zealand [email protected]

notes on contributors

Ulrike Steinert Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Germany [email protected] Saana Svärd University of Helsinki, Finland [email protected] Alexandra Verbovsek Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Germany [email protected]

xi

chapter 1

The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia: An Introduction Shih-Wei Hsu and Jaume Llop Raduà

1

Definition and Concept of Emotion

The word “emotion” derives from the middle French émotion (16th century), which in turn derives from the old French emouvoir “stir up” (12th century), from the Latin emovere “move out, remove, agitate”, and from the assimilated form of ex “out” + movere “to move”.1 “Emotion” denotes a wide range of phenomena including all the perceptions of bodily changes. Emotions are based on our awareness, our thoughts, feelings, and ideas, and also on real or unreal events in our past, present and future. Today, the word “emotion” is very commonly used to refer to theories that actually concern “passion”, “affection” or “sentiments”.2 “Emotion” can be differentiated into its extensions and intensions. Its extensions comprise varying feelings categorized as appetites (e.g., lust), or affections (e.g., religious feelings), or sentiments (e.g., sympathy). Its intension differs from the intension of “passion”: it is an autonomous physical or mental state characterized by vivid feeling and physical agitation, while the latter is a disobedient and morally dangerous movement of the soul.3 Today, emotions can be defined from diverse points of view and based on various theories in use.4 In the history of research into emotions,5 classical historians and philosophers (see below) have treated human emotional life as the expression of mind and body. In 1890, based on a study of facial expressions, Darwin proposed that human emotions depend on mental states with bodily movement, and 1 From the online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline.com/word/emotion (March 9, 2018). The verb emovere means in German “aufwühlen—hinaustreiben—herausheben— erschüttern—in Bewegung setzen”; emotion can be seen from the outside, changing the bodily condition, or as the effect of inner feelings that affect our “movement”. Kienlin and Koch 2017, 2. 2 Dixon 2003, 11–12. 3 Dixon 2003, 18. 4 https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/emotion/ (March 23, 2018). 5 Oatley 2004; Plamper 2015.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

2

hsu and llop raduà

are genetically determined, deriving from purposeful animal actions.6 Ekman doubted Darwin’s evidence and distinguished between human and animal facial behaviour, and also between cultures.7 Yu deals with Chinese expressions of emotions through external body parts, such as the head (tóu [頭]/shǒu [首]) and neck (bózǐ [脖子]) combined with the face, forehead, brows etc.8 Ekman and his team classified six basic emotions: joy/happiness, sadness/distress, fear, anger, disgust and surprise,9 and described many characteristics which are useful to distinguish one emotion from another and allow them to be expressed in different degrees. Basic emotions evolved to serve as motivators which instruct us to pursue or avoid certain courses of action.10 Plutchik took up Ekman’s suggestion and created a wheel of emotions, which includes eight primary emotions with positive and passive sides: joy versus sadness; anger versus fear; trust versus disgust; and surprise versus anticipation. These emotions are based on the ten postulates of his theory.11 He also proposed another ten postulates about cognition-emotion relations,12 and explained that “cognition developed in order to predict the future”.13 The cognitive process causes the evaluation of stimulus events and the generation of predictions, so that emotional behavior is ultimately related to stimuli. Therefore, cognitions are at the service of emotions.14 In the last decade, however, from the perspectives of affect programs15 and homology,16 researchers have come to divide emotions into at least two distinct classes: basic and higher cognitive. These higher cognitive emotions include: love, guilt, shame, embarrassment, pride, envy and jealousy. Today, emotions are studied in different fields (anthropology, sociology, biology, psychology, physiology, neuroscience of the brain, etc.) and from different perspectives (gender, language, cognition, conceptual metaphors, etc.). Kövecses explains that the basic emotions are anger, sadness, fear, joy and love, less basic ones include annoyance, wrath, rage, indignation for anger, and terror, fright, horror for fear.17 From the

6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Darwin 2009, 368–387. Ekman 1999b. Yu 2002, 342–349. Ekman 1999a; Evans 2001, 5; Plamper 2015, 149. Evans 2001, 26. Plutchik 1980, 8–9. Plutchik 1980, 10. Plutchik 1980, 13. Plutchik 1980, 12–15. Velásquez 1999, 114–120. Clark 2010, 75–94. Kövecses 2007, 3.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

3

point of view of conceptual metaphor theory,18 the most typical metaphorical characteristics of emotion concepts are the following:19 emotion is a fluid in a container ( filled with emotion) emotion is heat/fire (burn with emotion) emotion is a natural force (be overwhelmed by an emotion) emotion is a physical force (be struck by an emotion) emotion is a social superior (be governed/ruled by an emotion) emotion is an opponent (be overcome by an emotion) emotion is a captive animal (let go of an emotion) emotion is a force dislocating the self (be beside oneself with an emotion) emotion is a burden (be weighed down by an emotion) Emotions can be conceptualized in different domains, for example: anger is fire; fear is illness, happiness is health, sadness is captive animal, love is war, lust is a game, pride is a fluid in a container, shame is a decrease in size, surprise is a natural force, etc.20 The source domains are mainly of two types: causes of emotions for the emotions, and effect of emotion for the emotions.21 In a particular situation, emotions are caused to affect a set of feelings and responses. At the same time, emotions are conceptualized by a “domain matrix”, because they evoke different notions, such as social or bodily notions, or right and wrong.22 These emotional concepts can occur in any language. For instance, the “anger metaphor” may appear as different models in different cultures:23 the German term “Angst” has two particular points of view: “Existenzangst” or “existentielle Angst”. The English angst, however, reflects the links between the German Angst in general and existential insecurities and concerns.24 In addition, emotions themselves are universal phenomena, and they are always influenced

18

19 20 21 22 23 24

“Conceptual Metaphor Theory” (CMT) was proposed by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), who suggest that metaphors are pervasive in our everyday life and are used in speaking, thinking and acting. The mapping between conceptual domains corresponds to the neural mapping in our mind. Kövecses 2014, 16–17. Many other examples see Kövecses 2007, 20–34; also Kövecses 1986, 1988, 2000. Kövecses 2014, 17. Kövecses 2014, 23–25. Kövecses 2007, 166–173, e.g. concept of anger in Japanese “ikari (怒り)”/“hara (腹)”, in Chinese “nù (怒)”, in English “angry” and Hungarian “düh”. Wierzbicka 1999, 123–167.

4

hsu and llop raduà

by culture and strongly marked by our biological nature. Each culture has its own rule for acceptable expression of emotions in society. Therefore, there are some emotions which don’t belong to the “basic emotions”, because they are neither universal nor innate, e.g., emotions “amae” (甘え)25 and “being a wild pig”26 are special cultural emotions. These emotions can be understood by taking into consideration the culture in which they occur.27 Chinese people show relaxation or relief when they reach their goals, and show anxiety when they don’t. Americans show happiness when they reach their goals and show sadness when they don’t. In addition, researchers have distinguished between the different “self-construals” in Western and Eastern cultures.28 Westerners are more independent and consider themselves as individual human beings; they are willing to express their inner states and feelings, as well as to influence other people, in what is referred to as the independent self-construal. In contrast, Easterners are interdependent or connected to others. They are always in groups and involved with each other, because Eastern cultures are more dependent on the collective. In this context, harmony plays an important role, so that people don’t express their inner states and feeling as easily. This is called interdependent self-construal. In this comparative view, cultural differences actually cause the physiological and behavioural aspects of emotion. Emotions can be affected by colours as well. The meanings of colours are always different depending on evolution, culture, and personal experience.29 Goethe proposed “sinnliche-sittliche Wirkung der Farbe”30 and categorized colours into a plus part and minus part, which can stand for positive and negative traits and emotions.31 Many studies prove that the colours have a strong impact on emotions and feelings, for instance, the colour red is associated with “exciting” and “stimulating”; blue is associated with “secure/comfortable” and “tender/soothing”; orange with “disturbing/distressed/upset”; black with “powerful/strong/masterful”.32 The relationship between colour and emotion is

25

26 27 28 29 30 31 32

“Amae” is a Japanese emotional expression which is difficult to define for Westerners. It refers to an emotion that a person holds toward another person, an interpersonal relationship, a behaviour, or even a belief. For more information: http://emotionresearcher.com/ wp‑content/uploads/2015/08/AmaeI.pdf (March 8, 2018). “Being a wild pig” is an emotion felt by the Gururumba people of New Guinea; people who experience it behave just like wild pigs. Evans 2001, 13–15. Mesquita and Haire 2004, 735. Lim 2016, 106. Cuykendall and Hoffman 2008, 1. Goethe 1812. Nijdam 2003, 3.1 and especially table 1. Valdes and Mehrabian 1994, 396.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

5

culture-dependent. In general, each colour can stand for positive and negative emotions; the positive representations of the colour “blue” include coolness, comfort, peace, and calm, but its negative representations are sadness, loneliness and depression; red can be seen positively as love and romance, but negatively as fight, anger and blood; purple has the feeling of relaxation and calmness, but also of sadness, tiredness, fear, etc.33 The appearance of a colour then can be associated with different emotions, in a way that is dependent on habits of visual communication and cultural transmitting values.34 The animated movie of the Pixar Animation Studio “Inside out”35 is a good example of the use of colours and gender to represent emotions. In this film, the five basic emotions are metaphorically personified by genders and colours: the female yellow and bright figure is “joy”, the male red figure is “anger”, the female green figure is “disgust”, the female blue figure is “sadness and melancholy”, and the male purple figure is “fear”.36 The American pop singer Taylor Swift shares in her song “Red” the ideas of colour associated with her emotions to describe love and loss in a relationship:37 Losing him was blue like I’d never know, Missing him was dark grey all alone, Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met, But loving him was red, Loving him was red. The examples above show clearly the pervasive influence of metaphors and colours to express emotions in our everyday life. With the increasing use of social networks (blog, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, weibo etc.) and instant messaging (Skype, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat, iMessage, Telegram etc.) communication between people has become much easier. Although people might not see each other face to face, they can directly send different emoticons,38

33 34 35 36 37

38

Kaya and Epps 2004, 399 and especially tables 2 and 3. Kienlin and Koch 2017, 8–9. Inside out. Directed by Pete Doctor. Produced by Jonas Rivera. Walt Disney Pictures; Pixar Animation Studio, 2015. Also see Kienlin and Koch 2017, 9. Written by Taylor Swift. Produced by Dann Huff, Nathan Chapman and Taylor Swift. Released June 21, 2013. YouTube website: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlot0i3Zy kw (April 28, 2019). E.g. happy, happy, happy, sad, happy, sad, sad: :-), :-), :-), :-(, :-), :-(, :-(. http://www.nytimes .com/2007/07/29/fashion/29emoticon.html?_r=1&ref=style&oref=slogin (April 24, 2019).

6

hsu and llop raduà

emojis,39 smileys40 and show their emotions immediately. The expressions of emotions are greatly diversified today.

2

Emotions in Ancient Civilizations

In the last two decades, the study of emotions in the past has established itself as a field of research. Scholars study the expression of emotions in the Greek and Roman worlds, and in the Middle Ages.41 For instance, a research group in Oxford led by Chaniotis, which specializes in the social and cultural history of the Hellenistic Greek and the Roman East, has been working on the project “The Social and Cultural Construction of Emotions: The Greek Paradigm” since 2009.42 This research group has published its results in a series of books.43 Since 2014, the University of Illinois Press has been publishing a series on the history of emotions.44 In addition, similar studies have researched emotions from different points of view: “Emotions in the Classical World”45 deals with the poetics of emotional expression, philosophical theories of emotions, the role of emotion in historiography, intertextuality and the emotions, and the role of art and material culture in the representation of ancient affectivity. “Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity”46 explores the performance of emotions, the choice between emotional and rational argumentation, the emotions of the gods and a concern with a secondary “audience”. “Die Tränen der Mächtigen und die Macht der Tränen”47 analyses the influence of tears shed by powerful rulers on the imperial historiography, from the point of view of the emotions. “Affect and Emotion in Greek Literature”48 examines the way the Greeks conceived the emotions. “From Architecture to Graves”49 studies the development of emotion in Greek sculpture in the Early Classical period and its zenith during

39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49

E.g., happy 😀, sad 😢, angry 😠, afraid 😨, surprised 😮. E.g., white smiling face ☺ and black smiling face ☻. Knuuttila 2004; Kaster 2005; Konstan 2006a; Rosenwein 2006; Campeggiani and Konstan forthcoming. http://emotions.classics.ox.ac.uk/project/team/chaniotis.html (March 13, 2018). Chaniotis 2011; 2012; Chaniotis and Pierre 2013; Chanitotis et al. 2017. https://www.press.uillinois.edu/books/find_books.php?type=series&search=HOE (March 15, 2018). Cairns and Nelis 2017. Sanders and Johncock 2016. Hagen 2017. Konstan 2015. Heller 2015.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

7

the Hellenistic Age. “Emotions between Greece and Rome”50 aims to compare the differences between the Greek and Roman emotional repertoires. Today, research on emotions is a popular topic. Ancient historians like Herodotus (480–425 BCE) and Tacitus (AD 55–120) were already aware that there were different ways of speaking, eating, living and even different ways of feeling across Europe.51 The Agathyrsians are the most luxurious of men and wear gold ornaments for the most part: also, they have promiscuous intercourse with their women, in order that they may be brethren to one another and being all nearly related may not feel envy or malice one against another. In their other customs, they have come to resemble the Thracians.52 In Homer’s poems, the “inner wind” of thumos, which was similar to “grief, fear, anxiety, hope, desire, love, anger, joy, delight, and so on”,53 is often located in the chest. The heart (kardia) referred to anger, courage, fear, joy, pain and patience. However, none of these concepts were systematized until Plato (427– 347 BCE). For him, pathos meant something similar to emotions,54 and he also defined emotions as something that were external, and not something produced within men themselves.55 After him, Aristotle (384–322BCE) found that pathē (the plural form of pathos) were more rational, and he named fourteen pertinent emotions: anger (orgē) and its opposite, mildness (praotēs); love (philia) and hate (misos); fear (phobos) and its opposite, confidence (tharrein); shame (aischunē) and shamelessness (anaischuntia); benevolence (charis) and lack of benevolence (acharistia); pity (eleos) and indignation (nemesan); and lastly, envy (phthonos) and desire to emulate (zēlos).56 Aristotle stated that certain feelings were always accompanied by pain, such as pity,57 50 51 52 53 54 55 56

57

Cairns and Fulkerson 2015. Plamper 2015, 80. Herodotus, Histories, Book IV, 104. http://www.sacred‑texts.com/cla/hh/hh4100.htm (March 12, 2018). Rosenwein 2006, 32–33 with n. 1. Rosenwein 2006, 32–33 with n. 6. Plamper 2015, 14–15. Plamper 2015, 36. Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book II, 3.1–11.7. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopp er/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0060%3Abook%3D2%3Achapter%3D3%3Ase ction%3D1 (March 13, 2018). “Let pity then be a kind of pain excited by the sight of evil, deadly or painful, which befalls one who does not deserve it; an evil which one might expect to come upon himself or one of his friends, and when it seems near”. Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book II, 8.2. http://www .perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0060%3Abook%3D2% 3Achapter%3D8%3Asection%3D2 (March 14, 2018).

8

hsu and llop raduà

envy58 and others. The emotions of the Greek world are closely connected with socio-cultural norms (friendship, pity, honour, shame, pride), and with basic emotions (fear and courage, joy and grief, hope and pride, affection and hatred, love and jealousy, desire and disgust, gratitude and envy, contempt, anger, and indignation).59 So the Ancient Greek world was aware of emotions. However, some specific emotions differed from the ones we conceive today: in the Greek world, the term orgē (anger) “is just the desire to restore the state of affairs prior to the insult by depreciating the offender in turn”.60 This concept is quite different from what we mean by “anger”, which is a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure or hostility.61 There are also studies of emotion in other civilizations. Houston studied the visual treatment of emotions in classic Maya.62 The human body could reflect different “affects”, which are expressed in visual displays. Ramaprasad gave an overview of emotions from the Indian perspective, with emphasis on desires as the root cause of emotional upheavals.63 Toske made a contribution to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy about the concept of emotion in Classic Indian philosophy.64 He explained the terms referring to emotions in Sanskrit and discussed the differences in the philosophy of emotions between Indian and Western cultures. Emotions in China are always linked to Confucianism. Fu65 explained that the classification of emotion in Confucianism is in accordance with the term “Qing” (emotion = 情), which can be divided into “four Qing” (delight, anger, sorrow and happiness), “six Qing” (like, dislike, joy, anger, sorrow and pleasure) and “seven Qing” (joy, anger, sadness, fear, love, dislike and like). “Seven Qing” could also represent the emotional energetics: each “Qing” is described in a pathological and non-pathological manner along with its relationship with “zangfu” (organs = 臟腑).66 Sundararajan67 provided a good overview of the understanding of emotions in the Chinese culture, such as 58

59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67

“If envy is a kind of pain at the sight of good fortune in regard to the goods mentioned; in the case of those like themselves; and not for the sake of a man getting anything, but because of others possessing it”. Aristotle, Rhetoric, Book II, 10.1. http://www.perseus.tufts .edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0060%3Abook%3D2%3Achapter% 3D10%3Asection%3D1 (March 14, 2018). Chaniotis 2012b; Chaniotis 2017. Konstan 2006b, 55. Rosenwein 2006, 37. Houston 2001, 206–219; Houston et al., 2006, especially Chapter Five Emotions, 180ff. Ramaprasad 2013, 153–156. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/concept‑emotion‑india/ (March 23, 2018). Fu 2012, 78–93. Larre et al. 1996. Sundararajan 2015.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

9

the foundation of emotions in Confucianism and Daoism and emotions in daily life. Studying emotions in early Chinese philosophy, Virág68 explains that emotions were central preoccupations among early thinkers, and discusses them as representing patterned inclinations in human beings and as part of a major conceptual shift toward recognition of the natural world. A recent comparative study on India, China and Japan offers intriguing case studies of moments of change in community or group-based emotion practices, including emotionally coded objects.69

3

Emotions in the Biblical World

Research into emotion in the Old Testament is also a popular topic. The most emotional scenes are described in highly figurative language,70 such as metaphorical references to body parts and the physiological changes that accompany the experience of certain emotions;71 metaphorical conceptions represent particular emotions (joy, sorrow, courage, fear, pride, humility, love and hatred).72 Wagner73 explores the study of emotions in the Old Testament, focusing especially on the representation of God’s feeling, emotions and language with the method of container metaphors, such that the body appears as a “container” of emotions. Kruger74 focused on emotions from the perspective of cognition and conceptual metaphors, looking into emotions such as “anger”, “fear” and “depression”. Wälchli studied God’s anger in the Biblical Psalms.75 In the project “emotions in the Old Testament” at the University of Bern, Switzerland, Kipfer investigated Amnon’s love for his half-sister and the way in which love turns into deep hatred both in paintings and texts.76 In addition, she also analysed the emotions of anxiety, fear and terror in the Hebrew Bible using cognitive linguistic methods,77 and has recently edited a book on the visualization of emotions in the Ancient Near East (see below).

68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77

Virág 2017. Schuler 2017. Kruger 2015, 396. Kruger 2015, 402. Kruger 2015, 402. Wagner 2006; Wagner 2011, 27–68; Wagner 2014. Kruger 2000; Kruger 2001; Kruger 2005; Kruger 2015. Wälchli 2013. Kipfer 2009. Kipfer 2016, 15–79.

10 4

hsu and llop raduà

Emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

In comparison to the Ancient Greek, Roman and Biblical worlds, very little research has been carried out into emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. In Egyptology, there are few studies about emotions. In the Lexikon der Ägyptologie (LÄ), Altenmüller surveyed the term “Gefühlsbewegungen”78 to show the nature of emotions in Egyptian culture which relied mainly on physical movements, and to discuss how emotions appear in the different text genres. Joy (Freude) and mourning (Trauer) are shown by certain gestures and poses in art; reverence (Ehrfurcht) and loyalty (Treue) in instructions and biographies; love (Liebe), gratitude (Dankbarkeit) and admiration (Verehrung) in love songs and in cultic, royal and divine stelas and statues. Middle Egyptian has some words indicating emotions:79 nšny “rage (Wut)” (Wb II, 341:1–16);80 sbšw “disgust (Ekel)” (Wb IV, 93:9); snḏ “fear (Angst)” (Wb IV, 182:2–183:22);81 msḏyt “hate (Hass)” (Wb II, 154:10–11); mrwt “love (Liebe)” (Wb II,102:1–103:10); ꜣwt-jb “joy (Freude)” (Wb I: 4:17–19); jꜣkb “mourning (Trauer)” (Wb I, 34:5–12).82 El-Kholi83 studied the role of the heart as a sense organ, which stands on the one hand for thinking and understanding, and on the other for feelings such as courage, joy, sadness, surprise, and so on. Furthermore, Toro-Rueda84 investigated Ancient Egyptian emotional vocabularies in her thesis, which presents a thesaurus of emotions in contrast to five basic emotions: joy, grief, hate, fear and love. Examining positive and negative aggression and aggressive emotions, Effland85 found that the Egyptians had their own rules for expressing socially acceptable aggression. Tait86 looked into some of the uses of the concept of anger in Egyptian demotic narrative texts, using the word ḫꜥr as an example to show that anger is not so much an emotion as an expression, or a demonstration, of emotion. Egyptian kings used anger as an aspect of their agency, that is, their authority and power. Verbovsek studied “fear” and “fright” in Ancient Egyptian culture, and particularly the examples from the Story of Sinuhe. Within the concept of “fear” she distinguished between the German terms “Furcht”, “Angst” and “Panik”, all of which are felt by Sinuhe and drive 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86

LÄ II, 508–510. Köhler 2017, 227. More words for “rage” see Köhler’s article in this volume. More words for “fear” see Eicke’s article in this volume. More words for “sad” see Hsu’s article in this volume. El-Kholi 2003, 165–175. Toro-Rueda 2004. Effland 2003. Tait 2009.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

11

his actions throughout the story.87 Furthermore, she discussed emotions in their correlation with rituals and literature: for instance, mourning rites show emotional states of sadness, yearning, crying, grief and feelings of lonesomeness and desperation. The coronation ritual shows emotions of astonishment, joy, and euphoria.88 Köhler89 focused on the emotion of “anger”, categorizing a spectrum of variations such as anger, rage and wrath, and conceptualizing them with metaphors: anger is the heat of fluid in a container, anger is combat, anger is elemental and physical power, anger is insanity and anger is a dangerous animal. Hsu90 studied the usage of figurative expressions often used to describe the emotions of lovers, such as impatience, desire, love-sickness, and so on. A very recent paper by Baines91 explores the pictorial representation of emotions in Ancient Egypt, such as the captions of “scenes of daily life” in the tombs, images of humiliation, facial expressions, bodily communication, and scenes of mourning and funerals. Di Biase-Dyson92 recently dealt with three conceptual metaphors antagonism is heat, restraint is cold and restraint is silence, and discussed the metonymic “effect of the emotion for the emotion causing it”, such as emotion is heat (ḫt “fire”). The authoritative Reallexikon der Assyriologie (RlA) gives a first impression of the scarce treatment of emotions in Assyriology up to today. If one looks at the list of the encyclopaedia’s entries,93 few of them are related to causes or effects of emotions or moods, such as superstition (Aberglaube), feud (Fehde), vengeance (Rache), insult (Schimpfwort), suicide (Selbstmord), sin (Sünde), and death (Tod), which are categorized by this encyclopaedia either as “miscellaneous” or as “religion; literature”. In previous volumes, Biggs wrote an article on love magic (Liebeszauber). Love is linked to sexual attraction and to incantations for obtaining the loved one in the texts from Mesopotamia.94 However, the RlA does not provide entries for the “basic” emotions according to Ekman (see above), i.e., anger (Zorn), disgust (Ekel), fear (Angst), happiness (Glück), sadness (Traurigkeit) and surprise (Überraschung). Unlike LÄ (see above), the RlA lacks an article dealing with emotions. The panorama is 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94

Verbovsek 2009. Verbovsek 2011. Köhler 2011; Köhler 2012; Köhler 2016. Hsu 2014, 413–414; Hsu 2017, 62–63. Baines 2017. Di Biase-Dyson 2018. A list of entries can be seen at the Reallexikon Website: https://rla.badw.de/reallexikon .html (accessed February 29, 2020). RlA VII, 17–18.

12

hsu and llop raduà

similarly sparse when we look for entries related to emotions in the bibliographical tools of Assyriology (i.e., the Register of the journal Archiv für Orientforschung and the Keilschriftbibliographie published by Orientalia). Nonetheless, we should also note some studies which did treat the subject of emotions, e.g., related to humor (evidently associated with happiness);95 character,96 or daily life in Mesopotamia.97 Curiously, humor is a subject that has attracted more attention among Assyriologists such as D’Agostino, Frahm and Madreiter.98 But other emotions, such as fear in relation to the possibility of being forgotten, have also been explored by Corfù.99 Rendu-Loisel researched anger in Mesopotamia.100 Musche studied love in Ancient Near Eastern poetry.101 Riley102 dealt with divine emotions, particularly with divine and human “hate”, through the methodology of a lexical study of Hebrew, Ugaritic and Akkadian for hate originating in divine figures. His study also compares and contrasts examples of divine and human hate in Biblical and cognate writings. Jaques103 focused on the vocabulary of emotions in the Sumerian textual evidence. Steinert104 treated shame in the last part of her book on person and identity in Mesopotamia during the second and first centuries BCE. A recent publication,105 edited by Kipfer, explores the visualization of emotions in the Ancient Near East. It includes emotions referred to in texts (Biblical, Sumerian and Akkadian texts) and images/art (facial expression, body postures etc.).

5

Overview of This Volume

There is no doubt that Ancient Egyptians, Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians had their own cultural models which influenced the ways they expressed their emotions. This volume aims to present an overview of the emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. Articles written by scholars from the fields of Egyptology and Assyriology, some of them specialists in the study of emotions

95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105

Foster 1974. Freydank 1993. Klengel 1993. D’Agostino 2008; Frahm 2008; Madreiter 2014. Corfù 2015. Rendel-Loisel 2010. Musche 1999. Riley 2017. Jaques 2006. Steinert 2012, especially pp. 405 ff. Kipfer 2017.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

13

in ancient texts, discuss the concept of emotions in these civilizations, and how emotions are described in the ancient texts. This volume is divided into two parts: emotion in Ancient Egypt and emotion in Ancient Mesopotamia. 5.1 Part 1: The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt In the section dedicated to Ancient Egypt, scholars discuss emotions such as fear, depression, anger, feeling of pain, envy, jealousy and greed, using evidence from different text genres. Additionally, two articles focus especially on text genres, such as the Late Ramesside Letters and royal inscriptions, in which emotions are analysed. Sven Eicke discusses the “History of Horror: A Diachronic Overview of Fear(s) in Ancient Egyptian Texts” (pp. 25–51) on the ambivalent concepts of Egyptian fear(s) from the point of view of conceptual metaphor theory and emotionology. He differentiates between the terms “fear”, “horror” and “awe”, and provides their lexemes. Through the aspects of conceptual metaphor theory and emotionology, Eicke gives examples from a variety of texts ranging from the Old Kingdom to Graeco-Roman times, which belong to funerary(-religious), literary, historical(-political) and religious genres. He analyses the ambivalence of fear in society. Shih-Wei Hsu investigates in “ ‘I Wish I Could Die’: Depression in Ancient Egypt” (pp. 52–87) the concept of depression among the Egyptians, particularly its definition, cause, description, treatments and solutions in the pessimistic literature. Although the definition and symptoms of depression are different in ancient civilizations, the description “the heart is ill” is a common phenomenon. Features of the First Intermediate Period, such as the decline of kingship, the failure of crops, famine, and chaotic social structures may have been the reasons for depression. The pessimistic texts reflect these feelings of misery and depressive thoughts, and many passages show evidence of depression. Hsu gives examples to prove that Ancient Egyptians had depressive feelings, just as we do today. In “Royal Rage and Private Anger in Ancient Egypt” (pp. 88–102), Ines Köhler researches the emotion “anger” in certain types of episode, and the conceptualization of anger regarding (proto)typical processes and culture-specific expressions and actions. She gives an overview of the processes involved in experiencing and perceiving anger, and focuses on the Egyptian lexical field [ANGER]. [ANGER] can be conceptualized by a body part (heart), facial expression, colour (red), the deity (Seth), opponents and animals. [ANGER] is regarded as an important fighting quality of Maat and Isfet. Tara Prakash discusses pain in Ancient Egypt in “Everybody Hurts: Understanding and Visualizing Pain in Ancient Egypt” (pp. 103–125). She gives exam-

14

hsu and llop raduà

ples of three types of scenes from the private tombs of the Old Kingdom, such as scenes of beating, scenes of landowners or herdsman being forced to pay taxes, and mourning scenes, to show visualizations of pain. With the help of short captions, these scenes also provide particular cues indicating different feelings. Prakash indicates that Egyptians conceived of pain as an experience that had both physical and emotional components, which were related to each other and which could coexist. Using frameworks from pragmatics, Kim Ridealgh argues in “ ‘Without You I Am an Orphan’: Exploring Emotion and Interpersonal Pragmatics in the Late Ramesside Letters” (pp. 126–143) that the Late Ramesside letters viably demonstrate the role of emotion in maintaining interpersonal relationships. She presents three cases that highlight the role of emotions in restoring and maintaining interpersonal relationships, prove that emotions are linguistically signalled via different aspects, and show that emotion and interpersonal relationships are inextricably linked. Anthony Spalinger focuses on “Indexes of Emotions in Pianchy’s Great Stela with Some Cultural Comparisons” (pp. 144–168) during Pianchy’s Great Campaign, and on his concepts of warfare and women. Through narrative techniques and Sargent’s methodology, he analyses the language of the Great Stela of Pianchy, the Dream Stela of Tanwetamani, the Inscriptions of Taharqo, and the Enthronement Stelae of Aspelta and Amannote-erike. He focuses on the emotions of Pianchy in the Great Stela elicited by the deeds of Namlot and Tefnacht. Pianchy was wise and mighty, but also careful, perspicacious and sharp-witted, even growing angry when he heard of the siege of Hermopolis. Spalinger indicates that the Stela was not an emotionally played out interpretation, because it proves the sober generalship of Pianchy, and his careful plans and desire for victory. In “‘Do Not Cast an Eye on Another One’s Goods …!’ Aspects of Envy, Jealousy and Greed in Ancient Egypt” (pp. 169–197) Alexandra Verbovsek reviews the categorization of the emotions “envy (Neid)” and “jealousy (Eifersucht)” in Ancient Egyptian culture, and presents different textual examples from the Old Kingdom down to the Late Period. She examines lexemes related to jealousy and envy, as well as the term ꜥwn-jb (greedy) and its negative effects on social relations. She explains that the Egyptians perceived emotions not only as manifestations of misbehavior but also as character traits that make up a human being. She calls for a comparison of Egyptian emotive scripts to those of other cultures.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

15

5.2 Part 2: The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Mesopotamia In the section dedicated to Mesopotamia, scholars discuss the expression of emotions through analyses of textual examples. The authors of the articles in the present volume present a wide range of studies in terms of textual evidence (Sumerian and Akkadian documents), genres (literary and archival texts), the emotions treated (sadness, happiness, fear, jealousy, anger), periods (from the third millennium to the first millennium BCE), as well as perspectives. In “Depression at the Royal Courts of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal” (pp. 201–219) Greta Van Buylaere introduces several depressed men living at the royal courts of Esarhaddon (680–669 BCE) and Assurbanipal (668–631? BCE). She examines the triggers of their depression (illness, grief, stress, job loss, social pressure, etc.) and the reactions of the kings and scholars to their sorrow. In “Shaping Gender, Shaping Emotions. On the Mutual Construction of Gender Identities and Emotional Roles in Ancient Mesopotamia” (pp. 220–237) Agnès Garcia-Ventura analyses how the shaping of certain emotions influences the shaping of masculinities and femininities, and how some features of specific gender roles reinforce the characterization of some emotions, with special attention to grief. She focuses on administrative texts from the funeral of queen Baranamtara, and a selection of excerpts from the Death of Urnamma and the Epic of Gilgamesh, which portray a variety of scenarios with regard to the interactions between the construction of gender identities and the shaping of emotional roles through wailing, mourning and lamenting. Margaret Jaques, in “Emotions and Their Expression in a Religious Historical Perspective in Ancient Mesopotamia” (pp. 238–254) reviews the expression of joy, fear and sadness in diverse Mesopotamian literary sources. She stresses the difficulties for a historian of assessing emotions in old languages. In “Expressions of Joy and Happiness in Neo-Assyrian” (pp. 255–282) Mikko Luukko focuses on the expression of happiness and joy in the Neo-Assyrian archival texts and beyond. He collects and analyses the attestations in the domain of happiness and observes that these expressions are mainly linked to the interaction between members of the Assyrian elite. Anne Caroline Rendu-Loisel studies emotions related to the experience of the environment in the corpus of the Sumerian literature of the Old Babylonian period in “From Landscape to Ritual Performances: Emotions in Sumerian Literature” (pp. 283–305). According to Rendu-Loisel, emotions such as awe and joy play an important role during the ritual activities conducted in the temple. In “Jealousy in Akkadian Love Literature: Zarpanītu in the Divine Love Lyrics” (pp. 306–334), Rocío Da Riva discusses the elusive figure of the Babylonian goddess Zarpanītu, the spouse of Marduk, in Akkadian Love Literature. Da Riva illuminates this figure through a ritual in which the goddess plays the

16

hsu and llop raduà

leading role. Zarpanītu is betrayed by her unfaithful husband, which triggers a firestorm of emotions fuelled by jealousy towards her rival Ištar. Irene Sibbing-Plantholt examines Death (Mūtu) and the emotions it arouses in “Visible Death and Audible Distress: The Personification of Death (Mūtu) and Associated Emotions as Inherent Conditions of Life in Akkadian Sources” (pp. 335–389). Firstly, she differentiates between two personifications of Death, Mūtu and Namtar. Then, she discusses the multifaceted personifications of Mūtu, and the emotions he evokes, such as fear, sadness, sorrow, anguish and distress. Karen Sonik deals with the Mesopotamian hero par excellence in “Gilgamesh and Emotional Excess: The King without Counsel in the SB Gilgamesh Epic” (pp. 390–409). She presents the physically powerful Gilgamesh as the king without counsel and too weak to cope with overwhelming emotions, which lead him to act impulsively and to his detriment. According to Sonik, it is through the act of taking counsel that he will rein in these emotions and measure his acts. Ulrike Steinert focuses on four emotions: joy, sorrow, fear and anger, and investigates their conceptualization in Akkadian texts in “Pounding Hearts and Burning Livers: The ‘Sentimental Body’ in Mesopotamian Medicine and Literature” (pp. 410–469). She underlines the relationship between the vocabulary and expressions of emotion and its bodily signs. She analyses metaphors in Akkadian texts that conceptualize the emotional experience, as well as the social and evaluative aspects of Mesopotamian discourses on emotions. Further, she discusses developments and specificities regarding the evaluation of emotions in the medical texts of the first millennium BCE, as well as evaluative and socio-moral aspects of emotions in literature. Finally, Steinert proposes a middle path in the debate between the universalist and social-constructivist approach to emotion. Saana Svärd, Tero Alstola, Heidi Jauhiainen, Aleksi Sahala and Krister Lindén focus on “Fear in Akkadian Texts: New Digital Perspectives on Lexical Semantics” (pp. 470–502). In their article, they examine the semantic field of this emotion in Akkadian. They apply linguistic and technological methods and network analysis to study the verbs referring to this emotion in Akkadian (i.e., adāru, galātu, palāḫu, parādu and šaḫātu). They analyse and highlight the similarities and differences in the semantic fields of verbs of fear, creating for the first time a semantic map based on a statistical analysis of how these five verbs relate to each other and other lexemes.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

6

17

Concluding Remarks

Emotions can definitely cross cultures, civilizations and languages, and they remain invariant over time. As long as people are alive and perceive, they always express their feelings, whether in facial, psychical, physical or oral ways. People in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia had similar emotions to the ones we have today, although they expressed them in different ways. Although emotions in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia have been studied, we think that this subject needs more investigation. This is why we embarked upon publishing the present volume with the hope of making up this deficiency. We would like to thank all participants for their contributions to this volume. Thanks to their great efforts, we have been able to present a diverse range of studies on emotions from the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia, and provide different points of view on each particular emotion and the role that emotions played in specific text genres. We would also like to express our gratitude to the editors of the series Culture and History of the Ancient Near East for their permisson to publish, as well as to Benedict Davies for reviewing the whole manuscript of this volume. Tianjin—Madrid 2020

Bibliography Baines, J. 2017. “Epilogue. On Ancient Pictorial Representation of Emotions: Concluding Comments with Examples from Egypt.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 263–285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press Fribourg; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Göttingen. Cairns, D. and D. Nelis. 2017. Emotions in the Classic World. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Cairns, D.L. and L. Fulkerson. 2015. Emotions between Greece and Rome. London: University of London Institute of Classical Studies. Campeggiani, P. and D. Konstan. forthcoming. “Emotion Theory in Ancient Greece and Rome.” In The Routledge Handbook of Emotion Theory, edited by A. Scarantino. London: Routledge. Chaniotis, A. (ed.) 2011. Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean: Agency, Emotions, Gender, Representation. Stuttgart: Steiner Verlag. Chaniotis, A. (ed.) 2012a. Unveiling Emotions: Sources and Methods for the Study of Emotions in the Greek World. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Chaniotis, A. 2012b. “Emotions.” In The Oxford Classical Dictionary, edited by S. Horn-

18

hsu and llop raduà

blower et al. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Online resource: http://www.oxfordref erence.com/view/10.1093/acref/9780199545568.001.0001/acref‑9780199545568‑e‑70 34?rskey=vZe7Xb&result=2420. (March 15, 2018). Chaniotis. A. 2017. “A World of Emotions: The making of an exhibition.” Online access: https://www.ias.edu/ideas/2017/chaniotis‑world‑of‑emotions. (March 12, 2018) Chaniotis, A. and D. Pierre. 2013. Unveiling Emotions II. Emotions in Greece and Rome: Texts, Images, Material Culture. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Chaniotis, A. et al. (eds.) 2017. A World of Emotions: Ancient Greece, 700BC–200 AD. New York: Onassis Foundation USA. Clark, J.A. 2010. “Relations of Homology between Higher Cognitive Emotions and Basic Emotions.” Biology & Philosophy 25(1): 75–94. Corfù, N.A. 2015. “Die Angst von dem ‘Vergessen werden’ im Alten Mesopotamien.” Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 147: 165–182. Cuykendall, S.B. and D.D. Hoffman. 2008. “From Color to Emotion. Ideas and Exploration.” UCI Cognitive Sciences, online access: http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~ddhoff/ FromColorToEmotion.pdf. (March 22, 2019) D’Agostino, F. 2000. Testi umoristici babilonesi e assiri. Brescia: Paideia Editrice. Darwin, C. 2009. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Di Biase-Dyson, C. 2018. “The figurative network. Tracking the use of metaphorical language for ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ in Ramesside literary texts.” In The Ramesside period in Egypt: studies into cultural and historical processes of the 19th and 20th dynasties, edited by S. Kubisch and U. Rummel, 33–43. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter Dixon, T. 2003. From Passions to Emotions. The Creation of a Secular Psychological Category. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Effland, U. 2003. “Aggression und Aggressionskontrolle im alten Ägypten.” In Es werde niedergelegt als Schriftstück: Festschrift für Hartwig Altenmüller zum 65. Geburtstag, edited by N. Kloth et al., 71–81. Hamburg: Buske. Ekman, P. 1999a. “Basic Emotions.” In Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, edited by T. Dalgleish and M.J. Power, 45–60. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons. Ekman, P. 1999b. “Facial Expressions.” In Handbook of Cognition and Emotion, edited by T. Dalgleish and M.J. Power, 301–320. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons El-Kholi, M.S. 2003. “Das Herz in der Bedeutung ‘Verstand’ und ‘Gefühl’.” In Hommages à Fayza Haikal, edited by N. Grimal et al., 165–175. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Evans, D. 2001. Emotions. A Very Short Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Foster, B. 1974. “Humor and Cuneiform Literature.” Journal of the Near Eastern Society 6: 69–85. Frahm, E. 2008. “Babylonischer Humor.” In Babylon—Wahrheit & Mythos, edited by J. Marzahn and G. Schauerte, 463–464. Berlin: Hirmer Verlag.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

19

Freydank, H. 1993. “Altvorderasiatische Charaktere.” In Šulmu IV. Everyday Life in the Ancient Near East. Papers presented at the International Conference. Poznań, 19– 22 September 1989, edited by J. Zabłocka and S. Zawdzki, 93–104. Poznań: UAM. Fu, C.-S. 2012. “What are Emotions in Chinese Confucianism.”Lignuist. Cult. Educ. 1: 78– 93. von Goethe, J.W. 1812. Zur Farbenlehre. Ebook von Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Online access: https://edoc.hu‑berlin.de/handle/18452/920 (April 24, 2019). Hagen, J. 2017. Die Tränen der Mächtigen und die Macht der Tränen. Eine emotionsgeschichtliche Untersuchung des Weinens in der kaiserzeitlichen Historiographie. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Heller, A.L. 2015. From Architecture to Graves: The Development of Emotion in Ancient Greek Sculpture. Boulder: Undergraduate Honors thesis of the University of Colorado. Houston, S. “Decorous Bodies and Disordered Passions: Representations of Emotion among the Classic Maya.” World Archaeology 32(2): 206–219. Houston, S. et al. (eds.) 2006. The Memory of Bones. Body, Being, and Experience among the Classic Maya. Texas: University of Texas Press. Hsu, S.-W. 2014. “The Images of Love: The Use of Figurative Expressions in the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs.” Orientalia 83(4): 413–414. Hsu, S.-W. 2017. Bilder für den Pharao. Untersuchungen zu den bildlichen Ausdrücken des Ägyptischen in den Königsinschriften und anderen Textgattungen. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumeriens. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Kaster, R.A. 2005. Emotion, Restraint, and Community in Ancient Rome. Oxford, Oxford University Press. Kaya, N. and H.H. Epps. 2004. “Relationship between color and emotion: A Study of College Students.” College Student Journal 38(3): 396–405. Kienlin, T.L. and L.C. Koch. 2017. “Emotion-Perspektiven auf Innen und Außen. Zur Einführung.” In Emotion-Perspektiven auf Innen und Außen. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 305, edited by T.L. Kienlin and L.C. Koch, 1–54. Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH. Kipfer, S. 2009. “Love Turns into Hate: The Rape of Tamar (2Sam 13:1–22) in Baroque Art.” In SBL Forum 7(2). Online access: https://www.sbl‑site.org/publications/article .aspx?ArticleId=800 (March 18, 2018). Kipfer, S. 2016. “Angst, Furcht und Schrecken: Eine kognitiv-linguistische Untersuchung einer Emotion im biblischen Hebräisch.” Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 42(1): 15–79. Kipfer, S. (ed.) 2017. Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press Fribourg; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht Göttingen.

20

hsu and llop raduà

Klengel, H. 1993. “Verhaltens- und Denkweisen im Alltag Mesopotamiens nach altbabylonischen Briefen.” In Šulmu IV. Everyday Life in the Ancient Near East. Papers presented at the International Conference. Poznań, 19–22 September 1989, edited by J. Zablocka and S. Zawdzki, 151–159. Poznań: UAM. Knuuttila, S. 2004. Emotions in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Köhler, I. 2011. “Rage like an Egyptian: The Conceptualization of Anger.” In Current Research in Egyptology 2010: Proceedings of the Eleventh Annual Symposium, Leiden University 2010, edited by M. Horn et al., 81–96. Oxford: Oxbow. Köhler, I. 2012. “Du Pharao—ich Hulk: Wahrnehmung und Versprachlichung von Wut.” In Sozialisation: Individuum-Gruppe-Gesellschaft: Beiträge des ersten Münchener Arbeitskreises Junge Aegyptologie (MAJA 1), 3. Bis 5.12.2010, edited by G. Neunert et al., 127–138. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Köhler, I. 2016. Rage like an Egyptian: die Möglichkeiten eines kognitiv-semantischen Zugangs zum altägyptischen Wortschatz am Beispiel des Wortsfeld [Wut]. Hamburg: Buske. Köhler, I. 2017. “‘Und Seth wurde verdammt wütend …’—die Konzeptualisierung von WUT im Alten Ägypten.” In Emotion-Perspektiven auf Innen und Außen. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 305, edited by T.L. Kienlin and L.C. Koch, 223–236. Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH Konstan, D. 2006a. The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Konstan, D. 2006b. “Anger.” In The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature, edited by D. Konstan, 41–76. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Konstan, D. 2015. “Affect and Emotion in Greek Literature.” Oxford Handbook Online October 2015: http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/97801999 35390.001.0001/oxfordhb‑9780199935390‑e‑41 (March 15, 2018) Kövecses, Z. 1986. Metaphors of Anger, Pride, and Love. A Lexical Approach to the Structure of Concepts. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Kövecses, Z. 1988. The Language of Love. The Semantics of Passion in Conversational English. Lewisburg; London; Toronto: Bucknell University Press; Associated University Press. Kövecses, Z. 2007. Metaphor and Emotion. Language, Culture and Body in Human Feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kövecses, Z. 2014. “Conceptualizing Emotions. A Revised Cognitive Linguistic Perspective.” Poznań Studies in Contemporary Linguistics 50(1): 15–28. Kövecses. Z. 2000. “The Concept of Anger: Universal or Culture Specific?”Psychopathology 33: 159–170. Kruger, P.A. 2000. “A Cognitive Interpretation of the Emotion of Anger in the Hebrew Bible.” Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 26(1): 181–193.

the expression of emotions in ancient egypt and mesopotamia

21

Kruger, P.A. 2001. “A Cognitive Interpretation of the Emotion of Fear in the Hebrew Bible.” Journal of Northwest Semitic Languages 27(2): 77–89. Kruger, P.A. 2005. “Depression in the Hebrew Bible: An Update.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 64/3: 187–192. Kruger, P.A. 2015. “Emotions in the Hebrew Bible: A Few Observations on Prospects and Challenges.” Old Testament Essays 28(2): 395–420. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson. 1980. Metaphor We Live By. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Larre, C. et al. (eds.) 1996. The Seven Emotions: Psychology and Health in Ancient China. Taos: Redwing Book Co. Lim, N. 2016. “Cultural Differences in Emotion: Differences in Emotional Arousal Level Between the East and the West.” Integrative Medicine Research 5: 105–109. Madreiter, I. 2014. “Den Feinde verlachen. Die Funktionen von Humor und Spott in Kriegsberichten der assyrischen Herrscher.” In Krieg in den Köpfen, edited by P. Mauritsch, 41–63. Graz: Leykam Verlag. Mesquita, B. and A. Haire 2004. “Emotion and Culture.” In Encyclopedia of Applied Psychology. Vol. I, edited by C. Spielberger, 731–737. London: Academic Press. Musche, B. 1999. Die Liebe in der altorientalischen Dichtung. Leiden: Brill. Nijdam, N.A. 2005. “Mapping Emotion to Color.” Semantic Scholar, online access: https: //www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Mapping‑emotion‑to‑color‑Nijdam/5f0de6e7bc 1d5443243f9f42f2379db9639a933d (March 22, 2019). Oatley, K. 2004. Emotions: A Brief History. Malden, MA: Blackwell. Plamper, J. 2015. The History of Emotions. An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Plutchik, R. 1980. “A General Psychoevolutionary Theory of Emotion.” In Emotion: Theory, Research, and Experience. Volume 1 Theories of Emotion, edited by R. Plutchik and H. Kellermann, 3–33. New York: Academic Press. Ramaprasad, D. 2013. “Emotions: An Indian Perspective.” Indian Journal of Psychiatry 55/2: 153–156. Rendel-Loisel, A.C. 2010. “Dieux, démons et colère dans l’Ancienne Mésopotamie.” Mythos. Rivista di Storia dell Religioni 4: 99–111. Riley, A.J. 2017. Divine and Human Hate in the Ancient Near East: A Lexical and Contextual Analysis. Piscataway: Gorgias Press LLC. Rosenwein, B.H. 2006. Emotional Communities in the Early Middle Ages. Ithaca; London: Cornell University Press. Sanders, E. and M. Johncock. 2016. Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Schuler, B. (ed.) 2017. Historicizing Emotions: Practices and Objects in India, China and Japan. Leiden: Brill. Steinert, U. 2012. Aspekte des Menschenseins im Alten Mesopotamien. Eine Studie zu Person und Identität im 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

22

hsu and llop raduà

Sundararajan, L. 2015. Understanding Emotion in Chinese Culture. Thinking through Psychology. Heidelberg; New York: Springer. Tait, J. 2009. “Anger and Agency: The Role of Emotions in Demotic and Earlier Narratives.” In ‘Being in Ancient Egypt’. Thoughts on Agency, Materiality and Cognition. Proceedings of the Seminar held in Copenhagen, September 29–30, 2006, edited by A. Kjølby and R. Nyord, 75–82. Oxford: Archaeopress. Toro-Rueda, M.I. 2004. Das Herz in der ägyptischen Literatur des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr.: Untersuchungen zur Idiomatik und Metaphorik von Ausdrücken mit jb und ḥꜣtj. Dissertation: Universität Göttingen. Valdez, P. and A. Mehrabian. 1994. “Effects of Color on Emotion.” Journal of Experimental Psychology 123(4): 394–409. Velásquez, J.D. 1999. “From Affect Programs to Higher Cognitive Emotions: An EmotionBased Control Approach.” Semantic Scholar, online access: https://pdfs.semanticsch olar.org/ac4d/45f432614a10f43c2949c50d6fcc5f133baa.pdf?_ga=2.266257487.194883 2391.1556248998‑714455059.1556084307 (April 26, 2019) Verbovsek, A. 2009. “‘Er soll sich nicht fürchten …!’ Zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Angst in der Erzählung des Sinuhe.” In Text–Theben–Tonfragmente. Festschrift für Günter Burkard, edited by D. Kessler et al., 421–433. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Verbovsek, A. 2011. “The Correlation of Rituals, Emotions, and Literature in Ancient Egypt.” In Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean: Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation, edited by A. Chaniotis, 235–262. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Virág, C. 2017. The Emotions in Early Chinese Philosophy. Oxford: University of Oxford Press. Wagner, A. “Emotionen in alttestamentlicher und verwandter Literatur—Grundüberlegungen am Beispiel.” In Emotions from Ben Sira to Paul, edited by R. Egger-Wenzel and J. Corley, 27–68. Berlin: De Gruyter. Wagner, A. 2006. Emotionen, Gefühle und Sprache im Alten Testament. 4 Studien, Waltrop: Hartmut Spenner Verlag. Wagner, A. 2014. Göttliche Körper—Göttliche Gefühle: Was leisten anthropomorphe und anthropopathische Götterkonzepte im Alten Orient und im Alten Testament? Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck-Ruprecht. Wälchli, S.H. 2013. Gottes Zorn in den Psalmen: Eine Studie zur Rede von Zorn Gottes in den Psalmen im Kontext des Alten Testaments und des Alten Orients. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck-Ruprecht. Wierzbicka, A. 1999. Emotion across Languages and Cultures. Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Yu, N. 2002. “Body and Emotions: Body Parts in Chinese Expression of Emotions.”Pragmatics & Cognition 10(1): 341–367.

part 1 The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Egypt



chapter 2

History of Horror: A Diachronic Overview of Fear(s) in Ancient Egyptian Texts Sven Eicke

In almost all text genres of all periods of Ancient Egypt, there is evidence for a handful of words belonging to the semantic field of fear. In this article, some of these expressions will be presented as examples, and the concepts of fear will be analyzed using a theory from Cognitive Linguistics. A short diachronic overview will show which of them have been preserved over a longer period of time. In addition, we will consider whether certain emotional standards can be found in the texts that represent fear in a culturally adequate manner and whether these differ from each other depending on the textual source. For this purpose, theories of social-constructivist emotional approaches are adopted.

1

Introduction: Fear as an Object of Research

Fear is a research topic that has received increasing attention in Egyptology for several decades. In addition to short introductions1 and overview works,2 as well as to chapters in extensive monographs on Ancient Egyptian emotions,3 corpus-based works have also emerged. There is research into fear in the Pyramid Texts,4 the Coffin Texts5 and the Book of the Dead,6 in documentary texts7 and in literary texts.8 In addition, more detailed studies exist with different foci.9 On the basis of the existing works and by presenting further documents, a diachronic overview of the occurrences of this emotion in selected texts belonging to a variety of genres will be given below. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Assmann 1977. Zaniolo de Vazquez-Presedo 1958; Eicke 2017. Toro-Rueda 2003; O’Dell 2008. Cazemier 1977–1978. Bickel 1988. Eicke 2015. Morenz 1969. Verbovsek 2009. Assmann 2011; Beaux 2017.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

26

eicke

But first it seems necessary to define what exactly is meant by fear here. The “actual” emotion (a term that can itself be defined in various ways, depending on which of the many disciplines of “emotion research” one uses10) is a comparatively complicated object of study, since its definition goes back to the individual premises, methods of investigation and results of the different academic subjects that deal with it. Certain characteristics such as the body regions or physical reactions involved can be assumed to be relatively constant through epochs and cultures—these are of minor interest here. On the other hand, culture-specific aspects can hardly be denied, especially in the perception, identification, evaluation and social processing of fear. In the following, I will attempt to show these aspects, which are postulated above all by social constructivist theories of emotion (see below) by analyzing the linguistic expressions of fear recorded in Ancient Egyptian texts. But this reveals another difficulty, for fear is an emotion that can be expressed using a variety of words. Linguistically, it is a semantic field (indicated by italics herein) to which many terms can be assigned due to their meaning being understood as being similar. Words such as “anxiety”, “phobia”, “terror” and others can be used as (quasi) synonyms: our own everyday usage,11 as well as examples from the arts,12 prove this. As a result, it is often complicated (if at all possible) to distinguish between the individual terms, especially between “fear” and “anxiety”, as numerous works from various academic subject areas show.13 Because of these issues, it seems appropriate to briefly clarify the methodology chosen here. 10 11

12

13

For example, see parts I and II of the Handbook of Emotions by Lewis, Haviland-Jones, and Barrett 2008. As an illustration, see the following excerpts from a report in the Berliner Zeitung (see Veiel 2014), which deals with troublemakers masked as vicious clowns (called “mauvais clowns”) threatening pedestrians in France: “Wie die Zombies. Böse Clowns terrorisieren ganz Frankreich. […] Sie versetzen Frankreich in Angst und Schrecken. […] Aus Sicht der konservativen Tageszeitung Le Figaro hat sich die Angst vor den zombieähnlichen Clowns zur Psychose ausgeweitet.” (German fear words highlighted in italics). For example, a passage from the song “Fear of the Dark” by heavy metal band Iron Maiden can show the apparent similarities attributed to individual fear words (highlighted by italics): “When the lights begin to change / I sometimes feel a little strange / A little anxious when it’s dark / Fear of the dark, fear of the dark / I have a constant fear that something’s always near / Fear of the dark, fear of the dark / I have a phobia that someone’s always there”. Just a few instances may illustrate this: Öhman (2008) presents psychological approaches to differentiating between “fear” and “anxiety”; in the philosophical context, Krämer (2011) shows the different etymology of German “Angst” and “Furcht”; meanwhile, Bourke (2013, 189–192) relativizes the actual need for the distinction between “fear” and “anxiety” for historians.

history of horror

2

27

Methods: Emotion Theories

First, a working definition of this emotion is necessary, the validity of which has no claim to universality: fear is here understood as a phenomenon that is a physical and/or psychological reaction,14 usually but not always to a previous perceived stimulus,15 which can be of various kinds;16 it is basically uncomfortable17 and can vary in its intensity and duration.18 Second, it should be noted that the emotion generally referred to as fear19 is expressed linguistically (here in writing) by the semantic field of the same name. This field includes numerous words, all of which, to a certain extent, signify the characteristics of the emotion mentioned (not defined here in more detail), but may differ from one another; for example, the intensity of unpleasantness associated with “awe” may be less than the one associated with “horror”. This concerns both the semantic field fear in modern languages (such as English or German), as well as in Ancient Egyptian. For the latter, the relevant dictionaries, which include the corresponding modern words as translations, are to be used. In addition, some of the detailed studies mentioned above may prove the affiliation of some words to the semantic field because of their very similar use in approximately the same co-texts and contexts. Third, the culture-specific aspects of the emotion linguistically expressed in the use of the words of this semantic field will be presented here. Part of

14

15

16 17 18

19

Depending on the scientific approach, the response may be understood as a delimiting feature for other fear concepts (e.g. state anxiety vs. trait anxiety), as well as being part of a unifying model (e.g. Spiegelberger’s trait-state model); cf. Stöber and Schwarzer 2000, 190–191. For example, in some disciplines, the fear of something indeterminate is seen among other things as a distinguishing feature, so that in such a case they would rather speak of “anxiety” (e.g. Öhman 2008, 710). Especially in the case of specific phobias, see Bandelow 2013, 43, for some amazing examples (like hippopotamomonstrosesquipedaliophobia denoting fear of long words). Cf. Bourke 2013, 189: “No one disagrees that fear and anxiety are agonising emotions”. In some scientific fields, especially in psychology and psychiatry, these aspects serve to delineate “common” and pathological forms of fear (cf. Öhman 2008, 710). In the following, in particular, the intensity assumed in the Ancient Egyptian instances, due to their contexts, should serve to distinguish the individual terms. Just as the semantic field fear contains a multitude of possible words that have certain intersections with each other, the emotion fear itself can be understood as a generic term for the individual phenomena expressed by these words. In the field of emotion research, this term corresponds to that of basic emotion. However, due to its controversial nature, this approach will not be used here.

28

eicke

the linguistic analysis, primarily of the nouns for fear, will involve adopting the Conceptual Metaphor Theory, which has already found its way into Egyptology.20 Dealing with fear-related emotional standards and functions takes place under the term of emotionology, an approach that has so far received less attention in Egyptological work.21 2.1 Conceptual Metaphor Theory The foundations for Conceptual Metaphor Theory were published in 1980 in the book Metaphors We Live By by Lakoff and Johnson. Their central assumption is that “[o]ur ordinary conceptual system, in terms of which we both think and act, is fundamentally metaphorical in nature”.22 The concepts of this system “structure what we perceive, how we get around in the world, and how we relate to other people”.23 The authors’ tool for finding out the—normally unconscious—conceptual system is to look at language, since “communication is based on the same conceptual system that we use in thinking and acting”.24 By analyzing metaphorical linguistic expressions, the metaphorical concept that structures the human thought process can be identified,25 as the following example of Lakoff and Johnson shows: expressions like “Your claims are indefensible”, “He attacked every weak point in my argument” and “I demolished his argument” illustrate the conceptual metaphor argument is war.26 The vocabulary makes it clear that the concept argument is metaphorically structured in terms of the concept war.27

20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27

Representative here is the very recent article by Di Biase-Dyson (2017), which also provides an overview of the numerous individual Egyptology studies. Only briefly discussed by O’Dell (2008, 48); the concept has already been applied by Eicke (2015; 2017). Lakoff and Johnson 2003, 3. Lakoff and Johnson 2003, 3. Lakoff and Johnson 2003, 3. Lakoff and Johnson 2003, 5. Lakoff and Johnson 2003, 4. It is common practice to write the linguistic expressions in italics and the conceptual metaphor in small caps. The example represents the basic structure and function of a conceptual metaphor: “A conceptual metaphor consists of two conceptual domains, in which one domain is understood in terms of another. A conceptual domain is any coherent organization of experience. […] The conceptual domain from which we draw metaphorical expressions to understand another conceptual domain is called source domain, while the conceptual domain that is understood this way is the target domain. […] The target domain is the domain that we try to understand through the use of the source domain” (Kövecses 2010, 4).

history of horror

29

For the present contribution, the work of Kövecses is of primary importance, as he has further condensed the theory,28 which is very useful for the following considerations, and also, because he has devoted a substantial part of his research to metaphors and emotions.29 His remarks and examples are quoted below in the relevant passages and are used for the analysis of the Ancient Egyptian textual material. 2.2 Emotionology As already mentioned, social constructivist theories of emotion consider emotions as culture-specific phenomena (mostly without negating biological aspects) and attribute social functions to them.30 These functions are of particular interest here, but the question is to what extent they are tangible in the Ancient Egyptian textual material.31 The texts that are analyzed below, like most that come from Ancient Egypt, are anything but everyday utility texts. It is far from likely that they are witnesses for “real” feelings. Being consciously written and left behind, these religious, official and literary sources were subject to certain socio-cultural standards for which Baines has introduced the term “decorum”.32 They were subject to specific rules and requirements. Consequently, similar things can be said (a priori) about the emotions that are described in the texts or should be evoked by them. An approach to such emotional standards has been formulated by Carol and Peter Stearns in their idea of emotionology.33 To delineate “real” (physical) emotions, they define this term as follows: “the attitudes or standards that a society, or a definable group within a society, maintains toward basic emotions and their appropriate expressions; ways that institutions reflect and encourage these attitudes in human contact”.34

28 29 30 31 32 33

34

Kövecses 2010. Kövecses 2007. For example, see Weber 2000; a very short overview of social constructivist emotion theories is also provided by Kövecses (2007, 13–14). Further, in some cases it seems more correct to speak of functions in general, as it is not always clear if it is really possible to speak of social functions in relation to written sources. Reference is made here to his quite recent compilation (Baines 2007) with various relevant aspects relating to this topic. Stearns and Stearns 1985. This (not undisputed) neologism may be cautiously understood as a summary of similar assumptions about emotional rules that constitute another important component in social-constructivist views of emotion and for which different terms (emotional scripts, schemata, roles, etc.) have been established (cf. Weber 2000, 139–141). Stearns and Stearns 1985, 813.

30

eicke

It can be assumed that the linguistic expressions in the textual material reflect these emotional standards associated with the Ancient Egyptian concept of fear. On this basis, the texts can be taken as sources for the functions inherent in the concept of this emotion. Likewise, their analysis can provide some information about “how and why social agencies and institutions either promote or prohibit”35 the representation of fear (here in writings) and who was part of them.

3

Vocabulary: Ancient and Modern

There are a handful of Ancient Egyptian words for fear and to fear that are suitable for a diachronic study because of the mass of evidence. While other words do exist,36 they are far too rare or are only found in very specific contexts. One difficulty that arises with these frequently used nouns and verbs, however, is their rendering in modern language. The relevant dictionaries37 show that the range of meanings seems to be immense, as can be seen in the following presentation of these lexemes. nri̯ nrw ḥri̯ ḥryt snč̣

35 36 37

38 39 40 41 42

“to fear, to overawe”; “erschrecken, schaudern, schrecklich sein”; “craindre”.38 “fear, dread”; “Schrecken, Respekt”; “crainte, effroi”.39 “jemandem Furcht einflößen, ihn abschrecken, sich ängstigen, Furcht haben”; “craindre, inspirer la crainte”.40 “terror, dread, respect”; “Schrecken”; “crainte, effroi”.41 “to fear, to respect”; “sich fürchten, Furcht haben vor”; “craindre, redouter, être effrayé”.42 Stearns and Stearns 1985, 813. See for example Toro-Rueda 2003, 106–107; O’Dell 2008, 397–403; Beaux 2017, 241. See also the entries (lemma list in German and English) in the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae by the Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Altägyptisches Wörterbuch (2014). The reference publication for the following words is the Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache by Erman and Grapow (1971), although due to the first mention of the English translations the Concise Dictionary by Faulkner (1988) appears first. Not all lexemes are listed in all dictionaries. Faulkner 1988, 134; Erman and Grapow 1971, 2:277.4–8; Meeks 1981, 2137. Faulkner 1988, 134; Erman and Grapow 1971, 2:277.11–278.11; Meeks 1980, 2128; 1982, 2139. Erman and Grapow 1971, 3:147.11–13; Meeks 1980, 2811. Faulkner 1988, 176; Erman and Grapow 1971, 3:147.14–148.12; Meeks 1980, 2812; 1981, 2785; 1982, 2039. Faulkner 1988, 234; Erman and Grapow 1971, 4:182.2–183.3; Meeks 1980, 3686; 1981, 3651; 1982, 2647.

history of horror

31

snč̣ (snčw ̣ , snčṭ ) “fear”; “Furcht, Furchtbarkeit”; “crainte (que l’ on inspire), effroi”.43 šꜥt “slaughtering, terror”; “Verwundung, Gemetzel, Unheil, Schrecken”; “massacre, terreur, peur, crainte”.44 “majesty, respect, awe”; “majestätische Erscheinung, Ansešfyt (šfšft) hen”; “renommée, crainte respectueuse (que l’ on inspire)”.45 On the basis of the entries in these three dictionaries alone, it can be seen that some words appear—apparently—to be “more” fearful than others, while in some lexemes the question arises as to whether there is any kind of fear at all. For example, one gets the impression that nrw is a “classic” word for fear, at least more prototypical46 than šfyt, which seems more like an expression of a respectful honor. On the other hand, the English translations of ḥryt include almost all nuances of meaning that may be associated with this emotion, from simple “respect”, through “dread” to intense “terror”, which can be understood in its modern sense of the word as strongly negative. This is contrasted with šꜥt, for which fear is only one of several meanings, since the word is otherwise to be understood primarily as an act of physical violence. The difficulty presented by these words is further compounded by the ambiguity of fear that exists in many languages: most of the verbs can mean both feeling and spreading the emotion. We can be confident that none of the above-mentioned dictionaries is wrong with its definitions, especially since many of the meanings found therein are clearly related to certain documents. But this is all the more important to consider from the outset. The meanings of the individual words are strongly context dependent and cannot be adequately summarized with a single or a few modern terms (as is necessary for the purposes of dictionaries and comparable works).

43 44 45 46

Faulkner 1988, 235; Erman and Grapow 1971, 4:183.4–184.14; Meeks 1980, 3687; 1981, 3652– 3653; 1982, 2648–2649. Faulkner 1988, 262; Erman and Grapow 1971, 4:416.11–417.7; Meeks 1980, 4098; 1981, 4049; 1982, 2933. Faulkner 1988, 265; Erman and Grapow 1971, 4:457.2–459.7, 460.6–461.5; Meeks 1980, 4163, 4166; 1981, 4104; 1982, 2991, 2994. The so-called prototype theory, which goes back to the works of cognitive psychologist Eleanor Rosch, as a mode of categorization, has long been part of emotion research (see Shaver et al. 1987) and has already been convincingly adopted into Egyptology in reference to emotions, especially by Köhler 2016. However, its inclusion had to be waived in this article.

32

eicke

For this reason, only the generic term of the semantic field fear will be used in the glosses in the following examples.47 The assignment of a particular modern verb or noun to one of the Ancient Egyptian words will only be made in the translation and will be accompanied by a detailed discussion.

4

Fear: An Overview of Time and Texts

For the following overview, examples from a variety of texts ranging from the Old Kingdom to Graeco-Roman times are presented and can be attributed to the funerary(-religious), the literary, the historical(-political) and the religious genres (without wishing to define these four more precisely here).48 On the one hand, I aim to show which conceptual metaphors occur when and where, and on the other hand, to recognize certain emotional standards and functions that may be bound to these texts. Due to the limited nature of this contribution, this can only happen to a very concise extent, which is why reference is also made here to the upcoming larger-scale study.49 4.1 Old Kingdom Several conceptual metaphors for fear can be found in the Old Kingdom (ca. 2543–2120 BCE) and some of them are still detectable in temple texts produced at the end of the pharaonic period (see below). These include, in particular, the container metaphor, which is characterized by the fact that fear exists in somebody or something—not infrequently as a consequence of a previous filling, expressed in Egyptian terms by words for “to give, to place, to put”, etc.50 47 48

49

50

The rules and abbreviations of glosses are roughly based on Di Biase-Dyson, Kammerzell, and Werning 2009, and on Werning 2019. The texts are roughly subdivided into Old, Middle and New Kingdom (cf. Hornung, Krauss, and Warburton 2006) and Graeco-Roman times, without going into more detail about possible earlier models or later attestations of certain texts or genres, and without considering the intervening periods per se as less significant for literary productivity. Additionally, it must be mentioned at this point that despite certain “peak times” for texts being compiled by Egyptologists into corpora or grouped under certain genre names, it is almost impossible to draw exact time limits at which particular corpora or genres “ceased” to exist. Moreover, the examples chosen here are not necessarily the “main literary representatives” of each epoch. Instead, they should be understood as general insights into various literary genres found in significant epochs of Ancient Egyptian history. A diachronic analysis of fear in different genres of texts is the topic of my ongoing dissertation (working title: Emotionen im Alten Ägypten. Konzepte—Standards—Funktionen [Emotions in Ancient Egypt. Concepts—Standards—Functions]). The most common verb is rčị ̯ (see Erman and Grapow 1971, 2:464.1–468.15); in early texts

33

history of horror

An early text corpus in which this is mentioned several times is the so-called Pyramid Texts, dealing with the acceptance of the deceased into the heavenly hereafter among the gods, where the spells give him the necessary knowledge both to gain access and to appeal to helpers who will support him in his ascent. In this document, a personified anointing oil is invoked and instructed to act in favor of the deceased pharaoh as follows: (1) Pyramid of King Unas (at Saqqara)51 Ointment, ointment, where should you be? You on Horus’s forehead, where should you be? You were on Horus’s forehead, but I will put you on this Unas’s forehead. You shall make it pleasant for him, wearing you; you shall make him become an akh, wearing you; you shall make him have control of his body; čị ̯ -č šꜥ:t -f m give\sbjv -2sg.f fear:f[sg] -3sg.m in

jr:tï eye:f:du

ꜣḫ-w nb-w akh_spirit(m)-pl every-m.pl you shall put his respect in the eyes of all the akhs who shall look at him and everyone who hears his name as well.52

51 52

there is also wṭi̯ (see Erman and Grapow, 1971, 1:384.15–387.21). However, it should be mentioned that it is customary to translate rčị ̯ in particular as “to cause”, which also results in a slightly different translation, but does not change the meaning fundamentally. It can be assumed, however, that the more concrete “to give” was the original meaning, and the more abstract “to cause” is a consequence of a development occasionally attributed to metaphors, that is, ending in so-called “ ‘dead’ metaphors: metaphors that have been alive and vigorous at some point but have become so conventional and commonplace with constant use that by now they have lost their vigor and have ceased to be metaphors at all” (Kövecses 2010, xi). But as Kövecses further notes: “The ‘dead metaphor’ account misses one important point: namely, that what is deeply entrenched, hardly noticed, and thus effortlessly used is most active in our thought”. On the other hand, it is also not unlikely that most of the texts discussed here, which can be considered quite conservative by virtue of their register, were intended to keep the more traditional meaning, especially since the “giving” (of fear and of other abstract things) almost seems to culminate in the gifts of gods in the ritual scenes of the Graeco-Roman temples (see below). PT 77; see Allen 2013, 77–78, col. 2–8 (= 52a–53b). Translation based on Allen 2005, 22, who translates it thus: “you shall put his ferocity in the eyes of all the akhs”.

34

eicke

The divine oil, which is still on the forehead of the king god Horus, is to pass to king Unas and, together with his bodily integrity, which accompanies his necessary transfiguration, effects a pleasant, attractive fragrance, as well as an intimidating emotion among the other akhs. Since the latter are positive entities, it can be assumed that they should not be burdened with a strong intensity of fear.53 It is much more likely that the deceased king may occupy a prominent position, thus securing his “respect”. The eyes of the akhs are conceptualized as containers and it can be supposed that fear is associated with a kind of stimulus to which the sensory organs are receptive.54 Thus, the conceptual metaphor the body is a container for the emotion,55 found in the English language, can also be found in Ancient Egyptian, though in a very specific way. What is also relevant here, and provides further information on the Ancient Egyptian concept of fear, is the fact that the respect the oil is supposed to cause does not emanate from itself, but is understood as belonging to Unas; this is grammatically characterized by the use of the third-person singular suffix pronoun. As has already been discussed several times,56 and is also obvious on the basis of the present co-text, the fear is not felt emotionally by the king himself, but by those in whose eyes it is placed. Rather, the king is the one who possesses a terrifying quality, which is why a conceptual metaphor like possessing an emotion is existence of the emotion57 does not apply in this case. While the Pyramid Texts relate to the fate of the king in the realm of the dead, this concept is also found in reports that belong to the non-royal funerary context, namely in tombs of high-ranking individuals, where it provides information about their supposed achievements during their lifetimes. Harkhuf, an official and governor under the kings Merenre and Pepi II, had, among other things, the following inscription carved on the outside wall of his famous tomb:

53

54

55

56 57

The word šꜥt, which is associated with the semantic field of fear, is found relatively frequently in the Pyramid Texts in comparison with other texts from later times, and does not appear to have a particularly different intensity from other fear words. Gräßler (2017, 284–285) briefly discusses this passage together with another from the Story of Sinuhe and suggests that the location of fear in the eye may be due to the experience of dread-widened eyes in the state of shock or anxiety. Cf. Kövecses 2007, 146; 2010, 202–206; above all, in many (modern) languages the body is conceptualized as a container for anger, in particular as a pressurized container (in which anger can be a hot fluid). References to the most relevant discussions are provided by Eicke 2015, 151, n. 2–3. Cf. Kövecses 2007, 36; in his example “She has a lot of pride”, the owner of the emotion is the experiencer.

35

history of horror

(2) Tomb of Harkhuf (at Qubbet el-Hawa)58 The seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt, sole companion, lector priest, overseer of foreigners, he who brings the products of all foreign lands to his lord, who brings tribute to the royal ornament, overseer of all foreign lands of the Head of Upper Egypt, ṭ~ṭ:ï nr:w put~pda[m.sg] fear:m[sg]

Ḥr:w m Horus:m[sg] in

ḫꜣs:wt foreign_land:f:pl who places the fear of Horus in the foreign lands, who does what his lord favors, seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt, sole companion, lector priest, overseer of foreigners, the imakhu in the sight of Ptah-Sokar, Harkhuf.59 The grave owner gives a long list of his titles, offices and deeds, which were of relevance during his career and which are now to convey his importance to the otherworldly residents. The “fear” of Horus is here to be understood as the ferocity of the king60 and Harkhuf is its “bearer”.61 He acts as the one who causes the feeling of emotion by filling the container. The difference between this container metaphor and the previous one is that it is not a (human) body but geographical regions. Thus, it is a conceptual metonymy,62 as the countries 58 59

60

61

62

See Sethe 1932, 123–124, col. 2–3. Translation based on Strudwick 2005, 330; see there also the tomb inscriptions of Kaiemtjenenet (text 212 A, p. 283) and of Pepinakht (text 242, pp. 333–334), as well as the rock inscriptions of Tjetji (text 68, p. 145) and of Mekhu (text 77 B, p. 151), wherein the protagonists are each described with the same phrase: “who places the fear (nrw) of Horus in the foreign lands” (the damaged inscription of Mekhu perhaps expands in the following way: “who places the fear of Horus [in the southern foreign lands]”, cf. Edel 1971, pls. 1–3). This is either a reference to the Horus name as part of the royal titulary, or it is a rhetorical stylistic device to describe the king; for example, Edel (1971, 55) translates the phrase in Mekhu’s text as “der den Schrecken des Horus(könig) [in die südlichen Fremdländ]er verpflanzt”, and Breyer (2016, 599) adds a short explanation to his translation of Tjetji’s text: “der den Schrecken des Horus (d.h. des Königs) in allen Fremdländern verbreitet”. For this characterization of Ancient Egyptian officials as “Träger der Furchtbarkeit”, see Morenz 1969, 115; the article provides more examples, mainly from the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. I.e. one conceptual entity provides mental access to another conceptual entity within the same domain (see Kövecses 2007, 171–194).

36

eicke

are representative of their inhabitants and therefore the place stands for the people in that place.63 The autobiographies in the tombs of the Old Kingdom are a source corpus that has a “great conformity” in its phraseology.64 Accordingly, a representation based on standards—including emotional ones—is almost unavoidable. However, the emotional standard mentioned here is the already mentioned ambiguous Ancient Egyptian concept of fear. Again, it is not about the emotion in the true sense, but about the ability to evoke it. Once more, it is the power of the king (referred to as Horus) that has been spread by one of his officials. 4.2 Middle Kingdom In the literary texts of the Middle Kingdom (ca. 1980–1760BCE), especially in the so-called narratives, there are numerous references to fear. The reason for this is probably the same as for modern stories (even if the original framework in which such texts were read, narrated or performed cannot be reconstructed with absolute certainty today65): it serves to advance the plot, and presumably also to generate tension and thrills.66 The latter is the case in the Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor, especially when the protagonist meets the giant serpent, which is the deity of the mysterious island on which he has been stranded. The snake god approaches imposingly and is described as a supernatural being; the castaway covers his face67 and goes down on his belly.68 Under the threat of violence, the serpent urges him to tell him how he got there, but the stranded man is unable to answer—he can only describe his physical condition: “Though you speak to me, I do not hear it; I am before you without knowing myself”.69 All the physical reactions mentioned— hiding (certainly symbolized here by covering of the face), loss of control over 63 64

65 66 67 68 69

See Kövecses 2010, 58; another conceptual metonymy could also be seen here: whole for the part (see Kövecses 2010, 173–178). Kloth 2002, 258; she discusses this aspect together with the question of the authorship of the texts (pp. 257–260), concluding (p. 260), that the local temple libraries or the House of Life were the places of preservation and editing of the texts. Nonetheless, Parkinson (2009) impressively illustrates many relevant aspects of this topic. However, Verbovsek (2009, 426) notes that in narratives fear has in most cases no actiondetermining function. See Blackman 1972, 43, col. 60–61: kfi̯.n⸗j ḥr⸗j. See Blackman 1972, 43, col. 67–68: jw⸗j ḥr ẖt⸗j m-bꜣḥ⸗f. See Blackman 1972, 43, col. 73–76: jw mṭwi̯⸗k n⸗j nn wj ḥr sčm ̣ {⸗j} st jw⸗j m-bꜣḥ⸗k ḫm.n(⸗j) wj; translation following Lichtheim 2006a, 213. Parkinson (1998, 94) does not amend the phrase and translates it: “You speak to me, without me hearing”; in note 12 he interprets the man’s quick immediate response: “his quick words save his life. He echoes the serpent’s threat in a humble reply, declaring that he is overpowered by his grandeur”.

history of horror

37

the musculoskeletal system, failure of the senses, temporary confusion—can be signs of fear.70 They are conceptual metonyms: effect of emotion for the emotions71 or the physiological and expressive responses of an emotion stand for the emotion.72 That it is actually this emotion is nevertheless clear in the reply of the serpent god, who says to the shipwrecked sailor after his report: (3) The Story of the Shipwrecked Sailor (Papyrus Petersburg 1115)73 m snč:̣ w mj zp -2 proh be_afraid\advz enclitic particle time(m)sg -2 nčṣ m ꜣyt:w ḥr -k commoner(m)sg proh blanch\advz face(m)sg -2sg.m Don’t be afraid, don’t be afraid, commoner; don’t be pale-faced, now that you have come to me.74 The snake has recognized the signs in the man and wants to free him from his fear, which is now additionally expressed physically by a pale complexion.75 The reason for it is clear: fear, expressed by snč,̣ is obviously viewed as a negative emotion. The protagonist is in an uncomfortable situation and it is the serpent god, who is the cause of it, who can and wants to dissolve it.

70

71

72 73 74 75

These physical responses are considered by current research from an evolutionary point of view and associated with functions intended to avoid danger; see Tooby and Cosmides 2008, 118–119, for examples of “beneficial” effects on the body as consequences of fear; see also Bandelow 2013, 50–56, who discusses most of the above-mentioned reactions mainly in the pathological context of panic attacks (which do not apply to the shipwrecked, since, in contrast to panic patients, he has a concrete reason to fear for his life), but also notes that the symptoms can arise in real anxiety situations as well (p. 55). See Kövecses 2010, 108; he assigns “some representative specific-level cases” to this general metonymy, among them drop in body temperature for fear and running away for fear. See Kövecses 2007, 134; the linguistic expressions listed there are quite general to emotion, but at least one of them is also valid for fear: change in the color of the face. See Blackman 1972, 44, col. 111–113. Translation based on Lichtheim 2006a, 213. In addition, the narrator has previously described other physical signs that indicate his emotional feelings: after being brought to the serpent’s dwelling, he finds himself lying on his belly once more. He answered the god’s questions, his arms bent in front of him; Parkinson (1998, 99, n. 13) explains this as a “gesture of respect”.

38

eicke

Verbovsek has already pointed out that both in this story, as well as in that of Sinuhe, only the one who has triggered the fear is also able to remove it.76 The shipwrecked sailor is in a subordinate role to the serpent deity, which is also expressed in a kind of emotional hierarchy. The emotionology here is graspable in the “commoner’s”77 feeling of fear and in the fearlessness and fearfulness of the mighty deity. The inferior’s fear of the superior is thus clearly connected with their status, but the latter does not seem to force it, nor does the narrator regard the emotion as desirable. In other texts of the Middle Kingdom, which belong to the so-called wisdom literature, fear has a partially different value. In The Instruction of Ptahhotep, the emotion is repeatedly discussed. By telling his maxims, the vizier wants to share his wisdom and gives advice for a successful (professional) life. One of his instructions concerns behaviour towards people with higher social status. (4) The Instruction of Ptahhotep (Papyrus Prisse)78 If you are poor, serve a man of worth, that all your conduct may be well with the god. Do not recall if he once was poor, don’t be arrogant toward him for knowing his former state; snč̣ n -f ḫft be_afraid\imp due_to -3sg.m in_accordance_with ḫpr:t:n -f become\rel:f:ant -3sg.m respect him for what has accrued to him, for wealth does not come by itself. It is their law for him whom they love, his gain, he gathered it himself;79 it is the god who makes him worthy and protects him while he sleeps.80

76 77

78 79 80

Verbovsek 2009, 432, with n. 101; in the Story of Sinuhe it is the king who frees him from fear. Parkinson (1998, 95) translates the word nčṣ as “young man” and explains in n. 11: “The serpent’s young man (literally ‘little man’) alludes to their difference in size and in social rank: he speaks like a noble talking to a commoner”. See Žába 1956, 29–30, D175–185. Document L2 has another snč̣ at this point (see Žába 1956, 30, D183): jr čtf⸗f jw snč⸗̣ tw n{⸗j}⟨⸗f ⟩ “his gain, one has respect for it”. Translation following Lichtheim 2006a, 66.

history of horror

39

Compared to the previous example, there seems to be no negative evaluation of the emotion of fear, again expressed by snč;̣ instead, it is strongly recommended that it should be felt. The passage from the wisdom text is thus opposite to that of the narrative. Maybe one could assume that such an emotional adjustment was required in Ancient Egyptian everyday life. In another teaching on the same papyrus it is summed up succinctly. (5) The Instruction addressed to Kagemni (Papyrus Prisse)81 wčꜣ̣ snč:̣ w be_whole\adjz[m.sg] frightened_one:m[sg] The respectful man82 prospers, praised is the modest one, the tent is open to the silent, the seat of the quiet is spacious. Do not chatter! Knives are sharp against the blunderer, without hurry except when he faults.83 Even taking into account that the beginning of the sentence may not be complete,84 its general statement is certainly not falsified thereby: the one who subordinates himself to a superior (emotionally) will eventually benefit from it. Thus, both pieces of evidence seem to represent a specific emotional standard of feeling fear. It is explicitly discussed in the instructions and conveyed to the disciple as a behavioural rule to be adopted. Therefore, one can speak here of a consciously mediated form of emotionology. However, at the same time, the limitations of this statement must be pointed out. It would be negligent to assume, on the basis of these two examples, that it would have been a universal ideal for Ancient Egyptian officials to feel fear. Although this advice is not limited to the two instructions from the Middle Kingdom,85 other evidence shows that the addressees were likewise

81 82 83 84 85

See Gardiner 1946, pl. XIV, li. 1–2. In autobiographical texts from the Middle Kingdom, the word snčw ̣ has become a kind of label for an innocent person in litigation (cf. Jin 2003). Translation following Lichtheim 2006a, 59. At least the instruction itself is not complete; it is “the final portion” (Lichtheim 2006a, 59). For example, The Instruction of Ankhsheshonq: “If your master speaks wise words to you, you should fear (snṭj [i.e. demotic form]) him” (Lichtheim 2006c, 174); The Instruction of Papyrus Insinger: “The youth who has respect (snṭe [i.e. demotic form]) through shame is not scorned with punishment” (Lichtheim 2006c, 192).

40

eicke

encouraged to trigger this emotion in other people.86 It becomes clear that attitudes to fear (which is a very ambivalent concept per se) were not identical at all times and on all occasions, even in this more or less consistent text genre. In this context, the question of what “kind” of fear this might be arises again. It is to be assumed that its intensity is rather modest and that it can actually be spoken of as “respect”, “awe” or “consideration”, because how could one actively choose to feel something like “anxiety”, “fright” or “horror”? It would be hard to imagine that such an emotional official would be able to do his job productively. Therefore, it seems more likely that the emotionology of fear should help to represent and to form a conscientious, prudent, reserved mind in accordance with the other desired personality traits and modes of behaviour (“the modest one”, “the silent”, “the quiet”).87 4.3 New Kingdom From the New Kingdom (ca. 1539–1292 BCE), many royal inscriptions from the Ramesside period are preserved. Due to the official function of these texts, a highly regulated representation seems obvious here.88 This also includes the so-called Israel Stela of king Merenptah, which tells of the fight of the pharaoh against several foreign peoples. The poetic style of the stela also suggests a well thought-out composition that is intended to draw a certain image of the ruler. At the beginning, Merenptah is described as the one who freed Egypt from its enemies and subsequently destroyed them.

86

87

88

For example, another section in The Instruction of Ptahhotep: “If you are mighty, gain respect (snč)̣ through knowledge and through gentleness of speech” (Lichtheim 2006a, 70); for an example of a royal instruction, see also The Instruction addressed to King Merikare: “Speak truth in your house, that the officials of the land may respect (snč)̣ you; uprightness befits the lord, the front of the house puts fear (snč)̣ in the back” (Lichtheim 2006a, 100). For both cases—the feeling and the spreading of fear (and also other “modes”)—there is more evidence in the wisdom texts. In addition, there are also passages where other fear words are used. They cannot be discussed here; again, reference must be made to my previously mentioned research project on Ancient Egyptian fear. See also the short discussion on snčw ̣ by Gardiner 1946, 71, and his interpretation: “in my opinion the sage is preaching that a timid, retiring, taciturn nature finds the road open to free, unimpeded life”. Therefore, the title of Nicolas Grimal’s (1986) doctoral thesis, which focuses to a large degree on the Ramesside Inscriptions, is not inappropriate: Les termes de la propagande royale égyptienne de la XIXe dynastie à la conquête d’Alexandre; in it he also discusses several epithets of kings associated with fear (pp. 692–696). Cf. also Hsu 2017, 200–204.

41

history of horror

(6) Israel Stela (Cairo Museum, CG 34025 verso)89 The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Baenre-meramun, the Son of Re, Merenptah, Content with Maat. The Sole One who steadied the hearts of hundred thousands, breath entered their nostrils at the sight of him. Who destroyed the land of the Tjemeh in his lifetime, čị ̯ ḥr:yt give\pa[m.sg] fear:f[sg]

nḥḥ m eternally in

jb heart(m)[sg]

Mšwš:COLL[M] Meshwesh cast terror eternally in the heart of the Meshwesh. He turned back the Libyans who trod Egypt,

nr:w fear:m[sg]

ꜥꜣi̯ m be_great\res[3sg.m] in

ḥꜣ:tjw -sn heart:m.pl -3pl

n Tꜣ-mrj due_to Beloved_land great is horror of Egypt in their hearts.90 While he positively influences his followers, his and Egypt’s opponents have to suffer the negative effects of fear.91 Once more, it is the hearts that act as containers for the feeling caused by the king, expressed by two different words ( jb and ḥꜣtj). Much has already been written about the existence of the two Ancient Egyptian terms and the interpretations are also numerous.92 However, it seems too uncertain here to assume that two different organs from two different peoples should be filled with two different forms of fear, because the

89 90 91

92

See Kitchen 1982, 14, li. 4–5. Translation based on Lichtheim 2006b, 74. In the case of the Libyans, the effects are described in a poetic way: “Their leading troops were left behind, their legs made no stand except to flee, their archers abandoned their bows, the hearts of their runners grew weak as they sped”; furthermore, the fate of the “vile chief” who “fled in the deep of the night alone” is mentioned (see Lichtheim 2006b, 74–75). See Toro-Rueda 2003, 27–40, for an overview and discussion.

42

eicke

intention is likely to be the same for both: flee and don’t dare to come back again! The enemies of Egypt must be filled with an intense form of fear so that they will stay away forever. For this reason, it seems appropriate to choose two relatively similar terms for the translation, which do not show a great semantic difference, but nevertheless indicate that two different Ancient Egyptian words have been used. Thus, “terror” and “horror” reflect the emotion(s) quite well, although “panic” could be a good alternative.93 Further evidence of the mention of fear in the Israel Stela comes near the end, where Merenptah’s victory over neighbouring countries is described. Here, however, it is not the emotion of the vanquished that is addressed, but that of his subjects. (7) Israel Stela (Cairo Museum, CG 34025 verso)94 Great joy has arisen in Egypt, shouts go from Egypt’s towns; they relate the Libyan victories of Merenptah, Content with Maat: “How beloved is he, the victorious ruler! How exalted is he, the King among the gods! How splendid is he, the lord of command! O how sweet it is to sit and babble!” One walks free-striding on the road, jw bn snč:̣ t nb-t m cord not_existent fear:f[sg] every-f[sg] in

jb heart(m)[sg]

n rmč:w of[m.sg] man:m.pl for there’s no fear in people’s hearts; fortresses are left to themselves, wells are open for the messenger’s use.95 Once again, the heart container is filled with fear. But it is explained that it does not nest in the emotional centre of the people, for the pharaoh has ensured that peace, security and pleasant emotions—in contrast to fear—can return to daily life. This is part of the official dogma of an Ancient Egyptian king: he must be able to protect his people and to triumph over the powers of chaos (symbolized here by the foreigners). It has to be recorded visually and in writing according to decorum, and that includes the emotionology as well. 93 94 95

Lichtheim (2006b, 74) translates these as “terror” and “dread”. For the god Pan and the derived panic in Ancient Egypt, see Volokhine 2010. See Kitchen 1982, 17–18, li. 21–23. Translation based on Lichtheim 2006b, 77.

history of horror

43

Enemies must be afraid, but the beloved country’s people can (and must) be free of any unpleasant sentiment, which in this case has been translated with the general term “fear”. For the Ancient Egyptians, this was the realization of Maat. 4.4 Graeco-Roman Period Much of the hieroglyphic textual material of this period (332 BCE–AD 395) can be found on the walls of the temples in the ritual scenes which dominate the decoration of these buildings, but also in the longer columns of text, which are mainly part of soubassements. In the ritual scenes, where king and god(s) usually confront each other and “exchange gifts” to guarantee the continuity of the cosmos, emotion words have their place in the divine and royal epithets and in the speeches of the protagonists. Some examples for the latter two from the socalled salle médiane in the temple of Haroeris and Sobek at Kom Ombo96 may illustrate this.97 In the first document, king Ptolemy VI is referred to as “lord of fear in the Two Lands (i.e. Egypt) and the foreign countries”.98 In three other scenes, it is always the fear of the king whose dissemination is part of the gift of one of the divinities: Hathor puts it in the body of the sun-folk,99 Haroeris in the hearts of the people,100 Sobek in the Two Lands and the foreign countries.101 The impression these examples make here should not be considered representative or complete.102 The resulting image is heavily dependent on the poor 96

97

98 99 100 101 102

The texts and decoration of this hall and its annex rooms are being re-published by the Kom Ombo Project (Universities of Cairo and Cologne). The abbreviation “CKO” refers to this publication (Bedier et al. forthcoming), while “dM” is used for the citation of the earlier edition by Morgan et al. (1895, 1902). The epithets of the deities still to be found therein are only listed here: Hathor: ꜥꜣ(t) nrw “great of ferocity” (CKO 392,13 [dM 519]), ꜥꜣ(t) nrw m-ẖnw nnt “great of ferocity in the interior of the sky” (CKO 430,12 [dM 552]). Sobek(-Re): nb šfyt “lord of respect” (CKO 398,18 [dM 527–528]), ꜥꜣ šfyt “great of respect” (CKO 420,7 [dM 549]), bꜣ šfi̯ ḥꜣwty “Ba with respectable countenance” (CKO 504,9 [dM 594]). CKO 385,5 (dM 518): nb snč̣ m tꜣwy ḫꜣswt. CKO 394,12 (dM 523): ṭi̯⸗j snč⸗̣ k m ẖt n ḥnmmt. CKO 447,20 (dM 567–568): ṭi̯⸗j snčṭ ⸗k m jbw n rmčt […]. CKO 454,3 (dM 576): ṭi̯⸗j snč⸗̣ k m tꜣwy ḫꜣswt. This is mainly due to the fact that only short excerpts from very complex scenes are given here. They cannot be interpreted in isolation from the other decorative elements in their surroundings or without their architectural context. The methodological tool that must be mentioned in this case is “grammaire du temple” (cf. Derchain 1962). This means that the scenes, as well as their individual elements, have to be set in relation to other scenes and their components in order to better understand the different levels of interpretation. Unfortunately, this cannot be done here because of the limited scope of this article. For

44

eicke

condition of the room, which, among other things, explains why snč̣ is so overrepresented here. Nevertheless, the documents can provide valuable information. For example, the gifts of the divinities show that causing fear among the various parts of the Ancient Egyptian population, as well as among the foreigners, was essential to the king, and his above mentioned title also supports this. Again, this conscious representation belongs to the official ruler image, which also influences the representation of emotional roles. It can be understood as an indirect form of emotionology because it implies the implicit request for the emotional subordination of both Egyptians and foreigners. They are expected to feel fear. In the case of the king’s epithet, it is particularly interesting that both containers in which the emotion acts are filled with the same fear (snč)̣ . Apparently, no distinction is made here between his subjects and strangers, which raises the question of what intensity of fear could be considered officially acceptable to both groups. As a consequence, in any case, the king has a prominent position over all earthlings, which is fully in accordance with his office and status. The emotional power, which is described in his title and given to him in addition as a gift from the gods, benefits his kingship. However, the temples served not only to represent the pharaoh, they were also an expression of the worship of local deities. In this context belongs a special group of texts, which is first documented in the temples of the GraecoRoman period and could be described as a fear-specific genre, because these so-called snč-̣ n hymns carry the emotion in their names (which are of course modern).103 The usual scheme for most hymns in Kom Ombo looks like this: in the initial text column, various beings are invoked. This invocation is followed by further columns, each beginning with snč̣ n—“be afraid of”—and the name of the god (Sobek or Haroeris) to be feared. The further content of these columns consists exclusively of epithets referring to the god. (8) snč-̣ n hymn from the Temple of Haroeris and Sobek (at Kom Ombo)104 (1) Oh, all men of Egypt, Bas of the blessed dead, inhabitants of […]! (2) Respect ( ) Haroeris, lord of Kom Ombo, lord of the living-time, of high age, lord of food, who gives to the one who he loves!

103

104

the same reason, a detailed discussion of the relevant epithets of the gods and goddesses in this room (see n. 97) was also omitted. Rüter (2009) has translated the corpus in his published M.A. thesis. Nicolas Leroux (University of Namur) is preparing a new publication with facsimiles, translation and commentary. An unpublished block with another hymn from Kom Ombo is currently being prepared for publication by me. Soubassement of dM 406. For a (sometimes slightly different) translation and a more detailed commentary, cf. Rüter 2009, 36–37.

history of horror

45

(3) Respect ( ) Haroeris, first one of the two Udjat-eyes, great god, lord of the sky, lord of Iyt, who resides in Letopolis, lord of slaughtering!105 (4) Respect ( ) Haroeris, who is on his great throne, Amun the Great, lord of Upper Egypt, great god, lord of the house of the falcon! (5) Respect ( ) Haroeris, lord of Upper Egypt, Nenouen, first one of Qus, great god, who resides in Kom Ombo! (6) Respect ( ) Haroeris, who kills the foreign lands, mighty of power on the day of fighting, nčr-w snč̣ m ḥr:yt -f god(m)-pl be_afraid\res[3pl] due_to fear:f[sg] -3sg.m of whose dread the gods are respectful! It is most likely that the epithets can be understood as a justification for the god’s dreadfulness.106 In this example, some refer to various mythological roles of Haroeris, while others (e.g. “great god”, “lord of heaven”) are more general titles or belong to the male gods of the temple of Kom Ombo (e.g. “lord of Kom Ombo”). The epithets of columns 3 and 5 suggest identifications with gods from other cities (Iyt / Letopolis and Qus), whereas column 4 refers to Amun. The second column features Haroeris as a supplying deity, while in column 6 his martial and aggressive aspects are clearly emphasized. The last epithet, finally, puts two fear terms in relation to each other: fear is the cause of feeling fear. This raises the question as to why the other gods in particular should be afraid of the awfulness of Haroeris, since only enemies are mentioned previously. This question is impossible to answer definitively. In any case, in that title of Haroeris, there is an emotional hierarchy once more. He stands here at 105

106

The phrase is nb šꜥt and could also be translated as “lord of fear”, but here, due to the writing (with the knife) and the co-text (Iyt is classified with the knife , too) the physical aspect seems more concrete, and therefore the more likely translation “lord of slaughtering”; see Leitz 2002, 748a [17], for the same translation. Nevertheless, an ambiguity cannot be excluded. The same applies to nb Jyt, which Rüter (2009, 36) translates with “Herr des Messers”, while Leitz (2002, 572c [27]), despite the missing city classifier, reads a toponym and therefore translates “Herr von Iyt” (but also notes that some of the documents mentioned in the relevant entry could also be read as “Herr des Messers”); for the offering of Jyt in Kom Ombo and its relationship to Haroeris and Letopolis, see also Abdelhalim Ali 2013. In his analytical part, Rüter (2009, 81) attributes this function to epithets initiated by an independent personal pronoun, but later (pp. 93–97) he also tries to find the reason for the fear of the gods in their epithets.

46

eicke

the head of the gods, as they are subject to his emotional influence. Therefore, the intensity of fear plays less of a role, because whether it is “awe” or “horror” that is meant, the consequence is ultimately the same: the gods do “respect” him. Moreover, the hymns give a crucial insight into aspects of the emotionology of the everyday life of the temple. The institution that encouraged the being afraid was the priesthood of the temple, which had these texts engraved on the soubassements of the door pillars of the large portals. In the ideal ritual execution, the arriving and departing visitors would read the texts and would be invoked to fear the lord of the temple. But how this “prescribed” fear may have felt cannot be found out.

5

Conclusion

The individual texts from different periods, which can only be understood to a limited extent as representatives of the respective genres, provide a wealth of information on various aspects of Ancient Egyptian fear(s). For example, it can be proven that the conceptual metaphor of the container is used in connection with fear nouns from the Old Kingdom and its quantitative and most obvious culmination may perhaps be seen in the gifts of the gods in the ritual scenes of the temples from Graeco-Roman times. Especially in religious texts, which usually remain traditional or conservative in form and content, this concept seems to be very common. In addition, the frequently mentioned filling of the heart-container with fear and the presumed effect on this organ (or on these two organs) once more showed the significance of the heart(s) as the psycho-emotional centre. But other containers are also confronted with the effects of this power, which is mainly attributed to the king and occasionally spread by him, his human officials or the supernatural gods. The effects of fear, on the other hand, are rarely described in the same co-text, although it appears that there was a profound knowledge about it. Rather, the physical reactions themselves serve as conceptual metonyms for the expression of this emotion, as examples from narrative literature have shown. But no matter how the fear is linguistically expressed and how intense it may be, it is above all a means of signifying an emotional hierarchy headed by the one from which it emanates. The one who is in this position (or office) is above all of those who have to bow to his emotional influence, regardless of whether they are hostile, earthly or divine beings. Thus, fear possesses this regulating function in all the spheres of this world, the hereafter and the realm of the gods.

history of horror

47

Nevertheless, the meaning of Ancient Egyptian words for fear plays a greater role in the translation of those passages in which it evidently underlies another evaluation than in other texts, as is the case in the wisdom literature. Because the ambivalent fear cannot only be a means of power of the superior, but also an emotional role into which the seemingly inferior slips, and which is demanded by society and/or the professional class. It ultimately serves the progress of his career and is therefore recommended by the wise. However, it is not really comprehensible what this “recommended” fear looks like, nor is the fear “demanded” by the snč-̣ n hymns on entering or leaving the temple. Both, however, can be seen as examples of an obvious promotion of emotion by certain institutions and thus as clear cases of an Ancient Egyptian emotionology. In the institutions, the representatives of their own (professional) milieu can be understood: literal officials and priests. The circle of those involved in this kind of discourse may therefore have been quite limited. In this sense, Ancient Egyptian fear was above all a construction of the Ancient Egyptian elite.

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Elisabeth Steinbach-Eicke for reading and commenting on a draft of this paper. I would also like to thank the anonymous reviewer.

Bibliography Abdelhalim Ali, A. 2013. “Ein iit-Darreichen im Tempel von Kom Ombo.” Bulletin de l’institut français d’archéologie orientale 133: 19–31. Allen, J.P. 2013. A New Concordance of the Pyramid Texts. Vol. 2, PT 1–246. Providence, RI: Brown University. Allen, J.P. 2005. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts. Writings from the Ancient World 23. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature. Assmann, J. 1977. “Furcht.” In Lexikon der Ägyptologie vol. 2, edited by W. Helck and W. Westendorf, 359–367. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Assmann, J. 2011. “Altägyptische Ängste.” In Angst. Dimensionen eines Gefühls, edited by T. Kisser, D. Rippl and M. Tiedtke, 59–73. Munich: Wilhelm Fink. Baines, J. 2007. Visual and written culture in ancient Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bandelow, B. 2013. Das Angstbuch. Woher Ängste kommen und wie man sie bekämpfen kann. Hamburg: Rowohlt. First published 2004.

48

eicke

Beaux, N. 2017. “Écriture des émotions en égyptien.” In Le langage de l’émotion: variations linguistiques et culturelles, Société d’Études Linguistiques et Anthropologiques de France 469, NS 36, edited by N. Tersis and P. Boyeldieu, 227–241. Louvain; Paris: Peeters. Bedier, S., F. Labrique, A. Abdelhalim Ali, A. Dékány, and S. Eicke (eds) forthcoming. Kô m Ombo. Vol. 2, Les inscriptions de la salle médiane et des chapelles annexes (chambre d’introduction des offrandes, chambre de l’inondation, laboratoire). Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Altägyptisches Wörterbuch, ed. 2014. Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae, Berlin: http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/index.html, accessed January 15, 2019. Bickel, S. 1988. “Furcht und Schrecken in den Sargtexten.” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 15: 17–25. Blackman, A.M. 1972. Middle-Egyptian Stories. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 2. Brussels: Édition de la fondation égyptologique reine Élisabeth. Bourke, J. 2013. Fear. A Cultural History. London: Virago. First published 2005. Breyer, F. 2016. Punt: Die Suche nach dem „Gottesland“. Cultural History of the Ancient Near East 80. Boston, MA: Brill. Cazemier, L.J. 1977–1978. “Vrees in de Pyramideteksten.” Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap. Ex Oriente Lux 25: 75–82. Derchain, P. 1962. “Un manuel de géographie liturgique à Edfou.” Chronique d’Égypte 37: 31–65. Di Biase-Dyson, C. 2017. “Metaphor.” In UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology, edited by J. Stauder-Porchet, A. Stauder and W. Wendrich. Los Angeles, CA: http://digital2 .library.ucla.edu/viewItem.do?ark=21198/zz002kcbfm, accessed January 16, 2019. Di Biase-Dyson, C., F. Kammerzell, and D.A. Werning 2009. “Glossing Ancient Egyptian. Suggestions for adapting the Leipzig Glossing Rules.” Lingua Aegyptia 17: 343–366. Edel, E. 1971. “Zwei neue Felsinschriften aus Tumâs mit nubischen Ländernamen.” Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 97: 53–63. Eicke, S. 2015. “Ende mit Schrecken oder Schrecken ohne Ende? Zur Verwendung sprachlicher Ausdrücke für Furcht im Totenbuch.” In Texte: Wissen—Wirkung— Wahrnehmung. Beiträge des vierten Münchner Arbeitskreises Junge Aegyptologie (MAJA 4), 29.11. bis 1.12.2013, Göttinger Orientforschungen IV. Reihe Ägypten 59, edited by G. Neunert, H. Simon, A. Verbovsek and K. Gabler, 151–166. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Eicke, S. 2017. “Affecting the Gods. Fear in Ancient Egyptian religious texts.” In Consensus and dissent. Negotiating Emotions in the Public Space, edited by Anne Storch, 229–246. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Erman, A. and H. Grapow (eds) 1971. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. 5 vols. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. First published 1926–1931.

history of horror

49

Faulkner, R.O. 1988. A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian. Oxford: Griffith Institute / Ashmolean Museum. Gardiner, A.H. 1946. “The Instruction Addressed to Kagemni and his Brethern.” The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 32: 71–74, pl. XIV. Gräßler, N. 2017. Konzepte des Auges im alten Ägypten. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Beihefte 20. Hamburg: Buske. Grimal, N.-C. 1986. Les termes de la propagande royale égyptienne de la XIXe dynastie à la conquête d’Alexandre, Mémoires de l’Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Nouvelle Série 6. Paris: Boccard. Hornung, E., R. Krauss and D.A. Warburton (eds) 2006. Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Handbook of Oriental Studies, Section One. The Near and Middle East 83. Boston, MA: Brill. Hsu, S.-W. 2017. Bilder für den Pharao. Untersuchungen zu den bildlichen Ausdrücken des Ägyptischen in den Königsinschriften und anderen Textgattungen, Probleme der Ägyptologie 36. Leiden: Brill. Jin, S. 2003. “Der Furchtsame und der Unschuldige: Über zwei sozio-juristische Begriffe aus dem Alten Ägypten.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 62: 267–273. Kitchen, K.A. 1982. Ramesside Inscriptions. Historical and Biographical. Vol. 4. Oxford: Blackwell. Kloth, N. 2002. Die (auto-) biographischen Inschriften des ägyptischen Alten Reiches: Untersuchungen zu Phraseologie und Entwicklung. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur, Beihefte 8. Hamburg: Buske. Köhler, I. 2016. Rage like an Egyptian. Die Möglichkeiten eines kognitiv-semantischen Zugangs zum altägyptischen Wortschatz am Beispiel des Wortfeldes [WUT]. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Beihefte 18. Hamburg: Buske. Kövecses, Z. 2007. Metaphor and Emotion. Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press; Paris: Editions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme. First published 2000. Kövecses, Z. 2010. Metaphor. A Practical Introduction. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. First published 2002. Krämer, S. 2011. “Einige Überlegungen zur ‚verkörperten‘ und ‚reflexiven‘ Angst.” In Angst. Dimensionen eines Gefühls, edited by T. Kisser, D. Rippl and M. Tiedtke, 25–34, Munich: Wilhelm Fink. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson. 2003. Metaphors We Live By. Reprint with a New Afterword. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. First published 1980. Leitz, C. (ed.) 2002. Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen vol. 3. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 112. Dudley, MA: Peeters. Lewis, M., J.M. Haviland-Jones and L.F. Barrett (eds) 2008. Handbook of Emotions. New York, NY: Guilford Press. First published 1993. Lichtheim, M. 2006a. Ancient Egyptian Literature. A Book of Readings. Vol. 1, The Old and

50

eicke

Middle Kingdoms. With a New Foreword by Antonio Loprieno. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. First published 1973. Lichtheim, M. 2006b. Ancient Egyptian Literature. A Book of Readings. Vol. 2, The New Kingdom. With a New Foreword by Joseph G. Manning. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. First published 1980. Lichtheim, M. 2006c. Ancient Egyptian Literature. A Book of Readings. Vol. 3, The Late Period. With a New Foreword by Hans-W. Fischer-Elfert. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. First published 1976. Meeks, D. 1980–1982. Année lexicographique. Égypte Ancienne. 3 vols, 1977–1979. Paris. Morenz, S. 1969. “Der Schrecken Pharaos”, in Liber amicorum. Studies in Honour of Professor Dr. C.J. Bleeker, edited by Anonymous, 113–125. Studies in the History of Religions (Supplements to Numen) 17. Leiden: Brill. Morgan, J. de, U. Bouriant, G.A. Legrain, G. Jéquier and A. Barsanti (eds) 1895. Kom Ombos vol. 1, Catalogue des monuments et inscriptions de l’Égypte antique. Première série: Haute Égypte vol. 2. Vienna: Holzhausen. Morgan, J. de, U. Bouriant, G.A. Legrain, G. Jéquier and A. Barsanti (eds) 1902. Kom Ombos vol. 2,1, Catalogue des monuments et inscriptions de l’Égypte antique. Première série: Haute Égypte vol. 3. Vienna: Holzhausen. O’Dell, E.J. 2008. Excavating the Emotional Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature. Providence, RI: Brown University. Öhman, A. 2008. “Fear and Anxiety. Overlaps and Dissociations”, in Handbook of Emotions, edited by M. Lewis, J.M. Haviland-Jones and L.F. Barrett, 709–729. New York, NY: Guilford Press. First published 1993. Parkinson, R.B. 1998. The Tale of Sinuhe and other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940–1640BC, Oxford World’s Classics. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. First published 1997. Parkinson, R.B. 2009. Reading Ancient Egyptian Poetry. Among Other Histories, Malden, MA: Wiley. Rüter, S. 2009. „Habt Ehrfurcht vor der Gottheit NN“. Die śnḏ-n-Hymnen in den ägyptischen Tempeln der griechisch-römischen Zeit, Inschriften des Tempels von Edfu— Begleithefte 2. Gladback: PeWe. Sethe, K. 1932. Urkunden des Alten Reiches vol. 2, Urkunden des Ägyptischen Altertums, 1. Abteilung. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich’sche Buchhandlung. First published 1903. Shaver, P., J. Schwartz, D. Kirson and C. O’Connor. 1987. “Emotion Knowledge: Further Exploration of a Prototype Approach.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52: 1061–1086. Stearns, P.N. and C.Z. Stearns. 1985. “Emotionology: Clarifying the History of Emotions and Emotional Standards.” American Historical Review 90(4): 813–836. Stöber, J. and R. Schwarzer. 2000. “Angst.” In Emotionspsychologie. Ein Handbuch, edited by J.H. Otto, H.A. Euler and H. Mandl, 189–198. Weinheim: Psychologie Verlags Union.

history of horror

51

Strudwick, N.C. 2005. Texts from the Pyramid Age. Writings from the Ancient World 16. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature. Tooby, J. and L. Cosmides. 2008. “The Evolutionary Psychology of the Emotions and Their Relationship to Internal Regulatory Variables.” In Handbook of Emotions, edited by M. Lewis, J.M. Haviland-Jones and L.F. Barrett, 114–137. New York, NY: Guilford Press. Toro-Rueda, M.I. 2003. Das Herz in der ägyptischen Literatur des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr. Untersuchungen zu Idiomatik und Metaphorik von Ausdrücken mit jb und ḥꜣtj. Göttingen. https://ediss.uni‑goettingen.de/handle/11858/00‑1735‑0000‑000D‑F260‑ 3, accessed January 16, 2019. Veiel, A. 2014. “Wie die Zombies. Böse Clowns terrorisieren ganz Frankreich.” Berliner Zeitung: https://www.berliner‑zeitung.de/panorama/wie‑die‑zombies‑boese‑clow ns‑terrorisieren‑ganz‑frankreich‑260634, accessed January 15, 2019. Verbovsek, A. 2009. “‘Er soll sich nicht fürchten …!’. Zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Angst in der Erzählung des Sinuhe.” In Texte—Theben—Tonfragmente. Festschrift für Günter Burkard, Ägypten und Altes Testament 76, edited by D. Kessler, R. Schulz, M. Ullmann, A. Verbovsek and S. Wimmer, 421–433. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Volokhine, Y. 2010. “Panique en Égypte.” Asdiwal 5: 139–149. Weber, H. 2000. “Sozial-konstruktivistische Ansätze.” In Emotionspsychologie. Ein Handbuch, edited by J.H. Otto, H.A. Euler and H. Mandl, 139–150. Weinheim: Psychologie Verlags Union. Werning, D.A. 2019. “Ancient Egyptian Glossing: Glossing of common Earlier Egyptian forms.” In Glossing Ancient Egyptian Languages, edited by D.A. Werning. Berlin: Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin: https://wikis.hu‑berlin.de/interlinear_glossing/ind ex.php?title=Ancient_Egyptian:Glossing_of_common_Earlier_Egyptian_forms&ol did=282, accessed January 31, 2019. Žába, Z. 1956. Les maximes de Ptahhotep. Prague: Éditions de l’AcadémieTchécoslovaque des Science. Zaniolo de Vazquez-Presedo, Y. 1958. Elemente des Schreckens im Alten Ägypten. Göttingen: unpublished dissertation.

chapter 3

“I Wish I Could Die”: Depression in Ancient Egypt Shih-Wei Hsu

Now desperate I hate my life, Lend me a halter or a knife; All my griefs to this are jolly, Naught so damn’d as melancholy.1

∵ 1

Introduction

In the 21st century, depression is a well-known psychological disorder (see below section II). Many experts regard it as a serious illness. Feelings of sadness and anxiety are triggered by specific events and stressors, and do not last long; but if they do not disappear and interfere with daily life, they may be classified as depression, a psychiatric disorder. Today, depression is well recognized: but did the ancient Egyptians also suffer from depression? Were they familiar with this illness? In addition to medical documents referring to mental disorders and some treatments, there are also some literary texts and laments in ancient Egypt, known as “pessimistic literature” (littérature pessimiste).2 They provide a great deal of information about the chaotic and cruel situation of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period. Against this turbulent historical background, detailed feelings and emotions are described vividly, particularly negative emotions such as hopelessness, despair, sorrow, grief and depression. Through these texts we may hypothesize that the ancient Egyptian suffered symptoms similar to depression.

1 Burton 1850, xiv. 2 Blumenthal 1996, 106.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

depression in ancient egypt

2

53

Definition and Symptoms of Depression

The word “depression” comes from a 14th-century Old French word, or may derive directly from the Latin depressionem (nominative depressio), a noun from the past participle stem of deprimere which means “to press down, depress”.3 The condition of depression was described by several ancient writers under the classification of “melancholia”.4 In addition, instances of “psychomotor agitation”, one of the symptoms of depression, appear in the literary texts.5 In ancient civilizations, people usually understood depression as a mental illness or disorder. The organ “heart” ( jb or ḥꜣtj; Akkadian libbu;6 Chinese 心 xin) plays an important role, because it is closely linked to the expression of emotions.7 If the heart is ill, the person’s mental state may be affected. In ancient Mesopotamia, there are some descriptions of the symptoms of depression and some prescriptions for its cure (ḫūṣ ḫīpi libbi).8 If a man becomes increasingly depressed, (and) his heart ponders foolish[ness], you mix hair-of-the-wayside-plant (and) dust of a (dried) mole cricket in water. You make two figurines embracing each other. On the shoulder of the first you write thus: De[se]rter, runaway, who does not keep to his u[n]it. On the shoulder of the second you write thus: Clamor, wailer, who does not … […]. Afterwards you call them by their name.9 [If a man] becomes increasingly [d]epressed: rush seed. If ditto: seed of the azallû-plant, [‘he]als-a-thousand’-plant in bee[r (or) i]n oil […] …10 If a man becomes increasingly depressed, [his] l[imbs are limp all the time], his tongue is always swollen, he bi[tes] his tongue, his ears buzz, his hands are numb, [his] kn[ees (and) legs] cause him a gnawing pain,

3

4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Oxford English Dictionary: http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/50451?redirectedFrom=depr ession#eid (November 17, 2015); Online Etymology Dictionary: https://www.etymonline .com/word/depression (March 11, 2018). Beck and Alford 22009, 6. Barré 2001, 177–187. See also the article of Van Buylaere in this volume. Toro-Rueda 2003, 84. Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 150. I would like to express my gratitude to Strahil Panayotov for these ancient Mesopotamian references. Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 156, lines 1–8. Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 157, lines 38–45.

54

hsu

his epigastrium continually pro[trudes], he is not able to have intercourse with a woman, cold tremors afflict him repeatedly, he [is in turn fat and thin], he continually salivat[es] from his mouth, […], that man was given (bewitched) bread to eat, (bewitched) beer to drink, was anoi[nted] with (bewitched) oil, […].11 In ancient Egypt, depression is illustrated as “illness, sadness of heart”.12 The heart influences the actions of all the limbs of the body, as well as the senses of vision, hearing, taste and breathing.13 The heart infects the feelings and the condition of the soul. Many examples are recorded in the Papyrus Ebers of the New Kingdom (ca. 1500BCE): When the Heart is sad (ꜥmd, lit. weak), behold it is the moroseness of the Heart, or the vessels of the Heart are closed up in so far as they are not recognizable under your hand. They grow full of air and Water. When the Heart feels indignant ( ft), behold it is the weakness (wgg) of the Heart because of Inflammation in the Anus. pEbers 855e–855f [100, 14–16]

When the Heart is perished (ꜣq) and is forgettable (mh), behold it is the Breath of the ẖrj-ḥꜣb Priest that causes it through the hollow of his hand. It penetrates right down to the Rectum in such a manner that the Heart comes forth and loses its way under the disease. pEbers 855u [102, 4–5]

When swš befalls his Heart, behold it is the swš of Fire that befalls it. He sighs often and his Heart is eaten up with anger; this is because his Heart is full of Blood, which in turn is due to drinking Warm Water and eating Bad Food, which is hot and creates (it). pEbers 855v [102, 6–9]

When his Heart is afflicted (wḫ, lit. dark) and has tasted sadness, behold his Heart is closed in and darkness is in his body because of the anger which is eating up his Heart. pEbers 855w [102, 9–11]

11 12 13

Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 157, lines 47–53. Griffith 1900, 52, 167. Okasha and Okasha 2000, 417.

depression in ancient egypt

55

Apart from the examples above, the heart could have different conditions.14 The perishing heart could be understood as a mental disorder, although these descriptions did not allude to the term “depression”.15 In ancient China, however, the disorder of qi (氣)16 causes illness in the organs. The Inner Canon of the Yellow Emperor (Huang Di Nei Jing [黃帝內經]; ca. 475BCE–AD9)17 is the earliest book to provide substantial knowledge of Chinese medical theory. It consists basically of “Suwen” (素問) and “Lingshu” (靈 樞) texts. The text “Suwen” shows some examples, in which the qi can influence organs and emotions, i.e., psychosomatic diseases.18 Besides, sadness and grief harm the lungs, which correspond to the agent “metal”.19 When one is sad, then the heart connection is tense. The lobes of the lung spread open and rise, and the upper burner is impassable. The camp qi and the protective qi do not disperse. Heat qi is in the centre. Hence, the qi dissipates.20 Su wen 39:6

Moreover, the “Lingshu” stress that the heart is the centre of the body and the most dominant organ of all. If the heart is “hurt”, the spirit will not exist, and the person will die. The heart is the big ruler among the five long-term depots and six shortterm repositories. It is the place where the //essence// spirit resides. As long as this long-term depot is firm and stable, evil [qi] will not be accepted there. When they are accepted there, then the heart is damaged. When the heart is damaged, then the spirit will leave it. When the spirit has left it, then [that person] will die.21 Ling shu 71:6

14 15 16

17 18 19 20 21

Westendorf 1999, 109–113, especially 112–113. Nunn 1996, 85–87. In Chinese medicine, qi is one of constituents of the body; it can be understood as pneuma which the Greek philosophers used instead of air/aer. It is etymologically related to pnein “to breath”. See Unschuld 2003, 145. Chinese texts project: https://ctext.org/huangdi‑neijing (March 22, 2019). Unschuld 2003, 227–234. Unschuld 2003, 233. Unschuld and Tessenow 2011, 595. Unschuld 2016, 639–640.

56

hsu

In addition, in the fourth century BCE, the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates indicated that “if a fright or despondency lasts for a long time, it is a melancholic affection”.22 Later, in the second century AD, Aretaeus of Cappadocia said that in melancholy “there is neither flatulence nor black bile, but mere anger and grief, and sad dejection of mind; and these were called melancholics”.23 Plutarch described “melancholia” as follows:24 He looks on himself as a man whom the Gods hate and pursue with their anger. A far worse lot is before him; he dares not employ any means of averting or of remedying the evil, lest he be found fighting against the gods. Today, the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th Revision (ICD-11),25 distinguishes between single episode depressive disorders, recurrent depressive disorders, and others. In general, depressive disorders are “characterized by depressive mood (e.g., sad, irritable, empty) or loss of pleasure accompanied by other cognitive, behavioural, or neurovegetative symptoms that significantly affect the individual’s ability to function. A depressive disorder should not be diagnosed in individuals who have ever experienced a manic, mixed or hypomanic episode, which would indicate the presence of a bipolar disorder.”26 According to the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV)27 of the American Psychiatric Association, the detailed symptoms of major depression are as follows: 1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day. 2. Marked diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.

22 23 24 25 26 27

Hippocrates, Aphorisms, Section 6.23: http://classics.mit.edu/Hippocrates/aphorisms.6.vi .html (November 17, 2015). Aretaeus, The Causes and Symptoms of Chronicle Disease, Book I, Chapter V: http://www .chlt.org/sandbox/dh/aretaeusEnglish/page.52.a.php (November 18, 2015). Beck and Alford 22009, 7. https://icd.who.int/browse11/l‑m/en (January 19, 2019). https://icd.who.int/browse11/l‑m/en#/http%3a%2f%2fid.who.int%2ficd%2fentity%2f15 63440232 (January, 19, 2019). DSM-IV, 327. For more information about the definition of depression, see the main website of the American Psychiatric Association: https://www.psychiatry.org/patients ‑families/depression/what‑is‑depression (February 15, 2017); also the article of Van Buylaere in this volume.

depression in ancient egypt

57

3.

Significant weight loss or gain when not dieting or decrease/increase in appetite nearly every day. 4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day. 5. Psychomotor agitation or psychomotor retardation—an abnormal speeding up or slowing down of one’s activities and mental process— nearly every day. 6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day. 7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day. 8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day. 9. Recurrent thoughts of death or of suicide without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or specific plan for committing suicide. In the 21st century, depression is a very well-known mental disease. It can strike anytime and anywhere. It is considered a serious illness and great efforts are made to find a suitable treatment.

3

Causes and Sources of Depression

There are many causes of depression, both biochemical and psychosocial.28 Nowadays, one reason for the increase in depression is a fundamental societal change: “our society has developed an unhealthy focus on ‘the self’ and individuals are excessively concerned with their own gratifications and losses”.29 So the cause of depression may lie in the surrounding environment or dissatisfaction with the government or the country. If we look back on ancient Egyptian history, there are several periods of turbulence due to a lack of centralization. With the breakdown of the Old Kingdom, the central government lost its power and was not able to control the provinces and provincial governors, usually known as ḥrj-tp-ꜥꜣ “nomarchs”. The political situation of Egypt remained chaotic for almost a hundred years during a period called “the First Intermediate Period” (ca. 2118–1980BCE).30 The typical features of the First Intermediate Period were social disruption, economic distress, decline in royal power, and climate changes causing environmental catastrophes,

28 29 30

Salmans 1995, 41–59. Salmans 1995, 28. Date after Hornung, Krass and Warburton 2006, 490–495.

58

hsu

such as the decreased flooding of the Nile and famine.31 These might be the factors that brought down the Old Kingdom; although Jansen-Winkeln hypothesizes that the Old Kingdom probably fell due to an attack from the outside.32 However, the chaos and disorder of the First Intermediate Period are described in literary texts, which are regarded as historical sources33 and are often called “pessimistic literature”:34 – the dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All (Admonitions);35 – the text of Khakheperreseneb;36 – the debate between a man and his Ba (Lebensmüder);37 – the prophecy of Neferti;38 – the tale of the eloquent peasant;39 – the laments of Sasobek;40 – the Instruction for King Merikare;41 – the Instruction of King Amenemhet to His Son.42 These pessimistic literary texts are also designated as “discourse literature”,43 which consists mostly of dialogues of laments, reproaches, warnings, and so on. They have common topics, such as the description of descent into lawlessness, civil war, the chaotic country and the hopeless world, reproaches to the god, etc. Blumenthal points out that there are five main focuses, of which we offer a rough outline: a) the terrible world; b) reproaches to the god and the god’s justification; c) the hopeful world; d) art of speech and wisdom; and e) the individual and the god.44 They are written in a high rhetorical

31 32 33

34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Franke 2006, 160; Willems 2010, 82. Jansen-Winkeln 2010. Barta 1975–1976. Quack (1997, 353) regards these texts as political propagandistic inscriptions that the past plays a role as a contrast to organised order and glorious future. Barta 1975–1976, 51–53; Blumenthal 1996, 106–108. pLeiden I 344 recto: Enmarch 2005; Enmarch 2008. http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/servlet/GetTe xtDetails?u=guest&f=0&l=0&tc=875&db=0 (April 1, 2019). oCairo JE 50249+tBM EA 5645: Parkinson 1997, 55–68; Quirke 2004, 173–175. pBerlin P 3024: Allen 2011. pPetersburg 1116B: Helck 1970; Quirke 2004, 135–139. pBerlin P 3023, P 3025, P 10499: Parkinson 1991; Parkinson 2012. pRamesseum I = pBM EA 10754: Quirke 2004, 192–196. Diverse papyri: Quack 1992; Quirke 2004, 112–120. Diverse papyri: Helck 1969; Quirke 2004, 127–129. Gnirs 2006, 210 with n. 13. Blumenthal 1996, 108–124.

depression in ancient egypt

59

style, e.g., allegory, metaphor, simile, metonymy, synecdoche, hyperbole, etc., and mdt nfrt “good speech” (belles lettres), versification, alliteration, word play, metrical system (e.g., parallelismus membrorum,45 antithesis (contrasts) or thenow-pattern [Sonst-Jetzt-Schema]46). However, these texts vividly present a sequence of miserable circumstances. They are “not the result of philosophical meditation but a reflection of historical events … and (are) in direct contradiction to the habitual optimistic attitude of the Egyptians to life”.47 Through them, we may be able to find the reasons for the feelings of depression. 3.1 Decline in Kingship and Weakness of Central Government The erosion of central power is the obvious starting point for this period, and is regarded as one of the possible reasons for the collapse of the Old Kingdom. Possibly due to “political opportunism”,48 or to human nature and disposition, nomarchs began to be powerful as soon as they obtained authority. Their power increased and a “gradual equalisation of wealth”49 weakened royal power and the treasury. Meanwhile, the king did not possess the real power that Egyptians always relied on, and he no longer gained any respect. jw ms {ḫn(r).t} ⟨ḫntj⟩ ḏsr šdj zẖꜣw⸗f sḥꜣww st stꜣw wnt O, yet the sacred forehall, its writings have been removed, the places of secrets and sanctuary have been stripped bare. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 5–6

m⸗tn js jrj ḫt n pꜣw ḫpr wꜣjww ⟨r⟩ šdj(t) nsw jn ḥwrw … jw jmnt.n mḥr wꜣj r šwjt For look, things have been done which have not been done before, having come (to) the removal of the king by wretches … What the pyramid hid has come to be empty. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 1–2

45 46 47 48 49

Moers 2007. Schenkel 1984. Bell 1971, 7. Gee 2015, 62. O’Connor 1974, 16.

60

hsu

m⸗tn js wꜣj r sšwꜣw tꜣ m nswt jn nhj n( j) rmṯw ḫmw sḫrw m⸗tn js wꜣj sbjw ḥr jꜥrꜥt nḫt nt Rꜥ shrt tꜣwj For look, it has come to impoverishing the land of kingship by a few people who are ignorant of counsels. For look, it has come to (people) who rebel against the strong uraeus of Re which pacifies the Two Lands. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 3–4

sḥꜣww sštꜣw nw nswt-bjtj The secrets of the Dual King have been bared. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 5–6

snꜥ n nswt ⟨m⟩ hꜣj.y⸗j jnj.tw n⸗j n bw nb jw pr-nswt ꜥnḫ wḏꜣ snb r-ḏr⸗{s}⸗⟨ f ⟩ ⟨m⟩ ḫmt bꜣkw⸗f The storehouse of the king ⟨is⟩ a free-for-all for everyone. The entire King’s estate (l.p.h.!) is without its revenues. pLeiden I 344 recto 10, 3–4

Without the control of central government, foreigners could come to Egypt easily, and even settled there. Whether the foreigners came legally or not, this invasion or immigration caused social unrest, and it was regarded as one of the reasons for the collapse of the Old Kingdom.50 ḫꜣstj ḫpr m rmṯw m st nbt Foreigners have become people everywhere. pLeiden I 344 recto 1, 9

pḏt rjwtj jy.tj m Kmt The outside bow-people have come to Egypt. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 1

50

Jansen-Winkeln 2010, 273–303; Gee 2015, 61 with n. 4–10.

depression in ancient egypt

61

ḫꜣstj ḥmw m kꜣt j[dḥ]w Foreigners have become skilled in the work of the Delta. pLeiden I 344 recto 4, 8

ẖrw ḫpr ḥr jꜣbtt jw ꜥꜣmw hꜣt r Kmt Enemies have emerged in the East, Asiatics are coming down into Egypt. pPetersburg 1116B 32–33

3.2 Failure of Crop and Famine A change in the climate may also have caused the breakdown of the Old Kingdom.51 Due to the low flooding of the Nile, famine became a threat.52 Therefore, making provision for the people and taking care of them are always the main topics in biographies or (later) in royal inscriptions, if the person (usually the nomarch, and later the king) wants to emphasize his “good” deeds for other people.53 Charitable giving plays a significant role during the First Intermediate Period, whether it increased the prosperity of the people or was only made possible by it.54 jw ms ḥꜥpj ḥr ḥwj n skꜣ⟨.n⟩⸗tw n⸗f O, yet the Inundation rises (but) no one ploughs for it. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 3

nn kꜣw nqꜥwt There are no plain or notched sycamore figs […]. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 1

n gmj.n.tw qꜣy smw ꜣpdw nḥm.t[w] [p]ryt m rꜣ n(.j) ḫr ḥqrw n(n) ḥr ꜥnj n ksj.t {r}⸗{ j} ḫt ḥqrw

51 52

53 54

Bell 1971. For a new summary see Priglinger 2015. However, it is not yet sure whether ṯzw “sandbank” refers to a low level of the Nile, or whether it is used “as an appropriate figure of speech to mean famine due to insufficient flood, but not for famine from other causes”. Bell 1971, 9. Morenz 1998, 83–97. Gee 2015, 67–72.

62

hsu

No flour or bird-fodder can be found; seed is taken from the pig’s mouth. There is no bright face because of bowing down (?) before hunger. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 1–3

jw ms jt ꜣqw ḥr wꜣt nbt O, yet barley has perished everywhere. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 3

3.3 Jzft-surroundings One of the king’s main responsibilities is to ensure that proper mꜣꜥt “order” was maintained, i.e., that jzft “disorder; chaos” should be expelled. In the Instruction for King Merikare, the king was told that his behaviour should be after Maʿat—jrj mꜣꜥt so that he will endure on earth.55 Due to the weakness of kingship, the king was no longer able to keep Maʿat, and the world became jzftchaos.56 ꜥḏꜣ m st nbt jw ms ḥꜣq.w m st nbt Falsehood is everywhere! O, yet plunderer […] is everywhere! pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 2

ḥwrw ḥr ngꜣt jm m-ẖnw mr{tꜣ}⟨.t⟩ Wretches tear them (the laws) up in the street. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 10–11

m⸗ṯn jꜣwwt nbwt nn st r st⸗st mj jdr tnbwẖ{t} nn mnjw⸗f Look, every office—it is not in its place, like a wandering herd without its herdsmen. pLeiden I 344 recto 9, 2

ẖdb.tw zj tp ḥwt⸗f jw⸗s rs⸗f m pr⸗f tꜣš

55 56

Merikare E 47. “L’ évidence naturelle de la Maat, incorporée dans le roi s’est decomposé, devenue problématique, devient thématisable”. Assmann 1989, 34.

depression in ancient egypt

63

A man is killed on his rooftop, (even though) he is vigilant at his boundary house. pLeiden I 344 recto 13, 3

ḫnrj nb nb ḥr ḏd jw⸗j r jṯt⸗k jw grt⸗k mwt(.tj) rn⸗k ꜥnḫ Everyone deprived is saying: “I will rob you”, and then you will be dead, while your name is alive. pBerlin P 3024 35–37

nḥm ḫt zj rf rdj n nty m rwty A man’s property is taken from him, and given to the outsider. pPetersburg 1116B 47

rḏj⸗tw mꜣꜥt ⟨r-⟩rwtj jzft m ẖn(w) zḥ The right order is cast out, the disorder is inside the council-hall. oCairo JE 50249 3–4/tBM EA 5645 recto 11

srw ḥr jrt jyt tp ḥsb m mdt ḥr rḏjt ḥr gs The officials are doing evil, the standard of speech is being partial. pBerlin P 3023, 129

3.4 Modification of Social Structure The ancient Egyptians felt that order was completely breaking down; they thought of this not as a state political event, but as a cosmic misfortune.57 Their traditional beliefs disappear totally from their lives, as well as their hierarchical society. Hierarchies of rank, status and position are always related to the king, and if the king himself has no power, it is not surprising that the positions of the high class (elite), middle class (non-titled group) and low class (slaves or servants) are reversed.58 In the Dialog of Ipuwer and the Lord of All,59 there are many sections that use the typical “Sonst-Jetzt-Schema”, which clearly describe the changes in the social hierarchy.

57 58 59

Otto 1951, 5. Frood 2010, 476. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 7–8, 5; 8, 13–9, 1; 9, 4–5.

64

hsu

jw ms swꜣw ḫpr m nbw špꜥs O, yet the poor have become the owners of riches. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 4

jw ms ḥm jrj jb⸗sn smn O, yet the servants thereof, their hearts are saddened. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 5

jw ms špsw m nḫwt swꜣw ẖrj ršwt O, yet the rich are in lamentation, the poor are in joy. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 7

ꜥwꜣy m nb ꜥḥꜥ.w [ḫpr] m ḥꜣqw The robber is an owner of wealth. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 9

jw ms nbw ḫsbd ḥḏ mfkt ḥmꜣgꜣt ḥsmn jhbt [ꜥꜣt]⸗n mnḫw r ḫḫ n ḥmwt O, yet gold, lapis lazuli, silver, turquoise, garnet, amethyst, diorite (?), our [fine stones (?)] have been hung on the neck(s) of maidservants. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 2

jw ms qdw ꜥqw m ꜥḥwtj O, yet the builders have trained as field labourers. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 6

ḥbsyw pqtw ḥwj.tw m-ḏꜣwt Those who used to wear fine linen are beaten wrongly. pLeiden I 344 recto 4, 8–9

jw ms srw ḥqrw ḥr swnw O, yet the officials are hungry and homeless. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 2

depression in ancient egypt

65

jw ms msw srw ḫꜣꜥ m mrwt O, yet the children of officials are cast into the streets. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 13

m⸗tn nb ḫt sḏr jbj Look, the owner of property spends the night thirsty. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 10–11

m⸗tn nbw ḏꜣywt m jsywt Look, the owners of linen are in old clothes. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 11

sꜣ ꜥ m nb ꜥ tw nḏ ḫrt nḏ ḫrt dj⸗j n⸗k ẖry r ḥry pẖr.tj m-sꜣ pẖr ẖt The powerless is now powerful, the one who should greet receives the greeting. I can show you the lower made the upper. pPetersburg 1116B 54–55

jn šwꜣw wnm⸗sn t It is the beggars who can eat bread. pPetersburg 1116B 56

ḫsf jw ḥr jrt jyt The punisher of wrong is doing evil. pBerlin P 3023 133–134

sšmw ḫpr m stnmw The Leaders become a misleader. pBerlin P 3023 145

ṯm jrj m nb ẖrt The one who did nothing is now owner of the goods. pBM EA 10754 B 1,8

66

hsu

3.5 Cruel Environment and Chaotic Land We cannot be sure what the real situation was like during this period. These texts describe the country as a very unpleasant place. People had to endure hardships every day. In the Debate between a man and his Ba, hrw qsnwt “day of difficulties”60 is a euphemism for the day of death and judgement.61 znf m st nbt {n} {nqꜣn} ⟨nn⟩ ⟨gꜣw⟩ n mwt Blood is everywhere, there is no lack (?) of death. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 6

jw ms mwt ꜥšꜣ qrs m jtwr nwy m ḥꜥt ypr js wꜥbt m [n]wy O, yet many dead are buried in the river; the flood is a grave, while the tomb has become the flood. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 6–7

jw ms jtrw m snf swrj⸗tw jm⸗f O, yet the river is blood and one drinks from it. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 9

šmꜥ.w ḫpr [m] [qꜣ].y šwj Upper Egypt has become empty [fie]lds. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 11

jw ms jdḥ.w r-ḏr⸗f nn dgꜣy.tw⸗f mḥ n tꜣ-mḥw m mtnw ḥwj O, yet the whole Delta will not be concealed; the Marshland trusts in (well-)beaten paths. pLeiden I 344 recto 4, 5–6

wbd{t} twt ꜥd jswj jrj Statues are burned, and the tombs are destroyed. pLeiden I 344 recto 12, 10/16, 14 60 61

pBerlin P 3024 9–10. Allen 2011, 31 with n. 14.

depression in ancient egypt

67

tꜣ ꜣqw r-ꜣw n ḫpr ḏꜣt The Land is destroyed entirely; nothing is left over. pPetersburg 1116B 23

ḥḏ tꜣ pn nn mḥ ḥr⸗f nn ḏd nn jr rmw The Land is destroyed without any to care for it, any to speak up, any to make lament. pPetersburg 1116B 24

jw tꜣ pn jṯ jnt This Land is to be taken and carried off. pPetersburg 1116B 37

shꜣ tꜣ ḫpr m ḥḏ n⸗j jrj.w m ḥtp.w The land is damaged, turns into that which destroyed me, and made into that which is in peace. oCairo JE 50249 2–3/tBM EA 5645 recto 10

wnn tꜣ zn{t}j-mnj(t) rtjw m st nbt nt spꜣwt m jꜥnw ḥr-nb twt ẖr jw The land is passing in pain, there is lamentation everywhere. Towns and districts are in mourning; all people are united under crime. tBM EA 5645 recto 11–12

4

Description of Depression in the Pessimistic Literature

The pessimistic texts reflect not only the situation of the country, but also the miserable feelings and depressed thoughts of many people. As Shakespeare said, “every why has a wherefore”,62 and the texts mentioned show us exactly why the Egyptian felt desperate, miserable, hopeless, unhappy, sad, sorrowful, downhearted, worried, useless, reproachful and weary of life. In the ancient Egyptian lexica, there are many words indicating “sad”, “sadness”, “to mourn”,

62

From “The Comedy of Errors”, Act 2, Scene 2.

68

hsu

“to be weak” etc. (see appendix),63 which are often determinated by (A2), (D3), (D24) and (G 37). From the contextual point of view, we can categorize symptoms of depression as follows: 4.1 Depressed Mood and Crying The most obvious symptom of depression is sadness over a long period of time that does not disappear; it is described in several texts. Mostly, these texts report that the person’s heart is sad, and he or she could just weep instead of being happy. šm nb qd m jrtjw m-ꜥ ḫprt m tꜣ The possessor of character goes in mourning, because of what has happened in the land. pLeiden I 344 recto 1, 7

jw ms ḥm jrj jb⸗sn snm O, yet the servants thereof, their hearts are saddened. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 5

jw ms sbt ꜣqw n jrj.tw⸗f jm{t} pw n[t] ḫt tꜣ šbn ḥr nḫwt O, yet the laughter has perished [and is no] longer done, it is mourning which throughout the land mixed with lamentation. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 14

jw ms ꜥwt nbt jbw⸗sn rmj.w nmnmwt ḥr jm{.t} m-ꜥ sḫr tꜣ O, yet all herds, their hearts weep (rmj), cattle mourn because of the state of land. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 5

ẖnmw ḥr jm{.t} ḥr wrdw⸗f Khnum mourns because of his weariness. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 6–7

63

Toro-Rueda 2003, 100–101, Gruppe II.

depression in ancient egypt

69

{m} ⟨nn⟩ smw mꜥr{dw} pw n jb⸗j There is no happy occasion of my heart, I am finished utterly. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 4–5

rmj r⸗f tꜣ-mḥw Let the Marshland weep (rmj). pLeiden I 344 recto 10, 3

jnt rmjt pw m sjnd zj It is bringing tears by saddening a man. pBerlin 3024 57–58

snnj wj ḥr jb⸗j wḫdw sw ḥꜣp ẖt⸗j ḥr⸗f I am saddened in my heart; it is painful to conceal my body over it. tBM EA 5645 recto 13

ḥꜣtjw snm.w The hearts are sad. tBM EA 5645 verso 2

4.2 Painful and Fearful Emotion During the days of difficulties, people feel very unsafe and worried. The “man” even asks his Ba, if the days of difficulties will soon end?64 n ṯnj sw snḏw m-ꜥ ḥry(t) jb The fearful man could not distinguish it because of heart’s terror. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 13

ḥꜥw⸗sn snm m-ꜥ jsywt jbw⸗sn btkw ḥr nḏ ḫrt Their (rich ladies’) limbs saddened (smn) because of old clothes, their hearts afflicted (?) at greeting […]. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 4 64

pBerlin 3028 15.

70

hsu

m⸗ṯn ẖnw ḥr snḏ{t} m-ꜥ gꜣwt Look, the Residence is fearful because of want. pLeiden I 344 recto 7, 6

jw ḥbs⸗sn ḫnt{.j}⸗sn n snḏ n [dwꜣ]yt they cover their face(s) through fear of the [mor]row! pLeiden I 344 recto 15, 14–16, 1

4.3 Loss of Trust and Emotional Attachment Already in the Instruction of King Amenemhet to His Son, the future king is taught that he should no longer trust even his brothers and sons, nor make any close friends.65 In the Debate between a man and his Ba, the man is so desperate that he keeps asking his Ba whom he can speak to, and shows his distrust of everything. He cannot enjoy his life when all around him is evil.66 ḏd⸗j n mj mjn snw bjn ḫnmsw nw mjn nj mr.nj ḏd⸗j n mj mjn ꜥwn jbw zj nb ḥr jtt ḫwt snnw⸗f ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw zf ꜣq nḫt ḥr hꜣw n bw nb ḏd⸗j n mj mjn ḥtp ḥr bjn rdj rf bw nfr r tꜣ m st nbt ḏd⸗j n mj mjn sḫꜥr zj m zp⸗g bjn ssbt⸗f bw-nb jw⸗f ḏw ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw ḥꜥḏꜣ.tw zj nb ḥr jtt snm⸗f ḏd⸗j n mj mjn btw m ꜥq jb sn jrr ḥnꜥ⸗f ḫpr m ḫft ḏd⸗j n mj mjn n sḫꜣt sf n jrt n jr m tꜣ ꜣt ḏd⸗j n mj mjn snw bjn jnn.tw m ḏrḏrw r mtt nt jb ḏd⸗j n mj mjn ḥrw ḥtm zj nb m ḥr r ẖrw r snw⸗f ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jbw ꜥwn nn wn jn n zj rhn.tw ḥr⸗f ḏd⸗j n mj mjn nn mꜣꜥtjw tꜣ zp n jrw jsft ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw šw m ꜥq jb jnn.tw m ḫmm r srḫt n⸗f ḏd⸗j n mj mjn nn hr-jb pfꜣ šm ḥnꜥ⸗f nn sw wn ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw⸗j ꜣtp.kw ẖr mꜣjr n gꜣw ꜥq jb ḏd⸗j n mj mjn nf ḥw t ꜣnn wn pḥw.fj

65 66

Helck 1969, 18 § IId–IIe: “Trust none as brother. Make no friend. Create no intimates, it is worthless”. pBerlin P 3024 103–130; Allen 2011, 154.

depression in ancient egypt

71

To whom can I speak today? Brothers have become bad; the friends of today, they do not love. To whom can I speak today? Hearts are greedy, every man taking the other things. To whom can I speak today? For kindness has perished and sternness has descended to everyone. To whom can I speak today? There is contentment with bad, in that goodness has been put down in every place. To whom can I speak today? When a man causes anger by his bad deed, he makes everyone laugh, though his misdeed is evil. To whom can I speak today? For one plunders, every man robbing his brothers. To whom can I speak today? The one who should be avoided is an intimate, the brother one used to act with becomes an opponent. To whom can I speak today? Yesterday has not been remembered; no one in this time has acted for one who has acted. To whom can I speak today? Brothers have become bad; one brings only strangers into the middle of the heart. To whom can I speak today? Faces are obliterated, every man with face down to his brothers. To whom can I speak today? Hearts have become greedy; there is no man’s heart one can depend on. To whom can I speak today? There are no righteous; the land left to disorder-doers. To whom can I speak today? There is lack of an intimate; one resorts only to an unknown to make known to. To whom can I speak today? There is no calm-hearted; the one once walked with, he is no more. To whom can I speak today? For I am loaded with need for lack of an intimate. To whom can I speak today? The injustice that has hit the land, it has no end. This phenomenon occurs in other texts as well: mꜣꜣ zj zꜣ⸗f m ḫrwy⸗f A man sees his son as his enemy. pLeiden I 344 recto 1, 5

72

hsu

ḥwj zj sn⸗f n mwt⸗f A man strikes his brother of (the same) mother. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 10

ḏj⸗j n⸗k zꜣ m ḫrwj sn m ḫfty zj ḥr smꜥ jt⸗f I can show you the son as attacker, the brother as enemy, man murdering his father. pPetersburg 1116B 44–45

4.4 Reproach to the God When people feel miserable, they complain and lament about their situation; they even begin to blame the god, and ask why he lets all these things happen. A good example is found in the Tale of the eloquent peasant, in which the peasant actually reproaches the God of Creation (although he is addressing the High Steward Rensi), when unfair things happen to him.67 He criticizes the issues and orders of creation: jryt m tmt-jr šꜣꜥ Rꜥ m grg What was made is become unmade, Re (must) begin his creation. pPetersburg 1116B 23

jr snm.n.tw⸗n n gmj.n⸗j tw n jꜥš.n⸗tw n⸗{ j}⟨k⟩ m šwj ꜣd{yw} r⸗s s[swn] jb pw ḫnj grt ḥrj rꜣ n bw nb mjn js snḏ st r ⟨ḥḥ⟩ (n) zj {ḥḥ} m rmṯw If we have been saddened, I cannot find you. No one can call on you, being one free of aggression against it—it is destruction of the heart; moreover, the speech which is on the mouth(s) of everyone, today, fear of it is more than (that) of millions of people! pLeiden I 344 recto 12, 6–7

People even reproach the God of Creation (= creator) directly, because they see the world of creation as powerless, as order comes crashing down:

67

Herrmann 1977, 257–273; Blumenthal 1996, 115 with n. 81.

depression in ancient egypt

73

ḏḏ⸗ṯn n⸗f ḥr-m n⟨n⟩ pḥ sw jnd js pw ḏḏ⸗ṯn n⸗f Why do you give to him? There is none who can reach him and your giving to him is misery. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 9

jn jw r⸗f tnj mjn jn jw⸗f trj sḏr Where is he (god) today? Is he perhaps asleep? Look, his power is not being seen. pLeiden I 344 recto 12, 5

Other designations of the god are “shepherd”, “lord of all” and “majesty”. These epithets are used ironically to stress that the god is not fulfilling his duty.68 jw ḏd⸗tw mnjw pw n bw nb nn bjn m jb⸗f ꜥnd jꜣdr⸗f jrj.n⸗f js hrw r nwjt s tḫt n jb jrj One says: “He is the shepherd of everyone. There is no evil in his heart”. (But) his herd is lacking, even though he has spent the day caring for them, since fire belongs to the heart(s) thereof! pLeiden I 344 recto 12, 1–2

jn jw m mnjw mrj mwt Is (he) a shepherd who has loved death? pLeiden I 344 recto 12, 14

4.5 Hopelessness and Wishes for Withdrawal Feelings of helplessness are common manifestations of depression. The depressed regard the duties of their lives as dull, meaningless, or burdensome, and want to escape from them. People begin to despair at themselves and wonder about their own value; in the Debate between a man and his Ba, the man responds to his Ba with an exhortation represented in a series of tercets, in which the man despairs at himself and particularly his name:69

68 69

Sitzler 1995, 40–41. pBerlin 3024 86–103.

74

hsu

mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r st ꜣsw m hrww šmw pt tꜣt mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk ⟨r st⟩ šzp sbnw m hrw rzf pt tꜣt mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r st ꜣpdw r bwꜣt nt trjw ẖr msyt mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r st ḥꜣmw r ḫꜣzw mw zšw ḥꜥm n⸗sn mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r st msḥw r ḥmst ẖr ꜥḏw ẖr mryt mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r zt-ḥmt ḏd grg r⸗s n ṯꜥy mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk r ẖrd qn ḏd rf jw⸗f { jw⸗f } n msdw⸗f mk bꜥḥ rn⸗j mk ⟨r⟩ dmj n jt⟨y⟩ šnn bštw m mꜣꜣ sꜣ⸗f Look, my name is reeking: look, more than carrion’s smell on Harvest days, when the sky is hot. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than an eel-trap’s smell on catch day, when the sky is hot. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than duck’s smell at a rise of reeds with a brood. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than fowling’s smell at the channels of the nests fowled for them. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than crocodiles’ smell at a site of slaughter with riverbankers. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than a married woman about whom the lie of a lover has been told. Look, my name is reeking: look, more than a brave boy about whom has been said, ‘He is for one he should hate.’ Look, my name is reeking: look, more than the harbour of the Sire that plots sedition but whose back is seen. References in other texts are as follows: jw ms rmṯw ꜥndw ḏḏ sn⸗f m tꜣ m st nbt O, yet the people are few; he who places his brother in the earth is everywhere. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 13–14

ḥꜣr⸗f grḥ pw m r(m)ṯw n jwr n msjt jḫ gr tꜣ m ḫrw nn {ẖnn.w} ⟨ẖnn.w⟩ Would that it were the end of humankind, without conception, without birth. The land would be silent of noise, without {brawler} ⟨tumult⟩. pLeiden I 344 recto 5, 14–6, 1

depression in ancient egypt

75

4.6 Insomnia In a depressed mood, sleep is disturbed. Insomnia is one of the vivid, typical symptoms of depression. tw r snbt qdd m jrtj sḏr ḥr jwjn rs.kwj The sleep will slide away from eyes; you spend the night with words “I am awake”. pPetersburg 1116B 35

4.7 Desire for Death and Despair This wish can be described exactly by an old Chinese saying: “Of all causes for sorrow there is none so great as the death of the mind—the death of man’s (body) is only next to it” (哀莫大於心死, 而人死亦次之).70 A depressed person may lose his or her will to live and may seek closure. Negative ideas of this kind are described in the Debate between a man and his Ba.71 The Ba is one kind of soul which, the Egyptians believed, lived on after the body died. On the one hand, the man had a debate with his Ba about his misgivings and frustrations, and on the other, he was unable to dispel his desire for death. At first, the Ba tried to convince the man not to fear death, and that death is the release from a painful life. Then, the Ba tried to drag and prod him towards death and threw him on a fire.72 The sense of despair is illustrated in detail in the following: jw mwt m ḥr⸗j m mjn ⟨mj⟩ snb mr mj prt r ḫntw r sꜣ hjmt jw mwt m ḥr⸗j mjn mj st ꜥntjw mj ḥmst ẖr ḥtꜣw hrw ṯꜥw jw mwt m ḥr⸗j mjn mj st zšnw mj ḥmst ḥr mryt-nt-tḫt jw mwt m ḥr⸗j mjn mj wꜣt ḥwyt mj jw zj mšꜥ r pr⸗sn jw mwt m ḥr⸗j mjn mj kft pt mj zj sḫt jm r ḫmt.n⸗f jw mwt m ḥr⸗j mjn mj ꜣbb zj mꜣꜣ pr⸗sn jr.n⸗f rnpwt ꜥšꜣt jt m nḏrt

70 71 72

From Zhuang Zi (莊子), Outer Chapters (外篇): Tian Zi-Fang (田子方) 3. http://oaks.nvg .org/zhuangzi19‑.html#21 (March 2, 2016). Thomas (1980) thought that this text might indicate the brink of “anomic” suicide, because it contains references to depression and possibly psychotic illness. pBerlin P 3024 11–13: nj sḏm.n⸗j n⸗f ḥr stꜣs⸗j r mwt nj jjt ( j) n⸗f ḥr ḫꜣꜥ(⸗j) ḥr ḫt r smꜣmt⸗j “I cannot listen to him because of dragging me to death before I have come to it, because of throwing me on the fire to incinerate me”; 17–20: bꜣ⸗j wḫꜣ r sdḥ ꜣh ḥr ꜥnḫ jhm wj r mwt nj jjt⸗j n⸗j snḏm n⸗j jmnt “My soul has become too foolish to suppress pain in life, one who prods me toward death before I have come to it, who sweetens the West for me”; and 49–50: “If you prod me to death in that manner, you will not find a place to land on in the West”.

76

hsu

Death is in my sight today, like a sick man gets well, like going outside after mourning. Death is in my sight today, like myrrh’s smell, like sitting under sails on a windy day. Death is in my sight today, like lotuses’ smell, like sitting on the Bank of Inebriation. Death is in my sight today, like the flood’s ebbing, like a man comes home from an expedition. Death is in my sight today, like the sky’s clearing, like a man enmeshed thereby to what he has not known. Death is in my sight today, like a man longs to see home, when he has spent many years taken in captivity. pBerlin P 3024 130–142

Similar expressions appear in other texts: mrj⸗j mwt⸗j ẖrdw ktty ḥr tmw sw r r-ꜥ ꜥnḫ O, yet great and small ⟨say⟩: “I wish I could die!” Young children say: “It is finished” about life. pLeiden I 344 recto 4, 2–3

n kꜣj⸗tw m ꜥnḫ No one has planned on living. pLeiden I 344 recto 13, 2

nn rm⸗tw n mwt jb n zj m-sꜣ⸗f nn sḏr⸗tw ḥqr n mwt No one will weep at death, no one will sleep hungry for want for death. pPetersburg 1116B 41–42

4.8 Conceptual Metaphorical Descriptions Lakoff and Johnson proposed that emotions and reasoning processes are usually conceptualized metaphorically in terms of some basic cognitive experiences:73 for instance, boiling with anger comes from the conceptual metaphor anger is hot fluid and burning with love comes from love is fire. Moreover, the body language of a depressed person expresses what is experi73

Lakoff and Johnson 1980.

depression in ancient egypt

77

enced.74 Sadness and depression are mostly classified as “negative” emotions, which people regard in some sense as illness—“negative emotions are illness”, while the “positive” emotion is considered to be health.75 There are additional domains focusing on this concept of emotions: up-down, lightdark, warm-cold and even valuable-non valuable. From this point of view, depression can be conceptualized as follows: 4.8.1 Depression Is Down The origin of the word “depression” is to “press down”. It refers to the orientational metaphor “up-down”: up means good, happy, active, health, alive, control, rational; down means bad, sad, inactive, sickness and death, loss of control, emotional. The downward direction of a body predominates: “da hängt der Kopf, das Gesicht wird länger, die Hände sinken mit dem welkenden Muskeltonus. Daher die Verwechslungen mit dem Bild der Müdigkeit. Einer, der zum Umfallen müde ist, ähnelt einem Trauernden. Der Enttäuschte, der Deprimierte zögert, denn Lustlosigkeit verrät sich zu allererst durch einen Temposchwund; auch das Bewegungsvolumen wird eingeschränkt werden. Im Extrem erlahmt die Motorik gänzlich.”76 Metonymically, a falling face and body may entail depression.77 This downward direction might correspond to the conceptual idea depression is a burden,78 which indicates that a person has this feeling as if they experienced a heavy burden throughout their lives.79 ḏd⸗j n mj mjn ḥrw ḥtm zj nb m ḥr r ẖrw r snw⸗f To whom can I speak today? Faces are obliterated, every man with face down to his brothers. pBerlin 3024 118–120

n(n) ḥr ꜥnj n ksj.t {r}⸗{ j} ḫt ḥqrw There is no bright face because of bowing down (?) before hunger. pLeiden I 344 recto 6, 1–3 74 75 76 77 78 79

Kruger 2005, 189 with n. 15. Kövesces 2003, 44. Kruger 2005, 189 with n. 15. Pfau (1998) showed how body language expresses depression, e.g., from the point of view of mien, gestures, and posture. Barcelona Sánchez 1986, 9. Barcelona Sánchez 1986, 14. Pfau 1998, 10.

78

hsu

nn pr.n⸗k r ḥrw mꜣ⸗k rꜥ You won’t be able to go up and see the sun! pBerlin 3024 59–60

ḥr ṯnbẖ r ḫprt The face is turned aside because of what happened. tBM EA 5645 recto 12

4.8.2 Depression Is Loss Grief and loss cause depression. If people lose something or a loved one, they will have a feeling of absence and emptiness: lack of happiness, lack of relationship, lack of intimacy. These kinds of feelings are much stronger in the case of bereavement. ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw šw m ꜥq jb jnn.tw m ḫmm r srḫt n⸗f To whom can I speak today? There is lack of an intimate; one resorts only to an unknown to make known to. pBerlin 3024 123–125

ḏd⸗j n mj mjn jw⸗j ꜣtp.kw ẖr mꜣjr n gꜣw ꜥq jb To whom can I speak today? For I am loaded with need for lack of an intimate. pBerlin 3024 127–129

jw ms zꜣ-zj nbt gꜣw shꜣ⸗f ḫpr ms nst⸗f m zꜣ ḥmt⸗f O, yet [every] son of a (well-born) man, his recognition is lacking; and the child of his lady becomes the child of his maidservant. pLeiden I 344 recto 2, 14

nn ms wn rmṯw m st nbt There are no people anywhere. pLeiden I 344 recto 3, 2

depression in ancient egypt

79

4.8.3 Depression Is Movement According to Lakoff and Johnson, the body is a container for the emotions.80 We are all containers with a bounded surface and with an inward-outward orientation, such as “he fell into a depression”, “depression entered into the heart = (happiness is gone)”. bw nfr nb rwj ptḫ m tꜣ n qsnt All happiness has departed, flung down in the land of hardship. pPetersburg 1116B 31–32

bw nfr nb rwj Happiness is all gone. pPetersburg 1116B 45

nn ḫpr m ꜥf rwj hrw qsnwt It will not happen in his hand that he escapes from the days of difficulties. pBerlin P 3024 9–10

4.8.4 Depression Is an Enemy or Opponent This metaphor actually refers to keeping control over one’s emotions is war. Depression is regarded as the assailant, and the depressed person is viewed as the object of aggression; his or her emotional balance is the territory to conquer.81 mꜣꜣ zj zꜣ⸗f m ḫrwy⸗f A man sees his son as his enemy. pLeiden I 344 recto 1, 5

ḏj⸗j n⸗k zꜣ m ḫrwj sn m ḫfty zj ḥr smꜥ jt⸗f I can show you the son as attacker, the brother as enemy, man murdering his father. pPetersburg 1116B 44–45 80 81

Lakoff and Johnson 1980, 29–32. Barcelona Sánchez 1986, 15.

80

hsu

4.8.5 Depression Is Dark The light perception metaphor light is happiness; dark is unhappiness, contains the basis of physical experience, the presence of light is viewed as a positive, and its absence as negative.82 Medical texts provide good examples of this point of view: When his Heart is afflicted (wḫ, lit. dark) and has tasted sadness, behold his Heart is closed in and darkness is in his body because of anger which is eating up his Heart. pEbers 855w [102, 9–11]

5

Treatments and Solutions for Depression

Various methods of treating mental disorder were recorded in the medical texts. Ancient civilizations viewed mental illness as a form of demonic possession (“von außen eindringen”83), and used techniques of exorcism (such as beatings, restraint, and starvation) designed to drive demons out of the afflicted person’s body.84 The above-mentioned Babylonian medical texts describe a ritual to protect against depression. They show three figurines: one of them is a representation of the patient himself, and the other two symbolize the concept of running away and not returning.85 Additionally, the Mesopotamians used herbs and minerals to cure depression. Like the Babylonian medical texts, the ancient Egyptian medical texts also record rituals accompanied with spells and incantations, which identified a being who could benefit the suppliant.86 Incantations were used as therapies for healing. The simplest one directly addresses the disease or the demon itself, without involving deities or drugs.87 Remedies are fumigations that usually consist of herbs and minerals,88 and psycho-therapeutic methods like sleeping in temples.89 “Priests carefully

82 83 84

85 86 87 88 89

Barcelona Sánchez 1986, 10. Westendorf 1999, 360. Introduction of the MentalHelp.net Website: Historical Understandings of Depression. https://www.mentalhelp.net/articles/historical‑understandings‑of‑depression (March 17, 2016); Ghalioungui 1973, 129. Cf. Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 150–158, Text 7.7. Nunn 1996, 104–106. Nunn 1996, 105. E.g., pBerlin 3038, 68 (6, 8–9). Okasha 2001, 378. Some scholars regard this healing method as hypnosis, a treatment for gaining insight and finding remedies based on the patient’s dreams, e.g., Dunand 1997, 69.

depression in ancient egypt

81

tended to the sick and encouraged their expectation that the god would appear and effect miraculous cures. The priests used ‘holy water’, baths, isolation, silence, suggestion, and therapeutic dreams in their healing rituals”.90 In this so-called “sanatorium” or “incubation”, the patient could bathe in healing holy water or sleep in the hope of having a dream in which a deity might indicate a cure.91 The priest could help interpret the meanings of the patients’ dreams. Other symptoms of psychic or spiritual factors are headache and migraine. One remedy for headache is to anoint (wrḥ) the head with the head of a fish, which implies the use of a “transfer”.92 For migraine, one natural method consists of anointing the head with a mixture made from the skull of catfish and oil.93 Egyptians also wore amulets to preserve and protect the body in life and after death. Amulets served many magical purposes, sometimes including magical spells. These amulets could represent various functions:94 1) homopoeic amulets have the principle of similia similibus,95 which means that the wearer might adopt the characteristics of strength, speed, invulnerability, etc., via the amulets’ shape; 2) phylactic amulets, with apotropaic and protective motifs; and 3) theomorphic amulets, which provide divine protection for the wearer. Nevertheless, the aim of wearing an amulet is not dissimilar to its aim today.

6

Concluding Remarks

Depression was already known in ancient times, although it had diverse indications, such as mental illness or disorder, or melancholy. In Ancient Egypt, medical papyri such as the Papyrus Ebers recorded some similar symptoms of illness of the heart, since the heart affects feelings and conditions of the soul. If the heart is ill, the mental state will also be affected. However, from the literary point of view, the pessimistic texts not only reflect the historical background of the First Intermediate Period in detail, but also reveal the feelings and emotions of the people living at that time: their sadness, unhappiness, depression, hopelessness, and despair. We can assume that the reasons for the collapse of the Old Kingdom might also be the reasons for the depressive emotions: the decline in kingship, the weakness of central govern-

90 91 92 93 94 95

Magner 2005, 39. Nunn 1996, 110. pEbers 248 (47, 10–12) = pHearst 76 (6, 2–4). pEbers 250 (47, 14–15). Nunn 1996, 110; Petrie 1914, 1–4. Leitz 2005.

82

hsu

ment, famine, disorder, the inversion of social classes, the days of difficulties. All these factors increased the levels of depression among the Egyptians: the people were unhappy and depressed for a long time, and could not control their weeping. Besides, they felt pain and fear and lost their trust in their family, friends, and intimates. They complained about their miserable lives and reproached the god for all these difficulties. They could not see any hope and were afraid to make wishes; they even desired death to come, and to end it all. So the answer to the question posed at the beginning of the text—“did the Egyptians have pessimistic moods and suffer from depression?”—is clearly “yes”. Egyptians had depressive feelings just as we do today, and they were aware of this illness and of its symptoms.

Appendix: Lexica of Egyptian “to be sad, to be depressed, to mourn”

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Translation

Reference

jꜣkb

to mourn

Wb I, 34:5–8

jhm

to mourn

Wb I, 118:20–22

mr

to be very sad

Wb II, 95:12

mgꜣ.t

to be sad ?

Wb II, 164:10

nhp

to mourn

Wb II, 284:17

nḫrḫr

to be sightless ?

Wb II, 313:1

nqb

to be sad

Wb II, 344:1

nqm

to suffer

Wb II, 344:4–5

rmj

to weep; to weep over

Wb II, 416–417

hwt

to lament

Wb II, 485:2–3

ḥwꜣ

to grieve

Wb III, 50:16

ḥb

to mourn

Wb III, 61:14

ḥmsj

to be sad

Wb III, 97:7

ḥtb

to mourn

Wb III, 183:3

ẖstj

to become sad

Wb III, 400:15

83

depression in ancient egypt (cont.)

Egyptian Hieroglyphs

Translation

Reference

sjnd

to make miserable

Wb IV, 40:2

snm

to be sad

Wb IV, 165:4–5

snqb

to mourn

Wb IV, 175:4

qmꜣ

to mourn

Wb V, 37:7

gjs.t

mourner

Wb V, 159:1

gm.w

mourner

Wb V, 159:16

g(ꜣ)s

to mourn

Wb V, 191

tp-mꜣs.t

attitude of mourning = mourner Wb V, 285:6–8

dḥr

to be depressed

Wb V, 483:2–3

ḏw

to be sad

Wb V, 549:20

ḏw.t-jb

sadness of the heart

Wb V, 549:23

ḏmꜥ

to be in a state of mourning

Wb V, 574:12

Abbreviations DSM-IV Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition. ICD-11 International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th revision. Wb Adolf, E. and H. Grapow. 1926–1961. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. I– VI. Berlin: Akademie.

Bibliography Abusch, T. and D. Schwemer. 2011. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Allen, J.P. 2011. The debate between a man and his soul: a masterpiece of ancient Egyptian literature. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 44. Leiden: Brill. Assmann, J. 1989. Maât: l’Égypte pharaonique et l’idée de justice sociale. Conférences, essais et leçons du Collège de France. Paris: Julliard.

84

hsu

Barcelona Sánchez, A. 1986. “On the Concept of Depression in American English: A Cognitive Approach.” Revista Canaria de Extudios Ingleses 12: 7–33. Barré, M.L. “‘Wandering about’ as a Topos of Depression in Ancient Near Eastern Literature and in the Bible.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 60(3): 177–187. Barta, W. 1975–1976. “Die Erste Zwischenzeit im Spiegel der pessimistischen Literatur.” Jaarbericht van het Vooraziatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap Ex Oriente Lux 24: 50–61. Beck, A.T. and B.A. Alford. 22009. Depression. Causes and Treatments. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. Bell, B. 1971. “The dark ages in ancient history, I: the first dark age in Egypt.” American Journal of Archaeology 75(1): 1–26. Blumenthal, E. 1996. “Die literarische Verarbeitung der Übergangszeit zwischen Altem und Mittlerem Reich.” In Ancient Egyptian literature: history and forms, edited by A. Loprieno, 105–135. Leiden; New York; Köln: E.J. Brill. Burton, R. 1850. The Anatomy of Melancholy. Philadelphia; New York: J.W. Moore; J. Wiley. First Published 1621. http://name.umdl.umich.edu/ACM8939.0001.001 (February 14, 2019). Cuykendall, S.B. and D.D. Hoffman. 2008. “From Color to Emotion. Ideas and Explorations.” UCI Cognitive Sciences. Online Publication: http://www.cogsci.uci.edu/~dd hoff/FromColorToEmotion.pdf (March 22, 2019). Dunand, F. 1997. “La consultation oraculaire en Égypte tardive: l’oracle de Bès à Abydos.” In Oracles et prophéties dans l’antiquité: actes du colloque de Strasbourg, 15–17 juin 1995, edited by J.-G. Heintz, 65–84. Paris: Boccard. Enmarch, R. 2005. The dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All. Griffith Institute Publications. Oxford: Griffith Institute. Enmarch, R. 2008. A world upturned: commentary on and analysis of The dialogue of Ipuwer and the Lord of All. British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowship monograph. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Franke, D. 2006. “Fürsorge und Patronat in der Ersten Zwischenzeit und im Mittleren Reich.” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 34: 159–185. Frood, E. 2010. “Social structure and daily life: pharaonic.” In A companion to ancient Egypt 1, edited by A.B. Lloyd, 469–490. Chichester; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Gee, J. 2015. “Did the Old Kingdom collapse? A new view of the First Intermediate Period.” In Towards a new history for the Egyptian Old Kingdom: perspectives on the pyramid age, edited by P. der Manuelian and T. Schneider, 60–75. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Ghalioungui, P. 1973. The House of Life, per ankh: magic and medical science in ancient Egypt, 2nd revised edition. Amsterdam: B.M. Israël. Gnirs, A.M. 2006. “Das Motiv des Bürgerkriegs in Merikare und Neferti: zur Literatur der 18. Dynastie.” In jn.t ḏr.w: Festschrift für Friedrich Junge 1, edited by G. Moers,

depression in ancient egypt

85

H. Behlmer, K. Demuß and K. Widmaier, 207–265. Göttingen: Lingua Aegyptia, Seminar für Ägyptologie und Koptologie. Griffith, F.L. 1900. Stories of the high priests of Memphis: the Sethon of Herodotus and the demotic tales of Khamuas. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Helck, W. 1969. Der Text der „Lehre Amenemhets I. für seinen Sohn“. Kleine ägyptische Texte [1]. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Helck, W. 1970. Die Prophezeiung des Nfr.tj. Kleine ägyptische Texte [2]. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Herrmann, S. 1977. “Die Auseinandersetzung mit dem Schöpfergott.” In Fragen an die altägyptische Literatur: Studien zum Gedenken an Eberhard Otto, edited by J. Assmann, E. Feucht and R. Grieshammer, 257–273. Wiesbaden: Reichert. Hornung, E., R. Krauss and D.A. Warburton (eds) 2006. Ancient Egyptian chronology. Handbuch der Orientalistik, erste Abteilung: Der Nahe und Mittlere Osten / Handbook of Oriental Studies, section 1: The Near and Middle East 83. Leiden: Brill. Jansen-Winkeln, K. 2010. “Der Untergang des Alten Reiches.” Orientalia 79(3): 273–303. Kövecses, Z. 2003. Metaphor and Emotion. Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (2nd edition). Kruger, A.P. 2005. “Depression in the Hebrew Bible: An Update.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 64(3): 187–192. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson. 1980. Metaphors We Live By. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Leitz, C. 2005. “Die Rolle von Religion und Naturbeobachtung bei der Auswahl der Drogen im Papyrus Ebers.” In Papyrus Ebers und die antike Heilkunde: Akten der Tagung vom 15.–16.3.2002 in der Albertina/UB der Universität Leipzig, edited by H.-W. FischerElfert, 41–62. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Magner, L.N. 2005. A History of Medicine. Boca Raton: Taylor & Francis Group. Moers, G. 2007. “Der Parallelismus (membrorum) als Gegenstand ägyptologischer Forschung.” In Parallelismus membrorum. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalia 224, edited by A. Wagner, 147–166. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Morenz, L.D. 1998. “Hungersnöte in der Ersten Zwischenzeit zwischen Topos und Realität: Überlegungen zu J. C. Moreno Cracia, Études sur l’administration, le pouvoir et l’idéologie en Égypte, de l’Ancien au Moyen Empire, Ægyptiaca Leodiensia 4. Liège 1997, 174 S.” Discussions in Egyptology 42: 82–97. Nijdam, N.A. 2005. “Mapping emotion to colour.” Online publication: https://pdfs.sema nticscholar.org/5f0d/e6e7bc1d5443243f9f42f2379db9639a933d.pdf (March 21, 2019). Nunn, J.F. 1996. Ancient Egyptian medicine. London: British Museum Press. O’Connor, D. 1974. “Political Systems and Archaeological Data in Egypt: 2600–1780B.C.” World Archaeology 6(1): 15–38. Okasha, A. 2001. “Egyptian Contribution to the Concept of Mental Health.” Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal 7(3): 377–380.

86

hsu

Okasha, A. and T. Okasha. 2000. “Note on mental disorder in Pharaonic Egypt.” History of Psychiatry 11: 413–424. Otto, E. 1951. Der Vorwurf an Gott: zur Entstehung der ägyptischen Auseinandersetzungsliteratur. Vorträge der Orientalistischen Tagung in Marburg, Fachgruppe Ägyptologie, 1950. Hildesheim: Gerstenberg. Parkinson, R.B. 1991. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Griffith Institute. Parkinson, R.B. 1997. “The text of Khakheperreseneb: new readings of EA 5645, and an Unpublished Ostracon.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 83: 55–68. Parkinson, R.B. 2012. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant: a reader’s commentary. Lingua Aegyptia, studia monographica 10. Hamburg: Widmaier. Petrie, W.M.F. 1914. Amulets: illustrated by the Egyptian collection in University College, London. London: Constable. Pfau, B. 1998. Körpersprache der Depression. Atlas depressiver Ausdrucksformen. Stuttgart; New York: Schattauer (2nd edition). Priglinger, E. 2015. “Texte und ihre Interpretation zum Niedergang des Alten Reiches.” In Text: Wissen—Wirkung—Wahrnehmung: Beiträge des vierten Münchner Arbeitskreises Junge Ägyptologie (MAJA 4), 29.11. bis 1.12.2013, edited by G. Neunert, H. Simon, A. Verbovsek and K. Gabler, 179–190. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Quack, J.F. 1992. Studien zur Lehre für Merikare. Göttinger Orientforschungen, 4. Reihe: Ägypten 23. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Quack, J.F. 1997. “Die Klage über die Zerstörung Ägyptens: Versuch einer Neudeutung der ‘Admonitions’ im Vergleich zu den altorientalischen Städteklagen.” In Ana šadî Labnāni lū allik: Beiträge zu altorientalischen und mittelmeerischen Kulturen; Festschrift für Wolfgang Röllig, edited by B. Pongratz-Leisten, H. Kühne and P. Xella, 345–354. Kevelaer; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Butzon und Bercker; Neukirchener Verlag. Quirke, S. 2004. Egyptian literature 1800 BC: questions and readings. Egyptology (Golden House) 2. London: Golden House. Salmans, S. 1995. Depression: Questions You Have … Answers You Need. Allentown: Peoples Medical Society. Schenkel, W. 1984. “Sonst—jetzt: Variationen eines literarischen Formelements.” Die Welt des Orients 15: 51–61. Sitzler, D. 1995. “Vorwurf gegen Gott”: ein religiöses Motiv im alten Orient (Ägypten und Mesopotamien). Studies in oriental religions 32. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Thomas, C. 1980. “First Suicide Note?” The British Medical Journal 281(6235): 284– 285. Toro-Rueda, M.I. 2003. Das Herz in der ägyptischen Literatur des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr. Untersuchungen zu Idiomatik und Metaphorik von Ausdrücken mit jb und ḥꜣtj. Göttingen: George-August-Universität Göttingen. https://ediss.uni‑goettingen .de/handle/11858/00‑1735‑0000‑000D‑F260‑3 (February 15, 2019). Unschuld, P.U. 2003. Huang Di nei jing su wen. Nature, Knowledge, Imagery in an Ancient Chinese Medical Text. Berkeley; Los Angeles; London: University of California Press.

depression in ancient egypt

87

Unschuld, P.U. and H. Tessenow. 2011. Huang Di nei jing su wen. An Annotated Translation of Huang Di’s Inner Classic—Basic Question. Berkeley; Los Angeles: University of California Press. Unschuld, P.U. 2016. Huang Di nei jing lings shu. The Anicent Classic on Needle Therapy. The complete Chinese text with an annotated English translation. Berkeley: University of California Press. Westendorf, W. 1999. Handbuch der altägyptischen Medizin, 2 vols. Handbuch der Orientalistik, erste Abteilung 36 (1–2). Leiden: Brill. Willems, H. 2010. “The First Intermediate Period and the Middle Kingdom.” In A companion to ancient Egypt 1, edited by A.B. Lloyd, 81–100. Chichester; Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

chapter 4

Royal Rage and Private Anger in Ancient Egypt Ines Köhler

People of all cultures know and recognize basic emotions like anger, joy, fear, disgust, surprise and grief. In all cultures there are rules and conventions that regulate which feelings may or should be shown by whom. Cultures also differ in their emotion-vocabulary. By analysing the ancient Egyptian emotionvocabulary, we see that the emotion “anger” has nearly 20 words and expressions that cluster around it and which are documented in a sufficient amount over the whole history of the language. This provides us with enough material to get a sense of how the Egyptians talked about anger and used it in certain types of episodes. By working out how the emotion “anger” was conceptualized, one can draw conclusions about the (proto)typical process of the emotion “anger”, but also about culture-specific expressions and behaviour. Also, the question of typical actors comes up: are there differences in the value of anger—depending on whether the king or a private person, man or woman, became angry?

1

Introduction

Anger is one of the basic emotions that are considered to be universal and thus allows us to assume its existence for Ancient Egypt. Since the Old Kingdom there are written sources of expressing anger or rage in different kinds of texts. At first glance the usual expressions to talk about anger seem too disparate to recognize any system: in the demotic Papyrus Spiegelberg (Benefice of Amun), the son of the king Anchhor “got angry like the sea” (ḫꜥr⸗f m-ḳty pꜣ ym [Benefice of Amun 3:12 and 3:15]). In the New Kingdom the king “is angry/furious like a lion” (ḥm⸗f ḫꜥr(.w) ḥr⸗n mi҆ mꜣi҆ [KRI IV 4:4]) and is a “wild lion” (mꜣi҆-ḥsꜣ [KRI I 27:9]). In the Tale of the Two Brothers the younger brother “got angry like a leopard” (wn.i҆n pꜣ ꜥc̣ṭ̌ ḥr [ḫp]r mi҆ ꜣby šmꜥ.w m ḳnṭ [Two Brothers 3:8–9]). The Mythos of The Contendings of Horus and Seth describes the face of the god Horus as “raging like a leopard’s” (i҆w ḥr⸗f ḥsꜣ mi҆ ꜣby šmꜥ [Horus and Seth 9:7–8 = LES 49:13]). The king can be “like a youthful and angry bull” (kꜣ rnpi҆ nšni̯.tw [KRI V 82:14– 15]) or “like an angry crocodile” (h̯ p.w nšni̯.ø [KRI V 97:1–98:2]). If anyone is angry he is “in an angry mood” or “in a state of anger” (m nšn.y⸗sn [Instruc-

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

89

tion of a Man for his Son 24:3]) and “flew into a rage” (wꜣi̯ r nšn.y [Loyalistic Instruction, stela Cairo 20538 II c 14]). Anger is strength (ḳni̯.t pw ꜣṭ) and so the opposite, “weakness is cowardice” (ẖsi̯.t pw ḥm [stela Berlin 1157 9–10]). Anger is in anyone’s hearts (i҆st i҆b n(.i҆) ḥm⸗f ḥr nḥꜣ [KRI V 23:4]) and anger is heat (šmm.t ꜣṭ [Ankhtifi Iβ1–2]). While in the Teaching of Ani every citizen is supposed “to control his temperament” (whn nꜣy⸗k čnr [Ani B 22:8]), the king’s rage ends with destruction (ḫpr m ssf [KRI II 319:9–14]). Anger often lasts only a moment (m ꜣ.t nšn.y⸗s [KRI II 121:7]), but can last forever, too (pꜣ wꜥ.w ḥc̣ň [pLansing 10:6–7]). But one step at a time. To bring order into these diverse expressions, some preliminary work has to be done: first I want to say some basics about emotions in general, then I want to go into the verbalization of anger in Ancient Egypt and work out the conceptual structure. Emotions are complex behaviours that are generated by cognitive mechanisms of processing external (that means emotion-triggering situations) and internal stimuli (that means hormones, neurotransmitters).1 The further process is determined by neurophysiological patterns, accompanying motor skills and motivational tendencies. Emotions are thus a conglomerate of inner experience and outer expression and therefore have a social and cultural component. So-called basic or primary emotions such as anger, disgust, fear, joy, grief and surprise are based on universal cultural principles.2 Different cognitive meanings and manifestations depend on how members of a community experience their world. Emotional states are culturally determined—that means that expressions and evaluations of the same emotion can be perceived differently in different cultures.3 The manifold handling of emotions by different cultures can be seen, for example, in the Inuit tribe of the Utku, who see a reason for shame in every outburst of rage,4 as well as in Japan, where the control of physical reactions plays a particularly high social role.5 The processes involved in experiencing and perceiving anger can be illustrated in three phases: first, a cognitive process is triggered by which the situation is recognized.6 Automatically, it enables an emotional response. One 1 2 3 4

Hülshoff 2006, 154–155. Ekman, Friesen and Ellsworth 1982, 39–55. See e.g. Wierzbicka 1999, or in general Ortony and Clore 1988. Briggs, 1970, see also p. 332, “people shout at dogs ‘to make them behave’ some discomfort is felt”. 5 Fries 2003. 6 Cf. Eibl-Eibesfeld 2004, 527–528. The stimulus situation seems to be universal. Aggressive behaviour is not based solely on the emotion of anger. In principle, any obstruction of a targeted action (frustration) causes aggressive behaviour, see Eibl-Eibesfeld 2004, 524. Aggression is a behaviour that enforces an interest against the resistance of others. Anger, rage, but

90

köhler

feels as if in a situation that can be responded to either by combat or by flight, anger or rage serves the fighting aspect.7 Secondly, the perception of the inner state and physiological reactions is based on a number of biological factors: the limbic system releases a number of hormones and neurotransmitters. Catecholamines lead to a short burst of energy. Adrenaline puts the body in a sympathetic position so that cardiovascular function, respiration, intestinal function and the general processing of stimuli enable rapid action and reaction. Testosterone increases the risk of violence. The physiological effects that are perceived are: heart palpitations, high blood pressure, reddened face, irregular breathing, upright and tense posture, pinched mouth with clenched teeth, raised fists, trembling and ruffled hair. The accompanying facial expression phenomena usually have a special significance in emotion recognition and interpretation compared to other options of expression.8 The general willingness to act is increased with focus on the triggering situation.9 Aggressive behaviour helps to overcome resistance in the course of the conflict, i.e. the opponent is ideally killed, expelled or subdued. In all cases, the winner dominates the defeated.10 Thirdly, the emotion is identified by the actor but also by any observer. Because an observer can become angry himself, he would know why anger manifests itself in increased activity and violence, and he would describe these perceptions in the metaphors his culture has put at his disposal: Someone is under pressure. He has got to let off steam or is red with anger and blue in the face.11 No doubt, he’s angry. Through language this emotional feeling can be expressed, through language it can also be referred to the other levels of emotional expression, that means to non-verbal expression, such as facial expression, gesture or posture, and to paraverbal expression, such as voice level, volume or speaking speed, and/or to physical states, such as trembling, paling or blushing.12 Therefore, the semantic knowledge about the abstract emotion anger is conceptualized, on the one hand, from the concrete physical experience, but on the other hand also from comparisons: He trembles with fear referring to the physical effect that fear triggers as the source area and angrily like a lion to the

7 8 9 10 11 12

also frustration or disgust are emotions that occur in the run-up to aggression, typically but not necessarily leading to aggression. See also Hülshoff 2001, 149–150. Eibl-Eibesfeld 2004, 519–520, and Hülshoff 2001, 151. Hülshoff 2001, 154–155; and Brosch et al. 2008. The study by Ekman et al. 1982 is based on the facial expressions. In addition, facial expressions react faster to external and internal stimuli than, for example, speech or gestures. More general information by Eibl-Eibesfeld 2004, 517. See Lakoff 2008, 380–381, for using such idioms. Cf. Fries 2004, 4. For emotion in archaeology see Tarlow 2000.

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

91

concrete example of the lion as the source area. With the help of these conceptual metaphors, the cultural models on which they are based can be worked out.13

2

Perception and Verbalization of Emotions in Ancient Egypt

For Ancient Egypt, a variety of emotions can be found in the ancient Egyptian lexicon, for instance nšn.y “rage” (Wb 2, 341.1–16), sbš.w “disgust” (Wb 4, 93.9), snč̣ “fear” (Wb 4, 182.2–183.22), msc̣.̌ yt “hate” (Wb 2, 154.10–11), mr.wt “love” (Wb 2, 102.1–103.10), ꜣw.t-i҆b “joy” (Wb 1, 4.17–19) or i҆ꜣkb “grief” (Wb 1, 34.5–12).14 It is striking that the lexical field [EMOTION] is defined by the sum of its members and does not require a generic term.15 The lexical field [ANGER]16 has many members and metaphorical expressions, which can be divided into groups according to the previous translations: anger and rage or related states like irritation, fury, annoyance, wrath. Often there is a polysemous meaning which refers to different kinds of severe weather. The lexical field [ANGER] contains approximately 13 lemmata: , sšn (Wb 4, 294.2–3) means “hassle, thunderstorms”; špt/ḫpt (Wb 4, 452.1–16), ḥc̣ň (Wb 3, 214.4–9), ꜣṭ (Wb 1, 24.12–21) and nḥṭ (Wb 2, 288.2–3) refer to different states of anger; nḥꜣ (Wb 2, 290.5–14), nšni̯, nšn.y (Wb 2, 341.1–16) and ḥsꜣ (Wb 3, 161.1–10) refer to different states of more anger, which means “rage” or “fury”, also in the sense of being dangerous and terrible. ḫꜥr (Wb 3, 244.2–7), ḳnṭ (Wb 5, c̣ň ṭ (Wb 5, 579.1–7) and ṭnṭn (Wb 5, 470–472.5) 56.16–57.1–16), can be translated as “to get angry”, “to be angry”. The causatives s:ḫꜥr (Wb 4, 238.3) and s:ḳnṭ (Wb 4, 306.8–9) can be translated as “to enrage somebody”.17

13

14 15

16 17

See Köhler 2012 and 2017 for an overview of the conceptualization of [ANGER] in Ancient Egypt. For an in-depth study, see Köhler 2016. Some general, non-Egyptological studies are Lakoff and Turner 2003 (2nd edition); Lakoff 2008 (11th edition), or Kövecses 2007. For an overview of emotions in Ancient Egypt, see Toro-Rueda 2003, 93ff. Missing lexemes for generic terms can also be found in biological classes (“covert categories”), whereby the category affiliation is expressed by the classifier. See Goldwasser 2002, 36–37. Square brackets for concepts, see Buchberger 1993. Related to the lexical field [ANGER] are nsr (Wb 2, 335.2, 4–10) “to be inflamed with rage, rage”, ḥrst (Wb 3, 151.1–2) “to be flushed with rage”, m tꜣ (Wb 5, 229.5, 11–14), and ṭsr (Wb 5, 490.4–6) “to turn red with rage”.

92 3

köhler

About the Conceptualization of [ANGER]

Emotions have a rich conceptual structure that enables, generalizes and abstracts communication about feelings. The understanding of what characterizes an emotion is acquired in the course of socialization as culturally shaped, mostly implicit knowledge. The verbalization of emotions is thus based not only on what one feels, but also on what the other understands. As shown above, emotional concepts are abstract and based often on bodily experiences.18 The perception of [ANGER] as a physical effect in the body is shown by examples that focus especially on the heart: i҆mi҆⸗k ḥc̣ň .w i҆b⸗k ḥr ḫpr.t nb(.t) Don’t be angry with your heart about everything that has happened! KRI VI 192:6 [NK]

or—with the feeling of a general increase in strength: i҆b n(.i҆) ḥm⸗f ḥr nšn.y mi҆ bꜥl m ḥr.t ḥꜥ.w⸗f nb ꜥpr m ḳni҆ nḫt The heart of His Majesty rages like Baal’s in the sky; all its members were strong and victorious. KRI V 70:1–2 [NK]

Reference is also made to the outside of the body, which expresses itself primarily through facial expressions: ḥr(.w) nꜣy⸗f snw.w ḥsꜣ r smꜣ⸗f The faces of his brothers were wild/raged to kill him. KRI IV 14:12–13 [NK]

This area of origin corresponds to the universal metaphor that the body is a container separated from the outside world by its skin.19

18 19

Lakoff 2008, 377. To the body container scheme, see also Nyord 2009, 481ff.

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

93

Further mappings are connected with the perceived physical reactions: the rising heartbeat and increased blood pressure are responsible for the fact that the angry person turns red20—just red with rage: šr “become red (with rage)” (Wb 5, 490.4–6), ḥrst “(be red with rage)” (Wb 3, 151.1–2).21 Likewise the body temperature increases subjectively—one is a “hothead” (tꜣ22). The intensity of the emotion [ANGER] can be verbalized by using ꜥꜣ “great, much, long, old, sublime” (Wb 1, 161.3–162.12) or wr “great, much, rich, significant” (Wb 1, 327.1–328.12): wn.jn pꜣ sms.w n(.j) nꜣhꜣrnnꜣ ḥr ḳnṭ [r ꜥꜣ.t wr.t] Then the Prince of Naharina became very, very angry. Doomed Prince 6:9–10 = LES 5:6–7 [NK]

ꜥḥꜥ.n śtẖ ḳnṭ r c̣w ̌ ꜥꜣ wr ꜥḥꜥ.n tꜣ śc̣.̌ t ḥr c̣ṭ̌ n śtẖ: i҆.i҆ri̯⸗k ḳnṭ ḥr-i҆ḫ That’s when Seth got damn angry. The Ennead asked Seth, “Why are you angry?” Horus and Seth 8:5 = LES 47:13 [NK]

The fact that [ANGER] is limited in time becomes apparent when the duration, i.e. a time period with a starting point and an end point, is explicitly specified: n wn ꜥḥꜥ.tw r-ḥꜣ. t⸗f sw mi҆ bꜥl m ꜣ.t nšn.y⸗f mi҆ bi҆k m ḫp.w šf.w No one can compete with him (the king). He is like Baal at the moment of his rage, like a falcon among sparrows and other small birds. KRI V 44:8 [NK]

[ANGER] is also verbalized as a divine and thus superior power: i҆b⸗i҆ ḥr c̣ṭ̌ n⸗j i҆ri̯ m […]t[…] [n] [ḥrt] […] jꜣw.t mj rꜥ(w) mi҆ stẖ nšni̯(.w) m ḥꜣ.t[⸗s ki҆ti҆ wi҆ꜣ]

20 21 22

The question about the skin colour of the Egyptians is legitimate. See for example Bard 1996, 103–111. For the color terms, see Schenkel 2007, 211–228. “Be hot, be hot-headed” (Wb 5, 229.5, 11–14).

94

köhler

My heart said to me: Do […] (my) business like Re, like Seth, who rages at the bow [of the sun barque]. KRI V 42:3 [NK]

Very often the conceptual mapping SETH—ANGER is used during the New Kingdom. Since the raging Seth23—in the New Kingdom also his Middle Eastern counterpart Baal—is used as a trope for the warlike king, Seth’s superior power is also that of the king. Seth has the epithet ꜥꜣ pḥ.ti҆ “great strength”,24 which also explains his ambivalent role within the Egyptian world of gods: thanks to his strength he is able to control Apophis and therefore secure the solar course. But he also controls the forces of nature.25 This connection [ANGER] and natural forces can also be seen, for example, in the polysemic meaning of the lexeme nšn.y “rage, storm” (Wb 2, 341.1–16) or when the natural forces themselves rage: i҆.c̣ṭ̌ ⸗i҆ n⸗s st i҆r i҆w pꜣ ym ḳnṭ … I said to her: When the sea is angry …26 Wenamun 2:80 = LES 75:10 [NK]

That anger is perceived as an expression of strength, physical superiority and danger is also evident in metaphors like “X is angry like a dangerous animal”: wn.i҆n pꜣ ꜥc̣ṭ̌ ḥr [ḫp]r mi҆ ꜣby šmꜥ.w m ḳnṭ […] ḥr pꜣ smi҆ bi҆n i҆:c̣ṭ̌ .n⸗s st n⸗f Then the young man got into a state of [ANGER] like a leopard because of the nasty request she had made of him. Two Brothers 3:8–9 = LES 12 [NK]

This kind of superiority is inherent in this emotion itself; [ANGER] is perceived as an opponent, which basically has to be controlled: 23 24 25

26

For general information on Seth, see the study of te Velde 1967. Leitz and Budde 2003, 668. Also Zandee 1963, 144–156. So e.g. also in the ‘Tagewählerei’: “III. Peret, 4th day (6. January): Beginning of the fight and the noise in Heliopolis by Seth. His voice in heaven (= storm) and his voice in earth (= earthquake) is full of great rage” (pSallier IV r° 18:9). Leitz 1994, 272. In ym, the boundaries between God and the element are fuzzy; ym is borrowed from the Asian sea god Yam. In the Ugaritic myths Baal fought victoriously with his brother Yam for rulership on earth; thus Baal is also the ruler of the seas. On the popularity of Asian gods in the New Kingdom, see also the Astarte legend (pBN 202 + pAmherst 9).

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

95

whn nꜣy⸗k čnr tm bi҆ꜣ.t⸗k ḳnṭ.ø {r} wpi̯. t⸗k Control your temperament27 so that your angry behaviour does not condemn you. Ani B 22:8–9 [NK]

The metaphorical transfer of concrete sources of origin to the emotion [ANGER], which are only briefly presented here, refer to the complex conceptualization of the lexical field [ANGER] in the New Kingdom. On the one hand, the verbalization of [ANGER] refers to perceived physiological effects, on the other hand to the direct environment. That Seth of all gods is such a frequent comparison to the warlike king, who has to defeat his enemies and the chaos, is based on the fact that Seth is rather positively connotated as the dynasty god of the Ramesside kings; while the New Kingdom Seth’s belligerent behaviour corresponds with the policy of expansion of the Ramesside kings. Due to the geographical expansion the Asiatic god Baal, who acts as a weather god, gains in importance and is equated with the Egyptian Seth, who was also a storm and weather god.28 As Egypt’s supply depends on the Nile, rain is not regarded as a life-giving refreshment; storm generally represents an intervention in Egypt’s usually constant climate, so that storm is generally perceived as a collapse of order.29 Reference to dangerous animals such as leopards, lions, bulls, crocodiles, but also baboons,30 emphasizes the dangerous, uncontrollable aspect, but also the strength and (social) dominance of these animals. These basal concepts, which act as sources of origin, lead to superordinate concepts due to their essential characteristics of intensity, strength, threat, uncontrollable vs. controllable. Anger is verbalized as a strong force that overpowers one as coercion, which is why one has to fight against it to maintain control.31

27

28 29 30 31

Literally “Tear down your might” (whn “to overturn; to fall (into ruin)”: Wb 1, 345.6–13) in the sense of “Do not let your might (= temperament) control you, but fight against it and control your temperament”. Quack 1994, 184, translates “Bezwinge deinen Groll”. See 400-year stele of Ramses II (Cairo JE 60539). See Jung 2007, 331–344. Cf. e.g. KRI II 172:3 (lions), KRI V 82:14–15 (bull). ꜣṭ (Wb 1, 24.12–21) is classified with the crocodile, ḳnṭ (Wb 5, 56.16–57.1–12) with the baboon. For detailed information on the conceptualization of [ANGER] in Ancient Egypt, see Köhler 2016.

96 4

köhler

An Idealized Scenario of the Emotion [ANGER]

The conceptual metaphors can be combined into a so-called prototypical model or scenario of [ANGER], which is organized as a series of different event schemata and on which the verbalization of [ANGER] is based.32 a)

There is an offending event that triggers the emotion [ANGER]: ꜥḥꜥ.n stẖ ḳnṭ r c̣w ̌ wr ꜥḥꜥ.n tꜣ psc̣.̌ t ḥr c̣ṭ̌ n stẖ i҆.i҆ri̯⸗k ḳnṭ ḥr-i҆ḫ Seth had gotten damn angry. Then the Ennead asked, “Why are you angry?” Horus and Seth 8:5 = LES 47:13 [NK]

Obviously, there was an offending event that displeased Seth who thinks he is innocent, and he felt angry. Others are able to ask him why. b)

After that you are in a state of [ANGER], where the emotion is conceptualized as the space in which you get involved: wn. i҆n pꜣ ꜥc̣ṭ̌ ḥr [ḫp]r mi҆ ꜣby šmꜥ.w m ḳnṭ […] ḥr pꜣ smi҆ bi҆n i҆:c̣ṭ̌ .n⸗s st n⸗f Then the young man got into [ANGER] like a leopard because of the nasty request she had made of him. Two Brothers 3:8–9 = LES 12:12–13 [NK]

The intensity of the emotion [ANGER] increases and is reflected in expressions of excitement, such as facial expressions, gestures or flushing; this is generally perceived as uncontrollable. c)

Because it is socially unacceptable to lose control and retaliate, an attempt is made to retain control. One becomes active because control over the body means control over anger: whn nꜣy⸗k čnr tm bi҆ꜣ. t⸗k ḳnṭ.ø {r} wpi̯.t⸗k Conquer your temperament so that your angry behaviour does not condemn you. Ani B 22:8–9 [NK]

32

Lakoff 2008, 397–399.

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

d)

97

Everyone has an individual tolerance level at which anger can be controlled. If this limit is exceeded, the loss of control is unavoidable and [ANGER] forces one to attempt an act of retribution: ḥr(.w) nꜣy⸗f snw.w ḥsꜣ r smꜣ⸗f The faces of his brothers were wild/raged to kill him. KRI IV 14:12–13 [NK]

e)

The reaction to the offending event follows—and the act of retribution will be performed. In general, the intensity of [ANGER] equals the intensity of the offense: bꜣ. w⸗f sḫm(.w) i҆m⸗sn mi҆.t.t nsr.t mḥ.n⸗s m kꜣkꜣ c̣ꜥ̌ (.w) ḥr-sꜣ⸗s mi҆ wsr.t ṭp.n⸗s m štꜣ khꜣ(. w) nšni̯(. w) nb i҆m⸗f ḫpr m ssf Its power seizes it like a flame that seizes the undergrowth with wind at its back, like a great flame when it tastes the raging heat, angry at everything in it until it becomes ashes. KRI II 319:9–14 [NK]

Retribution is ideal when the [ANGER] triggering event is punished and the intensity of [ANGER] is dropped down: tꜣ pn m ꜣb n nḫt.w⸗f ꜣṭ.n⸗f {tꜣ. wj} ⟨tꜣ.w nb⟩ m pḥ.ti҆⸗f The whole country is in feast because of his (the king’s) victory, after he had defeated every country by his strength. KRI II 241:1 [NK]

This prototypical scenario represents an idealized cognitive model of the emotional process [ANGER].33 This is not a single unified cognitive model of [ANGER]—instead, there are several variants of this prototypical model possible. There are—in a way—nonprototypical scenarios that at one point deviate from the prototype—so you can simply keep control even though you are raging.

33

Lakoff 2008, 401–405, and Croft and Cruse 2004, 28–32.

98 5

köhler

The Culture-Specific Levels of Understanding [ANGER]

Dealing with [ANGER] is expressed in the social acceptance of the separate levels the prototypical scenario includes. The wisdom literature or autobiographical inscriptions focus above all on the control of [ANGER]. So, it says, for example, on the statue of the Bakenkhons (CG 42115): bw ḥsꜣ(⸗j) ḥr m smṭ.t⸗f I wasn’t angry at the staff (of the Amun Temple). KRI III 296:6 [NK]

The Teaching of Ani advises a calming treatment of an already angry person: i҆mi҆⸗k wšb n ḥr.y ḳnṭ Do not answer an angry superior. Ani B 22:7 [NK]

so that further indications, which trigger an escalation of [ANGER], could be avoided. What’s striking is that it is men who are usually angry. There is hardly any evidence that women are angry. One of the few pieces of evidence is pHarris 500, 7th poem. Goddesses, on the other hand, can get angry more often34—in contrast to gods, however, they get far less angry.35 When private individuals are angry at private individuals, anger is an interpersonal phenomenon—loss of control is the most unwanted condition, is rated (normatively-moral) negatively and is socially unacceptable. Pharaoh, in his role as the guardian of Maat, on the other hand, rages above all against political enemies; this requires, however, a loss of control and the associated violent solutions to the situation. This is by no means seen negatively, but as a sign of social dominance and territorial authority and is directly linked to the king’s tasks of a ruler:

34 35

For raging goddesses, see Köhler 2016, 137–147. Nota bene: on page 138 (Horus and Seth 3:3) it is not Hathor who is raging, but Neith. An interesting thought, but one that cannot be further explained here, is about the public space in which women could talk, show emotions and be heard in public (see Beard 2017).

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

99

mn-i҆b kfꜥ[⸗f ] […] [ḳ]nṭ mꜣꜣ⸗f sky n ḥr⸗f mi҆ wnf-i҆b (The king is) brave when he captures [enemies], angry (i.e. eager) when he sees the battle before him as (if it were) a joy. KRI V 83:1–2 [NK]

The constellation within the divine sphere shows the two opponents of Re, respectively Seth and Apophis: i҆b⸗i҆ ḥr c̣ṭ̌ n⸗i҆ i҆ri̯ m […]tn ḥrt i҆ꜣw.t […]mi҆ rꜥ(w) mi҆ stẖ nšni̯. ø m ḥꜣ.t[⸗s] [ki҆ti҆] [wi҆ꜣ] My heart said to me: Do […] (my) business like Re, like Seth, who rages at the bow [of the sun barque]. KRI V 42:3 [NK]

The overview shows the different levels of understanding: 1) While the sociological level, that means private individual vs. private individual, regulates and evaluates the actual handling of anger, the other levels have a more ritual and symbolic character. 2) When Pharaoh rages against political enemies to defeat them, this is understood on a political level. It is the basic understanding for preserving his rulership on earth. 3) The raging of Re against Apophis is to be understood in a cosmological way and refers to the constant victorious crossing of the netherworld. 4) The mythological battle between Horus and Seth is about the ritual to legitimate the divine rule after the illegitimate successor to the throne has been defeated. Therefore, the one who rages and the one who receives the rage can be assigned to the two basic Egyptian concepts Maat and Isfet. [ANGER] is regarded as an important combat quality of the actors in the duel between Maat and Isfet.

Abbreviations LES KRI II

Gardiner, A.H. 1932. Late-Egyptian Stories. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 1, Brüssel: Edition de la Fondation Égyptologique. Kitchen, K. 1979. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical II. Ramesses II. Oxford: Blackwell.

100

köhler

KRI III Kitchen, K. 1980. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical III. Ramesses II, Private Documents of Contemporaries. Oxford: Blackwell. KRI IV Kitchen, K. 1982. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical IV. Merenptah and the Late 19. Dynasty. Oxford: Blackwell. KRI V Kitchen, K. 1983a. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical V. Setnakht, Ramesses III, and Contemporaries. Oxford: Blackwell. KRI VI Kitchen, K. 1983b. Ramesside Inscriptions, Historical and Biographical VI. Ramesses IV to XI, and Contemporaries. Oxford: Blackwell. NK New Kingdom. Wb Erman, A. and H. Grapow. 1982. Wörterbuch der Ägyptischen Sprache. 7 Bde, Berlin: Akademie Verlag. (4th edition).

Bibliography Bard, K.A. 1996. “Ancient Egypt and the Issue of Race.” In Black Athena Revisited, edited by M.R. Lefkowitz and G.M. Rogers, 103–111. London: UNC Press. Beard, M. 2017. Women & Power. A Manifesto. London: Profile Books LTD. Bickel, S. 1988. “Angst und Schrecken in den Sargtexten.” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 15: 17–25. Buchberger, H. 1993. Transformation und Transformat. Sargtextstudien I. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 52. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Briggs, J.L. 1970. Never in Anger. Portrait of an Eskimo Family. Cambridge, Mass. / London: Harvard University Press. Brosch, T., D. Grandjean, D. Sander and K.R. Scherer (eds) 2008. “Behold the Voice of Wrath: Cross-modal Modulation of Visual Attention by Anger Prosody.” Cognition 106: 1497–1503. Croft, W. and D.A. Cruse. 2004. Cognitive Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ekman, P., W.V. Friesen and P. Ellsworth. 1982. “What Emotion Categories or Dimensions can observers judge from facial Behavior?” In Emotion in the Human Face, edited by P. Ekman, 39–55. New York: Cambridge University Press. Fischer-Elfert, H.-W. 1999. Die Lehre eines Mannes für seinen Sohn. Eine Etappe auf dem ,Gottesweg‘ des loyalen und solidarischen Beamten des Mittleren Reiches. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 60. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Fries, N. 2003. “De Ira.”Linguistik online 13(1): 103–123. URL: http://www.linguistik‑online .com/13_01/fries.pdf (March 17, 2011). Fries, N. 2004. “Gefühle, Emotionen, Angst, Furcht, Wut und Zorn.” In Emotionen und Kognitionen im Fremdsprachenunterricht, edited by W. Börner, 3–24. Tübingen: Narr.

royal rage and private anger in ancient egypt

101

Goldwasser, O. 2002. Prophets, Lovers, and Giraffes. Wor(l)d Classification in Ancient Egypt. Göttinger Orientforschungen, 38,3. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Hülshoff, T. 2006. Emotionen. Eine Einführung für beratende, therapeutische, pädagogische und soziale Berufe. München; Basel: E. Reinhardt. Jung, C. 2007. “Rain in Ancient Egypt: A linguistic approach.” In Aridity, Change and Conflict in Africa. Proceedings of an International ACACIA Conference held at Königswinter, Germany, October 1–3, 2003, Colloquium Africanum 2, edited by M. Bollig, O. Bubenzer, R. Vogelsang and H.-P. Wotzka, 331–344. Köln: Heinrich-Barth-Institut. Kleinginna, P.A. and A.M. Kleinginna. 1981. “A Categorized List of Emotion Definitions with Suggestions for a Consensual Definition.” Motivation and Emotion 5: 345–379. Köhler, I. 2012. “‘Du Pharao—ich Hulk’. Wahrnehmung und Versprachlichung von Wut.” In Sozialisationen: Individuum—Gruppe—Gesellschaft, Beiträge des ersten Münchner Arbeitskreises Junge Ägyptologie (MAJA 1), edited by G. Neunert, K. Gabler and A. Verbovsek, 127–138. Göttinger Orientforschungen 51, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Köhler, I. 2016. Rage like an Egyptian. Möglichkeiten eines kognitiv-semantischen Zugangs zum altägyptischen Wortschatz am Beispiel des Wortfelds [WUT]. Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur Beihefte 18, Hamburg: Buske. Köhler, I. 2017. “Und Seth wurde verdammt wütend …—die Konzeptionalisierung von WUT im Alten Ägypten.” In Emotionen—Perspektiven auf Innen und Außen, edited by L.C. Koch and T. Kienlin, 223–236. Universitätsforschungen zur prähistorischen Archäologie 305, Bonn: Verlag Dr. Rudolf Habelt GmbH. Kövecses, Z. 2007. Metaphor and Emotion, Language, Culture, and Body in Human Feeling. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press [reprint]. Lakoff, G. 2008. Women, Fire, and Dangerous Things. What categories reveal about the mind. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. (11th edition). Lakoff, G. and M. Turner 2003. Metaphors we live by. Chicago: University of Chicago Press (2nd edition). Leitz, C. 1994. Tagewählerei. Das Buch ḥꜣt nḥḥ pḥ.wy ḏt und verwandte Texte. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 55, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Leitz, C. and D. Budde (eds) 2003. Lexikon der ägyptischen Götter und Götterbezeichnungen. 8, Register, Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 129, Leuven: Peeters. Nyord, R. 2009. Breathing Flesh. Conceptions of the Body in the Ancient Egyptian Coffin Texts. Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications 37, Kopenhagen: Tusculanum Press. Ortony, A. and G.L. Clore. 1988. The cognitive Structure of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Quack, J.F. 1994. Die Lehren des Ani. Ein neuägyptischer Weisheitstext in seinem kulturellen Umfeld. Orbis biblicus et orientalis 141, Freiburg; Göttingen: Vandenhoek & Ruprecht. Posener, G. 1976. L’enseignement loyaliste. Sagesse égyptienne du Moyen Empire. Genève: Librairie Droz S.A.

102

köhler

Schenkel, W. 1965. Memphis, Herakleopolis, Theben: die epigraphischen Zeugnisse der 7.– 11. Dynastie Ägyptens. Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 12. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Schenkel, W. 2007. “Color Terms in Ancient Egypt and Coptic.” In Anthropology of Color: Interdisciplinary Multilevel Modeling, edited by R.E. MacLaury, G.V. Paramei and D. Dedrick, 211–228. Amsterdam: Benjamins. Tarlow, S. 2000. “Emotion in Archaeology.” Current Anthropology 41(5): 713–746. Toro-Rueda, M.I. 2003. Das Herz in der ägyptischen Literatur des zweiten Jahrtausends v. Chr. Untersuchungen zu Idiomatik und Metaphorik von Ausdrücken mit jb und ḥꜣtj, Dissertation Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen. URL: http://webdoc.sub.gwdg.de/diss/2004/toro_rueda/toro_rueda.pdf (June 17, 2010). Te Velde, H. 1967. Seth. God of Confusion. Probleme der Ägyptologie 6, Leiden: Brill. Verbovsek, A. 2009. “‘Er soll sich nicht fürchten …!’. Zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Angst in der Erzählung des Sinuhe.” In Texte—Theben—Tonfragmente. Festschrift für Günter Burkard, edited by D. Kessler, R. Schulz, M. Ullmann, A. Verbovsek and S. Wimmer, 421–433. Ägypten und Altes Testament 76, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Wierzbicka, A. 1999. Emotion across Languages and Cultures, Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zandee, J. 1963. “Seth als Sturmgott.” Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 90: 144–156.

chapter 5

Everybody Hurts: Understanding and Visualizing Pain in Ancient Egypt Tara Prakash

1

Introduction

Pain is difficult to define. What exactly is it, and how does the human body experience it? The answers to these questions differ across time and place. By the end of the nineteenth century in Europe and the United States, pain was thought to be a sensation that people experienced mechanically and uniformly.1 Dominant theories argued that it originates in the stimulation of a sensory nerve, which is transmitted to the brain. Only then do emotional, cognitive, and motivational factors follow. This understanding of pain, which was largely a result of the emerging medical profession and the rise of anatomical studies, particularly new research on the sensory and motor pathways in the nervous system, led to a strict distinction between real/physical pain and subjective/emotional suffering.2 Towards the middle of the twentieth century, increasing numbers of psychologists, physiologists, and philosophers began to question the absolute connection between pain and physical injury. These methodologies argued against a dualist view of physical pain and emotional suffering and emphasized that all pain has an affective and emotional quality. The work of the psychiatrist Merskey became the basis for the definition of pain that the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) adopted in the 1970’s: “Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue 1 For a useful overview of the scientific discourse on pain throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, see Kugelmann 2017, 5–75. For an overview from a philosophical perspective, see Aydede 2005. A helpful historical and cultural review is Boddice 2017. 2 Kugelmann 2017, 31–54. While many scholars have traced this mechanical understanding of pain to the work of Descartes and his mind/body dualism, often referencing Descartes’ famous drawing from Traité de l’ homme, in which a boy reflexively experiences acute pain as a fire burns his foot, Descartes’ understanding of pain was actually more nuanced and unresolved than his drawing might imply; in other works, he proposed that people experience pain emotionally and noted the confused nature of mental and bodily pain (see further Boddice 2017, 27–30; van Dijkhuizen and Enenkel 2009a, 2–4; Duncan 2000; and Morris 1991, 271–274).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

104

prakash

damage, or described in terms of such damage.”3 Scholars also realized that multiple factors, including culture, genetics, social roles, and personality, affect the way a person feels pain.4 Today, doctors and scientists are still trying to understand exactly how the brain responds to and processes pain.5 Recent studies suggest that physiologically people react similarly to grief, rejection, and physical pain, with all of these experiences triggering the same patterns of increased blood flow to the same portions of the brain.6 Other research indicates that medication generally prescribed for physical pain, such as acetaminophen, is effective against emotional pain as well.7 At the same time, there continue to be new interpretations of pain. Increasing numbers of scholars, including Burke, Boddice, and Kugelmann, have criticized twentieth-century theories and the IASP’s definition of pain, which remains dominant and is still the most frequently cited one in the field of pain studies, as still being inherently dualistic because of its continued differentiation between sensation and emotion.8 They argue that these earlier interpretations fail to account for all types of pain or accept them as equally valid. Instead, they have employed phenomenological approaches that center on the person rather than the body and proposed that pain itself should be analyzed as an emotion.9 This continuing research has further emphasized the cultural specificity of pain; one’s culture strongly influences one’s understanding of, response to, and expression of pain. In recent years, scholars have become increasingly interested in studying the historical variations of pain, resulting in multiple publications that investigate the history of pain and its meanings and conceptions within particular cultures.10 This is not a simple or straightforward endeavor. 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

10

Biro 2014, 54; Kugelmann 2017, 60; and International Association for the Study of Pain 1994. Wall 2000, 59–78. See further Eisenberger 2016. Eisenberger, Lieberman, and Williams 2003; and O’Connor et al. 2008. See also Biro 2014, 58–60; and Rainville 2002. DeWall et al. 2010; and Boddice 2017, 63–64 and 90–91. Concerning the continued dominance of the IASP’s definition, see Bourke 2014, 10; and Aydede 2005, 5. Kugelmann 2017, 55–152; Biro 2014, 54–55 and 61–62; Boddice 2014a, 1–15; Boddice 2017, 11– 12 and 77–86; and Bourke 2014, 5–26. See also Duncan 2000, regarding the dualistic nature of behavioral models of pain. An influential history of the scientific theories of pain from ancient Greece to the midtwentieth century is Rey 1995. Morris 1991 is a similarly influential and broad study, but he is concerned with the cultural meanings of pain and how culture affects the experience of pain. There are numerous more recent publications that examine aspects of pain more

everybody hurts

105

Boddice has stressed that reading and understanding pain is dependent on time and place, and thus it can be a challenge for those outside of a shared culture to do so.11 Moreover, just as cultures can conceive of and describe pain uniquely, they can also visualize it differently, and the ability to recognize depictions of pain can hinge on familiarity with a culture and its iconography. This adds another layer of complexity to the study of pain in foreign settings, particularly ancient cultures for which the remaining sources are inevitably limited. The following paper contributes to these ongoing discussions by beginning to consider pain in ancient Egypt. Using three types of scenes from Old Kingdom private tombs, namely spanking scenes, scenes of landowners or herdsmen being forced to pay taxes, and mourning scenes, I investigate how Egyptian artists visualized pain. Unlike other artistic traditions that express emotions through facial expressions, the Egyptians tended to employ other cues, such as connections among figures, poses, and activities. They also regularly described the emotions within a scene through captions.12 Indeed, the captions of any scene were not textual compliments or explanations, secondary to the image itself, but instead they were an essential part of the imagery. Together the words and iconography formed the whole scene, and I use both to interpret the Old Kingdom spanking, rendering accounts, and mourning scenes. These scenes indicate that the Egyptians visualized pain in the same way as they did other emotions: with specific cues. These cues could include captions and activities that caused painful physical injury, like pulling hair. However, there were also subtler cues, such as physical contact, overlapping bodies, and raised arms about to strike. The artists employed these various cues to indicate that a figure was hurting and feeling pain. While there is no evidence that the Egyptians were engaged or would have been concerned with debating definitions of pain, particularly as there are no recorded words in the Egyptian language for “emotion,” “perception,” or “sensory system,” the nature of the depicted pain was variable, implying that conceptually the Egyptians may have understood physical pain and emotional suffering to be related with no precise or absolute perimeter between them.13

11 12 13

closely within particular cultural and historical contexts; examples include Baudez 2009; Bending 2000; Boddice 2014b; van Dijkhuizen and Enenkel 2009b; Edwards 1999; Houston 2009; King 2018; King 1999; Moscoso 2012; and Wailoo 2014. Boddice 2014a, 1–2. Altenmüller 1977; Baines 2017, 267–278; and Beaux 2017, 227. Concerning the lack of Egyptian words for the concepts of emotion and sensation, see Beaux 2017, 227; Steinbach-Eicke 2017, 373; Verbovsek and Backes 2015, 106; and Volokhine 2008, 166.

106

prakash

figure 5.1 Spanking scene from the tomb of Hetepherakhti in Saqqara; Dynasty 5 adapted from Mohr 1940, fig. 38; and Wreszinski 1988, taf. 105

2

Scenes of Pain

2.1 Spanking Scenes Scenes of what resembles the spanking of a delinquent are attested in at least six Old Kingdom tombs (figs. 5.1 and 5.2).14 Dominicus interpreted this enigmatic motif as the punishment of a shepherd because it occurs near scenes of caring for calves and cattle.15 The caption associated with a spanking scene in the tomb of Nimaatre, which describes the controller of the herdsmen watching the spanking that is taking place in front of him, would further support this suggestion (fig. 5.2). However, Roth has pointed out that this scene also seems

14

15

I follow Roth’s designation of these scenes as spanking scenes (Roth 1995, 45). Examples are known to me from the tombs of Hetepherakhti in Saqqara (Mohr 1940); Irienkaptah in Saqqara (Moussa and Junge 1975, pl. 13); Ptahhotep II in Saqqara (Paget and Pirie 1989, pl. 31); Neferherenptah in Saqqara (Lauer 1976, pl. 141); Kapi in Giza (Roth 1995, pl. 157); and Nimaatre in Giza (Roth 1995, pl. 185). There may be a First Intermediate Period example in the tomb of Tjemerery in Naga el-Deir, but this is poorly preserved (see Peck 1958, 47–48 and pl. III). Dominicus 1994, 147.

everybody hurts

107

figure 5.2 Spanking scene from the tomb of Nimaatre (G 2097) in Giza; Dynasty 5 adapted from Roth 1995, pls. 89 and 185

to have been frequently placed near marsh scenes.16 This could account for the enigmatic reference to a sḫt, perhaps a clap net, in the scenes from the tombs of Neferherenptah, Kapi, and Nimaatre.17 Regardless of the exact context of the scene or the identity of each figure, it is certainly a scene of beating and punishment that could be set within larger daily life scenes based on its consistent iconography. This includes three individuals. The person receiving the punishment, or the spanked, is on his hands and knees. Standing over and usually straddling him is the spanker, who has a hand raised above the spanked’s rear end. Observing this is an overseer, who leans on a staff. Each spanking scene also has captions within it, although these differ from scene to scene. The captions within the spanking scene in the Fifth Dynasty tomb of Ptahhotep in Saqqara demonstrate that all three individuals in this motif, namely the overseer, spanker, and spanked, play a role. Each has a caption. The overseer seems to instruct the spanker to “descend.”18 The spanker states: 16 17 18

Roth 1995, 45. See further Roth 1995, 45; and Altenmüller 1982, 8. The transliteration may read hꜣ wr, but the scene is damaged below sign D21, so it is difficult to determine whether there was more to this caption. If it only included these two words, perhaps it read: “descend, great one.” Dominicus followed this translation (Dominicus 1994, 148).

108

prakash

jw ꜥ(.j) r.f mr.f My arm is against him so that he hurts. The spanked also has a caption; because of its position and orientation it could only be associated with him and record his words. However, it is poorly preserved, and it is impossible to determine exactly what the spanked said.19 At the same time, it is noteworthy that the spanked says anything at all.20 He is not simply being acted upon in this scene, but he has a role in it and the artists made sure to depict this. Even without the spanked’s caption, the caption of the spanker in this tomb demonstrates one aspect of the spanked’s role. It explicitly references his response to the spanking: to hurt, or mr. This word appears in another poorly preserved spanking scene, namely that from the tomb of Irienkaptah in Saqqara. In their publication of this tomb, Moussa and Junge questioned whether the caption originally read: ḥw r mr Hitting painfully.21 Several uses of the word mr in a variety of different textual sources from ancient Egypt demonstrate its variable meaning in regard to pain.22 It could refer to physical pain, caused by injury or an internal condition; illness; and emotional

19

20

21 22

I have been unable to locate a photograph of this scene, and I have not yet been able to study it in person. Dominicus translated the spanked’s caption as “Ich bin bedrängt!” (Dominicus 1994, 148). In line drawings, partial remains of four or five signs are visible, and based on these, the phrase does seem to begin with jw (compare Dümichen 1869, pl. IX; and Paget and Pirie 1989, pl. 31). However, there is significant damage to this area, as well as inconsistencies between the line drawings, and for these reasons, I prefer not to attempt to reconstruct this caption, particularly given the lack of parallels. The spanked in the spanking scene from the tomb of Hetepherakhti may also speak (fig. 5.1). The caption associated with this scene reads hꜣj. Roth suggested that it could be an interjection coming from the spanked, perhaps meaning something like “ouch” (Roth 1995, 45 n. 42). However, Mohr and Dominicus translated this as an imperative (“descend”), associating it with the overseer (Mohr 1940, 541 n. 12; and Dominicus 1994, 148). Indeed, given its position and the use of this verb in regard to the overseer in the tomb of Ptahhotep, it seems more likely that in the tomb of Hetepherakhti it is also an imperative from the overseer or a label for the action of the scene, namely the spanking. Moussa and Junge 1975, 41. See further Wb II, 95–96; and TLA lemma n. 71790 and 71810.

everybody hurts

109

distress or suffering. Moreover, the distinction between these various interpretations was somewhat flexible, and at times, the word seems to have simultaneously implied multiple meanings to varying degrees. It was frequently employed in medical papyri where it usually means “to hurt” or “to be sick.” According to Westendorf, in most cases this is in the context of a particular body part hurting or being sick. However, it was specifically tied to painful conditions, such as injuries, stomach diseases, or tumors.23 Similarly, in one spell from the Pyramid Texts, it also seems to relate to injury: a being is referred to as “the one with painful (mr) wrath.”24 But in another spell, mr characterizes the heart of the deceased king’s divine mother; Allen translated the phrase metaphorically as “Her heart is sick (mr) for him.”25 Based on the entire spell, mr in this instance relates to an emotional response or state rather than a physical illness or injury. In the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant, the story of an articulate peasant who is robbed by a deceitful high official and subsequently forced to make multiple appeals for justice for the entertainment of the royal court, mr may concurrently refer to both physical pain and emotional suffering. Towards the beginning of the story, the high official’s initial mistreatment of the peasant is described: “Then he took for himself a rod of fresh tamarisk against him. Then he thrashed all his limbs with it, and his donkeys were taken and brought to his estate. Then this peasant began weeping very greatly, for the pain (mr) of what was done to him.”26 Because he has just been beaten, on one level, the mr of the peasant certainly seems to include his physical pain from his injuries. But he was also deceived, and his donkeys were stolen. Thus, his pain may be more than simply physical. It could also encompass a degree of emotional anguish and distress. In recently identified fragments from The Debate between a Man and His Ba, in which a man engages in a long conversation with his ba over the merits of life and death, mr is used as a noun referring to a person, namely “the sick one.” Escolano-Poveda has argued that the reason for the entire debate is that the man is sick and pondering the benefits of life and death.27 Certainly, this would be in keeping with the use of mr in medical papyri in regard to physi-

23 24 25 26 27

Westendorf 1961, 376–382. PT 246.6. Allen 2017, 320–321. PT 508. Allen 2005, 140. B1 53–56, following Parkinson’s transcription (Parkinson 1991, 13). See also Parkinson 2012, 53–54. Escolano-Poveda 2017, 22 and 34–37. My thanks go to Escolano-Poveda for passing along her article to me.

110

prakash

cal illness. However, Escolano-Poveda has questioned whether his sickness is psychological in origin and due to some kind of injustice committed against him.28 If correct, this would recall the pain of the peasant, which was certainly unjustly caused. For both the man and the peasant, mr may encompass physical illness/injuries and emotional suffering/distress. A full lexical analysis of mr or other words for pain is beyond the scope of this paper. However, as part of an ongoing study on pain terminology and metaphors in ancient Egypt, Arnette has suggested that linguistically, the Egyptians did not sharply differentiate between physical pain and emotional suffering.29 Similarly, in her dissertation, which examined the use of words related to emotions in Egyptian literature, O’Dell argued that Egyptian words for pain can refer to both physical and emotional pain, and she suggested that the Egyptians viewed emotional pain and grief as a variant of physical pain.30 My brief consideration of mr supports Arnette and O’Dell’s conclusions. This word could be used in regard to a variety of painful experiences, including physical pains that were externally inflicted; sickness or illness that may have been physically and/or emotionally painful; and psychological distress. In certain cases, multiple meanings may be simultaneously implied with mr. In other cases, this may be less clear and only physical pain or emotional suffering may have been intended. But the word itself had variable, overlapping meanings that encompassed both physical and emotional pain. Ambivalent pain terminology is not unique to ancient Egypt.31 Biro has noted that across a wide variety of languages and cultures, people, including English speakers, often use language that likens psychological suffering or anguish to physical pain.32 For example, the Greek word lupê was used for both grief and pain.33 Moreover, in regard to late Imperial China, Santangelo has shown that linguistically, emotional pain was not separated from bodily pain, thus reflecting an understanding of all pain, whether physical or emotional, as involving the entire body-mind-heart system.34 For the ancient Egyptian lexical data, one must be wary of assuming that it necessarily indicates that the Egyptians conceived of all pains as exactly the same or that they considered pain from a broken leg to be identical to anguish 28 29 30 31 32 33 34

Escolano-Poveda 2017, 36–37. Arnette 2019, Arnette 2018, and Arnette 2017. My thanks go to Arnette for further discussing her findings with me as well. O’Dell 2008, 196–199. See further Boddice 2017, 5–9. Biro 2014, 55. Konstan 2006, 245–246. See also Harris 2001, 343. Santangelo 2014.

everybody hurts

111

from a terrible event. Certainly, words for pain could have been employed metaphorically, and there may be nuances to the terminology and its contexts that are more difficult to discern today. Yet the variable use of mr and other pain words does suggest that on some level, the Egyptians understood physical pain and emotional suffering to be related and perhaps corresponding phenomena. In this way, the Egyptians may have conceived of pain broadly, as an experience that could be both physical and emotional. Returning to the spanking scenes, the use of mr in two captions indicates that the motif does not depict a threat of pain, but instead it is a picture of pain itself. The captions make this explicit and serve as cues, describing the spanked’s occurring pain. Therefore, the scene is not only concerned with violence and the more important or powerful individuals within and surrounding it, but also the experience of the injured and his pain. He is not an object but a figure that has a response and feelings. Read in combination with the iconography, his pain is clearly physical, resulting from his injuries. However, considering the variable meaning of mr, it is possible that the Egyptians understood the spanked to be psychologically suffering as his body hurt. The raised arm of the spanker seems to be another cue for pain in this context. Because this scene visualizes a state of pain and not a moment of suspense, in which the spanked might or might not experience pain, the raised arm gesture is fundamentally not anticipatory, even if it may at first appear this way to a modern viewer. Instead, the ancient Egyptian audience may have recognized this gesture as simply signaling the spanked’s painful condition. In all but one of the spanking scenes, the spanked and spanker are overlapping, with the spanked awkwardly positioned between the spanker’s legs. Only in the Fifth Dynasty tomb of Kapi in Giza is the spanked slightly further back, though his head still rests in the spanker’s hand.35 This overlapping of bodies was clearly a deliberate artistic choice. The spanker and spanked are also consistently touching. The spanker holds down the spanked, and the spanked reaches out and touches or grasps the spanker. Both the overlapping and the physical contact are elements of the motif. Overlapping bodies and physical contact are also present in other scenes of pain, as I will discuss below. Their consistency in this regard suggests that, in certain contexts, they were also cues for pain. In the spanking scene, the physical contact could relate to the brutality of the motif; the spanked is being pushed down and hurt. In his pain, he presses against the spanker. The spanker holds the spanked in position with his legs, straddling and hurting him. The

35

Roth 1995, pl. 157.

112

prakash

figure 5.3 Rendering accounts scene from the tomb of Ti in Saqqara; Dynasty 5 adapted from Wild 1966, pls. CXLIV and CLXVIII

nature of these gestures is in keeping with the occurring action, and the physical contact and overlapping bodies further signal the intensity and pain of the scene. 2.2 Scenes of Rendering Accounts Physical contact and overlapping bodies are also regularly present in scenes of rendering accounts, which were common in Old Kingdom private tombs (figs. 5.3 and 5.4).36 In these images, officers drag delinquent farmers, administrators, or herders before the stewards of the deceased’s estate where the criminals are forced to pay up. As with the spanking scenes, captions suggest that the criminals were integral to these scenes. Indeed, the identity of the miscreants seems to have been especially important, and their title is often placed

36

Regarding these scenes in general, see Beaux 1991, 35–40; Harpur 1987, 169–170; and Guglielmi 1973, 120–125. For the Old Kingdom examples, see Harpur 1987, 169–170, and table 8 feat. 18 and 62–64 (though note Harpur wrongly includes the Hetepherakhti spanking scene and the scene from the tomb of Tjemerery in Naga el-Deir that may be a spanking scene; see further Beaux 1991, 35 n. 16) and Dominicus 1994, abb. 2–5. Similar accounting or collection/inspection scenes continue into the New Kingdom and can include violent iconography and what appear to be the same cues for pain, though they are not the focus of my analysis here. For Middle Kingdom examples, see Dominicus 1994, abb. 4 and 5; Newberry 1898, pl. 30; and Blackman 1915, pl. III. New Kingdom examples can be found in TT 22 (Wreszinski 1988, taf. 62); TT 39 (Davies 1922, pls. 9 and 12); TT 69 (Hodel-Hoenes 2000, fig. 60); TT 80 (Shedid 1988, taf. 17b, 54a, and 63); TT 81 (Dziobek 1992, taf. 4 and likely taf. 8; see also Shedid 1988, taf. 17a); TT 100 (Davies 1943, pls. XXV and XXXI); and the tomb of Paheri in El Kab (Tylor 1895, pls. III and IV).

everybody hurts

113

figure 5.4 Rendering accounts scene from the tomb of Khentika in Saqqara; Dynasty 6 adapted from James 1953, pl. 9

next to them. In some cases, such as the rendering accounts scene in the tomb of Mereruka, their name appears to have been written as well.37 These scenes are not just about those who are in control and their abusive actions, but they are also about those who are being punished and their response. Even though the level of overt violence in these scenes varies, they also seem to be images of occurring pain rather than impending pain. Unlike the spanking scenes, where no weapons were depicted, the officers in the rendering accounts scenes regularly hold sticks or batons. These weapons distinguish the officers from the criminals and symbolize their authority. They also seem to demarcate an atmosphere of intimidation and reckoning. However, some officers raise their weapons over their heads, ready to come down on the evaders, in the same way as the spankers’ raised hands. Similarly, there is nearly always physical contact between the officers and the miscreants. The officers push the criminals down, yank their limbs, and drag them forward by the hands, neck, head, or shoulders. Very frequently, the various bodies in the rendering accounts scenes overlap as well. The feet intertwine and the miscreants’ bodies are placed in front of, in between, or behind those of the officers. The criminals’ bodies also overlap with each other. Just as raised arms, physical contact, and overlapping bodies are cues for pain in the spanking scenes, they would seem to be cues for pain in these scenes. They appear to visually signal an extraordinary, emotionally charged event, and in these scenes they tie directly to the painful experience that the delinquents are undergoing at the represented moment. The officers are not threatening the tax evaders. Instead, they are already hurting them. 37

It seems possible that the names provided in the rendering accounts scene in Mereruka’s tomb, which include mrrj (one who loves) and nḏm-jb (joyful), were intentionally disparaging and ironic (Duell 1938, vol. 1, pl. 37). However, even if these names were not the miscreants’ actual names, including them still indicates interest in the miscreants.

114

prakash

In some tombs, the rendering accounts scenes are quite elaborate though they still include the same cues for intense emotion and pain, namely overlapping bodies, physical contact, and raised weapons. For example, in the tomb of Ibi in Deir el Gebrawi, one man is laid out, nude and prostrate, as he is beaten.38 It is interesting that twice in this scene, beating is said to bring joy (nḏm-jb), though it is unclear to whom it is brought.39 A similarly positive declaration is found in the tomb of Khentika, next to a more unusual motif within this rendering accounts scene: this depicts nude men painfully wrapped around poles and beaten (fig. 5.4).40 In this tomb, the caption associated with this motif reads: “Good gifts for your ka! The like has never happened!” These phrases could have a facetious or sarcastic meaning if they were only directed at the criminals.41 Or perhaps the beating was considered positive and beneficial, intended to help the criminals as they hurt.42 But those who inflicted the pain may have experienced delight in and merit from doing this, and the happiness and gifts described in these captions might have had more to do with the punishers than the punished. In this case, as the one who was ultimately responsible for mandating these punishments, and who was thus the primary punisher, the tomb owner could have most benefitted from the miscreants’ pain. 2.3 Old Kingdom Mourning Scenes During the Old Kingdom, mourning scenes were both less formalized and less common than they would become in later periods.43 These Old Kingdom scenes seem to take place outside of an explicit or official ritualistic context.44

38 39

40 41 42

43

44

Davies 1902, pl. 8. One of the captions with this word reads hꜣt rn.s j.ms nḏm-jb. The other occurrence is less well preserved, but based on what remains, it is quite possible that the same phrase was repeated. Davies questioned whether nḏm-jb was the name of the person being punished since it seems to have been used in this capacity in Mereruka’s rendering accounts scene, which I described above, but this use seems much less likely in Ibi’s tomb based on the words’ context (Davies 1902, 16 n. 2). James 1953, pl. 9. For this motif, see further Beaux 1991. James 1953, 45. Indeed, pain can be experienced as pleasure, and throughout history, some cultures have considered it positively and to be helpful or necessary at times (for example, see further Boddice 2017, 65–76; van Dijkhuizen and Enenkel 2009b; and Yamamoto-Wilson 2013). There are only three known Old Kingdom mourning scenes, which I describe below. Concerning their possible relationship to one another, see further Harpur 1987, 113; and Kanawati and Hassan 1997, 51. Although ritual mourners were depicted during the Old Kingdom in the form of two ḏr.tj mourners, who accompanied the coffin in the course of the funeral procession and were

everybody hurts

115

Rather they depict the family and household of the deceased tomb owner who are left behind as the deceased’s body is being removed and brought to the embalmers or as the funeral procession itself sets out.45 While some of these individuals are identified with their title, they would all appear to be significant people with direct ties to the deceased, and a primary theme of these scenes is the individuals’ emotional responses and actions following the tomb owner’s death. The Old Kingdom mourning scenes share a number of commonalities, particularly in regard to the positions of the figures, and they visualize both physical and emotional pain through a number of important cues, including physical contact and overlapping bodies. In doing this, they further indicate that the boundary between physical pain and emotional suffering was somewhat fluid in ancient Egypt. These mourning scenes portray pain, but this pain is broad and multi-faceted. The mourning scene in the Sixth Dynasty tomb of Ankhmahor in Saqqara depicts a group of men and women inside and outside the deceased’s home as the deceased’s body is taken away (fig. 5.5).46 The caption associated with the women inside the house expresses the drama of the scene: “O my father, O my lord, the kind one!” Some of the mourners display positions, including sitting with the head on the knees and raising the arms overhead, that signaled mourning and grief throughout Egyptian history.47 Two others have dramatically fallen to the ground. In the upper register, one man lies down, as though he has fainted. Two men seem to be helping him, with one grasping his left arm and the other holding up his torso. Below him in the lower register, a woman is in a similar position, and two of her companions appear to be pulling her up while she clasps one of them around the waist. There is no doubt that these two individuals have fallen because of their extreme grief; while the context alone makes this clear, the artists have reinforced it with the gestures of the left-hand figures in each triad, who both raise an arm. The triads, particularly the male group, are focal points within the scene, being slightly larger than the figures that surround them. The bodies of the figures in each triad overlap with one

45

46 47

closely associated with Isis and Nephthys (see further Altenmüller 1999; and Fischer 1976, 39–50), according to Hudáková, the first extensive mourning ritual scenes date to Dynasty 11 (Hudáková 2016, 53–57). El-Shohoumi 2004, 158; Kucharek 2005, 346–347; Verbovsek 2011, 242–243; and Verma 2014, 152 and 158–159. See further Lüddeckens 1943, 2–9. For an overview of the funerary ritual in general, see Assmann 2005. Concerning this scene, see Kanawati and Hassan 1997, 51–52 and pl. 56; Lüddeckens 1943, 17–18; and Verma 2014, 159. Dominicus 1994, 65–75; Feucht 1984; and Werbrouck 1938, 145.

116

prakash

figure 5.5 Mourning scene from the tomb of Ankhmahor in Saqqara; Dynasty 6 adapted from Kanawati and Hassan 1997, pls. 20 and 56

another, and as I described, they make significant physical contact. However, this is true for most of the other figures in this scene as well, who embrace or place their hands on one another while their limbs overlap. In the mourning scene from the Sixth Dynasty tomb of Idu in Giza (fig. 5.6), the mourning actions are explicitly described in the bottom register: “Coming forth by his meret-serfs weeping.”48 The emotional anguish of the scene is also made clear in the second register, where the caption reads: “O my lord, take me to you!” These mourners are consistently touching one another. Moreover, their bodies are also intertwined and thoroughly overlap. The legs of most of the men in the uppermost register are so tangled that it is difficult to distinguish them. In the second register, one man hooks his right arm through the arm of his companion while grasping his companion’s other hand with his left hand. Similarly, in the bottom register, one woman has her right arm tightly curled around the waist of another woman. Elsewhere, several men and one woman violently pull at their hair. With fists, two men also clearly seem to be hitting their heads. Similar physical contact, overlapping bodies, and pulling hair can be found in the mourning scene from the tomb of Mereruka, which depicts only female mourners.49 The women embrace and reach out to one another. To the right of the scene, one woman seems to be in the process of falling down while her companions try to hold her up with their arms wrapped around her. They place their other hands on her head. Two embracing women who are seated on the 48 49

For this scene, see Lüddeckens 1943, 16–17; Simpson 1976, 22, pl. XIX, and fig. 35; and Verma 2014, 158. See Duell 1938, vol. 2, pls. 130 and 131; Lüddeckens 1943, 18–19; and Verma 2014, 161.

117

everybody hurts

figure 5.6 Mourning scene from the tomb of Idu in Giza; Dynasty 6 adapted from Simpson 1976, fig. 35 and pl. XIX

ground are set directly in front of the mourners behind them. Likewise, the feet of all of the women overlap with one another. In these mourning scenes, pain is both externally and self-inflicted, through the death of the tomb owner and the mourners’ own injurious actions. The nature of this pain undoubtedly includes an emotional component. These people are experiencing intense anguish and grief. The overlapping bodies and physical contact would seem to be cues for this acute pain. The artists appear to have depicted a tight group of people and a confused disarray of bodies and limbs that touch and clasp one another to signal the extreme nature of

118

prakash

their feelings. At the same time, the mourners harm themselves, pulling their hair and hitting their heads, actions that typically cause physical pain. The artists seem to have visualized that they hurt both bodily and psychologically. While the physical pain is more obviously represented through the damaging actions of pulling hair and hitting oneself, the overlapping bodies and physical contact may have also signaled the mourners’ physical pain, as they do in the spanking and rendering accounts scenes, in addition to their emotional despair and anguish. In this way, these two cues, which artists appear to have employed when representing extraordinary, emotionally charged events, could have signaled pain in general, without reference to a particular type of painful experience. Indeed, the mourning scenes suggest that the Egyptians understood emotional suffering to be painful, and they depict a broad conception of pain.

3

Conclusion

Ancient Egyptian art is filled with layers of meaning, and in all three scene types that I have discussed here, pain is only one aspect of the imagery. However, it was present and signaled in culturally specific ways that are less perceptible to the modern viewer than they probably were for the ancient audience. There was an interest in representing the painful experience that the people in these scenes were enduring. They were not simply acted upon by the other figures or the larger events, but their response to these actions and events was also part of the imagery. The spanked, beaten, and mourners hurt, and their pain likely heightened or worked together with the other meanings and the various functions of the scenes themselves. This pain could be depicted textually through captions or explicitly referenced with harmful positions or actions, such as pulling hair. Furthermore, the gesture of raising a hand or weapon to strike a person, which may seem only threatening or anticipatory today, likely was more absolute in its original significance and essential meaning. It was employed in scenes where pain was already present. Rather than encapsulate or signal a moment of suspense, it was a cue for pain itself. In other words, there was no question of whether the arm would fall since the subject’s pain had already begun. The figures in all three of the scene types that I have discussed are also consistently overlapping and touching one another. Thus ancient Egyptian artists sometimes used physical contact and overlapping bodies to represent emotionally charged moments of extraordinary activity. In these particular scenes, one sees the disarray and melee that would have occurred during

everybody hurts

119

mourning and violence, and the physical contact and overlapping bodies are further cues for pain. In the spanking and rendering accounts scenes, these cues appear to be more obviously tied to physical pain, while in the mourning scenes, they seem more overtly indicative of emotional pain. It is possible that the larger context of a scene and other aspects of the iconography indicated to which particular type of pain these cues were referring. On the other hand, in the mourning scenes, both physical and emotional pain was represented. While physical contact and overlapping bodies certainly seem to signal the mourners’ anguish, they may also concurrently reference a more corporeal experience of pain. Consequently, one must question whether the artists were only depicting physical pain in the spanking and rendering accounts scenes. Perhaps these men were also suffering psychologically as their bodies hurt. The use of mr in two of the spanking scenes further supports this argument. Indeed, this imagery, as well as the lexical analyses that I described above, suggests that the Egyptians may not have strictly distinguished between types of painful experiences and the ways in which people hurt. This recalls the recent approaches to pain that I referenced in my introduction. Scholars employing these methodologies have argued that pain is best studied as an experience that affects the person rather than the body, and that pain has physical and emotional aspects that are inextricably meshed. Undoubtedly, the Egyptians understood pain differently than we do today. However, it seems quite possible that they conceived of pain as an experience that had both physical and emotional components, which were related and could coexist. The various visual devices that I have discussed did not exclusively signal pain in Egyptian art, and this is true of Egyptian art in general; gestures and compositional elements did not have static meanings and functions. One must consider their broader context in order to interpret them, just as one must consider the larger context of Egyptian words when deciphering texts. For example, physical contact and overlapping bodies are found in many other types of scenes, in which they had different meanings. Physical contact could indicate affection or familial relationships while overlapping bodies could symbolize large numbers of individuals. Even within Old Kingdom spanking, rendering accounts, and mourning scenes, the various cues that I have discussed may have had other implications together with pain. Indeed, I have deliberately kept my analysis focused on select Old Kingdom scenes in order to begin to explore what is ultimately a vast and complicated subject. Just as conceptions of pain vary from culture to culture, they can change over time within a culture. Similarly, how and why pain was visualized can change as well. While my arguments here may apply to other periods of Egyptian history, one can-

120

prakash

not assume this to be the case. Rather, much more work on pain in ancient Egypt remains to be done. A primary purpose of this paper is to initiate this and demonstrate that there are layers of meaning, particularly relating to emotions and ephemeral responses, within Egyptian imagery that have yet to be fully explored.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Shih-Wei Hsu and Jaume Llop for inviting me to contribute to this volume. I wrote much of this paper as a postdoctoral fellow in the Near Eastern Studies department at The Johns Hopkins University and a Mellon fellow in the Egyptian Art department at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I am extremely grateful for their support. I presented an earlier version at the annual meeting of the American Research Center in Egypt in Tucson, Arizona, April 20–22, 2018, and I would like to thank the organizers and all those who provided feedback. My ongoing research on pain is part of a larger collaborative project that the Institut français d’archéologie orientale and Liège University is sponsoring, and my thoughts on pain and emotion in ancient Egypt have greatly benefitted from discussion with the other members of this group. My thanks go especially to Dimitri Laboury and Liège University for their support of my research on this topic. I would also like to thank Richard Jasnow for numerous stimulating exchanges on pain and emotion and for passing along several helpful resources, and Niv Allon for his extremely useful feedback and questioning, which helped me think through this material in different and very productive ways. Additionally, I am most grateful to Ann Macy Roth for discussing her research on the spanking scenes with me and to Marsha Hill for her helpful comments on an earlier draft of this paper.

Abbreviations LÄ Lexikon der Ägyptologie. Wb Adolf, E. and H. Grapow. 1926–1961. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. I–VI. Berlin: Akademie.

everybody hurts

121

Bibliography Allen, J.P. 2017. Grammar of the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, Volume 1: Unis. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Allen, J.P. 2005. The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, edited by Peter Der Manuelian. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Altenmüller, B. 1977. “Gefühlsbewegungen.” In LÄ II, edited by W. Helck and W. Westendorf, 508–510. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz. Altenmüller, H. 1999. “Zum Ursprung von Isis und Nephthys.” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 27: 1–26. Altenmüller, H. 1982. “Arbeiten am Grab des Neferherenptah in Saqqara (1970–1975): Vorbericht.”Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut, Abteilung Kairo 38: 1–16. Arnette, M.-L. 2019. “Douleur et émotions: nature et fonctions des peines du corps dans les textes de l’Égypte pharaonique” at Liège Université, Liège, Belgium, December 17–19. Arnette, M.-L. 2018. “Douleur et émotion: des mots pour des maux, suite des investigations.” Paper presented at the second meeting of “Visualiser les émotions dans l’Egypte ancienne: images et textes” at the Université Paris-Sorbonne, Paris, France, September 7–8. Arnette, M.-L. 2017. “Des mots pour les maux: enquête préliminaire sur l’expression de la douleur dans la littérature égyptienne.” Paper presented at the first meeting of “Visualiser les émotions dans l’Egypte ancienne: images et textes” at the Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Cairo, Egypt, November 8–9. Assmann, J. 2005. “Totenriten als Trauerriten im Alten Ägypten.” In Der Abschied von den Toten: Trauerrituale im Kulturvergleich, edited by J. Assmann, F. Maciejewski and A. Michaels, 307–325. Gütersloh: Wallstein Verlag. Aydede, M. 2005. “Introduction: A Critical and Quasi-Historical Essay on Theories of Pain.” In Pain: New Essays on Its Nature and the Methodology of Its Study, edited by M. Aydede, 1–58. Cambridge: MIT Press. Baines, J. 2017. “Epilogue: On Ancient Pictorial Representations of Emotion: Concluding Comments with Examples from Egypt.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 263–286. Fribourg: Academic Press. Baudez, C.-F. 2009. “Pretium Doloris, or The Value of Pain in Mesoamerica.” In Blood and Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America, edited by H. Orr and R. Koontz, 269–290. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press. Beaux, N. 2017. “Écriture des émotions en égyptien.” In La langage de l’émotion: variations linguistiques et culturelles, edited by N. Tersis and P. Boyeldieu, 227–241. Leuven: Peeters.

122

prakash

Beaux, N. 1991. “Ennemis étrangers et malfaiteurs égyptiens: la signification du châtiment au pilori.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale 91: 33–53. Bending, L. 2000. The Representation of Bodily Pain in Late Nineteenth-Century English Culture. New York: Oxford University Press. Biro, D. 2014. “Psychological Pain: Metaphor or Reality?” In Pain and Emotion in Modern History, edited by R. Boddice, 53–65. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Blackman, A. 1915. The Rock Tombs of Meir, vol. 3. London: Egypt Exploration Fund. Boddice, R. 2017. Pain: A Very Short History. New York: Oxford University Press. Boddice, R. 2014a. “Introduction: Hurt Feelings?” In Pain and Emotion in Modern History, edited by Rob Boddice, 1–15. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Boddice, R. (ed.) 2014b. Pain and Emotion in Modern History. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Bourke, J. 2014. The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers. London: Oxford University Press. Davies, N. de G. 1943. The Tomb of Rekh-mi-re at Thebes, vol. 2. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Davies, N. de G. 1922. The Tomb of Puyemre at Thebes, vol. 1. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Davies, N. de G. 1902. The Rock Tombs of Deir el Gebrâwi, vol. 1. London: Egypt Exploration Fund. DeWall, C.N., G. MacDonald, G.D. Webster, C.L. Masten, R.F. Baumeister, C. Powell, D. Combs, D.R. Schurtz, T.F. Stillman, D.M. Tice, and N.I. Eisenberger. 2010. “Acetaminophen Reduces Social Pain: Behavioral and Neural Evidence.” Psychological Science 21(7): 931–937. van Dijkhuizen, J.F. and K. Enenkel. 2009a. “Introduction: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture.” In The Sense of Suffering: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture, edited by J.F. van Dijkhuizen and K. Enenkel, 1–17. Leiden: Brill. van Dijkhuizen, J.F. and K. Enenkel (eds) 2009b. The Sense of Suffering: Constructions of Physical Pain in Early Modern Culture. Leiden: Brill. Dominicus, B. 1994. Gesten und Gebärden in Darstellungen des Alten und Mittleren Reiches. Heidelberg: Heidelberger Orientverlag. Dümichen, J. (ed.) 1869. Resultate der auf Befehl Sr. Majestät des Königs Wilhelm I. von Preussen im Sommer 1868 nach Aegypten entsendeten Archäologisch-Photographischen Expedition, vol. 1. Berlin: Alexander Duncker. Dziobek, E. 1992. Das Grab des Ineni: Theban Nr. 81. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Duell, P. 1938. The Mastaba of Mereruka. Chicago: University of Chicago. Duncan, G. 2000. “Mind-Body Dualism and the Biopsychosocial Model of Pain: What Did Descartes Really Say?” Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 25(4): 485–513. Edwards, C. 1999. “The Suffering Body: Philosophy and Pain in Seneca’s Letters.” In Con-

everybody hurts

123

structions of the Classical Body, edited by J.I. Porter, 252–268. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Eisenberger, N.I. 2016. “Social Pain and Social Pleasure: Two Overlooked but Fundamental Mammalian Emotions?” In Handbook of Emotions, edited by L.F. Barrett, M. Lewis, and J.M. Haviland-Jones, 440–452. New York: The Guilford Press. Eisenberger, N.I., M.L. Lieberman, and K.D. Williams. 2003. “Does Rejection Hurt? An fMRI Study of Social Exclusion.” Science 302, no. 5643 (October 10): 290–292. El-Shohoumi, N. 2004. Der Tod im Leben: Eine vergleichende Analyse altägyptischer und rezenter ägyptischer Totenbräuche, Eine phänomenologische Studie. Vienna: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. Escolano-Poveda, M. 2017. “New Fragments of Papyrus Berlin 3024: The Missing Beginning of the Debate between a Man and his Ba and the Continuation of the Tale of the Herdsman (P. Mallorca I and II).”Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 144: 16–54. Feucht, E. 1984. “Ein Motiv der Trauer.” In Studien zu Sprache und Religion Ägyptens: Zu Ehren von Wolfhart Westendorf, vol. 2, edited by Friedrich Junge, 1103–1112. Göttingen: Hubert & Co. Fischer, H. 1976. Varia. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. Guglielmi, W. 1973. Reden, Rufe und Lieder auf altägyptischen Darstellungen der Landwirtschaft, Viehzucht, des Fisch- und Vogelfangs vom Mittleren Reich bis zur Spätzeit. Bonn: Rudolf Habelt Verlag. Harpur, Y. 1987. Decoration in Egyptian Tombs of the Old Kingdom: Studies in Orientation and Scene Content. London and New York: KPI. Harris, W. 2001. Restraining Rage: The Ideology of Anger Control in Classical Antiquity. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Hodel-Hoenes, S. 2000. Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Scenes from Private Tombs in New Kingdom Thebes. Translated by D. Warburton. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. Houston, S. 2009. “‘To Boast in Our Sufferings’: The Problem of Pain in Ancient Mesoamerica.” In Blood and Beauty: Organized Violence in the Art and Archaeology of Mesoamerica and Central America, edited by H. Orr and R. Koontz, 331–340. Los Angeles: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology Press. Hudáková, L. 2016. “Dying and Mourning between the Old and Middle Kingdoms— Some peculiar scenes from Thebes, el-Moalla, and Gebelein.” In Change and Innovation in Middle Kingdom Art, edited by L. Hudáková, P. Jánosi and A. Kahlbacher, 47–63. London: Golden House. International Association for the Study of Pain. 1994. “IASP Terminology.” https://www .iasp‑pain.org/terminology?navItemNumber=576 (February 16, 2019). James, T.G.H. 1953. The Mastaba of Khentika Called Ikhekhi. London: Egyptian Exploration Society.

124

prakash

Kanawati, N. and A. Hassan. 1997. The Teti Cemetery at Saqqara: Volume II The Tomb of Ankhmahor. Warminster: Aris and Phillips. King, D. 2018. Experiencing Pain in Imperial Greek Culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. King, H. 1999. “Chronic Pain and the Creation of Narrative.” In Constructions of the Classical Body, edited by J.I. Porter, 269–286. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. Konstan, D. 2006. The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Kucharek, A. 2005. “70 Tage—Trauerphasen und Trauerriten in Agypten.” In Der Abschied von den Toten: Trauerrituale im Kulturvergleich, edited by J. Assmann, F. Maciejewski and A. Michaels, 342–358. Gütersloh: Wallstein Verlag. Kugelmann, R. 2017. Constructing Pain: Historical, Psychological, and Critical Perspectives. London and New York: Routledge. Lauer, J.-P. 1976. Saqqara: The Royal Cemetery of Memphis. New York: Scribner. Lüddeckens, E. 1943. “Untersuchungen über religiösen Gehalt, Sprache und Form der ägyptischen Totenklagen.” Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut, Abteilung Kairo 11: 1–188. Mohr, H.Th. 1940. “Een Vechtpartij te Leiden: Vorm en inhoud van een relief in de mastaba van ḥtp-ḥr-ꜣḫtj.” Jaarbericht van het Voorazatisch-Egyptisch Genootschap, Ex Oriente Lux 7: 535–541. Morris, D. 1991. The Culture of Pain. Berkeley: University of California Press. Moscoso, J. 2012. Pain: A Cultural History. Translated by S. Thomas and P. House. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Moussa, A. and F. Junge. 1975. Two Tombs of Craftsmen. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Newberry, P. 1898. Beni Hasan, vol. 1. London: Egypt Exploration Fund. O’Connor, M.-F., D.K. Wellisch, A.L. Stanton, N.I. Eisenberger, M.R. Irwin, and M.D. Lieberman. 2008. “Craving love? Enduring grief activates brain’s reward center.” NeuroImage 42: 969–972. O’Dell, E. 2008. “Excavating the Emotional Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature.” PhD diss., Brown University. Paget, R.F.E. and A.A. Pirie. 1989. The Tomb of Ptah-hetep. London: Histories & Mysteries of Man. Parkinson, R. 2012. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant: A Reader’s Commentary. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag. Parkinson, R. 1991. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Ashmolean Museum. Peck, C.N. 1958. “Some Decorated Tombs of the First Intermediate Period at Naga edDêr.” PhD diss., Brown University. Rainville, P. 2002. “Brain Mechanisms of Pain Affect and Pain Modulation.” Current Opinion in Neurobiology 12: 195–204.

everybody hurts

125

Rey, R. 1995. The History of Pain. Translated by L.E. Wallace, J.A. Cadden, and S.W. Cadden. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Roth, A.M. 1995. A Cemetery of Palace Attendants: Including G 2084–2099, G 2230+2231, and G 2240. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts. Santangelo, P. 2014. “The Perception of Pain in Late Imperial China.” In Pain and Emotion in Modern History, edited by R. Boddice, 36–52. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. Shedid, A.G. 1988. Stil der Grabmalerein in der Zeit Amenophis’ II: Untersucht an den thebanischen Gräbern Nr. 104 und Nr. 80. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Simpson, W.K. 1976. The Mastabas of Qar and Idu: G 7101 and 7102. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts. Steinbach-Eicke, E. 2017. “Experiencing is Tasting: Perception Metaphors of Taste in Ancient Egyptian.” Lingua Aegyptia 25: 373–390. Tylor, J.J. 1895. The Tomb of Paheri. London: Egypt Exploration Fund. Verbovsek, A. 2011. “The Correlation of Rituals, Emotions, and Literature in Ancient Egypt.” In Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean: Agency, Emotion, Gender, and Representation, edited by A. Chaniotis, 235–262. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Verbovsek, A. and B. Backes. 2015. “Sinne und Sinnlichkeit in den ägyptischen Liebesliedern.” In Sex and the Golden Goddess II: World of the Love Songs, edited by H. Navratilova and R. Landgráfová, 105–119. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology. Verma, S. 2014. Cultural Expression in the Old Kingdom Elite Tombs. Oxford: Archaeopress. Volokhine, Y. 2008. “Tristesse rituelle et lamentations funéraires en Égypte ancienne.” Revue de l’histoire des religions 225(2): 163–197. Wailoo, K. 2014. Pain: A Political History. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Wall, P. 2000. The Science of Suffering. New York: Columbia University Press. Werbrouck, M. 1938. Les pleureuses dans l’Égypte ancienne. Brussels: Éditions de la Foundation égyptologique reine Élisabeth. Westendorf, W. 1961. Wörterbuch der medizinischen Texte, vol. 1. Berlin: AkademieVerlag. Wild, H. 1966. Le tombeau de Ti: La chapelle, vol. 2. Cairo: L’Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Wreszinski, W. 1988. Atlas zur altaegyptischen Kulturgeschichte, vol. 1. Geneva: Slatkine Reprints. Yamamoto-Wilson, J.R. 2013. Pain, Pleasure and Perversity: Discourses of Suffering in Seventeenth-Century England. Surrey: Ashgate.

chapter 6

“Without You I Am an Orphan”: Exploring Emotion and Interpersonal Pragmatics in the Late Ramesside Letters Kim Ridealgh

Emotions are one of the hardest human behavioural phenomena to qualitatively analyse, especially from a cross-cultural perspective, as often a combination of linguistic and multi-modal cues are employed for emotional displays. These are cues that can be easily misinterpreted by an observer. When dealing with an ancient culture and working from written texts only, the possibility of misinterpretation is even more apparent, and so a systematic analysis is needed to assess linguistic patterns in written communications, rather than a reliance on “common sense”. This paper will utilise frameworks and approaches from relational work and from pragmatics in order to ask two main questions (in line with those proposed by Langlotz and Locher1): 1) how are emotions signalled in interaction in Late Egyptian letters and how is the communication of emotion influenced by social and cultural norms? 2) What are the links between emotion and interpersonal relationships? The Late Ramesside Letters are a valuable resource in analysing social networks; they manifest a variety of relationships across the social distance scale, and highlight linguistic patterns demonstrating how intimate relations were maintained within this social network. In this paper, I will argue that the letters viably demonstrate the role of emotion in maintaining interpersonal relationships and, via frameworks from interpersonal pragmatics, demonstrate how these emotive utterances can be qualitatively and systematically analysed.

1

Introduction

This paper explores emotions in the ancient Egyptian Late Ramesside Letters within the framework of interpersonal pragmatics. The term “interpersonal pragmatics” is “used to designate examinations of interactions between people

1 Langlotz and Locher 2013, 103.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

“without you i am an orphan”

127

that both affect and are affected by their understandings of culture, society, and their own and others’ interpretations”.2 Thus, the application of frameworks from interpersonal pragmatics allows the researcher to understand the nature of the communication between interlocutors, and the knowledge frames and cultural reference points encapsulated within a specific interaction. It is certainly undeniable that the more historically remote the language under review is, the more difficult the analysis becomes for two key reasons. Firstly, the surviving texts for remote languages are often sparse, incomplete and highly fragmentary, regularly resulting in problematic data sets.3 Secondly, there is an issue with the incomplete picture of the culture or society under review. Modern readers of ancient texts are deficient in key cultural and contextual understandings that underpin any communication, a deficit that can often (unintentionally) be filled with the reader’s own cultural knowledge frames, leading to a superficial or “common sense” approach to the textual analysis under review. An interdisciplinary approach can help to avoid some of these pitfalls by providing both a framework for analysis that has been utilised in research on many different languages, both past and present, and a mechanism to take into account the differing socio-cultural knowledge of the remote reader. Within this context, this paper will explore the emotions, or rather emotivelanguage use, embedded in three different relationship dynamics manifested in the Late Ramesside Letters (c. 1099–1069 BCE). These letters form a corpus of over seventy personal communications written in Late Egyptian, which in turn forms one of the most extensive letter collections from ancient Egypt. The letters were predominantly written during the reign of Ramesses XI, the final king of the New Kingdom, at a time when Egypt was experiencing social and economic instability.4 The letters document an active community based at the temple of Medinet Habu in Thebes, with the majority of the letters written by, or sent to, Dhutmose, who was the senior scribe of the Necropolis at the time.5 In order to explore the range of emotive-language used in the relationship case studies selected from the Late Ramesside Letters, I will utilise a framework created by relational pragmaticians Langlotz and Locher, which offers a foundation for “the study of relational work as a discourse phenomenon”.6 This

2 3 4 5

Locher and Graham 2010, 2. Ridealgh 2016. For a complete historical overview, see Černý 1975. See the following for full publication of the letters: Černý 1939; Wente 1967 & 1990; Janssen 1991; Demarée 2006. 6 Langlotz and Locher 2013, 105.

128

ridealgh

framework looks to provide a structured approach in order to examine how emotions are signalled in interaction and the influence of social and cultural norms on this. Additionally, it is also broad enough to allow for the assessment of the relationship between emotions and interpersonal relationships. The application of this framework and accompanying analysis of interpersonal pragmatics represents an innovative step in improving our understanding of social dynamics in ancient Egypt and the role emotions played in supporting, changing, or maintaining these relationships. It is clear from current literature on emotions in the ancient Near East and ancient Egypt that there is no consensus when defining the term “emotion”. The breath of interpretation ranges from the notion that no emotions are represented in the ancient world,7 to only specific states or themes being recognised,8 to emotions being reclassified as “feelings” or “passions”.9 Part of the problem here is semantics, with no real consensus amongst scholars as to the classification of emotion-related words, and in part as well to the isolation of philology of the ancient Near East and Egypt from related developments in other academic disciplines. It is currently in vogue for studies on emotion in the ancient Near East and Egypt to focus solely on individual words, i.e. “fear”, “anger” etc., rather than relationships.10 The issue with such studies is that they fundamentally rely on individual scholars’ understanding of the emotional category under review. Scholars look for direct translations of English emotion words and then explore the contexts in which they appear; yet fail to take into account that emotion words mean different things and have different connotations cross-culturally. Approaching the theme of emotion from an interpersonal pragmatics perspective allows for a more structured and systematic approach, using the relationship between interlocutors to form the frame of the interaction.11 Within this context, emotion is essentially defined as emotive-language, a set of linguistic displays and cues, which surpass the normative referential communication, and are designed to affect or solicit an evaluation of affect between interlocutors.12

7 8 9 10

11 12

Lasater 2017, 540. Fox 1981; Lichtheim 1997; Effland 2003; Köhler 2016; Clarysse 2017; Jacques 2017. Lasater 2017. Clarysse (2017) does structure his analysis from a relationship perspective but employs no theoretical approach, and so the analysis focuses more on a so-called “common sense” discussion. Terkourafi 2005. Ochs and Schieffelin 1989, 7.

“without you i am an orphan”

2

129

Theoretical Overview and Framework

As Langlotz and Locher acknowledge, “interpersonal pragmatics is not a new field nor is it a new theory, but it highlights the interpersonal/relational perspective on language in use”.13 They go on to stress that: “[S]ocial meaning is created as interpersonal relationships are discursively constructed”, during which the “interactors perform and negotiate situated social images and roles” in which relations are created, maintained, and challenged through interaction. Interactions are embedded in socio-normative contexts that influence the ways in which the communicators choose their ways of signalling and how they interpret them.14 Emotions are certainly part of this and are assessed and interpreted based on cultural norms by each individual as they evaluate their lived experience. From a linguistic perspective, we cannot look at the internal musings of individuals. After all, the letter writers themselves are long dead, but what we can do is look for how they evaluated their shared experience within the letters. These types of judgements or evaluations have an emotional component in that interactors “react with emotions to the volitions or the adherence of personal expectations and social norms”.15 Hence, as Langlotz and Locher stress: It is important to emphasize that emotions are not empirically accessible on the bases of the methodological apparatuses available. Only external stimuli for emotional states and the expressive responses to those stimuli can be observed. For a linguistic analysis of emotions in the context of interpersonal pragmatics and relational work this entails that we cannot really refer to this fuzzy inner world of emotional reference, but that we can only analyze the range of multi-modal signals that are used by interactors to index potential emotional states.16 For the analysis of relational work this means that emotions can only be analyzed as externalised and communicative phenomena rather than internal psychological states as we do not have empirical access to the latter.17

13 14 15 16 17

Langlotz and Locher 2013, 88. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 88; see also Watts 2008, 96. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 87; see also Locher and Langlotz 2008; Culpeper 2011; SpencerOatey 2011. See also Wilce 2009, 10. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 91.

130

ridealgh

Emotion in language is encoded in the same features that encode denotative-referential meaning.18 Yet, for something to be defined as emotive it needs to produce an affect, in this particular case, it must affect another specific individual. Within the context of the Late Ramesside Letters, this is visible in such utterances as jw⸗k ḏd n jmn jnj wj jw⸗j ꜥnḫ.k, “you shall speak to Amun to bring me back alive”.19 Within this directive from Dhutmose to his son Butehamun, the word ꜥnḫ.k, “alive” is superfluous to the directive itself20 and forms an evaluation of the state in which Dhutmose wishes to return home to Thebes. This use of “alive” as emotive-language has several specific intentions: 1) It is designed to trigger an emotional response from Butehamun; 2) when viewed in conjunction with Dhutmose’s other letters written around the same time, it provides evaluation concerning Dhutmose’s own emotional state and agitation; 3) it is also designed to act as a verbal appeal to the god Amun(-Ra), adding another layer of complexity into the utterance. Langlotz and Locher outline several emotional components in relational work, listed below, which they test through application on a short comic strip.21 These elements will be discussed in further detail within the following case studies, but it is important to note that not all aspects of the framework created by Langlotz and Locher are relevant for remote languages, i.e. the points that refer directly to multi-modal cues, such as facial cues and body language. However, the steps they outline are designed to provide a broad spectrum for analysis, one that can be tailored to fit individual languacultures and circumstances, as they support the identification of emotive cues and their interpretation or evaluation. 1. Construction of the relationship through joint practice; 2. Dynamic activation of multi-model repertoire of vocal, verbal, bodily, physiological, and facial cues; 3. Interpretation of the relationship on the basis of cues; 4. Emotional management through surface and deep acting relative to relational goals; 5. Enhancing/reducing sense of relationship through emotional communication;

18 19 20

21

Wilce 2009, 19. P. Griffith, r.6–7; Černý 1939, 12; Wente 1967, 32; 1990, 201. In no way am I suggesting that it does not serve a grammatical purpose, rather this comment is to reinforce that from a communicative perspective the state is less important than the directive. The directive can still function without it. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 99.

“without you i am an orphan”

131

6.

Emotional sanctioning relative to moral norms of appropriate behaviour and interactional norms of emotional display; 7. Reader: interprets the [text] according to his/her socio-cultural knowledge including knowledge of appropriate emotional display in the given context. This model is based on earlier work by Ochs and Schieffelin, which established classifications of affect cues, based around vocal features, morphosyntax, lexicon and discourse structures, which frame emotional states and allow for the evaluative framing of social interactions.22 Significantly, Ochs and Schieffelin distinguish between affect specifiers (the emotional orientation of the utterance) and affect intensifiers (modulation of affective intensity).23 Together these emotional signals support the construction and maintenance of an interaction and the wider relationship. The outcome of the analysis performed by Langlotz and Locher on Bill Watterson’s comic strip, Calvin and Hobbes, highlights that often emotion in language is context specific and in this case the interaction in the comic strip must be relevant to the external reader, essentially creating a frame of interaction inside the comic strip for the two characters and a second frame between the reader and the comic strip itself.24 Humour is generated via clashes of expectations in connection to expected behavioural norms within the characters’ interactions, ones that resonate with the external reader. Regarding the emotion within the comic strip, Langlotz and Locher conclude: Our analysis of Calvin and Susie’s joint relational episode has shown that the series of panels nicely reflects the coordinated practice of relational work that is performed by the two school kids. The interactors are caught in an interaction chain of mutual social positioning and emotional evaluation. Their emotional states and appraisals cannot be seen as purely personal, internal affairs. Rather, the emotional orientations are managed by Calvin and Susie to negotiate their developing relationship and to reach their private relational goals. Along these lines, the cartoon reveals how practices of relational work are inextricably connected to semiotic acts of displaying emotions.25

22 23 24 25

Ochs and Schieffelin 1989; Langlotz and Locher 2013, 97. Ochs and Schieffelin 1989, 14–15. See Langlotz and Locher 2013, 104, for the full comic strip, or Watterson 1990: 121–124. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 104.

132

ridealgh

Langlotz and Locher are themselves critical of the chosen source text,26 as it is somewhat static in comparison to naturally occurring interactional data, and there are additional complications from the genre of text chosen and its purpose, as well as the context of confrontation within which the interaction is occurring. Yet it serves its purpose well in highlighting the possibility and flexibility of their framework and this chapter offers an interesting opportunity to test their framework within a whole different text genre, letters, within a remote socio-cultural setting, and within different interactional contexts. In what follows, this framework will be applied to three different relational dynamics and contexts found within the Late Ramesside Letters.

3

Case Study One: Apology between Unknown Interlocutors

The utterance utilised for this case study is taken from part of an extensive apology between two unknown interlocutors, in which the author of the letter embarks upon restoring the relational equilibrium between them. The author covers several main points of apologising throughout the letter, including admittance of the impingement, providing overwhelming reasons, and begging for forgiveness;27 however, due to the complexity of this letter, a short sample has been selected for analysis here, covering the main part of the apology. jnk pꜣy pꜣ sbj j.jri⸗j jrm⸗k pꜣy ẖr jnn tw⸗k ḏd ꜥr nꜣ jw⸗j m nmḥ.w jw Nj-sw-jmn qbꜥ jrm⸗j jw⸗j šzp⸗w ( j)n jw⸗j šzp⸗w n⸗f m tꜣy wnw.t jw⸗j m sr [bn] m sr ꜥꜣ j.jrj šzp qbꜥ n wꜥ nb zp-2 ẖr j.ḏd⸗w n pꜣy⸗f sn ꜥꜣ mntk mꜣꜥ r⸗j wnn⸗j sẖꜣ rn⸗k ꜥn j.ḏd nb ꜥnḫ.tw jw⸗k ṯtṯt ptr j.⟨ḏd⟩ my28 j.jrj⸗tw msj⸗k jw⸗j m pꜣ pr j.ḏd my mdw.t n ḥḏ ḏd⸗j r⸗k m-bꜣḥ pꜣy⸗k jtj bw rẖ⸗k pꜣ sẖr n ḥꜣ.tj⸗j r-ḏd m-sꜣ⸗k r-ḏd jb⸗j ḏj.t bꜣ⸗k sẖꜣ.w [m-mn.t] Such am I, and such are the words of humour I made with you. Now, if you say, ‘this has touched (uncomfortably)’, I am an orphan (i.e. removed

26 27 28

Langlotz and Locher 2013, 104. Brown and Levinson 1987, 189. Often in this case my is translated as “please”, however, this is misleading as it imposes a Western Judeo-Christian understanding of politeness onto a remote culture. Politeness discourse marks should be avoided in such translations.

“without you i am an orphan”

133

from social networks),29 Nesamun would ridicule me and I must accept that. But should I receive it from him in this hour now when I am an official? It is no great official who puts up with ridicule from just anybody! Only to his elder brother would they say ‘It is you who are right to me’. If I remember your name again, everyone says ‘thou shalt live’, then you will surely scold. Behold, admit you were born when I was in the house. Repeat a damaging speech that I have said against you before your father. You know not the nature of my heart, because it is concerned about you, and I desire to give remembrance to your Ba daily.30 Within this example, we can isolate the various and relevant affect cues, as proposed by Ochs and Schieffelin,31 and look to identify the elements in the text that intensify the affect. As highlighted below the main affect specifiers, i.e. those elements that support the emotional orientation of the utterance, come from Ochs and Schieffelin’s categories of lexicon and discourse structure, and via exploring these, affect intensifying elements can be determined. Ochs and Schieffelin do include other domains of grammar (i.e. personal pronouns) and discourse categories (i.e. phonology), which have not been utilised for this analysis. For example, it is not clear the level of connection between affect and personal pronoun, and phonological features are not appropriate for textual analysis. Rather for this analysis, focus has been placed on those discourse elements where affect is discernible beyond the static referential function of the utterance. – Lexicon elements: – interrogatives ( jn), – interjections (my, ptr), – metaphors ( jw⸗j m nmḥ.w). – Discourse structures: – Apologising ( jnk pꜣy pꜣ sbj j.jri⸗j jrm⸗k pꜣy ẖr jnn tw⸗k ḏd ꜥr nꜣ jw⸗j m nmḥ.w), – Blessing (r-ḏd jb⸗j ḏj.t bꜣ⸗k sẖꜣ.w [m-mn.t]), – Ridiculing (Nj-sw-jmn qbꜥ jrm⸗j jw⸗j šzp⸗w), 29

30 31

The TLA translates nmḥ.w as “lächerlicher Mann”, however, there are no other (to my knowledge) occurrences of nmḥ.w being translated as such, and respectfully I would suggest that this particular translation has been over-contextualised. I would interpret ‘orphan’ here as a metaphor to suggest that the writer feels metaphorically removed from his social networks due to the offense, and without this connection he is a lower or freeman, as nmḥ.w is also sometimes translated. Orphan (Wb 2, 268.4–8; TLA Lemma no. 84370; Lesko and Lesko 1982–1990 II, 20). P. BN 198 II, rt.11–v.6; Černý 1939, 68–70; Wente 1967, 81–82; 1990, 172–173. Ochs and Schieffelin 1989, 14.

134

ridealgh

– Exacerbations ( jw⸗j m sr [bn] m sr ꜥꜣ j.jrj šzp qbꜥ n wꜥ nb zp-2), – Pleading (my j.jrj⸗tw msj⸗k jw⸗j m pꜣ pr j.ḏd my mdw.t n ḥḏ ḏd⸗j r⸗k m-bꜣḥ pꜣy⸗k jtj), – Laments (bw rẖ⸗k pꜣ sẖr n ḥꜣ.tj⸗j r-ḏd m-sꜣ⸗k), – Exclamations (zp-2). – Affect intensifiers: – Focus on shared history and solidarity (positive affect), – Highlighting value of friendship (positive affect), – Reference to personal cult (positive affect). Emotional displays and cues in apologies tend to serve very specific purposes. They must reflect and express the speaker’s (or in this case the writer’s) placation of the hearer (in this case the recipient), as well as demonstrating the suffering of the speaker in having caused damage to the relationship with the recipient.32 We know from an earlier part of this particular letter that the sender made an inappropriate comment to a high-ranking official, which he believed to be funny at the time, yet unfortunately, the high-ranking official was not so amused. This incident caused a breakdown of the relationship between the sender of the letter and the recipient, resulting in the issuing of this apology. The apology itself is a perlocutionary act to restore balance to the interlocutors’ relationship. It is noticeable that the sender of the letter embeds key emotive-language to positively affect the recipient into accepting the apology. These approaches essentially pivot around the emotional attachment of their longstanding friendship (or kinship), the importance of that relationship, and that without it, the writer would be lost. This idea of being lost and alone is projected via the metaphor of being “an orphan”, which is designed to trigger a specific picture of a lowly individual devoid of the safety (and influence) of a wider social network.33 This is then combined with other projections of suffering (being ridiculed by others or his pain of worrying about his friend), to reinforce the sincerity of the apology. The ultimate aim here is to restore the relationship equilibrium, and the sender of this letter utilises emotive cues to positively affect the recipient in order to achieve this relational goal.

32 33

Ogiermann 2009, 45–52. For a review of metaphors and emotion, see Di Biase-Dyson 2018.

“without you i am an orphan”

4

135

Case Study 2: Dhutmose and the General Piankh

The utterance that forms this particular case study is taken from a letter sent by the General Piankh to the Necropolis Scribe Dhutmose. In essence, this letter is typical of the superior/subordinate communication style in the Late Ramesside Letters with a short formal introduction and then a series of directives. There is a distinction, however, in the letters sent by Piankh to Dhutmose in comparison to letters he sends to other subordinates, which do not generally include any formal introduction at all.34 This is significant as it reflects a variation in the social distance between Dhutmose and other subordinates in relation to the General, and also highlights the importance of viewing the wider context of the relationship dynamic and expected communication style between individuals (especially in remote languages). Hence, we can approach the analysis of the utterance below with the knowledge that Piankh and Dhutmose shared a closer superior/subordinate relationship than would normally be expected. kt md(w).t jr Pr-ꜥꜣ ꜥ.w.s j.jrj⸗f pḥ pꜣy tꜣ mj-jḫ zp-2 jḫ jr Pr-ꜥꜣ ꜥ.w.s ḥry njm m-r-ꜥ ḫr m-dj pꜣy 3 ꜣbd n hrw j.jrj⟨⸗j⟩ dj.t wsḫ.t jw bw-pw⸗k dj.t jnj.tw n⸗j wꜥ dbn nbw wꜥ dbn ḥḏ m-mj.tt sw m-šs zp-2 m-dj ḥꜣ.ty⸗k ⟨m-sꜣ⟩ pꜣy jrj⸗f Another matter: as for Pharaoh, LPH, how will he ever reach this land?! Now, as for Pharaoh, LPH, whose superior is he anyway? Now, as for these three full months that I sent a barge, you have not sent me one deben of gold or one deben of silver either: it is all right! Do not worry yourself about what he did.35 This closer superior/subordinate relationship between the two men is supported via affective-language rather than a focus on directives, which are more common in traditional relationships of this type. This affective-language use can be viewed in the following components of the selected utterance: – Lexicon elements: – interrogatives ( jr), – interjections ( jḫ), – (possible) irony ( jr Pr-ꜥꜣ ꜥ.w.s j.jrj⸗f pḥ pꜣy tꜣ mj-jḫ zp-2 /ḥry njm m-r-ꜥ). – Discourse structures:

34 35

Ridealgh 2013a. P. Berlin 10487, rt.9–v.3; Černý 1939, 36; Wente 1967, 53 & 1990, 183; Sweeney 2001, 80, 145.

136

ridealgh

– Expressive/praises/compliments (sw m-šs zp-2), – insults/mocking/complaint/accusation/threat (ḥry njm m-r-ꜥ), – reassurances (m-dj ḥꜣ.ty⸗k ⟨m-sꜣ⟩ pꜣy jrj⸗f ), – Exclamations (zp-2) – Affect intensifiers: – Focus on referent (positive affect), – Repetition of questions ( jr Pr-ꜥꜣ ꜥ.w.s), – Repetition of exclamations, – Reassurances (positive affect). An issue to recognise here is that key elements of this selected utterance and their communicative function are simply lost on modern readers of the text. It is unclear whether references to the Pharaoh are a form of complaint, insult or simply ironic (or something else). Yet, for this analysis, their purpose essentially does not matter, as their function is to affect, and it is this affect function that we are reviewing. The very presence of affect intensifying language here is designed to reassure Dhutmose that, although he did not fulfil a previous directive from his superior, it is ok. The aforementioned emotional signals play a fundamental role for the maintenance of the relationship between the two men. It was expected in the conceptual understanding of the time that when a superior individual initiates a directive it must be fulfilled, especially from a vastly superior individual such as the General Piankh. For some reason (perhaps due to the Pharaoh) Dhutmose could not fulfil his request and the emotional evaluation of the situation by Piankh is designed to both reassure Dhutmose and criticise the Pharaoh. As we do not know the wider contextual information, this interaction must be viewed within a specific frame of interaction and in conjunction with other communicative interactions of superior/subordinate dynamics. As such, it is very unusual to find such an occurrence of both criticism of the Pharaoh and reassurance from a superior (outside of a kin relationship, as discussed below). Hence, we cannot view the relationship between Piankh and Dhutmose in the same way as we would view the relationship between Piankh and other subordinates. The evaluation of the affect-language would support the notion that Piankh shared a much closer relationship with Dhutmose than with other subordinates.

5

Case Study 3: The Father/Son Relationship

The letters sent between Dhutmose and his son Butehamun provide a formative platform for understanding the father/son relationship dynamic, which essentially appears to follow a superior/subordinate linguistic structure, yet is

“without you i am an orphan”

137

altered through thematic language constructed around the spheres of family, religion, and health. The majority of emotive-focused directives that appear in the letters between Dhutmose and Butehamun are generally used in relation to close female relatives and their children:36 mtw⸗k ḏj.t ḥr⸗k n Šd.w-m-dwꜣ.t nꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.w šrj.w Ḥm(.t)-šrj tꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.t šrj.t m-mj.tt m-jrj šmj [r] [ jrj.t] tꜣ.w r⸗w mtw⸗j gmj⸗f n⸗k m btꜣ.w ꜥꜣ And you will give your attention to Shedemduat and her children and Hemetsheri and her little daughter as well. Do not proceed [to do] wrong against them, or I will hold it against you as a great offense.37 – Discourse structures: – Threats (mtw⸗j gmj⸗f n⸗k m btꜣ.w ꜥꜣ), – Directives (ḏj.t ḥr⸗k n and m-jrj šmj [r] [ jrj.t] [b]tꜣ.w r⸗w). – Affect intensifiers: – Implication of neglect and damage of relationship (negative affect), – Possibility of causing anger (negative affect). mtw⸗k ḏj ḥr n šmꜥ.yt-n-jmn Šd.w-m-dwꜣ.t nꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.w šrj.w Ḥm.t-šrj tꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.t šrj.t j.n⸗k jrj⸗j zp-2 pꜣ ntj nb jw⸗j rẖ jrj⸗f n⸗w yꜣ st ꜥnꜣ m pꜣ-hrw [dwꜣ.w] ꜥ.wj pꜣ nṯr mntk pꜣ ntj jb⸗w ptr⸗k ‘And you will give your attention to the Chantress of Amun Shedemduat and her children and Hemetsheri and her little daughter’, so said you. I will do! I will do whatever I might be able to do for them. Indeed, they are alive in the day, but tomorrow is in the hands of the god. You are the one that they desire to see.38

36

37 38

Although Dhutmose was married to a woman named Baketamun (the mother of Butehamun and a second child, a daughter), she does not appear in the Late Ramesside Letters (Černý 1973, 357). Davies (1997, 55) claims that Dhutmose and Baketamun’s daughter was named Ḥꜣ.t-ꜥ-jꜣ-Jmn. Černý (1973, 358), however, reads the name as Ḥꜣ.t-ꜥ-jꜣ-Mw.t. In the Late Ramesside Letters, Shedemduat and Hemetsheri feature strongly in the letters between Dhutmose and Butehamun, however, their status and relationship to Dhutmose is never outwardly stated, and as such, there is debate over who they are in relation to the scribe (Černý 1973, 361–369; Janssen-Winkeln 1994, 38; Barwik 2011, 181). Interestingly, Butehamun’s wife Jḫ-tꜣy, with whom he had at least eight children, is not mentioned in the corpus either (Černý 1973, 357–360). P. BN 199 V–IX+196 V+198 IV, rt.13–v.1; Wente 1967, 21–22 & 1990, 186–187. P. Geneva D 407, rt.12–15; Wente 1967, 33–34 & 1990, 187–188.

138

ridealgh

– Lexicon elements: – interjection ( yꜣ). – Discourse structures: – Code-Switching: Repetition of other’s words (mtw⸗k ḏj ḥr n šmꜥ.yt-n-jmn Šd.w-m-dwꜣ.t nꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.w šrj.w Ḥm.t-šrj tꜣy⸗st ꜥḏd.t šrj.t j.n⸗k), – Exclamation ( jrj⸗j zp-2), – Commissive ( jrj⸗j zp-2 pꜣ ntj nb jw⸗j rẖ jrj⸗f n⸗w), – Placation ( yꜣ st ꜥnꜣ m pꜣ-hrw and mntk pꜣ ntj jb⸗w ptr⸗k), – Blessing ( yꜣ st ꜥnꜣ m pꜣ-hrw [dwꜣ.w] ꜥ.wj pꜣ nṯr). – Affect intensifiers: – Repetition of Dhutmose’s directive, – Reassurances (positive affect), – Reciprocal wellbeing referent (positive affect). The two utterances used here were selected as they form a specific frame of interaction: Dhutmose issues a directive combined with a threat and Butehamun responds with a repetition of the directive and reassurances that it has been completed. In this case, Dhutmose utilises emotive-language designed to negatively affect Butehamun, to which Butehamun counter-acts with a response designed to positively affect and placate his father. Thus, through this interaction, the father/son relationship is maintained via the mutual understanding that Butehamun, as the subordinate, must fulfil the directives of his father and that the intimacy of their relationship is manifested through mutual care of their family. Butehamun is then able to interpret the threat made by his father as an emotive plea for further communication from his son and news of his family members, rather than a direct threat, which may result in a breakdown of the relationship. Butehamun is aptly able to understand that the threat is actually an emotional cue framing his father’s emotional state, clearly indicating the process of emotional signalling and subsequent sense-making highlighted by Langlotz and Locher.39 Ultimately, within these two utterances, the relational goal of both Dhutmose and Butehamun is the same, to express relational solidarity via references to kin members, yet the difference in age and social power (father/son) appears to support different linguistic communicative approaches.

39

Langlotz and Locher 2013, 98.

“without you i am an orphan”

6

139

Discussion and Concluding Remarks

The selected case studies discussed above, albeit brief, highlight the role emotions can play in restoring and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Emotive-language and cues are utilised in order to affect the recipient of the letter for a specific interpersonal purpose. Within case study one, emotive cues are utilised in order to stress the dichotomy of the long-standing and highly valued friendship and the suffering of the sender of the letter, in order to add sincerity to the apology being issued and ensure its acceptance. With case study two, emotive cues are utilised by Piankh to positively affect Dhutmose and reassure him. This is quite unexpected considering the superior/subordinate relationship dynamic and Piankh’s esteemed position within the community represented in the Late Ramesside Letters. This is perhaps indicative of the closer relationship shared between the two men with regards to social distance that would typically be expected. Finally, in case study three, we see the example of Butehamun interpreting a negative emotional cue issued by his father (a threat), not as aggressive, but rather as a reflection of his father’s fragile emotional state. The application of the framework by Langlotz and Locher provides structured scaffolding for conducting an analysis of emotive cues and their evaluation, and can clearly provide new insights on much studied texts when applied to the Egyptian data. The compatibility of this framework lies in its focus on relationships, ones that can be defined (even if we do not know the names of the individuals) within the letters (i.e. within the roles of sender/recipient). Within the frame of individual letters “interactors frequently implement person-specific forms of emotional display for particular situations”, whereas “the recipients calibrate more person-based expectations against the social conventional benchmark of appropriate emotional conduct”.40 In the examples where we can find the response to specific letters, these aspects can be investigated to a greater degree, yet even with individual letters we can still begin to establish a picture of the socio-cultural norms in play and individual behavioural expectations. After all, as Langlotz and Locher argue, different emotional cues are combined into complex arrangements of composite signals, reflecting the “mutually adaptive and intersubjective coordination of the interactors” emotional orientations.41 Hence, different relationship dynamics will necessitate malleable linguistic mechanisms to compensate for differences in social power and distance, as well as the level of formality. 40 41

Langlotz and Locher 2013, 105. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 102.

140

ridealgh

Particularly noteworthy is the link here with emotive-language and the concept of facework. Facework is connected with the public persona each individual possesses, which needs to be reaffirmed with each social interaction,42 and functions around the dual aspect of positive face (the desire to be approved of) and negative face (our actions not being impeded). In reality, face is a fragile concept and can easily be damaged via face-threatening acts.43 In all three case studies included above, facework is also in play and emotive-language becomes a component of face-saving strategies within all the social interactions. In case study one, the author of the letter uses positive face strategies to structure his apology. In case study two, Piankh utilises positive face strategies to reassure Dhutmose. Finally, in case study three, Dhutmose undertakes a face-threatening act against his son in the form of both criticism and a threat, to which Butehamun responds with face strategies designed to restore his own face in light of his father’s criticism via placation. Thus, facework, interpersonal pragmatics, and emotive-language are very much connected. At the start of this paper, I set out two key questions in line with those proposed by Langlotz and Locher.44 Firstly, how are emotions signalled in interaction in Late Egyptian letters and how is the communication of emotion influenced by social and cultural norms? Within the context of the Late Ramesside Letters, emotions are linguistically signalled via grammatical features (interjections, exclamations, repetitions, etc.), discourse structures (reassurances, criticisms, laments, etc.), themes under discussion (family, health, etc.), and the level of affect. The problem with remote languages, however, is stark. Often emotive cues and signalling is ambiguous and dependent on further contextual meaning, which no longer exists. To an extent a structured framework can support this deficit as it stops an overlay of the reviewer’s own emotional cues and mitigates the impact of this on the analysis of the primary data. It is inescapable that the overall communication of emotion is heavily influenced by social and cultural norms, especially those that are interpersonal in nature. Ancient Egypt was culturally organised around a firm hierarchical social structure and this permeates the regulation, and continued assessment and management of relationships; case study one clearly highlights the problems that can arise when the assessment of relational dynamics are misjudged. Relationship dynamics, as well as communicative function, require the localised frameworks of social and cultural behaviour norms in order to establish relational meaning in inter-

42 43 44

Brown and Levinson 1987. Ridealgh 2013a & 2016. Langlotz and Locher 2013, 103.

“without you i am an orphan”

141

action. Each relational dynamic is embedded with culturally specific expected behaviour and norms, and emotive-language is firmly embedded within this. Emotive-language is not always appropriate or needed in all communicative events. For example, no emotive-language is used in letters from Piankh to direct subordinates; these letters are directive led and emotive-language is simply not necessary for that relationship dynamic. This is in notable opposition to those letters between Dhutmose and his son Butehamun, which feature a great deal of emotive-language in order to support their kin dynamic and express solidarity. In this way, in regard to the second question proposed here, emotion and interpersonal relationships are inextricably linked. Emotive-language, and its subsequent evaluation and interpretation, form a vital part of relationship maintenance, becoming a communicative mechanism to support changes within relational interactions. The approach by Langlotz and Locher provides a credible and flexible framework, firmly encroached within applied pragmatics, to support the investigation of emotive-language use, albeit with some modification for the specific data under review. By taking a firmly interdisciplinary stance, one grounded in applied pragmatics, analyses of remote languages can further enrich our understanding of ancient Egyptian society.

Abbreviations TLA

Berlin-Brandenburgische Akademie die Wissenschaften. 2019. Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae [online], available: http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/servlet/TlaLogin (January 2019). Wb II Erman, A. and H. Grapow. 1971. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. Bd. II. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

Bibliography Barwik, M. 2011. The Twilight of Ramesside Egypt: Studies on the History of Egypt at the End of the Ramesside Period. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Agade. Brown, P. and S. Levinson. 1987. Politeness. Some Universals in Language Usage. Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 4. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Černý, J. 1939. Late Ramesside Letters. Bibliotheca aegyptiaca 9. Brussels: Fondation égyptologique reine Élisabeth. Černý, J. 1973. A Community of Workmen at Thebes in the Ramesside Period. Cairo: l’Institut français d’archéologie orientale.

142

ridealgh

Crislip, A. 2017. “Emotional communities and emotional suffering in Shenoute’s White Monastery Federation: sadness, anger, and fear in select works of Shenoute.” In From Gnostics to Monastics: studies in Coptic and early Christianity in honor of Bentley Layton, edited by D. Brakke, S. Davis and S. Emmel, 331–357. Leuven: Peeters. Clarysse, W. 2017. “Emotions in Greek private papyrus letters.” Ancient Society 47: 63–86. Davies, B. 1997. “Two Many Butehamuns? Additional Observations on their Identities.” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 24: 49–68. Demarée, R.J. 2006. The Bankes Late Ramesside Papyri. The British Museum Research Publications 155. London: British Museum Press. Di Biase-Dyson, C. 2018. “The figurative network. Tracking the use of metaphorical language for ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ in Ramesside literary texts.” In The Ramesside period in Egypt: studies into cultural and historical processes of the 19th and 20th dynasties, edited by S. Kubisch and U. Rummel, 33–43. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter. Kubisch, S. and U. Rummel (eds) 2018. The Ramesside period in Egypt: studies into cultural and historical processes of the 19th and 20th dynasties. Sonderschrift, Deutsches Archäologisches Institut, Abteilung Kairo 41. Berlin; Boston: Walter de Gruyter. Effland, U. 2003. “Aggression und Aggressionskontrolle im alten Ägypten.” In Es werde niedergelegt als Schriftstück: Festschrift für Hartwig Altenmüller zum 65. Geburtstag, edited by N. Kloth, K. Martin and E. Pardey, 71–81. Hamburg: Buske. Fox, Michael V. 1981. “‘Love’ in the love songs.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 67: 181– 182. Jansen-Winkeln, K. 1994. “Der Schrieber Butehamun.” Göttinger Miszellen: Beiträge zur ägyptologischen Diskussion 139: 35–40. Janssen, J.J. 1975. Commodity Prices from the Ramessid Period: An Economic Study of the Village of the Necropolis Workmen at Thebes. Leiden: Brill. Janssen, J.J. 1991. Late Ramesside Letters and Communications. Hieratic Papyri in the British Museum 6. London: British Museum Press. Kipfer, S. (ed.) 2017. Visualizing emotions in the ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Kádár, D. 2013. Relational Rituals and Communication: Ritual Interaction in Groups. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Köhler, I. 2016. Rage like an Egyptian: die Möglichkeiten eines kognitiv-semantischen Zugangs zum altägyptischen Wortschatz am Beispiel des Wortfelds. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur, Beihefte 18. Hamburg: Helmut Buske Langlotz, A. and M.A. Locher. 2013. “The Role of Emotions in Relational Work.” Journal of Pragmatics 58: 87–107. Lasater, P. (2017). “The Emotions in Biblical Anthropology? A Genealogy and Case Study with ‫ירא‬.” Harvard Theological Review, 110(4): 520–540. Lesko, L.H. and B.S. Lesko (eds) 1982–1990. A Dictionary of Late Egyptian. 5 vols. Berkeley and Providence: B.C. Scribe Publications.

“without you i am an orphan”

143

Lichtheim, M. 1997. Moral values in ancient Egypt. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 155. Freiburg (Schweiz); Göttingen: Universitätsverlag; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Ochs, E. and B. Schieffelin. 1989. “Language Has a Heart.” Text 9(1): 7–25. Ogiermann, E. (2009) On Apologising in Negative and Positive Politeness Cultures. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Ridealgh, K. 2013a. “Yes Sir! An Analysis of the Superior/Subordinate Relationship in the Late Ramesside Letters.” Lingua Aegyptia: Journal of Egyptian Language Studies 21: 181–206. Ridealgh, K. 2013b. “You Do Not Listen to Me! Facework and the Position of ‘Senior’ Scribe of the Necropolis?” Journal of Ancient Civilization 28: 22–40. Ridealgh, K. 2016. “Polite like an Egyptian? Case studies of politeness in the Late Ramesside Letters.” Journal of Politeness Research 12(2): 245–266. Ridealgh, K. 2020. “‘Look after him in the night’—Exploring the linguistic manifestation of the father/son relationship dynamic.” In Ein Kundiger der in die Gottesworte eingedrugen ist: Festschrift für den Ägyptologen Karl Jansen-Winkeln zum 65 Geburstag, edited by S. Hsu, V. Laisney, and J. Moje, 263–272. Münster: Zaphon. Sweeney, D. 2001. Correspondence and Dialogue: Pragmatic Factors in Late Ramesside Letter Writing. Ägypten und Altes Testament: Studien zu Geschichte, Kultur und Religion Ägyptens und des Alten Testaments 49. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Terkourafi, M. 2005. “An argument for a frame-based approach to politeness: Evidence from the use of the imperative in Cypriot Greek.” In Broadening the Horizon of Linguistic Politeness, edited by R. Lakoff and I. Sachiko, 99–116. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Verbovsek, A. 2009. “‘Er soll sich nicht fürchten …!’: Zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Angst in der Erzählung des Sinuhe.” In Texte—Theben—Tonfragmente: Festschrift für Günter Burkard, edited by D. Kessler, R. Schulz, M. Ullmann, A. Verbovsek and S. Wimmer, 421–433. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Watterson, B. 1990. The Authoritative Calvin and Hobbes. London: Warner Books. Wente, E. 1967. Late Ramesside Letters. Oriental Institute of Chicago Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilisation 33. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Wente, E. 1990. Letters from Ancient Egypt, edited by E. Meltzer. Society of Biblical Literature: Writings from the Ancient World 1. Atlanta: Scholars Press. Wilce, J. 2009. Language and Emotion. Studies in the Social and Cultural Foundations of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

chapter 7

Indexes of Emotions in Pianchy’s Great Stela with Some Cultural Comparisons Anthony Spalinger

To survey the entire gamut of literary and official ancient Egyptian records of emotions would be an undertaking worthy of a master plan executed for many a year. But by limiting myself to one royal figure, Pianchy, and avoiding the wealth of information from literary sources (love poetry, didactic literature, Wenamun, Horus and Seth, Sinuhe, lyric poetry, etc.) as well as documentary ones (e.g., The Dedicatory Inscription of Ramesses II), I can concentrate upon one individual, king and commander-in-chief though he was, and thereby place that man within the setting of a divided Egypt and ruling a great power to the south, Kush.1 Most Egyptological editions of texts and/or translations cover emotions in the heart, belly, etc., but there is no single volume which presents a healthy discourse on this issue. One can thereby achieve here, if only to a small degree, aspects of the emotional side of a ruler and successful leader who, although not Egyptian, nonetheless provides the investigator with enough information to limn his personality.2

1

Background to the Theme

The narrative techniques employed in the two major royal inscriptions of Dynasty XXV—the Great Stela of Pianchy and the Dream Stela of Tanwetamani—are useful to compare and contrast, especially because both follow a similar linguistic register adhering to monumental late Middle Egyptian of Dynasty XVIII.3 Yet the second account is significantly less detailed and lacks the strong emotional basis so evident in Pianchy’s narrative.4

1 2 3 4

Cf. Shupak, 1993; Goldwasser, 2002. See Manassa 2010; 2013, n. 205 and 207 in particular; Fitzenreiter 2018. Stauder 2013, especially Chapters 1–2, and pages 110–142 for the Dream Stela; Breyer 2003. Feyereisen and de Lannoy 1991; Kipfer 2017; Baines 2017; Verbovsek 2011—the last two are extremely pertinent here.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

145

One might wish to add to these two the various inscriptions of Taharqo, but the aforementioned two remain firmly set within the historical underpinning of war and conquest over Egypt. Hence, it is worthwhile to present a structural analysis of the narrative techniques employed in both as to their construction of emotional attitudes. We witness two independently composed plays in which the dramatist has preferred to apply different techniques for the elucidation of personality. Perhaps hamstrung by the rather elementary approach of the linguistic register—Sargent places the two under her rubric of Classical Egyptian Napatan (CEN), and except for some differences both remain very close in their mimicry of Classical Middle Egyptian.5 In a recent discussion I have summarized Sargent’s methodology and provided additional commentary on the language of these royal narratives.6 She used the term “Middle Egyptian” for these two inscriptions, but in essence we are dealing with Late Middle Egyptian at best. She avoided additional texts carved through the command of Amannote-erike (Kawa X–XII), even if they fit perfectly within Sargent’s corpus.7 They, as well as his extraordinary long one (Kawa IX), were carved on walls at Kawa. All three were written, reading from right to left, but the first has no vertical line divisions. Inscription X, a graffito, is very poorly written. There is no “diglossia” between Middle and Late Egyptian present. Listed by Sargent as key indicators of linguistic dating and presentation are: the sḏm.n⸗f to express the “perfect” (but is this valid?), the narrative ꜥḥꜥ.n sḏm.n⸗f, which occurs ad nauseum in Pianchy—but is also preferred by Tanwetamani—and the avoidance of the definite article, which is of some importance. To concentrate too much upon ꜥḥꜥ sḏm.n⸗f is not of great significance to me, whereas the presence of the Perfective sḏm⸗f (of Late Egyptian) is. We can also add the use of wn.jn⸗f forms in the Anlamani Enthronement Stela, and strictly for chapter headings. This is not known elsewhere. But even with these criteria, the effects of Dynasty XVIII Late Middle Egyptian are still indicated. A few additional points can be summarized.8 ꜥḥꜥ.n- is used as in Middle Egyptian, but in Anlamani’s Enthronement Inscription it opens “chapters.” Excluding Pianchy’s Great Stela, it is employed only in the Dream Stela of Tanwetamani, Aspelta’s Enthronement Stela, and the Enthronement Stela of

5 Sargent 2004, included the Dream Stela of Tanwetamani, Anlamani’s Enthronement Inscription, Aspelta’s Enthronement Inscription, the Khaliut Stela, the Excommunication Stela, and Amannote-erike’s Enthronement Inscription. 6 Spalinger 2019b, Chapter 6: “Textual Analysis”. 7 Eltze, in preparation; Delhove 2019. 8 Sargent 2004, 64–75; Tait, 2011; Collier, 1996.

146

spalinger

Amannote-erike. It signals the beginning of a new section, but somewhat illogically, may continue a previous action. I assume that the specific “duties” of this rather simple construction were, as is present in Pianchy’s Great Stela, blurred. (In fact, that inscription uses ꜥḥꜥ.n- with pronominal subject in lines 7 and 13.) To us, the somewhat surprising ꜥḥꜥ.n ḏd.n⸗f most definitely “hides” the original and expected narrative formation, but it is also equivalent to sḏm.jn⸗f. The Dream Stela (with Infinitive and Stative) and Amannote-erike (only with Infinitive) use ꜥḥꜥ.n- + First Present, and although this is not startling by itself, keep in mind that ꜥḥꜥ.n- + First Present (ḥr + Infinitive) is present. The sḏm pw jr.n⸗ can open up sections, acting as progressive temporal and spatial changes for the narrative, as in Classical Middle Egyptian, but frequently serves to direct attention on new scenery, and on different locations. But even the use of prepositions is marked differently in these compositions and the following LEN corpus. N-jm is “sporadic” (Sargent’s term) in CEN but frequent enough in LES. Both ḥnꜥ and jrm occur within the LEN narratives whereas the earlier phase, and Classical Middle Egyptian preferred ḥnꜥ. Lastly, the nominal sentence is A pw B whereas subsequently in LEN we encounter A pꜣw. One needs to recognize the difficulties which generations of Egyptian/ Kushite scribes and authors faced when they composed and executed their royal texts. As I have written, “The ability to delineate finely the precise narrative nuances which we would expect of, for example, the master writer of Sinuhe or even the author of the Kadesh Poem, is not present”.9 Why? There are many reasons for this situation, but I do not regard it as a dilemma. The epoch is far removed from the spoken language when some type of Middle Egyptian was current. Then what was the intellectual level of the composers of the CEN inscriptions? How deep was their knowledge? Was it only during Taharqo’s reign that a mini-Renaissance in hieroglyphic writing occurred owing to the importation of Delta personnel? Otherwise there seems to have been a slow and inexorable decline in Egyptian language ability and writing that was solely set upon reproducing the CEN linguistic discourse. How large was the group at Gebel Barkal-Napata who could write such narratives, keeping in mind that these inscriptions were original and not part of a tradition that transmitted religious texts, such as liturgies and the like? It is still noticeable that the narrative “headers” and contingent syntactical patterns definitely lack a degree of clarity. The literary abilities of these groups were not of the highest quality. Save for Pianchy—as elucidated by Grimal10—the later Kushite and Napatan CEN

9 10

Spalinger 2019b, Chapter 6. Grimal 1981a.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

147

royal inscriptions lack “class.” How these compare with the following LEN corpus may assist us in evaluating the following generation of writers at Napata.

2

The Dream Stela

I shall begin with this historical account owing to its relative simplicity. It is also shorter than Pianchy’s Great Stela. Right from the start the theme and focus of the narrative is presented. The king has a dream but is unable to comprehend its significance. The self-examination on the part of Tanwetamani is easily seen: “His Majesty awoke, but he could not assess it. [His Majesty] said, ‘What has this to do with me?’” This is the key phrase, and one that is obvious both to the monarch as well as the reader.11 Because he could not understand this apparition in his sleep it was interpreted (ꜥḥꜥ.n wḥm⸗s n⸗ f ) for him. Here, the expected use of a prognosticator of dreams, if not an astrologer, may be hypothesized. Of course, Tanwetamani’s inability to comprehend his dream provided the narrative Sprung vorwärts, and how this was done and by whom is of no consequence. After all, the two snakes reflect the “dual kingdom” of EgyptKush ever since the effective control of the Egyptian Delta was accomplished by Shabako. But the king’s locality before the dream was not at Napata, as Schäfer already saw.12 Nor was it at Thebes owing to lines 10–12 in the narrative: “His majesty sailed downstream towards the North in order to see his father, Him Whose Name is Hidden from the Gods.” (Amun is indicated. It is clear that the king had not yet “seen” his deity in Karnak.) Pope13 cogently showed that he was probably in his homeland of Meroe. His assumption was that Tanwetamani, after announcing to the “populace” the interpretation of his dream, traveled to Napata and entered the temple of Amun there, in joy (a bland phrase: jb⸗f nfr) having arranged the procession of his chief deity. But outside of Tanwetamani’s pious activities at Karnak, there are no details given of his military prowess. In contrast to Pianchy’s narrative, his personality never seeps out in order to elucidate his military preparations, his superior accomplishments in war, or his feelings towards his foes. For example,

11

12 13

Sargent 2004, 115–116 n. 2. “Some scholars have attempted to restore ḥm⸗f ẖpr and hm⸗f ptr (see Grimal 1981a, 7, n. to I. 2). Grima1 himself, (1981a), 11. 1–2, restores only ḥm⸗f, and indeed there does not appear to be enough space in the lacuna for an additional word. See § 1.6.1 for the suggestion that some examples of ḏd.n⸗f may be writings of ḏd.jn⸗ f and vice-versa. There do exist bare initial perfective sḏm.n⸗f forms in the CEN texts.” Schäfer 1897, 65—Upper Egypt. Pope 2014, 13.

148

spalinger

he arrives at Memphis and soon resides in the palace there. There is a siege because the Delta opposition resemble mice who “entered their enclosure like [the young of] mi[ce] to their hole” (line 25, right at the start).14 The enemy appears to have quickly decided to acquiesce to Tanwetamani’s dominion, and not surprisingly the Kushite ruler stresses the support of Amun of Napata while invoking the results of his dream. To quote him again (line 33): “And so [the dream] has realized. Its realization is what this god has commanded”.15 The entire situation of the substructure of the Dream Stela is purposely written to present the king’s automatic success without narrating any conflict. Nowhere is his personality offered to the reader. Tanwetamani is far less militarily active than Pianchy. The use of the first-person perspective is limited, to say the least, and filled with the expected patterns of obedience and pious adherence to Amun of Gebel Barkal and the expected prognostication of success as indicated in the monarch’s dream. Command abilities are eschewed, as are, in fact, geographic localities. There are no traits of character presented by the author or authors. In addition, except for Pakruru,16 historical names are absent and figurative language is lacking save the commonplace speeches of loyalty on the part of Tanwetamani’s foes as well as the king’s relationship to the universe. In fact, Tanwetamani never “rages” (ḫꜥr) against his foes, a commonplace topos that occurs in the Great Stela as well as in many New Kingdom royal military accounts.17 All of the military terminology, present in the literary traditions of the Egyptians since the end of the Empire Period, is avoided. This is because the orientation is totally aimed at the dream and the king’s (expected) success. The emotional rating of this inscription is very low but not negligible, owing to its coverage of the ruler’s dream and accomplishment.

3

Amannote-erike

In contrast to the Dream Stela let us turn to the lengthy narrative of Amannoteerike (Kawa IX), one that spans many years and avoids the overly “absent” monarch who gets what he wants through his father god. Consider, as a third case, this narrative.18 It is concerned with warfare, but also with the king’s per14 15 16 17 18

Sargent 2004, 128; Darnell 1991. Sargent 2004, 134. Breyer 2003, 295–305. Tait 2009, 80; Spalinger 1982, Chapter 3. Sargent 2004, 219–257—I shall not use any earlier edition.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

149

ambulation northward to the various key religious metropoleis of the kingdom of Napata. The account is as simple in narrative structure as is Tanwetamani’s. The death of the then reigning monarch (Talakhamani) is reported because Amannote-erike, his successor, is to become the new ruler. Here, the background topos is straightforward, with the parallel of Taharqo’s account kept in mind. There was a revolt, that occurs precipitously at the phase of royal “translation.” Despite the apparent military difficulties, the key issue is first to achieve Amannote-erike’s coronation(s) with the divine blessings at all of the kingdom’s religious centers (Gebel Barkal, Kawa, Pnubs).19 Thus the orientation of the monarch-to-be is placed in a vague or indirect manner. Then his majesty said to a compani[on] at the moment of … I [desire] to see my father Amun-Re, [lord of the throne] of the [Two] Lands who dwells in Pure-[Mountain]20 From this point on the account is very similar to that at the beginning of the text. People report to the king that invaders or rebels are overrunning the territory of the king. What shall be done? As he must fulfil the obligations of the land and kingship, the army is sent off to deal with the enemies. By and large the direct speech portions of the account are presented in the mouths of Amannote-erike’s subjects, be they military men or not. He “stays in his palace” while his troops suppress the foes, even if the monarch implores his deity for success. Hence, we have been presented a narrative account during which the historical backdrop is revealed, but there is no specific and lengthy setting in which he enunciates his plans. In other words, the practice of problem-royal plan-action is severely curtailed from the stage, if it ever had been contemplated to be part of the story. Nonetheless, there are two passages in his lengthy inscription that reflect emotions to some degree and are not totally formulaic.21 Columns 31–32 indicate that the king “exulted” (ḥꜥꜥ) on account of hearing what his troops garnered as plunder and cattle. Even here the verb is a common one, as is Amannoteerike’s reaction. In columns 76–77 he celebrates the festival of Opet at Kawa by holding up his arms “in the middle of his army.” True, this is a gesture, but it nonetheless reflects an unusual reaction that reflects a strong emotion. 19 20

21

Török 2002, 16–18, going back to Török 1992; cf. Pope, 2014, passim. Sargent 2004, 224. The solitary figure, never named, must have been a common enough literary stick figure or topos, well liked during the Napatan Dynasty’s heyday. It is most certainly not Egyptian in outlook. Eltze 2019.

150

spalinger

But the narrative presentation is basically episodic. Descriptions of incursions and troubles are communicated with specific aspects, but the king, in turn, adds little. He appears quite passive—not in the requirement of royalty but instead with respect to his personal ambitions and desires. Granted that the focus on the whole picture is independent of warfare. It is centered upon kingship and the coronation rites that accompanied Amannote-erike on his way to the various temples. As for one enemy, it is sufficient to translate one brief passage in which little of emotion is recorded (lines 45–46): The western lands called Meded came down. Then they saw the king. They fled when fear of his majesty entered into their hearts. The army then slaughters these invaders, and here at least some useful reflections are given (lines 47–48): Then the army of his majesty was running in their midst. They made great carnage among them, their number unknown. There was no crying over the youths of the army of his majesty. But the royal progress northwards, ending at Kawa, presents the same structure, narratively and in speeches of the king or of Amun. Offerings are given to the temple, processions of the deity organized and carried out, and success as ruler is enunciated. One major repair is described (lines 69–74), but then the inscription turns back to the imploration of Amannote-erike at Kawa. His “incubation” within the temple walls provides a more personal aspect to the narration. But again the aspect is cultic. As such, anything outside of devout behavior on the part of Amannote-erike is avoided.

4

Approaching Pianchy’s Great Stela

We lack a strong literary awareness on the part of the authors of virtually all the post-Pianchy royal inscriptions.22 With regard to the Dream Stela, Sargent provided only a brief overview of its linguistic structure and relegated her

22

See Török 2002, 368–395.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

151

detailed comments to a line by line analysis. Nonetheless, she recognized the Middle Egyptian outlook of the composition but did not proceed deeper, as for example Stauder did, in analyzing royal monumental hieroglyphic texts of Dynasty XVIII and viewing them quite separately from “true” Classical Egyptian. I shall quote here only once on this matter as, in essence, her Thesis is mainly linguistic:23 Among the linguistic features of TDS are: the use of the introductory particle jw with non-verbal and pseudo-verbal sentences, but not with verbal sentences; the frequency of narrative verbal constructions; the use of the negation nn exclusively; and the occasional ambiguity of sḏm⸗f and sḏm.n⸗f forms. Many of these features are shared with the other CEN texts. Interestingly, some of the anomalies in TDS occur only on the verso. For example, the suffix pronoun = w occurs only in 1. 31; the article pꜣ appears only in 1. 32 (other than in a personal name in 1. 36); and P is consistently reversed on the verso, but shows the correct orientation on the recto. This suggests the possibility that two different scribes worked on the stela, one on each side. A further study of the exact orthography of signs on each side of the stela may help to prove or disprove this. With regard to the non-verbal set-up of the CEN inscriptions, again Sargent’s overarching commentary is useful to enunciate:24 Non-verbal sentence patterns change from Middle Egyptian to Late Egyptian, and this is apparent in the Napatan texts. For example, the nominal sentence pattern A pw B of Middle Egyptian occurs in the CEN texts, and we find A pꜣw in the LEN texts.25 Prepositions also show development from the earlier to the later phase of the language, such as the sporadic use of n-jm in the CEN texts, and the common use of this preposition in the LEN texts, or the use of both ḥnꜥ and jrm in the LEN texts to convey what ḥnꜥ alone does in Classical Egyptian. For Vernus, continuing on his significant path of “égyptien de tradition,” the Great Stela of Pianchy showed to him a few traces of the contemporary grammatical horizon.26 Yet we cannot overlook additional signs of literary aware23 24 25 26

Sargent 2004, 109. Sargent 2004, 111. LEN = Late Egyptian Nubian (Harsiotef and Nastasen). Vernus, 2013a, 218–219 and 230–231.

152

spalinger

ness on the part of that composer, a point discussed by many scholars.27 Granted that the narrative is simple in structure and follows an early Empire tradition: see note 21 above. Its origin—i.e., where the author was based—is open to discussion. Classical Middle Egyptian literary compositions such as the Shipwrecked Sailor and Sinuhe have been noted in this narrative. But others, possessing an equally long history, have been seen. The same may be said with regard to the “military style” present therein.28 I am not convinced that the archives or the pr ꜥnḫ at Gebel Barkal (temple B 500) possessed any of the literary texts from bygone ages which reverberate, albeit faintly, in Pianchy’s Great Stela.29 With Becker, Blöbaum and Lohwasser’s convincing argument for its original setting at Karnak, we can firmly reject Napata.30 Any study of the literary “awareness” of its author was avoided, and hence we must turn to the useful work that Breyer presented.31 But the Dream Stela and its counterpart of Amannote-erike regularly employ simple grammatical constructions to convey the narrative. Their use of vocabulary, including the religious encounters between king and god, are thin and stereotypical, completely lacking in originality. Breyer’s discussion of the “Dialogfolgen” is accurate as it reflects the commonplace background of the writer.32 Short but not sweet. On the other hand, he found four hymnic sections that are worthwhile to mention even if their purport is banal to the extreme.33 All of them present rather standard eulogies whose literary origins then lay back far in time. There are additional hymns and prayers that can be contemplated. But even the reaction of Tanwetamani when he learns of the arrival of his enemy chiefs, provides nothing remarkable, especially when he takes into account Pianchy’s reactions (see below.) The vocabulary itself is rich, as was argued by Schweitzer who used Hintze’s34 study of lexicostatistics to determine the richness of vocabulary.35 (Note that the statistics considered the length of a text and the word frequencies.) Pianchy’s Great Stela came out to be very

27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35

Grimal 1980 and 1981a, 283–294; Goedicke 1988, 196–206; Jasnow 1999, 196–200; Derchain 1996, 88; Quack 2013, 422. Grimal 1981a, 287–291; Spalinger 1982. Grimal 1980. Becker, Blöbaum and Lohwasser 2016. Breyer 2003. Breyer 2003, 248–253. Breyer 2003, 254–256. Hintze 1975, 1976. Schweitzer 2013—Pianchy’s narrative has a lower S* than P. Westcar. NB: the lower S* is the larger is its lexicon.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

153

rich indeed.36 To the contrary, after an examination by myself Tanwetamani’s Dream Stela did not. As I have calculated. But there is at least one caveat to this procedure. The presence of literary topoi and common vocabulary of an earlier time are not well explored. To take a straightforward example, when the king “rages,” we can trace this small phrase back in time to the beginning of Dynasty XVIII.37 Likewise, with such common daybook-based entries such as “his majesty arrived at” (spr ḥm⸗f r) and the like, we are faced by a core of previously-held lexical items and common phraseology that prevent us from concluding that originality is a hallmark of that portion of the story. In similar manner, the eulogies concerned with kingship and pious offerings to Amun present common enough vocabulary that ought to alert us to a standard format. One might say the same with regard to the oft-cited use of the Königsnovelle.38 This socalled genre, however, does not fit well within the Amannote-erike inscription, and I wonder if it is applicable to the Dream Stela. Sargent herself commented that Pianchy’s Great Stela was a “brilliant piece of literature,” whereas the ones that she chose from Tanwetamani onwards in time were not, although I recognize her insistence on “complex beautiful thoughts” that were expressed in such texts as the Dream Stela and Amannote-erike’s inscription.39 Finally, note that these statistics do not take into consideration the difference between a synthetic versus an analytic structure of the same language, Egyptian. A good example in English may be seen with the use of the verb “to do,” which is employed for the simple present tense in interrogatives and negatives, unlike earlier modern English. Otherwise, “to do” is an auxiliary for emphasis.40 The word count therefore increases with the use of “to do” not acting as a modal verb for emphasis, as in the English Present. Negated as well as in the Present Interrogative. But the presentation of that last royal composition in essence is a narrative donation record. For Török, it definitely imitated earlier texts such as those of Taharqo, Tanwetamani, and Anlamani. In his own words: “It continues the tradition of the Kushite enthronement records,” and “presents a clear picture of the conceptual foundations of the Kushite kingship in the 5th century BCE, and gives a description of the rites of enthronement.”41 The overt nature of

36 37 38 39 40 41

Lepper 2008, 247–270, and 2013, 219–220. Tait 2009, 80; Spalinger 1982, Chapter 3. Breyer 2003, 209–283; Spalinger 2011. Sargent 2004, 15–16. Moffat 1968, 61–62, for a scintillating discussion. FHN I (Törok) 421.

154

spalinger

its focus, the author’s concentration upon newly constituted offerings in conjunction with the rise to power of the king, did not automatically predicate that the narrative would show much originality, at least with respect to the vector of Amannote-erike’s character. We fail even to read of the inability to comprehend a god’s divine intervention into a ruler’s life, as the Dream Stela reveals.

5

Emotions in Pianchy

The emotions that Pianchy offers to us cover many aspects of his behaviour. In a different context I have provided a series of his characterizations and attempted to list his personality traits.42 My conclusion, resting upon a study of his Kushite rather than Egyptian traits as revealed by the Great Stela, was that: it is hard to determine which of a person’s behaviours are unique and which are conditioned by society, or at least shared by other members of his or her polity. What are the shared characteristics of a leader’s personality and what are reflections of the standards of society? That is the conundrum for the scholar, and Pianchy’s character, as provided through the report of his Great Stela, provides the grist for this mill. I believe that his code of behaviour resides not merely on his non-Egyptian background but also upon his individuality. How to combine (and not merely separate) the two is the puzzle we have attempted, albeit partly, to elucidate. The presentation of that study is separate from this one because here I wish to examine the emotional vectors of the Kushite monarch. The first “classical” series of vectors occurs at the very beginning of the account. But just preceding, Pianchy addresses the onlooker and states that we must listen to what he has accomplished (lines 1–2). His words then follow, even though they are recorded in the third person. The entire narration is specifically called a “royal decree” (wḏ nswt).43 This must be, en principe, an oral declaration, even if the account is purely a literary creation.44 We may assume, with Vernus, that there was an 42 43 44

Spalinger 2019a. Grimal 1981a, 295–298; Vernus 2013b; Loprieno 1996, 282 n. 22—the Great Stela possesses a “tenor of the narrative” which “resembles more closely the style of a royal decree.” Vernus 2013b, 278.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

155

official ceremony in Thebes, and probably within the temple of Amun,45 during which Pianchy narrated his success, but not in this present form. Gozzoli has argued that Pianchy’s figure is drawn on the issue of sin. Namely, that in his war narrative the monarch from Kush pinpoints Namlot of Hermopolis, the ruler who has committed lèse-majesté.46 Specifically, Gozzoli reasoned that Pianchy was goaded to fight. Whereas this appears certain, let us keep in mind that his own words are the ones we possess. Therefore, it is necessary to distance oneself from the king. Yet the specific words of Pianchy in line 78, mainly following Robert Ritner, provide a strong vector with which we can proceed: “‘If an instant passes without opening to me,—Behold!—you are among the number of the enemy slain. Such is the one subjected to royal punishment’.”47 According to Gozzoli, Pianchy’s statement at the siege of Per-Sechemkheperre appears to indicate his aversion to conflict, although it must be kept in mind that his statement is directed to the people of this metropolis and clearly meant to convince them to surrender without resisting. In other words, Pianchy is applying not a great amount of subtlety. Quite to the contrary, he wants the citadel to open its gates; he prefers no sieges such as what occurred at Hermopolis earlier. That is why he subsequently avoided slaying anyone (line 80). A quick and immediate surrender deserved probity. In fact, the translation of Ritner captures the king’s speech very well.48 Evidently, the king’s attitude is severe but fair, as in fact the following words in lines 78–79 indicate. But is it not that martial attitude of Pianchy which Gardiner noted many years ago?49 Independent of the positing of the “sin” of Tefnacht and, more importantly, that of Namlot, Ritner felt that Pianchy “led an Egyptian campaign that was both military invasion and religious pilgrimage designed to ‘cleanse’ a debased aristocracy. Piye’s zeal in the cause of Amon is explicit, with a detailed ‘holiness code’ for his soldiers and a military itinerary dependent upon the celebration of religious festivals.”50 I fail to see any debased aristocracy and would instead emphasize the heterogeneous nature of the Egyptian polity, so well represented by the four mini-pharaohs, and the “sudden” rise of Tefnacht as a major contender for control over northern Egypt.

45 46 47 48 49 50

Vernus 2013b, 339: Amun would remain anonymous in the labelling. Gozzoli 2006, 54–57. Ritner 2009, 484; Gozzoli 2006, 64; Breasted 1906, 431 n. d; Grimal 1981a, 85 n. 244. Ritner 2009, 473, in his transcription: i҆r sn(i҆) ꜣ.t n(n) wn n⸗i҆ mkt n m i҆p n ḫr.w ẖr(y) ḏbꜥ py n ny sw.t. Gardiner 1935. Ritner 2009, 466.

156

spalinger

To an onlooker, Pianchy appears particularly distant, not in space but in emotion and involvement right from the start. This changes, of course, those opening salvoes of the northern expansion that we must now discuss. First, a report is sent upstream to Pianchy, most probably stationed at Napata. His reaction is not to advance immediately downstream. There, we read in lines 5–6 of his stoutheartedness as befits a warrior as well as his laughter.51 We cannot assume that he is following a laissez-faire attitude. After all, it takes time to digest bad news, and even more to prepare an armada. The second appeal refers once more to Tefnacht, but adds more independent actions of Namlot and so provides a more detailed section concerning the adherence of Namlot to Tefnacht. At this point the account reveals the forceful reaction of the Kushite ruler. There are, in fact, three separate reports, a nicely arranged triad of provocations again which Pianchy now acts. But he does not move in person but instead, realizing that Namlot is the key to Middle Egypt, he must ensure that his own troops move against Hermopolis. Thus I interpret his personality as one who is careful in strategy, befitting his self-image as an all-powerful commander-in-chief. While his underlings fear, he stoically perhaps, but with a trace of sardonic character, prepares to catch Namlot. After all, were not his troops and military commander already set up in Egypt? His words to those men, the jmj-r mšꜥ, of whom two are named (Pawerem and Lemersekny), indicate the persistence of his martial abilities.52 The generals are ordered to prepare their “battle lines” and fight the enemy.53 Nothing reticent is proposed. Instead, the local armies are to surround Hermopolis, and we must therefore assume that Pianchy’s soldiers were north of that city and possibly south as well.54 In other words, Pianchy orders his local armies to surround Hermopolis and lay siege to it if necessary—a logical conclusion—independently of whether Namlot was ensconced in his capital or not. Thus the king’s personality appears textbook in mind. That is to say, Pianchy ensures that his own account delineates his abilities as a tactical and strategic leader, one who operates from afar but one who is always purposeful and farsighted. It is obvious that he is no weakling. Of equal merit is the portrayal of his planning. Pianchy, as the stela narrates, took great care, preparation, and tactical know-how when it came to dealing with the eventual siege that he

51 52 53 54

Jasnow 2001, but the cases differ from the narrative on the Great Stela. Pope 2014, 94 n. 32. Pope 2014, 145–150 and 194, on the early Kushite administration of Egypt. Spalinger 1979; Kessler 1981.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

157

encountered at Hermopolis. In similar fashion, his actions outside of Memphis indicate the same tactical ability,55 and these have been given a useful study by Darnell.56 What we gather from the series of reactions is that Pianchy may be wise and all mighty, but he is also careful, perspicacious, and sharp-witted. His emotions do not run away with him. On the contrary, given time, it seems inevitable that he will pursue his opponent in person. For the moment, however, he relies upon his own military and political arrangements in Egypt. To prove his point, and mine as well, we then arrive at his famous requirement set upon his army before they depart on ship to the north. At this very point in time Pianchy again does not move himself. He gives general instructions as to the art of warfare as he sees it, and they too are not over-demanding and unreflective. The image that the king wished to portray is thus emphasized by his concepts of battle, and they reveal a sober mind which, to be sure, allows for his personal concept of military engagement. Pianchy’s injunctions to his troops, who were about to be sent north into Egypt, reflect both his personal attitudes and emotions as well as provide a military template for us to examine. Yet why include this portion in the stela? At first, one can regard it as a deeply-held reflection of Kushite warfare, and I believe that this interpretation is what most scholars maintain. The norms of battle imply some type of holding action which must take place before engagement.57 In essence, it is ludic in character as it requires specific behavior in combat. These were the stipulations that I have described earlier:58 1. Take action during daylight. Night is prohibited. 2. Fight within visual distance. 3. Challenge the enemy. 55

56 57 58

Sargent 2004, 129 n. 4. She provides a tentative translation for ṯrrj and ṯrrtt in line 27: “Urk. III, 70, n. c, suggested a connection between this word and in Piye’s GTS, 132. Grimal, Pi(‘ankh)y, pp. 60–61 n. 133, also makes this connection, stating that ṯrry here was the means by which Tanwetamani’s army could gain access to Memphis (see idem, Quatre stèle, p. 98 [Index 1], for the translation of ṯrrj as ‘slope/embankment’). Though the king has already taken Memphis (1. 17), he is now besieging rulers who are somewhere north of that city (he having sailed south to get to White-Wall, where he now is), ṯrrtt here may be based on the same root, but it is probably a verb, perhaps something that means ‘building a rampart/embankment.’ Alternatively, Darnell (personal communication) has suggested that ṯrrtt could be the same word as ṯrr (Wb. V, 319.2; Ann. Lex. I, 77.4838; Lesko, DLE, vol. 4, p. 93), Coptic ⲧⲣⲟⲩⲣ ‘hurry; speed’ (Westendorf, KHwb, p. 244; Černý, CED, p. 195), so possibly ‘sending his troops about to run/chase after them.’” Darnell 1991. Spalinger 2015, and especially pages 235–241. Spalinger 2019a.

158

spalinger

4.

Remain steady if the foe awaits infantry and chariotry support from another city. 5. Fight when an opponent wishes to do so. 6. If the enemy has allies, await them as well. This is similar to the fourth in the preceding list. 7. With regard to the local leaders or Libyans—the distinction and the equality of treatment are significant—“challenge them to battle in advance,” (to quote Gardiner). 8. Demand that the enemies prepare their horses (for chariot warfare) and form a battle line. To me the key expressions of proper conduct reflect the monarch’s intense wish to delineate the warfare which he encountered during his campaign. Unlike New Kingdom pharaohs he does not avoid personal aspects of his military genius. It is true that Thutmose III provides a strongly-worded section concerning his decision to take the Aruna Pass. Yet Pianchy’s specific requirements go beyond any immediate military decision. Here, one can see that the orientation of the narrative is again and again concentrated upon the tactics and strategy of the king. He tells us his methods of fighting, his engineering feats, his tactics of engagement, and his strategically-oriented geographical plans—both by strict advice as well as by personal choice in media res. Thus the emotional range of Pianchy reveals itself to be far more deeply embedded in the thick and thin than was, for example, Ramesses II at Kadesh or Thutmose III on the way to Megiddo. One cannot cease reading of these characteristics. They pepper the whole story. Presenting a narrative further preoccupied with this attitude is Pianchy’s wish to describe all resultant actions of his army. Again, his pious outlook is easy to see when he then turns to the situation to take place in Thebes. Yet keeping in mind the single-directed self-centered approach of Egypt’s Empire pharaohs, see how different the narration is immediately afterwards. The leader of Kush presents a descriptive recounting of his troops’ accomplishments. The riverine journey to the north and a marine conflict is followed by the official announcement of battle at Herakleopolis.59 (Note that his soldiers “announce” battle [sr ꜥḥꜣ], as they were told to.) What New Kingdom Egyptian monarch would bother to report on his army’s activities when he was not present? A thorough list of the enemy coalition is then given, the battle simply narrated, and this section concludes with what would have been a pre-

59

Pope 2014, 254, for its prominence at this time.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

159

cise enumeration of the foes killed, etc.60 Note that the final list in lines 21–22, including booty and totals of captured (or dead ?) foes, was never carved. The report, Pianchy not being present, is lengthy and detailed enough to allow us once more to conclude that he is most assuredly interested in the vagaries of warfare as well as in its particularities. It is as if he is overseeing every significant portion of his war, and we are receiving up to date news of the campaign in general staff headquarters. From the following section it is clear that Pianchy was not happy—to say the least—when he heard of the resultant siege of Hermopolis. This is Ritner’s translation:61 Then His Majesty raged because of it like a panther: “Have they allowed (24) a remnant to remain among the troops of Lower Egypt so as to let go an escapee among them to relate his campaign, not killing them to exterminate the last of them? As I live, as Re loves me, as my father Amon favors me, I shall go northward myself, that I might overturn (25) what he has done, that I might cause that he retreat from fighting for the course of eternity!” Notwithstanding the common phrase of “rage,” which we have commented upon earlier, the dramatic intent on the part of the writer is clear. Pianchy’s army failed to resolve the war, and thus he must go in person to accomplish his wishes. But this is not both a necessary and sufficient explanation for the previous specifications that are given. Pianchy desired a nitty-gritty narration, one that concentrated solely upon his war machine. At the same time the lack of total victory culminating in a siege can be compared to Thutmose III’s feelings when his troops took time to plunder the enemy’s camp. There too, a siege was inevitable. But the Great Stela heightens the drama by including the king’s reactions to the advances of the enemy and his decision that he had to lead his troops. Here, I find little that one can regard as unique characteristics of personality. But he definitely preferred to narrate the fine points of the preceding military encounter, and that is why the entire account is a remarkable piece of literature. The pause in the narration at this point allows us to turn to the very significant reactions of Pianchy at Hermopolis. There, as I have indicated in a previous discussion, we are at the onset faced with Namlot’s wife and her role in pleading

60 61

Grimal 1981a, 40; Ritner 2009, 491 n. 9. Ritner 2009, 480.

160

spalinger

with Pianchy’s royal wife as well as the other significant women who came with their monarch.62 At this point the role of the queens is paramount, especially if we regard their understanding of Kushite royal practice and kingship. Whether Gozzoli’s remarks concerning the “sin” of the enemies are fully applicable here is not my contention. What are significant are the reactions of Pianchy. Through the intermediary of his wife, to whom Namlot’s queen went, he presents a short rhetorical diatribe in which he addresses Namlot.63 The words are not harsh, nor are any punishments announced. To Pianchy, the foe of Hermopolis has not stayed on the right path. He has led himself, by himself and for himself, astray. These words link up with Pianchy’s earlier emotions with regard to his northern foes. In similar fashion, Pianchy’s inspection of Namlot’s storehouses, etc., parallels his earlier military awareness. At this juncture he examines the chambers of his former antagonist, ensuring that he is perfectly aware of Namlot’s wealth and provisions. Again, I cannot but see an exacting aspect of character present, one that is keenly interested in all particulars such as would belong to a surveyor, a mathematician, and a like-minded general who has a keen photographic memory. All wealth is personally surveyed by the king. But he avoids dealing with the high-ranking women, an attitude that I have covered on a previous occasion.64 This emotional attribute I felt must be connected to his culture and the role of the Kushite monarch. He avoids directing his attention to Namlot’s female entourage just as he stresses his Amunoriented remarks to Namlot. Pianchy indicates that he is protected by his deity, “under his shadow,” as his speech indicates. To us, it is his stress upon the starving horses that provokes our interest, and here once more his military disposition looms ever so large. Again and again, one is faced with this disposition of the king, a personality trait that appears greater than expected within what seems to be a purely historically-oriented account.65 The horses’ pitiable condition matters far more to him than any crime (bwt) that Namlot committed. The horses now belong to Pianchy. (Compare Pianchy’s reference to the “crimes” of Namlot and Ramesses II’s remarks on the “great crime” of his officials who did not inform him of the location of his Hittite opponent.) But we should also take cognizance of the concept of “crime,” and observe that Namlot’s is personal whereas the “great crime,” committed by Ramesses II’s 62 63 64 65

Spalinger 2019a; Brand, in press, has proven a similar case at Kadesh under Ramesses II— see caption R 11. Grimal 1981a, 64 n. 153, with the reference to Namlot’s mother. Spalinger 2019a. Cf. Eyre 1996.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

161

officials, was qualitatively different insofar as those men caused the strategic mistake of the pharaoh. With Pianchy, the error of Namlot was to oppose him, and the verbal harangue is concentrated upon a religious theme rather than a political-military one. The second siege, rather quickly resolved by Pianchy, concerns Per-Sechemkheperre (lines 78–79). The king’s words involve a metaphor. He states to the city: “Do not bar the gates of your life,” a simple phrase that revolves around the city being closed to Pianchy as well as the unfortunate choice that the citizens have made. Ritner provides the final exhortation of Pianchy as “Do not desire death so as to hate life!”66 Here, no concept of sin or deviance from the path of Amun is indicated. Instead, these words are coercive and persuasive in nature without adhering to any religious conceptions, pious or not. Not commonplace, but nonetheless forcible are Pianchy’s words. Indeed, the same military-oriented attitude is to be seen at the surrender of Meidum.67 Pianchy stresses life or death, an expected dichotomy that virtually any commander offers to his enemy.68 Not totally matching is Pianchy’s address to the Memphite inhabitants (lines 85–86). There, he again was faced by a closed city and purposely refers to the local deities, shrines, and temples—to all of which he will act properly. In fact, he points to his previous “clemency” as proof that no harm shall come to the residents of this capital. As is known, the city was not convinced, and a struggle, not lasting very long, came to pass.69 I find it highly significant that Pianchy’s weighty words are recorded at Hermopolis and not at any of these three cities which subsequently surrendered to him. The difference in orientation between the Memphis resistance and the capitulation of the former metropolis is representative of the stela’s orientation. Namlot was the major foe of the monarch whereas Memphis was not. Therefore, Pianchy’s speech to Namlot expresses his personal feelings to a large degree. They are emotionally-laden with religious symbolism—granted not arcane in any way—whereas with Memphis the assault and capture occupy the narration. Pianchy’s words are short and, speaking from a military outlook, reasonable and standard. And because Memphis resisted there was a siege, short though it became.

66 67

68 69

Ritner 2009, 484. For Herakleopolis, see Pope 2014, 246—“In the Great Triumphal Stela of Pi(ankh)y, Herakleopolis is unambiguously identified as a vassal of the Kushite king.” Nothing is recorded at Lisht. Grimal 1981a, 263–275, covers these situations. Darnell 1991.

162

spalinger

From this point onwards, the Great Stela has a narrative undertaking that no longer records Pianchy’s speeches. The earlier addresses were mainly concerned with factors of war. The first group that we have encountered deals with his reactions to the northern rebellion, and soon after we have his speech to his army. Then the addresses concern the besieged metropoleis of his foes. After Memphis one turns to his religiously-oriented activities in Memphis, Heliopolis and finally the king arrives at Athribis. One receives emphatically the pious and devout aspects of his character, but emotionally speaking, any harangue or verbal expression of persuasion is avoided. One must therefore realize that Pianchy’s emotions have been freed from the pressures of combat. Resistance has ended. Even when Tefnacht recognizes his superiority Pianchy is given no words in return. This is not to say that there are no additional, highly charged, passages wherein his personality as a Kushite can be seen.70 See, for example, lines 150–152:71 Now, however, these kings and counts of Lower Egypt who came to behold the beauty of His Majesty, their legs (150) were like the legs of women.72 They could not enter into the palace since they were uncircumcised (151) and eaters of fish—such is an abomination of the palace. However, King Namlot entered (152) into the palace since he was pure and did not eat fish.73 Three stood (153) in their positions while one entered the palace.

6

Summation

If I had traced the antecedent analyses of the Great Stela’s purport I would have repeated a wealth of previous scholarship that has reiterated Pianchy’s demanding religious orthodoxy in combination with his love of horses.74 But I do not see that these two major aspects of the ruler’s personality, admittedly emotional at points, provide the end of analysis. I feel that throughout the composition until all warfare basically ends, the king is viewed from a military point of view. This is predominant up to the end of the siege of Memphis, and that is what one might expect. After all, is this not a record of his victories in war?

70 71 72 73 74

Spalinger 2019a. Ritner 2009, 490. Ritner 2009, 492: “trembling in fear”; Grimal 1981a, 178 n. 527—a very masculine approach is revealed. Spalinger 2019a; Eyre 1996, 422; Fitzenreiter 2011, 261–268; Jay 2016, 227. Spalinger 2015; Török 2002, 62 and 112–117.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

163

But much that is expressed, including the opening eulogy, helps us to no great degree in determining the individuality of his personality as expressed emotionally. For example, Török writes:75 Subtly differing styles of language bring out contrasts, as between Tefnakht’s cajoling speech to his forces in Memphis before he abandons them and Pi(ankh)y’s incisive discourse as he initiates his bold plan to seize the city. Yet once again the theme of the “individual in history” emerges, and it may be worthwhile to return to the very old, yet always pertinent, commentary of de Buck.76 Contrariwise, this narrative, lengthy though it may be, is a selfcommanded exploration of a single man, a ruler, with a locus of varying perspectives, all of which naturally center on him, but yet reveal his determination. And it is the latter which I have attempted to elucidate here. Namely, that Pianchy is not merely a determined and successful king. More than his success is indicated in the Great Stela. He reveals his realistic ability as a general and commander of his troops, visualizing encampments, cities, the use of the Nile, and all sorts of military equipment. Leaving off any suspicion of untruth—and this has not been my aim—one consistently receives deliberately-narrated discourses of military awareness. He shows himself to be a far-sighted general who leaves no stone unturned. Unlike Thutmose III before Aruna he is not abrupt to his soldiers, though firm and persevering. Unlike Thutmose III subsequently, and of course never does he strongly accuse any of his underlings of major political and military failures. To the enemy he desires a quick resolution to the opposition. That is, to be sure, the wish of any person, military chief or not. Yet Pianchy plans out his combat as if he were playing pieces on a chessboard. That aspect, totally unlike the wellnarrated royal accounts of a New Kingdom pharaoh, should not allow us to ignore his role as leader. His precedence is always clear as is his “polycentric policy” in the north, and the Delta in particular.77 In other words Pianchy recognized the limitations of power, especially with Sais under Tefnacht I of Sais. But to explain the triple-headed conundrum exposed by Pope is a different matter:78

75 76 77 78

FHN I (Török), 112. De Buck 1929. Pope 2014, 87 and 272. Pope 2014, 274, with pages 279–281 for a study of Machtpolitik.

164

spalinger

The choice of alternatives—violent contestation, resolute hegemony, or local co-option—is central to understanding Kuschitenherrschaft, and it is the interplay between the three which the present work has sought to problematize and examine. After all, this is not an emotionally-played out interpretation. The Great Stela was erected in the temple of Amun at Thebes. It is extraordinarily long and was written on all of its sides, thereby attesting to the desire of the ruler and his command to the author (or authors) for a superb granite commemoration of his “royal decree.” No pictorial records were set up at Karnak so far as we know, and the only specific visual record of the campaign will be found in the outer hall (B 501) at Gebel Barkal.79 The devotion to Amun is thus self-evident, as is in fact, the concluding strophe of the narrative. But within the lengthy royal discourse is proof of Pianchy’s sober generalship. He plans carefully, follows the norms of his culture even in combat, and desires victory, not vengeance. Even when he vociferously complains of his army’s failure to subjugate Hermopolis, save the topos of his “raging,” his outbursts are rare. The image of Tefnacht in lines 88–89 might be seen as deprecatory, but if so, Pianchy does not denigrate the man. Indeed, even with Tefnacht’s submission, the Kushite ruler shows a fair and even handed approach to subjugations, just as he did at Hermopolis and elsewhere. Perhaps he is more of a Bismarck than a von Moltke in 1871, but to me he resembles Grant and not at all Sherman. How much of his native characteristics exist in the narrative of the Great Stela must remain a mystery impossible to fathom or to unravel.80 Was he more akin to a Charlemagne surrounding himself with learned folk, or was it enough for him to arrange one great monument to his abilities?

Abbreviations CEN FNH I

LEN LES

79 80

Classical Egyptian Napatan (used by Sargent). Eide, T., T. Hägg, R. Pierce and L. Török. 1996. Fontes Historiae Nubiorum. Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region between the Eighth Century BC and the Sixth Century AD I. Bergen: John Grieg AS. Late Egyptian Napatan (used by Sargent). Late Egyptian Story.

Spalinger 2019b. Grant 1885–1886.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

165

TDS Tanwetamani Dream Stela. Urk. III Schäfer, H. 1905–. Urkunde der älteren Äthiopenkönige. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs. Wb Adolf, E. and H. Grapow. 1926–1961. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache. I– VI. Berlin: Akademie.

Bibliography Baines, J. 2017. “Epilogue: On Ancient Pictorial Representations of Emotion: Concluding Comments with Examples from Egypt.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 263–285. Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Becker, M., A.I. Blöbaum and A. Lohwasser (eds) 2016. “Prayer and power”: proceedings of the conference on the God’s Wives of Amun in Egypt during the First Millennium BC. Ägypten und Altes Testament 84. Münster: Ugarit. Brand, P. In press. Ramesses II: Egypt’s Ultimate Pharaoh. Breasted, J. 1906. Ancient Records of Egypt IV. Chicago: University of Chicago. Breyer, F. 2003. Tanwetamani. Die Traumstele und ihr Umfeld. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Collier, M. 1996. “The Language of Literature: On Grammar and Texture.” In Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms, edited by A. Loprieno, 531–553. Leiden; New York; Cologne: Brill. Darnell, J. 1991. “Two Sieges in Aethiopic Stelae.” In Ägypten in Afro-orientalischen Kontext. Aufsätze zur Archäologie, Geschichte und Sprache eines unbegrenzten Raumes. Gedenkschrift Peter Behrens, edited by D. Mendel and U. Claudi, 171–176. Cologne: Universität zu Köln. De Buck, A. 1929. Het typische en het individuelle bij de Egyptenaren. Leiden: E. Ijdo. Delhove, A. 2019. “Approche formelle d’und narration couchite: la structure des Annales d’Irike-Amannote (Kawa IX).” Acta Orientalia Belgica 32: 235–253. Derchain, P. 1996. “Auteur et société.” In Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms, edited by A. Loprieno, 83–94. Leiden; New York; Cologne: Brill. Eltze, E. 2019. The Reign of Amannote-erike: Analyses of Identity and Kingship in a Key Fifth Century BCE Kushite King. Auckland: PhD Thesis, University of Auckland. Eyre, C. 1996. “Is Egyptian Historical Literature ‘Historical’ or ‘Literary’?” In Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms, edited by A. Loprieno, 415–443. Leiden; New York; Cologne: Brill. Feyereisen, P. and J.-D. de Lannoy. 1991. Gestures and Speech: Psychological Investigations. New York and Paris: Cambridge University Press and Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme.

166

spalinger

Fitzenreiter, M. 2011. “Piye Son of Ra, Loving Horses, Detesting Fish.” In La pioche et la plume. Autour du Soudan, du Liban et la Jordanie: Hommages archéologiques à Patrice Lenoble, edited by F. Villeneuve, F. Alpi and V. Rondot, 261–268. Paris: Presses de l’Université Paris-Sorbonne. Fitzenreiter, M. 2018. “Piye’s Conquest of Egypt (about 727B.C.E.) and the Making of a Great Event (about 727B.C.E. and beyond).” In Allerhand Kleinigkeiten, edited by M. Fitzenreiter, 105–122. London: Golden House Publications. Gardiner, A. 1935. “Piankhy’s Instruction to His Army.” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 21: 219–223. Goedicke, H. 1998. Pi(ankh)y in Egypt. A Study of the Pi(ankh)y Stela. Baltimore: Halgo. Goldwasser, O. 2002. Prophets, Lovers and Giraffes: Wor(l)d Classification in Ancient Egypt. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Gozzoli, R. 2006. The Writing of History in Ancient Egypt during the First Millennium BC (ca. 1070–180 BC). Trends and Perspectives. London: Golden House. Grant, U. 1885–1886. Personal Memoires of U.S. Grant I–II. New York: Charles Webster & Company. Grimal, N. 1980. “Bibliothèques et propaganda royale à l’époque éthiopienne.” In Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Livre du Centenaire, edited by J. Vercoutter, 37– 48. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Grimal, N. 1981a. La stèle triomphale de Pi(‘ankhy) au Musée du Caire. JE 48862 et 47086– 47089. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Grimal, N. 1981b. Quatre stèles napatéenes au Musée du Cairo: JE 48863–48866: textes et indexes. Cairo: Institut Français d’Archéologie Orientale. Hintze, F. 1975. “Die statische Struktur des Wortschatzes ägyptischer Literaturwerke. I. Der Reichtum des Vokabulars.” Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 102: 100–122. Hintze, F. 1976. “Die statische Struktur des Wortschatzes ägyptischer Literaturwerke. II. Die Verteilung der Häufigkeiten innerhalb des Vokabulars.”Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 103: 22–29. Jasnow, R. 1999. “Remarks on Continuity in Egyptian Literary Tradition.” In Gold of Praise. Studies in Ancient Egypt in Honor of Edward F. Wente, edited by E. Teeter and J. Larson, 193–205. Chicago: Oriental Institute. Jasnow, R. 2001. “And Pharaoh Laughed …’ Reflections on Humor in Setne I and Late Period Egyptian Literature.” Enchoria 27: 62–81. Jay, J. 2016. Orality and Literacy in the Demotic Tales. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Kessler, D. 1981. “Zu den Feldzügen des Tefnachte, Namlot und Piye in Mittelägypten.” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 9: 227–251. Kipfer, S. (ed.) 2017. Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

indexes of emotions in pianchy’s great stela

167

Lepper, V. 2008. Untersuchungen zu pWestcar. Eine philologische und literaturwissenschaftliche (Neu-)Analyse. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Lepper, V. 2013. “Ancient Egyptian Literature: Genre and Style.” In Ancient Egyptian Literature: Theory and Practice, edited by R. Enmarch and V. Lepper, 211–225. Oxford: Oxford University Press; The British Academy. Loprieno, A. 1996. “The ‘King’s Novel’.” In Ancient Egyptian Literature: History and Forms, edited by A. Loprieno, 277–295. Leiden; New York; Cologne: Brill. Manassa, C. 2010. “Defining Historical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt.” In Opening the Tablet Box. Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Benjamin R. Foster, edited by S. Melville and A. Slotsky, 245–269. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Manassa, C. 2013. Imagining the Past. Historical Fiction in New Kingdom Egypt. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Moffat, J. 1968. The Structure of English. Christchurch: Pegasus. Pope, J. 2014. The Double Kingdom under Taharqo. Studies in the History of Kush and Egypt 690–664 BC. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Quack, J. 2013. “Irrungen, Wirrungen Forscherische Ansätze zur Datierung der älteren ägyptischen Literatur.” In Dating Egyptian Literary Texts, edited by G. Moers, K. Widmaier, A. Giewekmeyer, A. Lümers and R. Ernst, 405–469. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag. Ritner, R. 2009. The Libyan Anarchy. Inscriptions from Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Schäfer, H. 1897. “Zur Erklärung der ‘Traumstele’.” Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde 35: 67–70. Schweitzer, S. 2013. “Dating Egyptian Literary Texts: Lexical Approaches.” In Dating Egyptian Literary Texts, edited by G. Moers, K. Widmaier, A. Giewekmeyer, A. Lümers and R. Ernst, 177–190. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag. Sargent, C. 2004. The Napatan Royal Inscriptions: Egyptian in Nubia. New Haven: PhD Thesis, Yale University. Shupak, N. 1993. Where Can Wisdom Be found? The Sage’s Language in the Bible and in Ancient Egyptian Literature. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Spalinger, A. 1979. “The Military Background of the Campaign of Piye (Pianchy).” Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 7: 273–301. Spalinger, A. 1982. Aspects of the Military Documents of the Ancient Egyptians. New Haven, London: Yale University Press. Spalinger, A. 2011. “Königsnovelle and Performance.” In Times, Signs and Pyramids. Studies in Honour of Miroslav Verner on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday, edited by V. Callender, L. Bareš, M. Bartá, J. Janek and J. Krecí, 351–374. Prague: Faculty of Arts, Charles University in Prague. Spalinger, A. 2015. “Pianchy/Piye. Between Two Worlds.” In De la Nubie à Qadech/From Nubia to Kadesh. La guerre dans l’Égypte ancienne/War in Ancient Egypt, edited by K. Karlshausen and C. Obsomer, 235–275. Brussels: Safran.

168

spalinger

Spalinger, A. 2019a. “Pianchy’s Great Temple and his early war.” In 9. Symposium zur ägyptischen Königsideologie / 9th Symposium on Egyptian Royal Ideology. Egyptian Royal ideology and Kingship under Periods of Foreign Rulers—Case Studies from the First Millennium BC. Munich May 31—June 2, 2018, edited by J. Budka, 41–57. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Spalinger, A. 2019b. The Persistence of Memory in Kush. Pianchy and his Temple. Prague: Charles University, Faculty of Arts, Czech Institute of Egyptology. Stauder, A. 2013. Linguistic Dating of Middle Egyptian Literary Texts. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag. Tait, J. 2009. “Anger and Agency. The Role of the Emotions in Demotic and Earlier Narratives” In ‘Being in Ancient Egypt.’ Thoughts on Agency, Materiality and Cognition. Proceedings of the Seminar Held in Copenhagen, September 29–30, 2006, edited by R. Nord and A. Kjølby, 75–82. Archaeopress: Oxford. Tait, J. 2011. “The Sinews of Demotic Narrative.” In Narratives of Egypt and the Ancient Near East. Literary and Linguistic Approaches, edited by F. Hagen, J. Johnston, W. Monkhouse, K. Piquette, J. Tait and M. Worthington, 397–410. Leuven; Paris; Walpole MA: Peeters. Török, L. 1992. “Ambulatory Kingship and Settlement History. A Study on the Contribution of Archaeology to Meroitic History.” In Études nubiennes. Conférence de Genève. Actes du VIIe Congrès international d’Études nubiennes 3–8 septembre 1990 I. Communications principales, edited by C. Bonnet, 111–126. Geneva: Société d’études nubiennes. Török, L. 2002. The Image of the Ordered World in Ancient Nubian Art. The Construction of the Kushite Mind (800 BC–300 AD). Leiden; Boston; Cologne: Brill. Verbovsek, A. 2011. “The Correlation of Rituals, Emotions, and Literature in Ancient Egypt.” In Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean. Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation, edited by A. Chaniotis, 235–262. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Vernus, P. 2013a. “La datation de L’Enseignement d’Aménémopé. La littérature et le linguistique.” In Dating Egyptian Literary Texts, edited by G. Moers, K. Widmaier, A. Giewekmeyer, A. Lümers and R. Ernst, 191–236. Hamburg: Widmaier Verlag. Vernus, P. 2013b. “The Royal Command (wḏ nswt). A Basic Deed of Executive Power.” In Ancient Egyptian Administration, edited by J.C.M. García, 259–340. Leiden: Brill.

chapter 8

“Do Not Cast an Eye on Another One’s Goods …!”: Aspects of Envy, Jealousy and Greed in Ancient Egypt Alexandra Verbovsek

1

Envy and Jealousy

Envy and jealousy are human phenomena, which are assumed to be universal.1 Each human being senses feelings of envy and jealousy, but they can be more or less intense depending on the individual person. The handling of these emotions is affected by personality traits or socialization and governed by other factors such as education or ideology. Hence, envious and jealous behaviour of individuals, societies or cultures has specific symbolic forms and standards. Envy and jealousy resemble each other in many ways and seem to have many intersections. For example, in English,2 German and French, everyday usage of both terms tends to be regarded as synonymous;3 both of them are associated with strong and painful feelings of aggression or depression influencing the egos of individuals or groups.4 However, on closer inspection, envy and jealousy are different phenomena: “Envy stems from the desire to acquire something possessed by another person, while jealousy is rooted in the fear of losing something already possessed”.5 The envier is obsessed with the idea of owning particular goods or features, for example. However, the target of “his”6 envious feelings and behaviour is not the possession but the possessor and his fortune. In some cases, the envier does not want to possess, but he wants to deprive the possessor of his advantage.7 An

1 2 3 4 5 6

Foster 1972, 165. For the etymology of the word envy, see the detailed summary in Sanders 2014, 14. Foster 1972, 167. See Haubl 2009, 18 ff., 30 ff. Foster 1972, 168. To improve readability, only the male form is used in the text, nevertheless all data apply to members of all genders. 7 Sanders 2014, 16.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

170

verbovsek

envier permanently compares his situation with the state of the envied person and often he finds himself disadvantaged.8 Usually, the precondition for the formation of envy is a comparability (e.g. social status, beauty, talent) of the participants.9 The envier is frequently convinced that he deserves the desired goods more than the one who holds them.10 Consequently, he often develops feelings of enviousness, resentment11 and/or forms of greed. Jealousy, in contrast, arises when an appreciated or beloved person prefers somebody else. The jealous person feels a deficit of attention and a growing, panicking fear of loss.12 The target of negative jealous feelings is not the person that favours someone else but the individual that is favoured, whereas the jealous person still adores the renegade one. We find jealousy in matters of romantic or sexual relationships, as well as in constellations of families and friends or professional situations. Both envy and jealousy have a moral component, thus envious and jealous feelings are often covered by a behaviour that masks unwanted or tabooed moods.13 This adjustment to appropriate feelings14 complies with norms, which are likewise specific to the respective community, society or culture.15

2

Envy and Jealousy in Ancient Egypt

It is generally not easy to identify emotions in Ancient Egypt,16 and the same is true for envy and jealousy because they are merely generic terms for specific psychosocial dynamics.17 Because our knowledge of such dynamics in ancient cultures is necessarily limited, the present study only aims at a first approximation and description of “emotion scripts”,18 which might be interpreted as such 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

17 18

Demmerling and Landwehr 2007, 197, 211. See also Sanders 2014, 18f. For the point of social comparison, see Sanders 2014, 15, with note 5. Demmerling and Landwehr 2007, 195; Haubl 2009, 20ff. Demmerling and Landwehr 2007, 207 f. Neu 1980, 433. Sanders 2014, 23 f. Demmerling and Landwehr 2007, 209. Foster 1972, 166. In recent years, several studies on emotions in Ancient Egypt have been published, see e.g. Bickel 1988, Effland 2003, O’Dell 2008, Tait 2009, Verbovsek 2009, Verbovsek 2011, Köhler 2016, Eicke 2017, Baines 2018. Haubl 2009, 21. “Scripts are essentially similar to the emotion episodes or scenarios discussed above—an episode/scenario is in fact a specific instance of a general script. These scripts allow us to

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

171

emotions or similar feelings. For the reason that the frame of an article has its limits, it is not possible to include theories of emotions or the role of emotions in other ancient cultures in this study, although this might be profitable. Moreover, the examples discussed can only give a general insight into the topic. It was neither aspired nor possible to catch all relevant evidence. Beyond that, we have two general problems: on the one hand, there are obviously no pictorial representations or material objects from Egypt explicitly showing envy or jealousy as an acute state.19 On the other hand, there exists neither a (theoretical) discourse on emotions comparable with philosophical discussions by classical authors,20 nor particular terms connoting or concretizing envy or jealousy from preserved texts. Thus, we have to look for related terms, to localize potential references or emotion scripts. For this purpose, I will transliterate, translate, and analyse possible evidence for its meaning.21 Because a chronological order, or a differentiation of text sorts, would not help in this case, my approach is based on the discussion of questions concerning the potential nature, manifestations and consequences of envy, jealousy and greed as well.

3

Forms of Envy and Jealousy in Ancient Egypt

As already mentioned, the Egyptian language had no distinct term for envy/ envious or jealousy/jealous. A lexicographical or semantic study is not available yet. Even the search in the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae (TLA) for “Neid” and “Eifersucht” is negative, except for the lemma sḏdm,22 only documented in three sentences of one single text (see below). The Wörterbuch der ägyptis-

19 20 21

22

get behind the terms envy and jealousy in order to achieve a greater understanding of the elements that link a wide variety of envy and jealousy scenarios (and similarly for related ancient Greek emotions)”: Sanders 2014, 5. See Sanders 2014. See e.g. Milobenski 1964, Hinterberger 2013, Sanders 2014. For each text mentioned, one recent contribution, a monograph where possible, is indicated where the reader will find information on the text and hints to earlier literature. In general, the introductions to Egyptian literature of the Middle and New Kingdoms by Burkard and Thissen (2015 and 2009) are recommended as well as Quack 2017 for Demotic literature and the translations and information by different authors in the Thesaurus Linguae Aegyptiae (TLA) (http://aaew2.bbaw.de/tla/ [March 23, 2019]). The footnotes following the quotations indicate the text basis used in each case. The translations of Demotic texts are mainly based on the treatments by Günter Vittmann in the TLA and on Hoffmann and Quack 2018. Cf. TLA no. 150990.

172

verbovsek

chen Sprache (Wb) specifies no words for either of these emotions, except the lemma ꜥwn-jb whose basic meaning seems to be greed or greediness.23 In her doctoral thesis, O’Dell compiles words related to greed, envy, jealousy and selfishness.24 Her list demonstrates that the search for words with the definite meaning “envious”/“envy” or “jealous/y” is unproductive. O’Dell translates most of these terms with greedy, covetous, avaricious or other connotations mostly from the semantical field of greed. Only a few examples match more explicitly the meaning of envy or, rarely, of jealousy. Based on these preconditions, I examined several Egyptian texts focussing on references that could be interpreted as an expression of envy or jealous feelings and accordingly behaviour.25 That way, I was able to uncover a few passages that were worth being surveyed. For a more precise classification of the different components of envy and jealousy, I pursued the approach by Sanders who works on emotion scripts, which he augments through the addition of insights derived from modern research.26 3.1 Evocation of Envy Envy is a very complex emotion that assumes a definite form on different layers. Besides physical expressions of this emotion and their consequences on individuals, its influence on social constellations and life is enormous. Depending on cultural and social preconditions, the meaning of envy in the respective discourse can turn out very differently. In some societies, especially in Christian ones,27 the evocation of envy and its avoidance, in particular, plays a decisive role. In Egyptian culture, this aspect seems to be treated mainly by the discussion of greed or covetousness, more than of envy in a narrower sense. Most frequently the term ꜥwn-jb is used in this context, thus it will be profitable to have a closer look at it and its potential readability as envious/envy. However, there are a few examples from texts which apparently focus more on the evocation of envy than of greed. In the Dialogue of a Man with his Ba28 (12th Dyn.), a man tries to convince his Ba, a part of his individual personality that is—among other things—responsible for the individual’s viability in the afterlife, of the benefits in the afterworld. For this purpose, the man enumerates all amenities for which other Bas would envy (sḏdm) his own Ba. In accordance

23 24 25 26 27 28

Erman and Grapow 1926, 172.12. O’Dell 2008, 440–442. Sanders 2014, 18. Sanders 2014, 1, 5 ff. Foster 1972, 175 ff. Allen 2011.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

173

with Parkinson,29 I prefer the translation envious to jealous30 because here the desire to acquire something possessed by another person is expressed rather than the fear of losing something already possessed: jw⸗j r jrj.t njȝj ḥr ẖȝ.t⸗k sḏdm⸗k ky bȝ m nnw I will make an awning over your corpse and you will make envious another Ba in inertness. jw⸗j r jrj.t njȝj jḫ tm⸗f ḥs.w sḏdm⸗k ky bȝ n.t( j) tȝ.w I will make an awning so that it will not be (too) cold and you will make envious another Ba, who is hot. swr⸗j mw ḥr bȝbȝ.t ṯz.y⸗j šwj.w sḏ⟨d⟩m⸗k ky bȝ ntj ḥkr(.w) I will drink water from the flood so that I remove dryness and you will make envious another Ba, who is hungry.31 It is intriguing that the term sḏdm, the causative verb formed on ḏdm/ḏdb: to sting/burning (of poison in the body), is only attested in this text. Gardiner was the first to suggest the translation “making envious”, followed by others.32 The feeling of stinging, burning or being poisoned with venom that one cannot get rid of, are attributes which specifically refer to envy in different cultures.33 Partially, the poisoning is compared to an intoxication due to a bite or sting of an animal, a snake for example.34

29 30 31 32

33 34

Parkinson 1997, 156. Allen 2011, 56–58. pBerlin 3024 col. 43–49; Allen 2011, 54–59. For the discussion of the meaning, see Popko, in TLA, pAmherst 3 + pBerlin P 3024, Der Lebensmüde, comment line 44: sḏdm = causative verb of ḏdb/ḏdm: sting “stechen”: http:// aaew.bbaw.de/tla/servlet/S02?wc=162856&db=0 (April 04, 2019). Haubl 2009, 116 ff. The snake most frequently accompanies envy. He represents the self-destructive poison in the envier’s body: Haubl 2009, 119.

174

verbovsek

Suffering caused by a snake or snake-like demon in this case associated with ꜥwn-jb is mentioned in the 19th maxim of the Teaching of Ptahhotep35 (12th Dyn.). Here, the disease is designated as a dangerous illness:36 zȝw.t( j) ḥr zp n ꜥwn-jb ḫȝ.t pw mr.t n.t bṯ.w Beware of being overcome by greed/covetousness/envy! It is the painful disease from (“which belongs to”) the bṯ.w-snake.37 As is the case in this example, what is usually translated with greed/Habgier/ Raffgier,38 greed, covetousness and envy are often not easy to distinguish in Egyptian texts, but there are quite a few differences, which need to be defined. In some cases, like here, an interpretation with any of them would be possible, but in other cases, the context leans towards a more specific meaning. 3.2 Envy, Greed and Covetousness There is no distinct definition for the relation of envy, greed and covetousness, but we ascertain overlaps as well as discrepancies.39 Greed is an excessive profit motive. A greedy person is focused on the appropriation of goods to the point of obsession. His aim is not only to own the desired goods but to increase them without limits. In contrast to the envier, the greedy one is fixated on these goods, regardless of whether they have an owner; the other person is usually not relevant. The envier, in contrast, desires goods or features just because of the owner. He focusses on the owner’s supposed advantage or luck and tries to deprive him of these goods.40 “If the good cannot be acquired, envy will try to destroy it (or the rival), while greed will merely remain frustrated.”41 Covetousness is also a desire for another’s possession, but the target is to obtain the goods, not to deprive the other.42 Sanders suggests also a “covetous

35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42

Hagen 2012. Cf. Fecht 1958, 36. Žaba 1956, 39 (D300–301). For the meaning of greed in the Teaching of Ptahhotep, see Fecht 1958. Summarized in Sanders 2014, 20 f. Sanders 2014, 20 f. Sanders 2014, 20. Sanders 2014, 21; 30, Table 2.1 c).

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

175

envy script”:43 The covetous envier has a strong feeling of depriving the owner of the goods, and a weaker one to obtain it for himself. Sanders’ other scripts, namely begrudging envy,44 emulation45 or emulative envy46 are less relevant for the examples discussed here. In my opinion, some passages, which have been translated using words like covetousness/covetous or greed/y in the past, might better be understood as envy/envious. The arguments for such interpretations are based on the classifications mentioned above and on the co-texts or contexts, e.g. the presentation of a physical manifestation, a particular behaviour or typical situations, which are (by definition) specific for the sensation or expression of envy. A further hint is goods causing envy (e.g. property and success) or intrinsic character traits of envious persons. 3.2.1 Envy and Covetousness of Property In his study on “the anatomy of envy”, the anthropologist Foster states that in primitive and peasant societies three items—food, children and health— rank far above others. Following these come economic values such as cattle, good crops and productive gardens.47 The Egyptian texts mention similar goods referring to envy, e.g. estate or property in general, but also envy of spouse, success or esteem. They are comparable with the goods mentioned in the Ten Commandments.48 In the already cited Dialogue of a man with his Ba, the negative scenario of the world notably refers to ꜥwn-jb and the unethical behaviour resulting from it: ꜥwn jb.w z nb ḥr jṯj.t ḫ.wt sn-nw⸗f Hearts are envious. Everybody takes another one’s possessions.49 43 44 45 46 47 48

49

Sanders 2014, 21; 30, Table 2.1 b). “I feel a strong desire to act to deprive you of the good, but have no desire to obtain it myself”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 a). “I feel a strong desire to act to obtain a similar good, but do not want to deprive you”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 d). “I have no strong desire to act, thus leaving you in possession and me lacking, with the painful feeling unchanged”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 e). Foster 1972, 169. Exodus 20, 17: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.” For the Christians’ handling of envy, particularly as one of the deadly sins that disintegrate the Christian community, see Haubl 2009, 34ff. pBerlin 3024 col. 105–106; Allen 2011, 90 f.

176

verbovsek

Sometimes, Egyptian texts specify strongly desired or envied things. In the Tale of the Eloquent Peasant50 (12th Dyn.), as soon as the liegeman Nemtinakht encounters the fellow countryman, who is on his way with donkeys charged with goods, he senses an impulsive desire to take the animals. As a result, he perfidiously plans how to get them. In my opinion, here the manner describing the emotional state and his words indicate the presence of covetousness and/or envy. The use of mȝȝ (to see/look) and the mention of the heart as the location of perception might support this assumption, as well as the subsequent sudden impulse to steal the donkeys with the goods on their backs: ḏd.jn Nmt.j-nḫt pn mȝȝ⸗f ꜥȝ.w n sḫ.tj pn ꜥȝb.yw ḥr jb⸗f ḏd⸗f ḥȝ n⸗j šzp nb mnḫ ꜥwȝj⸗j ḥn.w n sḫ.tj pn jm⸗f When he saw this peasant’s donkeys that were pleasing him, this Nemtinakht spoke (to himself): “Would that I had some efficient charm through which I could rob the belongings of this peasant!”51 Besides livestock and valuable goods, fields can be the aim of desire. In those cases, covetousness could likewise be at the heart of this emotional state. In the sixth chapter of the Instructions of Amenemope52 (ca. 20th Dyn.53) that treats the proper handling of cropland, the desire for other people’s fields, especially of people in a malposition, is condemned. In this passage, the word for greedy is not ꜥwn-jb but skn/snk,54 a word attested since the Middle Kingdom and classified with a ravenous crocodile. m-jrj snk r mḥ 1 n ȝḥ.t mtw⸗k hd tš.w n ḫȝr(.t) Do not be greedy for a (single) cubit of farmland and do not violate the borders of a widow.55

50 51 52 53 54 55

Parkinson 2012. Parkinson 1991, 8–9 (B1 20–24; Bt 22–27). Laisney 2007. Laisney 2007, 6–7. Cf. TLA nos. 146840, 851457. pBM EA 10474 7,14–15; Laisney 2007, 334.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

177

In the Teaching of Khasheshonqy56 (Ptolemaic Period) are two passages that might probably be interpreted as a hint to covetousness. In the teaching for his son, the priest of the god Ra warns against looking at the property of someone else: jw⸗k jr wp.t n sḫ.t m-jr mky nȝy⸗k jwf m-jr ḏd tw⸗s pȝ ḫt n pȝy(⸗j) sn j.jr⸗k nw r pȝy⸗k ḥꜥ⸗k If you are farming, do not spare your body! Do not say: “Look, my brother’s parcel!” At your own one, you should look!57 Even this passage does not explicitly treat envy as a topic, but the instruction to focus on one’s own property and work instead of comparing provides also the opportunity to suppose an allusion to envious challenges between brothers. In the second, more distinct example, the use of an eye-metaphor and the concrete announcement of consequences rather point to a reference to envy than to greed or covetousness in my view. The illegal occupation of a desired property is the next step that follows on envying it or—in other words—envy is often the cause and motor of illegitimate social behaviour: m-jr stj n bl r pȝ nkt n ky bw-jr⸗k šfꜥ m-jr hd r pȝ tš n ky Do not cast an eye on another one’s goods, and you will not impoverish! Do not violate another one’s border!58 A more general statement aimed at the property of a god is mentioned in the Report of Wenamun59 (Third Intermediate Period). In combination with the negative construction m-jrj, one can read mrj as “to desire sth.” in the first part of the sentence, whereas in the second, metaphorical part, the same verb mrj is used in its general meaning of “to love” or “to wish”. During the negotiations with the ruler of Byblos, Tjeker-Baal, Wenamun cautions him about the almightiness and influence of Amun. The Egyptian appeals to Tjeker-Baal’s conscience by alluding to his supposed covetousness: 56 57 58 59

Hoffmann and Quack 2018, 308–334. pBM EA 10508 8,15–16. pBM EA 10508 15,20–21. Schipper 2005.

178

verbovsek

m-jrj mrj n⸗k nkt n Jmn-Rꜥ ⟨nsw⟩-nṯr.w Yȝ mȝj (ḥr) mrj ȝḫ.wt⸗f Do not desire for yourself what belongs to Amun-Ra⟨so⟩nter! Lo, a lion desires his possessions!60 Sometimes, inaccessible, forbidden, tabooed or just “unknown” goods are especially sought-after. Thus, the most burning desire of the Doomed Prince61 (19th Dyn.), who is predicted to die by a crocodile, a snake or a dog, is to get a puppy. From the first time he catches sight of the animal he never saw before, his heart became affected until his wish was satisfied, but he does not want the dog’s possessor to be deprived of it. His feeling’s intensity is at the same time an important narrative turning point in the development of the plot: jw⸗f ḥr gmḥ wꜥ n ṯzm jw⸗f m-sȝ wꜥ n z ꜥȝ jw⸗f ḥr šm.t ḥr tȝ mj.t jw⸗f ḥr ḏd n pȝy⸗f sḏm.w ntj r-gs⸗f jḫ pȝ ntj ḥr šm.t m-sȝ pȝ z{.t} ꜥȝ ntj m jy.t ḥr tȝ mj.t jw⸗f (ḥr) ḏd n⸗f ṯzm pȝj jw pȝ ẖrd ḥr ḏd n⸗f jmj jnj⸗tw n⸗j wꜥ n mj-qd⸗f wn.jn pȝ sḏm.w ḥr šm.t ḥr wḥm⸗sn n ḥm⸗f ꜥnḫ-wḏȝ-s(nb) wn.jn ḥm⸗f ꜥnḫ-wḏȝ-s(nb) ḥr ḏd jmj jṯj⸗tw n⸗f wꜥ n ktkt šrj [.] bgs ḥȝ.tj⸗f ꜥḥꜥ.n{n}⸗tw ḥr jṯ.t n⸗f pȝ ṯzm He beheld a greyhound going behind an adult man, who was walking on the road. He said to his attendant, who was with him: “What is that, which is going behind the adult man, who is coming on the road?” He answered him: “This is a greyhound.” The boy told him: “Let one of its kind be brought to me!” So the attendant went and reported it to His Majesty—life, prosper, health! Thereupon, His Majesty—life, prosper, health!—said: “Have a small “trembler” be taken for him [because of(?)] his excitement!” Thereupon, the greyhound was taken to him.62 3.2.2 Envy of Individual Success, Personality and Esteem Comparison is one of the main sources of envy. Usually it takes place on the same social level.63 We envy persons with a similar status or position, whose 60 61 62 63

pMoscow 120 2,33–34; Gardiner 1932, 70. Simon 2015. pHarris vso. 4,7–11; Gardiner 1932, 2. Demmerling and Landwehr 2007, 197.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

179

success or fortune has to be achievable even for us. Often, we desire what we observe in our daily life; things that are not present or are too far away do not appeal to us in such a way. Senses of desire and envy are frequently accompanied by feelings of disadvantage. Luckiness or goods of someone else often evoke resentfulness or pain, provided they are judged as undeserved. The envier suffers from a supposed injustice that increasingly dictates his thoughts and actions. Finally, his behaviour is governed by the vilification of the other or himself; he begrudges the envied his well-being (“begrudging envy”64). Individual success, personality and the degree of esteem are very often the targets of envy. Especially in cases when someone constantly gets credit for his attractiveness, beauty, character, talent or anything else, many people in his environment are affected because they feel degraded or ignored. They react in different ways: either with frustration and (auto-)aggression or instead they turn bad feelings into incentive and ambition (“emulation”65 or “emulative envy”66). One passage that might indicate aggressive behaviour resulting from envying an impressive character can be found in the Blinding of Truth by Falsehood67 (19th Dyn.). Once more, the envier eyes the envied person, in this case, his big brother who has a “good character”. Falsehood’s reaction is destructive: He wants Truth to be killed and to disappear without a trace. Such a strong impulse to annihilate the counterpart often accompanies the feeling of envy: ḫr-jr m-ḫt hrw.w qn[.w ḥr-sȝ nn] wn.jn Grg ḥr fȝ(.t) jr.t⸗f r nwȝ jw⸗f (ḥr) ptr bj(ȝ).t Mȝꜥ.t( j) pȝy⸗f sn ꜥȝ wn.jn Grg (ḥr) ḏd n ḥm 2 n Mȝꜥ.t( j) jḫ jṯȝ[.y]⸗ṯn pȝy⸗ṯn nb mtw⸗ṯn [ḫȝꜥ]⸗f [n] wꜥ mȝj bjn rbw.yw(t) ꜥšȝ.wt […] Numerous days after this, Falsehood raised his eye to look and he saw the good nature/character of Truth, his elder brother. Thereupon, Falsehood

64 65 66 67

“I feel a strong desire to act to deprive you of the good, but have no desire to obtain it myself”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 a). “I feel a strong desire to act to obtain a similar good, but do not want to deprive you”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 d). “I have no strong desire to act, thus leaving you in possession and me lacking, with the painful feeling unchanged”: Sanders 2014, 30, Table 2.1 e). Wente 2003, 104–107, 593–594.

180

verbovsek

spoke to two servants of Truth: “May you fetch your lord and abandon him to an evil lion and many lionesses! […]”68 In social constellations in which envy arises, the attention and appreciation by one person or a group of persons frequently play important roles. The more attention and esteem the envied person gets, the more bad feelings and depreciation grow in the envier. This is taken to extremes if the envier strives for something that a third person or a group gives exclusively to the envied person, e.g. a position, respect or support. This state of emotion is especially relevant in rivalries between siblings, friends and colleagues. 3.2.3 Envy or Desire of a Spouse The desire to “possess” somebody who is married or lives in a partnership sometimes corresponds with feelings of envy. The desired person is observed from afar, whereas the desiring one increasingly focuses on his object. If the spouse of the desired person becomes aware of his rival, he can feel a fear of loss, aggression for the challenger and, as a result, jealousy. There are only a few references to such situations in Egyptian texts.69 In some of these examples, a man envied for his spouse is afraid of his rival “entering his house”. In the narrative of Meryre and Sisobek70 (26th Dyn.), one passage expresses the fear of a man that another man could come into his house to become his wife’s lover. In this story, only the young magician Meryre is able to save the fatally ill king Sisobek from death. However, Meryre knows that he has to die himself after he has extended the pharaoh’s lifetime. In return, he asks the king to protect his wife from the desirous looks that other men or Sisobek himself give her. As in the story of Truth and Falsehood, the term nwȝ is used here again for the look or looking around. Meryre puts the following words into the pharaoh’s mouth: j.[ jrj(?)] nwȝ sr j-r⸗s ⸢jw⸗j⸣ (r) ṯtṯt⸢⸗s⸣ […] ntj jw⸗j (r) jrj⸗f n tȝy⸗j ḥm.t-nsw ḫr [b]n j[w⸗j (r) dj.t jȝd(?)]⸢⸗w sw⸣ n pȝy⸗j hȝ(w){⸗j} ḫr bn jw⸢⸗j⸣ (r) [dj].t [ jwj]jwj sr r pȝ[y]⸗k pr bn jw⸗j (r) nw(ȝ) r-r⸗s ḥꜥ 68 69

70

pChester Beatty II 2,3–2,7. See e.g. on the stela of Khety, London UC 14430 [B.x+8]: “I did not hunger (skn) for the wife of a husband”: Landgráfová and Dils in TLA, http://aaew.bbaw.de/tla/servlet/GetCtxt?u= guest&f=0&l=0&db=0&tc=1263&ws=206&mv=3 (April 4, 2019). Hoffmann and Quack 2018, 166–173, 391–392.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

181

I[f] a nobleman looks at her, I will claim her [equally to] what I would do for my own queen. Further, [I will] not [allow] her to be [made to suff]er during my reign. Further, I will not [allo]w any noble to [com]e to your house.71 (And) I will not look at her myself.72 A man’s letter to his dead wife73 (19th Dyn.) broaches the issue of entering a foreign house from another perspective. The widower suspects that the deceased felt upset, thus he affirms that he lived without a woman after she has died. The entering of a foreign house is considered here as the act of an uneducated lower class man: bw-pwy⸗ṯ gmj.t⸗j ḥr jrj.t ṯḥr jm⸗ṯ m sḫr.w n ꜥḥ.wtj ḥr ꜥq r ky pr You did not discover me afflicting mockery(?) on you in the manner of a peasant entering another house.74 ḫr ptr jr.y⸗j 3 rnp.t r nȝ jw⸗j ḥmsj.kw jw{⸗j} bn tw⸗j ḥr ꜥq r pr jw{⸗j} bn šȝ (ḥr) dj.t jr.y sw pȝ ntj mj-qd … ḫr ptr nȝ sn.wt m pȝ pr bw-pw⸗j ꜥq n wꜥ(.t) ỉ:m⸗sn And look, I have spent 3 years until now living without entering a house (= marrying) although it is not ordained to make someone in (my) condition do so … And look, the sisters (= female relatives) in the house, I did not enter to any single one among them.75 In one of the instructions of the aforementioned Teaching of Khasheshonqy, the entrance that appears in a similar context seems to refer to the same motif. Here, he warns of loving a married woman and its potential consequences: m-jr mrj sḥm.t jw wn-mtw[⸗s] hj pȝ ntj mrj sḥm.t jw wn-mtw⸗s hj j.jr⸗w ẖdb.ṱ⸗f ḥr tȝy⸗s pnꜥȝ.t

71 72 73 74 75

Cf. Posener 1985, 51, n. h; Fischer-Elfert 1987, 8, note 9 reads ꜥq as an allusion to “ein Haus betreten, heiraten” in Erman and Grapow 1926, 231.3–5. pVandier 2,6–8; Posener 1985, 51. pLeiden I 371; letter attached to a statuette of a female: Gestermann 2006, 296–298. pLeiden I 371 19–20; Gardiner and Sethe 1928, pl. 7. pLeiden I 371 35–38; Gardiner and Sethe 1928, pl. 8.

182

verbovsek

Do not fall in love with a woman that has a husband. The one who falls in love with a woman that has a husband, he will be slain on her threshold.76 The first and third examples presented in this chapter are about the desire for or envy of a married person, the second one is about a man who wants his dead wife not to be jealous by assuring her that he did not desire another woman. It thereby describes a possible reaction—the supposed anger of the betrayed wife—to the behaviour, which is criticised in the two other texts, but mainly with regard to the feelings or reaction of the betrayed husband. Both perspectives lead us to the topic of jealousy. 3.3 Jealousy The difference between envy and jealousy is definable, even for some Egyptian texts: there are envious persons, who strongly desire someone who does not belong to them but to another person. In contrast, jealousy needs at least a three-person scenario. Jealous persons are afraid of losing a beloved, needed or respected person or goods belonging to them. Mostly, jealousy is associated with individuals having an exclusive attachment (sexual, amicable, familial) to someone, who does not want to lose him to a rival.77 In a three-or-more-person scenario, envy, jealousy and rivalry tend to be mixed, accompanied by other emotions like anger, hostility, suspicion and grief. Sanders defines two more scripts covered by the term jealousy: a) “jealousy of a position”, if a person has an exclusive relationship with something he possesses and does not want a rival to possess a similar good and b) “possessive jealousy”, if a person has an exclusive relationship with something he possesses and does not want to lose it to a rival.78 Surprisingly, possessive jealousy or jealousy of a position are not explained or picked out as a central theme in Egyptian texts, but they might be a propulsive element of discourse, for instance in the Contendings of Horus and Seth79 (20th Dyn.). Therein, the two opponents fight for the succession to the throne and explicitly show a range of emotions, mainly rage and joy. Even though envy or jealousy are not named explicitly, these emotions are the source and engine for the conflict. In particular, Seth feels hard-done-by by the gods when they favour Horus for the throne. Hurt by the rejection and in a panic for losing the desired position, Seth does everything to put Horus away. In a typical 76 77 78 79

pBM EA 10508 23,7. Sanders 2014, 31. Sanders 2014, 31, Table 2.2. E.g. Broze 1996.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

183

way for a jealous or envious person the god is in a violent temper, he threatens and intrigues. The abruptness and intensity of emotional reactions are further aspects of jealousy, but there is no concrete designation of this emotional phenomenon in this text. Distinct statements on sexual jealousy are also rare, but some texts describe situations explainable as jealous feelings or behaviour. In these cases, jealousy is not denominated as one emotion by one specific term but embodied by descriptions of typical (physical and mental) reactions and their consequences: impulsiveness, aggression and particularly rage to the point of the rival’s annihilation. Feelings of hurt or unfairness go ahead, thus the heart of a jealous person is aggrieved. Often the jealous ones are fixated on their beloved; they are brutish and inaccessible to rational appeal. In the “Story of King Cheops and the magicians”80 in Papyrus Westcar (Second Intermediate Period), the wife of the chief lector Webaoner cheats on him with a simple townsman. She, who loves this simple man, courts and seduces him. A caretaker, who has observed the adultery, betrays the offence to Webaoner. Without hesitation, he decides to perform a deadly charm and kills both his wife and her lover by burning her and drowning him. Their bodies are destroyed, their existence in the netherworld thereby made impossible. It is tempting to interpret Webaoner’s reaction not only as an act of cruel revenge but also as a means of hindering the lovers uniting again in the afterlife. In contrast to the presentation of sexual jealousy in the “Story of King Cheops and the magicians”, the emotional state of the protagonists is much more emphasised and explicated in the later narrative of the Two Brothers81 (19th Dyn.). Here, the rivals are not men of a different social status, but brothers. Moreover, the elder brother’s wife charges the younger for alleged rape, but there was actually no adultery. Anubis’ wife had tried to seduce Bata, but as he turned her away, she became mortally offended. She makes her husband jealous and angry by suggesting that Bata abused her, thus she hopes that her husband will avenge her. Beside himself with rage, Anubis’ reaction does not take more than a second. Just after the wife has told her story, his only thought is to annihilate his brother. That the jealous person is blind with rage and runs amok in imagination or reality is a typical feature, especially of romantic or sexual jealousy—whether there exists a concrete breach of trust or not. In the conflict between Anubis

80 81

Lepper 2008. Wettengel 2003.

184

verbovsek

and Bata, just the idea of adultery was enough to trigger a massive emotional release. In opposition to the steadily probing and poisoning feeling of envy, jealousy often evokes panic reactions and a sudden burst of violence when the concerned person only sees red and loses control. In the case of Anubis, an animal metaphor “visualises” his emotional state: wn.jn pȝy⸗f sn ꜥȝ ḥr ḫpr mj ȝbj-šmꜥ jw⸗f ḥr dj.t dm⸗tw pȝy⸗f njw.y jw⸗f ḥr dj.t⸗f m ḏr.t⸗f Thereupon, his elder brother became like a leopard. He had his spear sharpened and put it in his hand.82 It is neither possible to keep Anubis from his attack nor to convince him of the truth, although Bata was always trustworthy and reliable before the “deception” happened. Afterwards, the brotherly bond of trust is irrecoverably destroyed: jḫ pȝy⸗k jy.t m-sȝ⸗j r ẖdb m-grg jw nn sḏm⸗k rʾ⸗j ḥr md.t ḫr jnk pȝy⸗k sn šrj m-rʾ-ꜥ ḫr tw⸗k m-dj⸗j m sḫr.w n jt ḫr tȝy⸗k ḥm.t m-dj⸗j m sḫr.w n mw.t js bn What is (this), your pursuing me intending to slay (me) unjustly without having listened to what I say? Yet, I am your younger brother! You are to me just like a father and your wife is to me just like a mother, isn’t it so?83 Above all, Bata’s good character and the fact that he “has the power of a god”, might have made Anubis somewhat envious. Driven by disappointment or hate and obsessed by revenge, Anubis chivvies his brother until he has reached his supposed target. If a beloved person turns away from his partner and turns towards someone else, the former partner usually feels highly injured and confused. Even in some “Egyptian Love songs”84 (19/20th Dyn.), the person who breaks off a

82 83 84

pBM EA 10183 5,4–5; Gardiner 1932, 14. pBM EA 10183 7,4–5; Gardiner 1932, 16. See e.g. Landgráfová and Navrátilová 2009.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

185

love attachment is considered as unfair and someone who does wrong.85 The deserted partner suffers from the loss and the preference of another human. The resulting feelings are summarised as hurt or destruction of the heart: ḥḏj jb.86 In “Love song no. 15”87 of Papyrus Harris 500, a man obviously fell in love with another girl. The one left behind mourns about all facets of this bad situation: r ḏd n⸗j ꜥḏȝ⸗f wj kȝ ḏd gmj⸗f {k}kt.t sj ḥr gȝgȝ n ḥr⸗f jḫ rf pȝ ḥḏj jb n ky(t) ḥr ḫpp (He sent a messenger) to tell me that he has cheated me, that is to say, that he has found another one. She is staring at him. What then does it mean, being heartbroken because of another one, being a stranger?88 In a typical reaction, the jealous girl blames the rival. In her perception, the new one turns the beloved’s head. As a victim of circumstances, she does not have an influence on the proceedings or the involved parties and has to accept her fate. Even though there is no distinct term for jealousy or jealous, this song and particularly the conclusion in the last sentence clearly refers to this emotion. 3.4 Prevention of Envy Christian discourses on envy frequently emphasize the moral correctness of modesty or self-effacement, regarding a favourite position as a reason for feeling guilty. In Egyptian texts however, criticism passed on boasting is picked out rarely as a central theme. One example that might be interpreted in this sense comes from another passage in the Teaching of Khasheshonqy. Here, the comparison of property and, hence the reversal of hierarchy, is striking: m-jr ḏd tw[⸗j] ⸢ꜥšȝ⸣ n nkt mtw⸗k ⸢wsṱn⸣ pȝ ꜥȝ r-r⸗k

85 86 87 88

For jealousy, betrayal, rejection etc. in Egyptian love poetry, see Landgráfová and Navrátilová 2009, 157 ff. In song no. 14 the reverse happens. The woman in love stresses that she is his favourite and that he did not hurt her heart: Fox 1985, 23. Fox 1985, 24 f. pBM EA 10060 rto 5,11–12; Mathieu 2008, pl. 12.

186

verbovsek

Do not say: “I am an owner of many possessions” (thereby) offending your superior!89

4

Manifestations of Envy and Jealousy

4.1 Physical Manifestations As in several other cultures,90 either the Egyptian conception of emotions locates feelings of greed, desire, envy or jealousy within the heart that is not able to defend itself against attacks caused by these emotions, thus one compares it to a disease. The seeing of a desirable good affects the heart (Eloquent Peasant); the heart gets upset due to this burning desire (Doomed Prince) or because of a hurt (Love song no. 15). Hence, the term mostly used in the meaning of greed/envy/covetousness, etc., combines the verb ꜥwn: “to pillage” or “to cheat” with the object jb: “the heart”. The heart—the place not only of a person’s feelings but also of his mind—is affected from the outside in an aggressive and evil way. ꜥwn-jb dominates the concerned, it replaces kindliness and clemency. In the second lament of the Eloquent Peasant, the protagonist accuses Rensi, Nemtinakht’s superior, of these bad characteristics: m⸗k ṯw nḫt(.tj) wsr.t( j) ꜥ⸗k prj(.w) jb⸗k ꜥwn(.w) zf swȝ(.w) ḥr⸗k Look, you are powerful and strong, (but) violent and greedy/covetous. Clemency has left you aside.91 Comparable to other cultures,92 the Egyptians seem to suppose that these emotions become visible in the face or they associate them particularly with the eyes and the gaze.93 I already mentioned Nemtinakht, who covetously looks on the landman’s donkey charged with goods, as well as the Doomed Prince,

89 90 91 92 93

pBM EA 10508 28,2. Haubl 2009, 59. Parkinson 1991, 24 (B1 147–148). See e.g. Haubl 2009, 59. These emotions are not expressed in the faces of individuals in visual representations. See e.g. Cornelius 2017.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

187

who beholds another man’s puppy. In the Teaching of Khasheshonqy, it is said that one should not look on his brother’s field but on his own. Even Falsehood is looking around laying his envious eye on his brother Truth. 4.2 Metaphorical Circumscriptions Some cultures circumscribe envy as the bite of, or poisoning by, a snake.94 Even the consumption of snakes plays a role.95 As already mentioned in Chapter 3.1, one can find snake metaphors associated with feelings of greed, envy or covetousness in Egyptian texts. Besides the example from the Teaching of Ptahhotep, where ꜥwn-jb is described as a “painful disease of the bṯ.w-snake”, the Teaching of a man for his son96 (Middle Kingdom) compares a grabby man, who claims the biggest part of an inheritance, with an aggressive snake in the moment of its attack. In contrast to a passage in the sixth chapter of the Instructions of Amenemope (see Chapter Isolation and loss of social contacts below), ḥnwyt(.j), written with the crocodile, means a covetous rather than an envious person:97 nn zmȝ⸗tw m ḥnwyt(.j)(?) wnn⸗f mj ḥfȝ.w ḥr ȝ.t⸗f One will not consort with the covetous one (because) he is like a snake in action.98 In contrast, jealousy is less visible in body language and mainly expressed by either depression or strong emotional acts like furious rage as in the Two Brothers when Anubis “became like a leopard”.99 In addition to animal metaphors, in the seventh chapter of the Instructions of Amenemope they use vessel metaphors: the ship of the ꜥwn.tj is opposed to the small boat of the gr, the silent or modest one: sk.tj{⸗k} n ꜥwn.tj ḫȝꜥ.tj ⟨m⟩ ḥȝy(.t) jw kr n gr mȝꜥ(.w)

94 95 96 97 98 99

Haubl 2009, 116 ff. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses 2,760 ff. “Invidia” is eating the flesh of vipers. Fischer-Elfert 1999a–b. For the discussion of ḥnwyt(.j), see Fischer-Elfert 1999a, 229 e). Fischer-Elfert 1999b, § 21,6–7. Köhler 2016, 221 ff.

188

verbovsek

The barque of the greedy one (lies) abandoned in the mud while the boat of the silent one is sailing.100 One metaphor that applies predefined social roles is to be read in the third lament of the Eloquent Peasant. It implies not only information on the emotional state but also on consequences on the ꜥwn-jb’s life: m⸗k ṯw m ḥwrw n rḫt.j ꜥwn-jb ḥr ḥḏj.t ḫnms Look, you are a wretched one, a launderer, a greedy one breaking up friendship …101

5

Consequences of Envy, Jealousy and Similar Emotions

Sometimes, the consequences of envy, jealousy, covetousness and greed, or a respective behaviour, are picked out as a theme in Egyptian texts, especially in ethical discourses. They demonstrate what one has to expect if he acts like a person having such feelings. The spectrum of consequences ranges from physical disturbance and disease caused by negative feelings to the point of social conflicts and sanctions due to inadequate behaviour. One of the most suitable examples for the influence of these emotions on an individual’s health is the passage in the Teaching of Ptahhotep that links the state of ꜥwn-jb with an incurable suffering belonging to the bṯ.w-snake, but there are some more references to these emotions in connection with negative effects on social relations. For example, the person concerned becomes impoverished, probably not only in economic, but also in an emotional and social respect, as in one example from Papyrus Insinger102 (1st century BCE): tȝ sbȝ.t mḥ-8.t tm ꜥw-n-ẖe.t bw-jr⸗k jr ḫbr jrm tȝ sfṱ The eighth teaching: Do not be greedy (“great of belly”) so that you do not make friends with poverty.103 100 101 102 103

pBM EA 10474 10,10; Laisney 2007, 337. Parkinson 1991, 29 (B1 199–201). Hoffmann and Quack 2018, 272–307. pInsinger 5,12.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

189

Furthermore, social decline and the loss of other people’s respect are considered an important effect of being ꜥwn-jb. In the eighth complaint of the Eloquent Peasant, the fellow countryman predicts exactly those negative effects: jmj-rʾ-pr-wr nb⸗j jw ḫr⸗tw n ḥnt wȝ(.w) jw ꜥwn-jb šwj⸗f m zp jw wn zp⸗f n wh.t Chief Steward, my lord, deeply (“being far”) one falls because of covetousness. The covetous one has no (successful) case. His case is in vain (“for failure”).104 5.1 Negative Effects on Social Relations A general moral degradation of being ꜥwn-jb is expressed in the third complaint of the Eloquent Peasant with a concrete reference to theft: m jṯj jrr⸗k r jṯ.w n wr js pw wr jm ꜥwn-jb Do not steal! Against the stealer, you should act! Not a great man is the great one over there, who is greedy.105 Subsequent to the passage mentioning the disease of the bṯ.w-snake cited above, the Teaching of Ptahhotep specifies over and above how ꜥwn-jb influences social relations within the family, the circle of friends, or professional life:106 n ḫpr.n ꜥq.w ẖr⸗f jw⸗f sbjn⸗f jt[ j.w …] nb jw⸗f sdḥr⸗f ḫnms bnr […] jw⸗f swȝ⸗f ꜥq r nb jw⸗f nš⸗f ḥm.t ṯȝ.y […] ṯȝ.wt pw n(.t) ḏw.wt wȝḥ z ꜥqȝ mṯn⸗f 104 105 106

Parkinson 1991, 41 (B1 321–323). Parkinson 1991, 19 (B1 195–196). See Junge 2003, 50 ff.

190

verbovsek

šmj⸗f r nmt.t⸗f jr.w sw jm.jt-pr ẖr⸗s nn wn jz n ꜥwn-jb As its consequence (“under it” = ꜥwn-jb), no intimates can exist. It alienates fathe[rs …] lord. It embitters the “sweet” friend. […] It alienates the intimate from the master. It drives away (from each other) wife and husband […] It is a collection of all evil. The man, who (follows) his way correctly will persist and go according to his destination. Thanks to it, he is one who can make a testament whilst there is no tomb for a greedy/covetous/envious man.107 ꜥwn-jb shakes or destroys the confidence in family members, friends or colleagues. The individual who is affected by ꜥwn-jb disappoints other people. They cannot trust him or agree with him. ꜥwn-jb breaks relationships so that everybody turns away from the one who acts inadequately. The loss of family, social contacts or affiliation, and the individual’s isolation are the results. This applies also for the otherworldly existence because the ꜥwn-jb does not get a burial.108 Isolation and Loss of Social Contacts 5.1.1 Corresponding to the Eloquent Peasant, the ꜥwn-jb is barred from the feastcommunity,109 hence, he cannot benefit from cultic and ritual performances: nn hrw nfr n ꜥwn-jb There is no festive day for the greedy/covetous/envious one.110 The full extent of social consequences for an individual is apparent in a passage in the sixth chapter of the Teaching of Amenemope that continues the abovementioned warning not to be greedy for the farmland belonging to a widow. In contrast to the use of snk in the first part, here ḥnwt.j is the term, equally written with the crocodile:

107 108 109 110

Žaba 1956, 39–41 (D 302–315, mainly following L₁). See also Assmann 2006, 93 ff., referring to Fecht 1958. Cf. Assmann 2006, 86 ff. He argues that the greedy one is unable to celebrate because he hates wastefulness, but greed does not necessarily go along with parsimony. Parkinson 1991, 47 (B2 110–111).

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

191

j.jrj⸗k sjȝȝ r pȝ jrj sw ḥr-tp tȝ jw⸗f (m) ḥnwt.j n qb.w jw⸗f (m) ḫf(t).j n whn m-ḥꜥ.w⸗k jw nḥm ꜥnḫ m jr.t⸗f jw pȝy⸗f pr (m) ḫf(t).j n pȝ dmj jw nȝy⸗f šꜥ(y).w(t) wgp jw⸗w (ḥr) ṯȝj ȝḫ.t⸗f m-ḏr.t ms.w⸗f ḏḏ pȝy⸗f nkt n ky You recognise the one who did it on earth (because) he is a greedy one towards a weak one, an enemy because of overturning yourself; robbing life is in his eye. His house is an enemy to the village, his barns are destroyed, his belongings are taken away from his children and his possessions are given to another one.111 Even the parallel of the “poor launderer” and the ꜥwn-jb, already discussed in Chapter 4.2, emphasises that enormous damage can be caused by such a lack of knowledge, self-control and moral education, accompanied by a breach of norms. 5.1.2 Attribution of Foolishness In at least three texts from different times, the ꜥwn-jb is designated more concretely as a person who is ignorant or stupid, comparable to texts from other cultures (e.g. German medieval fables).112 He behaves like a fool, such as in the seventh complaint of the Eloquent Peasant, when the landman blames Rensi: jw ꜥwn-jb⸗k r swḫȝ⸗k Your covetousness will make you foolish.113 The Teaching for Merikare (first attested in the 19th Dyn.) shows the most explicit association of ignorance and foolishness in connection with being covetous: 111 112

113

pBM EA 10474 8,1–8; Laisney 2007, 334. Haubl 2009, 40–43, with one example from a fable written by the Dominican Ulrich Boner in the 14th century. Therein, animals representing humans transgress against the order willed by God. Because of their foolish, envious feelings, they are designated as “tore” (fools). Another example is Sebastian Brant’s “Ship of Fools” (1494) with a separate chapter on envy. Parkinson 1991, 39 (B1 312–313).

192

verbovsek

ḫm-( j)ḫ.t pw ḥnt.j jw n k(y).wj An unwise man is the covetous one when it (scil. what he desires) belongs to others.114 In the eighth teaching of Papyrus Insinger, the fool who does not control himself is going to be isolated due to his ꜥw-n-ẖe.t: pȝ lh̭ ntj-jw bw-jr⸗f twtw⸗f pȝ ntj šm jw-ḏbȝ ꜥw-n-ẖe.t The fool who cannot restrain himself is the one who has to go because of greed.115

6

Summary

The Egyptian language does not use specific terms for emotional phenomena that we sum up by envy and jealousy. On the other hand, Egyptian texts provide several passages dealing with feelings or mental states, which are comparable to emotions defined as envy and jealousy in modern western societies. In this paper, I discussed the meaning of the respective examples within their contexts and suggested alternatives to former interpretations. It became apparent that particularly the semantic field of greed/y could often be replaced by envy/envious or covetousness/covetous if we consider the semantic nuances referring to specific emotional expressions. Sometimes, the context itself allows such an interpretation, often the interpretation remains ambiguous. For all the interesting impulses arising from this approach, a clear localization or differentiation of envy and jealousy from similar phenomena is hardly possible. Thus, this study’s intention is to encourage the reader to take these points and suggestions into consideration. Most frequently discussed in this study is the semantic field of ꜥwn-jb. It mainly appears in ethical instructions but also in other texts concerning the tenure of property, the desire or stealing of goods and the ambition to be like another person.

114 115

Quack 1992, 171 (E 40). pInsinger 5,13.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

193

In his seminal study on the concept of Ma’at, Assmann, referring to Fecht,116 questions within two chapters the role ascribed to greed (Habgier) in Egyptian society.117 He concludes that ꜥwn-jb is the destructive anti-principle of Ma’at and of all it represents.118 In addition, he considers ꜥwn-jb as one of the biggest sins that unite all misconduct against Ma’at. Based on the comparatively small number of examples that pick out ꜥwn-jb as a theme, this assumption is too strong in my opinion.119 On the other hand, we can follow Assmann’s argument that ꜥwn-jb destroys human relations, weakens the community, and threatens the social order.120 Junge appropriately summarises all with the term “kategorische Untugend” (categorical vice).121 The Egyptians perceived emotions like envy, jealousy, covetousness, greed and so on not only as misbehaviour but as character traits connected as part of a human being. In the Book of the Temple, there is a list of persons with particular body or character traits who were principally excluded from entering the temple.122 Beside humans with completely white skin, drinkers or liars, the list also mentions “… someone who looks fiercely because of material goods(?) (‘things’), someone who is aggressive/greedy123 […], someone in possession of possessions, not according to his needs, …”124 As a religious foundation for the exclusion, these groups of persons are compared with Seth, Apophis and that god against whom one stretches the arm in Memphis, thus with gods that incarnate the ultimate threat to Ma’at. They deviate from the norm and contradict the culturally defined social behaviour.125 This point supports Assmann’s and Fecht’s argumentation. The general conclusion is, therefore, that we absolutely profit from a more differentiated view on terms like ꜥwn-jb and their meaning, as well as the consideration of the respective contexts. To understand the semantic nuances of such passages, a preceding definition of the different aspects of emotion scripts 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 123 124 125

Fecht 1958. Assmann 2006, 85–91. For the equalization of the ꜥwn-jb as counterpart of Ma’at per se, see also Fecht 1958, 48, particularly regarding line 90/91 of the Teaching of Ptahhotep: Fecht 1958, 48. In contrast to other terms for “greedy” ꜥwn-jb never has a determinative that represents a god’s enemy. Assmann 2006, 89; see also Junge 2003, 50: “Richtig gehandhabtes Eigentum ist ein Bindemittel der Gesellschaft, falsch gehandhabtes ihre Zerstörung.” Junge 2003, 29, 51. Quack 2005, 63 ff.; Quack 2000, 9. Quack 2005 suggests “gierig” (greedy) for ʒd. Cf. Quack 2005, 64. I would like to thank Joachim Quack for kindly sharing the unpublished Egyptian text of this passage with me. Quack 2005, 65.

194

verbovsek

is just as necessary as the comparison with emotion scripts of other cultures. Even though we are not able to investigate what the Egyptians really felt or thought about emotions, the results of this study show that there are both starting points as well as perspectives for deeper knowledge in this field.

Bibliography Allen, J.P. 2011. The Debate between a Man and His Soul. A Masterpiece of Ancient Egyptian Literature. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East 44. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Assmann, J. 2006. Ma’at. Gerechtigkeit und Unsterblichkeit im Alten Ägypten. 2nd edition, München: C.H. Beck. Baines, J. 2017. “Epilogue: On Ancient Pictorial Representations of Emotion: Concluding Comments with Examples from Egypt.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285, edited by S. Kipfer, 263–285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Bickel, S. 1988. “Furcht und Schrecken in den Sargtexten.” Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur 15: 17–25. Broze, M. 1996. Mythe et roman en Égypte ancienne. Les aventures d’Horus et Seth dans le Papyrus Chester Beatty I. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 76. Leuven: Peeters. Burkard, G. and H.J. Thissen. 2009. Einführung in die altägyptische Literaturgeschichte II. Neues Reich. Einführungen und Quellentexte zur Ägyptologie 6, 2nd edition, Berlin: LIT. Burkard, G. and H.J. Thissen. 2015. Einführung in die altägyptische Literaturgeschichte I. Altes und Mittleres Reich. Einführungen und Quellentexte zur Ägyptologie 1, 5th edition, Berlin: LIT. Cornelius, I. 2017. “‘The eyes have it and the benign smile.’—The Iconography of Emotions in the Ancient Near East: From Gestures to Facial Expressions?” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285, edited by S. Kipfer, 123–148. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Demmerling, C. and H. Landweer. 2007. Philosophie der Gefühle. Von Achtung bis Zorn. Stuttgart; Weimar: J.B. Metzler. Effland, U. 2003. “Aggression und Aggressionskontrolle im Alten Ägypten.” In Es werde niedergelegt als Schriftstück. Festschrift für Hartwig Altenmüller zum 65. Geburtstag. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur Beihefte 9, edited by N. Kloth, K. Martin and E. Pardey, 71–81. Hamburg: Buske. Eicke, S. 2017. “Affecting the Gods—Fear in Ancient Egyptian Religious Texts.” In Consensus and Dissent. Negotiating Emotions in the Public Space. Culture and Language Use 19, edited by A. Storch, 229–246. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

195

Erman, A. and H. Grapow (eds.) 1926. Wörterbuch der ägyptischen Sprache, Bd. I. Berlin: Akademie Verlag. Fecht, G. 1958. Der Habgierige und die Maat in der Lehre des Ptahhotep (5. und 19. Maxime). Abhandlungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo 1, Glückstadt; Hamburg; New York: Augustin. Fischer-Elfert, H.-W. 1987. “Der Pharao, die Magier und der General—Die Erzählung des Papyrus Vandier.” Bibliotheca Orientalis 44: 5–21. Fischer-Elfert, H.-W. 1999a. Die Lehre eines Mannes für seinen Sohn. Eine Etappe auf dem „Gottesweg“ des loyalen und solidarischen Beamten des Mittleren Reiches. Textband, Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 60, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Fischer-Elfert, H.-W. 1999b. Die Lehre eines Mannes für seinen Sohn. Eine Etappe auf dem „Gottesweg“ des loyalen und solidarischen Beamten des Mittleren Reiches. Tafelband, Ägyptologische Abhandlungen 60, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Foster, G.M. 1972. “The Anatomy of Envy: A Study in Symbolic Behaviour.” Current Anthropology 13 (2): 165–202. Fox, M.V. 1985. The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love-Songs. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. Gardiner, A.H. 1932. Late Egyptian Stories. Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca 1, Brussels: Fondation Égyptologique Reine Élisabeth. Gardiner, A.H. and K. Sethe 1928. Egyptian Letters to the Dead. London: Egypt Exploration Society. Gestermann, L. 2006. “Ägyptische Briefe. Briefe in das Jenseits.” In Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, Neue Folge, vol. 3 (Briefe), edited by B. Janowski and G. Wilhelm, 289–306. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus. Hagen, F. 2012. An Ancient Egyptian Literary Text in Context. The Instructions of Ptahhotep. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 218. Leuven: Peeters. Haubl, R. 2009. Neidisch sind immer nur die anderen. Über die Unfähigkeit, zufrieden zu sein. München: C.H. Beck. Helck, W. 1970. Die Prophezeiung des Nfr.tj. Kleine Ägyptische Texte, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Hinterberger, M. 2013. Phthonos. Mißgunst, Neid und Eifersucht in der byzantinischen Literatur. Wiesbaden: Dr. Ludwig Reichert Verlag. Hoffmann, F. and J.F. Quack. 2018. Anthologie der demotischen Literatur. Einführungen und Quellentexte zur Ägyptologie 4, 2nd edition, Berlin: LIT. Kipfer, S. (ed.). 2017. Visualizing Emotions in Ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Köhler, I. 2016. Rage like an Egyptian. Die Möglichkeiten eines kognitiv-semantischen Zugangs zum altägyptischen Wortschatz am Beispiel des Wortfelds [WUT]. Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur Beihefte 18, Hamburg: Buske. Laisney, V.P.-M. 2007. L’Enseignement d’Aménémopé. Studia Pohl: series maior 19, Roma: Pontificio Instituto biblico.

196

verbovsek

Landgráfová, R. and H. Navrátilová. 2009. Sex and the Golden Goddess I: Ancient Egyptian Love Songs in Context. Prague: Czech Institute of Egyptology. Lepper, V. 2008. Untersuchungen zu pWestcar. Eine philologische und literaturwissenschaftliche (Neu-)Analyse. Ägyptische Abhandlungen 70, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Mathieu, B. 2008. La poésie amoureuse de l’Égypte ancienne. Recherches sur un genre littéraire au Nouvel Empire. Bibliothèque d’Étude 115. 2nd edition, Le Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Milobenski, E. 1964. Der Neid in der griechischen Philosophie. Klass.-philol. Studien 29, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Neu, J. 1980. “Jealous Thoughts.” In Explaining Emotions, edited by A.O. Rorty, 425–463. Berkeley: University of California Press. O’Dell, E. 2008. Excavating the Emotional Landscape of Ancient Egyptian Literature. Doctoral thesis, Providence, Rhode Island: Brown University. Parkinson, R.B. 1991. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. Oxford: Griffith Institute. Parkinson, R.B. 1998. The Tale of Sinuhe and Other Ancient Egyptian Poems 1940–1640BC. World’s Classics paperback. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Parkinson, R.B. 2012. The Tale of the Eloquent Peasant. A Reader’s Commentary. Lingua Aegyptia. Studia monographica 10. Hamburg: Widmaier. Posener, G. 1985. Le Papyrus Vandier. Bibliothèque générale 7. Cairo: Institut français d’archéologie orientale. Quack, J.F. 1992. Studien zur Lehre für Merikare. Göttinger Orientforschungen IV. Ägypten 23, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Quack, J.F. 2000. “Das Buch vom Tempel und verwandte Texte. Ein Vorbericht.” Archiv für Religionsgeschichte 2,1: 1–20. Quack, J.F. 2005. “Tabuisierte und ausgegrenzte Kranke nach dem ‘Buch vom Tempel’.” In Papyrus Ebers und die antike Heilkunde. Akten der Tagung vom 15.–16.3.2002 in der Albertina/UB der Universität Leipzig. Philippika 7, edited by H.-W. Fischer-Elfert, 63– 80. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Quack, J.F. 2017. Einführung in die altägyptische Literaturgeschichte III. Die demotische und gräko-ägyptische Literatur. Einführungen und Quellentexte zur Ägyptologie 3, 3rd edition, Berlin: LIT. Sanders, E. 2014. Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens. A Socio-psychological Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schipper, B. 2005. Die Erzählung des Wenamun. Ein Literaturwerk im Spannungsfeld von Politik, Geschichte und Religion. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 209. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Simon, H. 2015. “Die Erzählung vom verwunschenen Prinzen.” In Texte aus dem Umfeld des Alten Testaments, Neue Folge, vol. 8: Weisheitstexte, Mythen und Epen, edited by B. Janowski and D. Schwemer, 305–312. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus.

aspects of envy, jealousy and greed in ancient egypt

197

Tait, J. 2009. “Anger and Agency. The Role of the Emotions in Demotic and Earlier Egyptian Narratives.” In ‘Being in Ancient Egypt’, Thoughts on Agency, Materiality and Cognition. Proceedings of the Seminar Held in Copenhagen, September 29–30, 2006, BAR International Series 2019, edited by R. Nyord and A. Kjølby, 75–82. Oxford: Archaeopress. Verbovsek, A. 2009. “‘Er soll sich nicht fürchten …!’ Zur Bedeutung und Funktion von Angst in der Erzählung des Sinuhe.” In Texte—Theben—Tonfragmente. Festschrift für Günter Burkard. Ägypten und Altes Testament 76, edited by D. Kessler et al., 421–433. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Verbovsek, A. 2011. “The Correlation of Rituals, Emotions, and Literature in Ancient Egypt.” In Ritual Dynamics in the Ancient Mediterranean. Agency, Emotion, Gender, Representation. Heidelberger Althistorische Beiträge und Epigraphische Studien 49, edited by A. Chaniotis, 235–262. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Wente, E. 2003. “The Blinding of Truth and Falsehood.” In The Literature of Ancient Egypt. An Anthology of Stories, Instructions, Stelae, Autobiographies, and Poetry, edited by W.K. Simpson, 104–107. New York; London: Yale University Press. Wettengel, W. 2003. Die Erzählung von den beiden Brüdern. Der Papyrus d’Orbiney und die Königsideologie der Ramessiden. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 195. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Žaba, Z. 1956. Les Maximes de Ptaḥḥotep. Prague: Nakladatelství Československé Akademie Vĕd & Éditions de l’Académie Tchécoslovaque des Sciences. Zwickel, W. 2017. “The Iconography of Emotions in the Ancient Near East and in Ancient Egypt.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285, edited by S. Kipfer, 95–121. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

part 2 The Expression of Emotions in Ancient Mesopotamia



chapter 9

Depression at the Royal Courts of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal Greta Van Buylaere

While the concept of depression as a clinical diagnosis is unknown in Mesopotamia, descriptions of the symptoms of depression in cuneiform medical records demonstrate that Assyrians and Babylonians were familiar with the phenomenon. These medical descriptions are remarkably objective: subjective feelings and thoughts are absent in Mesopotamian descriptions of mental illness. Such subjective feelings and thoughts of a depressive nature are, however, found in letters and literary sources. For this paper, I focus on NeoAssyrian documents from emotionally depressed men living at the royal courts of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. The kings themselves are known to have suffered from bouts of depression and several scholars like Adad-šumu-uṣur and his son Urdu-Gula wrote of their unhappiness and despair in letters to the kings. Their depression was triggered by illness, grief, stress, job loss, social pressure, etc. The vocabulary used in these “personal” documents partly overlaps with that of the medico-magical corpus, but the expression ḫīp libbi is used differently.

1

What Is Depression?

The American Psychiatric Association defines “depression (major depressive disorder)” as “a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. (…) Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.”1 Among other things, depressed people may feel sad, worthless or guilty; their appetite may change; they may have little energy, difficulty concentrating, and suicidal thoughts; and these symptoms

1 https://www.psychiatry.org/patients‑families/depression/what‑is‑depression (according to the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [2013]).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

202

van buylaere

must last at least two weeks. The “current psychiatric diagnosis of major depression is entirely symptom based”2 and does not take circumstantial conditions into account. It thus differentiates between clinically diagnosed depression on the one hand, and feelings of intense sadness or grief as emotional reactions to situations in life (a depressed mood) on the other. In the latter case, the end of a relationship or the loss of a beloved, for example, may cause one to feel “depressed,” but under the present definition, these dispirited feelings do not necessarily define a depressive disorder unless certain features are present, such as a prolonged decreased mood and/or interest, feelings of self-loathing and worthlessness, and severe grief.3 A depressed mood may lead to a depressive disorder, but this is not necessarily the case. Until recently (1980, DSM-III), however, psychiatry used a more contextual approach to depression, focussing not on symptoms alone, but also on “the degree to which the symptoms were an understandable response to circumstances.”4 This contextual approach to depression has a long history. In Ancient Greece, depression was known as melancholia, a condition described by Hippocrates as “fear or sadness that last a long time” with symptoms like “aversion to food, despondency, sleeplessness, irritability, restlessness.”5 Melancholia was believed to be caused by an imbalance of the four bodily fluids or humours (yellow bile, black bile, phlegm, and blood), and specifically by an excess of black bile (μέλαινα χολή). Recognizing that the symptoms of normal sadness and depressive illness could be identical, the ancient physicians took the context of the symptoms into account when diagnosing their patients.6 In one of his case histories, Galen described a female patient who could not sleep, but was tossing and turning at night. As she only barely replied to his questions, or failed to answer at all, Galen concluded “that she was suffering from one of two things: either from a melancholy dependent on black bile, or else trouble about something she was unwilling to confess.”7 “Nevertheless throughout this period and for many centuries to come supernatural theories of madness, including melancholia, continued to dominate. The supernatural force might exert its influence from a distance or by entering the subject’s body, sometimes capriciously or sometimes as a form of punishment for personal or family wicked2 Horwitz et al. 2017, 12. 3 https://www.psychiatry.org/patients‑families/depression/what‑is‑depression (last accessed 18/3/2019). 4 Horwitz et al. 2017, 11–12. 5 See Horwitz et al. 2017, 12, with the references to Hippocrates 1923–1931, vol. IV, p. 185 and vol. I, p. 263. 6 Horwitz et al. 2017, 13. 7 See Horwitz et al. 2017, 13, with reference to Galen 1929, 213.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

203

ness or sinfulness. The affliction might be visited by one of many gods, demons, departed or evil spirits, including, later, the Christian god or the devil.”8 In the late 19th, early 20th centuries, when black-bile theories were no longer relevant, the concept of depression replaced melancholia.9

2

Caveat

Before looking at the Mesopotamian sources, we need to remember that the expression of emotions is “not innate and unchanging,” but “shaped by language, culture, and time period.”10 The way people experienced depression in ancient Mesopotamia was bound to their language, culture, values, and ways of life—not ours. The experience of emotions is in part universal, in part culturally determined. Events in the lives of the Assyrians and Babylonians likely caused different reactions and stirred different emotions than they would in our own time and world.11 As Mesquita and Ellsworth state, if people “experience a different emotion, it is because they have appraised the situation differently, and appraisal theories allow us to specify (at least roughly) what this difference in appraisal is likely to be. What is universal is the link between appraisal patterns and emotions—the if-then contingency. For example, if people attribute a negative event such as illness to uncontrollable impersonal forces, such as fate or bad luck, they should feel sad or depressed; if they attribute it to the actions of another person, they should feel angry; if they think they themselves are responsible, they should feel guilty.”12 Depending on a person’s culturally entrenched value system, events may thus be evaluated as either positive or negative. In the case of Mesopotamia, illness was not just a physical condition. The causes of suffering and misfortune were manifold and included divine anger, transgressions of taboos, malignant demons, malevolent acts by warlocks and witches, ghosts of deceased people, and extraordinary astronomical phenomena.13 An additional level of complexity derives from our limited understanding of the semantic and contextual nuances of the Akkadian and Sumerian lexicon.

8 9 10 11 12 13

Reynolds and Kinnier Wilson 2013, 480. Reynolds and Kinnier Wilson 2013, 478. Archambeau 2013, 48; see also Sonik 2017. See Konstan 2007, 24–25. Mesquita and Ellsworth 2001, 233. For examples of these “sources of evil,” see now also Van Buylaere et al. 2017.

204 3

van buylaere

Depression or Depressive Disorder in Mesopotamia: The Medical and Magical Records

Before discussing personal expressions of depressive emotions in the NeoAssyrian letters and royal inscriptions from the time of Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, it is instructive to look at descriptions of depression in the contemporary medical and magical records. Steinert describes the eighteenth section of the Assur Medical Catalogue as a section “primarily concerned with psychological problems, mental and psychiatric conditions, such as depression/anxiety, fear, epilepsy or seizures.14 These health problems were predominantly attributed to ‘supernatural’ agents and thus the section also registers therapies against evil demons (alû and Lamaštu).” The word denoting “depression” in this Catalogue is ḫūṣ ḫīp(i) libbi, which she renders as “tenseness (and) heartbreak.”15 This condition of the libbu, “heart; inner body; abdomen,” could be both physical and mental/psychological. Scurlock interprets (ḫūṣ) ḫīp libbi as angina pectoris;16 Geller as a type of stomach cramp.17 Expressions with libbu indicate that this organ was the “physiological seat of consciousness, mind and emotions.”18 A telling example of a patient with ḫīp libbi is CMAwR 2, text 3.4 (SpTU 2, 22 + SpTU 3, 85) where the symptoms read as follows: If a man is constantly frightened, he is upset day and night, he repeatedly suffers losses, (his) profit is cut off, (people) slander him, who(ever) speaks to him does not say “So be it,” (people) maliciously point at him, in his palace he is not well received, his dreams are evil, he keeps seeing dead people in his dream(s), he suffers from depression (ḫīp libbi), he cannot hold on to the dreams he sees, in his dream his semen is dripping like that of a man who has been having sex with a woman, the wrath of

14 15

16 17 18

Steinert 2018, 208. For discussions on (ḫūṣ) ḫīp libbi, see Steinert 2018, 259, and Stol 1993, 30, with further references. Several scholars translate ḫīp libbi as “melancholia”, e.g., Stadhouders 2016 and Attia 2018; Reynolds and Kinnier Wilson (2013, 478) interpret ḫīp libbi as “‘nervous breakdown’ or possibly ‘panic attacks’ ”; Stol (1993, 30) translates “heart-break” and CMAwR “depression”. According to Attia (2018b, 68) “the physicians used a common metaphor— hîp libbi—for a serious illness, and, eventually, created an expression—ḫûṣ ḫîp libbi—a ‘technical metaphor’ for it.” See Scurlock and Andersen 2005, 168–169; 370; 710 n. 14; Scurlock 2013. Geller 2010, 151. Steinert 2018, 259.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

205

god and goddess is upon him, god and goddess are angry with him, with diviner and seer his (oracular) judgment and decision do not turn out well, he is afflicted with speaking but not being listened to, he is offensive to (any)one who sees him, … is … for him, (any)one who sees him is not pleased with seeing him, he gives, but is not given CMAwR 2, text 3.4, 1.: 1–10

The listed symptoms include fear, distress, depression, economic losses and social rejection,19 insomnia and bad dreams, and impaired concentration— symptoms that may well indicate a depressive disorder. The text explains the patient’s condition as the result of the anger of the patient’s personal god and goddess.20 In the first millennium BCE, witchcraft is increasingly blamed for illness and misfortune and becomes a common agent of depression as in the following short example: If a man has vertigo, his limbs are “poured out,” he continually suffers from depression (ḫuṣṣa ḫīp [libbi]) (and) fear (pirittu), (then) there is “hand of mankind” (i.e., witchcraft) against him. (To cure it:) Silver, gold, bronze, iron, anzaḫḫu-glass, ḫuluḫḫu-glass, kutpû-glass, zalāqu-stone in [a leather (bag around his neck)]. CMAwR 1, text 1.5, 3

Here the prescribed treatment consists of a leather amulet pouch that the patient has to wear around his neck. Other treatments of (ḫūṣ) ḫīp libbi can be more extensive and include incantations and fumigation.21 The Corpus of

19 20

21

Whether the economic losses and social rejection are factual worries or delusional fears is open to discussion (see Buisson 2016a). See Abusch 2002. The most often quoted example of depression in Mesopotamia is undoubtedly BAM 234. For an edition of this text, see Ritter and Kinnier Wilson 1980; Scurlock and Andersen 2005, 370–371; Maul 2004; for additional translations, see, e.g., Stol 1993, 29, 1999, 65; Abusch 2002, 29; Geller 2010, 35; Couto-Ferreira 2010, 31; Reynolds and Kinnier Wilson 2013, 478–479; Maul 2010, 136–141; Ziegler 2015, 230. BAM 234 describes a therapeutic nam-érim-búr-ru-da procedure (see Maul 2004 and 2010). See also Buisson 2016a and 2016b; Attia 2018a. The Qutāru compendium has three incantations against ḫīp libbi (see Stadhouders 2016); a vessel for incense for ḫīp libbi (qu₅-taru šá gaz šà.ga) is part of the British Museum’s collections (BM 92494; Walker 1980). For a photo of the vessel, see the British Museum Collection Database, “BM 92494” www.britishmuseum.org/collection, British Museum. Online. Accessed 27/11/2019.

206

van buylaere

Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals includes many rituals for patients who are suffering from a depressed condition in combination with physical ailments. Maqlû VII 124–127 gives a long list of symptoms that closely resemble the symptoms associated with depression as defined by modern psychiatrists: 124murṣu diʾu dilipta 125qūlu kūru nissatu niziqtu imṭû tānīḫu 126ūʾa ayya ḫuṣṣu ḫīp libbi 127gilittu pirittu adirtu Illness, headache, sleeplessness, dumbness, torpor, misery, grief, losses, moaning, (cries of) woe (and) alas, depression, terror, fear, apprehension. Maqlû VII 124–127

Another passage in Maqlû mentions ḫūṣ ḫīp libbi among other concepts associated with fear and distress. Abusch translates these lines as:22 71ašuštu arurtu ḫūṣ ḫīp libbi gilittu piritti u adirti yâši taškunāni 72ašuštu arurtu ḫūṣ ḫīp libbi gilittu piritti adirtu ana kâšunu liššaknakkunūši Distress, trembling, depression, terror, fear, and apprehension you have inflicted on me myself: May distress, trembling, depression, terror, fear, (and) apprehension be inflicted on you yourselves.23 Maqlû V 71–72

The different nuances between these six concepts are unfortunately unclear to the modern reader. The vocabulary used to describe depression and anxiety is broad and the subtleties between the various Akkadian concepts are largely lost in translation. Some verbal expressions can likewise be linked with depressed feelings, often in combination with libbu:24

22 23

24

Abusch 2016, 333. Note that the combination gilittu pirittu also appears in oracle queries: ezib ša anāku … ina mūši gilittu piritti ēmuru “disregard that I … have seen fear and terror at night” (e.g., SAA 4 14 r. 7–8). On the use of ašāšu and ašuštu, see now also Attia 2018b, 78–88. This is not an exhaustive list of the words and expressions that can be associated with depression.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

207

– libbu + šapālu “to be depressed, have low spirits”; šuplu libbi “depression”25 – ikku + karû “to be short-tempered, irritable, grumpy”26 – libbu + lemēnu “to be depressed”; lumun libbi “sorrow” – lā ṭūb libbi “mental ill health” The descriptive cases found in the magical and medical corpus generally do not concern a specific patient, but rather give a list of conflated symptoms observed in several victims. We do not have any actual case descriptions.

4

Subjective Feelings of Depression and Anxiety

Subjective feelings and thoughts of a depressive nature are found in letters and literary sources.27 The kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal are both known to have suffered from bouts of depression. When Esarhaddon lost a son to an incurable illness, he wrote to his exorcist Adad-šumu-uṣur: I am feeling very sad (libbī mariṣ adanniš); how did we act that I have become so depressed (ša … libbī išpilūni) for this little one of mine? SAA 10 187: 7–10

The answer shows the helplessness of the scholar: “had it been curable, you would have given away half of your kingdom to have it cured! But what can we do? O king, my lord, it is something that cannot be done” (SAA 10 187: 10–15).28 The king’s sadness expressed with libbī mariṣ contrasts with the phrase libbu ša šarri bēlīya lū ṭāb “the king, my lord, can be glad” which is so common in letters to the king.29 25

26 27

28 29

The use is similar to the English word “depression,” derived from Latin deprimere “press down.” The downward motion of distress and depression expressed by šapālu can also be found in Ludlul bēl nēmeqi: “In the good times they speak of ascending to the heavens, when they become distressed, they talk of descending to the netherworld.” (Ludlul bēl nēmeqi II 46–47; translation Annus and Lenzi 2010). libbu + šapālu and libbu + karû are often used together, e.g., CMAwR 1, texts 8.6, 1.: 13 and 8.7.1: 3. For Gilgameš’s feelings of intense sadness upon the death of Enkidu, see, e.g., Sonik 2017, 219–222; for depression in Ludlul bēl nēmeqi, see, e.g., Ziegler 2015 and Attia 2018. Also Atramḫasis is not the happiest: “he was in and out; he could not sit, could not crouch; for his heart was broken (ḫepî-ma libbašu) and he was vomiting gall” (Lambert and Millard 1969, 92–93, III ii 45–47). These literary compositions fall outside the scope of this paper. The son in question was possibly Aššur-taqiša-libluṭ, see Radner and Weissert 1998, 227; Novotny and Singletary 2009, 171. The expression muruṣ libbi appears in a ritual against zikurudû (CMAwR 1, text 10.3, 1.: 3, 8, 39), concerning the patient’s distress.

208

van buylaere

Libbu in combination with marāṣu is found in some of the oracular queries as well: libbi ša Aššur-aḫu-iddina iʾaddaru imarraṣu Will Esarhaddon become gloomy (and) worried? e.g., SAA 4 5: 8–9

libbi ša Aššur-aḫu-iddina (ana muḫḫi) imarraṣu ilammīni Will Esarhaddon be troubled (and) angry (because of it)? e.g., SAA 4 24: 12–13; 32: 3′; 115: 2′; 116: 4′–5′; 118: 2′–3′; 119: 2′

Alongside marāṣu, we find here adāru “to be(come) dark” and lemēnu “to be(come) bad, angry.” The opposite of all this sadness is expressed with libbu + ṭiābu, namāru, ḫadû in another query: libbi ša Aššur-ahu-iddina iṭīab inammir iḫaddî Will Esarhaddon be pleased, be happy (and) rejoice? e.g., SAA 4 7: 6′, cf. also r. 5–6

The statement ša libbī išpilūni (in SAA 10 187 quoted above) with a form of šapālu “to be(come) deep, low” refers to the low, depressed spirits of the king. A severe episode of Esarhaddon’s chronic illness alarmed his experts in 670 BCE. The king was not eating and stayed in the dark “much longer than Šamaš” (SAA 10 196 b.e. 17–19). Adad-šumu-uṣur warns the king that: Irritability (ka[rû i]kki), not eating and not drinking disturbs the mind and adds to illness.30 SAA 10 196 r. 15–17

The astrologer Balasî is also worried, asking Is one day not enough for the king to mope (ša šarru ikkušu ukarrûni) and to eat nothing? For how long (still)? This is already the third day (when) the king does not eat anything. SAA 10 43: 9–14 30

Geller 2010, 87, translates r. 18 as “illness results (lit. descends)” (murṣu urrad).

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

209

Just like Adad-šumu-uṣur, he advises the king to eat. Esarhaddon’s illness gives way to despair and depression, here demonstrated by the king’s eagerness to stay in the dark, his lost appetite and the combination ikku + karû, “to be short-tempered, irritable.” His successor Assurbanipal personally does not seem to have had the happiest beginning as a king even though historically the beginning of his reign was unusually prosperous.31 In K. 891, a royal inscription written early in his reign, the king lists the things he has already accomplished: he commissioned building works at Arbela and Milqia for the goddess Ištar, set up the emblems of the Nergal temple at Tarbiṣu, entrusted his older brother with the kingship of Babylonia, consecrated his younger brothers as šešgallu-priests of Aššur and Sîn respectively, and reinstated the funerary offerings for his predecessors. Despite these good deeds, however, Assurbanipal is not happy. He experiences sickness and grief, discord and strife; he is troubled and moaning. His mood is depressed. He feels unjustly treated by his god, even though, as he has eloquently described, he reveres the gods. The treatment he has received should be reserved for people who do not respect the gods, thus not for him! I have done good deeds for god and man, for the dead and the living. (So) why are illness, grief (lumun libbi), expenditures and losses bound to me? Discord in the country (and) strife in the family are not kept away from [my] side.32 Disorder (and) evil matters constantly beset me. Unhappiness (lā ṭūb libbi) (and) bad health have bent my body. I finish days in woe and alas. I am troubled on the day of the city god, the festival day. Death holds me (ukallanni mūtu); I am suffering badly. Day and night, I moan because of depression (and) wailing (ina kūri nissati … anassus). I am exhausted. O god, give (these things) to the irreverent, but let me see your light! For how long, O god, will you treat me this way? I have been treated like someone who does not revere god or goddess. K. 891 = L[ondon]3: r.2–13; see Novotny 2014: 80–81, 99

This royal petition is unusual and shows similarities with the Assyrian “Elegy in memory of a woman” (K. 890; SAA 3 15) and Ludlul bēl Nēmeqi. The so-called “Righteous Sufferer’s Prayer to Nabû” (SAA 3 12 = STT 65) may concern Assurbanipal later in life, possibly during the Šamaš-šumu-ukin rebel31 32

See SAA 10 226: 9–15 (also below). As Stol (1993, 29) remarked, discord and strife are clear signs of (ḫūṣ) ḫīp libbi, see, e.g., CMAwR 1, text 8.4, 1.: 50–53.

210

van buylaere

lion.33 In this text, the supplicant expresses his misery, describing himself as old and sick, “finished through pain as if I did not revere your divinity” (line 13), feeling “smaller than the small, lower than the low” (line 15, i[na š]aplūti assipili). He weeps because he “did not experience the beauty of my life” (line 14). His self-esteem is low; he feels worthless and is grief-stricken. Moreover, he complains about social isolation, being cut off from his city and surrounded by the enemies of his dynasty (line 19). He is weak (anšu, r. 13, 17), alone (ēdu, r.15) and fallen (maqtu, r. 16). Not only has the god Nabû forsaken him, he is also allegedly the victim of witchcraft (o. 18, r. 12, 18).34 The petitioner explicitly refers to suicidal thoughts: Death eludes me like precious electrum. I repeatedly ascend the roof in order to fall down, but my life is too precious, it turns me back. I give heart to myself, but what (heart) have I got to give? I make up my mind, but what (mind) have I got to make up? … Prosperity rains on the people, but on me rains [poison and] gall. My life is finished; Šidduk[išarra],35 where can I go? I have reached the gate of death; Nabû why have you forsaken me? SAA 3 12: 23–r. 3 and r. 8–10; translation Livingstone

Death and illness can give way to depressed feelings, but also people’s work situation can lead to depression, causing one to feel worthless and lose one’s self-esteem. This situation is described in Neo-Assyrian letters by scholars who may have either lost their preferential position at court or lost their job altogether after their benefactor died. In SAA 10 182, a haruspex (possibly Tabnî) complains to crown prince Assurbanipal that the latter has dressed another haruspex in purple, thus breaking his heart and depressing him and his father (r. 6–8), even though their competitors are less qualified. Tabnî feels unjustly treated, left in the dark (r. 13); his father, he says, is suffering from depression (s. 1). Tabnî is at a loss and wonders what he did wrong to deserve such treatment (e. 35): As for my heart, the crown prince, my lord, has broken it (libbī iktaspa). How can he thus humiliate (lušappil) the servants of the king and the 33 34 35

See Livingstone 1989, xxvi; Parpola 1997, lxxi. The prayer was also translated by Foster 32005, 698–700. A witch is said to have washed over him, i.e., over the supplicant’s figurine. “Director of the universe,” an epithet of Nabû.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

211

crown prince, the servants of my father’s house? … [Why] did [the crown] prince, my lord, [th]us break [my heart] ([libbī] iksup)? Depression (šuplu libbi) has gripped my father. SAA 10 182: r. 6–8; r. 33e–s .1

In this letter, feeling low is expressed with šapālu and šuplu libbi. The expression libbu + kasāpu is not attested in the anti-witchcraft texts, nor in the NeoAssyrian royal inscriptions.36 The most famous example, however, of a scholar in distress after having lost his job is the case of the “forlorn scholar.” Urdu-Gula had been a distinguished scholar under Esarhaddon, but probably lost his position at court after the king’s death. As Parpola wrote: “the servants of the deceased king did not—for understandable reasons—inherit their old positions automatically, but had to be rehabilitated by the new king, who could leave ‘unsummoned’ those he was not interested in.”37 Urdu-Gula’s father, Adad-šumu-uṣur, wrote several petitions to Assurbanipal on behalf of his son. In SAA 10 224, he reports: Nobody has reminded (the king) about Urdu-Gula, the servant of the king, my lord. He is dying of a broken heart (ina ḫūp libbāte imūat),38 and is shattered (from) falling out of the hands of the king, my lord. The king, my lord, has revived many people. SAA 10 224 b.e. 16–r. 8

The letter did not have the desired effect. Some months later, Adad-šumu-uṣur brought the matter up anew. First praising the beginning of the king’s reign as a time of prosperity in which “the old men dance, the young men sing, the women and girls are merry and rejoice” (SAA 10 226: 16–18), a time in which even the ones condemned to death were revived and the prisoners were released, he wonders: Why then must I and Urdu-Gula, amidst them, be irritable and depressed (ikkīni kuri libbīni šapil)? SAA 10 226 r. 4–6

36 37 38

For this use of kasāpu, see already Driver 1954, 25–26. Parpola 1983, 103. The SAA translation broken heart is uncertain. Note that libbu and libbāti are two different words. Parpola (1983, 51) speaks of injured pride; AHw. I, 357/CDA, 121 translate ḫūp libbāte as “fear of someone’s anger.”

212

van buylaere

As the king called the sons of the Ninevite families to court, Adad-šumuuṣur pleads to the king to also allow Urdu-Gula to take up his place in the royal entourage. This time Adad-šumu-uṣur’s pleas did not fall on deaf ears. In SAA 10 227 and 228, he thanks the king profusely for gathering him, his nephews, and his cousins into the king’s entourage. Note that he does not mention his son in this list. Nevertheless, he writes: As to what the king, lord of kings, my lord, wrote to me: “May your heart become happy now (ūmâ libbaka liṭībka), may you no longer be shorttempered (ikkaka aḫḫūr lū lā ikarru)”—after this friendly speech and this kind deed that is gratifying to god and man alike, that the king, my lord, has done, could I ever again be short-tempered and depressed (ikkī ukarra libbī ušappal)? SAA 10 227: 15–22

Adad-šumu-uṣur has much to be thankful for, but his son Urdu-Gula was not reinstated. After his father’s death, Urdu-Gula pleads his own cause in an 85line-long letter. Despite his self-declared first-class behaviour during the reign of Esarhaddon, Urdu-Gula complains: I have not been treated in accordance with my deeds; I have suffered as never before and given up the ghost (agduṣṣuṣ napšāti assakan). SAA 10 294: 24–25

Previously, he had sent a letter to the king via the eunuch Šarru-nuri, heaping up the grief of his heart (r. 4: muruṣ libbīya uktammera), but this letter did not end his misery. On the contrary, in the meantime, Assurbanipal appointed an exorcist from Ekallate knowing full well Urdu-Gula was available. To make matters worse, Urdu-Gula is now financially bankrupt and has no heir. He “cannot (even) afford a pair of sandals or the wages of a tailor” (r. 27–28). He is really desperate: [The king] is not pleased with me; I go to the palace, I am no good; [I turned to] a prophet (but) did not find [any hop]e, he was adverse and did not see much. [O king], my [lord], seeing you is happiness, your attention is a fortune! SAA 10 294 r. 31–33

Urdu-Gula seems to realize that the king won’t ever call him back to court but hopes the king will at least send him two animals and a spare set of clothes. Whether this petition was met with favour by Assurbanipal remains unclear.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

213

The whining and moaning in these texts may be examples of deliberate exaggeration or hyperbole. As Luukko wrote about Urdu-Gula’s letter: “has anybody else than a man, who has earlier achieved many privileged rights, really nerves to complain about his present situation to the king in such an outspoken manner?”39 These dramatized descriptions serve the emotional purpose of trying to gain the reader’s sympathy,40 or, in the case of Assurbanipal’s prayer, the god’s. Coming back to ḫūṣ ḫīp libbi with which I began this paper, it may be interesting to note that this concept is only rarely attested in the State Archives of Assyria. I have only found three attestations of ḫīp libbi (without ḫūṣ) in the Neo-Assyrian corpus. Interestingly, in the context of these texts, ḫīp libbi does not seem to indicate “depression,” but rather “anxiety, panic.”41 In the NeoAssyrian letters, a broken heart is expressed with libbu + kasāpu. On the left side of a letter to king Esarhaddon, in which the astrologer Balasî apologetically assures the king that he has not observed any portents in the sky, he adds a postscript: The king, my lord, must have given up on me! With deep anxiety (ina ḫīp libbi), I have nothing to report. SAA 10 45 e. 1–3

The scholar Nabû-tabni-uṣur in turn petitions for a better treatment, not knowing why the king treats him worse than his colleagues: If the king, my lord, [know]s a fault committed by me, let the king not keep me alive! … (While) all my associates are happy, I am dying of a broken heart (anāku ina kusup libbi amūat). I have been treated as if I did not keep the watch of the king, my lord; my heart has become startled indeed, panic has seized me (ḫīp libbi iṣṣabtanni), I have become exceedingly afraid: may the king revive my heart vis-à-vis my colleagues! SAA 10 334: 13–14, r. 9–17

The last instance does not come from the letter corpus, but from a royal inscription from the reign of Assurbanipal. 39 40 41

Luukko 2007, 247. Thus also Ulrike Steinert in Attia 2018a, 53. Parpola (1983, 51) prefers to derive ḫīp from a verb meaning “to fear, be afraid” (cf. Arab. ḫāfa), not ḫapû “to break”; see also AHw. I, 322 sub lemma ḫâpu(m).

214

van buylaere

Paʾê, who had exercised dominion over the land Elam in opposition to Ummanaldašu (Ḫumban-ḫaltaš III), thought about the awe-inspiring brilliance of the fierce weapons of (the god) Aššur and the goddess Ištar that they had poured over the land Elam, (not) one time (or) two times, (but) three times, and he became broken hearted (iršâ ḫīp libbi). He fled to me from within the land Elam and grasped the feet of my royal majesty. RINAP 5/1 no. 11 vii 51–57

The RINAP translation does not do the feelings of Paʾê justice. Clearly, the Elamite panicked and fled from Elam to submit to the Assyrian king.

5

Conclusions

The Mesopotamian medical and magical corpora describe cases in which symptoms observed in several patients are conflated to a standard magicomedical treatment for a given set of symptoms. The symptoms are not only physical but also psychological. The vocabulary used for these psychological symptoms is extensive. Unfortunately, the nuances of the words associated with depression and anxiety are not clear to the present reader of these texts. Nevertheless, patients suffering from depression, fear, slander, insomnia, rejection and social isolation indicate that depression was no unknown phenomenon at the time. As Stol recognizes, illness is “a sign of divine abandonment” and as such is met with serious consequences in the ancient Near East.42 It could cause the patient’s community to distance itself from him, causing his business to fail. “In subjective terms: his experience of physical deterioration takes away his strength, his awareness of divine wrath makes him desperate, the attitude of people drives him into a corner”.43 The letters and royal inscriptions just discussed portray individuals who gave utterance to feelings of despair and depression. The examples depict people who experienced despondency in the face of death and illness, or an untenable work situation and job loss. However, whether these cases represent early sufferers of what we now know of as clinical depression cannot be determined on the basis of the available sources. It cannot hurt to end this paper with an incantation against depression which is to be recited over an amulet:

42 43

Stol 1999, 67. Stol 1999, 68.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

215

Incantation: “I am walking about shining and radiant with joy, at the command of Marduk, the king ((of the gods)), I am walking about shining and radiant with joy, at the command of my god and my goddess, I am walking about shining and radiant with joy, at the command of the god and goddess of my city, I am walking about shining and radiant with joy! May the bright day make me shine, may god, king, magnate, nobleman and gentleman be reconciled with me, may their faces be joyous at my sight, may their mood become bright, ((and)) may their heart be joyous ((toward me)) —those who plotted (var.: carried out) evil against me, ((those who spo[ke] evil words [against me])).” Incantation formula. CMAwR 2, text 3.4, 2.: 33–42

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Mikko Luukko, Dahlia Shehata and Geraldina Rozzi for their insightful comments on a draft of this article.

Abbreviations AHw. BAM CAD

CDA CMAwR 1

CMAwR 2

von Soden, W. 1965, 1972 and 1981. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Köcher, F. 1964. Die babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen III. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter & Co. Oppenheim, A.L. et al. (eds) 1956–2010. The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago. Chicago/Glückstadt: The Oriental Institute and J.J. Augustin. Black, J.A., George, A.R. and Postgate, J.N. (eds) 1999; 2002. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian (Santag 5). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Abusch, T. and Schwemer, D. 2011. Corpus of Mesopotamian AntiWitchcraft Rituals. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/1. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Abusch, T., Schwemer, D., Luukko, M. and Van Buylaere, G. 2016. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/2. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

216

van buylaere

DSM K.

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Cuneiform tablets in the Kujunjik collection of the British Museum (London). Ludlul bēl Nēmeqi Annus, A. and Lenzi, A. 2010. Ludlul bēl nēmeqi: The Standard Babylonian Poem of the Righteous Sufferer. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 7. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Maqlû Abusch, T. 2016. The Magical Ceremony Maqlû: A Critical Edition. Ancient Magic and Divination 10. Leiden; Boston: Brill. RINAP 5/1 Novotny, J. and Jeffers, J. 2018. The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668–631BC), Aššur-etel-ilāni (630–627BC), and Sîn-šarra-iškun (626–612 BC). The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 5/1. University Park: Eisenbrauns. SAA 3 Livingstone, A. 1989. Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea. State Archives of Assyria 3. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. SAA 4 Starr, I. 1990. Queries to the Sungod. Divination and Politics in Sargonid Assyria. State Archives of Assyria 4. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. SAA 10 Parpola, S. 1993. Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. State Archives of Assyria 10. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. SpTU 2 von Weiher, E. 1983. Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk II. Ausgrabungen der deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka 10. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag. SpTU 3 von Weiher, E. 1988. Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk III. Ausgrabungen der deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka 12. Berlin: Gebr. Mann Verlag. STT Gurney, O.R., Finkelstein, J.J. and Hulin, P. 1957, 1964. The Sultantepe Tablets, 1–2. London: The British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara.

Bibliography Abusch, T. 2002. “Witchcraft and the Anger of the Personal God.” In Mesopotamian Witchcraft. Toward a History and Understanding of Babylonian Witchcraft Beliefs and Literature, edited by T. Abusch and A.K. Guinan, 27–63. Ancient Magic and Divination 5. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Archambeau, N. 2013. “Tempted to Kill: Miraculous Consolation for a Mother after the Death of Her Infant Daughter.” In Emotions and Health, 1200–1700, edited by E. Carrera, 47–66. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Attia, A. 2018a. “«Mieux vaut être riche et bien-portant que pauvre et malade»: de BAM III-234 à Job.” Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 31: 43–66.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

217

Attia, A. 2018b. “The libbu our second brain? (part 1).” Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 31: 67–88. Buisson, G. 2016a. “À la recherche de la mélancolie en Mésopotamie ancienne.” Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 28: 1–54. Buisson, G. 2016b. “Bavardages autour de BAM III-234: 6–8.” Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 28: 60–65. Couto-Ferreira, E. 2010. “It is the Same for a Man and a Woman: Melancholy and Lovesickness in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei 3: 21– 39. Driver, G.R. 1954. “Babylonian and Hebrew Notes.” Welt des Orients 2: 19–26. Foster, B.R. 32005. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. Galen. 1929. “On Prognosis,” translated by A.J. Brock. In: Greek Medicine, Being Extracts Illustrative of Medical Writing from Hippocrates to Galen, edited by A.J. Brock, 200– 220. London: J.M. Dent and Sons. Geller, M.J. 2010. Ancient Babylonian Medicine: Theory and Practice. Malden, MA: WileyBlackwell. Hippocrates. 1923–1931. Works of Hippocrates, translated by W.H.S. Jones and E.T. Withington. 4 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Horwitz, A.V., Wakefield, J.C. and. Lorenzo-Luaces, L. 2017. “History of Depression.” In The Oxford Handbook of Mood Disorders, edited by R.J. DeRubeis and D.R. Strunk, 1–24. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Konstan, D. 2007. The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. Toronto; Buffalo; London: University of Toronto Press. Lambert, W.A. and Millard, A.R. 1969. Atra-ḫasīs: The Babylonian Story of the Flood. Oxford. Luukko, M. 2007. “The Administrative Roles of the ‘Chief Scribe’ and the ‘Palace Scribe’ in the Neo-Assyrian Period.” State Archives of Assyria Bulletin 16: 227–256. Maul, S.M. 2004. “Die ‘Lösung vom Bann’: Überlegungen zu altorientalischen Konzeptionen von Krankheit und Heilkunst.” In Magic and Rationality in Ancient Near Eastern and Graeco-Roman Medicine, edited by H.F.L. Horstmanshoff and M. Stol, 79–95. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Maul, S.M. “Rituale zur Lösung des ‘Banns’.” In Texte aus der Umwelt des Alten Testaments, Neue Folge 5: Texte zur Heilkunde, edited by B. Janowski and D. Schwemer, 135–146. Gütersloh: Gütersloher Verlagshaus. Mesquita, B. and Ellsworth, P.C. 2001. “The Role of Culture in Appraisal.” In Appraisal Processes in Emotion: Theory, Methods, Research, edited by K.R. Scherer, A. Schorr, and T. Johnstone, 233–248. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Novotny, J. 2014. Selected Royal Inscriptions of Assurbanipal: L3, L4, LET, Prism I, Prism T, and Related Texts. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 10. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.

218

van buylaere

Novotny, J. and Singletary, J. 2009. “Family Ties: Assurbanipal’s Family Revisited.” In Of God(s), Trees, Kings, and Scholars: Neo-Assyrian and Related Studies in Honour of Simo Parpola. Studia Orientalia 106, edited by M. Luukko, S. Svärd and R. Mattila, 167–177. Helsinki: Finnish Oriental Society. Parpola, S. 1983. Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, Part II: Commentary and Appendices. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 5/2. Kevelaer; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchener Verlag. Parpola, S. 1987. “The Forlorn Scholar.” In Language, Literature, and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner. American Oriental Series 67, edited by F. Rochberg-Halton, 257–278. New Haven, CT: American Oriental Society. Parpola, S. 1997. Assyrian Prophecies. State Archives of Assyria 9. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Radner, K. and Weissert, E. 1998. “Aššūr-taqīša-libluṭ.” In The Prosopography of the NeoAssyrian Empire 1/I, edited by K. Radner, 227. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Reynolds, E.H. and Kinnier Wilson, J.V. 2012. “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Psychopathic Behaviour in Babylon.” Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry 83: 199–201. Reynolds, E.H. and Kinnier Wilson, J.V. 2013. “Depression and Anxiety in Babylon.” Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 106: 478–481. Ritter, E.K. and Kinnier Wilson, J.V. 1980. “Prescription for an Anxiety State: A Study of BAM 234.” Anatolian Studies 30: 23–30. Scurlock, J. 2013. “Review of T. Abusch and D. Schwemer, Corpus of Mesopotamian AntiWitchcraft Rituals 1 (2011).” Journal of the American Oriental Society 133: 535–540. Scurlock, J. and Andersen, B.R. 2005. Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine. Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses. Urbana; Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Sonik, K. 2017. “Emotion and the Ancient Arts: Visualizing, Materializing, and Producing States of Being.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285, edited by S. Kipfer, 219–261. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Stadhouders, H. 2016. “Sm. 460—Remnants of a Ritual to Cure the Malady of ḫīp-libbi.” Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 28: 55–59. Steinert, U. 2018. “Catalogues, Texts and Specialists: Some Thoughts on the Assur Medical Catalogue, Mesopotamian Medical Texts and Healing Professions.” In Assyrian and Babylonian Scholarly Text Catalogues: Medicine, Magic and Divination, edited by U. Steinert, 158–202. Boston; Berlin: De Gruyter. Steinert, U. et al. 2018. “The Assur Medical Catalogue (AMC).” In: Assyrian and Babylonian Scholarly Text Catalogues: Medicine, Magic and Divination, edited by U. Steinert, 203–291. Boston; Berlin: De Gruyter.

depression at the courts of esarhaddon and assurbanipal

219

Stol, M. 1993. Epilepsy in Babylonia. Cuneiform Monographs 2. Groningen: Styx. Stol, M. 1999. “Psychomatic Suffering in Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Mesopotamian Magic. Textual, Historical, and Interpretative Perspectives. Ancient Magic and Divination 1, edited by T. Abusch and K. van der Toorn, 57–68. Groningen: Styx. Van Buylaere, G., Luukko, M., Schwemer, D. and Mertens-Wagschal, A. (eds) 2018. Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore. Ancient Magic and Divination 15. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Walker, C. 1980. “Some Mesopotamian Inscribed Vessels.” Iraq 42: 84–86. Ziegler, N. 2015. “Le juste souffrant victime de la colère divine. Un thème de la littérature mésopotamienne.” In Colères et repentirs divins. Actes du colloque organisé par le Collège de France, Paris, les 24 et 25 avril 2013, edited by J.-M. Durand, L. Marti and T. Römer, 215–241. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 278. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

chapter 10

Shaping Gender, Shaping Emotions: On the Mutual Construction of Gender Identities and Emotional Roles in Ancient Mesopotamia Agnès Garcia-Ventura

The study of emotions in the ancient Near East is a flourishing field of research, as demonstrated by the publication of several recent volumes, including the proceedings of the workshop at the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale held in Bern in 20151 and the volume we are presenting here. What is more, some of the recent secondary literature has devoted special attention to the way certain emotions are shaped in close connection to the construction of the gendered body.2 In this context, the present chapter aims to make a modest contribution to the “engendering” of the study of emotions in ancient Mesopotamia. To do so I will concentrate on grief and mourning, paying special attention to the intersection of status, age, and gender of the mourners and the mourned in excerpts from three texts taken as case studies: one administrative text recording the funeral of Baranamtara, and the two literary texts, the Death of Urnamma (or Urnamma A) and the Epic of Gilgameš.

1

Starting Point: Applying an Intersectional Approach to the Study of Conventional Expressions of Emotions

Following the distinctions and nuances already proposed in studies on emotions in ancient Near Eastern sources, here I concentrate on expressions of emotions (rather than on experiences) and, more specifically, on the conventional rather than non-conventional expressions of these emotions.3 As

1 Kipfer 2017. The same is true for studies on Classical Antiquity: see for instance the collective volume edited by Sanders and Johncock 2016. 2 See for instance Steinert 2012 for 2nd and 1st millennium cuneiform textual sources. For Classical Antiquity see, for instance, the collective volume edited by LaCourse Munteanu 2013. 3 See Cohen 2005, 20–21, and Jaques 2017, 188–189. For an overview of the debate on the definition of emotions and the topics discussed in the framework of ancient Near Eastern studies, with previous references, see Kipfer 2017.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

shaping gender, shaping emotions

221

explained by Jaques, conventional expressions of emotions “are not intended to convey real emotions but rather appropriate formal expressions of feelings on specific occasions”.4 As these “appropriate formal expressions” vary according to status, age and gender, applying an intersectional approach to their analysis may help us to gain a fuller picture. In fact, in the framework of gender studies some proposals in recent decades have already claimed that gender cannot be isolated or analysed independently, but must be assessed together with status, race or age; the idea is that these variables are shaped through the relationships that they bear to each other.5 As it is their interplay that shapes them, they cannot be analysed in isolation. Putting the focus on this interplay, on these constantly changing features and factors, on fluidity, is the defining feature of the theoretical framework currently known as “intersectionality”. This framework emerged in close connection with what were termed “black feminisms” and the term itself was coined by the African-American scholar Crenshaw at the end of the 1980s.6 Intersectionality is understood as a new research paradigm rather than a content specialisation,7 which can be applied to a great variety of research topics and sources such as the ones proposed in this chapter. In the following section, the interlocking effects of gender, status and age are placed at the centre of the analysis. In doing so, we propose a move from the more traditional unitary approach which considers only one central category of analysis, to an intersectional approach, which considers several categories which bear a fluid 4 Jaques 2017, 189. Cf. Katz 2007, 167 n. 3, about mourning gestures as “customary, normal social behavior, irrespective of the personal feelings”. 5 See for instance Pollock (1999, 218–219) who characterises feminist research as follows: “A feminist approach considers gender and other socioculturally constructed categories of difference—including class, race, and ethnicity—to be central elements in social life. It poses questions about how gender relations, roles, and ideologies, in concert with other forms of difference, shape and are shaped by social, political and economic change. […] Both feminism and political economy lead to an appreciation of the complexity of history and historical change.” Cf. Crenshaw 1989, 166–167. 6 In her pioneering paper titled Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, Crenshaw (1989, 140) defined intersectionality as follows: “I argue that Black women are sometimes excluded from feminist theory and antiracist policy discourse because both are predicated on a discrete set of experiences that often does not accurately reflect the interaction of race and gender. These problems of exclusion cannot be solved simply by including Black women within an already established analytical structure. Because the intersectional experience is greater than the sum of racism and sexism, any analysis that does not take intersectionality into account cannot sufficiently address the particular manner in which Black women are subordinated.” Cf. Thornton Dill and Kohlman 2012, 154. 7 For further reflections on this point, see Hancock 2007, 64 and 74–75.

222

garcia-ventura

and changing relationship with each other and which can be analysed taking into account the context and the particular features of each case.8

2

Gender, Status and Age of Mourners and Mourned: Insights from Three Case Studies

Conventional expressions of grief after a death are present in a wide array of cuneiform sources.9 Here, we focus on a selection of excerpts from three wellknown texts (two written in Sumerian, one in Akkadian), which portray three different scenarios with regard to the interactions between the construction of gender identities and the shaping of emotional roles through wailing, mourning and lamenting.10 To analyse these interactions, in all three cases I focus on the gender and status of the deceased on the one hand, and on the gender, status and age of the mourners on the other, understanding, as I said above, that gender must be considered together with these other variables. The three texts from which the excerpts are chosen and presented below are the following: an administrative text concerning the funeral of Baranamtara, and two literary texts, the Death of Urnamma (or Urnamma A) and the Epic of Gilgameš.11 2.1 The Funeral of Baranamtara: Mourning a Queen of Flesh and Blood Kings and queens, and other members of the elite (both men and women), were publicly and ostentatiously mourned in ancient Mesopotamia. A good example of this is the funeral of queen Baranamtara, the wife of Lugalanda, one of the last rulers of Lagaš in the Presargonic period.12 Two administrative 8

9

10 11

12

Ange-Marie Hancock contrasts three types of approaches including the two mentioned here: unitary, multiple, and intersectional approaches. For an overview, see Hancock 2007, 64, table 1. For an overview on lamenting in the cuneiform sources, see Löhnert 2011a. For mourning and mourners in Mesopotamia, including archaeological insights related to the Royal Cemetery of Ur, see Cohen 2005, 45–66. For a more general overview including other sources such as Egyptian sources and the Bible, see Jaques 2011. For a study of the terminology attested in Sumerian to express grief, lamentation and sadness, see Jaques 2006, 163–184. All these texts have been widely discussed in secondary literature, consequently several transliterations and translations of these texts into modern languages are easily available. For this reason, in what follows, the most significant excerpts discussed are provided only in translation into English. Besides, for each text at least one reference with a full transliteration and translation into English is recommended. For an overview of elite women in the Presargonic period (ca. 2500–2350BC), including

shaping gender, shaping emotions

223

texts record the food and drink (bread and beer) provided for the participants in these rituals.13 One of these two administrative texts provides an example of the structure and content organisation:14 I 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

[60+] 117 female workers, per person: 2 oven(-baked) breads, 1 GA₅-bread,15 1 kuli beer,16 (each) received. 92 lamentation specialists/singers, per person: 2 oven(-baked) breads,

II 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

13

14

15

16

1 GA₅-bread, 1 kuli strong beer, (each) received. 10 oven(-baked) breads, 6 barsi-flour breads the chief lamentation specialist/singer of Girsu (received). 48 old women

some insights into Baranamtara, see Karahashi 2018, 269–278. For an overview of the rulers and the chronology of the Presargonic period, see Sallaberger and Schrakamp 2015, 67– 84; see also p. 136 for a summary table of dynasties and rulers showing these dates and the duration of the period (about 175 years rather than 150 years). The texts are TSA 9 and VAS 14, 137. For a study of the texts, see Cohen 2005, 56–58 and 161– 162 (for transliteration and translation into English of text VAS 14, 137) and Jagersma 2007, 293. See also Vogel 2013, 423. The translation follows Cohen (2005, 162). However, note the following changes in the translation as presented here: Cohen translates “slave women” rather than “female workers”, “wives of the elders” rather than “old women” and “lamentation specialists” rather than “lamentation specialists/singers”. Needless to say, each option has its own nuances. GA₅ as barsi-flour below refer to different sorts of breads and flours. Here these terms are reproduced as they appear in Cohen’s translation of the text (2005, 162). For an overview of the terminology related to types of bread, their weight and their production, with some insights into the Presargonic particularities, see Brunke 2011, 95–158. Kuli is both the term for a container for beer and a measurement of capacity used in Presargonic texts. For more details and references to some texts as examples, see Powell 1987–1990, 505–506.

224

garcia-ventura

III 1 2 3 4 5

per person: 1 half-loaf barsi-flour bread, 1 GA₅-bread, 1 kuli strong beer, (each) received.

IV 1 2 3 4 5

(These) peop1e, in the death rituals for Baranamtara, they were mourning. Sagsag the wife of Urukagina, the king

V 1 2 3

of Lagaš, disbursed (the goods). This is the second part. 2(nd year).

This administrative text, like the other one referred to above, records the personnel who were paid to participate in the funeral of Baranamtara. Both texts include about three hundred participants—a large number. These participants are listed as “old women” (dam ab-ba), “low-rank female workers” (geme₂), and “lamentation singers/specialists” (gala).17 Each group of participants received different quantities of food and drink and, at the end of the text, they are described as follows: “(These) people, in the death rituals for Baragnamtara, were mourning”.18 It seems that it was the status rather than the gender of Baranamtara, the deceased, that determined the magnificence of the event.19 However, as far as the participants of the mourning ceremonies were concerned, gender (and in some cases age, but not status) seems to have been the key feature in their participation and thus in their role as mourners. Indeed, most of them seem to

17 18 19

I am grateful to Fumi Karahashi for sharing with me her unpublished work (The gala in Presargonic Lagaš, forthcoming) on the Presargonic gala and the funeral of Baranamtara. VAS 14, 137 iv 1–2, translation by Cohen 2005, 162. Cf. Jagersma’s (2007, 293) translation: “they are persons who shed tears at the mourning place for Baragnamtarra”. This is also attested in sources from later periods. See for instance the summary provided by Sasson (2015, 336–337) with regard to the mourning of kings and queens as it appears in Mari letters from the beginning of the second millennium BCE.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

225

have been women, and in some cases it is specified that they were old women. It should be stressed that this statement is not uncontroversial: the low-ranking workers and the old women (obviously) were clearly female, but there is a certain doubt about the lamentation specialists/singers, the so-called “gala”, who are more often considered to be male. However, some scholars have suggested that Presargonic Lagaš gala might have been females, or at least not exclusively male. In fact it has been suggested that in the third millennium BCE gala were mainly female, and that only at the end of the third millennium and during the second millennium BCE were they replaced by males.20 From the end of the third millennium BCE onwards, most gala appear in the texts with masculine names, and in some cases we can even follow their careers and their family life: most were married to women and had offspring.21 However, the Sumerian term “gala” is gender-neutral and the gender and sexual identities and behaviour of “gala” have been (and still are) hotly debated. The question, then, is far from being resolved.22 But in any case, if we accept, as has been suggested,23 that most of the gala in Presargonic texts (and particularly in the ones discussed here) were female, then the fact is that we have here a high status female, Baranamtara, being publicly mourned by a large group comprising mainly females. The females participating in the mourning were of differing status and age, but they shared a role, that of the conventional expression of grief through mourning, which was often linked to women and thus to a certain construction of femininity (I will return to this argument later, see §3).

20 21 22

23

Cooper (2006, 43), for instance, suggests that “Women may actually have served as gala in Presargonic Lagash”. Cf. Peled 2016, 130, with previous references in footnote 511. See, for example, the case of Dada, a notable gala well documented in the Ur III period (see Michalowski 2006). The secondary literature on gala is abundant. Here I only select three quite recent references (in addition to the ones cited in previous footnotes), which offer different points of view and approaches to the debate. On the one hand, for an exhaustive compilation of texts dealing with gala and an analysis of the term and overview of the main debates in the field, see Peled 2016, 91–153. Cf. Gabbay 2008. On the other, for the theoretical debates and criticisms on gender and sexual identities of the gala from a gender studies perspective, see Helle 2018. Despite, as stated above, the gender identity of gala being far from being resolved, here I follow the proposals by scholars who considered more thoroughly the corpus of Presargonic Lagaš texts, rather than selecting only two texts to discuss a theoretical approach, as I do in this paper. For further studies on these texts, as well as for further development of this argument, see references in footnotes 17 and 20.

226

garcia-ventura

2.2 The Death of Urnamma: Mourning a King The text known as The Death of Urnamma (or Urnamma A) also deals with the lament for the death of a mortal flesh and bone king of the Third Dynasty of Ur.24 From this perspective the text presents several points of contact with the previous example. Apparently, the main characters, Baranamtara and Urnamma, share high status, and differ only in terms of gender. However, in this case the text is a royal hymn rather than an administrative text; therefore, it was not written to register the logistics of the organisation of the actual funeral of a king, but to address other issues linked more to political and theological propaganda for his successors to the throne.25 Although this is a literary text and should be read with this proviso in mind, it is interesting to consider and compare the gender and status of the deceased and of the mourners.26 Urnamma, the deceased, is a high status male. With regard to the mourners, there is more variation: the higher status mourners are female, while those of lower status are both male and female. In what follows I quote some lines from the text (which has around 240 lines in total), in which the various wailing characters appear, to provide a clearer idea of this variation in the gender and status of the mourners: Excerpt 1: lines 14–21 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

24 25

26 27

Utu does not rise in the sky, the days are full of sorrow. The mother who is miserable because of her son, The mother of the king, dazzling Ninsumun, says: ‘Oh my heart!’ Because of the fate that was allotted to Urnamma, Because it made the faithful shepherd leave, They [the people] weep bitter tears in their broad squares where merriment had reigned. With their bliss(fulness) having come to an end, the people do not sleep soundly. They spend (their) days in lamenting the faithful shepherd who has been snatched away.27 For a brief historical overview of the Third Dynasty of Ur, with special emphasis on the years of Urnamma’s reign, with previous references, see Sharlach 2017, 7–17. For the edition, with previous literature, transliteration, translation into English and commentary of the complete text (including its Susa version), see Flückiger-Hawker 1999, 93–182. See also Katz 2003, 329–336, for the transliteration, translation into English and study of selected excerpts. Here age is not mentioned explicitly, and so we cannot take this feature into account. The translation follows Flückiger-Hawker 1999, 103–104.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

227

Excerpt 2: lines 166–167 166 167

Is not my wife now a widow? She spends (her) days in bitter wailing and lamentation!28

Excerpt 3: line 216 216

(Thus) did Inana indeed observe attentively a lament over him.29

In the above lines there are three female wailing characters who, for differing reasons, enjoy high status: the mother of the deceased, the wife of the deceased, and Inana. The first two are elite women linked by kinship to the deceased.30 The third one is a goddess, who herself embodies the role of wife mourning the king as if he was her divine partner Dumuzi.31 Her presence points to a potential deification of the king which was, as previous studies have discussed, one of the main goals of this text.32 These three female characters were of course specific characters, but at the same time they embodied prototypical female roles shaping certain ideals of femininity: namely, the roles and archetypes of the mother and the wife. The mother is an example of the character of the “mourning mother” or the mater dolorosa present in lamentations for the destruction of cities as well as in lamentations for the death of a notable person.33 In this regard, several scholars have discussed at length the role of goddesses such as Inana/Ištar lamenting like mothers, and indeed their own identification as “mothers”, understood here as a role rather than as descriptive of a relative or blood tie.34 28 29 30 31 32

33 34

The translation follows Flückiger-Hawker 1999, 130. The translation follows Flückiger-Hawker 1999, 139. On the actual close relatives of Urnamma, paying special attention to the female ones, see Weiershäuser 2008, 25–28, and Sharlach 2017, 14–17, both with previous references. On this passage see, for instance, Frymer-Kensky 1992, 36–37 and 233 n. 19. See Katz 2003, 329–330. However, this was only a possible situation to pave the way for the deification of the next ruler, Šulgi; several scholars have noted that Urnamma was not deified. In this respect, see Michalowski 2008 for a more general overview of the issue of divine kinship in Ur III times; for Urnamma see especially pp. 37–38, and Sharlach 2017, 15, for the specific case of Urnamma. For the archetype of mothers as mourners in Biblical sources, with an overview of the ancient Near Eastern ones, see Kozlova 2017. For the role of goddesses as mourners, see Löhnert 2011b, especially pp. 49–52. See also, with particular reference to the arguments with a gender perspective, Frymer-Kensky 1992, 36–39; Harris 2000, 98–101 and 217 n. 86 with previous references; Asher-Greve and Westenholz 2013, 72–73 (with reference to Kramer for the use of the label mater dolorosa

228

garcia-ventura

With regard to the wife, it is interesting to notice the unfolding of this prototypical role into two characters, one human and one divine, as well as the explicit reference to the passage from wife to widow and the adoption of a new role after the death of the ruler. Interestingly, Inana embodies the role of the divine mourning wife/widow not just in this text but in many other literary ones such as Inana’s Descent to the Underworld, where we see both the death of the goddess and her mourning as a wife for Dumuzi’s death, thus creating a kind of paradox with regard to her roles.35 Besides these female characters and roles, mentioned one by one, in lines 19 and 20 (see above) the inhabitants of the land under Urnamma’s rule are presented as wailing characters as well, but in this case as a collective. Here, neither their gender nor their age nor their status are specified. What is significant is their role as a heterogeneous group in which all the members were grieving Urnamma’s death. The conventional expressions of this mourning are tears shed during the day and sleeplessness at night. Tears were shed in the squares presented as a paradigm of shared outdoor areas, while poor sleep is located in the indoor domestic space. Indoor/outdoor, day/night can be interpreted in this case as metaphors of the whole. Moreover, they can be interpreted as metaphors of the two complementary spheres of contexts of lamentation defined by Löhnert as private and communal, understanding the latter as acts done “for the benefit of the community”.36 In addition, with regard to crying, shedding tears in the outdoor space after a death is a conventional expression of emotion that is widely attested in Mesopotamia and Egypt.37 2.3 Epic of Gilgameš: A Man Mourning Another Man The third and last case study selected here is an excerpt from the Epic of Gilgameš in which Gilgameš laments the death of his friend Enkidu in a long

35

36 37

in footnote 286) and 134–135. For the maternal role in Sumerian literary texts, including the one embodied by Inana, see Gadotti 2011. For Inana as mourner in Inana’s Descent to the Underworld see the following passage (Black et al. 2004, 75, lines 384–393): “Holy Inana wept bitterly for her husband. She tore at her hair like esparto grass, she ripped it out like esparto grass. ‘You wives who lie in your men’s embrace, where is my precious husband? You children who lie in your men’s embrace, where is my precious child? Where is my man?’ ”. About this text, see also Katz 2003, 251– 287. Löhnert 2011a, 405–406. For a detailed analysis of tears and crying mainly dealing with textual sources, with previous references, see Zgoll and Lämmerhirt 2009. For iconography, see some insights in Cornelius 2017, 133–137, for tears in the context of an analysis of how eyes are depicted in several ancient Near Eastern contexts, wondering whether they can (or cannot) express emotion and, if so, what the features of these expressions might be.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

229

first person speech (Tablet 7, lines 1–45).38 Through his heartfelt words, Gilgameš is not only mourning his friend, but also exhorting the elements of the world, human and non-human, to mourn him as well. With regard to the gender and status of the mourners and the mourned, there are more differences than similarities between this example and the previous two. At the moment of his death, the deceased is a high status male, like the king Urnamma, but he only achieved this rank after a process of humanisation or a journey “from nature to culture”, as Rivkah Harris has put it. Harris also observes that with the mourning rites Gilgameš is making a journey in the opposite direction when Enkidu dies, going from culture to nature.39 If we look at the mourners, there is a wide array of possibilities not only with regard to gender, but also with regard to ontologies.40 In fact there are human as well as non-human mourners (who are attributed personhood through their role as mourners) all listed in great detail, as can be seen in the excerpt below: 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

May the paths, O Enkidu, [of] the Cedar Forest [mourn] you, and not … by day or night! May the elders of the populous city of Uruk-the-Sheepfold mourn you! May the crowd who would give blessings behind us [mourn you!] May the high [peaks] of hills and mountains mourn you, […] … pure. May the pastures lament like your mother! May [boxwood] cypress and cedar mourn you, through whose midst we crept in our fury! May the bear mourn you, the hyena, panther, cheetah, stag and jackal, the lion, wild bull, deer, ibex, the herds and animals of the wild!

38

Other passages of the Epic of Gilgameš and of other texts dealing with the stories and legends related to him are also related to mourning and grief for the death of Enkidu. For two classical studies, and two of these other fragments, see Alster 1983 and Abusch 1993. For an interpretation of this process undergone by Enkidu, see Harris 2000, 44 and 122– 123, with previous references. The nature/culture divide is indeed useful to interpret these passages of the text, but at the same time we should be aware of its possible pitfalls: see below my use of human/non-human following Philippe Descola’s proposals (cf. footnote 40). On the diverse ontological models built on the ideas of continuity and discontinuity applied to the construction of self-identity and to the shaping of the way relationships between humans and non-humans are established and negotiated, see the works by the French anthropologist Philippe Descola, one of its main theoreticians. For a synthesis, see especially Descola 2005, 163–180 and 2014, 274–275. See also Fowler 2004, 122–126, for an interpretation and overview of Descola’s proposals and those of other scholars, and for some reflections and examples on their applicability to the study of the past.

39

40

230 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45

garcia-ventura

May the sacred River Ulāy mourn you, along whose banks we would walk so lustily! May the holy Euphrates mourn you, which [we used] to pour in libation (as) water from skins! May the young men of Uruk-the-Sheepfold mourn you, [who] watched our battle, as we slew the Bull of Heaven! May the ploughman on […] mourn you, [who] will extol your name with his sweet work-song! May the … of the spacious city of Uruk-the-Sheepfold mourn you, [who] will extol your name [with] the first …! May the shepherd mourn you […], [who] … [milk] and junket [in your mouth!] May [the shepherd boy] mourn you […], [who] used to place ghee on your lips! May the brewer […] mourn you, [who] used to place ale in your mouth! May the [harlot …] mourn you,41 [who …] anointed the crown of your head with sweet-scented oil! May [… the house] of the marriage ceremony mourn [over you], who … you a wife … […!] [May …] mourn over you! May […] mourn you [as if they were] your brothers! May their tresses be loosed [down their backs] as if they were your sisters! [May they weep] for Enkidu, your mother and father, [as if …] [On that] very [day] I [myself] shall mourn you! Hear me, O young men, hear [me!] Hear me, O elders [of the populous city, Uruk,] hear me! I shall mourn Enkidu, my friend, like a professional mourning woman I shall lament bitterly.42

In the cast of characters listed here, gender and status are less significant than they were in the previous two examples. In fact the characters included here, human and non-human, are in most cases the ones mentioned in the preceding tablets of the composition. The aim of listing them is more to exhort all 41

42

Here the Akkadian term ḫarīmtu is translated as “harlot”. This translation has been seriously questioned, especially from gender studies perspectives. For a classical reference on this debate and alternative readings, see Assante 1998. Epic of Gilgameš, Tablet 7, 7–45 (for the transliteration and translation into English, see George 2003, 651–655).

shaping gender, shaping emotions

231

the entities which encountered Enkidu to mourn his death rather than to provide a picture, more or less realistic or stereotyped, of the people engaged in the conventional expressions of grief. However, two allusions to female characters deserve special mention. First, there are similes with relatives such as the mother—for instance in line 13, where the pastures are endowed with personhood.43 Second, in the last two lines cited there is indeed a direct reference to a more realistic picture of mourning. Interestingly, gender is significant in this case, as there is an allusion to a “professional mourning woman”—a female who, as in the funeral of Baranamtara, was hired to publicly mourn the deceased, thus channelling the community’s conventional expressions of grief. In relation to the other factors besides gender, status appears to be less significant than in the previous examples. With regard to age, in this case the idea of the whole or collective applied to population is expressed through the explicit mention of young and old in lines 42 and 43. In this regard the last lines of one of the manuscripts of the text known as Bilgames and the Netherworld, one of the few compositions written in Sumerian that deals with the stories and legends of Gilgameš, are particularly interesting:44 11′ 12′ 13′

3

Bilgames performed the mourning rites, for nine days he performed the mourning rites. The young men and women of Uruk, the old men and women of Kullab wept.45

Some Final Thoughts: Shaping Gender, Shaping Emotions

In the previous section we examined the intersection of gender, age and status among the mourned and mourners. With regard to the mourned, we have seen that age is not explicitly mentioned and so is irrelevant; gender is mentioned, but is not central: therefore, status is the key factor. The status of the deceased, thus, conditions the intensity and scale of the conventional expressions of grief and mourning.

43 44

45

The simile of this passage is also discussed by Harris (2000, 99–100), linking it to the maternal role of goddesses and women, particularly women of a certain age, in mourning. On this composition in the context of the legends of Gilgameš, see George 2003, 12–14. As I here quote George’s translation, I maintain the title of the composition as he proposes it. For the arguments about the use of Bilgames rather than Gilgameš for the Sumerian sources, see George 2003, 7. Bilgames and the Netherworld, manuscript nn, 11′–13′ (George 2003, 777).

232

garcia-ventura

If we focus on the mourners, the situation is quite different. Here their status is more heterogeneous, as is their age, stressing that all people, old and young, were involved in the mourning. So status and age are important but no clear pattern can be established. A feature that presents more homogeneity, however, is gender. For the funerals of Baranamtara and also for the Death of Urnamma, the mourners of different ages and diverse status share gender, in so far as they seem to be mostly female: the only exception is Gilgameš, a male mourning his friend, also male. However, we have also seen that Gilgameš exhorts human and non-human entities to mourn Enkidu and that he compares himself with a professional mourner, explicitly labelled as female. At this point, then, we may wonder why gender is more significant for mourners than for the mourned and why females are more common than males in this scenario. The association of women with mourning is attested in a wide array of cultures, ancient and modern, and is a well-known and much-studied phenomenon.46 One of the main arguments put forward to explain this is the link of women with life cycles and their prominent role in birth and death as the beginning and end of a life. Besides this argument, here I want to draw attention to the effect that this link of women with mourning has in the construction of a certain model of femininity. In doing so, I aim to denaturalise the link between women/mourning—often conceived as starting from essentialist assumptions about women47—to place the emphasis on the mutual and constant shaping of femininities and shaping of emotions. Under this light, iconographical sources showing women as wailing mourners are not only to be interpreted as portraying a potential given reality, but also as shaping this reality. Indeed, several scholars have observed that there are no images of men wailing and crying in ancient Mesopotamia, but there are many images linking women to “excessive wailing and lamentation”, thus constructing and reinforcing patterns of masculinity and of femininity.48 As has been summarised by Cornelius, “although Gilgameš cried like a woman over Enkidu, king Kirta in the Ugaritic epic cried

46

47 48

For a summary of some of the arguments supporting this association and its applicability to the study of Ancient Mediterranean cultures, see López-Bertran and Garcia-Ventura 2012, 401–403, with previous references. See also Cornelius 2017, 128–129, for Egypt and the Levant. For an example of this essentialist approach in Assyriological studies, see for instance Larsen 2001. See, for instance, Bahrani 2001, 127, and Cornelius 2017, 124–126, both with previous references.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

233

himself to sleep, and Aššurbanipal cried to Ištar, the iconographical sources do not show kings crying. Can one even imagine an Assyrian king crying?”49 In addition, considering Hernando’s proposal regarding individual and relational identity might shed some more light on the issue.50 Hernando, an archaeologist, posits that we should determine the two kinds of identities (individual and relational) that are present in all of us, and trace the way they are constructed and engendered. She maintains that the two identities have been progressively linked to the masculine (individual) and feminine (relational) spheres, and that this has been done by naturalising the two options. Thus, men are presented as “naturally” tending to be more adventurous and independent, while women have been portrayed as taking fewer risks, and being more static and more interested in interpersonal relationships. Only one kind of identity is assigned to each gender, rather than acknowledging the presence of both identities in both genders, something that Hernando defends through the analysis of ethnographic case studies as well as case studies from Prehistory. Along these lines, I propose to interpret the conventional expressions of grief and mourning discussed here as manifestations and duties linked to relational identity, and consequently delegated mainly to women, regardless of their age or status. In the case of men, individual identity is more prevalent. In this respect, it may be noticed that Gilgameš, even when presented as mourning his friend, is portrayed delegating the role of mourners to other human and non-human entities; he presents himself as a distinct, and unique mourner, set apart from the professional mourners, who are mainly female. In this light the case of elite women and goddesses (the king’s mother, the king’s wife, and Inana) in The Death of Urnamma is interesting as it portrays characters who, thanks to their status, have a marked individual identity. However, when portrayed as mourners, their individual identity is relegated; the focus is on their relational identity, a clearly female gendered identity. Gender, then, is shaped through the role performed by the characters when mourning, and at the same time mourning is constructed in a gendered way, reaffirming a particular model of femininity.51 The shaping of gender roles and the shaping of emotions go hand in hand, and the analysis of the complex effects of this mutual relationship, here only briefly targeted, provides fruitful avenues for future research.

49 50 51

Cornelius 2017, 124. Hernando 2018 [2012]. Hernando 2018 [2012], 14–15, 36–41, 53–54.

234

garcia-ventura

Acknowledgements This paper was written during a postdoctoral contract “Juan de la CiervaIncorporación”, awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Industry, and Competitiveness.

Abbreviations TSA de Genouillac, H. 1909. Tablettes sumériennes archaiques: matériaux pour servir à l’histoire de la Société sumérienne. Paris; Leipzig: Geuthner; Harrassowitz. VAS Vorderasiatische Schriftdenkmäler der Königlichen Museen zu Berlin.

Bibliography Abusch, T. 1993. “Mourning the Death of a Friend: Some Assyriological Notes.” In The Frank Talmage memorial volume I, edited by B. Walfish, 53–62. Haifa: Haifa University Press. Alster, B. 1983. “The Mythology of Mourning.” Acta Sumerologica 5: 1–16. Asher-Greve, J.M. and J.G. Westenholz. 2013. Goddesses in Context. On Divine Powers, Roles, Relationships and Gender in Mesopotamian Textual and Visual Sources. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 259. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Assante, J. 1998. “The kar.kid/ḫarimtu, Prostitute or Single Woman? A Reconsideration of the Evidence.” Ugarit Forschungen 30: 5–96. Bahrani, Z. 2001. Women of Babylon. Gender and Representation in Mesopotamia. London: Routledge. Black, J., G. Cunningham, E. Robson and G. Zólyomi. 2004. The Literature of Ancient Sumer. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. Brunke, H. 2011. Essen in Sumer. Metrologie, Herstellung und Terminologie nach Zeugnis der Ur III-zeitlichen Wirtschaftsurkunden. München: Herbert Utz Verlag. Cohen, A.C. 2005. Death Rituals, Ideology, and the Development of Early Mesopotamian Kingship. Toward a New Understanding of Iraq’s Royal Cemetery of Ur. Leiden; Boston: Brill; Styx. Cooper, J.S. 2006. “Genre, Gender, and the Sumerian Lamentation.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 58: 39–47. Cornelius, I. 2017. “‘The eyes have it and the benign smile’ The iconography of Emotions in the Ancient Near East: from Gestures to Facial Expressions?” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 123–148. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

235

Crenshaw, K. 1989. “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics.” The University of Chicago Legal Forum 1989(1): 139–167. Descola, P. 2005. Par-delà nature et culture. Paris: Gallimard. Flückiger-Hawker, E. 1999. Urnamma of Ur in Sumerian Literary Tradition. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 166. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Fowler, C. 2004. The Archaeology of Personhood. An anthropological Approach. London: Routledge. Frymer-Kensky, T. 1992. In the Wake of the Goddesses. Women, Culture, and the Biblical Transformation of Pagan Myth. New York; Toronto: The Free Press. Gabbay, U. 2008. “The Akkadian Word for ‘thirdgender’: the kalû (gala) once again.” In Proceedings of the 51st Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Held at The Oriental Institute of The University of Chicago, July 18–22, 2005, edited by R.D. Biggs, J. Myers and M.T. Roth, 49–56. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization 62. Chicago: Oriental Institute of Chicago. Gadotti, A. 2011. “The Portrayal of Feminine in Sumerian Literature.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 131(2): 195–206. George, A.R. 2003. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic. Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts (2 Volumes). Oxford: Oxford University Press. Hancock, A.-M. 2007. “When Multiplication Doesn’t Equal Quick Addition: Examining Intersectionality as a Research Paradigm.” Perspectives on Politics 5(1): 63–78. Harris, R. 2000. Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia: The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature. Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. Helle, S. 2018. “‘Only in Dress?’ Methodological Concerns Regarding Non-Binary Gender.” In Gender and Methodology in the Ancient Near East: Approaches from Assyriology and beyond, edited by S.L. Budin, M. Cifarelli, A. Garcia-Ventura and A. Millet Albà, 41–53. Barcino monographica orientalia 10. Barcelona: Edicions de la Universitat de Barcelona. Hernando, A. 2018 [2012]. La fantasía de la individualidad. Sobre la construcción sociohistórica del sujeto moderno. Madrid: Traficantes de Sueños. Jagersma, B. 2007. “The Calendar of the Funerary Cult in Ancient Lagash.” Bibliotheca Orientalis 64(3–4): 289–307. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens. Recherche sur lexique sumérien et akkadien. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 332. Münster: UgaritVerlag. Jaques, M. 2011. Klagetraditionen: Form und Funktion der Klage in den Kulturen der Antike. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 251. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Jaques, M. 2017. “The Discourse on Emotion in Ancient Mesopotamia: A Theoretical

236

garcia-ventura

Approach.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 185–206. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Karahashi, F. 2018. “Las mujeres en el periodo presargónico en Lagaš: una visión de conjunto.” In Las mujeres en el Oriente cuneiforme, edited by J.J. Justel and A. GarciaVentura, 267–291. Alcalá de Henares: Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Alcalá. Karahashi, F. forthcoming. The gala in Presargonic Lagaš. Katz, D. 2003. The image of the netherworld in the Sumerian sources. Potomac: CDL Press. Katz, D. 2007. “Sumerian Funerary Rituals in Context.” In Performing death: social analyses of funerary traditions in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean, edited by N. Laneri, 167–188. Oriental Institute Seminars 3. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. Kipfer, S. 2017. “Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East—An Introduction.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 1–23. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 285. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Kozlova, E. 2017. Maternal grief in the Hebrew Bible. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press. LaCourse Munteanu, D. 2013. Emotion, Genre and Gender in Classical Antiquity. London: Bloomsbury Academic. Larsen, M.T. 2001. “Affect and Emotion.” In Veenhof Anniversary Volume. Studies Presented to Klaas R. Veenhof on the Occasion of his Sixty-fifth Birthday, edited by W.H. Van Soldt, 275–286. Uitgaven van het Nederlands Historisch-Archeologisch Instituut te Istanbul 89. Leiden: Nederlands Instituut vor her Nabije Oosten. Löhnert, A. 2011a. “Manipulating the Gods: Lamenting in Context.” In The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, edited by K. Radner and E. Robson, 402–417. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Löhnert, A. 2011b. “Motive und Funktionen der Göttinenklagen im frühen Mesopotamien.” In Klagetraditionen: Form und Funktion der Klage in den Kulturen der Antike, edited by M. Jaques, 39–62. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 251. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. López-Bertran, M. and A. Garcia-Ventura. 2012. “Music, Gender and Rituals in Ancient Mediterranean: Revisiting the Punic Evidence.” World Archaeology 44(3): 393–408. Michalowski, P. 2006. “Love or Death? Observations on the Role of the Gala in Ur III Ceremonial Life.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 58: 49–61. Michalowski, P. 2008. “The Mortal Kings of Ur: a Short Century of Divine Rule in Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Religion and Power. Divine Kingship in the Ancient World and Beyond, edited by N. Brisch, 33–45. Oriental Institute Seminars 4. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

shaping gender, shaping emotions

237

Pollock, S. 1999. Ancient Mesopotamia. The Eden that Never Was. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Powell, M.A. 1987–1990. “Masse und Gewichte.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie, vol. 7, 457–517. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. Sallaberger, W. and I. Schrakamp. 2015. ARCANE 3, History & Philology. Turnhout: Brepols. Sanders, E. and M. Johcock. 2016. Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Sasson, J.M. 2015. From the Mari Archives. An Anthology of Old Babylonian Letters. Winona Lake, Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Sharlach, T.M. 2017. An Ox of one’s Own. Royal Wives and Religion at the court of the third Dynasty of Ur. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 18. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter. Steinert, U. 2012. Aspekte des Menschseins im Alten Mesopotamien. Eine Studie zu Person und Identität im 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Thornton Dill, B. and M.H. Kohlman. 2012. “Intersectionality. A Transformative Paradigm in Feminist Theory and Social Justice.” In Handbook of Feminist Research: Theory and Praxis, edited by S. Nagy Hesse-Biber, 154–174. Los Angeles; London: SAGE. Vogel, H. 2013. “Death and Burial.” In The Sumerian World, edited by H. Crawford, 419– 434. London; New York: Routledge. Zgoll, A. and K. Lämmerhirt. 2009. “Lachen und Weinen im Antiken Mesopotamien. Eine Funktionale Analyse.” In Überraschendes Lachen, gefordertes Weinen. Gefühle und Prozesse, Kulturen und Epochen im Vergleich, edited by A. Nitschke, J. Stagl and D.R. Bauer, 449–483. Wien: Böhlau.

chapter 11

Emotions and Their Expression in a Religious Historical Perspective in Ancient Mesopotamia Margaret Jaques

Feelings have natural histories of their own. They come into being within time, flourished for a while or failed to flourish, then died or died out.1

∵ Nature scientists have been searching for centuries to locate emotions in the body. All these organic theories, developed since the 16th century, make emotions an attribute of the unconscious, non-rational part of man. Emotions are therefore universal to mankind. Darwin, in his book entitled The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals first published in 1872, lays the foundations for research on the expression of emotions. He describes emotions as innate, not conscious and universal. Darwin’s mental states are linked to movement and cultural factors play only an auxiliary role in the shaping of expression. Emotions allow the body to react with appropriate behaviors in the presence of dangers and they signal an intention to others. Their expression is facial and vocal. They are biological and psychological reactions. Unlike Darwin, the eccentric Dr. Duchenne de Boulogne wrote in 1860 that the facial signs of the emotions were the expression of “the will of God, the Creator.” Duchenne’s theory has the particularity to include God in his scientific research. Duchenne’s technique is very simple. A person was asked to adopt a neutral and calm expression before the doctor gave him electric shocks on the soft parts of his face to twist his muscles in what might be like an emotion.2 The result is a facial language of the emotions. Duchenne uses electricity as nature does, to paint the expressive lines of the emotions of the soul on the 1 Coetzee 2009, 69. 2 “Inducing, with the aid of electrodes, the contraction of the facial muscles to make them speak the language of the emotions.” Duchenne 1876, xi.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

emotions and their expression

239

human face. The faces could show the terror provoked “by the idea, either of the danger of impending death, or of the torture to which the patient has been condemned or which will be applied to him”. Concerning the expression of other faces, he adds this remark: “to the expression of this terrible emotion of the soul is added that of the horrible pain of his torment. This expression must be that of the damned.”3 By combining the expression of terror reached by electrical stimulation with the one of pain, the doctor artificially succeeded in creating the human expression of damnation.4 For Duchenne, muscular movements are both instinctive and inalterable. Education and civilization “might develop or moderate the expression” but could by no means alter them. This is why, “in admitting that a good man could be born with a wicked face, this kind of monstrosity would sooner or later be erased by the incessant movements of a beautiful soul.”5 Darwin was opposed to any notion by Duchenne that God would have given humans facial muscles to allow them to reveal their feelings to others. Facial expressions were not there for the purpose of communication. Rather they served the purely biological functions of mastication, dilatation of the nostrils and shading of the eyes. With his insights on the origin of species, he caused traditional religious inspired theories of the beginning of the human race to become completely superseded. For Darwin, there is also no transcendental purpose to emotional expressions as Duchenne supported it. The researches of Ekman are perhaps most often quoted in this type of approach. Following Duchenne and Darwin, he established in 1972 a first list of six fundamental emotions (sadness, joy, anger, fear, disgust, surprise) that are biological and transcultural. All these emotions correspond to expressions of the face that are recognizable everywhere, the expressions of emotions referring to precognitive states founded in biology. As early as the 1990s, Ekman expanded his list of fundamental emotions to sixteen. Some of these new positive and negative emotions no longer necessarily correspond to a facial expression. These are more feelings, that is to say, emotions interpreted by a thought: amusement, contempt, contentment, 3 Duchenne 1876, 108. 4 “In the face, our Creator was not concerned with mechanical necessity. He was able, in his wisdom, or—please pardon this manner of speaking—in pursuing a divine fantasy, to put any particular muscle into action, one alone or several muscles together, when he wished the characteristic signs of the emotions, even the most fleeting, to be written briefly on man’s face. Once this language of facial expression was created, it sufficed him to give all human beings the instinctive faculty of always expressing their sentiments by contracting the same muscles. This rendered the language universal and immutable.” Duchenne 1876, 31. 5 Duchenne 1876, 54.

240

jaques

embarrassment, excitement, guilt, pride in achievement, relief, satisfaction, sensory pleasure, and shame. Placed side-by-side, these theories reduce emotions to processes of bodily origin, natural and unconscious. Darwin, Duchenne and Ekman hold emotions as universal and transcultural, far from cognitive processes. For a long time, the study of emotions and their expression has been the subject of biology and/or psychology. These researches want to show that it is possible to reach psychological realities independent of languages and cultures. Such realities exist, but the recent recognition of a cultural interpretation that can be added to biological emotions has been a major step forward in this area. As early as the 1990s, authors began to take an interest in the history of emotions: first in the United States with Stearn’s works on the history of jealousy and the social changes it causes. And in Australia with the Polish linguist Wierzbicka who created the “Natural Semantic Metalanguage”, a linguistic tool to understand the vocabulary and emotion’s words of different cultures. In France Corbin wrote on the history of sensory and affective perceptions. His books analyze sensations and their interpretations in the nineteenth century: smells, holidays, silence, the sound of bells, etc. Corbin participates in the development of a three-volume historical encyclopedia on emotions published in 2016. The authors of the first volume of this History of Emotions from Antiquity to the Present Days begin with the history of emotions in Greece, the tears of Achilles and the obscene laughter of Lysistrata. There is no chapter on emotions in Mesopotamia or ancient Egypt. It is not necessary to go back to the Babylonians to realize that emotions and their common understanding have changed over time. The French word “bonheur” (happiness), for example, is one of Ekman’s six “fundamental human emotions”. “Bonheur”, like “heureux” (happy), that comes from the ancient French word “heur”, means “good fortune”, “luck”. We cannot find the word “heur” anymore except in the expression “avoir l’ heur de plaire à quelqu’ un”: that means “to have the good luck to please someone”. French “heur” derives phonetically from the Latin augurium that is “an increase granted by the gods to an enterprise”, and by extension, “portent”, “omen (favorable or not)”, which takes historically a more positive meaning: “good omen”, “good fortune”, “luck”, “happy opportunity”. “L’homme heureux”, the “happy man”, in this ancient sense, considers himself lucky to have a favorable destiny. This emotion is a durable state caused by an accumulation of satisfactions. The word “bonheur” imposed itself very early in French to refer to the state of one who is happy. It should be noted that according to this definition, “le bonheur” occurs; we could

emotions and their expression

241

say the adage: “the man is happy (heureux) by luck and unhappy (malheureux) by bad luck”, he would not have the freedom to create his own happiness. “Le bonheur” is a complex feeling: it is quantifiable. It cannot be used in any French expression. Different words make it possible to transcribe these different states: “happiness”, but there are also the words “joy”, “pleasure”, “satisfaction”, etc. The meaning and syntactic use must be specified every time; this is also the case with this terminology in Mesopotamia. The study of emotions in Mesopotamia is part of this emerging research on the history of emotions. It is only at its start, at least as far as Mesopotamia is concerned.6 What must be done to understand the emotions of the people of Mesopotamia? The first observation is that of an obstacle that may seem impossible to overcome: we cannot observe the emotions of the Ancients in any way; we have only tenuous and already coded traces. The historian has his eyes riveted on the words and distant images of his rare sources. In this situation, how can we approach the ancient emotions? To understand the emotions of the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, we can rely only upon texts and sometimes images, but these are often misleading because they obey artistic codes that make us believe in the representation of emotions where there is none and where there is no intention to show them. The cuneiform texts were written by students and scholars who worked in schools, at the royal court, or in temples. They are the particular eyes of writers who have been educated and who, in this society, are part of the elite. Emotions must be reconstructed from disparate information: there are words, but also descriptions and dialogues from which the emotion streamed out. Each source text gives different information on emotions. The first problem we encounter is the absence of a generic term for “emotion”. The Mesopotamians did not have a word like we have to indicate “emotions” or “feelings” as a global term. But this is not only the case of Mesopotamia. Many cultures did not know and do not know generic terms to classify emotions. And when this category exists, e.g., in the Middle Ages, the classification is not identical to that of our time. Aquinas for example considered admiratio as an emotion—or rather, to be precise, as a passio animae—whereas neither Cicero nor modern psychologists do. In addition, the term “emotion” is in French a term that dates from the seventeenth century. In the modern sense, it is for the first time used by Descartes in his Traité des passions. How then can one know if a word in a text belongs to the vocabulary of emotion?

6 Jaques 2006 and other references in the Introduction of this book.

242 1

jaques

The Joys

Happiness is the most representative emotion of our corpus according to Mesopotamian source texts, probably because the texts we have are mainly of hymnal character.7 They praise the gods, the king, the temples. To express this emotion, the Sumerians had four verbs and three substantives, which correspond to twice as many equivalents in Akkadian. This wealth of vocabulary is also explained by the various situations of happiness and joy: individual or collective, isolated or relational. The heart of An brought me happiness (ḫul₂), for my pleasure (a-la), Enlil called me as it should be: They gave me the scepter to undertake my function of justice.8 Here, happiness is not an “individual state of lasting satisfaction” as Wierzbicka defines, but the realization of positive relations on a religious, political and legal level. This happiness is a peaceful and passive emotion (it is brought). It is accompanied by a sense of security and of being fair with respect to a contract. This “happiness” has been introduced into juridical formulas: one says in contracts, “in the happiness of the heart, in the happiness of the body”; it is a clause that can be translated by: “(he gave X) voluntarily”. This joy expresses in these texts a positive act of volition in a contractual transaction. These formulas are attested in Sumerian, Akkadian and Aramaic.9 To express joy, one used the terminology of cries of joy. These sound jubilations often accompanied the abundance of harvests and wealth in general. It is the whole nature that is joyful, not because of a shining and burning sun, but because of a beneficial rain, as shown by a prayer to the storm god Adad: By your voice (ina rigmēka), the mountains are in joy (ḫadû), the fields are happy (ḫadû) in front of you, and the countryside is in jubilation (râšu). The peoples are exuberant (ḫitbuṣū), they exalt (dalālu) your valor.10 Joy is not only sound. It emanates from the face, it radiates, makes shine the forehead and the eyes. In the commentary of a liver omen, the term “light” (numru) is explained by “joy” (ḫūd libbi).11 7 It is also the case of many incantations, for example Schwemer 2013 and Stadhouders 2016. 8 Šulgi B 23–25 in http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk. 9 Jaques 2006, 34 f. n. 75. 10 Šuilla to Adad (BMS 21 rev. 83–85, and Mayer 1976, 378). 11 CT 20, 39 line 21 (Rendu-Loisel 2016, 96 n. 8).

emotions and their expression

243

The individual joys, which do not particularly seek to be perceived by an audience, are caused by drunkenness and good meals (and translated by verbs of “swelling, dilatation” and of “satisfaction”) and by intimate relationships, that are parallel with words for “charm, allure, beauty, sex appeal,” etc. (ḫi-li = kuzbu, a-la = lalû). The collective joys are a different activity, but a very important one on the symbolic and communal level. The best-known celebrations (ezen = isinnu) are religious ones, which were originally often agricultural feasts. There are also state feasts such as the enthronement of a king or military victories. With regards to private and family celebrations, we know almost nothing, except the kispu, a celebration for the dead or rather a commemoration which was held by members of a family. In Akkadian, the festival’s day is metaphorically called “day of joy” (ūm ḫidûti).12 This expression is also found in the Bible: e.g., in Num. 10:10: In your days of joy, in your solemn days, and in your new moons, you shall blow with the trumpets, offer your burnt sacrifices and your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God. I am the Lord, your God.13 Another name for “festival” is “game, amusement” (mēlultu), especially when it comes to celebrations for Ištar. Sum.: “Mother Inana of quarrels, lead the fight like a handled doll!” Akk.: “Goddess of quarrels, like a doll game, lead the fight!”14 Also in an Assyrian royal inscription: Ištar whose game (mēlultu) is the battle.15 The games related to the festivals of Ištar are not well known but they appear as subversive and orgiastic. There may have been sacred prostitution in the temples of the goddess according to the testimony of Herodotus, who would have

12 13

14 15

See Jaques 2006, 59. See also Esther 9:18: “But the Jews that were at Susa assembled together on the thirteenth thereof, and on the fourteenth thereof; and on the fifteenth of the same they rested and made it a day of feasting and joy.” Elevation of Ištar IV(B) 7–8 (Jaques 2006, 59 n. 118). Michel 1952, 456 Col. I line 7.

244

jaques

witnessed such a practice in Assyria, and from known aspects of the goddess’ cult related to sexuality and to prostitution. The priests of Ištar, the assinnū and the kurgarrû, were perhaps transvestites who performed obscene dances and rites with weapons. Others, the kezrētu were women who served as musicians but who could also be “prostitutes” of sorts. The three main elements that made up the usual festivals are, predictably: – eating and drinking (beer or wine): these banquets were held in a place, in a temple, in a dining-room, in a garden, called “place of cult meal” (ki ĝešbunna), “place of the good mood” (ki ur₅ sa₆-ga), “place of the joy of the heart” (ki ša₃ ḫul₂-la) or “place of rejoicing” (ki ḫul₂-ḫul₂-la). – religious celebrations: prayers, praises and sacrifices are sources of shared joy: My mother (= the goddess) who fills with joy (asila) the feast (ezen) and the sacrifices (siškur).16 For Caillois, festivals are often considered as a sacred time: “The day of celebration is first a time devoted to the divine, where work is forbidden, where we must go to rest, to rejoice and praise God.”17 In the same way, the sacrifice seems “a kind of privileged content of the festival (…) The festival reproducing the time of the sacrifice.”18 – family and communal relations. The feast is an opportunity to bring together family and members of the same community. It forms a parenthesis in the labors of everyday life. In Mesopotamia there was even a social and religious obligation to celebrate together and to share the meals: As Ninurta, diffusing great numinous power, had taken place on the throne, the august dais, Attending at ease, gladly, at some festival in his honor, Rivalling An and Enlil in drinking his fill, While Ba-U₂ was pleading petitions in a prayer for the king, And he, Ninurta, Enlil’s son, was ready to fix destinies, At that moment, Šarur, the lord’s battle-mace, looked towards the mountains And cried out aloud to its master (…)19

16 17 18 19

Message de Ludiĝirra 41 in http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk (accessed February 14, 2019). Caillois 1950, 132. Caillois 1950, 129 n. 1. Lugale 17–23 (van Dijk 1983, 53–54).

emotions and their expression

2

245

The Fears at the Origin of the World

In Man and the Sacred, Caillois develops a theory of the feast. For him, the feast is not unrelated to the tremendum, the sense of terror characteristic of the confrontation of man with the sacred:20 “If the feast is the time of joy, it is also the time of anxiety.”21 This anguish, or even this fear, is in Mesopotamia a state posterior to the creation of the universe. The world before creation is described as a Golden Age, a state of heavenly happiness: At that time, the snake did not exist, the scorpion did not exist The hyena did not exist, the lion did not exist The dog and the wolf did not exist Fear (ni₂ te(.ĝ)) and terror (su zi(.g)) did not exist Mankind had no opponent.22 It is then explained that men of all nations spoke in one language and in unison with the great god Enlil, and that Enki, the god of wisdom, divided these discourses by introducing dispute (a-da(-min₃)). In another story, we find an almost identical description of the state of the country of Dilmun before its creation: At Dilmun the raven was not yet cawing, The francolin not cackling, The lion did not slay, The wolf was not carrying off lambs, Unknown was the wild dog, abductor of kids, Unknown was the wild boar, big eater of the harvests, The bird from the sky did not come to peck up malt, Spread out by some widow on her roof-terrace, The dove did not tuck the head under its wing, No one with eye-diseases said there: “I have the eye disease.” No one with headache said there: “I have the headache.” No old woman to admit to be an old woman, No old man said there: “I am an old man.” No young girl to bathe, No clear water to spread in the city, 20 21 22

Otto 1920, 13. Caillois 1950, 132. Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta 136–140 (Mittermayer 2009, 122–123).

246

jaques

Nobody crossed the river screaming, “Heave-ho!” No herald was doing the rounds, No minstrel who sang some elegy, Or launched some wailings at the city’s outskirts.23 To describe the period before creation, the paradise-like state, the negative form is used. It is a time where certain things are absent: there are no predators, no opponents and no wars, no conflicts, no diseases, no age and no fears. All is not negative: there are positive things or things that have nothing to do with misfortune: the bath of the girl, the activities of the herald or the minstrel. This is a description of nonexistence, a description of a territory where there is already something natural and cultural but which the gods do yet not live in. There reigns in this territory a natural harmony. Enki, the god of wisdom, creates and installs the gods, and by this act divides, separates, introduces a necessary distance for life. This creation is inseparable from fear, sickness, sadness (the “dove” and the “wailings”) and death. The study of the words that mean “fear” shows that the Ancients distinguished two types of fear: it is first the tremendum, the “respectful fear” towards any hierarchical superior, and in particular towards the gods and the king (= ni₂ te(.ĝ)) (and palāḫu)), and then the “dread”, the “terror” reflected by su zi(.g), a compound that is a description of the effect of fear on the body. It literally means “to have goosebumps, to have hairs put up on the skin” and is similarly translated into Akkadian (šārat zumri izuzzu/šuzuzzu), but is also translated by the term šalummatu “frightening radiance”. For Darwin, as for Ekman, fear is a primary emotion that has a close relationship to the body. The first composite verb (ni₂ te(.ĝ)) for “respectful fear” is frequently attested in the royal epithets (we speak then of “the prince (nun) or the shepherd (sipa), who feels respectful fear toward the gods”).24 The second word (su zi(.g)) is never used in a royal epithet. But the Akkadian translation by šalummatu brings however also an “ominous” sense (to use this latinizing synonym of “divinatory”), because the brightness, the luminous, is associated with the gods. The two words for these fears, absent before the creation of the universe, are thus linked to the fear of the gods. It is not a spontaneous and reactive fear in front of a danger. These words describe a reasoned feeling, even a figuration of emotion, a type of exemplary emotion associated with an attitude adopted and to adopt towards the gods and the king.

23 24

Enki and Ninḫursaĝa 13–30 (Attinger 1984, 6–9). Passim for ni₂ te(.ĝ) and ni₂ tuku both translated by palāḫu in Akkadian, cf. Jaques 2006.

emotions and their expression

247

The Akkadian verb palāḫu certainly reflects this kind of feeling of reasoned fear towards the gods, but also means the act of honoring, of respecting, of taking care.25 In marriage counsels,26 it is specified that the wife must “fear, respect” (palāḫu) her husband and “submit” (kanāšu) to him. A prostitute, on the other hand, has the reputation of having “neither respect nor submission”. This use of palāḫu “to be afraid, to respect” would call to mind (even if the meaning “fear” is absent) the usage of the Heb. KBD in Piel in Ex. 20:12: “Honor your father and your mother!” In this sense, another usage of palāḫu can be found in the domain of service obligations to gods and king: As long as they live, they will serve each other’s obligation (palāḫu) in both country and city.27 In Cambyse’s texts, palāḫu takes on the meaning of “performing an obligation or an act in relation to incomes” when this obligation or act is part of a ritual in the temple. The respect is also the attitude expected of children towards their parents, of wives, of young people towards old people, in Mesopotamia in the old time, as it is still today in certain traditional cultures. The feeling of modesty belongs to the signs of respect among Bedouins. The feeling called in Arabic ḥašam (which can be translated as “to be ashamed to face someone”, “to be shy, embarrassed”) refers to both a sense of shame in front of superior people and an attitude of respect and reverence that is the consequence of this feeling. For Lila Abu-Lughod, this feeling would be the result of the awareness of one’s own vulnerability to the risk of humiliation and social rejection.28 This feeling reveals a link between exposure and vulnerability or weakness. It is not an involuntary feeling; it is not a staggering fright, it does not come abruptly. It cannot be put on the same level as fright or panic. It is the fear of dishonor. One of the causes of illness among the Ancients was the gaze of a magician or a demon. The experience of this meeting is always described in terms of fear: The eye (is) a dragon (muš-ḫuš), the eye (of) the human (is) a dragon, the eye of the evil man (is) a dragon.29 25 26 27 28 29

cf. Aram. PLH “to fear, to serve”, see Zimmern 1914, 65. Lambert 1996, 102 lines 72–80. KAJ 7:13 and CAD P, 46. Abu-Lughod 1986, 112. TCL 16, 89 lines 1–2 = BL no. 3 lines 1–3 (Thomsen 1992, 25).

248

jaques

For one’s own personal safety, it was necessary to avoid them, to act with modesty or to place barriers between oneself and these a priori negative forces. Another way to protect oneself was counter-magic and amulets. It is, therefore, society that draws and indicates what must be feared and also defines the means to implement security measures. Another interesting emotion in the same category is the “start”, the “thrill” as an expression of surprise (ḫu-luḫ = galātu, nagaltû). This emotion is a basic fear because it is not controllable, neither through reason nor through will. Darwin describes an experiment he did in a zoo: “I put my face close to the thick glassplate in front of a puff-adder in the Zoological Gardens, with the firm determination of not starting back if the snake struck at me: but, as soon as the blow was struck, my resolution went for nothing, and I jumped a yard or two backwards with astonishing rapidity. My will and reason were powerless against the imagination of a danger which had never been experienced. The violence of a start seems to depend partly on the vividness of the imagination, and partly on the condition, either habitual or temporary, of the nervous system.”30 The start marks in Mesopotamia the sudden transition from sleep to the waking state and the surprise of the dreamer. The dream is used in divination. This divination method is called incubation: technically, the person, usually the king, goes to sleep in the temple of a god, in order to receive a dream that answers a question. This type of divination is provoked by the solicitations of a diviner. These are rarely signs spontaneously sent by the gods. The start is considered to be a universal and trans-historical emotion by scientists despite the social and religious staging of divination. The start marks the end of the dream but also means that the message received was divine. An encounter with a god is always blinding, it is a flash of light, as shown by the statues of praying people. It is not fatal but provokes a thrill. This start is the confirmation of the authenticity of the divine message.

3

The Torments

If the encounter with the gods is a source of joy and provoked a start, the difficulty, or even the impossibility of this contact, the divine silence, is reflected in the texts by a series of terms of anguish, sadness, anger and torments, whose translation is often problematic, because no word in English corresponds exactly to the Sumerian and Akkadian terms.

30

Darwin 1890, 38.

emotions and their expression

249

The darkening (of the face) is often used as the physical image of sadness, but this image goes beyond this emotion alone to represent also anger, as in the myth of Atra-ḫasīs. In this story, the noise produced by people triggers the anger of the gods unable to sleep. It is Enlil, the god-ruler, who speaks before sending the second plague, drought and famine, in order to annihilate humanity: Enlil convened his assembly And addressed the gods his sons, “The people are not diminished, but they have become more numerous than before! I have got disturbed (adāru: I darkened) with their noise, With their uproar sleep does not overcome me. Cut off food supplies from the people, Let plant life be in short supply in their stomachs (…)”31 There is no specific word for saying “to be sad” in the Mesopotamian languages. There are only terms that describe the bodily manifestation of sadness: crying, lamenting, moaning, darkening. Lamentations constitute an immense corpus where sadness is expressed in the form of litanies with exclamations of pain: “Alas!” “Enough!” “Until when!”. Metaphorically, it is the city, the house, the facades, the reed that cries; and in synecdoches, it is the heart, the face, the eyes that shed tears. In the collection of lamentations about the death of the godman Dumuzi-Tammuz, a goddess, his wife, sister or mother, cries and laments, sometimes with the dead god himself: Now your brother has turned into a man-tear (= a man full of sorrow) Now Dumuzi has become a man-desolation (= a man full of desolation).32 There is in the lamentations the search for an emotional catharsis which is in itself an act of piety. Another function of staging the pain is to comfort the recipients, the audience, in their belonging to the same emotional community. It is reminiscent of Ez. 8:14 where women mourn in an assembly the death of Dumuzi-Tammuz:

31 32

Atra-ḫasīs S iv 37 and 39–43 (Lambert and Millard 1969, 108–109). CT 15 pl. 20–21 (Gabbay 2015).

250

jaques

He led me to the door of the house of the Lord on the north side. And behold, there were women sitting there, crying Tammuz.

4

Descriptions of Emotional Moments

Our sources, textual or iconographic, lead us to observe the emotion that is said or shown by visible or describable gestures. But there is also a rhetoric that suggests emotion. This rhetoric, called hypotyposis in literature, is aimed at the reader’s imagination. It allows one to imitate the observation of a real scene and to make it alive for an audience. It depicts a scene or object as put under the eyes of the reader, enumerating the details of a description, resulting in seeing the scene as the narrator sees it, instead of just reading it. It is a literary process often encountered in Flaubert or Zola. As historians, if we do not attend the scene, we cannot detect the presence of an emotion not said by words, only from the context. It involves a kind of intuitive communication. This is the case, for example, with humorous texts that do not contain special words of emotion, but that we understand through jokes, word games and assonances that their goal was to make an audience laugh. In a satirical narrative in Sumerian, called the Slave and the Scoundrel, for example, a servant is stripped of her inheritance by a malevolent individual. After six months of waste, the money is squandered, and the two characters find themselves wandering the streets. There are no comic’s words in the narrative only the description of the two characters.33 The mention of the verb “to laugh” (ṣiāḫu) appears sometimes, but rarely in some of these comic stories as in the tale called the Poor Man of Nippur. Here it is the mayor of the city who makes fun twice of the message of the main character, a young man penniless, reported by his porter: The mayor heard this and laughed (ṣiāḫu) all day.34 In other texts, an emotion appears even if the purpose of the words is not specifically to arouse it. In a small poem, an Assyrian elegy, structured in stanzas of four verses each, an emotion is described without naming it but by inspiring it.

33 34

Roth 1983 and Alster 1992. The Poor Man of Nippur 69 and 114 (Foster 2005, 933–934).

emotions and their expression

251

The first stanza especially contains a very rich comparison between a pregnant woman who died during her delivery and a boat stranded on the shore, but no emotion word is used: Abandoned like a boat adrift on the river Your thwarts are broken, painters severed: Why do you cross the City’s river, covered in a shroud? How not to drift abandoned, my moorings broken? During the days I was with the child—how happy I was! Happy I was, and happy my husband! The day my pain started, a shadow fell on my face, The day my labour began, brightness faded from my eyes. I besought the mother goddess with open hands: “O mother, you who bore me, save my life!” The mother goddess heard, then turned her face away: “Who are you, and why are you beseeching me so?” My spouse who loved me, cried aloud: “Who took away my wife and from me my happiness? […] through all eternity, […] forever in the place of ruin.” Passing through the City’s streets, the woman’s shade cries a sob: “Alas for all the years my husband was my company! With him I dwelled, the object of his love, Then to our bedroom, Death did creep. From my house, he drove me forth. From my husband, he ripped me off, And he planted my footfall here, in a place of no return.”35 This poem is a climax, as also Goethe’s poem Erlkönig, where the same themes resound. There are few emotional words, but there is emotion. One has only to feel what the Ancients have felt and have managed to transmit to the modern man: a common emotion that goes beyond history, which is in a way universal,

35

Reiner 1985 and George 2010.

252

jaques

but which is nevertheless rooted in a proper culture, pronounced with words that belonged to the ancient Mesopotamians. The repertoires of emotion words can say specific and real emotion but they can also be manipulated: they can be modes of communicative expressions where the affect is staged in a very conscious way. It is difficult for a historian, someone from the outside, to assess the sincerity or spontaneity of the expression of emotion in an old language. The problem of the meaning of emotions should not be limited to lexicon, metaphors and ritual scenarios. What is important is the discursive process (“a performance”) in the emotional experience. It is important to focus on social actors, their interests (the representation of themselves and others), their alliances and practices in relation to the discourse they produce. The study has to look for what the speech is doing in addition to what it says.36

Abbreviations BL CAD CT KAJ TCL

Langdon, S. 1913. Babylonian Liturgies. Paris: Ams Pr Inc. The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum. Ebeling, E. 1927. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur juristischen Inhalts. WVDOG 50. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrichs. Textes Cunéiformes. Musée du Louvre.

Bibliography Abu-Lughod, L. 1986. Veiled Sentiments. Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Alster, B. 1992. “Two Sumerian Short Tales Reconsidered.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 82: 186–201. Attinger, P. 1984. “Enki et Ninḫursaĝa.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 74: 1–52. Caillois, R. 1950. L’homme et le sacré. Paris: Gallimard. Coetzee, J.M. 2009. Summertime. Londen: Harvill Secker. Corbin, A., J.-J. Courtine and G. Vigarello (eds). 2016–2017. Histoire des émotions. 3 vols. Paris: Editions du Seuil. Darwin, C. 1890. The Expression of Emotions in Man and Animals. London: J. Murray.

36

Rosenwein and Cristiani 2018.

emotions and their expression

253

van Dijk, J. 1983. Lugal ud me-lám-bi nir-ĝál. Le récit épique et didactique des Travaux de Ninurta, du Déluge et de la Nouvelle Création. Tomes 1 et 2. Leiden: Brill. Duchenne de Boulogne, G.B. 1876. Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine ou analyse électro-physiologique de l’expression des passions. Paris: Librairie J.-B. Baillière et fils. Ekman, W.V. and P. Ellsworth. 1972. Emotion in the Human Face: guide-lines for research and integration of findings. New York: Pergamon Press. Ekman, P. and R.J. Davidson. 1994. The Nature of Emotion: fundamental questions. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Foster, B.R. 2005. Before the Muses. An anthology of Akkadian Literature. Bethesda; Maryland: CDL Press. Freedman, S. 1999. If a City is set on a Height: The Akkadian omen series Šumma ālu in mēlê šakin. Vol. 1. Occasional publications of the Samuel Noah Kramer fund, 17. Philadelphia: Samuel Noah Kramer Fund. Gabbay, U. 2015. The Eršema Prayers of the First Millenium BC. Heidelberger EmesalStudien 2. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. George, A.R. 2010. “The Assyrian Elegy: Form and Meaning.” In Opening the Tablet Box: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of Benjamin R. Foster, edited by S. Melville and A. Slotsky, 203–216. Leiden: Brill. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens. Recherche sur le lexique sumérien et akkadien. AOAT 332. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Lambert, W.G. 1996. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. Winona Lake; Indiana: Eisenbrauns. Lambert, W.G. and A.R. Millard. 1969. Atra-ḫasīs. The Babylonian Story of the Flood. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Mayer, W. 1976. Untersuchungen zur Formensprache der babylonischen “Gebetsbeschwörungen”. Studia Pohl; Series Maior 5. Rome: Biblical Institute Press. Michel, E. 1952. “Ein neuentdeckter Annalen-Text Salmanassars III.”Die Welt des Orients 1(6): 454–475. Mittermayer, C. 2009. Enmerkar und der Herr von Arata. Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 239. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vanderhoeck & Ruprecht. Otto, R. 1920. Das Heilige—Über das Irrationale in der Idee des Göttlichen und sein Verhältnis zum Rationalen. München: Beck. Reiner, E. 1985. Your Thwarts in Pieces, Your Moorings Rope Cut: Poetry from Babylonia and Assyria. Ann Arbor; Michigan: University of Michigan Press. Rendu-Loisel, A.-C. 2016. Les chants du monde. Le paysage sonore de l’ancienne Mésopotamie. Toulouse: Presse Universitaire du Midi. Rosenwein, B.H. and R. Cristiani. 2018. What is the History of Emotions? Cambridge: Polity Press. Roth, M.T. 1983. “The Slave and the Scoundrel. CBS 10467, a Sumerian Morality Tale?” Journal of the American Oriental Society 103: 275–281.

254

jaques

Schwemer, D. 2013. “Prescriptions and Rituals for Happiness, Success, and divine Favor: The Compilation A 522 (BAM 318).” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 65: 181–200. Stadhouders, H. 2016. “Sm 460—remnants of a ritual to cure the malady ḫīp libbi.” Le Journal des Médecines Cunéiformes 28: 55–59. Stearn, P. 1989. Jealousy: The evolution of an emotion in American history. New York: New York University Press. Thomsen, M.-L. 1992. “The Evil Eye in Mesopotamia.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51: 19–32. Wierzbicka, A. 1999. Emotions across languages and cultures: Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Zimmer, H. 1914. Akkadische Fremdwörter als Beweis für babylonischen Kultureinfluss. Leipzig: Universität Leipzig.

chapter 12

Expressions of Joy and Happiness in Neo-Assyrian Mikko Luukko

1

Introduction

Nowadays one might argue that we, at least in the Western World, have a duty to be “happy”; sometimes we are even made to believe that happiness as a continuous and lasting condition is possible. This pursuit of happiness is sustained by a vast modern industry. But because of these modern demands of happiness, at times it feels like we are riding an emotional rollercoaster, moving up and down on our emotional scale. Nevertheless, the importance of cherishing strong, momentary, fugitive and fleeting, positive emotions is generally recognized. This article is based on a somewhat illusory notion that the feelings of the ancient Mesopotamians closely corresponded to what we feel today.1 This may not have been the case, but this premise functions as a practical shortcut and a methodologically subjective helping device. Personally, I am in no position to say anything substantial about the scientific research of joy and happiness,2 but I do want to stress the different emphasis placed on these feelings by the ancient sources and modern positive psychology. I feel reluctant to define happiness, but, e.g., Paul Dolan succinctly defines happiness as “experiences of pleasure and purpose over time.”3 I take “joy” as a realization of happiness, a near synonym which basically refers to the same emotion, but may have a somewhat more active component, frequently unleashed by “rejoicing” Assyrians. In the larger picture, the happiness of an individual is always an essential ingredient of the common good, both in an ancient and in a modern society. This social dimension holds true 1 But cf., e.g., Larsen 2001, 276. 2 In particular connected to our brain, but I am happy to recommend, e.g., Burnett 2018. 3 Dolan 2014, 3. For various definitions of happiness, see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ Happiness (accessed on the 1st of April 2019). Note that happiness or joy mostly features on the list of “basic emotions,” see, e.g., a summary table including different theorists’ stances on this issue at http://changingminds.org/explanations/emotions/basic%20emotions.htm (accessed on the 5th of April 2019). In practice, it might be interesting and useful to investigate how the Self-Conscious Emotions (SCE: i.e., shame, guilt, pride and embarrassment) affected basic emotions in ancient sources (for this theory and how it distinguishes itself from basic emotions, see Prakasam 2017, 179–180, with bibliographical references).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

256

luukko

in the Assyrian context too. In the Mesopotamian world view, as we shall soon see, people pursued a good, healthy, and long life.4 Doubtless, the personification or prototype of Mesopotamian happiness is the sun-god Šamaš, who is metaphorically “bright(ly happy),”5 and whose beaming face we can easily imagine to be radiant with joy.6 Certainly one of the most interesting objects in this regard is the so-called Sun-god Tablet of Nabû-apla-iddina, an early Neo-Babylonian king (c. 887–855BCE). According to the account recorded in this tablet, the king commissioned the preparation of a cult statue based on a discovered clay model of the sun-god (uṣurti ṣalmīšu) for restoring the cult of Šamaš in Sippar.7 The king’s reaction at seeing the clay model is telling: Nabû-nadin-šumi … showed that relief of the image [uṣurti ṣalmi] to Nabû-apla-iddina, the king, his lord, and when Nabû-apla-iddina, the king of Babylon, to whom the fashioning of such an image had been entrusted by (divine) command, beheld that image [ṣalmu], his countenance brightened, his spirit rejoiced [pānūšu irtīšū īteliṣ kabtassu] and At that time, the heart of Nabû-apla-iddina, king of Babylon, rejoiced and his face brightened [libbašu iḫdūma immerū zīmēšu]. Towards Nabûnadin-šumi, the šangû priest of Sippar, the diviner, he directed his gaze, looking upon him joyfully with his radiant face, his ruddy features, (and) his benevolent eyes [ina būnīšu namrūti zīmēšu ruššûti8 damqāti īnēšu ḫadīš ippalissūma].9 Lines III 26, 30—IV 11 and IV 35–46

4 This article is not about the “philosophy of happiness.” For a snapshot of the history of happiness studies, see, e.g., Balentine 2017, 200. 5 CMAwR 2, text 8.36: 44. 6 Although, by the first millennium BCE, the symbol of a deity had generally replaced its previous anthropomorphic form; cf. Woods 2004, 50, 53. For some typical textual passages where Šamaš is in his element, see, e.g., Foster 2005, 50, 627–628, 633, 860. 7 For a detailed discussion on these items (i.e., the clay model, Sun-god Tablet and cult statue) and their relation to one another, see Sonik 2015, 165–172, 179–181; cf. Pongratz-Leisten 2014, 103–105. 8 For this phrase, cf., e.g., SAA 12 19 r.17 in which, interestingly, it refers to a future ruler (or “prince” as in the edition) of Assyria. 9 Translation taken from Woods 2004, 85–86; the emphasis is mine. On the king’s reaction, see also Sonik 2015, 180.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

257

Neither the (possibly fictional) clay model nor the cult statue is preserved, but the extant Sun-god Tablet itself contains an anthropomorphic image of the sun-god.10 Looking at the anthropomorphic image of the bright sun-god was clearly contagious, seeing how it transmitted its positive energy onto King Nabû-apla-iddina. Still, the sun-god’s happiness may not be taken for granted. Or, in other words, even the sun-god may need an impulse from outside to keep his spirits up. An incantation to Šamaš, for example, states: “May the great gods make you happy!” (CMAwR 1, text 9.2: 12).11 According to another antiwitchcraft ritual, Aya, his spouse, the “mistress of joy and happiness,” makes Šamaš happy (CMAwR 2, text 8.30: 9–11).12 On earth, the face of the king of Assyria, who has a close relationship with the sun-god, is special. Getting an audience and seeing the king’s face was a common desire of his subjects, something that could make them “happy.”13 Accordingly, the portrayal of the Assyrian king’s face is second to none: “Now go and see the beaming face of the king [alikma pānī ša šarri bēlīka ḫādûte amur], your lord, and give him a counsel that pleases the king, your lord, and may he listen to you” (SAA 21 27 r.10–14); the face of a king can even be mentioned in the same phrase with the face of a god: issi libbīka ṭāb ana Ninua erub pānī ša Nabû pānī ša šarri ina šulme amur “Enter Nineveh in good spirits and see the face of Nabû (and) the face of the king in peace!” (SAA 16 48: 6–10).14 To obtain a deeper understanding of joy and happiness in Mesopotamian sources, it is recommendable to consult myths (the Epic of Gilgamesh, for example, has much to say about the human condition15) and Mesopotamian “wisdom” literature, omens and rituals.16 All these genres are concerned with hap-

10 11 12

13 14

15

16

Woods 2004, 53–59. Cf. CMAwR 1, text 8.6: 71′ said to Marduk. On Šamaš and Aya’s divine love, see Nissinen 2001, 106–107 (cf. SAA 3 14: 15–16, with Nabû and Tašmetu; for an analysis, see Nissinen 2001, 114, 122). Note that archival texts, which form the main group of this study, do not contain any explicit passages that would combine sex with the mention of happiness/joy. See SAA 10 294 r.33, even if the phrase comes with a form of damāqu. These Neo-Assyrian examples are by no means unique but belong to a long tradition of Mesopotamian polite communication; see, e.g., comparable Old Babylonian examples, with a radiant face, in Sallaberger 1999, 80 (Ex. 41c), 125 (n. 179), 203 (Ex. 155). The Epic of Gilgamesh is, among others, an existential story of finding joy and happiness, feelings that go hand in hand with sorrow and mourning. The most telling passage in this context may be the divine alewife Šiduri’s instructions to Gilgamesh in the Old Babylonian version of the myth (see especially George 2003, 278–279 [Col. iii 6–15]; for a discussion, see Abusch 1993). On joy, especially when being intoxicated, in Mesopotamian literature, see, e.g., Mander 2004. Many rituals and prescriptions were designed to enhance happiness, or at least to

258

luukko

piness and joy, as well as with the opposite, negative feelings of depression,17 sorrow, and sadness. In what follows, I will focus on these positive, happy feelings in Neo-Assyrian letters and other archival texts, such as astrological reports (SAA 8). Neo-Assyrian archival texts are not contemplative-philosophical by nature, but straightforward types of writings, usually without the stylistic finesse of literary texts. The letters have their fair share of negative feelings, with complaints and appeals for help, mainly addressed to the kings Esarhaddon (680–669 BCE) and Assurbanipal (668–c. 630BCE) of Assyria by miserable professional scribes being out of a job or facing uncertainties in their work, but they also feature expressions of joy and happiness.18 Within the State Archives of Assyria series, SAA 3, the most literary volume of the series, offers further references to these emotions. Apart from the corpus of archival texts, the Assyrian royal inscriptions (RIMA 2–3, RINAP) also provide some illuminating examples.19 What then are the Assyrian reasons for happiness and joy? Below, I briefly present common themes and contexts20 (especially in the Appendix at the end of the article) in which we find happiness and joy in Neo-Assyrian sources. The existence of menologies (based on the calendar, months are characterized by stars, gods and their festivals), hemerologies (defining [un]propitious days by the calendar),21 and later also horoscopes,22 may imply that expressing happiness and joy was publicly encouraged in Mesopotamia at least at certain times. In the forthcoming discussion, I exclude “smile” and “laughter” as expressions of happiness/joy for two reasons: [1] they easily have ambiguous

17 18 19

20 21 22

keep unhappiness at bay, and ensure a person’s success. For one such example, see the edition of a literary tablet in Schwemer 2013. See Van Buylaere in this volume. I should stress that this article is merely a foray into a vast subject: just consider the countless self-help books on the topic and note the scientific Journal of Happiness Studies. As the texts of the State Archives of Assyria volumes and Assyrian Royal Inscriptions are nowadays easily available online at http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/saao/corpus and via http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/riao/index.html, I almost exclusively give translations in this article. However, these translations appear with the key words of happiness/joy transcribed, aiming to make the comparison between the translations and their corresponding Akkadian terms transparent. By context I mean the immediate context provided by the neighboring words in a given source and not anything deeper than that. The tradition of hemerologies and menologies bears a relation to horoscopes, cf. Rochberg 1998, 14–15. Horoscopes did not exist in the Neo-Assyrian period, but they are a later innovation of the Late Babylonian period; see Rochberg 2004, 98–208.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

259

connotations23 and [2] they are entirely marginal in the Neo-Assyrian textual sources.24 Further, a god or gods as the source of happiness is so ubiquitous in Assyrian sources, although not always explicitly specified, that I do not separately address this point.25

2

How and Where Do Neo-Assyrian Sources Speak about Happiness and Joy?

In Assyrian sources,26 four verbs—elēṣu,27 ḫadû,28 riāšu (râšu)29 and ṭiābu30— and their derivatives dominate the semantic domain of happiness and joy.31 In 23

24

25

26 27

28

29 30 31

On smile, see, e.g., Trumble 2004, who has titled his chapters, each corresponding to “a different sort of smile” (p. xli), as follows: Decorum (the polite smile), Lewdness (rude grinning), Desire (the coy smile, lipstick), Mirth (smiling and humor), Wisdom (the smile of reason, the stoic smile, the saintly smile), and Deceit (the fake smile). Starkey (2003), on the other hand, writes about smiles as performative gestures in the medieval Nibelungenlied, asserting the power of lordship. When it comes to laughter, the ancient Greek sources and beyond already show many types of laughter alongside joyous laughter, including aggressive, derisive and scornful laughter (see, e.g., Sanders 1995, 68–70, 81, 84–88). Strangely enough, the words for “smile” and “laughter” are not attested for certain in NeoAssyrian archival texts, at least not known to me, but one might expect to find passages with ṣīḫiš (CAD Ṣ 179a; AHw 1088b), ṣīḫtu (CAD Ṣ 186–187; AHw 1100), ṣuḫḫu (CAD Ṣ 235b; AHw 1109a) or ṣūḫu (CAD Ṣ 237a; AHw 1109b), all from the verb ṣâḫu/ṣiāḫu “to laugh; to smile” (CAD Ṣ 64–65; AHw 1096a). For an interesting discussion on the (religious and non-religious) sources of happiness, see, e.g., Balentine 2017, 204–214. In Assyria and Babylonia, consider, e.g., the wording of any introductory formula which includes a divine blessing and refers to “happiness” in the same context (many examples below). Including the extant Neo-Babylonian letters sent to the kings of Assyria and letters from the Assyrian kings to the Babylonians (foremost SAA 17, SAA 18 and SAA 21). CAD E 88, 109–110; CAD U/W 85–87; AHw 200a, 205b, 1410b–1411a; cf. also Ermidoro 2015, 254. The verb elēṣu is extremely rare in archival texts, but is more common in royal inscriptions, especially those of Sargon II, Esarhaddon, and Assurbanipal. CAD Ḫ 23, 25–28, 182–183, 222–224; AHw 307–308, 344b–345a, 352b–353a, 667b, 1302a; cf. Sallaberger 1999, 116–117. For a discussion of ḫadû and its derivatives in a banquet context, see Ermidoro 2015, 253–254. The malicious pleasure of Schadenfreude and other negative nuances of happiness are lexically expressed by forms of ḫadû (e.g., in SAA 3 12 r.17–18; SAA 10 226 r.22; SAA 16 63: 20; SAA 21 37: 14 and Ludlul II 117–118, V 21–22, 28–29; for Ludlul, see Oshima 2014, 92–93, 106–107), but note, e.g., that a related item, ḫadī-ū’a amēlu and its interpretation in CAD Ḫ 24 as “a person with quickly changing moods,” has been rejected by George 2003, 801, 874 (note on line 265). CAD R 208–212, 377–381; AHw 979b–980, 989. CAD Ṭ 34–42, but see especially ṭūb libbi s.v. ṭūbu, ibid. pp. 118–120; AHw 1389–1391, 1392 (ṭūbātu; somewhat differently interpreted in CAD Ṭ 114–115), 1393. One should add the common Neo-Babylonian ḫamû to these verbs as well, but CAD Ḫ 72

260

luukko

addition, these verbs or their derivatives form compounds and idioms together with the word libbu “heart”, e.g., libbu ša šarri bēlīya lū ṭāb “the king, my lord, can be glad” (passim).32 In this article, my main purpose is not to create a lexical study of joy and happiness in the Assyrian Empire, but to contextualize the motives behind people’s behavior when referring to these emotions in the archival texts and beyond. In other words, I would like to know how joy and happiness manifest themselves in the Neo-Assyrian sources and what situations triggered these positive emotions. I mainly limit myself to passages in which the modern translations use the words “happiness” and “joy” in a narrow way and touch upon related emotion words such as “delighted,33 pleased, satisfied, exuberant, celebrated,” etc., only in passing.34 If I strictly limited my search for translations of “happiness” and “joy” in the State Archives of Assyria volumes, then the large Neo-Assyrian corpus of administrative letters of the eighth century BCE, often from provincial governors to the kings Tiglath-pileser III but especially to Sargon II, would be of little use; however, by including the word “glad,”35 the result is rather different. The contextual perspective offers some potential as to how one can see the expressions of joy and happiness in Neo-Assyrian sources as part of the larger picture.

32 33 34

35

interprets it as “to become confident, to rely” and AHw 319a is similar with “vertrauen”. In addition, note at least the following verbs or nouns that I will not discuss, quote or mention outside this note: bu’āru, a rarer noun, is sometimes connected with “joy” and “happiness” (see AHw 135a); for ḫelû, ḫalā’u, a synonym of namāru “to be bright,” see von Soden 1986 and AHw 339b; one meaning of tašīltu is “joy” (derived from the rare verb šâlu, see Lambert 1983; CAD T 286–287 and AHw 1338a provide a narrower interpretation; for references, cf. Ermidoro 2015, 253–254), but the only passage known to me in which this word may occur in Neo-Assyrian archival texts is SAA 10 112 r.32. Further, suffice it to say here that the verb damāqu and its derivatives have to do with many different nuances of positive things, some of which may be closely connected to happiness and joy as well (cf., e.g., the interpretations of SAA 10 13 r.12′ and 361: 13′–e.17′). But cf., e.g., the translation of SAA 10 298: 7 or SAA 16 38 r.2′–3′. But see SAA 10 185: 15, r.25, s.2 (in these three lines the expression libbu balāṭu is used). However, it may be noted that translations are of course modern interpretations and not always entirely consistent with one another. Perforce, this adds an element of randomness to the treatment. I also exclude ecstasy, an emotion or a religious state that is not interpreted as overtly positive in the same way as “happiness” and “joy” in Neo-Assyrian sources. Consider, e.g., “inspiration was presumably by means of ecstasy, the ‘madness’ of the maḫḫû” Huffmon 2000, 62. According to Steinert (2012, 501 and passim in her book), bāštu also stands for happiness/joy and for other positive emotions in Mesopotamia. Therefore, I include the translation “glad,” which mainly appears in the introductory formulae of these late eighth-century letters, in a limited manner in this section and the Appendix at the end of this article.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

261

Happiness of a superior, and especially of the king, is a constant concern of his subjects. When reading Neo-Assyrian letters and other contemporary archival texts one may get the impression that happiness was a royal prerogative, but this interpretation would deny the constant interaction between the king and his subjects. Even if many of our examples bear evidence of institutional well-wishing, when the lower-ranking personnel are fulfilling their obligation towards their superiors, reciprocal respect and tact concern all parties involved in the Neo-Assyrian correspondence. Therefore, as far as I am concerned, the Assyrian ideal of happiness is firmly anchored in the interaction between the elite, formed by the king, royal family and other high-ranking Assyrians, and his/their lower-ranking correspondents. Bearing the above observations in mind, it comes as no surprise that the words “happiness” and “joy” most often appear in letters sent to the king of Assyria. In these letters, stock phrases in introductory formulae observe the polite etiquette that strictly coheres with the social hierarchy. The following type of introductory formula, which has many close variants, is relatively common when writing to the king: To the king, my lord: your servant Urad-Nanaya. The very best of health to the king, my lord! May Ninurta and Gula give happiness and physical well-being [ṭūb libbi ṭūb šīri]36 to the king, my lord! SAA 10 315: 1–6

These “extended”37 introductory formulae of the Neo-Assyrian letters include many examples in which “happiness” or “joy” are linked with other words, thus contextually illuminating the usage of this or these emotions. The following is a subjective selection of some simple and more elaborate cases: To the king of the lands, my lord: your servant Zakir. May Nabû and Marduk bless the king of the lands, my lord! May Bel and Nabû keep you alive for long days of happiness and physical well-being [ṭūb libbi ṭūb šīri], and may they deliver your enemy into your hands! SAA 10 168: 1–6

36 37

Ṭūb libbi (u) ṭūb šīri (on occasion, the plural šīrē, šīrī, or šīrāni may be more correct) is the most common phrase to indicate happiness in introductory formulae (cf. below). In contrast to simple introductory formulae, consisting only of the address (most importantly the recipient’s name/title) and a greeting, and at most with a standardized blessing ending in likrub/likrubu “may he/they bless …”

262

luukko

Happiness and joy together: To the king, my lord: your servant Balasî. Good health to the king, my lord! May Nabû and Marduk bless the king, my lord! May Aššur, Bel and Nabû give happiness and joy [ṭūb libbi ḫūd libbi] to the king, my lord! SAA 10 61:1–11

Similar words could be addressed to other high officials, as here in a letter to the Palace Scribe: To the Palace Scribe, my lord: your servant Nabû-šumu-iddina. [Good health to] my lord! May [Nabû] and Marduk, [Ištar] of Nineveh and [Ištar] of Arbela bless my lord! May they keep you in good health, and may you constantly be happy! [… libbaka kayamāni lū ṭāba] SAA 10 130: 1–r.3

The examples above come from the seventh-century BCE scholarly correspondence. We do not find similar phrases in the eighth-century Neo-Assyrian letters to the king, but the contemporary Neo-Babylonian letters (SAA 17) to the king of Assyria offer a broader variety of positive expressions. For example: May I hear of the well-being of the king, my lord, and rejoice [luḫmi]. SAA 17 52 r.20′–22′

Well-wishing was not confined to letters from an inferior to a superior. According to the introductory formulae of some royal letters,38 sometimes the king passed his positive mood on to his subjects. For example: The word of the king to Aššur-mudammiq, Aššur-šarru-uṣur and Aššurhussanni. I am well—you may be happy too [libbakunu lū ṭābākunu]. SAA 13 1: 1–7

Similarly, Adad-šumu-uṣur’s profuse thanks to the king show that Assurbanipal tried to keep his chief exorcist happy: As to what the king, lord of kings, my lord, wrote to me: “May your heart become happy [libbaka liṭībka] now, may your mind no longer be restless.”

38

Cf. Pirngruber 2015, 319 (n. 8), 326.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

263

and When I heard this friendly speech and saw the kind deed that the king, my lord, had done, my heart became happy [libbī iṭībanni] and grew as strong as a bull’s, and my green face turned red (with pleasure). If only the king, my lord, lets me grow old in exactly this way during the eternal life of the king, my lord! SAA 10 227: 15–1739 and r.3–9 As above, a writer’s gratitude to a higher authority, especially to the king, reflects his relationship with his superior; whether this reflects the writer’s or sender’s real, ostensible or desired feelings is not so important in this context. Depending on the sender and his or her circumstances, these may or may not be coercive or limp responses, considering that such actions were strongly conditioned by social constraints, sometimes probably by individual restraints as well.

3

Happiness: An Emotion of the Heart

As already indicated above, the word libbu, “heart,”40 forms part of many Akkadian sayings that express happiness/joy. The most frequent phrases are ṭūb libbi ṭūb šīri and ṭūb libbi ḫūd libbi, usually translated as “happiness (and) physical well-being/health” and “happiness (and) joy.” Unsurprisingly, in many instances, a deity plays an important role helping a person achieve his or her happiness. For example, in a prayer to NinurtaSirius we read: [ina ḫūd li]bbi u ṭūb kabattu41 itarrânni ūmišam “Keep guiding me every day [in jo]y and happiness!” (CMAwR 2, text 8.41: 16)

39 40

41

For lines 15–22 of the letter, see Van Buylaere in this volume. The same idiom (libbu + a personal suffix with ṭiābu) also in SAA 16 62 s.1 and SAA 17 70 r.9′. Libbu and our modern concept “heart,” with all its possible connotations, do not exactly mean the same thing. Apart from “heart,” the Akkadian libbu, depending on the context, may at least refer to “inside, interior; courage, morale, spirit; mood, mind; wish, choice, preference; essence, substance; content.” Here, one should also note that “In the context of Old Testament tradition, heart must be understood as the mind of the person, the center of human thoughts and decisions” (Prakasam 2017, 185–186). Additionally, with its frequent combinations with other nouns, libbu has many further meanings. On the emotional expressions with libbu in Old Assyrian letters, see Larsen 2001, 278–279. Alongside libbu, the noun kabattu “liver,” as a seat of the emotions, is found in many expressions of happiness/joy (cf. Steinert 2012, 233, 250, 292).

264

luukko

The following two examples, each quoting a favorable omen, are very common in astrological reports to Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. Interestingly, the first attests to the collective happiness of the “land” (i.e., Assyria) if the moon’s first visibility falls on the first day of a new month, while the apodosis of the second omen is further amplified by the joy/happiness of the troops and the king: 1 30 ud 1-kam igi.lal ka gi.na šà kur dùg.ga If the moon becomes visible on the 1st day: reliable speech, the land will become happy. SAA 8 7: 1–2 and passim in the astrological reports of SAA 842 1 ud 14-kam 30 u 20 ki a-ḫa-meš igi.meš ka gi.na šà-bi kur dùg-ab dingir.meš kur–uri.ki a-na da-mì-iq-ti i-ḫa-sa-su ḫu-ud šà-bi erim-ni šà-bi lugal dùg-ab máš.anše kur–uri.ki ina edin par-ga-niš ná-iṣ If on the 14th day the moon and sun are seen together: reliable speech, the land will become happy. The gods will remember Akkad favorably; joy among the troops; the king will become happy; the cattle of Akkad will lie in the steppe undisturbed. SAA 8 15: 6–r.4 and passim in the astrological reports of SAA 8; an interesting variant with “joy among people” in SAA 8 271: 1–6

The favorable sighting of the moon on the first day of a month occasionally gave a sender reason to add further wishes to a king: May Aššur, Šamaš, Nabû, and Marduk grant to the king, my lord, day after day, month after month, year after year happiness, health, joy and rejoicing [ṭūb libbi ṭūb šīri ḫidûti u rīšāti], (and) a stable throne forever, for long days and many years! SAA 8 421 r.1–8 and 422 r.1′–8′

If one of the main goals of a king was to attain eternal life, this might be bested by eternal happiness and health:

42

Hunger 1992, XIX; Rochberg 2017, 209. An elaborate variant of this extends happiness to the king of Akkad and his nobles (SAA 8 505 r.3–5). See also SAA 8 253 r.6′–7′.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

265

May they make you attain your goal and [bestow] eternal happiness and health [ṭūb libbi u ṭūb šīr[ē] ša dārāti] [upon the ki]ng, my lord! SAA 4 341 r.5′–9′

The following text, with the unusual šà dùg.ga, libbi ṭūbi, instead of the common ṭūb libbi for which it may stand here as well, is titled “Hemerology” in SAA 8, but, as the obverse of the tablet contains a fragmentary prayer to Šamaš, which resembles a ritual, it is also possible that the obverse and reverse of this small fragmentarily preserved single-column tablet, are unrelated.43 In any event, the tablet includes dietary instructions, stating: He may eat beef, mutton and fowl; he may not eat garlic, leek or fish; afterwards, he should embrace happiness.44 SAA 8 231 r.4′–6′

4

Joy: Happiness in Practice

As stated above, I am taking “joy” here in a simple way, following the translations of the State Archives of Assyria series and elsewhere without much theoretical baggage. In the said text editions, the nouns ḫadû, ḫadûtu, ḫidûtu, ḫūd libbi and the rarer mēleṣu, are mostly interpreted as “joy”; except for the compound ḫūd libbi, these nouns are not very common in Neo-Assyrian sources, whereas the verb ḫadû “to rejoice” is relatively frequent. In Neo-Assyrian sources, “joy” is sometimes connected with the context of feasting.45 Proba43

44

45

According to Jiménez (in Jiménez and Adalı 2015, 186, n. 54), reverse 3′–10′ of SAA 8 231 contains the first portion (dealing with Nisannu) of a so-called “Lying Down Menology”: “a ritual prescribing a different type of purification for every month of the year” (ibid. p. 183, n. 45). The end of the sentence may be normalized as libbi ṭūbi lirkus, but the meaning is not entirely clear; the SAA edition, Livingstone (2000, 382) and Ermidoro (2015, 213, n. 71) do not translate the predicate at the end at all. I assume that here the obviously positive nuance of rakāsu, literally “to tie, bind, attach,” etc., may be understood figuratively. Thus, it may approximately mean “to embrace”, i.e., “to attach (oneself) to (the feeling of) happiness”, which would etymologically—“to embrace” is a loanword in English from the French verb “embrasser” of which one basic meaning is “to clasp in the arms”—nicely correspond to the Akkadian phrase. For example, according to Shalmaneser III, “I washed the weapon of Aššur therein, made sacrifices to my gods, (and) put on a joyful banquet [naptan ḫudûtu aškun]” (RIMA 3 A.102.14: 70–71, cf. also RIMA 3 A.102.16: 42–43). For a discussion of this passage, see Ermidoro 2015, 17, 111.

266

luukko

bly the most conspicuous passage appears at the end of the Assurnasirpal II’s so-called Banquet Stele, which celebrates the inauguration of his newly built capital city of Kalhu, biblical Calah, with thousands of guests. The final sentence of this remarkable inscription tells how Assurnasirpal sent his banquet guests back home: ukabbissunūti ina šulme u ḫadê ana mātātišunu utēršunūti46 (Thus) did I honor them (and) send them back to their lands in peace and joy.47 RIMA 2 A.101.30: 153–154

The compound ḫūd libbi, “joy,” may also appear in introductory formulae. Unlike the other Assyrian high-profile scribes, scholars and priests, Esarhaddon’s trusted man in Babylonia, Mar-Issar, used an original introductory formula in his letters which sets him apart from the others: To the king, my lord: your servant Mar-Issar. Good health to the king, my lord! May Nabû and Marduk bless the king, my lord! May the great gods bestow long days, well-being and joy [ṭūb šīri u ḫūd libbi] upon the king, my lord! SAA 10 347: 1–5 and similarly in SAA 10 nos. 348–349, 351–355, 357–359, 363, 368– 370

Of course, here the word “joy,” a compound, ḫūd libbi, fills more or less the same slot as “happiness” (ṭūb libbi) does in other letters. Thus, the difference between the two seems to be merely a slight semantic nuance. Mar-Issar’s originality, however, does not have anything to do with the rarity of the phrase ṭūb šīri (u) ḫūd libbi, which is common, but no other writers of Neo-Assyrian letters have used it in their introductory formulae.48 The active nuance of the ḫūd libbi phrase may be exemplified by Sennacherib’s words:

46 47

48

The normalization of this sentence, written with many logograms, is not entirely certain. As in German medieval literature and elsewhere, the following observation was certainly valid in Mesopotamia too: “Feasts and celebrations in particular are moments of reconciliation and joy, showcasing a lord’s power and ability to maintain order and peace,” Starkey 2003, 164 (said in the context of the Nibelungenlied); see also Ermidoro 2015, 120. But cf., e.g., a Neo-Babylonian letter, SAA 17 33: 7, by Ina-tešî-eṭir, probably to Sennacherib (Dietrich 2003, XXIII, XXXVII).

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

267

With a rejoicing heart and a radiant face [ina ḫūd libbi u nummur pānī], I rushed to Babylon and entered the palace of Marduk-apla-iddina (II) (Merodach-baladan) to take charge of the possessions and property therein. RINAP 3/1 1: 30; RINAP 3/2 213: 30

The divine words liḫdā šapātēka, “May your lips rejoice!”, addressed to Assurbanipal according to a prophecy (SAA 9 9: 22), refer to the physical, bodily effort of producing a positive speech act.49 Here the reason for joy is no doubt the divine support Assurbanipal enjoys, keeping him alive. Occasionally, what resembles an introductory greeting may be found at the end of a letter: May I hear the well-being of the king, my lord, and rej[oice] [lu[ḫmi]]! SAA 17 53 r.21e–22e, no. 52 r.20′–22′ [above]; cf. SAA 19 141 s.2–3, the same phrase is also convincingly restored in SAA 18 9 r.22′–24′

Somewhat overblown introductory formulae can also be captivating, especially when they combine “happiness,” “joy” and “rejoicing” or other related words in one sentence as in the following example: May Nabû and Marduk ordain long days of happiness (and) many years of rejoicing, joy, and celebration [ša ulṣu ḫīdāti u rīšāti] for the king, my lord. SAA 10 94: 1–7

Similarly, the following introductory wish shows the power of combining the nearly synonymous words:50 May [the goddess DN] subdue [......]; may she day after day, month after month and year after year present the king, my lord, with rejoicing, pride,51 joy, jubilation and merry mood [ulṣu bāltu ḫidûtu mēlulu u nummur kabatti]. SAA 10 97: 1′–5′

49 50 51

Cf. SAA 3 13: 24–26. The author may or may not be Akkullanu (see Parpola 1983, 322, introduction to no. 310), the well-known astrologer and priest of the Aššur temple. But see also the interpretation and discussion in Steinert 2012, 445 (n. 159) and 451 (n. 199).

268

luukko

The adjective “joyful” and the adverb “joyfully” occasionally modify the pleasures connected with the royal palace and to the king himself, e.g., as a deity’s acceptance and support of the king.52 For the kings of Assyria, building palaces and temples,53 and not only building but also renovating these special buildings, was a constant source of happiness and joy. It was taken for granted that these buildings emanated joy to their builders and worshippers:54 When Assurnasirpal, king of Assyria, consecrated the joyful palace [ēkal ḫūd libbi, literally “the palace of joy” and not a genuine adjective], the palace full of wisdom, in Kalḫu (and) … [followed by a list of the guests invited and the food served to them]. RIMA 2 A.101.30: 102–104

In some cases, the whole city may function as a source or location of joy.55 Thus, “joy” was part and parcel of regular festivals in cities and these festivals were maintained by the cultic calendar. Similarly, in Mesopotamia it was important to schedule specific activities at the right, propitious moment. In this practice, hemerologies guided the course of life and were probably connected to both the public and private spheres. At their simplest, hemerologies were merely lists enumerating favorable and unfavorable days with minimal comments, including “joy of heart”:56 The 16th/24th/11th/26th day: joy of heart.57 SAA 8 162: 4, 8 (šà.húl.la); 164: 7 (ḫūd libbi); 232: 5 (ḫūd l[ibbi);58 233: 2, 7 (šà.húl); SAA 10 379 r.7 (ḫūd libbi) 52

53 54

55

56 57 58

SAA 13 132: 5–7. The king himself seems to have acted “joyfully” (itti rīšāte) in SAA 3 17 r.29– 30; see also ḫādâtānâ in SAA 17 69 r.8. Cf. a god (ḫadīš) in SAA 12 90: 20–21 (Sîn) and ina ḫūd libbīšu in RIMA 2 A.101.31: 17–19 (Ninurta). As, e.g., in RINAP 3/1 37 r.4′–6′ (Ešaḫulezenzagmukam). Such temples include: Eḫiligar in Babylon (SAA 3 9: 5) and Eḫulḫuldirdirra (SAA 20 49: 156). Note the remarkable qualities of the temple for Ningirsu that Gudea, the late-thirdmillennium Sumerian ruler of Lagaš, built: “the great awe-inspiring radiance (ni₂-gal) emanating from the temple was cast over the land ‘like the sun(god)’ (dutu-gim),” etc. (Winter 2007, 55). Consider, e.g., the city hymns celebrating Arbela (SAA 3 8, cf. SAA 9 1 ii 11′–12′) and Assur (SAA 3 10); cf. also SAA 3 2: 21–23, 28–29, r.14–15 (Babylon and Esaggil in a hymn to Marduk and Zarpanitu). Although one could argue that it is pleonastic to translate ḫūd libbi as “joy of heart,” typically done so in the hemerologies, when “joy” alone would suffice. On the purpose of such lists, see, e.g., Waerzeggers 2012, 656–659. This is a true “hemerology,” even if only a simple list of days; the line in question adds a further, telling comment: “the beginning of tax is set.”

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

5

269

Preliminary Conclusions

The ways of experiencing joy and happiness are to some extent universal.59 The results, primarily based on the translations of passages with “happiness” and “joy” in Neo-Assyrian sources, are therefore somewhat predictable. Predictable because happiness regularly appears together with the expected words or concepts for a long life, health, and well-being. But this contextual relationship does not weaken our approach; on the contrary, it supports our argument. It is probably a common assumption that the ancients were and behaved in many ways like us, but in practice such an assumption is usually difficult to substantiate. However, by studying the contexts in which the Assyrians and Babylonians speak about happiness (see the Appendix below), it becomes clear that the sources of their happiness and joy are not that different from ours. As the Assyrians and Babylonians highly valued their economic well-being, health, material luxury, safety and social interaction—signaling “we are in this together” and we share the same goals60—in many ways their disposition towards happiness resembles our own ideas about this emotion. Consequently, even if we are in danger of getting lost in semantic nuances with our interpretations of cultural constraints,61 we may get the bigger picture right. In addition, the kings of Assyria had their own happiness agenda which was regularly comprised of palace and temple building and military campaigns since defeating their enemies was one of their main goals (cf. the Appendix below). This last point is something that can be labeled under the dark side of happiness.62 In

59 60

61 62

My emphasis on “to some extent” should not obscure the fact that one can easily argue against a universally shared vocabulary of emotions; see, e.g., Dinkler 2017, 267–268, 270. Cf. Ermidoro 2015, 254. This is of course equally true in the modern interpretations of happiness and can also be effectively expressed by the lack of social interactions, e.g., “Having other people around when we do things that make us happy just improves the experience for everyone. On the other hand, social rejection is deeply unpleasant, no matter who’s doing it” (Burnett 2018, 138); “Loneliness, like happiness, is contagious: it spreads even more strongly than feelings of connectedness with others. Loneliness is also horrible for your health” (Dolan 2014, 180–181). Cf. Larsen 2001, 277. We should be able to see the dark side of happiness in most of us too. Consider, e.g., “Every day, people actively lie, cheat, attack, steal, bully, manipulate and sabotage, just to get what they want. Their goals and desires, their happiness, involve making people unhappy, often considerably so” and “Other people share our homes, our jobs, our hobbies; we work to impress them, seek out their approval, their intimacy, their love, their laughter; we gain satisfaction from besting them in various ways, and even when we end up fearing others, we can gain happiness from causing them harm, as unpleasant as that realisation may be for many.” (Burnett 2018, 231 and 301).

270

luukko

the case of the Assyrian Empire the use of the term is certainly justified by the empire’s systematic approach to hurting other people in order to attain its objectives. Reading the introductory formulae of Neo-Assyrian letters, one easily recognizes that we are mainly dealing with a limited set of phrases, very much stock phrases, which obey the social etiquette of the time. The wording of these formulae is often identical from one to another, clearly indicating how well they were known and how carefully they were followed. Of course, one might ridicule these introductory formulae and say that they only represent a very limited slice of happiness. Despite the problems of postulating any universal claims to the expressions of human emotions, be it linguistically or by any other means, it is yet remarkable how closely the Akkadian metaphors of happiness correspond to similar expressions in English and Chinese and how these are based on common physical, bodily, and especially facial experience.63 Suffice it here to quote three metaphorical expressions of happiness both in English and in Chinese:64 “When she heard the news, she lit up.” “He radiates joy.” “She was shining with joy.” The translations of similar Chinese expressions: “He has a glowing face, and an air of happiness high and strong.” “His happiness showed in his (facial) color.” “He smiled, which caused his face to beam.” / “He beamed with a smile.” In Mesopotamia, happiness and joy were emphatically emotions of the heart (libbu); they are not connected to the head or brain (but see n. 40 above). For the most part, the expressions of happiness and joy are connected with activities involving doing things together; they function as social lubricants among people who belong to the same group and celebrate together.65

63

64 65

See Yu 1995, 59–60, 69, 75–80. For the corresponding expressions in Akkadian, see, e.g., CAD N/1 213b–214, 216b, 218; see also the passages of the Sun-god Tablet of Nabû-aplaiddina (quoted above). Obviously, the color of a happy face (not discussed here) is an important aspect in Akkadian too (see, e.g., SAA 10 227, quoted above). All these examples are taken from Yu 1995, 75, where one can find more similar metaphors. The Mesopotamian pleasures of this life (and those of the Old Testament) are neatly summarized in Steinert 2012, 58 f. (n. 141).

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

271

The most extensive and significant anti-witchcraft ritual, Maqlû, says beautifully about the ancient longing for happiness and health in one’s life: ṭūb libbi ṭūb šīri lirteddânni May happiness (and) good health ever accompany me. Maqlû VII 164

Probably the best-known letter quoted when speaking about happiness in Assyria was authored by the king’s exorcist, Adad-šumu-uṣur, who praised Assurbanipal’s kingship (lines 5–8) and especially the beginning of his reign as a time of prosperity in which: A good reign—righteous days, years of justice; copious rains, huge floods, a fine rate of exchange! The gods are appeased, there is much fear of god, the temples abound; the great gods of heaven and earth have become exalted in the time of the king, my lord. The old men dance, the young men sing, the women and girls are merry and rejoice [ḫadia rīša]; women are married and provided with earrings; boys and girls are brought forth, the births thrive and We too should, together with all the people, be merry, dance [lū ḫadiāni nirqud], and bless the king, my lord! SAA 10 226: 9–21, r. 11–13

As exemplified by many passages, it is within the powers of the gods to make people happy in Mesopotamian thought, but the disposition of the people played a crucial role in their achieving happiness.

272

luukko

Appendix: Thematic Contexts with Happiness and Joy66 [1] Long life, good health/well-being:67 – “‘This work is most acceptable to Bel! The king is going to live long!’ They were merry indeed [ḫadiu adanniš], so I asked: ‘What is it? Tell me!’ but they wouldn’t tell me.” SAA 5 294: 4′–8′. The reason for being “merry” or “happy” here may not necessarily be the king’s anticipated long life, but something that is mentioned in the broken beginning of the letter. – “Quickly the king will hear a report of well-being to be glad about [ṭēmu u šulum ša ḫadê].” SAA 8 343 r.1–3. – “If we did not work sleeplessly (now), what other work would there be for us to do? As far as this is concerned, the king, my lord, can be happy.” SAA 10 215: 10–r.5 [libbu … lū ṭāba; taking care of the sick king]. – “let my reign endure as long as heaven and earth; let me stride beaming daily in joy, gladness, happiness, shining face, (and) happy mood” [ina ulṣi rīšāti ḫūd libbi nummur pāni ṭūb kabatti ūmišam namriš luttallak] RINAP 4 105 viii 28–34, 104 vi 23–29 and 107 viii 16′–31′. Comparable wishes to those of the introductory formulae of letters, including wishes of “happiness”, but mainly not blessings in the strict sense (i.e., with karābu “to bless”), are also to be found in: – SAA 3 11 r.1–2 (Assurbanipal’s Coronation Hymn). – SAA 8 296: 4–6; 418 r.7–10; 445 r.4–9; 474: 5–9. – SAA 10 16 r.2′–8′; 69 r.12–14; 218 r.1–12; SAA 10 307: 8–r.2. – SAA 13 130: 17–r.10; 174 r.1–6. – SAA 17 23 r.7–8. – SAA 20 40 r. iv 1′–10′. – RINAP 4 1 vi 54–57; 2 vi 25–30; 3 vi 5′–10′; 43 r.11′–17′ and 93: 34. 66

67

This appendix is neither exhaustive nor systematic but tries to be representative, giving passages with “happy”, “rejoicing” and “to rejoice”, but not with “joyful(ly)”. I usually quote first one or more examples and then refer to other, similar passages. There are cases in which a given passage clearly concerns more than one of these categories. The “well-being” of Assyria, its temples and all the king’s forts are sources of happiness in the introductory formulae of the late eighth-century letters to the kings of Assyria by their crown-princes; for attestations, see Luukko 2012, 101; the standard phrase of happiness in these letters is libbu ša šarri bēlīya adanniš lū ṭāb “The king, my lord, can be glad indeed”. In the introductory formulae of letters of the governors of the time, we also find references to the good state of the “fort(s)” and “land” of the king, giving him cause to be glad (Luukko 2012, 102, cf. also ibid. 108, n. 77). For a legion of relevant introductory formulae from seventh-century letters, see especially SAA 10 and SAA 13, but also SAA 16, SAA 18 and SAA 21 (only nos. 109–110 and 118 are pertinent).

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

273

[2] God(s) as the source of or reason for happiness/joy outside introductory formulae: – “Let the good šēdu (and) the good lamassu, who guard my royal path (and) who make me happy [muḫaddû kabattīya], last forever and ever in that palace.” RINAP 4 1 vi 62–64; no. 2 vi 38–42; no. 3 vi 17′–21′. – Sun-god Tablet of Nabû-apla-iddina III 30—IV 11 and IV 35–46 (cf. section I above). – SAA 3 7: 10–12 (all the gods rejoice when Ištar, Lady of Nineveh, comes out). – SAA 8 323 r.8–10; 435: 6–r.2. – SAA 9 9: 22–25 (cf. section IV above). – SAA 10 98:6–16. – “Zarpan[it]u, the a[u]gust lady, has made you happy [libbaki tuṭṭībki].” SAA 18 55: 9–10 [note the request until r.5]. – CMAwR 2, text 8.30: 9–11 (cf. section I above); CMAwR 2, text 8.41: 16 (cf. section III above); CMAwR 1, text 9.2: 12 (cf. section I above). [3] King, kingship, king’s actions as reasons for happiness and joy: – “If anyone makes rebellion or insurrection against Esarhaddon, king of Assyria and seats himself on the royal throne, you shall not rejoice over his kingship [šumma ana šarrūtīšu tahaddu’āni] but shall seize him and put him to death.” SAA 2 6: 302–306.68 – “All the lands are happy [ḫamû] before the king, my lord.” SAA 18 14 r.10–13. – “The god Aššur, king of the gods, truly looked on my good deeds and his heart became joyful, his mood shone [ēliṣ libbašu kabattuš immir].” RINAP 4 57 vii 17–21. – SAA 10 226 (cf. section V above). – “kept sending glad tidings [pussurat ḫadê, cf. [6] below] to m[e] regarding my exercising the kingship” RINAP 5 73 o ii 15′. – RINAP 4 33 r. iii 27′. [4] Children (including princes): – “On the day I bore fruit, how happy I was [ḫadāka]! Happy was I, happy my husband.” SAA 3 15: 5–6. – “Look upon these fine sons of yours and your heart will rejoice [libbaka lū ḫaddi].” SAA 10 185 r.19–20. 68

As this passage from Esarhaddon’s Succession Treaty records a standard practice, it is worth citing. Otherwise I have intentionally avoided quoting opposite or negated emotions in this article, but see, e.g., SAA 18 24 r.7–10 in which Esaggil and Babylon appear as the locations of joy.

274

luukko

– “The charge of the ‘Lady of Cults’69 is doing very well; the king, my lord, can be happy [libbu … lū ṭāba]. May the great gods of heaven and earth let the king, my lord, see him prosper!” SAA 10 194: 6–13, cf. 196:10–13, 197: 4–6 and 247: 8″–11′. – SAA 3 16 r.17. – SAA 10 244: 9–14 [princes and the queen mother]. – SAA 10 314: 1′–3′. [5] Achieving goals (cf. SAA 4 341 r.5′–9′ in section III): [a] Building, renovating or consecrating a palace, temple or city (Sargon II): – RIMA 2 A.101.30: 102–104 (cf. section IV above). – RIMA 3 A.102.56: 8–10 (may Ninurta rejoice [liḫdūni] because of the ziggurat of Nineveh). – Fuchs 1994: 81 and 312 (line 79); pp. 187, 247–248, 271 and pp. 341–342, 355, 362 (lines 458–460; lines 193–194; lines 146–150: all nūg libbi, cf. CAD N/2 313 s.v. nūgu); see also p. 40 and p. 293 (line 54). – RINAP 1 2006: 1–6 (if correctly understood, a governor is dedicating a provincial palace to Tiglath-pileser III). – RINAP 3/2 40: 44″–49″. – RINAP 4 1 vi 35–43. [b] Defeating the enemy, conquering/destroying a city, uprooting or capturing criminals/men, plundering booty and/or receiving gifts: – “[Will Es]arhaddon, king of Assyria, be pleased, be happy, and rejoice [iṭīab inammir iḫaddî]?” SAA 4 7: 6′, cf. r.5–6. – “[No]w rejoice [rīš], Esarhaddon! [I have be]nt [the four doorjamb]s of Assyria and given them to you; I have vanquished yo[ur enemy. The mood of the people] who stand with you has been turned upside down.” SAA 9 3 iv 14–19. – “Mukin-zeri has been killed and Šumu-ukin, his son, has also been killed. The city is conquered. The king, my lord, can be glad [lū ḫadi].” SAA 19 80: 9–12. – “Having defeated his enemy, he puts on the jewellery and hangs the lyre on his shoulder. He goes before the gods. Sheep offerings are performed. He kisses the ground, does triumphal entry into the camp, enters the qirsuenclosure and begins the dinner. The king rejoices [iḫaddu].” SAA 20 18: 48– 56.

69

Parpola 1983, 109–110.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

275

– “The king, my lord, should uproot them [= Arameans] so the land can be happy [libbi māti lū ṭāb]. They should not harass the servants of the king, my lord! They are not reliable.” SAA 17 140 r.9′–14′. – SAA 8 459 r.15. – SAA 10 112: 13–20 [danniš danniš lū ḫadi]. – SAA 18 33 r.8–10. – SAA 21 64: 12, r.1–5. – Fuchs 1994: 173 and 336 (lines 388–389: elēṣu Š). – RINAP 3/1 1: 30 (cf. section IV above). [6] Good news (including requests to hear about the king’s good health/wellbeing): – A letter by Bel-Abu’a from Assur to the palace scribe: “The house is very well. The Inner City is well. We have fed your house. All the delegates are rejoicing [irrīšu] and have blessed my lord.” SAA 19 14: 5–11. – The SAA 1 translation “he was extremely pleased” for šarru bēlī iḫtudu adanniš could as well be given as “the king, my lord, was very happy” SAA 1 1: 20–21. – SAA 3 44 r.28 (b/pussurat ḫadê [u s]ulummê “good tidings [and p]eace”; because of defeating enemies and perfecting shrines); 34: 60 (cf. 35: 54). – “In the answer to my letter, may the king, my lord, write his servant that the king, my lord, is well, happy [ṭūb libbīšu] and in good health.” SAA 10 91 7– r.1. – “Good news [pussurat ḫadê] about the conquest of my enemies.” RINAP 5/1 9 vi 34–35 and 11 x 68–69; cf. [5b] above. – SAA 4 65: 10′–11′. – SAA 10 90 s. 3–4; 249 r.2′–7′; 250: 1′–7′; 251 r.3–7. – SAA 17 52 r.20′–22′ (cf. sections II and IV above); 64: 12–r.2 and 65: 7–r.3; 121: 1′–4′. [7] Feasting and festivals:70 – RIMA 2 A.101.30: 153–154 (see section IV). – TCL 3 63 (ḫidâti; Sargon’s Eighth Campaign), 159 (ina ḫūd libbi u rīšāti). [8] Protection, safety and security, privileges (especially guaranteeing it; including the king’s treaty): 70

In general, see Ermidoro 2015, 121–160. In archival texts, happiness/joy occurs surprisingly rarely in the context of feasting/festivals, but cf., e.g., SAA 10 226 (section V). A related noun nigûtu, “merry-making” (CAD N/2 217–218), is also used when festivals are celebrated in royal inscriptions.

276

luukko

– “Now eat your bread and drink your water under the protection of the king, my lord, and be happy [libbaka lū ṭābka]. Do not worry about the Phrygian.” SAA 1 1 r. 40–42. – “Under the protection of the gods of the [king, our lord], we arrived safe and sound at Bit-[Dakuri]. Ana-Na[bû-taklak] and the entire population of BitDakuri rejoiced [iḫtamû] in our presence, and they keep blessing the king, our lord: ‘Now we know that ⟦the king⟧ our lord has rehabilitated Bit-Dakuri and will put it to the lead, as he has sent us the son of our lord! And we shall forever live under the protection of the king, our lord.’” SAA 17 73: 4– r.4. – “And do I not rejoice [ul ḫamākû] in the treaty of the king, my lord! I say: ‘(My) men, their sons, and their wives, together with their gods, should (also) enter into the treaty of the king, my lord!’” SAA 18 162 r.7–13. – SAA 17 116 r.6′–11′. – SAA 18 22: 8–11; 158: 2–5. [9] Related to the appearance of [a] Jupiter: – “If Jupiter carries radiance: the king is well; the land will become happy [libbi māti ṭāb].” SAA 8 4: 16; 115: 13–r.1; 254: 3–4. – SAA 8 54: 2 and SAA 8 144: 8′ (both with mēleṣu). [b] With other planets or stars (even if negated): – SAA 8 30: 1–7 [Perseus = “Old Man star”]. – “If Leo is black: the land will not be happy [libbi māti lā ṭāb].” SAA 8 146:3, cf. 180 r.3′; see also SAA 8 248 r.3–4 and 403 r.1–2 [Venus is rising in both of them]. – SAA 8 381 r.1–4 [Mercury]. – SAA 8 351: 4–7, 443: 1–5 and 455:7–r.4 [all three: the Pleiades]. – SAA 8 387 r.2–6; 419: 1–3 [both about Mars]. – SAA 8 503: 6–7 [“strange star”]. – SAA 8 547 r.3–7 [Saturn]. [c] The king of Assyria feels threatened by an eclipse: – “On the 14th day the moon will make an eclipse. It (predicts) evil for Elam and the Westland, good for the king, my lord. Let the king, my lord, be happy [lū ṭābi].” SAA 8 388: 1–6. – “The great gods who dwell in the city of the king, my lord, covered the sky and did not show the eclipse, so that the king would know that this eclipse does not concern the king, my lord, and his country. The king can be glad [lū ḫadi].” SAA 10 114 r.6–9.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

277

– “The moon will not make an eclipse; the king of the lands, my lord, can be happy [libbi … lū ṭābi].” SAA 10 158: 2–3. – SAA 8 316: 18–r.3, 9–11; 382: 7–r.7 [10] Other reasons for happiness and joy and/or (partially) uncertain, broken contexts: – SAA 3 6: 17; 32: 12, 14. – “In Iyyar, let him enter his new house; he will become [happy ......]. ‘Happiness,’ as it says, is happiness which is entirely [......]. There is nothing at all which is perfectly good like this.” SAA 8 232 r.1–4 [This hemerology was possibly written by Adad-šumu-uṣur (cf. Hunger 1992, 127) to the king (see especially lines 11–14). Hence “house” may equal a new palace, cf. [5a] above]. – SAA 8 402: 5–8; 553: 3′. – SAA 10 112 r.18–20; 160: 19 [mēleṣa immar]—20; 182 r.1–3; 213 r.1′–3′. – “[Because] I was sent for, [I have come n]ow. [The son] of the king of all lands, my lord, [can] be happy [libbu … lū ṭāba].” SAA 10 195 r.3–7 [Is Adadšumu-uṣur soothing Assurbanipal’s mind? Cf. [8] above]. – SAA 12 89:10′. – SAA 15 103 r.6′; 136: 6–12 [ḫadiu [ada]nniš]; 211: 4′. – SAA 16 15: 19′; 38 r.2′–3′; 62 s.1. – SAA 17 24 r.6′–7′; 40: 17–19; 51: 8–9, 14; 67 r.42; 68 r.18–19; 69 r.14–17 (ma’diš iḫtamû for receiving 200 Chaldean robes); 82 s.2; 111: 7–13 (Kalbi-Ukû, whose role is not certain [cf. SAA 17 127–128, 192], comes to the royal audience); 144: 7′; 163 r.4′. – SAA 18 65: 9′ (“the whole city of Kish rejoi[ced”: iḫt[amû?; cf. somewhat similar SAA 17 32: 5 or SAA 17 34: 9–20); 103 r.22–24; 204: 11. – SAA 19 147 r.19′–22′. – SAA 21 33 r.3′–4′: Assurbanipal says in his letter to Kudurru and the Urukeans that the weeping (ceremony) of Sivan (III) will be turned into joy [bikītu [x x x]-ma ana hadûtu tirrā].71 – SAA 21 36 r.5 (tarī[šā?]); 72: 7′; 78: 9 ([Assurbanipal] seems to praise the loyalty of [Sarduri], king of Urarṭu, in this fragment); 112 r.5′; 135 r.4. – ABL 307 r.14e–15e (ḫadû’aya ikabbūsu; I shall discuss this difficult passage elsewhere). – ABL 478: 2′–6′ (aḫtedi in a military context with men and horses as reinforcements). – RINAP 3/2 49 r. 8′–10′: turminabandû-breccia is a stone for happiness/joy. – RINAP 3/2 148: 4′ (possibly about a rejoicing enemy); 150: 6; 161: 18. 71

On the letter, see Ito 2015, 14, 193–194.

278

luukko

Acknowledgements The research for this article was carried out as part of the Centre of Excellence in Ancient Near Eastern Empires (ANEE), taking place in Helsinki. Moreover, the preparation of this article was facilitated by access to the database of the Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project (Helsinki). I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to Greta Van Buylaere and Rocío Da Riva for reading a draft version of this paper and improving many details. I must also thank Robert M. Whiting for revising my English. Needless to say, for any errors or emphasis in the article, I remain solely responsible.

Abbreviations AHw

von Soden, W. 1965, 1972 and 1981. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. CAD Oppenheim, A.L., E. Reiner et al. (eds) 1956–2010. The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago. Chicago; Glückstadt: The Oriental Institute; J.J. Augustin. CMAwR 1 Abusch, T. and D. Schwemer. 2011. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/1. Leiden; Boston: Brill. CMAwR 2 Abusch, T., D. Schwemer, M. Luukko and G. Van Buylaere. 2016. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-witchcraft Rituals. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/2. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Maqlû Abusch, T. 2016. The Magical Ceremony Maqlû: A Critical Edition. Ancient Magic and Divination 10. Leiden; Boston: Brill. RIMA 2 Grayson, A.K. 1991. Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. I (1114– 859B.C.). Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Assyrian Periods 2. Toronto: Toronto University Press. RIMA 3 Grayson, A.K. 1996. Assyrian Rulers of the Early First Millennium B.C. II (858–745B.C.). Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia, Assyrian Periods 3. Toronto: Toronto University Press. RINAP 1 Tadmor, H. and S. Yamada. 2011. The Royal Inscriptions of Tiglath-Pileser III (744–727 BC) and Shalmaneser V (726–722BC), Kings of Assyria. Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 1. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. RINAP 3/1 Grayson, A.K. and J. Novotny. 2012. The Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib, King of Assyria (704–681BC), Part 1. Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 3/1. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. RINAP 3/2 Grayson, A.K. and J. Novotny. 2014. The Royal Inscriptions of Sennacherib, King of Assyria (704–681BC), Part 2. Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 3/2. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian RINAP 4

RINAP 5/1

SAA 1

SAA 2 SAA 3 SAA 4 SAA 5

SAA 8 SAA 9 SAA 10 SAA 12

SAA 13

SAA 15

SAA 16

SAA 17 SAA 18

279

Leichty, E. 2011. The Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680– 669 BC). Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 4. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. Novotny, J. and J. Jeffers. 2018. The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668– 631 BC), Assur-etel-ilāni (630–627BC), and Sîn-šarra-iškun (626–612BC), Kings of Assyria: Part I. Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 5/1. University Park, PA: Penn State University Press. Parpola, S. 1987. The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part I. Letters from Assyria and the West. State Archives of Assyria 1. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Parpola, S. and K. Watanabe. 1988. Neo-Assyrian Treaties and Loyalty Oaths. State Archives of Assyria 2. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Livingstone, A. 1989. Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea. State Archives of Assyria 3. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Starr, I. 1990. Queries to the Sungod. Divination and Politics in Sargonid Assyria. State Archives of Assyria 4. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Lanfranchi, G.B. and S. Parpola. 1990. The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part II. Letters from the Northern and Northeastern Provinces. State Archives of Assyria 5. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Hunger, H. 1992. Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings. State Archives of Assyria 8. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Parpola, S. 1997. Assyrian Prophecies. State Archives of Assyria 9. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Parpola, S. 1993. Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. State Archives of Assyria 10. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Kataja, L. and R. Whiting. 1995. Grants, Decrees and Gifts of the Neo-Assyrian Period. State Archives of Assyria 12. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Cole, S.W. and P. Machinist. 1998. Letters from Priests to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. State Archives of Assyria 13. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Fuchs, A. and S. Parpola. 2001. The Correspondence of Sargon II, Part III. Letters from Babylonia and the Eastern Provinces. State Archives of Assyria 15. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Luukko, M. and G. Van Buylaere. 2002. The Political Correspondence of Esarhaddon. State Archives of Assyria 16. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Dietrich, M. 2003. The Babylonian Correspondence of Sargon and Sennacherib. State Archives of Assyria 17. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Reynolds, F. 2003. The Babylonian Correspondence of Esarhaddon and Let-

280

SAA 19

SAA 20 SAA 21

TCL 3

luukko ters to Assurbanipal and Sin-šarru-iškun from Northern and Central Babylonia. State Archives of Assyria 18. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. Luukko, M. 2012. The Correspondence of Tiglath-pileser III and Sargon II from Calah/Nimrud. State Archives of Assyria 19. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Parpola, S. 2017. Assyrian Royal Rituals and Cultic Texts. State Archives of Assyria 20. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Parpola, S. 2018. The Correspondence of Assurbanipal, Part I: Letters from Assyria, Babylonia, and Vassal States. State Archives of Assyria 21. Helsinki: The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Thureau-Dangin, F. 1912. Une relation de la huitième campagne de Sargon (714 av. J. C.). Textes cunéiformes du Louvre 3. Paris: Geuthner.

Bibliography Abusch, T. 1993. “Gilgamesh’s Request and Siduri’s Denial: Part II: An Analysis and Interpretation of an Old Babylonian Fragment about Mourning and Celebration.” Journal of the Ancient Near Eastern Society of Colombia University 22: 3–17. Balentine, S.E. 2017. “God and the ‘Happiness Formula’: The Ethos and the Ethics of Happiness.” In Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature (Resources for Biblical Study), edited by F.S. Spencer, 197–215. Atlanta: SBL Press. Burnett, D. 2018. The Happy Brain: The Science of Where Happiness Comes From, and Why. London: Guardian Faber. Dinkler, M.B. 2017. “Reflexivity and Emotion in Narratological Perspective: Reading Joy in the Lukan Narrative.” In Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature (Resources for Biblical Study), edited by F.S. Spencer, 265–286. Atlanta: SBL Press. Dolan, P. 2014. Happiness by Design: Finding Pleasure and Purpose in Everyday Life. London: Penguin Books. Ermidoro, St. 2015. Commensality and Ceremonial Meals in the Neo-Assyrian Period. Antichistica 8/Studi Orientali 3. Venice: Edizioni Ca’Foscari. Foster, B.R. 32005. Before the Muses: An Anthology of Akkadian Literature I. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. Fuchs, A. 1994. Die Inschriften Sargons II. aus Khorsabad. Göttingen: Cuvillier Verlag. George, A.R. 2003. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. 2 volumes. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Huffmon, H.B. 2000. “A Company of Prophets: Mari, Assyria, Israel.” In Prophecy in Its Ancient Near Eastern Context: Mesopotamian, Biblical, and Arabian Perspectives. SBL Symposium Series 13, edited by M. Nissinen, 47–70. Atlanta: SBL Press.

expressions of joy and happiness in neo-assyrian

281

Ito, S. 2015. “Royal Image and Political Thinking in the Letters of Assurbanipal.” PhD dissertation, University of Helsinki. Jiménez, E. and S.F. Adalı. 2015. “The ‘Prostration Hemerology’ Revisited: An Everyman’s Manual at the King’s Court.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie 105: 154–191. Lambert, W.G. 1983. “A New Verb: *ši’ālum ‘rejoice’.” Revue d’Assyriologie et archéologie orientale 77: 190–191. Larsen, M.T. 2001. “Affect and Emotion.” In Veenhof Anniversary Volume. Studies Presented to Klaas R. Veenhof on the Occasion of His Sixty-fifth Birthday. Publications de l’Institut historique-archéologique néerlandais de Stamboul 89, edited by W.H. van Soldt, J.G. Dercksen, N.J.C. Kouwenberg and Th.J.H. Krispijn, 275–286. Leiden; Istanbul: Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten. Livingstone, A. 2000. “On the Organized Release of Doves to Secure Compliance of a Higher Authority.” in Wisdom, Gods and Literature: Studies in Assyriology in Honour of W.G. Lambert, edited by A.R. George and I.L. Finkel, 375–387. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns. Luukko, M. 2012. “On Standardisation and Variation in the Introductory Formulae of Neo-Assyrian Letters.” Iraq 74: 97–115. Mander, P. 2004. “Joy and Exhilaration in the Literary Texts from Mesopotamia.” Ming Qing Yanjiu 12: 253–269. Nissinen, M. 2001. “Akkadian Rituals and Poetry of Divine Love.” In Mythology and Mythologies: Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences. Proceedings of the Second Annual Symposium of the Assyrian and Babylonian Intellectual Heritage Project. Melammu Symposia 2, edited by R.M. Whiting, 93–136. Helsinki: The NeoAssyrian Text Corpus Project. Oshima, T. 2014. Babylonian Poems of Pious Sufferers: Ludlul Bēl Nēmeqi and the Babylonian Theodicy. Orientalische Religionen in der Antike 14. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck. Parpola, S. 1983. Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal, Part II: Commentary and Appendices. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 5/2. Kevelaer; Neukirchen-Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Bercker; Neukirchener Verlag. Pirngruber, R. 2015. “šulmu jâši libbaka lu ṭābka: The Interaction between the NeoAssyrian King and the Outside World.” In Mesopotamia in the Ancient World: Impact, Continuities, Parallels. Proceedings of the Seventh Symposium of the Melammu Project Held in Obergurgl, Austria, November 4–8, 2013. Melammu Symposia 7, edited by R. Rollinger and E. van Dongen, 317–329. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Pongratz-Leisten, B. 2014. “Entwurf zu einer Handlungstheorie des altorientalischen Polytheismus.” In Göttliche Körper—Göttliche Gefühle. Was leisten anthropomorphe und anthropopathische Götterkonzepte im Alten Orient und im Alten Testament? Orbis Biblicus et Orientalis 270, edited by A. Wagner, 101–116. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Prakasam, A.D. 2017. “The Pride of Babylon in Isaiah 47 Revisited in Light of the The-

282

luukko

ory of Self-Conscious Emotions.” In Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature (Resources for Biblical Study), edited by F.S. Spencer, 177–195. Atlanta: SBL Press. Rochberg, F. 1998. Babylonian Horoscopes. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. Rochberg, F. 2004. The Heavenly Writing. Divination, Horoscopy, and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture. New York; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Rochberg, F. 2017. Before Nature: Cuneiform Knowledge and the History of Science. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Sallaberger, W. 1999. “Wenn Du mein Bruder bist, …”: Interaktion und Textgestaltung in altbabylonischen Alltagsbriefen. Cuneiform Monographs 16. Groningen: Styx Publications. Sanders, B. 1995. Sudden Glory: Laughter as Subversive History. Boston: Beacon Press. Schwemer, D. 2013. “Prescriptions and Rituals for Happiness, Success, and Divine Favor: The Compilation A 522 (BAM 318).” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 65: 181–200. Soden, W. von. 1986. “Weinen und Freude über Geldgeschäfte in Kaniš.” Die Welt des Orients 17: 17–18. Sonik, K. 2015 “Divine (Re-)Presentation: Authoritative Images and a Pictorial Stream of Tradition in Mesopotamia.” In The Materiality of Divine Agency. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 8, edited by B. Pongratz-Leisten and K. Sonik, 142–193. Boston; Berlin: De Gruyter. Starkey, K. 2003. “Brunhild’s Smile: Emotion and the Politics of Gender in the Nibelungenlied.” In Codierungen von Emotionen im Mittelalter / Emotions and Sensibilities in the Middle Ages, edited by C. St. Jaeger and I. Kasten, 159–173. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. Steinert, U. 2012. Aspekte des Menschseins im Alten Mesopotamien. Eine Studie zu Person und Identität im 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. Cuneiform Monographs 44. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Trumble, A. 2004. A Brief History of the Smile. New York: Basic Books. Waerzeggers, C. 2012. “Happy Days: The Babylonian Almanac in Daily Life.” In The Ancient Near East, a Life! Festschrift Karel Van Lerberghe. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 220, edited by T. Boiy, J. Bretschneider, A. Goddeeris, H. Hameeuw, G. Jans and J. Tavernier, 653–664. Leuven; Paris; Walpole, MA: Peeters and Department of Eastern Studies. Winter, I.J. 2007. “Agency Marked, Agency Ascribed: The Affective Object in Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Art’s Agency and Art History, edited by R. Osborne and J. Tanner, 42–69. Malden, MA; Oxford: Blackwell. Woods, Ch.E. 2004. “The Sun-God Tablet of Nabû-apla-iddina Revisited.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 56: 23–103. Yu, N. 1995. “Metaphorical Expressions of Anger and Happiness in English and Chinese.” Metaphor and Symbolic Activity 10: 59–92.

chapter 13

From Landscape to Ritual Performances: Emotions in Sumerian Literature Anne-Caroline Rendu Loisel

The roaring storm covered it like a garment, was spread over it like a gada-linen. It covered Eridug like a garment, was spread over it like a gada-linen. In the city, the furious storm resounded …1

∵ This quote describes the destruction of Eridug, the oldest city in the Sumerian tradition. Eridug was part of the empire ruled by the kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur (2112–2004BCE). At the very end of the 3rd millennium BCE, Ur suffered from various troubles, such as economic or agricultural issues, but also invasions of enemies. Its fall put an end to the Sumerian era and was followed by the domination of the Amorites tribe, with a new definition of the political organisation in Southern Mesopotamia. In the subsequent two centuries (20th–19th century BCE), the fall of the main cities of the Ur III empire was developed in a small corpus of Sumerian literary texts known as City Laments. The Lament for Eridug quoted above belongs to this group. These laments share a common description of the catastrophe: it becomes a natural violent event, characterized by its affective value. Full of anger, the flood blindly destroys everything, whereas all the inhabitants are so afraid that they fall into lethargy or keep crying. By referring to a political event as a raging and furious storm and to human tragedies as affective states such as despair, fear or distress, the Sumerian literary compositions of the Old-Babylonian Period illustrate the aesthetic values that deeply intertwine natural environments and affective phenomena. 1 ⸢ud te-eš dug₄⸣-[ga tug₂-gin₇ ba-e-dul gada-gin₇ ba-e-bur₂] / eridugki-ga tug₂-gin₇ ba-e-[dul gada-gin₇ ba-e-bur₂] / iri-a ud ḫuš-e šeg₁₁ mi-⸢ni⸣-[ib-gi₄-gi₄ …] (The Lament for Eridu, version of Nibru, l. 5–7, composite text from eTCSL c.2.2.6).

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

284

rendu loisel

Over the past few decades, history of emotions became a field of research for itself, following the path already suggested by historians of the first half of the 20th century:2 emotions cannot be limited to their neuropsychologic features but must be understood in the cultural frame in which the individual is deeply integrated. This issue benefited from comparative work done by anthropologists who also studied the expressions of emotions in various contemporaneous societies.3 Emotions do have an history4 and are not expressed in the same manner or with the same referent, whether we are in Ancient Greece or in medieval times.5 Cries, gestures, or even literary metaphors describing inner affective states follow a kind of grammar that must be understood by the other members of the same community.6 For a decade, the topic has been widely developed regarding ancient near eastern societies. Studies focus not only on the lexicographical aspects7 but also on the iconographical representations.8 All the works show how useful and fruitful the topic of emotions is for the study of ancient societies. Of course, the artefacts at our disposal, whether it is a text, an image or an object, will never give us access to the intimate and individual experience of an emotion. But they are useful to grasp the cultural meanings and values of emotions, and to understand how an ancient society may help its members to deal with strong emotions especially in ritual contexts (for instance mourning and grief, or collective jubilation after a military victory). Investigating emotions constitutes a new way to approach ancient sources and to give new insights on the cultures under study. By connecting emotion to nature, the Lament for Eridug illustrates the aesthetic values associated not only to affective phenomena but also to the surrounding landscape in Sumerian literature. Affective phenomena may be a response to an exterior event or a way to give sense to it, especially if it is sudden or exaggerated. The individual is engaged through his/her body which constitutes for him/her a prism to perceive and appreciate his/her surrounding environment. Most of the entire literary corpus written in Sumerian was copied during the Old-Babylonian Period (2004–1595BCE). Various types of compositions are at our disposal: narratives, prayers, hymns, diatribes, proverbs, etc., and may

2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Febvre 1941 among others. For instance Lutz and White 1986; Abu-Lughod 2000. Konstan 2006; Rosenwein and Cristiani 2018. Cairns and Nelis 2017; Bocquet and Nagy 2018. Borgeaud and Rendu Loisel 2009, 2010. See for example Jaques 2006 for the Sumerian vocabulary. See Kipfer 2017; Sonik 2017.

from landscape to ritual performances

285

be organized in two groups,9 depending on the function the literary work had during Antiquity. The first one is constituted by tablets copied by scribes during their education and training:10 narratives (Gilgameš, Enmerkar, etc.), debates, hymns devoted to temples, deities, and rulers. The second group gathers the liturgical texts, such as hymns (with the subscript adab, tigi or šir₃-gid₂-da) and laments, that have a performative function in ritual contexts. Studying emotions in the corpus of ancient Sumer may follow two different but complementary goals. The first one deals with the semantic content of these literary works which helps us to get back to the aesthetic values and the cultural meanings associated with emotion. The second one concerns the ritual frame in which some of these compositions were performed: the affective images may involve the audience in a kind of “emotional contagion,” especially for Sumerian lament.11 This last topic is of the utmost importance as it explores the pragmatic function of the semantic content. In this paper, I will focus on these two aspects—semantic content and ritual performance—regarding three different but related topics. In both groups, emotions are described in metaphors and comparisons. They do not only concern human beings, but also, they may be attributed to divine entities, animal beings or natural phenomena. The description of emotions suggests a special relationship established between an individual and the world he/she is perceived through his/her body. Emotion and nature do interact with each other. In the first part of my paper, I will investigate how emotions are described according to natural events or elements. The individual affective state is here translated into literary expressions that take their inspiration from the various properties of natural phenomena/elements. In the second part, I will analyse how a landscape, especially in religious context, may be described for the emotions it arouses among the viewer/perceiver. Emotion may be a way to conceive the divine presence, to create a specific place on earth, thanks to the various literary tools at the disposal of the officiants. Here, the topic is deeply rooted in the issues of materiality, embodiment, and intentionality applied to inanimate objects and substances present in the ritual scene. In the last part, I will focus on tigi-hymns that were recited in joyful ritual contexts: their description of positive emotions does not only concern the god for whom the tigi is dedicated, but also it is addressed to the community present during the recitation of these compositions.

9 10 11

Delnero 2015, 89. Designated as curricular texts, Tinney 2011. Delnero 2020.

286

rendu loisel

All through the examples that I will quote, metaphors and comparisons constitute powerful tools to induce emotions among the audience. They should not be understood only as a literary way to illustrate or represent something, but also as a means to make present what is described as if it were really happening.12 The listeners are invited to this aesthetic and embodied experience; and emotions play an important role to replicate it for the listener/viewer. Some of the referents in metaphors and comparisons may be related to daily life experience and the real world. What is described becomes familiar, as it refers to known and repetitive events.13 Metaphors constitute powerful stimuli to induce an embodied experience, because the listener/viewer already experienced in his/her own life what is described.

1

Describing the Indescribable: Natural Elements and the Description of Emotions

The natural landscape constitutes a fruitful field of inspiration to describe the affective changes which an individual may suffer. Whether they concern animals, plants or atmospheric elements, their physical properties, features, or even behaviours are useful to represent some aspects of the emotions, especially when it concerns a divine entity. Regarding the Sumerian literary corpus, this ecological representation of emotion may help to conceive the affective states of divine entities and to highlight some aspects of affective phenomena. These literary motifs are not limited to one part of the emotional spectrum and may be applied to both positive and negative emotions. The animal behavior is particularly eloquent. For instance, in the narrative Ninurta’s Return to Nippur, because of his victory in a cosmic battle, the great god Ninurta instills fear among the other gods: the Anunna are so afraid that they hide “like mice” (peš₂-gin₇ a₂-ur₂-bi dab₅ l. 127):14 thanks to this comparison, the divine emotion is described for its reaction, which is particularly fast, but also it reduces the great gods Anunna to tiny and non-identifiable entities, as if their emotional state has reduced their power and ability to act normally as divine beings. Even the great goddess Ningal, when her city of Ur is destroyed,

12 13 14

Gumbrecht 2006. Lakoff and Johnson 2003. See composite edition of this text on the website of Sumerian literature eTCSL: http://etcsl .orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.1.6.1&display=Crit&charenc=&lineid=c161.125#c1 61.125 (November 28, 2019).

from landscape to ritual performances

287

is so afraid that she quickly leaves her city. Her behavior is compared to a frightened bird taking flight in the sky (The Lament for Urim, l. 237).15 City Laments constitute an important source to investigate the literary descriptions of emotions in relation to nature. Because of the dramatic main topic of the compositions—that is, the destruction of the great cities of the empire of Ur—negative emotions are the most developed. The entire human community is plunged into a state of distress and despair. As the catastrophe is more or less conceived as destructive as the mythological Flood, these human emotions are at their utmost level. Nature gives then the necessary comparative elements to translate this affective dramatic peak. The following example is taken from the second kirugu of the Lament for Urim: O city, your name exists but you have been destroyed. O city, your wall rises high but your Land has perished. O my city, like an innocent ewe your lamb has been torn from you. O Urim, like an innocent goat your kid has perished. O city, your rites have been alienated from you, your powers have been changed into alien powers. How long will your bitter lament grieve your lord who weeps? How long will your bitter lament grieve Nanna who weeps?16 The Lament for Urim, l. 64–71

More than simply describing people in tears, or massive destructions of all the constitutive parts of the city, the literary comparisons go far beyond the material loss or the basic physiological expression of distress. They suggest biological and affective ravages for all the entities concerned with the cataclysm, by comparing the disaster to the loss of a child and suggesting then mourning and grief for all the inhabitants. They insist on the unjustified and unmerited characteristics of the disaster against the people: ewe and goat are not aggressive animals and, on the contrary, are deeply integrated within the economic organization of the society whether it is for their milk, their meat or even their wool, as the administrative documents of the end of the 3rd millennium BCE show us. In 15

16

nin-gal-e mušen ni₂ te-a-gin₇ uru₂-ni ba-ra-e₃ “Ningal like a bird in fright departed from her city” (The Lament for Urim, l. 237). See composite edition of this text on the website of Sumerian literature eTCSL: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.2 .2&display=Crit&charenc=&lineid=c222.C.64#c222.C.64 (November 28, 2019). ru₂ mu-zu i₃-ĝal₂ za-e ba-e-da-gul-e / uru₂ bad₃-zu i₃-il₂ kalam-zu ba-e-da-til / uru₂-ĝu₁₀ u₈ zid-gin₇ sila₄-zu ba-e-da-tar / urim₂ki ud₅ zid-gin₇ maš₂-zu ba-e-da-til / uru₂ ĝarza-zu im-me-de₃-kur₂-ra / me-zu me kur₂-ra šu bal ba-ni-ib-ak / a-še-er-zu gig-ga-am₃ ga-ša-anzu mu-lu er₂-re en₃-še₃ mu-un-kuš₂-u₃ / a-še-er-zu gig-ga-am₃ dnanna mu-lu er₂-re en₃-še₃ mu-un-kuš₂-u₃.

288

rendu loisel

the comparison, the animal is deprived of its baby, a terrible act that the animal does not deserve, as the animal is qualified with the Sumerian base zid “(to be) innocent, loyal” in the quote. The audience of these literary compositions is touched in its own feelings and body and is invited to physically experience what is described. Still in the City Laments, emotions of natural entities—in which I include not only animals, but also plants and atmospheric phenomena—are invoked in the literary process as they help to represent a natural event in its most impressive dimension. The destruction staged in the City Laments is conceived as a Flood, evoking the mythological event. The political event becomes a natural catastrophe, described for its sonorous counterpart: The flood dashing a hoe on the ground was levelling everything. Like a great storm it roared over the earth. Who could escape it?17 The Lament for Sumer and Urim, l. 107–108

The meteorological catastrophe is characterized by the loud, unbearable and frightening sound it produces. This destructive sound is compared to a roar (mur/murum ša₄), an impressive vocal expression of a powerful animal such as a bull. The metaphor of the roar describes the Flood as a savage and dangerous animal but also as a loud and destructive meteorological event. The acoustic atmosphere is closely linked to affective phenomena, especially anger—for the cataclysm itself—and fear and distress—for the victims. Their emotional state reaches and transforms the surrounding environment. Instead of buildings, orchards, or cereals in cultivated fields, only few vegetal substances can grow after the destruction. In laments, one may find a literary topos18 based on the transformation of good plants (u₂ sa₆-g)19 into “reed of lamentations” (gi er₂-ra20). These plants are the acoustic mirror of the inner affective state of all the human beings who used to live there. The Sumerian love poetry, which celebrates the love between the goddess Inana and her lover Dumuzi, gives several examples in which natural event/ele-

17

18 19 20

a-ma-ru ki al ak-e šu im-ur₃-ur₃-re / ud gal-gin₇ ki-a mur mi-ni-ib-ša₄ a-ba-a ba-ra-e₃. See composite edition of this text on the website of Sumerian literature eTCSL: http://etcsl .orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.2.3&display=Crit&charenc=&lineid=c223.A.93 #c223.A.93 (November 28, 2019). Jaques 2006, 485–486. See Cursing Agade, l. 277. The Lament for Sumer and Urim, l. 361.

from landscape to ritual performances

289

ments help to describe the emotional state that animates the two protagonists.21 Such as the plants in City Laments, the surrounding nature functions in harmony with the divine entities, carrying and reflecting their emotions. In a dialogue between the god Utu and the goddess Inana, before she meets her lover, it is said that the garden beds, the flax and the barley are “overflowing with loveliness and delight” (ḫi-li ma-az dirig-ga):22 the Sumerian term hi-li is deeply related to sexual pleasure and delight.23 The literary process that attributes emotions to natural entities, participates in the staging of the divine affective state. Here nature makes visible what is going to happen, by suggesting the pleasure the deity will also feel when she will meet her divine lover. Furthermore, nature shares with the human community what is normally hidden from others, because it happens inside the body of the individual, especially if it is a god or a goddess. Natural elements manifest the psychological state of the two lovers before their physical union. In the poetic discourse, emotions in nature play also on the timeframe of the scene, announcing the forthcoming union and its inherent pleasure. The two lovers are not alone anymore, as everybody in the surrounding community is informed about their feelings and can share them. Emotions play here an important role in the communicative process. In these love poems, the lover is frequently compared to a pleasant natural element: Dumuzi is metaphorically an “apple garden” (ĝiškiri₆ ĝišḫašḫur-a in Dumuzi-Inana B, l. 28–30) for Inana, whereas she has a mouth as sweet (dug₃) as honey (lal₃) (l. 5): love pleasure becomes a synesthetic experience, with various sensory stimuli, suggesting a communication that goes far beyond the simple tactile experience of love, but also considering it as a gustative, visual, olfactory and auditory one.24 The literary process draws from natural sensory phenomena different qualities that are suitable to characterize the inner state of the individual. It is a complete pleasure combining all the sensory stimuli and engaging the entire body. Describing emotions in Sumerian literature is based on metaphors, comparisons, or periphrastic expressions. It seems then that the goal is less to name precisely the affective change (with a proper nominal or verbal base for instance), but to describe and share its inner effects to the society to which

21 22

23 24

For the edition of these texts, see Sefati 1998. Dumuzi-Inana A, l. 3–6. See composite edition of this text on the website of Sumerian literature eTCSL: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.4.08.01&display=Crit &charenc=&lineid=c40801.1#c40801.1 (November 28, 2019). Jaques 2006, 251–269. Temples may also be compared to the sex-appeal (ḫili) of a woman (Löhnert 2013, 273). For the use of sensory phenomena in love contexts, see Rendu Loisel 2019.

290

rendu loisel

the individual belongs. Emotions must not be limited to the individual but must be considered for their role in the non-verbal communication inside a group. Nature gives a large panel of concrete and tangible examples of what is happening on the physiological level inside the body. As they are based on referents from daily life, metaphors give presence to the affective phenomenon and invite the audience to feel it in their own body. Emotions reflect how deeply an individual is integrated in his/her surrounding environment. The issue becomes particularly important, when this natural world or landscape is supposed to host divine beings with which the individual must interact in ritual contexts.

2

The Awe-Inspiring Landscape according to Sumerian Literature

In the Sumerian literary corpus, descriptions of landscapes or natural places for themselves are not numerous. Of course, one may find mentions of several geographic places, like Dilmun, Magan or Meluḫḫa, or even mythological places such as Aratta. But the literary descriptions insist most of all on the natural resources of these places and not on the emotions one may feel in them. But that does not mean that the ancient Sumerians were completely insensitive regarding their surrounding environment. Under certain circumstances, nature may arouse highly positive emotions for individuals or communities. To answer that question regarding Sumerian aesthetic values associated with landscape we must enlarge our definition of nature and get back to the inner cultural concepts that may be found in the cuneiform sources of the Old-Babylonian Period. The anthropologist Descola demonstrated that a landscape is culturally defined and that the dichotomy between the concepts “nature” and “culture” is not relevant for all human societies; it is probably limited to our own contemporaneous western societies.25 Both concepts are intertwined for the Sumerian society, especially when it deals with the religious landscape of a temple. This place belongs not to the human daily world but to another reality. It arouses fear and admiration in the individual who remains unable to describe, in a simple manner, not only the place itself but also his/her own feelings. In Sumerian literature, specific attention seems to have been given to temples. They are considered as the terrestrial residence of a divine entity. They have their own name (like a living entity), and this name is deeply connected

25

Descola 2005 and 2011.

from landscape to ritual performances

291

to the divine power the temple hosts.26 Kings of the Third Dynasty of Ur at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE conduct a vast architectural program for the construction or the restoration of religious places in southern Mesopotamia; this period is characterized by the emergence and the distribution of the ziggurat model (stepped towers that become emblematic for societies of the Ancient Near East from the 3rd to the 1st millennia BCE).27 Once the temple is built, a ritual ceremony is conducted so that the god or the goddess can dwell in it.28 During that public festivity, a specific hymn is recited to celebrate the building itself and the divine entity. These hymns may be famous as some of them have been integrated into the curricular texts for the apprentice scribes.29 Of course, hymns do not give us realistic descriptions of what a temple and its surrounding place should be. We are not able to understand why the community has chosen this specific place to build the temple for their god, and what their criteria are. In literature, Sumerian temples are conceived as inbetween places—neither on earth, nor in heaven—where human and divine communities are supposed to interact with each other. Thanks to metaphors and comparisons, Sumerian hymns give a poetic description of these places. They do not focus on the procedures and the different stages of the architectural construction/restoration, but rather on its final state, when the building, made of bricks, already welcomes the god or the goddess. Just as the cult statue remains an inert material without the divine power it represents,30 the temple acquires its specific characteristics thanks to its divine host. Löhnert has demonstrated that more than any other compositions, hymns present temples as the ideal residence for the divine entity.31 With its decoration and its architectural structure (described in poetic metaphors and comparisons), the temple provides the most peaceful and quiet place for its divine host. It also participates in the emanation of the divine power and awe-inspiring radiance to the surrounding world. The entire city benefits from the divine presence, as shown by the epithets attributed to the city (for instance, Ur is described as “holy place” ki ku₃). Temple, city and divinity are all intertwined, which is per-

26 27 28 29 30 31

George 1993. Quenet 2017. See Ambos 2004 and 2010 for the 1st millennium BCE, and the contributions in Boda and Novotny 2010 for other periods, especially Averbeck 2010 for the 3rd millennium BCE. Tinney 2011; Delnero 2015. Bahrani 2003. For the archaeological and iconographical works on the same topic, see Allinger-Csollich 2013, van Ess 2013 and Seidl 2013.

292

rendu loisel

fectly summarized by Löhnert: “die Stadt war ein Haus, der Tempel eine Stadt und alles war Besitz der Gottheit.”32 It is in this special place that the individual is supposed to experience the divine presence. According to the hymnic descriptions of temples, the ritual meeting with the deity arouses a feeling of awe and admiration. The temple is made of bricks and concrete materials such as metals, wood, or precious stones; the hymnic description insists also on the intertwining of the building with natural elements and its surrounding landscape. Enki’s Journey to Nippur is a hymn most probably composed to celebrate the restoration of the Abzu, the temple of the great god Enki in the city of Eridug at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE.33 It celebrates not only the building itself, but also the surrounding nature that benefits also from the divine presence. The hymn opens with the creation of the temple as a proper decision of the great god Enki. The temple is compared to a bull that bellows (“like a bull, it was roaring” gud-gin₇ mur im-ša₄, l. 15).34 The house of the god seems then to be animated, becoming an agent which can talk, think and give advice.35 Sounds emanating from the temple itself may be related to acoustic divinatory practices.36 This favorable acoustic feature of the building is completed by the brilliance of the shiny metal (silver) and precious stones (lapis lazuli) that cover all the walls. The temple of Eridug is a place of abundance and harmony, where animal cries and natural sounds are melted with the sweetness of the fruits and pleasant colors. The murmuring of water is first associated with the tender mooing of a calf, and then becomes one of a cow: this sonorous metamorphosis highlights the maternal metaphorical role played by the temple itself (l. 68–92). The temple is also full of musical instruments that resound loudly (l. 62–67). By referring to the sounds of music that are heard during the recitation, the hymn blurs the distinction between the mythological past—when the god created his temple—and the present time—when the ritual is accomplished and the hymn is recited. It invites the faithful to feel the presence of the divine entity thanks to a sensory memory based not only on musical instruments, but also on the brilliance of the materials, and/or the smelling and tasting of the offerings. 32 33

34 35

36

Löhnert 2013, 264–265. Enki’s Journey to Nibru, see al-Fouadi (1969) and the composite text on the website eTCSL: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=t.1.1.4&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc&lin eid=t114.p2#t114.p2 (February 21, 2019). See Löhnert 2013, 266. See also Löhnert 2013, 274–275. For the issue of agency in Ancient Near Eastern contexts, see the contributions in Pongratz-Leisten and Sonik 2015, starting from the works of the anthropologist Alfred Gell (1998) on agency. Rendu Loisel 2016.

from landscape to ritual performances

293

These poetic descriptions of temples transmit an image of an ideal temple to the audience. Sensory optima—positive sensory phenomena at their highest level—are then evoked in the literary creative process. The description focuses most of all on the emotion of awe one may feel when he/she gets inside the building or when he/she is just outside it. By questioning the emotions aroused when perceiving a surrounding environment, we can approach a cultural aesthetic concept of what may be defined as “sublime”. In aesthetics, the sublime is a quality of greatness beyond all possibility of measurement, or imitation. It was widely explored by the Romantic artists and philosophers37 but is not limited to that period and was already present in Antiquity.38 To explore the sublime in the Sumerian hymnic corpus, I will now focus on a composition addressed to the goddess of prison Nungal (Nungal A).39 It completes also what I presented above for the temple of Enki in Eridug. The hymn is known from various fragments and tablets from the OldBabylonian period. It focuses on the architectural features of the building, and describes them for the impressions they transmit among the viewer: House, furious storm of heaven and earth, battering its enemies; prison, jail of the gods, august neck-stock of heaven and earth! Its interior is evening light, dusk spreading wide; its awesomeness is frightening. Raging sea which mounts high, no one knows where its rising waves flow. House, a pitfall waiting for the evil one; it makes the wicked tremble! House, a net whose fine meshes are skillfully woven, which gathers up people as its booty! House, which keeps an eye on the just and on evildoers; no one wicked can escape from its grasp.40 Nungal A, l. 1–7

The composition illustrates the awe-inspiring radiance of the temple by comparing it to natural features: the temple is conceived as a savage and out of

37 38 39

40

Kant 1980 [1754]; Burke 2009 [1757]; Courtine et al. 1988. Saint-Girons 2005. See also Löhnert 2013, 273. Nungal A was part of the curricular texts (Delnero 2006, 2360– 2395). For an updated list of fragments, bibliography and a last edition of the text, see: https://zenodo.org/record/2667770#.Xd9gtm5FzD4 (November 28, 2019). e₂ ud ḫuš an ki uĝ₃ erim₂-še₃ du₇-du₇ / e₂ kur e₂-eš₂ diĝir-re-e-ne ĝišrab₃ maḫ an ki-a / šag₄ u₂-sa₁₁-an ud-mud daĝal tag-ga ni₂ su-a ru-ru-gu₂ / ab sumur zig₃-ga kur-ku il₂-la a-ra₂-bi lu₂ nu-zu / e₂ ĝišes₂-ad erim₂-du-še₃ nu₂-a ḫul-ĝal₂-la su dub₂-bu / e₂ sa-par₄ igi-te-en-bi galam kad₅ uĝ₃ nam-re-eš ur₄-ur₄-u₃ / e₂ zid-du erim₂-du igi ĝal₂ ḫul šu-bi nu-e₃ (composite text available on the eTCSL website: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text= c.4.28.1&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc&lineid=c4281.1#c4281.1 [November 28, 2019]).

294

rendu loisel

control atmospheric event (a furious storm ud ḫuš, l. 1), a raging sea (ab sumur zig₃, l. 4). The temple is also animated thanks to metaphors that give it human behaviors: House whose foundations are laden with great awesomeness! Its gate is the yellow evening light, exuding radiance. Its stairs are a great openmouthed dragon, lying in wait for men. Its door jamb is a great dagger whose two edges … the evil man. Its architrave is a scorpion which quickly dashes from the dust; it overpowers everything. Its projecting pilasters are lions; no one dare rush into their grasp. Its vault is the rainbow, imbued with terrible awe. Its hinges are an eagle whose claws grasp everything. Its door is a great mountain which does not open for the wicked, but does open for the righteous man who was not brought in through its power. Its bars are fierce lions locked in stalwart embrace. Its latch is a python, sticking out its tongue and hissing. Its bolt is a horned viper, slithering in a wild place. House, surveying heaven and earth, a net spread out! No evildoer can escape its grasp, as it drags the enemy around.41 Nungal A, l. 12–26

The decoration and the architectural parts of the temple are metaphorically associated to natural elements, according to their functions in the building. For instance, doors that must keep the intruder away, are described as frightening savage animals.42 Nature plays an important role in the metaphorical description of the temple, and participates in the literary process of suggesting sublime’s feeling for the one who is in front of the building. An awe-inspiring radiance emanates from the divine building itself.43 The place is frightful, related to the very function of the temple of Nungal as a prison.44 The animal metaphors are not lim-

41

42 43 44

e₂ uš ki ĝar-ra-bi ni₂ gal im-da-ri / kan₄-bi u₂-sa₁₁-an sig₇-ga su zig₃ il₂-la-am₃ / kun₄-bi ušumgal ka du₈-a lu₂-še₃ nu₂-a / zag-du₈-bi ĝiri₂ maḫ a₂ 2-bi lu₂-erim₂ sur-sur-ru-de₃ / asal-bar-bi ĝiri₂ saḫar-ta im₂-ma ka ša-an-ša₅-ša₅-dam / dub-la₂ zag e₃-bi piriĝ su-ba saĝ nu-ĝa₂-ĝa₂-dam / nir-gam-ma-bi dtir-an-na-gin₇ ni₂ ḫuš im-da-an-ri / ĝišnu-kuš₂-u₃-bi ḫuri₂-inmušen umbin-bi niĝ₂ šu ti-a / ĝišig-bi ḫur-saĝ gal lu₂-erim₂-ra ĝal₂ nu-un-ta-da₁₃-da₁₃ / lu₂ zid šu-ba la-ba-ni-in-ku₄-ku₄ ĝal₂ mu-un-ta-da₁₃-da₁₃ / ĝišsaĝ-kul-bi piriĝ ḫuš nam-šulba gu₂-da la₂-a / ĝišsuḫub₄-bi muš-saĝ-kal eme ed₂-de₃ e-ne dag si-il-si-le-de₃ / ĝišsi-ĝar-bi muš-šag₄-tur₃ ki sumur-ra ni₂-bi ur₃-ur₃-ru-dam / e₂-e an ki-a igi mi-ni-in-ĝal₂ sa-par₄-ra al-la₂ / a₂-bi erim₂-du la-ba-ra-e₃ erim₂ al-ur₃-ur₃-re. Löhnert 2013, 271–273. Cassin 1968; Aster 2011. Charpin 2017, 77–82.

from landscape to ritual performances

295

ited to daily-life animals: they also concerned mythological ones, such as the dragon. The metaphors focus on their behaviors, suggesting an impression of fear, as if the individual is really confronting these entities: the bite of a snake, the sting of a scorpion, all the comparisons may arouse a feeling of pain and fear based on sensory memory for the audience. Unusual or foreign atmospheric and natural elements play also an important role in this description; rainbow becomes a constitutive part of the building,45 whereas the door is associated to the mountain, a geographical element frequently linked to the divine in Sumerian literature.46 Comparing architectural parts to animals, such as bulls and aurochs may be a clue for the decorative program in it.47 The hymn of Nungal is a good example to illustrate how metaphors replicate the daily life experience. More than a simple description of the affective phenomena, metaphors create a new embodied experience of the temple. The composition proceeds methodically by enumerating one architectural element after another: this could suggest that the reciter is in front of the building itself. The emotions of the community transcend the place itself and participate in the manifestation and representation of the divine presence during the ritual ceremony. The theophany is conceived because of the emotions it induces among the audience. Nature gives the most impressive and powerful elements to describe the invisible. Smith stresses the importance of constructed ritual environments to a better understanding of the various ways giving sense to action so that they become rituals.48 The recitation of the Sumerian hymns in temples does answer to these functions. The emotional impacts on the listener of the recitation—whether it is the god/goddess for whom the ritual is accomplished or the human community present and participating in the procedures—complete the performative power of the pronounced words.49 The ritual performance is based on a combination of various criteria, in which we find the recitation of special words, the manipulation of objects and substances, but also the emotional involvement of all the participants.

45 46 47 48 49

Verderame and Rendu Loisel 2018. Löhnert 2013. Löhnert 2013, 266–272; Seidl 2013. Smith 1987. The psychologist James Austin (1962, 1975) clearly demonstrated how performative words can be in various situations. In the ritual scene, speech and words fulfill a major function, increasing the field of action of the officiant (Malinowski 1935, 235) or the ritual act itself (Tambiah 1968, 175–208). For the Ancient Near East, see Schwemer 2011.

296 3

rendu loisel

Emotion and Ritual Performances: The Example of the Tigi-Hymns

Questioning the pragmatic function of performing cultic texts in a ritual context is fundamental as it deals with the Sitz im Leben of Sumerian compositions.50 We cannot limit our study to a textual approach of the Sumerian literature, as Delnero shows for Sumerian laments: Sumerian laments, while preserved in writing, are not, or at least not primarily, texts—in the conventional sense of texts as self-contained carriers of verbal messages that outlive the moment of their composition by existing, or being reproducible, in a form that allows their content to be repeated or experienced in a form that is identical, or nearly identically, to how it was originally conceived. The written versions of these compositions, and their physical instantiations, existed together with, and actively contributed to the performance of the same laments in cultic rituals, and were probably never intended to be read (or recited) outside a performative context.51 The Sumerian hymns and prayers were not intended to be simply written, but to be recited and performed in a ritual context. The semantics present in the compositions play then an important role, to which we must add the sonorous frame (assonance, alliteration, repetition, etc.) of the recitation itself.52 In Sumerian laments, the individual is invited not only to hear the distress and despair, but also to feel it, thanks to an emotional contagion, of the utmost importance for the ritual procedures: to appease the anger of a god, the human community is invited to mimetically experience mourning and grief. I would like to extend Delnero’s stimulating reflection. Does this emotional contagion concern only negative emotions we may find in laments, or can we apply this statement to other positive ritual contexts? What are the positive emotions staged in a ritual procedure, for which we only have written hymnic evidence? To answer these questions, I will now focus on specific Sumerian compositions qualified by their subscripts as tigi-hymns. The performative characteristics of these compositions in ritual contexts have already been demonstrated.53 They were accompanied by musical instruments and singers. My aim here is to investigate if, what, and how positive emotions are mentioned in the semantics of these compositions. 50 51 52 53

Delnero 2015. Delnero 2020, 223. Delnero 2020. See Delnero 2015, 92–93, for all the arguments and the bibliography.

from landscape to ritual performances

297

Tigi is a term which designates a musical percussion instrument and the praising or laudatory hymn (accompanied by the eponymous instrument).54 Together with the instruments šem and ala, tigi is present in every temple, and is played during festive occasions associated with joy and the well-being of the land. Tigi is played by the nar (“musician”) in joyful occasions.55 Reconstructed thanks to various tablets and fragments of the Old-Babylonian period, twelve Sumerian compositions are designated as tigi-compositions.56 These compositions are dedicated to specific deities, celebrating, in literary images, metaphors and comparisons, the divine power. Contrary to the cultic laments, emotional metaphors or comparisons are not numerous in hymnic sources. But, when mentioned, two types of human emotions are frequently mentioned in the tigi-hymns: awe and joy, in a kind of emotional dialog between the divine entity and the human community. Emotions constitute here a link, a communicative tool between the two spheres. The power of the deity is described because of the awe it induces among the human entities who experience joy, thanks to prosperity and well-being offered by the divine greatness. Natural elements are invoked to explore the physical impacts and the emotional effects of the divine presence during the hymnic recitation. Metaphors and comparisons referring to the animal world help to conceptualize the divine power and to make it tangible in the ritual scene. To represent the destructive power of Ninurta, the king Šulgi describes the divine attack against rebel lands

54 55

56

Shehata 2014, 103. Shehata 2009, 251–257, and 2014, 106–108. For its use with the šem and ala instruments in the 3rd and 2nd millennia BCE, I follow here the definition of Dahlia Shehata: “It (= the trio ensemble Tigi-Šem-Ala) especially served to initiate ritual offerings like animal sacrifices and libations to the gods. Its music had a joyful character, the ensemble played loudly in open-air spaces, probably mainly by nar-musicians” (Shehata 2014, 121). The ritual function of the tigi may have changed in the centuries after, being associated with the gala-priest, expert in lamentation in the 1st millennium BCE. As Shehata demonstrated it: “there are the Tigi and the Ala, originally musical instruments of praise, which in firstmillennium texts are associated with the gala. In my opinion, these ostensible discrepancies are attributed to cross-cultural influences and to the overlapping of different music traditions with terminology that constantly changed over a time span of more than two millennia. They are manifested in different phonetic, as well as logographic values, used to describe similar musical objects in different religious contexts. The scribes of later texts obviously reused old terms like Tigi and Ala, disregarding their original meanings.” (Shehata 2014, 121). That is: Gudea A, Šulgi T, Ibbi-Suen A, Išbi-Erra C, Išme-Dagan I, Ur-Ninurta B, Inana E, Dumuzi-Inana H, Nanna I, Nergal C, Nintur A and Nintur D.

298

rendu loisel

as painful and destructive as the venom of a snake (Šulgi T, l. 457). In another tigi, the recited prayers transform the temple into a natural living being, a bull (Nanna I, l. 9), referring here to the ritual soundscape of the place.58 One may find a specific vocabulary devoted to the ritual accessories and the jewelry that cover the cult statue, visible by the audience during the recitation. In a tigi to the goddess Bau dedicated by the king Gudea, Bau is compared to a gracious woman, who is “spread with ḫili-attractiveness” (ḫi-li du₈-du₈-a, Gudea A, l. 2),59 the verbal base du₈ referring to material and concrete objects. This physical ḫili-attractiveness emanates from the divine power thanks to its cultic statue or the metal and jewelry that cover it. The brilliance of the material represents and gives a presence to the power of the god(dess). In a tigi addressed to the moon-god, the crown is equated with the divine awe-inspiring radiance (Ibbi-Suen A, l. 1).60 The symbol of the god may have been physically and tangibly present in the ritual scene thanks to the ritual paraphernalia. The feeling of awe, that experiences the individual taking part in the ritual procedure may have been activated thanks to these concrete objects. The hymns mention material tools that could have been present in the ritual scenes, such as the divine weapons. Their descriptions insist on their physical characteristics, such as the shining šita-mace of Ama-Ušumgalanna (Inana E, l. 33).61 Pleasant substances are mentioned, as they express the prosperity given by the god to the human community. They may be perceived on the offering tables or in the architecture of the temple itself (in Inana E, l. 28, butter and fragrant cedar are mentioned for instance).62 Enki is supposed to bring syrup and wine in gardens and orchards, where trees are as tall as forests (Ur-Ninurta B, l. 11).63

57 58 59 60 61 62

63

ušum igi ḫuš ⸢muš⸣-šag₄-tur₃ ki-bal-a uš₁₁-⸢bi⸣ […]. http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/ etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.4.2.20&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). e₂ gud-gin₇ ar₂ im-me “like a bull, it (= the house) gives praise”; http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/ cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.4.13.09&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.3.2&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). i-lim u₅ men gal-la, http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.4.5.1&display=Cr it&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.4.07.5&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). dama-ušumgal-an-na dutu kur šim ĝišerin-na-ta e₃-a-gin₇ i₃(source: e₂) dug₃-ga ša-muun-ši-peš-peš-e. http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.4.07.5&display=Crit& charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019). pu₂-ĝiškiri₆ lal₃ ĝeštin ki tag-ga tir-gin₇ sud-sud-e; http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl .cgi?text=c.2.5.6.2&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc# (November 28, 2019).

from landscape to ritual performances

299

One of these tigi-hymns is dedicated to the chariot of the god Enlil (IšmeDagan I):64 it refers here to a precise cultic element, in front of which the hymn is performed. Staring at it provokes a feeling of admiration (u₆ di). Each constitutive part of the chariot—the pole, the yoke, the rope-fastened pegs, etc.—is described with metaphors and comparisons that make the object divine. The chariot no longer belongs to the human realm, but is a creation of the divine world. Just as it was the case for the emotion of the sublime in the temple, natural elements are the best way to describe and to induce this feeling of admiration. The literary metaphors are not necessarily referring to ritual objects or substances, but may invite the individual to get back to his/her own daily life experience: the side beams of Enlil’s chariot are compared to “strong breeding bulls carrying a heavy load” (Išme-Dagan I, l. 36).65 What is present in the scene is transformed by the presence of the divine power. Inducting emotion in ritual contexts implies activating a physical memory of previous affective experiences. Raw material and natural elements constitute ritual stimuli that change the individual experience into a community one with the other participants of the ritual procedure. Metaphors play an important role to arouse emotions. The recitation of these hymns invites the individual to physically take part in the ritual. The communication is established thanks to the emotional bonds connecting the human community with the divine entity. The ritual scene becomes a place for a theophany, an experience that arouses awe and joy among human beings. The natural elements present in the ritual scene—whether it is the paraphernalia or the substances and raw material of the cult statue or of the architectural elements—give a new dimension to the visual experience. Whereas lamenting deals with the human fear of losing the divine favor,66 hymns with positive emotions may aim at strengthening the already existing good relationship between the two communities. It reinforces also the strong feeling of the human entities who are galvanized by listening to the hymn. Emotions belong to the ritual communicative strategies. The emotional frame of the hymnic recitation is based on a balance between joy and awe that the human entity experiences with the active presence of the god. The deity is celebrated for his power: ritual gestures, words, and human emotional implications are combined so that the human community will not disturb the peace and the quietness that the god is looking for in his ter64 65 66

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.5.4.09&display=Crit&charenc=gcir c# (November 28, 2019). gab₂-il₂-zu gud-ab₂ a₂ /kalag\-[ga] nij₂ dugud il₂-il₂-[me-en]. Löhnert 2011b.

300

rendu loisel

restrial residence.67 The divine is also solicited in his own emotion, as the hymn invites him to appreciate his own greatness and to perceive the affective experiences he induces among humans. The god is invited to feel pleasure in the recitation. The performance of such hymns should be perfectly accomplished on the acoustic level: the king Šulgi, in a tigi, is proud to declare that he produced sounds from the šem₅ and a₂-la₂ instruments, and that he produced “good sounds” (tigi niĝ₂ dug₃).68 The perfect acoustic performance creates a pleasant sensation for the entire audience (not only human, but also divine), that will manifest a necessary emotional balance between all the participants. The emotional power of such hymns should not be underestimated as all these hymns were supposed to be sung and accompanied by musical instruments. Music has a psychological value, especially in the Ancient Near East where most of the musical instruments are considered as holy or divine objects.69

4

Conclusion

Studying emotion in the corpus of Sumerian literature of the Old-Babylonian Period helps us to grasp the aesthetic values and the cultural concepts related to the experience of the surrounding environment. Emotions give sense to external events. They function also as a communicative tool between the individual and his/her community. The inner affective state is exposed and described to the other members of his/her group. The individual may find around him/her various examples to build new metaphors and comparisons, focusing on one aspect or another of the emotion (intensity, physical delight or physical pain, etc.). Emotions play an important role during ritual activities conducted in the temple. This place arouses feelings of awe and joy, because of the divine entity who dwells in it. The recitation of hymns is there of the utmost importance as it guarantees the presence and the protection of the community by the god

67 68

69

For the temple as a place for divine rest, see Löhnert 2013, 277–278. šem₅ a₂-la₂-e šeg₁₁ ḫa-ba-ge₄ / tigi niŋ₂ dug₃-ge si ḫa-ba-ni-sa₂ (composite text available on the eTCSL website: http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.4.2.01&display =Crit&charenc=gcirc#, eTCSL 2.4.2.01 [February 21, 2019)]. See also in Gudea Cylinders, B10.9: “to tune properly the sweet-toned tigi instrument” (http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/cgi ‑bin/etcsl.cgi?text=c.2.1.7&display=Crit&charenc=gcirc&lineid=c217.1041#c217.1041, eTCSL 2.1.7 [February 21, 2019]). Shehata 2014, 102–103.

from landscape to ritual performances

301

or the goddess. The recitation is not limited to the pronunciation of specific words. Hymns and their semantic content participate in the grammar of the ritual, as they arouse emotions among the audience. We only have access to texts on tablets that were supposed to function as aids to the aural performances of these hymns. By questioning their emotional semantic content, we may be able, indirectly, to find information, useful to reconstruct the ritual procedures. In these hymns, emotions play an important role. The members of the community are invited to feel in their own body the emotional state in question, so that the link with the divine world may be established. To induce it, the hymn may refer to concrete objects, material and substances that are present in the ritual scene, and that the individual can see, smell, hear, touch, or taste. The ritual paraphernalia combined with the architectural space create various sensory stimuli. The procedure cannot be limited to words, gestures, objects, but also implies a third dimension, involving the individual in his/her body. It invites him/her to establish a new communication by activating his/her own affective state, which is deeply rooted in the cultural memory of the community. The ritual, in its complexity, transforms the individual experience into a shared one.

Acknowledgements I would like to thank Philippe Borgeaud (University of Geneva) and Paul Delnero (Johns Hopkins University) for reading the entire paper, and for their valuable comments and suggestions. I would especially like to thank Paul Delnero for sharing with me his paper on Emotional Contagion: its reading was very stimulating and improved my own paper.

Bibliography Abu-Lughod, L. 1986. Veiled Sentiments: Honor and Poetry in a Bedouin Society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Allinger-Csollich, W. 2013. “Gedanken über das Aussehen und die Funktion einer Ziggurat.” In Tempel im Alten Orient, 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen OrientGesellschaft 11.–13. Oktober 2009, München, edited by K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf and W. Sallaberger, 1–18. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Ambos, C. 2004. Mesopotamische Baurituale aus dem I. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Dresden: ISLET. Ambos, C. 2010. “Building Rituals From the First Millennium BC.” In From the Foun-

302

rendu loisel

dations to the Crenellations: Essays on Temple Building in the Ancient Near East and Hebrew Bible, edited by M.J. Boda and J. Novotny, 221–237. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Aster, S.Z. 2012. The Unbeatable Light. Melammu and its Biblical Parallels. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Austin, J.L. 1975. How to Do Things with Words. Harvard: Harvard University Press [1st ed. 1962]. Averbeck, R.E. 2010. “Temple Building among the Sumerians and Akkadians (Third Millennium).” In From the Foundations to the Crenellations: Essays on Temple Building in the Ancient Near East and Hebrew Bible, edited by M.J. Boda and J. Novotny, 3–34. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Bahrani, Z. 2003. The Graven Image. Representation in Babylonia and Assyria. Philadelphia: University Press of Pennsylvania. Bertau-Courbières, C. 2017. Au miroir des bienheureux. Les émotions positives et leurs représentations en Grèce archaïque. Bordeaux: Ausonius. Boda, M. and J. Novotny (eds). 2010. From the Foundations to the Crenellations: Essays on Temple Building in the Ancient Near East and Hebrew Bible, Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Boquet, D. and P. Nagy. 2018. Medieval Sensibilities. A History of Emotions in the Middle Ages. London: Polity. Borgeaud, P. and A.-C. Rendu Loisel (eds). 2010, Les dieux en ou sans émotions. Perspective comparatiste, special issue of the Journal Mythos Rivista di Storia delle Religioni nuova serie 4. Palermo: Salvatore Sciascia Editore. Borgeaud, P. and A.-C. Rendu Loisel (eds). 2009. Violentes Emotions. Approche comparatiste. Geneva: Droz. Burke, E. 2009. Recherches philosophiques sur l’origine de nos idées du sublime et du beau, présentation et traduction. Paris: Vrin [1st ed. 1757]. Cairns, D. and D. Nelis. 2017. Emotions in the Classical World: Methods, Approaches, and Directions. Stuttgart: Steinert. Cassin, E. 1968. La splendeur divine. Introduction à la mentalité mésopotamienne. Paris: Mouton. Charpin, D. 2017. La vie méconnue des temples mésopotamiens. Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Courtine, J.-F., M. Deguy, E. Escoubas, P. Lacoue-Labarthe, J.-F. Lyotard, L. Marin, J.L. Nancy, J. Rogosinski (eds). 1988. Du sublime. Paris: Belin. Delnero, P. 2015. “Texts and Performance. The Materiality and Function of the Sumerian Liturgical Corpus.” In Texts and Contexts. The Circulation and Transmission of Cuneiform Texts in Social Space, edited by P. Delnero and J. Lauinger, 87–118. Berlin: De Gruyter. Delnero, P. 2020. How to Do Things with Tears: Ritual Lamenting in Ancient Mesopotamia. Berlin: De Gruyter. Descola, P. 2005. Par-delà nature et culture. Paris: Gallimard.

from landscape to ritual performances

303

Descola, P. 2011. L’écologie des autres. L’anthropologie et la question de la nature. Versailles: Quae. van Ess, M. 2013. “Babylonische Temple zwischen Ur III- und neubabylonischer Zeit: Zu einigen Aspekten ihrer planerischen Gestaltung und religiösen Konzeption.” In Tempel im Alten Orient, 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 11.–13. Oktober 2009, München, edited by K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf and W. Sallaberger, 59–84. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Febvre, L. 1941. “La sensibilité et l’histoire: comment reconstituer la vie affective d’autrefois?” Annales d’histoires sociales 3: 221–238. Gabbay, U. 2013. “The Performance of Emesal Prayers within the Regular Temple Cult: Content and Ritual Setting.” In Tempel im Alten Orient, 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 11.–13. Oktober 2009, München, edited by K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf and W. Sallaberger, 103–122. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Gabbay, U. 2014. “The Balaĝ Instrument and Its Role in the Cult of Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Music in Antiquity, The Near East and the Mediterranean, edited by J. Goodnick-Westenholz, Y. Maurey and E. Seroussi, 129–148. Berlin; Boston; Jerusalem: De Gruyter; Magnes. Gell, A. 1998. Art and Agency: an Anthropological Theory. Oxford: Clarendon. Gumbrecht, H. 2010. Éloge de la présence. Ce qui échappe à la signification. Paris: Libella—Maren Sell. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens, recherche sur le lexique sumérien et akkadien. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Jaques, M. 2011. “Metaphern als Kommunikationsstrategie in den mesopotamischen Bussgebeten an den persönlichen Gott.” In Klagetraditionen. Form und Funktion der Klage in den Kulturen der Antike, edited by M. Jaques, 3–20. Fribourg; Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Kämmerer, T.R. and K.A. Metzler. 2012. Das babylonische Weltschopfungsepos. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Kant, E. 1980. Observations sur les sentiments du Beau et du Sublime. Paris: Vrin [1st ed. 1754]. Kipfer, S. (ed.). 2017. Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Konstan, D. 2006. “Y a-t-il une histoire des émotions?” ASDIWAL Revue Genevoise d’Anthropologie et d’Histoire des Religions 1: 23–35. Lakoff, G. and M. Johnson. 2003. Metaphors We Live by, with a New Afterword. Oxford: Oxford University Press [1st ed. 1980]. Lambert, W.G. 2013. Babylonian Creation Myths. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Löhnert, A. 2011a. “Manipulating the Gods: Lamenting in Context.” In The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, edited by K. Radner and E. Robson, 402–417. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

304

rendu loisel

Löhnert, A. 2011b. “Motive und Funktionen der Göttinnenklagen im Frühen Mesopotamien.” In Klagetraditionen. Form und Funktion der Klage in den Kulturen der Antike, edited by M. Jaques, 39–62. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Löhnert, A. 2013. “Das Bild des Tempels in der sumerischen Literatur.” In Tempel im Alten Orient, 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 11.–13. Oktober 2009, München, edited by K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf and W. Sallaberger, 263–282. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Lutz, C. and G.M. White. 1986. “The Anthropology of Emotions.” Annual Review of Anthropology 15: 405–436. Malinowski, B. 1935. Coral Gardens and their Magic, A Study of the Methods of Tilling the Soil and of Agricultural Rites in the Trobriands Islands, volume II, The Language of Magic and Gardening. London: George Allen. Pongratz-Leisten, B. and K. Sonik (eds). 2015. The Materiality of Divine Agency. Berlin: De Gruyter. Quenet, P. (ed.). 2016. Ana ziqquratim, sur la piste de Babel. Strasbourg: Presses Universitaires de Strasbourg. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. 2016. “When Gods Speak to Men: Reading House, Street, and Divination from Sound in Ancient Mesopotamia (1st millennium BC).” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 75(2): 291–309. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. 2019. “The Doors of Perception: Senses and their Variation in Akkadian Texts.” In Sounding Sensory Profiles in Antiquity. On the Role of the Senses in the World of Ancient Israel and the Ancient Near East, edited by T. Krüger and A. Schellenberg, 247–258. Atlanta: SBL Press. Rosenwein, B. and R.B. Cristiani. 2018. What is the History of Emotions? Cambridge: Polity. Saint-Girons, B. 2005. Le Sublime, de l’Antiquité à nos jours. Paris: Desjonquères. Schwemer, D. 2011. “Magic Rituals: Conceptualization and Performance.” In Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, edited by K. Radner and E. Robson, 418–442. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sefati, Y. 1998. Love Songs in Sumerian Literature. Jerusalem: Bar-Ilan University Press. Seidl, U. 2013. “Bildschmuck an mesopotamischen Tempeln des 2. Jahrtausends v. Chr.” In Tempel im Alten Orient, 7. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen OrientGesellschaft 11.–13. Oktober 2009, München, edited by K. Kaniuth, A. Löhnert, J. Miller, A. Otto, M. Roaf and W. Sallaberger, 467–488. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Shehata, D. 2009. Musiker und ihr vokales Repertoire. Untersuchungen zu Inhalt und Organisation von Musikerberufen und Liedgattungen in altbabylonischer Zeit. Göttingen: Universitätsverlag. Shehata, D. 2014. “Sounds from the Divine: Religious Musical Instruments in the Ancient Near East.” In Music in Antiquity, The Near East and the Mediterranean, edited

from landscape to ritual performances

305

by J. Goodnick-Westenholz, Y. Maurey and E. Seroussi, 102–128. Berlin; Boston; Jerusalem: De Gruyter; Magnes. Smith, J. 1987. To Take Place. Toward a Theory in Ritual. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. Sonik, K. 2017. “Emotion and the Ancient Arts: Visualizing, Materializing, and Producing States of Being.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 219–261. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Tambiah, S.J. 1968. “The Magical Power of Words.” Man New Series 3(2): 175–208. Tinney, S. 2011. “Tablets of Schools and Scholars: A Portrait of the Old Babylonian Corpus.” In The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, edited by K. Radner and E. Robson, 577–596. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Verderame, L. and A.-C. Rendu Loisel. 2018. “Joindre le ciel et la terre: l’arc-en-ciel dans les textes de l’ancienne Mésopotamie.” In Arcs-en-ciel et couleurs. Regards comparatifs, edited by A. Dubois, J.-B. Eczet, A. Grand-Clément and C. Ribeyrol, 167–187. Paris: CNRS.

chapter 14

Jealousy in Akkadian Love Literature: Zarpanītu in the Divine Love Lyrics Rocío Da Riva

Les hommes sont cause que les femmes ne s’ aiment point. La Bruyère, Des Femmes 55, IV

… La Reina de celos rabia. Lope de Vega, Arminda Celosa, 697

∵ 1

Scope of the Present Study (and Forewarning)

Jealousy, understood in the usual notion of the word with its amorous and sexual implications, in ancient Mesopotamian cultures has never been the subject of a monographic study.1 Yet there are plenty of written sources in which we can 1 I would like to thank Shih-Wei Hsu and Jaume Llop Raduà for their kind invitation to participate in this volume. The research for the present article was carried out under the auspices of the R+D Research Project of the Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, FFI2016-74827-P AEI/FEDER, UE and of the ICREA Acadèmia Research Award (2015–2019). I would like to acknowledge the Trustees of the British Museum for the permission given to study, cite and quote cuneiform texts from the museum’s collections. The ritual tablet BM 40090 + BM 41005 + BM 41107 (1881-02-01, 55 + 1881-04-28, 552 + 1881-04-28, 654; henceforth in this text BM 40090+) has been collated in the British Museum (January 2019) and a new, updated publication of the ritual together with the poems and recitations is forthcoming (Da Riva and Wasserman). The texts of the Divine Love Lyrics published in Lambert 1975 have also been collated at the museum. I am indebted to Nathan Wasserman, with whom I have started the project of studying and editing the Divine Love Lyrics (http://oracc.museum .upenn.edu/lovelyrics/), for his feedback. I would also like to thank Carmen Berlinches, Greta Van Buylaere, Paul Delnero, Jaume Llop Raduà, Mikko Luukko, Michael Maudsley, Jaume Pòrtulas, Gonzalo Rubio and Ian Rutherford whose advice, comments and contributions have

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

jealousy in akkadian love literature

307

see that Mesopotamians, be they humans or gods, experienced what we could easily identify as jealous rage. Not only the words used in the texts, but also the way feelings are expressed,2 the contexts in which they are represented, and the combination with other passions such as love and sexual desire point to certain similarities between their version of this emotion and ours. As we will see below, however, apparent coincidences can blur nuances and culturebound differences. In the present study, I would like to offer an introductory review of the notion of jealousy in Akkadian literature, placing the main focus on a set of Akkadian 1st millennium poetry sources traditionally known as the Divine Love Lyrics (henceforth DLL), even though other literary sources (Akkadian but also Sumerian) may occasionally be referred to as comparanda. As will be seen below, the protagonists of these DLL are divine characters, as are the main figures present in the other texts explored here. The specific aim of this study is to analyse the sentimental/amorous/sexual jealousy present in divine characters in the Akkadian literary tradition through the figure of the goddess Zarpanītu, Marduk’s consort, in the DLL, and the social and political implications of her emotions/responses. Considering that Mesopotamian gods were conceived in the image of humans, the themes of myths and stories that are composed around the divine figures, or associated with them in various ways, could very well be the themes of human tales and epics. Being highly anthropomorphic, the needs and feelings of these divine figures were not unlike those of humans: they ate, drank and got drunk, slept, partied and made love and war just as ordinary people did; they experienced the wide range of human passions and emotions that go in to making human life what it is, such as jealousy, love, hate, and so on. The gods were highly emotional and in particular their jealousy, both of their equals and of humans, is a frequent topic in Near Eastern myths.3

improved this study enormously. All remaining shortcomings are my responsibility. Abbreviations follow the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary (CAD), unless indicated. All web pages referred to here were retrieved in December 2018. 2 It is often difficult to define an emotion, even if we are perfectly capable of feeling it. Jealousy is a particularly complicated case: experiencing it does not necessarily “require the capacities of representation, speech or empathy” (Toohey 2014, 34). A good study from the anthropological and linguistic perspective about the expression and experience of emotions in different languages, cultures and social contexts is Wierzbicka 1999. 3 Leeming’s book (2004) is interesting inasmuch as it focuses on the question of jealousy and the divine world. I owe the reference to G. Rubio.

308

da riva

1.1 Forewarning As noted by Konstan,4 the “cross-cultural study of the emotions requires a special kind of self-awareness on the part of the scholar.5 For we tend to think of our own emotional repertoire as natural and to assume, consequently, that it is universal.” For some authors, emotions and their expression are not entirely universal or universally recognized, innate and immutable phenomena.6 The way people feel, and the way they define, interpret and represent their feelings, may change from period to period; emotions are culture-bound, because they also depend on the subject’s social position, values and beliefs, and language.7 One can also differentiate between situational “short-term goals to which individual and collective experiences of emotion might be related” and long-term goals which are “shared by a wider emotional community across geographical and chronological boundaries”.8 The premise of the following pages is that, broadly speaking, the emotions of the ancient Mesopotamians were in certain ways different from our own. Mesopotamian people lived in a world completely permeated by religion, and human fate, including adversity, had mostly supernatural causes: the divine element was ubiquitous in the society and the culture.9 By contrast, our “post-psychoanalytic cultural baggage”10 situates us in a very distant position, and our modern-day categories are not always suited to an analysis of how ancient Mesopotamians felt and represented their feelings. An additional difficulty is the fact that the sources used for this study are, practically without exception, literary texts from different epochs and cultures, which do not necessarily reflect how emotions and feelings were experienced, represented or verbalized by the people in their corresponding periods. Furthermore, the inherent linguistic (semantic, but also pragmatic) subtleties of Akkadian and Sumerian prevent us from fully understanding a specific situation described or narrated in a text. Of course, we should also consider

4 5 6

7 8 9 10

Konstan 2007, 219. For the challenges in the historical study of emotions, see Harris 2010. Recent literature on emotions in past times and cultures is abundant: Nussbaum 2001; Jaeger and Kasten 2003; Carrera 2013; Visvardi 2015; Plamper 2015; Sanders and Johncock 2016; and Spencer 2017 are among the most interesting ones. I find the ideas of Konstan regarding pathos and passion in Greek literature (Konstan 2007: 3–40) especially useful to review the current discussions on the universal and invariant versus cultural-specific nature of emotions. For the expression of emotions in the Bible, see Wagner 2006, and also Kruger 2015. For emotions in Ancient Near East and Egypt, see Kipfer 2017. Archambeau 2013, 48. Carrera 2013, 11. For the sources of (mis)fortune in Ancient Mesopotamia, see Van Buylaere et al. 2018. Carrera 2013, 12.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

309

the difficulties in understanding and translating specific words. There is not always a direct correspondence between a Sumerian or an Akkadian and an English term to express the emotions, and the use of modern concepts may sometimes be misleading; the nuances and cultural-specific implications of a particular word may be masked by the modern meaning of the term selected for the translation.11 This does not apply to all the emotions, however; some ancient notions seem to have had a high degree of correspondence with modern concepts, while for others there seems to be no direct overlapping term between languages. As we will see below, jealousy, “the green-eyed monster”, is one of the most complex, and it is difficult to study it dissociated from the notion of envy—not only because there is a certain degree of semantic overlap between them, but also because, as we will see below, the Akkadian term translated as “jealousy” also has the meaning “envy.”

2

The Notion of Jealousy

In our culture, jealousy is one of the most important sentiments. Montaigne called it “[t]he most vain and tempestuous affliction that can harm human spirits.”12 Jealousy plays a key role in social and interpersonal relationships, and it has inspired many artistic and literary compositions. Some scholars consider it one of the basic human emotions, and believe that certain animals are capable of feeling it as well. For other authors, however, it is (together with guilt, envy or pride, for example) a secondary sentiment that involves intricate mental activity.13 In cultures and periods other than our own, it encompassed a range of sentiments: many specialists have stressed its composite nature, as an amalgam of other basic passions (such as anger, envy, sadness, fear, disgust …).14 Some theorists have defended the universality of this feeling, arguing that it

11 12 13

14

For the methodological problems encountered when studying emotions on the basis of Ancient Mesopotamian texts, see Jaques 2017. Montaigne, Essays (Book III Chapter 5: “On some verses of Virgil”). Among recent studies on the topic of jealousy, one could mention the handbook of Hart and Legerstee 2010 and the fascinating study of Toohey 2014 (with further bibliography on pp. 224–242) who presents an all-embracing view of emotion. In this study, I will deal exclusively with jealousy in the context of erotic or amorous relationships (as defined in Ben-Zeʾev 2010), but this feeling is of course present in other kinds of relationships as well, between siblings, children and parents, friends and colleagues, etc. (Hart and Legerstee 2010). However, romantic jealousy is probably the form that has been studied the most (Toohey 2014, 18). For the topic in the Classical world, see Sanders 2014. See Konstan 2007, 220; Hart and Legerstee 2010, 57–58.

310

da riva

has a practical function, and in the new discipline of evolutionary psychology, jealousy is elevated to the status of a biological necessity.15 In fact, the feeling of jealousy has been defined on the basis of biological factors as well as social and cultural factors.16 The English term “jealousy” is adapted from the French jalousie, which stems from Latin zelus “passion.” In its modern-day meaning, jealousy implies hostility toward a rival (or one believed to be such) and it is the loss (or the fear thereof) that sparks the feeling, the anger at unfaithfulness or rivalry (or at the mere suspicion of the existence of such unfaithfulness), or the zeal in safeguarding what we believe is our possession (the love of a person, or an object). It has been demonstrated that jealousy has to do with a perceived threat to a triangular relationship: the issue is the belief in the presence of a rival and not whether this rival is real or imaginary.17 In the sexual or erotic context in which the sentiment appears, jealousy denotes the fear, irritation, sadness or anger (or all these feelings combined) at being demoted in the beloved’s affections; and even the mere belief that our loved one may prefer someone else as the object of his/her affection is enough to stir this sentiment. Envy is a closely related feeling, and in fact in Latin the term invidia means both “jealousy” and “envy”; Montaigne called envy the sister of jealousy and considered both feelings “the most foolish of the whole troop.”18 Envy, however, does not imply the feeling of assertion, of “zealous vigilance”, but rather resentfulness at someone else’s property or good fortune; it is longing for something one does not have and wishes to possess, not the anger or fear of losing something one does possess.19 Envy is binary (you and the coveted thing) whereas jealousy involves three components (you, the coveted thing / desired person, and the rival), a social triangle, a threesome. Sometimes, though, the situation is more complicated, and some authors speak of “material jealousy” when referring to envy.20 One should also point out that it is not always easy to study jealousy using oral or written sources for, among all the emotions, its complexity is

15 16 17 18 19

20

References in Konstan 2007, 222. Hart and Legerstee 2010. Toohey 2014, 17. Montaigne, Essays (Book III Chapter 5: “On some verses of Virgil”). See https://www.merriam‑webster.com/dictionary/jealous and ibidem “jealousy” and “envy.” For recent definitions of jealousy, see Konstan 2007, 219–243, esp. 220–223; BenZeʾev 2010, 40–54 (focused on romantic jealousy and differentiated from envy); Toohey 2014, 1–22; among others. Envy and jealousy have a long history together, as demonstrated for example in the complexity of sentiments present in the Roman narrative of the Judgement of Paris (Toohey 2014, 5–7). Toohey 2014, 20–21.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

311

intensified by the negative social stigma attached to it. Jealousy is a strong feeling that makes people vulnerable, so they are reluctant to talk or write about it.21

3

Akkadian Terminology

In Akkadian sources, there are several words that fall under the semantic category of the emotion that we would define by the terms “envy” and “jealousy”. As noted above, however, one cannot be completely sure that these terms correspond exactly to our modern idea of this sentiment with all its nuances and socio-cultural implications. Moreover, the textual evidence for these terms is not entirely clear.22 The Akkadian dictionaries have the verb qenû “to be jealous, envious”;23 the substantives qinû (qiʾu, qinʾu) “envy, jealousy”24 and qiʾu “envious, jealous person”25 and the adjective qannāʾu “jealous”,26 or “envier”.27 Surprisingly, the word qīnu “jealousy” is not included in the dictionaries.28 Note that AHw. does not have these terms but has “neidisch” from Cananaean qannāʾ.29 Nonetheless, one thing seems certain: in the Akkadian texts under discussion in this study the terms to denote “jealousy” and “envy” appear in combination with other elementary passions, such as love and sexual desire. In this context, the word qinītu (or kinītu)30 denoting “concubine, second ranking wife”31 is a term that may ultimately belong to the same semantic category. In 21 22 23

24 25 26 27 28 29

30 31

Toohey 2014, 7–10. A good summary of the state of the question is Frahm 2009. CAD Q 209–210; CDA 287. In Sumerian texts, ninim(ŠÀ×IZI) is identified with qenû and, as Jaques has demonstrated, it is graphically and semantically close to the term urgu “anger” (Jaques 2006, 249; see also Frahm 2009, 36–37). The term to describe such a common emotion is “astonishingly rare,” Jaques 2017, 195. CDA 289. CAD Q 285, and AHw. 924 bēl qi-ʾi, see Frahm 2009, 36–37. CDA 284. CAD Q 81. See Frahm 2009, 34–41. AHw. 897. Semantically related terms are hādiʾānu (haddânu) and hādû “ill-wisher” (CAD Ḫ 23, 27–28; CAD K 258 and Q 84), but as M. Luukko has pointed out to me, based on hadû, they present “the sick side of it: ‘sick pleasure, sadistic delight’ perhaps also ‘Schadenfreude’ ”. The term kinītu may also refer to Arabic ‫كن ّة‬ َ (kanna), the wife of the son, the daughter-inlaw, or the wife of the brother, the sister-in-law (Wehr 1985, 1122). qinītu B, see CAD Q 254 from qenû; see also CDA 158; but see AHw. 480 kinītu II “eine Nebenfrau?”

312

da riva

fact, the term qinītu or kinītu is attested in several passages from the ritual text and the poetry of the DLL, and Edzard’s32 nuanced interpretation of the term “Nebenbuhlerin, Rivalin” fits much better with the semantic charge of the term and with the context of the text.33

4

Jealousy in the Mesopotamian Pantheon: Zarpanītu in the Divine Love Lyrics

In the anthropomorphic world of Mesopotamian gods, jealousy was a fundamental aspect of erotic love. Considering the abundance of literary compositions exalting amorous relations between humans, between humans and deities, and between the gods themselves, it is no wonder that jealousy appears regularly in the sources. With some exceptions (for example, Inanna/Ištar’s sexual liberty), marriage, even between gods, was a monogamous relationship, and promiscuity was out of the question.34 A substantial part of the love poetry, however, deals with this turbulent topic, and there were also incantations aimed at attracting the desire of the chosen person, recovering the attention of philandering lovers, or neutralizing sexual rivals.35 Jealousy, like love, is an inspirational feeling for artists and writers: “When unleashed by a competitor for a treasured relationship, jealousy can entail a level of ferocity and destruction so passionate as to have permeated some of the most ingrained features of

32 33

34

35

Edzard 1987, 60. Interestingly, Hebrew has two different words that are homophonic: ‫“ ָצ ָרה‬co-wife, Nebenfrau” and ‫“ ָצ ָרה‬distress.” The first is a cognate of Arabic ‫ ض َر ّ َة‬ḍarra (“he hurt, he damaged”) and Akkadian ṣerretu (“co-wife, second wife”) and it stems from the Hebrew root *ṣrr “to be hostile, to rival.” The second term (‫“ ָצ ָרה‬distress”) is a cognate of Arabic َ ّ ‫ ص َر‬ṣarra (“he tied”) and probably Akkadian ṣerretu (“nose-rope”) and it stems from the Hebrew root *ṣrr “to be narrow; to wrap.” See Koehler, Baumgartner et al. 1994–2000, 1052–1054, 1058–1059. (I owe this reference to G. Rubio). A similar semantic development probably occurred in Akkadian, where the term for the second woman is derived from the word “jealousy”. In ancient societies, the role of sexual jealousy in marriage (between humans) has not been studied in detail; however, considering that marriages were usually arranged and did not have a romantic basis some authors think that it was a very rare feeling; some bibliography referred to jealousy in married couples in the Greco-Roman world can be found in Toohey 2014, 234–235. See Leick 1994, 233; Wasserman 2016, 32–43, 195–234 (KAR 158 = LAOS 4 no. 19), 235–274; for love literature, see also SEAL “Love Literature” (http://seal.huji.ac.il/taxonomy/term/ 73). Among the compositions dealing with the ambivalent emotions surrounding erotic love, one could mention LAOS 4 nos. 4, 16 and 32 (Wasserman 2016, 95–100, 175–185, 268– 270).

jealousy in akkadian love literature

313

prevailing cultural ideologies and to have inspired some of the most significant works of poetry of all time”.36 Inanna/Ištar is often the subject of fits of jealousy in the Mesopotamian literary tradition. The Dumuzi-Inanna Emesal love lyrics37 contain several passages that refer to Inanna’s jealousy. A clear example of the dire consequences of infuriating the formidable goddess is the story of Amanamtagga (“The Mother of Sin”) in the later tablets of the lament Uruamairabi, in both the 1st millennium version and its Old Babylonian forerunner. The maid Amanamtagga sat on the pure throne, and on the clean bedstead learned to fornicate and to kiss (presumably with Inanna’s lover Dumuzi, although the text does not state this clearly). Inanna was at the time in Zabalam, but learnt of the sacrilege committed in her absence and went on the rampage: she seized poor Amanamtagga by the hair and threw her over the city wall, and when the unfortunate girl hit the ground, Inanna’s cultic personnel and musicians (kurgarrû and kalû) beat her to death using a sword, a patarru and their musical instruments.38 Sexual jealousy is also implicit in the passage of the composition “Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld”39 when the goddess finds Dumuzi sitting on a throne playing the flute when he should be mourning her, and orders the demons to seize him. The presence of women is not mentioned directly, but it seems implied by the festive setting and the playing of music that is usually associated with weddings and erotic contexts. In other compositions, Ištar is not the subject but the object of someone else’s jealousy. The reason may not be directly erotic or sexual, but perhaps rather warlike: her explosive temper and aggressiveness can be seen in the composition known as the “Agušaya Poem”40 where she is punished by the gods. Ea creates her alter-ego Ṣaltu (her “Enkidu,” so to speak) who soon grows jealous of her. A clear instance in which the goddess is the object of sexually motivated jealousy is Enkidu’s reaction to her frustrated yearning for Gilgameš.41

36 37 38 39

40 41

Hart and Legerstee 2010, 1. Sefati 1998; Fritz 2003. Cohen 1988, 569; Volk 1989, 48–52; 78–79, 90 (lines 12–19); Leick 1994, 239; Volk 2006, 92; Jaques 2006, 93; Peled 2014, 295. For bibliography and studies, see Foster 2007, 57–58, and http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/ section1/b141.htm. Of course, sororal jealousy is also present in Ereškigal’s reaction to Inanna’s visit to her domains. One should note that this is not the only composition in which Inanna’s sister appears as a deeply passionate and sexual goddess, as her long story with Nergal demonstrates (Walls 2001, 127–182; Foster 2007, 55–56). SEAL no. 7514 (http://seal.huji.ac.il/node/7514). Walls 2001, 60. The homoerotic relationship of Gilgameš and Enkidu is analysed by Walls 2001, 9–92.

314

da riva

Yet another situation involving Ištar in an intricate context of erotic jealousy is the (highly fragmented) Old Babylonian epic Sîn and Išum (CT 15, 5–6).42 But in none of these compositions is female amorous jealousy expressed with such intensity as in the DLL, a set of 1st millennium poems connected to a Babylonian ritual43 that was held in the month of Duʾuzu. The background of the composition is the emotional response of the betrayed and despairing Zarpanītu to Marduk’s infidelity with Ištar of Babylon.44 These DLL form a thematically consistent corpus of some forty texts from Assyria and Babylonia:45 there is one ritual text, and the rest are poems or recitations (“love lyrics” stricto sensu). The whole composition presumably originates from the priestly circles of the Eturkalamma-temple in Babylon. In 1953 Ebeling edited LKA 92, the first exemplar of the corpus to be published, and he referred to it in the Catalogue as “Ritual gegen feindliche Frau (Nebenbuhlerin)” so the basic meaning of the corpus was already clear to him. Lambert followed this line in his publications,46 where he identified fifteen texts belonging to the corpus, and finally Edzard47 offered very valuable comments on certain lines in the text. At the time of writing (December 2018), thirty-eight separate tablets are known, including the Lambert material.48 The texts reflect religious rituals celebrated in and around the temple of Eturkalamma in Babylon, presumably during the Hellenistic and Parthian periods (the possible date of most of the Babylonian material), but also earlier (as mentioned above, the Assyrian tablets are dated to the seventh century). The texts are thematically and stylistically interrelated and they deal primarily with amorous relations between deities; as a result, they are connected in various ways to the disparate and chronologically wide-ranging category of compositions dealing with divine love, from the Old Akkadian to Hellenistic times. So the DLL have clear textual “cousins” in Mesopotamian literature. The 42 43 44

45

46 47 48

SEAL no. 7514 (http://seal.huji.ac.il/node/7514). A “wild celebration” according to Stol 2016, 447. As many scholars have pointed out before, even if these sources are traditionally known as “(divine) love lyrics” the term “jealousy lyrics” is probably much more appropriate—but in order to avoid confusion it will not be applied here. There are exemplars from Nineveh, Assur, Babylon and Sippar. It is currently believed that the exemplars from Nineveh and Assur date to the 7th century, while those from the Babylon British Museum collections are probably much later (4th–1st century BCE). The texts from Sippar date most likely to the 7th–5th centuries. Note that some texts among those from Babylon are possibly school tablets. Lambert 1959 and 1975. Edzard 1987. New texts have been identified by A.R. George, I.L. Finkel, C.B.F. Walker, J. Fincke, and R. Da Riva. At present (September 2020), four more tablets have been added to the list.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

315

celebration of love between gods is a popular topic in Mesopotamian belletristic, examples of which are the various references to the sacred marriage rites, the cycle of Inanna and Dumuzi, and the Old Babylonian love lyrics.49 Additionally, the celebration of love between divine characters expressed in the form of rituals is also amply documented in various sources from the 1st millennium BCE.50 There can be little doubt that these 1st millennium sources of ritual celebrations of divine love are linked to the sacred marriage preserved in earlier texts of the 3rd–2nd millennia. The divine protagonists may change, the rituals may differ, but all these texts share the idea that, in one way or another, the love of two deities is crucial for the human community.51 There is evidence in some building inscriptions of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal from the mid-seventh century BCE of a ritual of divine love (ḫašādu) of Marduk and Zarpanītu which included a procession and love-making in the bed-chamber.52 But in contrast to other divine love rituals involving couples (Nabû and Tašmetu/Nanaya; Šamaš and Aya; Anu and Antu; Marduk and Zarpanītu, etc.) in the DLL three protagonists appear, namely Marduk, Zarpanītu and Ištar. The Babylonian god is the philandering husband, his wife incarnates the role of the sexually jealous spouse, and the formidable goddess of love plays the part of the alluring and sexually free femme fatale. Therefore, the ritual and the accompanying poems revolve around Marduk’s amorous adventures with Ištar and the subsequent jealous reaction of Zarpanītu. The three divine figures form an intricate amorous triangle of love, jealousy, betrayal and hate, an “Ehedrama” in Edzard’s sharp words,53 in a group of texts that, to quote him further, are “weder sehr lieblich noch sehr lyrisch”.54 In fact, upon discovering Marduk’s adultery, Zarpanītu’s rejoinder is that of a jealous wife who reacts violently against the interloper, but not against her husband;55 her words and her actions are focused exclusively on her rival. Zarpanītu, despairing and tormented, expresses forcefully and openly, and in unusually salacious and offensive language, her feelings

49 50 51

52 53 54 55

Nissinen 2001; Wasserman 2016. Matsushima 1980, 1985, 1987, 1988; Nissinen 2001; Holm 2017. With the exception of a Middle Babylonian ritual from Emar dealing with the installation of the entu priestess, which does not seem to be comparable to the rest of the material, all rituals are from the 1st millennium BCE (Nissinen 2001, 95). Nissinen 2001, 103–105. Edzard 1987, 60. Edzard 1987, 58. Interestingly, Marduk is only referred to at the beginning of the ritual. He never “appears” in the course of the ritual and the poems, but stays in the background, maybe observing from a distance the turmoil created by his actions.

316

da riva

of betrayal and hatred towards her rival. It is difficult to believe that sexual activities could be described in such a crude and vivid manner, but the specific descriptions on the tablet leave no doubt that this was undeniably the case. Indeed, the language of the texts is exceptional: it is direct, blunt, but at the same time metaphorical and highly poetic. Zarpanītu’s emotions and her intense jealousy are clear throughout the text, but become even more evident in the colophon of the ritual tablet where, after listing the cultic instructions and the incipits of the dicenda, we are informed that the series is a qīnayātu, so in BM 40090+ rev. iv: [× × ×] ana*? ilāni(dingir)meš a-pa-a-tú × × [× × ×] RU [an*-nu*-ú* šá* u₄ *.6?*.kam* ina*] muṣlāli([an.bi]r×(NE)) u li-lat sūqi(sila)!(tablet: BE) é.tùr.kalam.ma ⸢u⸣ nāru(íd)* 36 [× × × +]⸢8*⸣àm mu.šid.bi qí-na-a-a-tú 3* [× ×].kam* 3*àm* mu.šid* .bi* Lower edge igi.tab u* igi.⸢kar⸣*56 34 35

[…] for the gods … […] / 35 [This (is what takes place) on the 6th day (of Duʾuzu) at] noon and in the evening in the street of Eturkalamma and the river / […] 8 lines, the qīnayātu-rites(?) 3 on the [… day], 3 lines. Collated and checked. As noted some years ago by Da Riva and Frahm57 there are similarities between the DLL and a catchline with the incipit of a commentary on a mythological text in K. 4657+58 60′ (catchline) Z r. 13′: 13′.

[× × × × × × × × × × ×] × ni te-bi-ma dingir a-pa-tu₄59 dBe-let-ṣēri(edin) īmur(igi.lal)-ma iṭeḫḫī(te)-ši arka(egir) dBe-let-ilī(dingir.dingir) iš-me-ma qí-na iškun(gar-un) áš-šum / qi-na-a-a-ti kī(gim) qabû(dug₄)u […] … was raised …, he saw (the goddess) Bēlet-ṣēri and approached her (with sexual intentions). Later, Bēlet-ilī heard (it) and became jeal-

56

57 58 59

These lines have been restored on the basis of other manuscripts of the DLL. A comprehensive edition of BM 40090+ and the related poems is in preparation by Da Riva and Wasserman. Da Riva and Frahm 1999/2000, 181–182. Frahm and Jiménez 2015, 314, the manuscript (MS Z) of a commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII. On the interpretation of a-pa-tu₄, see Frahm and Jiménez 2015, 329.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

317

ous: because of the regular rites/offerings (kinayyātu) (or: “jealousy-related issues” (qīnayātu))—this is what it means (kī qabû). The text quoted and explained in the catchline can be identified by means of an entry in an expository text on the cultic calendar of Nippur, which, as Frahm and Jiménez suggest, may refer to an early Nippur version of the DLL, in which the three main characters are Bēlet-ilī, Bēlet-ṣēri/Šuzianna, and Enlil (later, Enlil became Marduk, Bēlet-ilī Zarpanītu, and Šuzianna Ištar of Babylon), OECT 11 69+70 i 40′–41′:60 40 41

ina simāni(itisig₄) ultu(ta) u₄.⸢15.kám⸣ adi(en) [u₄.n.kám] ⸢qí⸣*-na-a⸢tì⸣* (…)?61 Bēlet-ilī(dingir.mah) a-na dŠu!(ku)-zi-an-na mārat(dumumunus) d+Enme-šár-ra ⸢iq-ni⸣ In Simanu (III), from the 15th day to [the n-th day] … kinayyātu/qīnayāturites(?) … / (it is because) Bēlet-ilī was jealous of Šuzianna, daughter of Enmešarra.62

The DLL and some of their related texts can be analysed from a gendered perspective, since some (if not all) of the texts in this corpus may have belonged to rituals which revolved around women or around female elements in Babylonian society. But a precise interpretation is far from straightforward. According to G. Leick,63 the situation described in the DLL may reveal the tensions between the official wife and the mistress, and so this would be a ritual dealing with sexual jealousy within a marriage, at divine but also human level. In this interpretation, Zarpanītu appears as a sort of “patron deity of spurned wives” and the ritual is thus a way of depriving Ištar of her sexual charms. But the truth is that we know very little of the elusive figure of Zarpanītu,64 and it is difficult to study her in isolation from her consort, as her personality is not well-known. In the 1st millennium BCE texts, she appears as a mother goddess but especially as “queen”, or “lady”, or similar epithets indicating her high status as wife

60 61 62 63 64

Frahm and Jiménez 2015, 328–329. In fact, the authors suggest “(perhaps ⸢ki⸣-na-a-⸢a-ti⸣ (…)?),” and the line was collated from photo: CDLI P348949, https://cdli.ucla.edu/dl/photo/P348949.jpg. Another possible manuscript of the commentary is K. 13705 l. 2′ [… k]i/[q]í-na-a-a-ti qa-bi, but it is uncertain (Frahm and Jiménez 2015, 329). Leick 1994, 245. For an overview of Zarpanītu and her cult, see Oshima 2016–2018, 217–218.

318

da riva

of Marduk. Nothing is known about her feelings towards her husband or about the nature of their relationship, which lacks the richness and the complexity of the marriage between Zeus and Hera, a similar yet so different divine couple. It is uncertain whether Zarpanītu’s jealousy was the result of her feelings of betrayal or whether she felt that her social and political position in the pantheon, as legitimate wife of the topmost god, was jeopardized by Marduk’s dalliance with Ištar. However, her role in the context of the love rituals is too important to ignore here: in the Assyrian love ritual of Marduk and Zarpanītu, the emphasis is placed on the divine blessing in favour of the king, and the couple’s union is politically oriented, as they make love to favour the king. As Nissinen puts it, “the purpose and function of the divine lovemaking [of Marduk and Zarpanītu] was to establish the kingship and support the king and his family”,65 so one can imagine the threat Marduk’s philandering posed for the stability of the kingship! But maybe it was a mere question of pride, of the humiliation at being cheated by her husband with a more desirable goddess. Zarpanītu’s physical attributes are not well known: her titles and epithets indicate she had a high status because of her marriage to Marduk, but they do not have a sexual element and it is not clear whether she was an alluring female like Ištar, or unattractive and matronly. The opening of the ritual of the DLL points to the humiliation as a possible trigger of her jealousy: at the very beginning of the text, the goddess goes to the bedroom to look for Marduk (undoubtedly with the intention of fulfilling their marital duties), but he is on the roof with his lover, BM 40090+ obv. i (beginning of the tablet): 1 2 3 4 5

65 66 67

[(×) rik-su rik-s]u šá si-pit-ti aš-mu-ú-ma in-ni-kan-[ni (× ×)] [(×) ú-nam-bi]66 dZar-pa-ni-tum ina pa-pa-ḫi ṣal-la-a-tú dBēl(en) ina ūrim (ùr)-ma šá dBēl(en) [× ×] [× × × d*N]á!*-na-a-a-ni-tum at-ta ku-ri-ti-iá šá kaspi(kù.babbar) ana ME.ME*67 [× ×] [× × š]á?* tú a-di šāri(im) ṭa-a-bi at-ta-man-nu at-ta-m[an-nu (×)] [at-ta/i um-m]e-e dIštar(mùš)-Bābili(tin.tir)ki ù × × ⸢GAM⸣?* ina lìb-bi e [× ×]

Nissinen 2001, 111. Restored after 40090+ obv. ii 34: áš-mu-ú-ma in-ni-kan-nu ú-nam-bi (collated). This reading is uncertain, maybe one should understand here the verb qalû(me.me) “to become silent, to listen” and similar meanings, see CAD Q 72; or perhaps it refers to parṣu “rite” in plural, see CAD P 195–196.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

319

[Ritual (preparation), ritual] (preparation) of the lamentation: ‘I have heard: ‘he had sex with me!’’68 [thus she wails]. Zarpānītu is sleeping in the cella, whereas Bēl is on the roof, of Bēl […] … (incipits of songs and recitations presumably addressed to Ištar) ‘Ninayītum(?),69 you are my short silvery one’,70 ‘To … […]’, ‘… until a pleasant breeze (blows)’, ‘Whoever you are, whoever [you are]’, 5‘[You are the moth]er Ištar of Babylon’, and ‘… inside of …’ … Interestingly, Zarpanītu’s jealousy is completely rational: she does not presuppose Marduk is being unfaithful to her, but learns of his infidelity through auditory evidence (someone tells her). Indeed ears and eyes (after all, Latin invidia comes from videre “to see, to look”) are central to the experience and also to the symbolic representation of this sentiment, regardless of whether there is any real reason for jealousy.71 The recognition of Marduk’s infidelity is the “jealous flash,” that intense and painful point at which one discovers the betrayal and which serves as the trigger of the narrative developed in the rituals and the poems.72 Zarpanītu feels humiliated, angry and desperate, and her reaction to this situation is violent. In fact, violence is the usual outcome of the “jealous

68

69

70

71 72

It seems that the one who hears and wails (Zarpānītu) is not the one who said the statement (and who had sex with the male character). But note a different interpretation in Edzard 1987, 60, where he understands in-ni-kan-[ni] = innik (“he had sexual intercourse”) + -anni (ventiv with ablative-accusative) as “sie wurde von mir weg beschlafen” = “sie wurde mir beim Beischlaf vorgezogen” [“she got laid ahead (in the sense of instead) of me”]. Alternatively, W. von Soden in a letter to Edzard 20.06.1983 (Edzard 1987, 60 n. 12) proposed a reading in-dek-kan-nu for *indekkanni (*imtekkianni) “he keeps on neglecting me” (mekû) and connecting it to Lambert 1975 Group III A 15–16: ana ekurrāti(é.kur)meš šá māti(kur) šá ta-ma-ku-ú mi-ki-ma / ana šá-a-šú la ta-me-ka-a-šú ana ekurri(é.kur) é.tùr.kalam.ma “Neglect whichever of the temples of the land you wish, But do not neglect this one, the temple Eturkalamma”. Even if such connection is difficult to accept, von Soden’s proposal fits well in the context, for neglecting a wife is a polite way to say that she is cheated on. The beginning of the line is broken, Edzard (1987, 61 n. 14) reads -ʾa-na-a-ni-tum and notes the occurrence of the same sequence of signs (n]a-a-a-ni-tum) in BM 40090+ obv. i’ 5′. But in my opinion the fragmentary first sign is ná and I propose [dn]á-na-a-a-ni-tum as a likely variant of dni-na-a-a-tum, a feminized derivative of Nineveh that I would link to Bēlet-Ninua (Da Riva and Frahm 1999/2000) and not to the goddess in the Egišḫurankiatemple in Babylon (George 1993, 441). The hapax *kurītu (fem.) “short (one)”, is difficult to interpret but it appears elsewhere in erotic contexts, such as LAOS 4, no. 6 (Late Old-Babylonian text with irtum-songs, Wasserman 2016, 104–109) i 22, and others. Toohey 2014, 50–51, 56, 74–79. For the use of the “jealous flash” in literature and art, see Toohey 2014, 84–86.

320

da riva

flash” in most literary compositions, and frequent reactions involve cursing the rival and wishing her/him as much harm as possible, as Zarpanītu does in these texts.73 Grief-stricken, Zarpanītu moves from one scenario to another, from the inner areas of the city of Babylon to other places in the city (gardens, gates, quay of the river, temples …), calling upon different characters or cultic performers who appear in the ritual and the related poems, such as the assinnu and the kurgarrû (a sort of transgendered characters in cultic service of Ištar) and other partakers like the nukaribbu “gardener”, the rab bānî “building inspector”, the šāqû “cup-bearer/butler”, etc. In the garden, Zarpanītu asks the gardener for a plant.74 The text is fragmentary and the passage ambiguous, and one may wonder about the plant’s function: as a remedy for lovesickness, a cure for jealousy, or poison to give to a rival? BM 40090+ obv. ii: 23 24 25 26 27 28 29

dZar-pa-ni-tum ki-i iq-nu-ú i-te-lu ana ziq-qur-ra-ti i[gi*? × ×] mál-di parak(bára) dA-nun-na-ki pi-rik sūqi(sila) é.tùr.kalam.ma adi (en) giškirî(kir[i₆) burāši (šemli)?] ina bāb(ká) dBēlti(gašan)-iá dBēltu(gašan) ittiq(dib)iq-ma ú-ta-am gi[škirî(kiri₆)(?)* (×)] dZar-pa-ni-tum ana giškirî(kiri₆) ur!(tablet: ŠU)-rad ana nukaribbi(nu.giš kiri₆) il-ta-na-as-⸢si⸣!-[(ma) (×)] lúnukaribbi(nu.giškiri₆) lúnukaribbi(nu.giškiri₆)-ma lúráb(gal) bānî (dù) šá la iʾ-pá-lu(?) ⸢×⸣? [(×)] mi-nu-ú šam-mu-ka šá ru-u₈-ú-a dZar-pa-ni-tú ana giškirî(kiri₆) × [× × × × ×] izzâz([gu]b)az lúnukaribbi(nu.giškiri₆) lúnukaribbi(nu.giškiri₆)-ma lúráb(gal) bānî (dù) šá āli(uru)-iá lu-ú [at-ta (× × ×)] When Zarpanītu became jealous, she went up to the ziggurat […]. At the side of the dais of the Anunnaki, in the district of the street of Eturkalamma up to the [juniper(?)] grove, 25the Lady will pass through the “Gate of My Lady” and will find th[e garden (?) (…)]. Zarpanītu will go down to the garden and will keep crying to the gardener, ‘Gardener, gardener, building inspector who does not answer(?) […] What is the plant

73 74

Toohey 2014, 87–89. Note the use of terms belonging to the semantic field of plants and gardens, which had clear erotic meanings in ancient Mesopotamia.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

321

you have that belongs to my friend?’ Zarpanītu to the garden […] she/he stands. ‘Gardener, gardener, be the building inspector of my city […]!’ Desolate, Zarpanītu proceeds to insult Ištar, comparing her to a prostitute and using salacious and crude language to describe her promiscuous behaviour and her genitalia.75 The following lines may be incipits of songs or poems recited to Ištar, for they indeed appear in the texts of Lambert’s Groups I–IV (Lambert 1975), BM 40090+ rev. iii: 7 8 9 10 11

ana bi-iṣ-ṣu-ri-ka šá tak-la-a-tú kalba(ur) ú-še-reb bāba(ká) a-rak-kás ana bi-iṣ-ṣu-ri-ka šá tak-la-a-tú kīma(gin₇) abni(na₄)-ka aq-ri ina pāni (igi)-ka bi-iṣ-ṣu-ru-ú šá tap-pat-ti-i am-me-ni ki-ki-i te-te-né-pu-uš bi-iṣ-ṣu-ru-ú šá tap-pat-ti-i pi-rik Bābili(e)ki sin-gu i-saḫ-ḫur bi-iṣ-ṣu-ru-ú šá šitta(min)ta ubānāti(šu.si)meš am-me-ni ṣa-la-a-tú tug-danar-ri iparras(tar)as-ma [(×)] ‘Into your genitals in which you trust, I will make a dog enter and will tie shut the door.’ ‘Into your genitals in which you trust, like your precious stone before you.’76 ‘Genitals of my girlfriend, why do you constantly do so?’ 10‘Genitals of my girlfriend, the district of Babylon is seeking a loincloth.’77 ‘Genitals with two fingers(?),78 why do you constantly provoke quarrels?’

As Lambert says “[i]magery of the boldest kind is commonplace, and the eroticism is the most explicit for ancient Mesopotamia. Parallels are hard to find”.79 The poem provides a clearly distinguishable and at times downright pornographic image, as in the texts of Lambert’s Group IV,80 in which we find the recitations of the incipits seen above: 4 5

[bi-iṣ-ṣu-ru šá] tap-pa-ti-ia pi-rik bābi(ká)-lí sin-gu i-saḫ-ḫ[ur] [a-na ka]-pa-ri šá re-mi-ki a-na ka-pa-ri šá li-biš-šá-ti-ki

75 76 77

See the evidence in Lambert 1975 and the commentaries in Edzard 1987. This sentence is unclear to me. As N. Wasserman points out to me, CAD S 284 s.v. singu suggests that it is a scribal error for sinbu = loin-cloth. This suggestion should be taken seriously as the passage implies that the women of the district of Babylon refuse to help the goddess with her post-coital hygiene. This may be a reference to a vagina that is enlarged due to frequent sexual intercourse. Lambert 1975, 99. Lambert 1975, 122.

78 79 80

322 6 7

da riva

[ù] a-na munusBābilāiāti(tin.tir)ki.meš li-iq-bi sin-gu la i-nam-di-na-a-niiš-ši [a]-na ka-pa-ri šá re-mi-šá a-na ka-pa-ri šá li-biš-šá-ti-šá [Genitals of] my girlfriend, the district of Babylon is seeking a loin-cloth, 5[to] wipe your vulva, to wipe your vagina. [Now] let him/her say to the women of Babylon: ‘The women will not give her a rag to wipe her vulva, to wipe her vagina!’

This poem uses crude and obscene language. Other poems in the tradition of love or erotic poetry studied by N. Wasserman81 may be more or less direct in their sexual allusions, but they lack the imagery we find in the DLL. In the text, when the tone of the insults rises, animal similes are used: 8 9 10

[a-na bi-iṣ]-ṣu-ri-ki šá tak-la-te [k]i-i abni(na₄)-ka-ma aq-ra ina pa-ni-ki [× (×)]-ki a-na pa-ni-ki šu-uk-ni bu-ul-im-ma ni-pi-is-su eṣ-ni [(×)] ⸢ki-i⸣ la bu-ú-ku82 ka-bé-e ki-i la ri-is-ni šá lúašlākī(túg.babbar)meš

11 12

a-na [bi-iṣ]-ṣu-ri-ki šá tak-la-te kal-bi ú-še-er-re-eb bāba(ká) a-rak-kas kalba(ur) ú-še-[er-r]e-eb bāba(ká) a-rak-kas ḫa-aḫ-ḫu-ru ú-še-er-re-eb qin-na i-qan-na-an83 it-ti a-ṣe-ia it-ti e-re-bi-ia ḫa-aḫ-ḫu-re-ti-ia ṭè-mu a-šak-kan ad-da-ni-ka ḫa-aḫ-ḫur-ti-ia ina muḫḫi(ugu) kamūni(uzu.dir) la te-qer-ru-ub KI+MIN šá su-ḫa-ti ni-pi-is-su

13 14 15 16 17

[Into] your genitals in which you trust, like your precious stone before you. Set your […] place before you, sniff the odour of the cattle. 10 Like something not sewn(?) by the tailor, like something not soaked by the fullers. Into your genitals in which you trust I will make a dog enter and will tie shut the door. I will make a dog enter84 and will tie shut the door; I will 81 82 83 84

Wasserman 2016. One should probably understand here a form of kubbû “to sew,” but the copy in LKA 92 is unclear. This could very well be a play on words on qīnu “jealousy” (suggested by N. Wasserman). As dogs get stuck when penetrating, this was considered a curse (suggestion N. Wasserman).

jealousy in akkadian love literature

323

make a ḫaḫḫuru-bird85 enter and it will nest. Whenever I leave or enter, I will give orders to my ḫaḫḫuru-birds (fem.): 15 ‘Please, my dear ḫaḫḫurubird, do not approach the mushrooms.’ Ditto: the smell of armpits. While the traditional poetic medium only celebrated the joyful and positive aspects of love, the context of the DLL allowed a much wider range of emotions to be expressed, such as envy, jealousy and possessiveness. However, the poem also contains highly lyrical sections, with descriptions of the physical beauty of Ištar which, as N. Wasserman points out to me, recall the Arabic waṣf and belong to poems celebrating divine love: 18 19 20 21 22

at-ti um-me-e dIštar(mùš)-Bābili(tin.tir)ki banīti(dù)ti šar-rat ⟨lú⟩Bābilāiē(tin.tir)ki.meš at-ti um-me-e gišgišimmar(gišimmar) na4sāndi(gug) banīti(dù)ti ša a-na ma-gal ba-na-a-tú šá ana ma-gal be-lu-ú-šá(sic) a-na ma-gal ba-nu-ú la-an-šú You are the mother, Ištar of Babylon, the beautiful one, the queen of the Babylonians. 20You are the mother, a palm of carnelian, the beautiful one, who is exceedingly pleasant, the superlative lady(?), whose figure is exceedingly beautiful (…).

5

Looking Westwards

At first glance, the theme developed in the DLL seems to echo the turbulent relationship between Zeus and Hera.86 As Montaigne reminds us, Hera/Juno’s jealousy was proverbial among goddesses in the ancient world, and so it has lived on in our tradition: “Often was Juno, greatest of the heaven-dwellers, enraged by her husband’s daily infidelities”;87 indeed, Hera was the prototype of the jealous wife.88 The Greek gods have, of course, a long history of infidelity, but Greek myth “love triangle” plots are usually found among mortals: Agamemnon-Clytemnestra-Cassandra, or Heracles-Deianeira-Iole. Of course, there is also the Zeus-Amphitryon-Alcmene story, the subject of Plautus’ play. However, the case of Zeus/Hera (the marriage that presides over the pantheon) 85 86 87 88

A raven maybe, or perhaps a crow, see CAD Ḫ 29–30. I would like to thank J. Pòrtulas for his suggestions regarding this topic. Montaigne, Essays (Book III Chapter 5: “On some verses of Virgil”). Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti 2016, 15.

324

da riva

stands out from the others; the other cases (the best example being the love of Ares and Aphrodite, who make Hephaestus a cuckold) are treated more in a vaudeville tone. The problem Zeus/Hera is much more complex, and even has a “theological” dimension. Hera certainly gets jealous of Zeus’ lovers, of Alcmene, Io, Leto, and also of Zeus giving birth to Athene on his own. But none of these is a true rival to Hera. Leto, a Titan, might be considered stronger, but she is a rather dim figure. Hera’s reaction is always, or almost always, one of wounded pride and a vindication of her status within the Greek pantheon as “épouse légitime et exclusive (…) partenaire de Zeus au sein d’ un oikos souverain”, but also in her role of queen and almighty goddess and as the daughter of Kronos.89 Her attitude is not one of “jealousy” in the conventional sense, and she does not usually challenge or undermine her husband’s lovers. Of course, there are some exceptions: the “first lady” of Olympus is angry when other females cross her path, especially mortal ones like Io and Semele, but the main targets of her wrath are the illegitimate children of her husband. She is concerned with issues of legitimation and filiation rather than with erotic jealousy, even if she is humiliated by her philandering husband; so she persecutes the offspring of Zeus’ infidelities and wants it made clear that they are “bastards”. In Greek mythology, jealousy is usually aimed at the children, particularly those born from mortal women whose immortal status is not clearly defined by birth: Hera persecutes Heracles and Dionysus,90 and she tries to stop Leto giving birth.91 By contrast, she does not seem to object to illegitimate offspring when the mothers are goddesses (Maia and Demeter, for example). Nor is she jealous of Athena, who was born out of Zeus without the direct intervention of a mother; in fact, the two goddesses become quite good friends. But if we look for a parallel between the Mesopotamian and the Classical traditions we will be disappointed, mainly because the DLL are ritual texts, and most of what we know of Greece is myth.92 As far as I am aware, Berossos is the only writer to equate Hera and Zarpanītu, but the connection he perceives is related probably just to her role of consort of Bēl (Belos, Zeus).93 In a recent study, Stol finds a parallel between the Assyrian marriage ritual and Homer on 89 90 91 92

93

Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti 2016, 249. Slater 2016. Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti 2016, 74–78, 261–263. The only ritual that involves Zeus’ infidelity is the one from Plataea in Boeotia, the Daidala festival, where Zeus makes Hera think a tree-trunk is a rival wife (Pausanias 9.3.1), see Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti 2016, 111–113. I owe this reference to I. Rutherford. Haubold et al. 2013, 37 n. 36. Of course, there is a clear parallel between Marduk and Zeus in Hesiod’s “Theogony,” but unlike his Greek counterpart Marduk is not a known philanderer. In Mesopotamian mythology, promiscuity is mostly associated with Enki/Ea.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

325

Zeus’ and Hera’s bed,94 and of course he also acknowledges the (apparent) similarities between the DLL and the turbulent relationship of Zeus and Hera.95 However, as Pucci has recently demonstrated in his study of the Iliad, Hera’s jealousy is not operative in the poem; it is referred to as something that happened before the poem’s narrative framework.96 On the other hand, while Hera is the presiding female deity in the Greek pantheon, the most important goddess in Mesopotamia is Ištar, not Zarpanītu. The Greek “translation” of Ištar is of course Aphrodite, but Zeus never has a relationship with her. Perhaps this is because she is his daughter (at least in Homer), though perhaps the genealogy merely expresses the dynamics of the pantheon: Aphrodite helps Hera in love (Iliad 14, where Hera seduces Zeus); she is not her rival. As I. Rutherford has pointed out to me, it is possible that by making Aphrodite help Hera in Iliad 14, Homer is actually correcting/reversing the Babylonian myth ritual: Aphrodite/Ištar is not the rival of Hera/Zarpanītu but her erotic assistant.

6

The Function of Zarpanītu’s Jealousy in the Divine Love Lyrics

The idea of rivalry in love is not without foundation in the text, the main protagonists of which are Marduk, Zarpanītu and Ištar of Babylon, who appears as the “lover” or “concubine” of Marduk, whereas Zarpanītu is his wife. The ritual itself is characterized by the expressions riksu ša Zarpanītu and mēlulāti ša Marduk, which could be translated as the “commitment of Zarpanītu” and “(free) games of Marduk” respectively.97 As we have noted above, the ritual tablet begins with incipits of a lament and poems describing Zarpanītu in her cella (papaḫu) and Marduk on the roof, apparently having a nocturnal rendez-vous with Ištar of Babylon, towards whom the angry wife expresses open hostility and plans revenge through the use of physical violence, so in K. 6606 + 9944 + Sm 1891 + 1882-5-22, 569 col. B (Group II):98 94 95 96

97

98

Stol 2016, 647, 655. Stol 2016, 435. Pucci 2018, 18, 173, 184, etc. On the figure of Hera in the poem, her jealousy and the configuration of her power in the context of the patriarchal Greek pantheon, see Pirenne-Delforge and Pironti 2016, 52–53, 57, 248–250. mēlulāti ša Marduk “the games of Marduk” in Lambert 1975, 108, Group I, 1 A = K. 4247 + 8492 + 13760 + 15375: 1–3 (see CAD M/2 16). For the opposition rikis sipitti and mēlultu see the astronomical text Koch 2004, 105–126, see also Koch 2006, 123–135 (= STC 2 68: 14: ina rikis sipitti u mēlultišu iqabbi). Lambert 1975, 118.

326 26 27 28 29 30

da riva

at-ti-man-nu šùm-ki man-nu šá ana šu-b[at] bēli(en)-ia tan-da-ni-ri al-kim-ma ki-i šá a-qab-ba-ki ep-ši ul-tu muḫḫi ú-ri ana muḫḫi(ugu) patri(gír) muq-ti [giš]sikkat(gag) parzilli muḫ-ri a-na ṣi-[l]i-ki [šil]-ta-ḫu še-qu-ti [muḫ-r]i You, whoever you are, whatever your name is, who always go to the dwelling of my lord, come and do as I tell you! Fall from the roof on to a dagger!99 Get an iron spike in your side! 30Get sharp arrows!

All this has led to the belief that the cultic context of the texts is a public ritual allowing “the expression of extreme emotional disturbance”100 by performing the ménage-à-trois involving Marduk, Zarpanītu and Ištar of Babylon. To all appearances, this ritual took place in different locations in the city of Babylon, with the Ištar temple Eturkalamma as the central scene. As the texts are fragmentary, the sequence of the rituals cannot be reconstructed with certainty. It is difficult to explain the connection between the DLL and the rituals of divine love, but there must be one, even if they are separate entities. The preserved sections of the DLL lack references to such standard parts of the rituals of love as the procession of the gods and entering the bedroom; moreover, they refer to ritual performances of the kurgarrû and assinnu, who are never mentioned in connection with love rituals. However, the social and sexual liminality of these figures, and their role as devotees and representatives of Ištar may explain their presence and participation in rituals involving their patron lady, even if she is in a precarious sexual role. Zarpanītu’s invectives go beyond mere insult and may represent an alternative interpretation of the rituals in which the exaltation of the role of Ištar as concubine or prostitute101 may be related to the increase in supply and/or demand of commercial sexual services in the Late Babylonian period.102 Nissinen understands these texts as part of “women’s rituals”103 which allowed for the expression of female sexual desire within a predominantly 99 100 101 102

103

This must be connected to the dagger in the Neo-Babylonian marriage contracts (suggested by N. Wasserman); on these texts, see Roth 1988. Leick 1994, 239. See for example the Middle Babylonian text: Wasserman 2016, 146–149 (No. 12). On prostitution in a religious context in the 1st millennium BCE, see Ragen 2006, 548–568; on prostitution in Akkadian literature, see Wasserman 2016, 30–31; and as general studies of prostitution, see Lambert 1992, Assante 2003 and Cooper 2016; see also Charpin 2017, 146–147. Nissinen 2001, 125.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

327

patriarchal society. In this regard, we should point out that the feelings of the betrayed Zarpanītu are described in an unprecedentedly vivid way and verbalized in exceptionally salacious and offensive language that is highly uncommon in the related ritual and poems. Of course, the ritual and the poems may be a reversal of the ḫadaššūtu, the rituals of divine love referred to above, and this would explain the prominence of sexually ambiguous and liminal figures such as the assinnus and kurgarrûs, who represent transgression and deviance from sexual and social norms. Other intriguing characters are the gardener, the rab bānî and the šaqû who also participate in the ritual. But the DLL may also be a reflection of Marduk’s sexual accomplishments, reducing almighty Ištar to the role of a “second-ranking” woman, nothing more than a lover.104 But what is the precise function of jealousy in these texts? Is there a connection between Zarpanītu’s status as Marduk’s consort and the jealous reaction to his philandering? Does this reaction go beyond erotic jealousy? Could it be understood in relation to her status and power in the Babylonian pantheon? Maybe Zarpanītu’s emotional response is not unlike that of Hera, referred to above: the goddess reacts to the lover who challenges her position. Of course, another plausible interpretation points to the relation between the two female characters Zarpanītu and Ištar of Babylon, and between each of them and Marduk; this is surely a very complex topic which in Antiquity was considered part of the niṣirtu pirištu, opaque mysterious matters of divinity; maybe it was a syncretic phenomenon and we should equate Zarpanītu and Ištar of Babylon with each other, and understand them as two personae of the same deity (N. Wasserman, personal communication). Finally, one should consider the elusive performative aspect of the ritual and the poems: the dramatization of sexual jealousy. The evidence seems to point to the enactment of a sort of pantomime involving the major god of Babylon, his wife and his lover, who was also the patron goddess of the city. In the opinion of G. Leick, the performance “had a certain cathartic social function, allowing an outlet for repressed frustration and rage”.105 The turbulent emotional story of the divine triangle of Marduk, his wife Zarpanītu and his lover Ištar, was enacted not just in and around the temple, but also openly in public, in various locations in the city of Babylon (the Eturkalamma, the Esagil, the Equlû106), in gardens (the texts mention a “[juniper] grove” in Esagil), in the streets of Babylon and beyond the city walls.107 One wonders whether the rituals were 104 105 106 107

Leick 1994, 245. Leick 1994, 246. For the reading, see George 2000, 271, 273. For the movements as described in the rituals, see Pongratz-Leisten 1994, 158.

328

da riva

open to view for the citizens of Babylon and to what degree the audience could take an active part in the ceremony. In other words, we can imagine that the recitation of the poems and enactment of the rituals may have involved some kind of public performance and a procession, with theatrical representations of different moments of the ritual acts, as suggested by Da Riva and Frahm.108 It is also worth noting that recitations, music and songs were a fundamental part of the ritual.109 The most important setting of the rituals is the temple of Ištar, the Eturkalamma,110 a major cult-centre of Ištar and the Urukean gods in Babylon from the 2nd millennium onwards.111 There is written evidence of the temple, its personnel and its gardens, until the 1st century BCE. Documents from the Arsacid period contain references to kurgarrûs and assinnus in the context of a procession celebrated on day 1 (the month is unknown) which in all probability is connected to the DLL. The duration of the rituals is uncertain, but as seen above in the ritual tablet from the DLL, BM 40090+, there are references to ceremonies from days 3–6 of Duʾuzu. So, to judge from the data currently available, the ritual may have lasted at least six days (Duʾuzu 1– 6).112

7

Conclusions

This love-triangle situation is unusual; most of the evidence available to us suggests that Marduk’s marriage was stable and peaceful.113 Zarpanītu’s figure is elusive: she is not as well known as Ištar, for example, and as with many other Mesopotamian goddesses her power and status seem to come particularly from her marriage. But in this ritual and its related poetic compositions, her character is developed far more than elsewhere; she plays the leading role, inasmuch as it is around her figure that the recitations and the actions are arranged. Zarpanītu is the spurned wife, betrayed by her husband with the alluring Ištar

108 109 110

111 112

113

Da Riva and Frahm 1999/2000, 181–182. See Da Riva forthcoming. The Eturkalamma, probably located inside the Esagil temple complex, was the temple of Bēlet-Bābili, an aspect of the goddess as the Ištar of the city (Tintir iv 8), see George 1992, 307–308; Boiy 2004, 87–89; Clancier 2009, 182. Charpin 1980, 93. An unpublished esoteric calendar about myths and rituals in Babylon contains a section on a performance of the “Love Lyrics” in the month of Abu (V). It affirms that the rites went back to similar ones enacted in Nippur (Frahm and Jiménez 2015, 329). As seen above, the Nippur rites were celebrated in the month of Simanu (III). See the rituals mentioned in Nissinen 2001, 103–105.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

329

of Babylon. Her reaction to this humiliating situation is to demean and scorn her rival and to insult her, using unprecedentedly crude language and comparing her to a prostitute. On the basis of the descriptions and narrations of the ritual, authors have argued that the cultic context of the texts was a public ritual performed in various locations in the city of Babylon. As far as I know, this tradition is unique and does not have any clear parallels in Mesopotamian religion. These texts should not be regarded as isolated entities, however, for a brief survey of Ancient Near Eastern sources from the Sargonid era to Hellenistic times bears witness to the existence of divine love rituals involving different deities, even if it is difficult to know how this particular ritual relates to the rituals of divine love. The jealousy is expressed in the texts with salacious and offensive language; in the opinion of some authors, this poetry may have belonged to “women’s rituals,” in which jealousy and sexuality were expressed freely and openly. In the texts under discussion, “jealousy” and “envy” (qinû or qiʾu, qinʾu) and the adjective “jealous” (qannāʾu) appear in combination with love and desire. The cultic setting of the texts and the colophon of the ritual tablet, which contains brief cultic instructions and incipits of poems, indicate that it is an example of a qīnayātu, a form that has been interpreted as a set of “rites against a (female) rival.”

Abbreviations AHw. BM CAD

CDA CDLI CT K. KAR LAOS LKA

von Soden, W. 1965, 1972 and 1981. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Cuneiform tablets from the collections of the British Museum (London). Oppenheim, A.L. and E. Reiner et al. (eds). 1956–2010, The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago. Chicago; Glückstadt: The Oriental Institute and J.J. Augustin. Black, J., A. George and J.N. Postgate (eds). 2000. A Concise Dictionary of Akkadian. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative. Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum (London: British Museum). Cuneiform tablets in the Kujunjik collection of the British Museum (London). Ebeling, E. 1919–1923. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiösen Inhalts (WVDOG 28 and 34). Leipzig: J.C. Hinrischs’sche Buchhandlung. Leipziger Altorientalistische Studien (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz). Ebeling, E./Köcher, F. 1953. Literarische Keilschrifttexte aus Assur. Berlin: Akademie Verlag.

330 OECT SEAL Sm STC

da riva Oxford Editions of Cuneiform Texts. Sources of Early Akkadian Literature. Cuneiform tablets in the Smith collection of the British Museum (London). King, L.W. 1902. The Seven Tablets of Creation. London: Luzac.

Bibliography Archambeau, N. 2013. “Tempted to Kill: Miraculous Consolation for a Mother after the Death of Her Infant Daughter.” In Emotions and Health, 1200–1700, edited by E. Carrera, 47–66. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Assante, J. 2003. “From whores to hierodules: the historiographic invention of Mesopotamian female sex professionals.” In Ancient Art and its Historiography, edited by A.A. Donohue and M.D. Fullerton, 13–47. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ben-Zeʾev, A. 2010. “Jealousy and Romantic Love.” In Handbook of Jealousy. Theory, Research, and Multidisciplinary Approaches, edited by S.L. Hart and M. Legerstee, 40–54. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Boiy, T. 2004. Late Achaemenid and Hellenistic Babylon. Leuven: Peeters. Carrera, E. 2013. Emotions and Health, 1200–1700. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Charpin, D. 1980. “A propos de l’an 34 de Hammurapi.”Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale 74: 93. Charpin, D. 2017. La vie méconnue des temples mésopotamiens. Paris: Collège de France, Les Belles Lettres. Clancier, P. 2009. Les bibliothèques en Babylonie dans la deuxième moitié du 1er millénaire av. J.-C. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Cohen, M.E. 1988. The Canonical Lamentations of Ancient Mesopotamia. Potomac: Capital Decisions. Cooper, J.S. 2016. “The Job of Sex: The social and economic role of prostitutes in ancient Mesopotamia.” In The Role of Women in Work and Society in the Ancient Near East, edited by B. Lion and C. Michel, 209–227. Boston; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Da Riva, R. forthcoming. “Music and Ritual in Ancient Mesopotamia. The evidence from the Late Babylonian Temple Festivals.” In Studien zur Musikarchäologie XII, edited by R. Eichmann and D. Shehata. Da Riva, R. and E. Frahm. 1999/2000. “Šamaš-šumu-ukīn, die Herrin von Ninive und das babylonische Königssiegel.” Archiv für Orientforschung 46–47: 156–182. Da Riva, R. and N. Wasserman. forthcoming. The Divine Love Lyrics: Study and Edition. Ebeling, E. 1953. Literarische Keilschrifttexte aus Assur. Berlin: Akademie-Verlag. Edzard, D.O. 1987. “Zur Ritualtafel der sog. ‘Love Lyrics’.” In Language, Literature, and History. Philological and Historical Studies presented to Erica Reiner, edited by F. Rochberg-Halton, 57–67. New Haven: American Oriental Society.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

331

Foster, B.R. 2005. Before the Muses. An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. Bethesda: CDL Press. Foster, B.R. 2007. Akkadian Literature of the Late Period. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Frahm, E. 2009. “Warum die Brüder Böses planten. Überlegungen zu einer alten Crux in Asarhaddons ‘Ninive A’-Inschrift.” In Philologisches und Historisches zwischen Anatolien und Sokotra: Analecta Semitica in Memoriam Alexander Sima, edited by W. Arnold et al., 27–49. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Frahm, E. and E. Jiménez. 2015. “Myth, Ritual, and Interpretation. The Commentary on Enūma eliš I–VII and a Commentary on Elamite, Month Names.” Hebrew Bible and Ancient Israel 4: 293–343. Fritz, M.M. 2003. “… und weinten um Tammuz” Die Götter Dumuzi-Ama’ušumgal’anna und Damu. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. George, A.R. 1992. Babylonian Topographical Texts. Leuven: Peeters. George, A.R. 1993. House Most High: The Temples of Ancient Mesopotamia. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. George, A.R. 2000. “Four Temple Rituals from Babylon.” In Wisdom, Gods and Literature. Studies in Assyriology in Honour of W.G. Lambert, edited by A.R. George and I.L. Finkel, 259–299. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Groneberg, B.R.M. 1997. Lob der Istar: Gebet und Ritual an die altbabylonische Venusgöttin Tanatti Ištar. Groningen: Styx. Harris, W.V. 2010. “History, Empathy and Emotions.” Antike und Abendland, 56: 1–23. Hart, S.L. and M. Legerstee. 2010. Handbook of Jealousy. Theory, Research, and Multidisciplinary Approaches. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell. Haubold, J., G.B. Lanfranchi, R. Rollinger and J.M. Steele (eds) 2013. The World of Berossos. Proceedings of the 4th International Colloquium on “The Ancient Near East between Classical and Ancient Oriental Traditions,” Hatfield College, Durham 7th–9th July 2010. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Holm, T.L. 2017. “Nanay and Her Lover: An Aramaic Sacred Marriage Text from Egypt.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 76: 1–37. Jaeger, S. and I. Kasten. 2003. Codierungen von Emotionen im Mittelalter / Emotions and Sensibilities in the Middle Ages. Berlin; New York: Walter de Gruyter. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens: recherche sur le lexique sumérien et akkadien. Münster: Ugarit Verlag. Jaques, M. 2017. “The discourse on emotion in ancient Mesopotamia: a theoretical approach.” In Visualizing emotions in the ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 185–205. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck Ruprecht. Kipfer, S. (ed.). 2017. Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck Ruprecht. Koch, J. 2004. “Ein astralmythologischer Bericht aus der Zeit der Diadochenkämpfe.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 56: 105–126.

332

da riva

Koch, J. 2006. “Neues vom astralmythologischen Bericht Bm 55466+.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 58: 123–135. Koehler, L. and W. Baumgartner et al. 1994–2000. The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament. 1–5. Leiden; New York: Brill. Konstan, D. 2007. The Emotions of the Ancient Greeks: Studies in Aristotle and Classical Literature. Toronto: Toronto University Press. Konstan, D. and N.K. Rutter (eds). 2003. Envy, Spite and Jealousy: The Rivalrous Emotions in Ancient Greece. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Kruger, P.A. 2015. “Emotions in the Hebrew Bible: A Few Observations on Prospects and Challenges.” Old Testament Essays 28/2: 395–420. La Bruyère, Des Femmes: https://gallica.bnf.fr/essentiels/la‑bruyere/caracteres/femm es. Lambert, W.G. 1959. “Divine Love Lyrics from Babylon.” Journal of Semitic Studies 4: 1–15. Lambert, W.G. 1975. “The Problem of the Love Lyrics.” In Unity and Diversity: Essays in the History, Literature, and Religion of the Ancient Near East, edited by H. Goedicke and J.J.M. Roberts, 98–135. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Lambert, W.G. 1992. “Prostitution.” In Außenseiter und Randgruppen: Beiträge zu einer Sozialgeschichte des Alten Orients, XENIA 32, edited by V. Haas, 127–161. Konstanz: Universitätsverlag. Leeming, D. 2004. Jealous gods and chosen people. The mythology of the Middle East. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Leick, G. 1994. Sex and Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. London: Routledge. Lope de Vega, Arminda Celosa: http://catalogo.bne.es/uhtbin/cgisirsi/0/x/0/05?search data1=a4632961. Matsushima, E. 1980. “Problèmes des déesses Tashmetum et Nanaia.” Orient 16: 133–148. Matsushima, E. 1985. “Le ‘Lit’ de Šamaš et le rituel du mariage à l’Ebabbar.” Acta Sumerologica 7: 129–137. Matsushima, E. 1987. “Rituel hiérogamique de Nabû.” Acta Sumerologica 9: 131–175. Matsushima, E. 1988. “Les rituels du mariage divin dans les documents accadiens.” Acta Sumerologica 10: 93–128. Montaigne, M. de. Project Gutenberg’s The Essays of Montaigne, Complete; Translated by C. Cotton; edited by W. Carew Hazlitt: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/ 3600. Nissinen, M. 2001. “Akkadian Rituals and Poetry of Divine Love.” In Mythology and Mythologies. Methodological Approaches to Intercultural Influences, edited by R.M. Whiting, 93–136. Helsinki, The Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Nussbaum, M.C. 2001. Upheavals of Thought: The Intelligence of Emotions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Oshima, T. 2016–2018. “Zarpanitu.” Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 15: 217–218.

jealousy in akkadian love literature

333

Peled, I. 2014. “assinnu and kurgarrû Revisited.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 73/2: 283–297. Pirenne-Delforge, V. and G. Pironti. 2016. L’Héra de Zeus. Ennemie intime, épouse définitive. Paris: Les Belles Lettres. Plamper, J. 2015. The History of Emotions. An Introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pongratz-Leisten, B. 1994. Ina šulmi īrub: Eine Kulttopographische und Ideologische Programmatik der Akītu-Prozession in Babylonien und Assyrien im I. Jahrtausend v. Chr. Mainz am Rhein: Phillip von Zabern. Pucci, P. 2018. The Iliad—the Poem of Zeus. Boston; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Ragen, A. 2006, The Shirku of Babylonia. A Study of Ancient Near Eastern “Temple Slavery”. Unpublished PhD thesis, Harvard University: Cambridge, Massachusetts. Roth, M. 1988. “‘She Will Die by the Iron Dagger’: Adultery and Neo-Babylonian Marriage.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 31: 186–206. Sanders, E. 2014. Envy and Jealousy in Classical Athens: A Socio-Psychological Approach. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Sanders, E. and M. Johncock (eds). 2016. Emotion and Persuasion in Classical Antiquity. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. Sefati, Y. 1998. Love Songs in Sumerian Literature: Critical Edition of the Dumuzi-Inanna Songs. Ramat Gan: Bar-Ilan University Press. Slater, P.E. 2016. The Glory of Hera. Greek Mythology and the Greek Family. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Spencer, F.S. 2017. Mixed Feelings and Vexed Passions: Exploring Emotions in Biblical Literature. Atlanta: SBL Press. Stol, M. 2016. Women in the Ancient Near East. Boston; Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Toohey, P. 2014. Jealousy. New Haven; London: Yale University Press. Van Buylaere, G., M. Luukko, D. Schwemer and A. Mertens-Wagschal (eds). 2018. Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Visvardi, E. 2015. Emotion in Action. Thucydides and the Tragic Chorus. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Volk, K. 1989. Die Balaḡ-Komposition úru àm-ma-ir-ra-bi. Rekonstruktion und Bearbeitung der Tafeln 18 (19ff.) 19, 20 und 21 der späten, kanonischen Version. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH, Sitz Stuttgart. Volk, K. 2006. “Inannas ‘Tischlein Deck’ Dich’. Vorläufiger Bericht zur Rekonstruktion der 17. Tafel von úru àm-ma-ir-ra-bi.” Baghdader Mitteilungen 37: 91–116. Wagner, A. 2006. Emotionen, Gefühle und Sprache im Alten Testament: Vier Studien. Waltrop: Spenner. Walls, N.H. 2001. Desire, Discord and Death: Approaches to Near Eastern Myth. Boston: American Schools of Oriental Research. Wasserman, N. 2016. Akkadian Love Literature of the Third and Second Millennium BCE. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz.

334

da riva

Wehr, H. 1985. Arabisches Wörterbuch für die Schriftsprache der Gegenwart: ArabischDeutsch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. Wierzbicka, A. 1999. Emotions Across Languages and Cultures, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

chapter 15

Visible Death and Audible Distress: The Personification of Death (Mūtu) and Associated Emotions as Inherent Conditions of Life in Akkadian Sources Irene Sibbing-Plantholt

Das Mädchen. Vorüber! Ach, vorüber! Geh wilder Knochenmann! Ich bin noch jung, geh Lieber! Und rühre mich nicht an. Der Tod. Gib deine Hand, du schön und zart Gebild! Bin Freund, und komme nicht, zu strafen: Sei gutes Muts! ich bin nicht wild, Sollst sanft in meinen Armen schlafen!

∵ This dialogue between a young girl and Death in the poem “Der Tod und das Mädchen” by Matthias Claudius (1774)1 presents two attitudes towards dying. On the one hand, it arouses fear and revulsion: the girl is afraid of Death’s touch and what will happen once he has seized her. She desperately asserts that it is not yet her time, and she begs the frightening creature to leave. On the other hand, the dialogue reflects intimacy, acceptance and serenity: Death, who admires the liveliness and beauty of the girl, introduces himself as a familiar friend instead of an evildoer, who comes to ask for her trust and to bring her comfort and rest.

1 Claudius, Perfahl and Pfeiffer-Belli 1968, 86–87.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

336

sibbing-plantholt

The poem is an illustrative example of how concepts and emotions concerning death and dying can be revealed through the personification of Death. Across time and space, Death is an aspect of nature and social relations that is personified into an animate entity.2 The process of personification reduces uncertainty and the unpredictability of events and phenomena, and it increases comprehension of and control over the latter.3 It thus makes death and dying more palpable and familiar—but not necessarily less threatening.4 Death can be a beautiful dancer, an angel or a bridegroom, but also a skeleton or a grim reaper, and responses to it vary from surrendering to deceiving or even fighting it.5 But whether terrifying or amicable, a humanlike model yields the unfathomable reality of Death greater significance than any other.6 This process of personifying Death can also be uncovered from ancient Mesopotamian sources. This is not immediately obvious from the textual evidence, that sometimes even seems to insinuate the opposite: in the Standard Babylonian version of the Epic of Gilgameš (hereafter SB Gilgameš), it is emphasized that Mūtu cannot be perceived through the senses, let alone be portrayed: SB Gilgameš Tablet 10, lines 304–307, 317:7 ⸢ul ma⸣-am-ma mu-u₂-tu im-mar ul ma-am-m[a ša mu-ti i]m-⸢mar⸣ pa-ni-šu₂ ⸢ul ma-am-ma⸣ ša mu-ti rig-⸢ma-šu⸣ [i-šem-me] ag-gu ⸢mu-tu₄⸣ ḫa-ṣi-pi LU₂-ut-ti₃ (…) ša₂ mu-ti ul iṣ-ṣi-ru ṣa-lam-šu₂ No one can see Mūtu, no one can see the face [of Mūtu], no one [can hear] the voice of Mūtu, yet furious Mūtu is the one who hacks man down (…) one cannot draw an image of Mūtu.

2 3 4 5 6 7

E.g. Taussig 1980, 5. Epley, Waytz and Cacioppo 2007, 871; Waytz, Epley and Cacioppo 2010, 59–60. Freedberg 1989, 73; Guthrie 1993, 72–78. E.g. Guthrie 1993, 120; Guthke 1999. Guthrie 1993, 77. George 2003, 696–697. For a discussion of this passage, see also Lambert 1980, 54–57; Streck 1999, 131–132; George 2003, 505–506; George 2003, 505–506; Glassner 2017; Bach 2018, 79–88.

visible death and audible distress

337

Yet this passage, while illustrating the ethereal nature of Mūtu, also hints at his anthropomorphic state as reaper. I argue that the Akkadian word mūtu is not only the noun for the abstract yet natural phenomenon of death, but also the proper noun of an embodied supernatural agent that resembles a human being in his appearance and ability to plan and reason.8 When one takes a closer look at Akkadian sources for Mūtu, especially from the late second and first millennia BCE, it becomes clear that Mūtu was unequivocally anthropomorphized, and quite literally, images of Mūtu were made. Ideas about his anthropomorphic traits, appearance and actions are expressed in literature, letters, sayings, metaphors, and even in figurines and iconography. When collected and treated together, these sources present an insightful picture of how death was perceived in ancient Mesopotamia in the second and first millennia BCE, and how these perceptions were the consequence and cause of emotions, in particular niziqtu (“distress”) and cognates.9

1

Death, but Not the Same: Mūtu and Namtar

Before I begin to discuss the evidence for the personification of Mūtu, it is necessary to distinguish the latter from Namtar, who, because he is more conspicuous than Mūtu, is often assumed to be the personification of death. Namtar and Mūtu are sometimes equated as emissaries of fear,10 and the noun namtar (Akkadian šīmtu) is used in euphemisms for dying,11 but nevertheless there is an important difference in the meaning behind these two terms and their personifications. Namtar/šīmtu is the predestined yet malleable fate ordered by the divine at birth,12 which includes death, whether 8

9 10

11 12

Personified or anthropomorphized beings are often attributed properties that are never possessed by human beings, such as the ability to fly or live forever, as well as properties that are only possessed by humans (Guthrie 1993; Shtulman 2008, 1123). For the process of personification in ancient Mesopotamia, see Glassner 2017. For the relationship between emotions and the process of personification, see Guthrie 1993, 75–78. In the lexical tradition, Namtaru is equated with Mūtu and fear (pulḫu); see AN = šamû 264: nam-ta-ru = mu-u₂-tu (LTBA 2 1 obv. v 54 // 2 2 rev. i 50 // 3 rev. i 3′; 4+ rev. i 19′); 62 [nam]-⸢ta⸣-ru = MIN (= pu-ul-ḫu) (LTBA 2 2 obv. i 62). See also George 2003, 306. An edition of the AN = šamû list can be found on http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/dcclt/corpus (April 23, 2019). For an overview, see Katz 2014–2016, 70–72. E.g. Lawson 1994; Ahn 1999, 103; Lämmerhirt and Zgoll 2009–2011; Steinert 2012, 61–69. The fate of a baby is determined at the cutting of the umbilical cord, by which it becomes an individual human being; see Stol 2000, 143; Laribi-Glaudel 2014, 225.

338

sibbing-plantholt

natural, or unnatural and premature.13 Mūtu on the other hand is the binary opposite to life. It can be ordered and, according to Atraḫasīs, even instituted by the gods,14 but would also be present without a mythological framework and anthropomorphic gods to decree it. Mūtu is an inescapable bodily experience, an ever- and all-around, unchanging part of nature that cannot be controlled. This distinction between namtar/šīmtu and mūtu is visible in the personification of these two phenomena (who often appear side-by-side)15 and is articulated in Atraḫasīs: Namtar is the bringer of death through awful illnesses, whereas Mūtu embodies a limited lifetime and a death due to natural ageing.16 But Mūtu is not limited to this: he is the embodiment of all forms of death, from being killed by a demon to peacefully dying whilst sleeping. Namtar can also be an agent of pestilence and death,17 but as the personification of fate determined by the gods. He is the expression of the divine decision-making process by which the ruling gods maintain world order. This mythological model came into being as a counterpart to the economic and political development of centralized state administration in the early periods of ancient Mesopotamia.18 Over time, Namtar developed from a governing instrument of Enlil to a personified enforcer of divine rule. By the 1st millennium, he serves as vizier to Ereškigal and Nergal in the kingdom of the Netherworld,19 where he receives and holds the dead (and expelled evil).20 Namtar belongs to a world modeled after human relations and institutions, and thus also has his own household, con13

14 15

16 17 18 19 20

The expressions mūt šīmti “death by fate (decreed by the gods)” as well as mūt ilīšu, “death (decreed) by his god” have often been interpreted as predestined good and natural deaths at the will of the gods, in contrast to mūt lā šīmti, an unnatural death (see for instance CAD M/2, 318; Lawson 1994, 51–52; George 2003, 904; Katz 2014–2016, 70). Fincke (2013) has demonstrated that mūt ilīšu refers to death as a result of divine wrath due to a transgression or of a divinely generated illness, rather than a natural death. [mu-ta šu-uk-ni] a-na ni-ši, “[assign mūtu] to all people”, Atraḫasīs Tablet 3, vi 48; Lambert 1980, 58. They are mentioned together as separate entities in The Underworld Vision of a Prince (SAA 3 32), the Bīt mēseri series, SAA 10 296, AMT 2, 5+ and SpTU 3 69, all of which will be discussed below; see also also The Cuthean Legend of Naram-Sîn line 94 (Goodnick Westenholz 1997, 218, 351 [text 22]), mentioned in footnote 70. Lambert 1980, 58–59. See also Klein 1998–2001, 144, § 3. For this process, see Wiggermann 1992b; 2011a; Wiggermann and van Binsbergen 1999 (in particular pp. 19–23). AN = Anum Tablet 5, line 219; Litke 1998, 189. For an overview of other sources, see Klein 1998–2001, 143–144. See also Jiménez 2018, 327, 330. See for instance Katz 2005, 83; Streck 2014–2016, 164; Schwemer 2018, 185; Jiménez 2018, 327, 330.

visible death and audible distress

339

sisting of a wife called Ḫušbiša or Namtartu, a daughter named Ḫedim(me)ku, and a mother, Mardula’anki.21 The name of Ḫušbiša, which means “Its horror is good”, is derived from two possible responses that her husband, Namtar, elicits, these being abhorrence and sympathy. Namtar’s human side allows one to interact with him: he can be convinced, tamed and controlled. Contrarily, he can be unpredictable and evil. Namtar can be warded off with incantations and is regularly mentioned in groups of adversaries in exorcistic material, even at times as the major adversary.22 This framework in which Namtar operates places him in contrast to Mūtu, who hardly plays a role in these hegemonic processes and was around long before they emerged. Mūtu is indeed mentioned in Atraḫasīs and is also included in AN=Anum Tablet 5 as a messenger of Ereškigal, but he is not provided with a conventional household: he does not have a wife, only a Sumerian equivalent (dNAM.UŠ₂) and a daughter.23 Apart from these two attestations, Mūtu is not conceptualized within a framework based on social structures, and is absent from offering lists, god lists and mythology.24 The lack of incantations against Mūtu may be evidence of the realization that he cannot be expelled: at the very best he can be postponed, but eventually everyone will have to succumb to him. The only reference to warding off Mūtu can be found in apotropaic rituals such as Bīt mēseri, where Mūtu, sometimes explicitly called “evil” (mūtu lemnu), is listed with other malignant beings, which will be discussed below. Mūtu may be perceived as evil when he is inflicted upon someone by evil creatures, and the afflicted wants to fight him off in the hope of a 21

22 23

24

Ḫušbiša, Ḫedim(me)ku, and Martulaʾanki are known from a variety of sources from at least the early 2nd millennium on; see Klein 1998–2001, 143. Namtartu only occurs in The Underworld Vision of a Prince (SAA 3 32 rev. 3). See also Wiggermann 2011b, 300. Cavigneaux and al-Rawi 1993, 176–195; Klein 1998–2001, 144; Huber 2005, 37–40, 51–53. AN=Anum Tablet 5, lines 236–238; Litke 1998, 190; Bartelmus 2016, 146 (referring to new fragment Bab 36588). dNAM.UŠ₂ is merely an equivalent; he also carries the title “messenger” (lu2KIN.GI₄.A). The name of Mūtu’s daughter, Šitatarru, could potentially be associated with Šitadallu/šitaddaru (Sumerian Sipazianna), the constellation Orion (see also Krebernik apud Bartelmus 2016, 146 n. 560; for this term and character, see CAD Š/3, 128; Selz 1998, 300; Hunger 2003–2005), but the relationship between this character and the daughter of Mūtu remains unclear. In K 2107+ rev. iii 23′ (George 1992, 108, 413) and the Göttertypentext (MIO 1), a deified Mūtu is mentioned in the context of temples, however not as a revered divine actor with a cult or as part of a divine household, but as a natural force or abstraction belonging to the domain of a deity; see below under sections 2 and 5. The Ugaritic representation of death, Môt, is also absent from god lists, offering lists and ritual texts; see Astour 1980, 231. Môt is the personification of the permanent status of death into whose mouth all humans eventually will have to descend (Astour 1980, 230), but he is also an agent of death; see Margalit 1980.

340

sibbing-plantholt

good Mūtu in the far future. Mūtu lemnu is also a death as a result of stabbing, fire, famine or plague inflicted by kings on their enemies.25 This illustrates that Mūtu does not only constitute a timely death at an old age, or “good death”. At the same time, Mūtu coming to take someone seemingly prematurely could also be perceived as “good”, or at the least “not evil”, when considered with an attitude of acceptance (see below). Hence Mūtu, like Namtar, can both be good and evil, and how he is perceived depends on the situation and the perspective of an individual towards death. Attitudes towards and emotions about death in Mesopotamia that have commonly been addressed in secondary literature are fear, dismay, sadness, sorrow and mourning,26 disturbance and pessimism,27 anger and vengeance,28 acceptance or non-resistance, and protest.29 The following sections will discuss and analyze the different emotions that can be recognized in the handful

25

26

27 28 29

See for instance RINAP 5/1, Assurbanipal 11 iii 124–126 and Streck 1916, 212 line 17 (K 2867+; a recent edition of this text by the RINAP Project that is in preparation for publication [RINAP 5/2, Assurbanipal Assyrian Tablet 4, obv. 17′] can be found on http://oracc.museum .upenn.edu/rinap/corpus/ [April 23, 2019]). Perhaps the most heartfelt and dramatic descriptions of grief, fear and gloom over the death of a loved one and the anticipated death of oneself come from the Epic of Gilgameš (in particular the Standard Babylonian version). Fear and gloom are mainly expressed through the verbs adāru (both “to fear” and “to be dark, gloomy”; see AHw, 11; CAD A/1, 103–109; Kouwenberg 1997, 99; Jaques 2006, 181–184, 571) and palāḫu, e.g. a-dur (…) mu-ta ap-laḫ-ma a-rap-pu-ud EDIN, “[Then] I was afraid (…) I was afraid of death, so I roam the wild” (Tablet 10, lines 61–62, 138–139, 238–239; see also Tablet 9, line 5), and sadness and sorrow through bakû and nissatu, e.g. ṣar-piš i-bak-ki-ma (…) / a-na-ku a-mat-ma (…) / niis-sa-a-tu₄ i-te-ru-ub ina kar-ši-ia, “He was weeping bitterly (…) ‘I (too) shall die (…) sorrow has entered my heart’ ” (Tablet 9, line 2–4; see also Tablet 10 line 8 and passim) and UGUšu₂ ab-ki, “(for six days and seven nights) I wept over him” (Tablet 10, line 58, 135, 235). For these emotions in Gilgameš, see Tsukimoto 1985, 1–4; Abusch 1993; 2015; George 1999, xiii, xxi, xxxii, xxxiv; 2003; Barre 2001; Walls 2001; Maul 2005; Couto Ferreira 2010; Sonik 2017, 220–222. For fear, sorrow, lamentation, depression and mourning as a cause of the death of a loved one and oneself, individually or publically, in a variety of sources throughout the history of ancient Mesopotamia, see for instance Alster 1980; Stol 1999, 63–68; Cohen 2005, 20–26, 45–66; Veenhof 2008, 99; Charpin 2008; Jacquet 2012; Hauser 2012, 9–16; Prinsloo 2013; Valk 2016. E.g. Pettinato 1971, 15–17; Lambert 1980, 11; Römer 1988, 169. Westbrook 2015, 1–17 (in the context of murder and its legal repercussions). Jacobsen 1980; 1990, who regards acceptance as a form of nonresistance, agnosticism, and a willingness to undergo death to obtain a value greater than life, namely fame, and protest as the universal urge to avoid death by fighting and confronting it, for instance by trying to make it undone and refusing to part with a dead body. See also Tsukimoto 1985, 1–4; Lawson 1994, 52–54.

visible death and audible distress

341

of sources on the personification of Mūtu, of which the most significant are The Underworld Vision of a Prince (SAA 3 32),30 the Göttertypentext (MIO 1), the Epic of Gilgameš, and descriptions of apotropaic figurines made of Mūtu.

2

Mūtu as a Beastly Predator

A curious attestation of a deified Mūtu (dmu-tu) turns up in a 1st millennium list of shrines within the context of the Erabriri, the temple of Madānu in the Esagil. Mūtu is followed by the equally deified abstractions Ḫurbāšu, “Horror”, and Nappaḫtu, “Revolt”, perhaps all three representations of calamity.31 It is however also possible that Ḫurbāšu and Nappaḫtu are reactions to Mūtu, namely “bone-chilling fear” and “resistance”. On several occasions, Mūtu is depicted as a creature that conjures up such emotions, namely a Mischwesen with the features of mythological predators: the mušḫuššu and the Anzû bird. Death as a mušḫuššu occurs in The Underworld Vision of a Prince, a difficult composition that seems to describe visions of the Netherworld by prince Kummâ:32

30

31

32

See recently Bach (2018) for the analysis of this text as a “Trans-Text” and its connections to, for instance, the SB Gilgameš, in particular the shared theme of understanding Death. Bach (2018, 79–88) interprets the description of Death in the The Underworld Vision of a Prince and the Göttertypentext as a novum that stands in contrast to the above-mentioned passage in Gilgameš, and that is consequently part of a transgressive dialogue with SB Gilgameš. Bach (2018, 86 n. 76) treats the descriptions of Death in Udug-ḫul (see footnote 39) and The Underworld Vision of a Prince as potential distinctive traditions regarding the appearance of Death. This current paper does not approach the various descriptions of a personified Mūtu as different textual traditions, but as evidence for the multiplicity of concepts of and emotions towards Death that can be taken up and experienced by an individual. K 2107+ iii 23′–25′, George 1992, 108, 413. Stol (1993–1997) interprets Hurbāšu and Nappaḫtu in this passage as illnesses. These abstractions did not have a cult in the temple, but merely were conceptualized as elements within the domain of a deity (compare the divine weapons in the next section; George 1992, 105, 108). In his discussion of the Mischwesen drawn on BAM 202, Arbøll (2019, 7–10 with fig. 1) assumes that the image represents a version of bennu-epilepsy, but mentions Mūtu as another possible identity. However, the drawing seems to be a rendition of a type of standing mušḫuššu as depicted, for instance, on a relief from the North Palace in Nineveh (e.g. Barnett 1976, plate LIV; Reade 1979, 40; Wiggermann 1993–1997b, 460). The function of this standing mušḫuššu is clearly apotropaic, which would suit the context of BAM 202 well. For a picture of the drawing on BAM 202, see https://cdli.ucla.edu/dl/photo/P285293.jpg (December 7, 2019).

342

sibbing-plantholt

SAA 3 32 rev. 3: dmu-u₂-t[u?] SAG.DU MUŠ.ḪUŠ! ša-ki-in ŠU II-šu₂ LU₂.MEŠ GIR₃.MEŠ-šu₂ x [x x] Mūtu has the head of a mušḫuššu, his hands are human, his feet […] This passage is part of the second dream of Kummâ, a nocturnal vision (tabrīt mūši, rev. 1)33 in which he sees and greets a group of fifteen beings (beginning with Namtar, Namtartu and Mūtu) before he reaches Nergal’s throne. The divine determinative used with Mūtu does not signify that he is deified, but rather sets him apart from the various demons that are part of this group. His mušḫuššu-head suits Mūtu’s ability to strike with a mean and poisonous bite. The ruthless bite of Mūtu is a simile of the incurable illnesses that Ninkarrak is threatened to inflict in the curse section of the epilogue of Hammurabi’s Laws.34 Another reference to Mūtu’s bite is in a narrative hymn from Ugarit that has affinities with Ludlul bēl nēmeqi, in which the author praises Marduk for saving him from the maw of Death (ultu pî mūti).35 Mūtu’s bite is venomous: he possesses the “venom of Death” (imat mūti), which he shares with mušḫuššus and other evildoers.36 Another image of Mūtu with theriomorphic features is that of the terrifying Anzû bird.37 In a medical commentary to the 7th Tablet of sakikkû, Mūtu is described as follows: 33 34

35 36

37

For a recent discussion on tabrīt mūši, “nocturnal vision”, versus šuttu, “dream”, and an overview of literature on this topic, see Bach 2018, 73–74 with footnote 24. ki-ma ni-ši-ik mu-tim la in-na-sa₃-ḫu, “like the bite of Mūtu, it cannot be expunged”, LH li 63; Roth 1995, 139–140. Nišku is inflicted by animals, in particular dogs and snakes, See AHw, 796; CAD N/2, 281–282. RS 25.460 line 40′; Nougayrol 1968, 162; von Soden 1969, 193; 1990, 143. For mušḫuššus and snakes striking with the venom of Death (imat mūti), see for instance the Neriglissar Palace Cylinder C23 1 i 26–27 // 4 i 4′–5′; Da Riva 2013, 19, 129; RINAP 4, Esarhaddon 34 rev. 5; see also Wiggermann 1993–1997b, 456, 461. Imat mūti is used in violent attacks: in the Erra Epic, Erra commands his weapons to smear themselves with the venom of Mūtu (i-ta-mi a-na gišTUKUL.MEŠ-šu₂ lit-pa-ta i-mat mu-u-ti, Tablet 1, line 7; Cagni 1969, 58; 1977, 26), and Neo-Assyrian kings boast about covering their enemies with it (e.g. RINAP 4, Esarhaddon 60 obv. 12′; Sargon’s Eighth Campaign, TCL 3 154 lines 154, 175– 176 [for an edition of the text, see Mayer 1983; see Foster 2005, 790–813 for the translation of these lines]). Namtar is not depicted as Anzû, but can look like an ugallu, with the face of a lion on a body of a dwarf (1 KUŠ₃ la-an-šu₂ SAG.DU-su ša₂ UR.MAḪ; Abusch and Schwemer 2016, 192 line 24 [Text 8.25]). See also Wiggermann 1992a, 170. For the association between normal, non-monstrous birds and death through the birdlike appearance of eṭemmu, see for instance Maul 1995; Steinert 2012, 314.

visible death and audible distress

343

SbTU 1 32 rev. 11–12:38 DIŠ GU₃ GIG taš-⸢mi⸣-ma GIM GU₃ AN[ŠE] [ana?] U₄.1.KAM GAM ša₂ E-u₂ mu-u₂-tu pa-ni dIM.DU[GUDmušen] If you hear the screaming of the sick man and it is like the braying of a don[key], he will die in one day. As is said, “Mūtu has the countenance of An[zû]”. “Mūtu has the countenance of Anzû” appears to be a common saying (at least in scholarly circles), and an Anzû-like appearance may thus have been a familiar visualization of Mūtu.39 In the following line, the donkey and Mūtu are associated with Anzû through homophony.40 Mūtu is also equated with a donkey in a late Babylonian commentary on Sakikkû Tablet 1: when someone sees a donkey mounting a jenny, “the sick man and Mūtu are intertwined”, with Mūtu as the donkey mounting the patient, represented by the jenny.41 This image of the donkey (and jenny) can alternatively be that of copulating snakes.42 Both images represent the struggle between life and death, with the latter (the male) physically and sexually overpowering, and thus killing, the human (the female).43 This scene of Mūtu taking a man’s life in a beastly interaction is reminiscent of the passage in the Epic of Gilgameš where Enkidu tells about his dream, in which he is subdued by an Anzû-like creature:

38 39

40

41

42 43

Commentary to TDP, 68 Tablet 7 lines 87′–92′; George 1991, 157; George 2003, 306. A description of Mūtu that corresponds with his Anzû appearance can be found in Udugḫul, where Mūtu has an eagle’s talons: qa-at mu-u₂-tu₄ še-[e-⸢pi⸣ mu-u₂-tu₂ [ṣu-pur u₃-ri-inni]; Udug-ḫul Tablet 4, line 125′, Geller 2016, 155; see also Forerunners Udug-ḫul line 306; Geller 1985, 36 (šu uš₂-a-kam giri₃ uš₂-a-kam ⸢umbin⸣ ḫu-ri₂-⸢inmušen⸣-ka). Besides an obvious Netherworld context, the interpretation of this sentence is uncertain (cf. Geller 2016, 155). an-zu-u : an-šu-u₂ : i-me-[ru] (Anzû sounds like ANŠE, the Sumerian word for donkey, which is equated with imēru, the Akkadian word for donkey), SbTU 1 32 rev. 13; George 1991, 157. ANŠE EME₃ U₅-ma IGI GIG BI / [mu-tu₂] u šu-u₂ ik-tap-pi-lu, SbTU 1 27 rev. 7–8; George 1991, 148 line 22 variant b. That death is the donkey and the sick person the jenny is preserved in another variant ([EME₃ pa-an GIG] ANŠE pa-an mu-tu₂ ša₂-kin, TBER 56 [AO 17661] lines 26–27; George 1991, 148 line 22 variant a). [… pa]-ni ANŠE ša₂-niš pa-ni MUŠ, SbTU 1 27 rev. 9 // 28 rev. 1′; George 1991, 148. For kitpulu referring to snakes, see CAD Ṣ, 148; K, 174–175; AHw, 442, 494. The fight between Baal and Môt in Ugaritic mythology also represents a literal struggle between life and death (and death’s superior strength); see for instance Margalit 1980; Spronk 2008.

344

sibbing-plantholt

SB Gilgameš Tablet 7, lines 168–175:44 ša₂ 1-en eṭ-lu uk-ku-lu pa-nu-šu₂ a-na ša₂ an-ze-e pa-nu-šu maš-lu rit-ti UR.MAḪ rit-[t]a-šu₂ ṣu-pur a-re-e ṣu-pur-a-šu₂ iṣ-bat qi₂-ma-ti-i[a] u₂-dan-ni-na-an-ni ia-a-ši am-ḫas-su-ma GIM kep-pe-e i-šaḫ-ḫi-iṭ im-ḫaṣ-an-ni-ma ki-ma ⸢a⸣-mu uṭ-ṭeb-ba-an-ni ki-ma ri-i-mi dan-[ni ir-ḫ]i-iṣ UGU-i[a] im-tu₂ il-ta-[…] x pag-ri-i[a] There was a man, his expression was darkened, his face was like that of an Anzû-bird. His hands were the paws of a lion, his claws the talons of an eagle, he seized me by my hair, he was too strong for me. I struck him so he sprang back like a skipping-rope, he struck me and capsized me like a raft. Like a mighty wild bull he trampled over me, venom he … […] my body. The man (eṭlu) has a dark appearance and almost all Anzû features, and the seizing of Enkidu’s hair may well be in preparation to slit his throat. Enkidu breaks loose but the man overmasters him, literally trampling him underfoot. After Enkidu has shared this part of the dream and Gilgameš recognizes that Enkidu is afraid of the man (tap-laḫ-šu-m[a], line 177), Enkidu continues to describe how he was bound and dragged off to the Netherworld: SB Gilgameš Tablet 7, lines 182–184:45 [im-ḫaṣ?-an]-⸢ni⸣ G[I]M ⸢su-um⸣-[me ia]-⸢a⸣-ši ut-ter-ra-an-⸢ni⸣ [ik-s]i-ma GIM MUŠEN i-di-ia [ṣa]b-tan-ni i-red-dan-ni a-na E₂ ek-le-ti šu-bat dir-kal-la [He struck] me, he turned me into a do[ve?] [He bound] my arms like (the wings of) a bird, to lead me captive to the house of darkness, the seat of Irkalla. 44 45

George 2003, 642. Lines 168–171 are parallel to Middle Babylonian Ur rev. 65–69 (George 2003, 300). George 2003, 644.

visible death and audible distress

345

The dove is associated with mourning (damāmu).46 The process of turning into a dove and being bound describes how Enkidu has become defenseless, immobile and grieved during the dying process. The agent in the Gilgameš passage is clearly some personified form of Death, and because of his Anzû appearance, Mūtu would be the most likely candidate.47 Also, his attempt to slit Enkidu’s throat or neck suits Mūtu, which is normally his task: Mūtu cutting throats and thus life/breath (napištu) from the living is the normal order of nature and the course of life.48 Mūtu also takes the dead on their journey to the Netherworld,49 along the way and through the gate and waters of Death, to a new eternal life from which they cannot escape.50 This is often done forcefully, as in this passage, and this will further

46

47

48

49

50

Also in The Underworld Vision of a Prince, Kummâ “mourned like a dove” after waking up from his first dream (ki-ma su-um-me id-mu-um-ma, SAA 3 32 obv. 37). See further, for instance, Ludlul bēl nēmeqi Tablet 1, line 107 (Lambert 1960, 36) and Nergal and Ereškigal line 157 (Ponchia and Luukko 2013, 16). Rendu Loisel (2016, 294) states that the expression kīma summi/summati damāmu illustrates “with the alliteration of the sound -m a state of sorrow of high intensity.” Cf. George 2003, 306; Steinert (2012, 314 n. 77) identifies him as Namtar. See also Streck 1999, 65, 130, 173–175, 188, who identifies the man as a personified form of Death; see further Bach 2018, 80 n. 52. This is demonstrated in Lamaštu Tablet 1, line 155: ba-lu mu-tu i[t]-ta-ki[s] ki-šad-su, “(Although) not being Mūtu, she has cut his neck,” Farber 2014, 87, 156 (for a discussion of this translation, see Wiggermann 2000, 229 n. 76; Farber 2014, 215). In this passage, Lamaštu has taken on a task that does not belong to her, but to Mūtu. Lamaštu executing this assignment is a sign of chaos. Death as the antonym to life inherently takes napištu, the “breath”, “life”, or “life force” (for the latter, see also Cancik-Kirschbaum 2009, 47), away from the living. With napištu also having the meaning “throat” and “neck” (Steinert 2012, 271–274), the action of cutting the throat or neck is associated with Mūtu. The moment of cutting napištu is when the eṭemmu, “soul”, leaves the body and becomes the post-mortal existence of an individual, see Steinert 2012, 271–323. Note that the concept of cutting life or throats is associated with evil witchcraft and its consequent illness symptoms through zikurudû/zi-ku₅-ru-da magic, literally “throat cutting”; it is however unclear how this ritual relates to the action of cutting throats (e.g. Schwemer 2007, 14–16 and passim; Abusch 2008, 54, 63–66; Steinert 2012, 277–282). In The Underworld Vision of a Prince (SAA 3 32 rev. 3), Namtar grabs someone by the hair with one hand and holds a dagger in the other, seemingly also performing this action. This is for instance expressed in AbB 14 25, an Old Babylonian letter by Šumu-līṣi to the nadītu Bēltani. Bēltani’s complaints have been so annoying to Šumu-līṣi that the situation is “eating him up” ([a]d-ma-ti ta-zi-im-ta-ki / i-ta-ak-la-an-ni, lines 4–5), and he writes her: u₂-lu i-na pa-ni-ki / mu-tu-um li-it-ba-la-an-ni, “may Mūtu carry me off, away from you!”, lines 6–7. u₂-ru-uḫ mu-u₂-t[u], Babylonian Theodicy line 16, Lambert 1960, 70; see also Katz 2005, 76. For the waters of Death, see SB Gilgameš Tablet 10, lines 76–103; George 2003, 682; Lam-

346

sibbing-plantholt

be discussed below. To overpower Enkidu, Mūtu uses his beastly strength and his venom (lines 174–175). A similar looking figure but with a slightly different identity is encountered by Kummâ in The Underworld Vision of a Prince. This eṭlu suddenly appears like a flash, right after the group of fifteen creatures and right before Kummâ lays eyes on Nergal.51 He is dark, clad in terror and looks like Anzû, and is distinct from the mušḫuššu-like Mūtu who belongs to the monstrous parade at the beginning of Kummâ’s vision. Unlike the other beings in the vision, he has no name, and thus also no clear identity. He is merely an apparition: a harbinger of the impending execution of Kummâ performed by Nergal or a vision of the killing aspect of the ruler of the Netherworld, modeled after the conventional image of Mūtu as Anzû.52 It can be concluded that Mūtu is commonly depicted as an aggressive and bloodthirsty predator that overpowers the living in a fight for life and death.53 This monstrous Mūtu brings about horror, sadness, sorrow and resistance, and embodies fear, which is subtly communicated in the passage of the Epic of

51

52

53

bert 2013, 244 (discussion). In Old Assyrian documents, the expression ina bāb muātišu “in the gate of his death”, indicates that a person is on his way out of life (Veenhof 2008, 101). See also SAA 3 12 rev. 10. As mentioned earlier, Mūtu plays a role in Ereškigal’s kingdom as a messenger according to AN=Anum Tablet 5, line 236. For the geographical journey to the Netherworld and the agents on the way in Akkadian as well as Sumerian sources, see for instance Geller 2000; Katz 2003 (in particular 32–41); Selz 2004, 53–55. He wears a red cloak or armor, in his left hand he wields a bow and in his right hand a dagger, and he may stand on a snake (1-en eṭ-lu₄ zu-mur-šu₂ ki-ma it-te-e ṣa-lim a-na ša an-zi-i pa-nu-šu₂ ma-aš₂-lu n[a]-aḫ-lap-ti sa-am-ti la-biš ina KAB-šu₂ gišBAN na-ši ZAG-šu₂ nam-ṣa-ru ṣa-[bit ina] G[IR₃?]⸢II?⸣ KAB ṣi-r[a? u₂-k]a?-b[i?-is], SAA 3 32 rev. 10). His dagger also refers to the action of slitting throats. The red cloak or armor (naḫlaptu samtu), is otherwise worn by the āšipu and inspires terror, see CT 16 28: 68–69 (tug2gu₂-e₃ sa₅ ni₂-tena-ke₄ gu₂-ga₂ bi₂-in-mu₄: na-aḫ-lap-ta sa-an-ta ša₂ pu-luḫ-ti aḫ-ḫa-lip-ka / tug₂ sa₅ tug₂ ni₂-gal-la-ke₄ bar ku₃-ga bi-in-⸢mu₄⸣ : ṣu-ba-ta sa-a-ma ṣu-bat nam-ri-ir-ri zu-mur KU₃ u₂lab-biš-ka; see Parpola 1983, 162; Geller 1985, 138–139; Geller 2016, 295 [Udug-ḫul Tablet 8, lines 35–36]) and SAA 10 238 obv. 14–15 (lu2MAŠ.MAŠ TUG₂ SA₅ il-lab-biš / ⸢TUG₂!⸣.DUL₃ SA₅ iš-šak-kan; see also Parpola 1983, 162–163). Gilgameš wears a red cloak ([TU]G₂ ⸢HUŠ⸣.A, ṣubātu r/ḫuššu) in his role as judge in the Netherworld (Abusch and Schwemer 2016, 191, 201, lines 6–7 [Text 8.25]). It is not uncommon for aspects of a deity to become anthropomorphized as a servant of this deity; see Wiggermann 1997. Bach (2018, 80 n. 52) also points out the special connection between the eṭlu and Nergal. See Bach (2018, 79–88) for a study of the intertextual connections between the passages from The Underworld Vision of a Prince and SB Gilgameš. The Ugaritic god of Death, Môt, is also a “voracious monster with a great appetite for live prey” (Spronk 2008, 124).

visible death and audible distress

347

Gilgameš where Gilgameš recognizes this emotion in Enkidu as he listens to his friend describing his dream.

3

Death as a Thief: Taking Life and Bringing Darkness

Several texts assign a character to Mūtu that is similarly invasive, but less monstrous: that of a thief. In Bīt mēseri, Mūtu is named together with Ekkēmu, “thief”, as agents who intend to murder or harm someone.54 The pair, either complementary wrongdoers or metaphors for the same being, is also mentioned by Gilgameš when he realizes in despair that he cannot beat or escape sleep, let alone death: SB Gilgameš Tablet 11, lines 243–246:55 [ki-k]i-i lu-pu-uš I UD-ZI a-a-ka-ni lul-lik [(x) (x)].MEŠ-ia uṣ-ṣab-bi-tu₄ ek-ke-mu ina E₂ ma-a-a-li-ia a-šib mu-tu₄ u₃ a-šar [pānīya?] lu-uš-kun šu-u₂ mu-tum₃-ma [Ho]w should I go on, Ūta-napišti? Where should I go? The Thief has taken a hold of my [ flesh?], Mūtu abides in my bedroom, and wherever I may turn [my face], there too is Mūtu! Waiting for the right time to strike, Mūtu sits in the bedroom, where a human is most vulnerable.56 The thief and bedroom motif is also used in An Elegy in Memory of a Woman, a composition in which a dead woman mourns her 54 55 56

Meier 1941–1944, 144, line 80. For ekkēmu, see also Wiggermann 2011b, 307. George 2003, 719. See also George 2003, 893–894 for thief as a metaphor for Death. Although suggested by Arbøll (2019, 9–10), Mūtu cannot be identified as the evil lying under a bed as depicted on a badly damaged amulet, which corresponds to the Ḫulbazizi incantation ša malṭi eršiya ittiqu, “he who transgresses the private space of my bed” (Wiggermann 2007, 106 with fig. 2; 2011b, 313–314 with fig. 6; Wiggermann merely mentions that this “dragon-snake” shares his head with Mūtu in the Underworld Vision of a Prince). The amulet and incantation represent the mythological battle between the āšipu and the evil power he wards off in the incantation. The latter, which torments people in frightening dreams, carries the properties of a terrifying yet mundane creature that needed to be battled on a regular basis: the snake. The snake was one of the most feared animals in Mesopotamia and posed a daily threat, also in the house (see the omina in section 7 and the venom of snakes discussed in footnote 36).

348

sibbing-plantholt

death.57 Until the day of her labor, she and her husband were happy, waiting in joy for the birth of their child.58 But labor became the turning point for her happiness: her face became overcast (e-tar-pu-u pa-ni-ia, obv. 7) and her eyes clouded (it-ta-ak-ri-ma IGI II-ia, obv. 8). She talks about Mūtu as an intruder who captured her and ripped her away from her husband: SAA 3 15: rev. 6–9: mu-u-tu₂ ina! E₂ KI.NA₂-ia iḫ-lu-la-a ḫi-il-lu-tu₂ TA E₂-ti-ia-a us-se-ṣa-an-ni a-a-ši TA pa-an ḫa-bi-ri-ia ip-tar-sa-an-ni GIR₃II-ia is-sa-ka-na ina kaq-qar la ⸢ta?-a-a!-ar!⸣-ti-ia₂ Mūtu slunk stealthily into my bedroom, he took me out of my home, he separated me from my lover, and set my feet toward a land from which I cannot return. Mūtu can apparently abduct human beings by force and make them his captives, carrying them off as booty to a foreign place—the Land of No Return.59 He premeditatedly abducts his victims from their houses,60 or he seizes them on travel paths.61 He can present himself in a sweeping attack62 or by hastening towards his victim.63 Besides using his bite or beastly power to take control over the dying, he can bind them (kasû),64 and he sometimes uses instruments

57 58 59

60 61

62 63 64

SAA 3 15. For a discussion of this text, see Reiner 1985, 85–93. ina UD-me in-bu aš₂-šu-u-ni a-ke-e ḫa-da-ka a-na-ku / ḫa-da-ak a-na-ku ha-di ḫa-bi-ri-i, SAA 3 15 obv. 5–6. i-šal-lal mu-ti “Mūtu abducts”, SB Gilgameš Tablet 10, line 303; šal-lu u₃ mi-tu₄ ki-i KA a-ḫameš-ma, “the captive and the dead, they are alike,” SB Gilgameš Tablet 10, line 316; George 2003, 696–697. See also Lambert 1980, 54–56. For the meaning of šalālu as carrying off booty and war victims, see šalālu in AHw, 1142 (“fortführen, plünderen”); CAD Š/1, 196– 202. UŠ₂ a-na E₂-šu sa-⸢dir⸣, “Mūtu is a regular occurrence in his house”, KAR 74: 4; Ebeling 1920, 183; see also Wiggermann 1992a, 93. He waits on the trail of death left by a witch: i-na ki-bi-is tak-bu-si GUB-az mu-u₂-tu₄, “on the path you have taken, Mūtu stands”, Maqlû Tablet 3, line 91; Abusch 2016, 94, 243, 310. se-ḫe-ep mu-u-ti, K 2626 side y line 9; Bauer 1933, 70 and Plate 22 (broken context). ḫa-muṭ-su mu-tu₂, Ludlul bēl nēmeqi Tablet 1, line 96; Lambert 1960, 34. ka-sa-an-ni mu-u₂-tu, Tukulti-Ninurta I epic iii 28′ (Machinist 1978, 94; see also Ebeling 1938, 15, old numbering iv 28); SB Gilgameš Tablet 7, line 183, see above.

visible death and audible distress

349

like a net (gišparu).65 Mūtu has a tight grip on the dying (kullu),66 which can cause anguish and distress.67 The Elegy also refers to the darkness that Mūtu brings. He casts a cloud of death, as in the Anzû Myth, when Ninurta approaches Anzû for battle and the threatening creature comes down the mountain for a deadly fight. Darkness sets in68 and “the clouds of death rain down” (er-pe-et mu-ti i-za-an-nu-nu).69 A similar scene in which Mūtu descends from these dark clouds occurs in one of Enkidu’s nightmares on the journey to Huwawa as well as during the actual battle with Huwawa.70 Ludlul bēl nēmeqi also contains a reference to the dark cloud that Mūtu casts: Ludlul bēl nēmeqi Tablet 3, Sippar Manuscript Si 55 rev. 16:71 65 66

67

68 69 70

71

ki-ma giš-par₂ mu-ti / la pa-de-e te-bu-u₂ gišTUKUL.MEŠ-šu₂ “the attack of his (i.e. Shalmaneser I) weapons is like the merciless net of Mūtu”, RIMA 1, A.0.77.1: 14–15. He can catch and hold his victims through using his claws, but sometimes he has hands, which is explicitly mentioned in an apodosis of an Old Babylonian physiognomic omen: LU₂ šu-u₂ a-na qa₂-ti mu-tim pa-qi₂-id, “this man is assigned to the hands of Mūtu”, VAT 7525 ii 12–13; Köcher and Oppenheim 1957–1958, 65; see also Böck 2000, 10–13. This is an expression often used to describe the surrendering of the dead (by the great gods) to the rulers of, and other agents in, the Netherworld, such as Ereškigal, Bidu and Namtar (e.g. The Underworld Vision of a Prince [SAA 3 32] rev. 19; Address of Marduk and the Demons line 24 [Lambert 1959–1960, 117 line 24]; KAR 267 rev. 13 [see Scurlock 1988, 206; 2006, 360]; Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 278 line 78 [Text 8.3]; Meier 1941–1944, 146 line 124–125 [Bīt mēseri]). As mentioned earlier, Mūtu is a messenger of the Netherworld in AN=Anum Tablet 5, line 236. u₂-kal-la-an-ni UŠ₂ u₂-šap-ša₂-aq / ina ku-u-ri ni-is-sa-ti ur-ra u GI₆ a-na-as-su-us, “Mūtu takes a hold of me, I am anguished. Day and night I wail on account of depression (and) grief,” K 891 rev. 9–10; Streck 1916, 252–253 (L3); a recent edition by the RINAP Project that is in preparation for publication (RINAP 5/2, Assurbanipal Assyrian Tablet 1) can be found on http://oracc.museum.upenn.edu/rinap/corpus/ (April 23, 2019). See also STC 2 pl. 81 (BM 26187): 74 (a šu-il₂-la to Ištar); see Zgoll 2003, 41–95; Zernecke 2011, 273. Pašāqu means “to be(come) narrow”, and šupšuqu is “to suffer difficulties, to feel anguish,” (CAD P, 235), more literally: “to be in dire straits.” dUTU nu-ur₂ DINGIR.MEŠ da-um-meš i-ru-up, “Šamaš, the light of the gods, was cast into darkness,” Anzû Tablet 2, line 51 (STT 21 obv ii 9); Annus 2001, 24. Anzû Tablet 2, line 55; Annus 2001, 24. For a translation, see Foster 2005, 569. SB Gilgameš Tablet 4, lines 102, 104, and Tablet 5, lines 135–136; George 2003, 592, 608. For Mūtu descending upon victims together with other forms of misfortune, including Namtar, see also The Cuthean Legend of Naram-Sîn lines 94, 96: mu-u-tu (…) [ina muḫ-ḫ]išu₂-nu it-tar-da, Goodnick Westenholz 1997, 218, 351 (text 22). The word “cloud”, erpu, in and of itself encompasses the notion of darkness; see the cognate verb erēpu, “to cloud over, to darken”, and the Hebrew cognate ’arāpēl, which means “dark” (AHw, 238, 243). See also Streck 1999, 183. Lambert 1960, 52. Compare also Ludlul bēl nēmeqi Tablet 2, line 81; Lambert 1960, 42.

350

sibbing-plantholt

te-ʾ-a-ti IGI II-a-a ša₂ uš-teš₂-bi-iḫ ši-bi-iḫ mu-u₂-[ti] My clouded eyes that have been shrouded in the pall of Mūtu. And lastly, in an Old Babylonian letter, the metaphor “the gisallû ša Mūtim hangs over me” is used by the author to describe his fear as his lord has threatened to punish and even kill him.72 Gisallû is a reed roof-fence that casts shade, which indicates that death is hanging over the man’s head, casting darkness over him. Darkness represents negative emotions like fear, anger, sadness, sorrow, frustration and distress due to a loss of control.73 These emotions are invoked by Mūtu the Thief as he separates lovers and comes to end flourishing lives.

4

Death as a Protector: Good Mūtu versus Bad Mūtu

That Mūtu does not always have a negative connotation becomes clear from the description of figurines of Mūtu. In SAA 10 296,74 the āšipu Nabû-nāṣir reports on various prophylactic rituals ordered by king Esarhaddon. In a passage that describes the preparations for apotropaic rituals (nēpešu) that will be performed in Addāru, a figurine of Mūtu (NU mu-u₂-ti, rev. 4) is mentioned together with figurines of Namtar and Latarak. Two Bīt mēseri texts, AMT 2, 5+ and SbTU 3 69, delineate the fashioning of a lead figurine of Mūtu for use in the ritual. The former does not preserve much information on the figurine besides its material and placement: AMT 2, 5+ (K 8189): 9:75 NU UŠ₂ ša₂ A.BAR₂ ⸢x⸣ […] […]⸢ša₂⸣ lu2GIG GUB-az a figurine of Mūtu made of lead … […] is placed at the […] … of the sick person. 72 73 74 75

gi-sa-al-lu ša mu-tim / i-na mu-uḫ-ḫi-ia ḫa-ri-iṣ, “the gisallu of Mūtu is … fixed? over me”, AbB 1 52: 19–20. E.g. Streck 1999, 71–72; Sallaberger 2000, 249–250; Jaques 2006, 177–181, 526, 571; Sibbing Plantholt 2017, 172. Parpola 1983 nos. 218 + 221. AMT 2, 5 has been joined with AMT 34, 2 (K 6390) + AMT 94, 9 (K 8980) + BBR 48 (Sm. 2004); see Borger 1974, 188; Wiggermann 1992a, 110 13+d.

visible death and audible distress

351

SbTU 3 69, a large tablet that provides a detailed description of the figurines used in a Bīt mēseri ritual is more informative. The characteristics of each figurine are presented in a tabular overview. Seven columns respectively list per figurine how many of them are needed, the name of the figurine, its appearance, what it carries, where it was placed, any spell that needs to be recited over it, and perhaps the number of times that the incantation needs to be repeated.76 The paragraph that describes Mūtu (§ 30) is relatively well preserved. The name of the figurine, its appearance and placement (columns II, III and V) are as follows: SbTU 3 69 §30: (II) NU UŠ₂ ša₂ A.⸢BAR₂⸣ (III) ⸢KI?-UR?-DI?⸣-šu₂77 UDU.NITA₂ GEŠPU₂ ka-ŠID IGI.MEŠ-šu₂ IM.GA₂.LI pa-aš₂-šu₂ GU eṣ-pa MURUB₄-šu₂ rak-sa (V) [ina] ⸢SAG? gišNA₂⸣ ina LAL₃ [I₃.NUN].NA a-šib (II) A statue of Mūtu made of lead. (III) His … are that of a ram, he maintains a smiting posture,78 his eyes are smeared with orpiment, his waist bound by a twined thread. (V) He sits [at] the head? of the bed (of the patient), in honey and [ghe]e.79

76

77

78

79

Paragraph § 1: I: […] (based on the entries, this is the number of statues); II: […] (perhaps MU.BI, “its name”?); III: SIG₇.ALAM.BI.NE.NE (“appearance”); IV: maš-ša₂-a-tu₄ (“things carried”); V: man-za-zu (“position”); VI: ŠID-t[u] (“incantation”); VII: […] (Cavigneaux [1994, 141] suggests that it records the number of offerings based on the numbers that are listed in this column, but this could also be the number of times that the incantation needs to be recited). The possessive pronoun -šu has to refer to a (body) part of Mūtu that is visualized on the statue, one that resembles a feature of a ram. The most logical explanation would be a horn, but based on the copy, SI or qarnu is difficult to recognize in this broken passage. A literal translation of this semantically and syntactically unclear passage is difficult to render. GEŠPU₂/umāšu indicates strength (cf. CAD U, 97–98), but as an “object” used for fighting, it could perhaps also be translated as “fist”, which can be raised (našû) in battle. This column describes the appearance of the figurine, hence the loose translation “he maintains a smiting posture”. Von Weiher (SpTU 3, 66) reads ka-mis, “kneeled”; this is also an option and could refer to Mūtu’s submissive role, but this would leave the incompatibility with GEŠPU₂ as a position of power unexplained. The entries in the first and seventh columns are broken off. Columns IV and VI are left empty.

352

sibbing-plantholt

As in AMT 2, 5+, the figurine of Mūtu is placed near the patient. His presence is wanted because he is a respected power invoked to keep other evil away. The figurine may be made out of lead because of the metal’s most significant property: it is heavy.80 A šu-du₈-a spell embedded in Egalkura invokes a lead hand (rittu ša abāri), which according to the accompanying ritual is indeed fashioned out of lead.81 In this case, lead embodies the heaviness and pressure of the hand as well as its strength (also expressed in the incantation through the adjective dannatu) through the homonym abāru, “strength”.82 Although the figurine of Mūtu exhibits its strength in its smiting posture, lead may also be chosen because its gravity hinders Mūtu in his movement. Most of the figurine’s features appear to serve this purpose of forcing Mūtu to remain in his apotropaic role and preventing him from carrying off the person whom he is supposed to protect. Mūtu is controlled by the twined thread round his waist, which is stronger than a single thread.83 His eyes are smeared with orpiment, perhaps to take away his vision so he cannot look around for a human victim. And lastly, Mūtu is placed in honey and ghee, which quite literally stick him to his designated place and keep him full and satisfied. That feeding honey and ghee to unwanted creatures is a method of satisfying and pacifying them so that they will not become a danger, may also be alluded to in Gilgameš, Enkidu and the Netherworld. During his journey to the Netherworld, Enkidu has seen kūbus (niĝin₃-ĝar), the ghosts of stillborn infants, who are playing at gold and silver tables laden with honey and ghee.84 This sweet and fattening 80

81 82 83

84

On lead in Mesopotamia and its great variety of uses (e.g. jewelry, vessels, weights, tools, and figurines), see for instance Joannès 1993–1997, 98; Muhly 1993–1997, 130–131; Moorey 1985, 121–124; 1999, 292–297; Potts 1997, 176–177. For the function of lead in medicine, see Stol 1989, 165–166; Arkhipov 2009. KAR 238 rev. 8 and 16 and parallel A 373 rev. 5′ and 13′ (see also BM 103385), Stadhouders and Panayotov 2018, 631–632, 635 (§ 7). Stadhouders and Panayotov 2018, 676. The notion that a rope is stronger when twined is also indicated in Gilgameš and Huwawa line 108 (tug₂ 3 tab-ba lu₂ nu-kud-de₃, “a towrope of three strands cannot be cut”) and SB Gilgameš Tablet 5, line 76: aš-lu šu-uš-lu-š[e …], “a triply-twisted rope [is not easily broken]”; a traditional saying that also occurs in Qohelet 4: 9–12 (Schaffer 1967, 247; 1969, 159–160; Landsberger 1968, 108–109; van der Toorn 2001, 504; Tigay 2002 [1982], 165–167; George 2003, 467 n. 84). niĝin₃-ĝar tur-tur-ĝu₁₀ ni₂-ba nu-zu igi bi₂-du₈-am₃ igi bi₂-du₈-am₃ a-na-gin₇ an-ak / ĝišbanšur kug-sig₁₇ kug-babbar lal₃ i₃-nun-ta e-ne im-di-e-ne, “‘did you see my little stillborn who never knew themselves?’ ‘I saw them.’ ‘How do they fare?’ ‘They play at gold and silver tables (laden) with honey and ghee’,” Gilgameš, Enkidu and the Netherworld lines 300–301 in Schaffer (1963, 95); lines r 1–2 in George 2003, 768; lines 298–299 in ETCSL 1.8.1.4; lines 303–304 in Gadotti (2014, 168, 239–240). For a recent discussion of these lines, see Gadotti 2014, 114, 300–301.

visible death and audible distress

353

meal prevents the kūbus from asking for food that they did not have a chance to enjoy during a life on earth.85 Although elsewhere in the Bīt mēseri ritual, Mūtu lemnu, “Evil Mūtu” is mentioned among malignant forces that are dismissed to the Netherworld,86 the placement of Mūtu near the patient in addition to the attestation in SAA 10 296 makes it more likely that the lead figurine of Mūtu plays a part in a prophylactic ritual. The sick person aims to postpone a looming, threatening death caused by evil demons and illness and to wait until “good” Mūtu, a natural death of old age, would come to take him when it is his time. The Mūtu figurines, and the rituals they are used in, thus visualize the fear of an evil, demonic Mūtu, and at the same time the acceptance of a good Mūtu, who has a more human appearance. This image of good Mūtu can also be recognized in the following description.

5

The Acceptance of Death as Lord of Mankind

The impression that Mūtu was perceived as an inherent part of life, a natural aspect that could not be avoided, is given by the Old Babylonian letter AbB 14 83. Its authors report to a general about a certain Aḫum, whom the general wants to employ and send out: AbB 14 83: 16–18: la li-ib-bi i-la-ma / mu-tum be-li₂ ni-ši / ma-ar!-šu it-ba-al Unfortunately, Mūtu, master of mankind, has carried his (i.e Aḫum’s) son away.

85

86

They never had a taste of mother’s milk (CT 23 10: 16 [and KAR 330: 5], Römer 1973, 310–311). Kūbus have a cult, which is essential in pacifying them and keeping them in the Netherworld (for the cult of Kūbu, see Römer 1973, 316–318). The unpleasant effects of kūbus visiting the living is evidenced in the illnesses that they can cause (ṣibit/qāt Kūbi, Römer 1973, 311–313; Stol 2000, 31; Scurlock and Andersen 2005, 387, 476, 512–514; 547; see also Lambert 1980–1983; Kulemann-Ossen and Novák 2000, 126–127). Another way to prevent a kūbu from becoming discontented is proposed by Scurlock (1991, 150), who postulates that personal names with the element Kūbu serve to make them feel part of their families. Meier 1941–1944, 144–147 (in particular lines 78–80, 122–128). Compare also Wiggermann 1992a, 7 Text 1 lines 7–8 (Šēp lemutti); Muššuʾu Tablet 4, line 77 (Böck 2007, 163). Because of this passage in Bīt mēseri, Wiggermann (1992a, 110) assumed that the lead figurines of Mūtu were part of this ritual.

354

sibbing-plantholt

In this expression, Mūtu is uniquely conceptualized in a role of social power in the human world, as the lord of all mortals. This conceptualization insinuates that Mūtu is ever-present, yet that he conducts his work behind the scenes, never revealing himself until the moment at which he claims ultimate submission. The authors of the letter are not directly affected by the death of Aḫum’s son. They use an expression that is regularly used in Old Assyrian letters to announce a death (of a loved one): lā libbi ilimma, literally “against the will of the god”, but to be understood as “unfortunately!” or “alas!”.87 They evaluate the situation as unwanted or negative, but because they are probably not personally affected by the death, their emotion may be closer to “pity” than “grief”. This distance from the deceased allows one to have an attitude of acceptance and surrender that is translated in Mūtu’s role as lord of mankind. Mūtu, the unavoidable part of life and counterpart of napištu, “life”, can perhaps temporarily be averted, but in the end all humans will have to submit to his power. This image of Mūtu can also be recognized in the Göttertypentext (MIO 1), where Mūtu is an accepted guest at the banquet that the birth goddess Nintu/Šassūr has prepared in celebration of the birth of a baby that she nurses while she receives the guests.88 The viewer of the setting described in the Göttertypentext, which seems to be the inside of a shrine, is enticed to identify with the baby, the only human in view. He is confronted with all pleasant and unpleasant aspects of the baby’s life—and his own.89 The scene gives the impression that Mūtu is not a threatening adversary that embodies fear, but a fundamental part of life that accompanies a human from birth until the final breath. The section in the Göttertypentext that describes Mūtu is preserved on two fragments: “MIO 1 Ms. A”,90 on which only the last line is legible, and “MIO 1 Ms. D”,91 which reads as follows:

87

88 89 90 91

CAD L, 172; Veenhof 2008, 99; Michel 2010, 362; see also Jaques 2017, 196, 201. Note that in line 22, the authors state that “today his moaning consumes us” (u₄-ma-am di!-im-ma-su₂ i-ta-ak-la-ni-a-ti), which probably means that the authors experience sympathy for Aḫum, but it could also indicate that they are irritated by his mourning. Compare also AbB 14 25: 4–7 in footnote 49. Wiggermann 2018, 360. Wiggermann 2018, 363–364. VAT 15606+ ii 25′–32′; MIO 1, 96–107. In both lines 30′ and 31′, part of one sign is recognizable, but the signs cannot be read. K 9447 (Geers copy A 55) + 10164 (CT 27 30) lines 1–8. For K 10164, see https://cdli.ucla .edu/dl/photo/P398119.jpg (April 23, 2019). Both exemplars have been collated by Strahil

visible death and audible distress

355

MIO 1 Ms. D lines 1–8: [SAG.DU SI? u₃] šu-ku-s[u]92 [pa?-n]u MUNUS-tu₄ [i-na ZA]G-šu i-kar-rab [i-na KAB-šu ...].MEŠ DIB-it [ina GAB-š]u la-biš [lu-bu-uš]-tu₄ GADA.MAḪ [GIR₃II-šu? ḫu-up-pa?] iz-zi-za [MU.BI dm]u-tu₄ (MIO 1 Ms. A ii 32′: [MU.B]I ⸢d⸣[…]) [The head wears a horn? and] a horned polos. [He has] a female [face?]. [With his righ]t (hand), he makes a gesture of greeting, [In his left (hand)] he holds […]-s. His [breast] is clothed. [(His) cloth]ing is a gadamāḫu-garment. [His feet?] stand [in a ḫuppu stance?] [H]is [name] is [M]ūtu. Mūtu wears a šukūsu, a horned polos which is a divine headdress, and his name is written with a divine determinative. As in The Underworld Vision of a Prince, this distinguishes him from other, more abstract beings in the text. Line 7 is reconstructed based on the other three lines in the Göttertypentext that end in iz-zi-za or GUB-za, which all indicate that the feet stand in a ḫuppu stance.93 This stance is one of “vigorous movement of the feet” that serves as an expression of mourning,94 which would fit Mūtu particularly well. The reference to a female feature, perhaps face (line 2), is remarkable. The masculine possessive pronouns and stative forms used for Mūtu (e.g. ṣabit) would support that he is masculine,95 and there is no other indication that Mūtu ever has any female characteristics. Köcher restores and translates [pag-

92 93 94 95

Panayotov at the request of F.A.M. Wiggermann (referenced in Wiggermann 2018, 360 n. 17). Both sections are followed by a line ruling. Compare MIO 1 66 i 51′ (Ninurta); 76 v 13 (Ensimaḫ); 78 v 52 (Tišpak). Compare MIO 1 64 i 15′ (Damu); 68 ii 42′ (GUB-za, Ms. D has iz-zi-[za]; Enkimdu); 80 vi 22 (Niziqtu); 82 vi 35 (Tiruru); see also George 2003, 842. George 2003, 842; Wiggermann 2007, 114; see also Rendu Loisel 2011b, 76 n. 55. Compare the female forms used for female characters Šassur, Ammakur, Niziqtu (less consistently) and Tiruru.

356

sibbing-plantholt

ru me-ri]-nu SALtum, “[Der Körper ist (der einer) nackt]en Frau”,96 which also occurs elsewhere in the text in the passage on Nintu/Šassur and Niziqtu.97 This restoration is unlikely for two reasons. Firstly, there does not seem to be enough space before the sign NU, and secondly, Mūtu is not naked: he wears a gadamāḫu-garment. Wiggermann suggests reading [pa-n]u and interprets the woman’s face not as a feminine aspect, but as a reference to Mūtu being beardless.98 With one exception, all other faces in the Göttertypentext are male and seem to have some type of beard.99 The only other character in this text with a feminine face is Niziqtu,100 who based on her description is clearly feminine. Niziqtu has a special relevance for Mūtu. If Wiggermann’s analysis of the Göttertypentext is correct, and it is indeed the description of a temple that depicts the conditions and course of life, she is presented as an integral part of life and death. A study of Niziqtu confirms this, and reveals that she is inextricably linked with Mūtu.

6

Niziqtu: a Personified Emotion around Mūtu

The description of Niziqtu in the Göttertypentext is preserved on two almost totally identical exemplars on which almost all the signs are legible.101 We will follow Ms. A:

96 97 98 99

100 101

MIO 1, 68–69. Respectively MIO 1 72 iii 47′ (pa-ag-ru MUNUS me-re-nu) and 80 vi 21 (pa-ag-ru me-re-nu MUNUS-tu₄). Wiggermann 2018, 360 n. 17. All male faces are either lēta zaqin; lēta zu’untu or lēta šakin. All three refer to some type of facial hair: – pa-nu LU₂ le-ta za-qin, “the face is that of a man, his cheeks are bearded”, MIO 1 64 i 9′ (Damu), i 29′ (Ḫala[ ]); 66 i 52′–53′ (Ninurta); 76 iv 51–52 (Ippiru laḫmu). – pa-nu LU₂ le-ta zu-ʾ-un-tu₄, “the face is that of a man, the cheek has a decorated (beard)?”, MIO 1 64 i 18′ (Illabrat); 66 i 41′ (Ma[ ]); 74 iv 27–28 (Šēru). – pa-nu LU₂ le-ta ša₂-kin/GAR-in, “he has the face of a man, his cheeks are exposed?”, MIO 1 68 ii 34′–35′ (Enkimdu); 76 v 14–15 (Ensimaḫ); 78 v 53–54 (Tišpak). Lēta šakin only describes male faces and thus seems to refer to a type of beard style. pa-nu MUNUS-tu₄, MIO 1 80 vi 17. The two exemplars are MIO 1 Ms. A vi 13–23 and MIO 1 Ms. B (CT 17 42–45) lines 104– 112 (K 2148+ rev. iv 26–33; https://cdli.ucla.edu/dl/photo/P394216.jpg [April 23, 2019]). The only difference is that on two occasions, two lines are joined into one on Ms. B (lines 14–15 and 21–22).

visible death and audible distress

357

MIO 1 Ms. A vi 13–23: SAG.DU ku-ub-šu ⸢SI.MEŠ GUD⸣ GAR-in GEŠTU₂ [GUD] GAR-in šar-tu₄ sig₂-ba-ru-u₂ ana ša₂-šal-li-šu ŠUB-at pa-nu MUNUS-tu₄ rit-ta-šu LU₂ kap-pi GAR-ma rit-ta-ša₂ ina UGU kap-pi-ša₂ tar-ṣa pag-ru me-re-nu MUNUS-tu₄ GIR₃II.BI ḫu-up-pa GUB-za MU.BI ni-zi-iq-tu₄ the head has a turban (with) bovine horns placed (on it). The ears are [bovine]. Her hair falls loosely down her back.102 The face is that of a woman. Her hands are human. She has wings and her hands are stretched out over her wings. The naked body is that of a woman. Her feet stand in a ḫuppu stance. Her name is Niziqtu. Niziqtu is a mixed creature with human and animal features. Judging from her name, her feminine characteristics, and the feminine possessive pronouns in lines 19–20, her human side is female. That her body is that of a naked woman suggests that her breasts are exposed.103 In common with Mūtu, Niziqtu stands in a ḫuppu stance, a gesture of mourning.104 Niziqtu does not carry a divine determinative, which is in agreement with the fact that she does not occur in god lists or in a cultic setting.105 She is not truly divine, but rather a physical representation of either a function of a deity in whose name she acts, or an abstract phenomenon that is given agency: an emotion. Wiggermann identifies in the Göttertypentext various emotional emanations of the struggle for life that keep watch at the gates to ward off intruders: 102 103

104 105

Literally “her sigbarû (i.e. loose) hair falls down on her back”; for this meaning of sig₂bar/sigbarû, see Sjöberg 1967, 278. Compare MIO 1 72 iii 46′–47′, preserved on MIO 1 Ms. B (CT 17 42 obv. ii 9–10): iš-tu SAG.DU-ša₂ ana me-ser₂-ri-ša₂ pa-ag-ru SAL me-re-nu, “from the head to the belt, her (i.e. Nintu/Šassur’s) body is that of a naked woman.” See also Wiggermann 2007, 114–115. Wiggermann (2007, 115) suggests that she is part of the Ištar circle together with Ištar’s messengers Kilili and Barīrītu.

358

sibbing-plantholt

Ippiru, “Struggle”, Adammû, “Strife”, Ḫimṭu, which Wiggermann translates as “Zeal”,106 and Niziqtu, translated as “Grief”.107 Of these, only Niziqtu is regularly attested in other texts and has a strong connection to death.108 Her wings are appropriate for her role as the personification of an emotion: they symbolize the motion of the emotion towards a sufferer. In a similar fashion, the fears of Huwawa seem to be winged personified emotions representing an otherwise invisible abstract force that all humans are confronted with during their lives. In the Sumerian epic Gilgameš and Huwawa, the fears (ni₂) of Huwawa attack and disable anyone who comes close to their master. They enter one’s body and spread through the feet and the “bodily cords” (sa),109 which refers to anything cordlike in the body ranging from sinews to muscles.110 These are the parts of the body that allow it to move, and by overtaking them they paralyze the person and prevent him from being able to act. To be able to fight and kill Huwawa, Gilgameš needs to overcome and disable these fears, which can only be done by cutting off their wings and taking away their mobility. He convinces Huwawa to hand over the fears, after which the men that came along with Gilgameš begin to clip their wings (pa-bi i₃-ku₅-ru-ne).111 The helpless state that the fears are in without their wings is alluded to in the Gilgameš Bauer Tablet, when Gilgameš

106

107 108

109

110 111

Written ḫi-in-du, a Middle Babylonian form not elsewhere attested. Ḫamāṭu means something like “to burn”, with the nomen abstractum ḫimṭu indicating “heat” or more precisely, “unnatural heat” or “burn” (Stol 2007, 19–21). As a disease it would not fit in the mappa mundi of the Göttertypentext, but it would as an emotion associated with heat (for heat being associated with emotion, in particular anger, across cultures, see Kövecses 1995; Soriano 2013). The understanding of ḫimṭu as “battle-fever” or “zeal” as suggested by Wiggermann (1981–1982, 98 with n. 38), would fit this context well. For ḫimṭu as an emotion, see also Steinert in this volume. The only context in which mūtu and ḫimṭu (ḫinṭu) are mentioned together is as part of a group of forces warded off with the rituals Muššuʾu (Tablet 4, line 77; Böck 2007, 163) and Šēp lemutti ina bīt amēli parāsu, “to block the entry of the enemy in someone’s house” (Wiggermann 1992a, 7 Text 1 lines 7–8). Wiggermann 2018, 361. See also Wiggermann 1996, 218–219. Ippiru and adammû could represent states of being or internal experiences of struggle. They do not otherwise occur as responses to death. It is uncertain whether Tiruru is an emotion and how it should be translated. For ḫimṭu, see footnote 106. sa-na ĝiri₃-na ni₂ ba-an-ri ni₂ te-a-ni ba-an-ri, “fear and terror spread through his cords and feet”, Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa line 126; Edzard 1991, 208; ETCSL Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa Version A 1.8.1.5, line 126. For sa/šer’ānu, see CAD Š/2, 310–313; Attia 2000; Rutz 2011, 304. FLP 1053 obv. 2 ff. (deJong Ellis 1981–1982, 124); lines 147ff. in composite text (ETCSL Gilgameš and Ḫuwawa Version A 1.8.1.5). This reading has already been suggested by Wiggermann (1993–1997a, 240; 2018, 358 n. 12). For the commonly followed but less likely translation “they began to cut its branches”, see deJong Ellis (1981–1982), who discusses how this passage and ni₂ have been interpreted in scholarship.

visible death and audible distress

359

and Enkidu are looking at the fears (here called melemmu) that run around the woods like hatchlings (watmu).112 Though literally chicks without wings, they have become chickens without heads, and have lost their ability to find and harm their targets.113 After this successful dismantlement of the agents of fear, the heroes are finally able to kill Huwawa, the big “bird” to whom the hatchlings belong, which is implied in Gilgameš’ saying, “My friend, catch a bird and where will its chicks go?”114 Emotions as extracorporeal agents who instill fear are also attested in other cultures. Among Maori tribes in New Zealand, warriors can be afflicted before battle by a soldierly fear brought upon them by the atua, an ancestor spirit, from which they can liberate themselves through undergoing ritual cleansing.115 The emotion is thus not the direct result of a fear-causing event, but of an aggressive agent that overwhelms a victim but that can be disarmed, which is also the case for Huwawa’s fears—and Niziqtu. Although there is no attestation of someone freeing himself from Niziqtu through, for instance, binding or clipping her wings, she can be met by her victims (amāru),116 and she can actively approach and attack them (ṭeḫû)117 or confine them (esēru).118 She is the embodiment of a negative emotion that is closely connected to death, which will be discussed in the following section.

7

Niziqtu and Its Cognates: Deathly Distress

To understand what exact emotion Niziqtu conveys, it needs to be studied in conjunction with its cognates: most importantly the verb nazāqu, but also the less common nouns tazzīqu,119 nazqūtu and nizqu. At first sight, these emotion 112 113 114 115 116

117

118 119

Gilgameš Ishchali (Bauer) Tablet obv. 10′–edge 17′, George 2003, 262–263. Wiggermann 1993–1997a, 240. For fear (puluḫtu) and melammu being near-synonyms, see for instance Oppenheim 1943; Cohen 2012, 4–5. ib-ri i-ṣu₂-ra-am ba-ar-ma e-ša-am i-la-ku wa-at-mu-šu, Bauer Tablet obv. 15′; George 2003, 262–263. Smith 1981, 149; Plamper 2012, 14–15. NA ni-ziq-tu GAL-tu₂ IGI-ma me-se-ru₃ DAB, “the man will encounter the great Niziqtu and imprisonment will befall him”, CT 28 44 (K. 717) line 8; see also E₂ BI ni-ziq-ta IGI-mar, “this house(hold) will encounter Niziqtu”, Šumma ālu Tablet 45, line 42′; Freedman 2017, 44. See for instance NA BI ni-ziq-ti i-ṭa-ḫi-šu₂, “Niziqtu will approach this man”, Šumma izbu Tablet 22, line 156; De Zorzi 2014, 881; and ni-zi-iq-tum u₂-ul i-ṭe-eḫ-ḫi-šum, “Niziqtu will not approach him”, VAT 7525 i 28, Köcher and Oppenheim 1957–1958, 64. For demons and Namtar as subject of ṭeḫû, see CAD Ṭ, 76; Klein 1998–2001, 144. YOS 10 54 rev. 30; Böck 2000, 300–301 line 68; see below. George 1994.

360

sibbing-plantholt

terms are difficult to translate. They communicate a seemingly wide range of emotions in the English language. The verb nazāqu, which can also occur with libbu and šīru, is generally translated as “to be annoyed”, “to be aggravated”, “to be sad”, “to be concerned”, “to worry”, and “to grieve”.120 Niziqtu is normally translated as “worry”, “grief”, “annoyance”, “irritation” and “rage.”121 They thus do not fit into just one category in a basic set of emotion words.122 How should we taxonomize and translate such culture-specific terms? Wierzbicka states that “there are no emotion terms which recur with the same meaning, across languages, cultures, and epochs.”123 In writing about emotions in other cultures, there is a constant danger of assimilating idiosyncratic emotions in a misleading way into a set of words available in the language of the author, a process that does not do justice to the emotions encoded in the studied language.124 It is also problematic to assume that emotions can be grouped under one category in a basic set of emotion universals as there is no consensus on the number nor phenomenological characteristics of such basic emotions,125 and this is especially not ideal for blends like nazāqu and niziqtu. Nevertheless, we are dependent on some sort of reference. Historians cannot optimally use models employed in the social sciences to measure and compare emotions because of the absence of native speakers who can self-report their experience, yet some of the components of these models can be useful in analyzing ancient emotions. For instance, the notion described by Shweder, Haidt, Horton and Joseph that emotions can only be understood in their cultural context if the “entire script”

120

121

122

123 124 125

The dictionaries translate the verb as follows: CAD N/2, 136 “to worry, be upset, to have worries”; AHw, 772: “sich ärgern, Kummer haben”; CDA, 248 “to creak; to be vexed, annoyed, worried”. See Steinert (2012, 252–253) for a discussion of the combination of nazāqu with šīru and libbu as an expression of irritation and agitation. In the dictionaries, it is translated as CAD N/2, 303: “worry, grief”; AHw, 799: “Ärger, Kummer”; CDA, 256: “worry, grief”. Veenhof (AbB 14, 218) summarizes it as “worry, annoyance, irritation”. For the translation “worry” see Sallaberger 1999, 101–105; for “rage”, see for instance Sachs 1952, 168; LAPO 18, 382–383. For such a basic set of ancient Mesopotamian “modal” emotions (joy, anger, love, hate, sadness, fear, trouble, compassion, and jealousy), see Jaques 2017. For “modal emotions”, see Scherer 2013, 19–20. Wierzbicka 2010, 272. Wierzbicka 1995; 2010; Shweder, Haidt, Horton and Joseph 2008. Soriano and Ogarkova 2009, 241; Plamper 2012, 144–163. To illustrate the bias of these contemporary English categories, Shweder, Haidt, Horton and Joseph (2008) present the nine basic emotions identified by Hindu philosophers in the 3rd to 11th centuries, which they translate as “sexual passion”, “amusement”, “sorrow”, “anger”, “fear”, “perseverance”, “disgust”, “wonder”, and “serenity”.

visible death and audible distress

361

of an emotion is (re)constructed.126 This “script” consists of a set of components that I summarize as follows:127 a) somatic and affective experiences (like pain, insomnia, or panic); b) the antecedent conditions or elicited event associated with the emotion and the appraisal of the latter. This includes the appraisal of agency or cause (who or what caused the antecedent, and was it intentional?), variables of certainty, and the goal-obstructiveness or -conduciveness of the antecedent (i.e. was it harmful or favorable to a person’s plans and goals); c) normative social appraisals (i.e. is the emotion socially designated as a vice or a virtue, or a sign of sickness or health); d) the impulses to action and plans for self-management that get activated in association with the emotion (e.g. attacking, avoiding, problem-solving, or celebrating); e) the communication of the emotion and the social responses to this (such as cowering, empathically mirroring the emotion, or shunning the person). Moreover, some historical sources give enough information that allows us to evaluate emotions along axes of valence (i.e. is the emotion positive or negative?), salience or intensity (e.g. irritation < anger < rage), and arousal/activeness (is the person excited or calm, active or inactive?).128 In addition to valence, salience and arousal, various dimensions of appraising the antecedent of an emotion, as mentioned above under point (b), can be applied to understand emotional responses. For example, someone perceives a neighbor as the cause (agency) for a lack of sleep (goal obstruction) but does not know ([un]certainty) whether he or she can change the situation (control).129 In this situation, the amount of control can for instance make the difference between anger and despair. It thus has to be kept in mind that emotions do not need to

126 127

128

129

Shweder, Haidt, Horton and Joseph 2008, 415. For similar elements of emotion structures and an introduction to the appraisal theory, see Frijda, Markam, Sato and Wiers 1995. They also state that dimensions of appraisal are cross-culturally highly general (if not universal), because they are tied to adaptationally and socially basic relationships and reflect basic structural properties of the human environment (1995, 131). For the history and an analysis of the appraisal theory, see for instance Plamper 2012, 241–244. For these axes all together (and the history of the dimensional approach and its limitations), see for instance Frijda, Markam, Sato and Wiers 1995; Scherer 2005; Kagan 2007, 111–114, 122; Wierzbicka 1999; 2010. Moors, Ellsworth, Scherer and Frijda 2013, 120.

362

sibbing-plantholt

mean the same thing in every context; they are dependent on the social setting in which they are used and the identity of the user.130 A proper evaluation of emotional responses can only be made when there is sufficient context and ideally, first person accounts, which largely come from letters. I will present a rough overview of the contexts in which the noun niziqtu and its cognates, especially nazāqu (which is often used in one sentence with niziqtu), are used in Akkadian sources131 in order to better understand the relationship between Niziqtu and Mūtu. I have summarized the main aspects of the emotion terms in the following seven points: 1) Nazāqu and niziqtu are emotion terms with a negative connotation and designate a state of unsoundness and disorder. Niziqtu is the opposite of rejoicing (ḫadû)132 and wellbeing, as it is paired with la ṭūb šēri, “ill health” (literally “not being good of the flesh”) in A Righteous Sufferer’s Prayer to Nabû.133 In Maqlû, it is grouped together with a long list of terms for wailing and suffering.134 Similarly, nazāqu is perceived as the opposite of ṭūb libbi, “happiness, wellbeing”,135 and is named with various afflictions and states of misery in Šurpu.136 That these terms can refer strictly to a physical condition is conveyed in the Old Babylonian letter AbB 14 105, in which šīru+nazāqu and nazqūtu describe the health (and not the emotions or mood) of an ox.137 130 131

132 133 134

135

136 137

See also Irvine 1995, 257–258. Niziqtu and nazāqu are commonly mentioned in the apodosis of omina and hemerologies (see also Spieckermann 1989, 203; Rendu Loisel 2016, 294; De Zorzi 2014, 118–119), and letters. Only the references that provide usable information on the emotional experience itself or the events leading up to it will be discussed in this article. An extended collection of attestations of nazāqu and niziqtu in the context of sound and emotions can be found in Rendu Loisel’s unpublished dissertation (2011a). lu-u₂ ḫa-de-⟨et⟩mi-im-ma li-ib-ba-ka / ni-zi-iq-tam la-a i-ra-aš-ši, “Rejoice! Do not let your heart get any niziqtu at all!” ARM 4 20 (= LAPO 16 436): 27–28, see also footnote 144. ni-ziq-tu la ṭu-ub UZU, SAA 3 12 obv. 20. qu-lu ⸢ku-ru⸣ ni-⸢is⸣-sa-tu₂ ni-ziq-tu₂ im-ṭu-u ta-ni-ḫu / u₃ʾ-a a-a, Maqlû Tablet 7, lines 125– 126; Abusch 2016, 185, 265, 357, who translates it as “dumbness, torpor, misery, grief, losses, moaning, (cries of) woe (and) alas.” See also Jaques 2006, 553. If a woman gives birth and the child has no right nostril: na-za-qu GAR-šu₂, “it will be endowed with worrying”; if the child has no left nostril: ŠA₃.BI DUG₃.GA GAR-šu₂, “it will be endowed with happiness”, Šumma izbu Tablet 3, lines 30–31; Leichty 1970, 56–57; De Zorzi 2014, 416. Also in AbB 14 101: 12 (libbu + ṭābu is kīma lā nazāqim). Šurpu Tablet 4, lines 84–85; Reiner 1970 [1958], 28. aš-šum GU₄.EGIR la te-gi! / ŠA₃.GAL dam-qa₂-am šu-ku-un-ma / ši-ru-šu la i-na-zi-qu₂ (…) na-az₂-qu₂-us-su₂ i-qa₂-ab-bi₂-a-kum, “Do not be careless about the rear-ox, provide it with good fodder so that its condition does not nazāqu (…) I will write to you about its nazqūtu”, AbB 14 105: 22–24, 27. See also AbB 14, 218.

visible death and audible distress

363

2) Niziqtu and nazāqu are responses of distress to unpleasant and goal-obstructive events or situations, in particular the loss of something, from possessions to health and even life. They are generally perceived as the consequence of the actions or negligence of others.138 In people with power, this could lead to frustration, anger and rage, depending on how intense the feeling is. In the case of a king whose goals are being obstructed (by his wife),139 feeling nazāqu may refer to rage, pride and resentment. In the case of a highly placed woman who demands justice over a wrongful accusation of theft,140 it may mean something similar, although the humiliating situation may cause her to feel more upset, hurt, chagrined and insulted. People with less power may feel nazāqu when they have a conflict with a more powerful person, which translates to a feeling of worry.141 If nazāqu is felt over a loss that has already occurred (for instance the death of a loved one)142 the feeling that nothing can be done to influence the situation could trigger emotions ranging from sorrow, sadness and grief to frustration

138

139

140

141

142

E.g. mi-na-a / I BA-ša₂-a u ŠEŠ.MEŠ i-nam-zi-qu / um-ma man-ma ul im-mar-an-na-a-šu₂, “why are Iqiša and his brothers sad, saying ‘no one looks after us’?”, BIN 1 25: 16–18; Ebeling 1930–1934 no. 225. See also AbB 14 154, in which a man complains about neglect and then in a slightly broken context mentions niziqtu. However, it is not clear if this is the result of the neglect, and it may also not be his own emotional experience as he heard about it (nizi-iq-tam aš-š[um x] še-me-e-ku, lines 15–16). See AbB 10 200: 19 for someone not keeping his word and the author requesting an update so she will not feel nazāqu (see also below). In Mari letter ARM 10 139 (= LAPO 18 1191), Zimri-Lim refers to an arrangement he made with Gašera, the wife of Yarim-Lim, to prevent her husband from obtaining a female musician, and Zimri-Lim anticipates that this will cause Yarim-Lim to experience an emotion described with šīru +nazāqu (lines 6–7, 20–21). For this letter, see also Ziegler 1999, 69–70; 2007, 37; Steinert 2012, 253; Sasson 2015, 178. In ARM 10 114 (= LAPO 18 1161), a woman who is like a mother to queen Šibtu and thus holds a high position (LAPO 18, 341–342) is being accused of orchestrating a robbery. In response to this (according to her) false accusation she states “my heart is greatly nazāqued” (li-ib-bi ma-di-iš / iz-zi-iq, lines 12–13), and she demands that the matter be cleared up immediately before the king. E.g. AbB 7 22 (conflict over marking off an orchard), in which one party’s heart (libbu) feels marāṣu (line 6) and the other two parties feel nazāqu (na-az-qa₂-ku [line 9] and nu-uz-zuuq [line 11]). The latter two want the first party to be happy or satisfied (li-ba-ki lu-ṭi₃-ib, line 15). Perhaps marāṣu indicates dissatisfaction felt by the more powerful party (who owns the orchard?), while nazāqu refers to worry on the part of the less powerful ones, who according to the latter did something wrong when they marked off the orchard (mimma aḫ-ṭi₃, “what did I do wrong?”, line 8). In AbB 11 61, the author reports on the death of a certain Šubarišu, which has caused his youngsters to grieve (ṣe-eḫ-ḫe-ru-tu-ja / it-ta-az₂-qu₂, rev. 11′–12′) and the author to be “depressed” (a-na-ku uḫ-ta-s[i₂], rev. 12′), indicating two different emotional responses to death.

364

sibbing-plantholt

and despair. When a loss did not yet take place, like when someone foresees the possibility that his property will be neglected143 or possessions and power will be lost to someone else,144 and the individual perceives little to no control over the situation, nazāqu may refer to anxiety, insecurity and worry. Usually not hearing or knowing anything about the situation leads to (extra) nazāqu. Receiving a letter comforts and takes away some fear, worry and insecurity.145 Expressions with nazāqu can be used in letters either by equals or by subordinates to attempt to prevent addressees from feeling nazāqu (sometimes niziqtu), or to calm them down when they are already feeling it.146 The threat by the sender of a letter that he or she will become nazāqu as a result of the recipient’s (in)actions can also be used to make a request or order more emphatic.147 Niziqtu (both the abstract and personified emotion) can be caused intentionally in someone by others, such as in a case of labor or actions not carried out fully or correctly by workers or business partners/colleagues. When the palace imprisons someone, this enables the agent Niziqtu to enclose her victim,148 and people can claim that others have inflicted Niziqtu on them or made Niziqtu appear with their actions.149 As with nazāqu, Niziqtu would probably represent frustration and anger in a person with more power, but in people with little (or as with imprisonment by the palace, even complete loss of) control, it could be classified as misery, fear or worry. 143 144

145 146

147

148 149

E.g. AbB 10 56: 12–17 (here a combination of nazāqu and niziqtu: ni-zi-iq-ti ṣe-ri / u₂-ul naaz-qa₂-ku, lines 12–13); AbB 11 40: 21; 14 88: 14; 14 141: 47. E.g. losing control over a well (ut-ta-az-zi-iq-ma, “now I have become/been made nazāqu”, ARM 2 28 [= LAPO 17 830]: 7; see also Kouwenberg 1997, 321; Sasson 2015, 143). See ARM 4 20 (= LAPO 16 436): 27–28 for Mari vassals potentially losing their power (for this letter, see also Charpin 1993, 173 [no. 1]; Sasson 2015, 76–77). E.g. AbB 10 56: 16–17; AbB 10 200: 18–19. AbB 14 40: 21 (a sender assuring his friend that he will help him acquire barley); AbB 14 88: 13–14 (author assuring his superior [šāpiru] that a caravan journey will be executed well and according to the wishes of the šāpiru); AbB 14 206: 19 (son comforting his father). See also Sallaberger 1999, 104–105. See for instance the expressions kīma lā šuzzuqija/nazāqija epuš, “act so that I will not nazāqu!” (AbB 6 131: 25; AbB 6 201, 15–17, 26–27; AbB 9 14: 13–14; see also Tammuz 1998, 379–380) and lā anazziq, “(so that) I will not nazāqu” (eg. AbB 9 14: 25–26; AbB 11 41: 10). mi-si₂-ir E₂.GAL ša ni-zi-iq-ti i-si₂-[ir-šu]; “imprisonment by the palace; Niziqtu will confine him”, YOS 10 54 rev. 30; Böck 2000, 300–301 line 68. u₂ ia-ti ni-zi-iq-⸢tam⸣ / te-te-em-da-an-ni, “you brought Niziqtu upon me”, CUSAS 32 149: 15–16. For actions leading to the appearance of Niziqtu, see also AbB 14 30: 12 (ni-zi-iq-tuum-ma); ARM 2 126 (= LAPO 18 1079): 19 (ni-zi-iq-tum ib-ba-aš-ši); ARM 2 87 (= LAPO 16 163): 32 ([n]i-zi-iq-tum i[b-b]a-aš-ši; see also Lion 1994, 225 [no. 121-bis] for an edition of this letter).

visible death and audible distress

365

3) Niziqtu can also be brought upon oneself, then indicating a feeling of distress close to fear, worry and guilt. One is responsible for one’s own niziqtu when he or she has done something to invoke (illness caused by) the wrath of the gods, the ultimate superiors.150 In a proverb, nazāqu is the consequence of someone’s immoral behavior, which leads to insomnia: K 7674+ rev. iii 21–22:151 ḫe-se-e a-ma-ti / na-zaq la ṣa-la-li, Concealing a matter (leads to) nazāqu without sleep. 4) Nazāqu and niziqtu are associated with care for others. One feels these emotions as a result of not seeing (and thus missing) someone.152 Moreover, they are caused by, and are also the consequence of, unsoundness and the anticipated death of others.153 Senders of letters refer to feeling nazāqu or niziqtu because they heard that their addressees are ill and/or feel these emotions themselves. The process of empathetically mirroring nazāqu and niziqtu felt by someone else is evident in the following Old Babylonian letter:154 150

151 152 153

154

See van der Toorn 1985, 122 (referring to CBS 514 line 10′) and 147–154 (LKA 139 and duplicates, in which a man is suffering from niziqtu because of divine wrath, which the gods are asked to dispel). This is related to the statement that someone will have no niziqtu when his god has a friendly disposition towards him; see KAR 90 rev. 15: DINGIR-šu KIšu₂ SILIM-im ni-ziq-tu₂ NU TUKU-ši, “his god will be at peace with him; he does not (need to) get niziqtu”, see Ebeling 1931, 119 (no. 28); van der Toorn 1985, 122. See also the prayer to Šamaš (K 3387: 19, Mayer 1976, 515) mentioned below, in which niziqtu is mentioned together with adīru, “fear”. Lambert 1960, 252 (plate 64); Alster 2014, 4. AbB 5 225: 12 (see also Kraus 1989–1990, 44–46); 6 137: 16–17, 24; 14 206 (see below). For the use of expressions with nazāqu(m), nakādu(m) and ḫepû(m) + libbu(m) to convey care and empathy, see also Sallaberger 1999, 101–102. In AbB 1 54, the author says that she is very affected by the news that a female servant of the addressee has been abducted by the enemy (aš-šum a-ma-ti-ki / ša na-ak-rum / [il-q]u₂-u₂ / eš-me-e-ma / ma-di-iš / na-az₂qa₂-ku, lines 5–10). It is unclear if she feels nazāqu because of the event and empathizes with the addressee, or because she is worried about the wellbeing and fate of the girl. See further AbB 7 45: 6–7, 13–14 (letter from a brother who tells his sister that he will come see her to relieve her; see footnote 158); 14 206: 19, 33–34 (son telling his father not to feel nazāqu, but stating that he feels niziqtu over his father, and cannot sleep because of this; he wants to go see his father, see in more detail below). In AbB 11 14, the author continuously cries over hearing of the nazqūtu of the addressee ([na]-az₂-qu₂-u₂-ut-ki, line 16,

366

sibbing-plantholt

AbB 10 2: 8–20: ki-ma na-az₃-qa₂-a-ta / u₃ ⸢i-na⸣ KA₂.DINGIR.RAki / at-ta a-di i-na-an-na / u₂-ul i-de-e / [a-na] ṣe-er / ⸢ni⸣-zi-iq-ti-ia / u₃ ni-zi-iq-ta-ka / e-iš-me-e-ma / at-ta-zi-iq / a-na šu-ul-mi-ka / aš-pu-ra-am / šu-lu-um-ka / šu-up-ra-am I did not know until now that you were in a state of nazāqu and that you are in Babylon. In addition to my own niziqtu I heard about your niziqtu, and (now) I having been nazāquing (even more). I am writing for your wellbeing: write me how you are! Another Old Babylonian letter in which the nazāqu of the author is a response to the illness of the addressee, closes with the same phrase:155 AbB 7 62: 7–13: iš-tu ši-li-iʾ-ta-ka eš-mu-u₂ / ma-di-i[š] at-ta-zi-[i]q / u₃ k[a-l]a u₄-mi u₂ ka-la mu-ši-im / ab-ta-na-ak-ki / [a-n]a šu-ul-mi-ka / [aš-pu]-ra-[am] / [šulu-um-k]a šu-up-ra-[a]m Since I have heard of your illness, I have been nazāquing very much, and I have been crying all day and all night. I am writing for your wellbeing: write me how you are! In these letters, the authors are literally sending wellness in the hope that this positively affects the recipients.156 Authors often ask for a written confirmation of the wellbeing of the addressee, as not hearing from the latter seems to cause distress.157 They want to relieve the addressee by sending well wishes, by vis-

155

156 157

see below in footnote 159), but does not feel nazāqu/niziqtu/nazqūtu himself; there is no information about the antecedent for the nazqūtu in the addressee. See Sallaberger 1999, 89. For nazāqu/niziqtu as a response to illness, see further AbB 7 80: 11, and perhaps also AbB 11 35. In this letter, the antecedent that caused nazāqu in the sender is the illness of another man: aš-šum Im-gur-dEN.ZU / ma-ar-ṣu₂-ma! / eš-mi-ma at-ta-zi-iq / ma-am-ma ⟨a-na⟩ pu-ḫi-šu / i-di-in-ma, “I have heard about Imgur-Sîn being ill, and I have become nazāqu. Give someone to replace him!”, AbB 11 35: 6–10. Either the author is worried about Imgur-Sîn, or he is troubled because he needs to compensate for Imgur-Sîn in the workforce. For this literal use of ana šulmim šapārum, see Sallaberger 1999, 88–89. E.g. at-ti ma-ti-ma / [š]u-lum-ki u₂-ul ta-aš-p[u-ri-im] / [m]a-ti-ma tu-uk-k[a-x] / u₂-ul ešme-ma / li-ib-bi lu-um-mu-un, “you never wrote to me about your wellbeing. Never did I hear a cry (for help) from you. My heart is troubled,” AbB 11 14: 11–15.

visible death and audible distress

367

iting the addressee to bring comfort,158 and by displaying emotional empathy through stating that they feel the same—or even worse. In addition to constant crying episodes,159 the empathizers can experience insomnia. In an Old Babylonian letter from a son who had to leave behind his unwell father,160 the son anticipates that his father feels niziqtu and tries to comfort him.161 At the same time he expresses that his own niziqtu over his father prevents him from sleeping.162 The uncertainty of the illness and lack of control cause sorrow and worry, and is so overwhelming that it affects the sufferer physically. 5) This use of nazāqu and niziqtu to express severe distress leaning towards sorrow, worry and fear over the wellbeing of someone else, is also mentioned in third-person accounts as a response to the threat of one’s own death. In KAR 74, a man is afflicted with gloom or fear (adir)163 and he nazāqus day and night, in conjunction with being “bound” to death. Loss and death come constantly to his house to take away the members of his household. Everything is taken from him by Mūtu, and the latter creeps closer and closer to the man himself.164 The rare cognate noun tazzīqu is part of the suffering experience of illness in an Old Babylonian incantation against the sickness in a baby.165 Little chil-

158

159 160

161 162 163 164

165

E.g. ni-zi-i[q-t]a-ki-ma / a-na-zi-i[q-m]a … a-la-kam-ma / ni-zi-iq-ta-ki / u₂-ḫa-la-aq-ki, “Your niziqtu makes me nazāqu … I will come to relieve you of your niziqtu,” AbB 7 45: 6–7, 12–14. See also [na]-az₂-qu₂-u₂-ut-ki / i-da-ab-bu-bu-nim-ma / u₄-mi-ša-am ab-ta-na-ak-ki, “people talk to me about your nazqūtu and I cry every day,” AbB 11 14: 16–18 (see footnote 154). The son invokes the healing deities Gula, Damu and Urmašum to give his father good health, and at the beginning of the letter he expresses the wish that his father grow old in the place where he resides (i-na ma-za-zi-im ša ta-az-za-zu / lu-ta-ab-bi-ir, AbB 14 206: 7–8). This gives the impression that the father’s health is not taken for granted. mi-im-ma la ta-na-az!-zi-iq, “do not nazāqu in any way!”, AbB 14 206: 19. a-na-ku i-na ni-zi-iq-ti-ka / mu-ši-a-tim / u₂-ul a-ṣa-la-al, “because of niziqtu over you, I cannot sleep at night”, AbB 14 206: 33–35. For adāru being both “to be dark, gloomy” and “to fear”, see footnote 26. DIŠ NA GI.NA a-dir ur-ra u mu-ša i-na-[azziq] / mu-tu u ḫul-qu it-ti-šu₂ rak-su-ma / DUMU .MEŠ-šu₂ lu GAL.MEŠ lu TUR.MEŠ in-da-nu-tu / ṣi-it IR₃ GEME₂ TUKU.TUKU-ši šum-ma UŠ₂ a-na E₂-šu sa-dir, “If a man is constantly gloomy/afraid and nazāqus day and night, death and loss are bound to him, his children big and small die one after another, he has to bear a constant loss among his servants and servant girls, if Mūtu is a regular occurrence in his house,” KAR 74: 1–4; see Ebeling 1920, 183; Landsberger 1920, 442. ṣe-eḫ-rum la i-de-a-am mu-ru-us-su la i-de-a-am ta-ni-ḫi-šu ⸢ta-az⸣-zi-qi₂-šu, “the child did not understand what ailed him, did not understand his moaning/anguish and tazzīqu,” YOS 11 5: 14; George 1994.

368

sibbing-plantholt

dren thus can apparently already experience this emotion, which makes it an emotion intrinsic to life. 6) Niziqtu and its cognates are intense emotional states that can even lead to death. The intensity of the emotion is reinforced by the regular addition of the adverb mādiš, “very much”, as well as the use of the D-stem of nazāqu.166 Experiencing nazāqu/niziqtu must be particularly debilitating in the cases in which it is prolonged or constant,167 which could be situations leading to death. In a prayer to Šamaš, the victim of a curse (mamītu) that afflicts him with illness and moaning or anguish (tānīḫu), wails that “in fear (adīru) and niziqtu I came near death”.168 In the apodosis of a horse omen, a man is said to change residence after which the palace will lay a claim on his house, followed by niziqtu taqtīt ūmī: “niziqtu (and a consecutive) end of days (of life).”169 The antecedent is the loss of all possessions, and the emotion is so severe that it costs him his life. Niziqtu and consecutive death can also be predicted as the future of a child in horoscopes.170 7) The meaning of niziqtu and its cognates is rooted in the audible aspect of nazāqu,171 which sets it apart from other emotion terms that describe a similar state of suffering and distress, such as marāṣu.172 The expression of the emotion consequently has a strong audible component. 166 167

168 169 170

171

172

AbB 1 46: 24; 1 54: 9–10; 5 225: 12; 7 62: 7. For the D-stem, see ARM 2 28 (= LAPO 17 830): 7; AbB 7 22: 11 (cf. Kouwenberg 1997, 390). Various references to constant nazāqu/niziqtu are found in omina: ana EGIR U₄-me inaan-ziq, “he will nazāqu forever” (Šumma izbu Tablet 4, line 64; De Zorzi 2014, 451) and ni-ziq-tu₄ sad-rat-su, “niziqtu will be continual for him” (Šumma izbu Tablet 23, line 19; De Zorzi 2014, 908 [Tablet 24, line 32′ in Leichty 1970, 194]; Šumma tirku Tablet 2, lines 106– 107; Böck 2000, 210–211; see also CT 39 25 [K 4097+]: 49). [i-na a]-di-ri u ni-ziq-ti tak-tu₂-ru ZI-ti (literally “my life became short”), K 3387: 19; Mayer 1976, 515. Šumma ālu Tablet 43, line 59′ (CT 40 34: 15 // TCL 6 8 rev. 10); Freedman 2017, 21. In TCL 6 14, a horoscopic text that combines predictions of a child’s characteristics and future based on zodiac signs or celestial phenomena that occurred at the time of birth, a nativity omen predicts that a child born under Scorpio will die of niziqtu: KI mul2GIR₂.TAB UŠ₂ ni-ziq-ti UŠ₂ NAM-šu₂, “The place of Scorpio: death from niziqtu is his destined death,” TCL 6 14 obv. 24; Sachs 1952, 66, 68 [Appendix II]. For this text and its genre, see also Rochberg 1998, 14, 16. For nazāqu as a child’s fate, see also Šumma izbu Tablet 3, lines 30, 58 (Leichty 1970, 56, 60; De Zorzi 2014, 416, 421). See already CAD N/2, 304, which states “the [meaning] of the word [i.e. niziqtu] seems to go beyond the expression of the notion of grief, worries, and may include wailing and the like”, and more recently, Rendu Loisel 2011b, 76–77; 2016, 293–294. For emotions conveyed with marāṣu, see Steinert in this volume.

visible death and audible distress

369

Its sound aspect also connects this emotion more closely to death. Nazāqu indicates the hissing of a snake173 and the groaning or squeaking of wooden objects: chairs,174 wooden beams,175 doors,176 door bolts,177 thresholds,178 and wagons (see below). This groaning of wood is directly correlated to the sound that an ill or dying person makes, and when the two are equated, it usually portends death. When the beams of a house squeak, the members of the family that lives in that house will die.179 In Sakikkû Tablet 1, the creaking of wagons and doors is linked to the suffering of a patient and foreshadows his death: Sakikkû Tablet 1, lines 48, 50:180 DIŠ gišMAR.GID₂.DA IGI GIG BI ina-an-ziq (…) DIŠ gišIG E₂ LU₂ KI lu2GIG ŠUB-u₂ ina-ziq GIG BI UŠ₂ If he sees a wagon, that patient will groan (in distress). (…) If the door of a man’s house where the sick person lies squeaks, that patient will die. Seeing a wagon results in making the groaning sound of a wagon, which means that the observer will moan and become distressed. In a zikurudû-ritual per-

173

174 175 176 177 178 179

180

[DIŠ MU]Š ana IGI NA iz-zi-iq, “[if a sna]ke hisses in front of a man,” Šumma ālu Tablet 22, line 62 (CT 38 35: 48 [K 2128+ rev. 13]; STT 321 i 13′ [broken]). Rendu Loisel (2016, 294) refers also to KAL 1 13: 30 and 14 iii 13′; note that in these entries it is not the snake who is the subject of nazāqu, but the man: DIŠ MUŠ NA/LU₂ i-gi-ir ina-an-ziq, “when a snake coils around a man, he will be distressed”. These passages do however establish an association between a snake, the sounds it makes, and the emotion described by the verb nazāqu. Šumma ālu Tablet 7, line 70′ (DIŠ gišGU.ZA E₂ NA i-nam-ziq, Freedman 1998, 134). Šumma ālu Tablet 7, line 86′ (DIŠ ina E₂ LU₂ gišUR₃.MEŠ i-nam-zi-qu), 96′ (DIŠ gišUR₃.MEŠ ša₂ KUR ina-zi-qu), 97′ (DIŠ gišUR₃.MEŠ ša₂ URU it-ta-na-an-[zi-qu]), Freedman 1998, 136. E.g. Šumma ālu Tablet 2, lines 68–70, (DIŠ gišIG.MEŠ URU it-ta-na-an-zi-qa/u, Freedman 1998, 68); Sakikkû Tablet 1, lines 48 and 50, see below. KAL 1 6 rev. v 5′ (DIŠ ina E₂ NA [gi]šSAG.KUL iz-zi-iq). Šumma ālu Tablet 5, line 117 (DIŠ I.KUN₄ E₂ LU₂ ina-zi-qa; Freedman 1998, 98); KAL 1 6 rev. v 4′ (DIŠ ina E₂ NA giši.KUN₄ iz-zi-iq). Šumma ālu Tablet 7, line 86′. Note the negative context of nazāqu in a Namburbi ritual that warns against evil coming from a (sealed) door that squeaks (on its own): […] ša₂ ina NI₂-šu₂ iz-zi-qa is-su-u₂, “[evil coming from a door] that squeaks and screams on its own”; KAR 387 i’ 3′ (and 4′); [… G]I gišIG E₂!.MU ka-ni-ik-⸢ti⸣ / [ša₂ (…) iz-zi]-qu u is-su-u₂, “[evil that comes from …] a sealed door in my house, [that on its own? squea]ks and screams”, i’ 5′–6′ (see also i’ 2′); Maul 1994, 272, 280. For the notion that sounds of mourning and crying are dangerous signs in divinatory texts, see also Rendu Loisel 2016, 394. George 1991, 144–145.

370

sibbing-plantholt

formed before the Wagon Star (Ursa Major),181 nizqu is used to describe the groaning of the wagon of the Wagon Star as well as the groaning of a sick person: PBS 1/2 121 obv. 14′–15′: kima ni-[z]iq gišMAR.GID₂.DA-ki ma-am-ma ⸢NU⸣ ŠE.GA / ni-ziq GIG-ia maam-ma ⸢a-a⸣ iš-me just as no one hears the groaning of your wagon (Wagon Star), let no one hear the groaning of my illness. This passage beautifully equates the sound that the wood of a wagon makes under the weight it bears with the groaning of a suffering human being. This clearly demonstrates that nazāqu and its derived nouns are onomatopoeia or phonomimes (when describing the sound produced by snakes and wood),182 as well as psychomimes (mimetic expressions that convey an internal experience or mental state).183 The use of sound symbolic words for emotions is a way to capture emotions. It makes these abstract, internal processes concrete, perceptible, and almost tangible, and thus allows them to be effectively communicated.184 The development of transfers of meaning from sound to emo181 182

183

184

Abusch and Schwemer 2011, 403–406 (Text 10.2). The pattern of the verb appears to fit its onomatopoeic nature. A group of I-n verbs is built on biconsonantal onomatopoeic elements to which the prefix n- is added as a verbalizer; the vowel of this onomatopoeic element determines the vowel class of the verb (Voigt 1988, 87; von Soden 1995, 171 § 102b; Kouwenberg 2004, 344; 2010, 317–318). Examples of such verbs are nabāḫu (u/u), “to do buḫ”, which is “to bark”, natāku (u/u), “to do tuk”, which is “to drip”, and našāqu (i/i), “to make a šiq sound”, which is “to kiss”. If nazāqu follows this pattern, nazāqu (i/i) is “to do ziq”, with ziq being the onomatopoeic interjection that represents the sounds described above. See also Rendu Loisel 2011b, 76–77; 2016, 293. For the distinction between phonomimes, phenomimes and psychomimes in Japanese, see Martin 1975; Shibatani 1990; Hasada 1998; Toratani 2015. See Kouwenberg 1997, 39 (following Ullmann 1973, 13 ff.) for the distinction between primary onomatopoeia (words denoting sound) and secondary onomatopoeia (words applied to an experience other than sound, such as touch or sight) in Akkadian. Plenty of examples of verbs describing both sounds and more abstract notions such as emotions can be found in the Japanese language. For instance, the Japanese word karikari can be used to describe the sound of a mouse chewing on wood or a stick that scrapes off snow, thus serving as an onomatopoeia/phonomime. But this aural image of scraping can also be applied to a visual and tactile state of toast that is karikari, “dry, crunchy” (phenomime). Moreover, this notion of scraping and crispiness is used for the abstract

visible death and audible distress

371

tion normally goes from onomatopoeia towards psychomimes, as the former is more concrete or “iconic”.185 It is possible that nazāqu underwent a similar process. Naturally, these sound symbolic words are difficult to translate and to render on paper. The only indicators of the actual sound are the contexts in which the words are used, and potentially the onomatopoeic interjection ziq on which the verb nazāqu is built.186 Rendu Loisel reconstructs the sound of nazāqu as “a sharp sound, more or less ear-splitting, produced by the friction of two elements—[one that] occurs on a physiological level, reminding one of the sensations of heartburn and bitterness in a state of anguish.”187 This treats nazāqu as a symbolic description of a state of distress, and indeed, psychomimes often have a less apparent linkage between form and meaning.188 But because the Mesopotamian texts make such a clear analogy between the actual groaning of wood and the sound that a suffering person makes, people feeling the emotion indicated by nazāqu and cognates may communicate this with a sound exactly like the groaning of wood. Outbursts of sounds such as wailing and moaning are an inherent part of the experience and expression of grief and distress.189 Nazāqu and cognates thus literally and figuratively represent the state and sound of suffering under an unbearable weight, whether wooden beams in a house or a person that feels the burden of distress. To summarize, niziqtu and cognates describe a range of strong and disturbing emotions as a reaction to negative and goal-obstructive events, of which the base line is upset or distress. The basic translation should therefore not be “(to) grieve”, but “(to be) upset; (to be) distress(ed)”. The nuances of the emotion are dependent on the antecedent, the individual experiencing it, the degree of power and control of the latter, and the certainty of the situation and its outcome. These elements can make the difference between niziqtu conveying guilt or rage, sorrow or despair, and worry or indignation. The personified agent Niziqtu is an overwhelming emotion which can fly towards, overwhelm and take hold of someone. There are no references to the expulsion of Niziqtu; the emotion she inflicts is treated only through comfort,

185 186 187 188 189

emotional state of being nervous, irritated, or worked up: people feel karikari when their “nerves are brittle” (Hasada 1998, 85; Toratani 2015, 129). For this process in Japanese, see Hasada 1998, 85, 91–92 (with references to Japanese literature); Toratani 2015. See footnote 182. Rendu Loisel 2016, 294. Toratani 2015, 127. Tsagalis (2004, 66) refers to various Greek terms that indicate different expressions of grief through sound, such as cries, groaning and lamenting.

372

sibbing-plantholt

well wishes, and the company and empathy of loved ones. Niziqtu refers to an intense, unpleasant experience that is expressed relatively passively through words and sounds,190 but that can be so severe that it may result in constant crying, insomnia, and even death.191 It is caused by negative, unwanted situations related to loss of control, possessions, health and life, of the other and of the self, of which the epitome is death. Mūtu and Niziqtu as embodiments of respectively an unavoidable natural phenomenon and an instinctive emotion are encountered by all human beings during the course of their lives, be it as a little child or an old man.

8

Conclusion

Mūtu is the embodiment of death in general, which sets him apart from Namtar/šīmtu, who represents fate destined by the divine. He had many faces, and the fact that there is not one solid iconographical tradition for Mūtu may reflect the multiplicity of feelings that were felt over him. Mūtu is on the one hand a beastly predator embodying the fear of losing control, life, and loved ones. In this evil role, Mūtu is a malignant monster or demon who brings darkness and chaos. When perceived as an accepted, inherent part of life that is simply there because it is the natural law, he is recognizable as more human—and thus as more familiar. In this capacity he functions as a protector guarding the sickbed, as lord of the living, or as a silent, unthreatening presence when a baby is brought into the world. Mūtu guides humans through life as a patient companion without them even noticing. As in Death’s own words in Erlbruch’s book Ente, Tod und Tulpe: “ich bin schon in deiner Nähe, so lange du lebst—nur für den Fall”.192 This is Good Mūtu, a master to whom mortals have no choice but to obey and submit, and trust that he rules justly. He comes, perhaps earlier than desired, but nevertheless as a peaceful, natural order—and may even be welcome at times. Even though the general notion of an ideal long life is recognized in Mesopotamian expressions and literature, the last years of life must be ones of physical decline and increasing social and economic dependence on others,

190

191

192

There are no references to violent actions resulting from rage or grief. For some cultures experiencing grief as an attack or a violent emotion, and thus responding with a violent counter-attack (on the self or others), see Smith 1981, 150–151. That distress can lead to death, i.e. when a prolonged stress reaction caused by an emotion becomes fatal, is discussed by Abusch 2008, 63–66, in relation to zikurudû (see also footnote 48). Erlbruch 2007.

visible death and audible distress

373

and perhaps a loss in status.193 The elderly may approach death with a sense of peaceful resignation at the realization that their duty has been fulfilled and their appointed time has come.194 But even though Mūtu can have a more personable face, he will always trigger a certain level of fear, worry and distress because death is the unknown and irreversible. Niziqtu is the embodiment of this emotional response. This emotion is natural and expected, especially in earlier parts of life, when vigor, energy and the will to live are in full force. Perhaps it takes until that very last moment and interaction as described in “Der Tod und das Mädchen” for the dying to realize that the Wilde Knochenmann comes in peace, and that they can softly lay themselves to rest in his arms.

Acknowledgements This article was written as part of the research project on concepts of life time in ancient Mesopotamia that I am conducting at the Einstein Center Chronoi, funded by the Einstein Foundation Berlin. I am very grateful to Frans A.M. Wiggermann for proofreading, providing constructive remarks, and generously sharing his thoughts during our discussions on the topic. I also thank Grant Frame, Seth Richardson and the reviewers for their careful reading of the article and their valuable suggestions. I bear all responsibility for any errors and omissions. The abbreviations used in the body of this article can be found in the following sources: the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative (accessible at http://cdli.ox.ac.uk/wiki/abbreviations_for_assyriology [April 23, 2019]), the Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie, and the Archiv für Orientforschung. A list of selected abbreviations can be found at the end of this article.

Abbreviations AbB 1 AbB 6

193 194

Kraus, F.R. 1964. Briefe aus dem British Museum (CT 43 und 44). Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 1. Leiden: Brill. Frankena, R. 1974. Briefe aus dem Berliner Museum. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 6. Leiden: Brill.

Harris 2000, 50–79. For death as the final sleep and eternal rest, see Bottéro 1982, 382; Goodnick Westenholz 2000, 1182. For the relationship between death and sleep, see Steinert 2010, 249–252.

374 AbB 7

sibbing-plantholt

Kraus, F.R. 1977. Briefe aus dem British Museum (CT 52). Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 7. Leiden: Brill. AbB 9 Stol, M. 1981. Letters from Yale. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 9. Leiden: Brill. AbB 10 Kraus, F.R. 1985. Briefe aus kleineren westeuropäischen Sammlungen. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 10. Leiden: Brill. AbB 11 Stol, M. 1986. Letters from Collections in Philadelphia, Chicago and Berkeley. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 11. Leiden: Brill. AbB 14 Veenhof, K. 2005. Letters in the Louvre. Altbabylonische Briefe in Umschrift und Übersetzung 14. Leiden: Brill. AHw Soden, W. von 1965/1972/1981. Akkadisches Handwörterbuch. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ARM 2 Jean, Ch.-F. 1950. Correspondance de Šamši-Addu et ses fils. Archives Royales de Mari 2. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. ARM 4 Dossin, G. 1951. Correspondance de Šamši-Addu et ses fils (suite). Archives Royales de Mari 4. Paris: Imprimerie Nationale. ARM 10 Dossin, G. and A. Finet. 1978. Correspondance féminine. Archives Royales de Mari 10. Paris: Geuthner. CAD Oppenheim, A.L., E. Reiner et al. (eds) 1956–2010, The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago. Chicago; Glückstadt: The Oriental Institute and J.J. Augustin. CDA Black, J.A., A.R. George and J.N. Postgate (eds) 1999; 2002. A concise dictionary of Akkadian (Santag 5). Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. CDLI Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative. A joint project of the University of California at Los Angeles and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science. Los Angeles; Berlin 1998/2000ff. CUSAS 32 George, A.R. 2016. Mesopotamian Incantations and Related Texts in the Schøyen Collection. Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology 32. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. ETCSL The Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literatures, University of Oxford, http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/ (April 23, 2019). KAL 1 Heeßel, N.P. 2007. Divinatorische Texte 1. Terrestrische, teratologische, physiognomische und oneiromantische Omina. Keilschriftteste aus Assur literarischen Inhalts 1. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 116. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. KAR Ebeling, E. 1919–1923. Keilschrifttexte aus Assur religiösen Inhalts. 2 Vols. Wissenschaftliche Veröffentlichungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 28 and 34. Leipzig: Hinrichs. LAPO Durand, J.-M. 1997–2000. Documents épistolaires du Palais de Mari. 3 Vols. Littératures anciennes du Proche-Orient 16–18. Paris: Les éditions du Cerf.

visible death and audible distress

375

LTBA 2

Von Soden, W. 1933. Die lexikalischen Tafelserien der Babylonier und Assyrer in den Berliner Museen. 2. Die akkadische Synonymenlisten. Berlin: Staatl. Museen zur Berlin. MIO 1 Köcher, F. 1953. “Der babylonische Göttertypentext.” Mitteilungen des Instituts für Orientforschung 1: 57–107. RIMA 1 Grayson, A.K. 1987. Assyrian Rulers of the Third and Second Millennia BC (to 1115BC). The Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Assyrian Periods Volume 1. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. RINAP 4, Esarhaddon Leichty, E. 2011. The Royal Inscriptions of Esarhaddon, King of Assyria (680–669 BC). The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 4. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. RINAP 5/1, Assurbanipal Novotny, J. and J. Jeffers. 2018. The Royal Inscriptions of Ashurbanipal (668–631 BC), Assur-etal-ilani (630–627 BC), and Sin-sarra-iskun (626–612 BC), Kings of Assyria. The Royal Inscriptions of the Neo-Assyrian Period 5/1. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. SBTU 1 Hunger, H. 1976. Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk. Teil I. Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka 9. Berlin: Gebr. Mann. SBTU 3 von Weiher, E. 1988. Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk. Teil III. Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka 12. Berlin: Gebr. Mann. SAA 3 Livingstone, A. 1989. Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea. State Archives of Assyria 3. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press. SAA 10 Parpola, S. Letters from Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press, 1993. STC 2 King, L.W. 1902. The Seven Tablets of Creation. II: Supplementary Texts. London: Luzac and Co. TBER Durand, J.-M. 1981. Textes babyloniens d’époque récente. Recherche sur les grandes civilisations, Cahier 6. Paris: Éditions A.D.P.F.

Bibliography Abusch, Tz. 1993. “Mourning the death of a friend. Some Assyriological notes.” In The Frank Talmage Memorial Volume I, edited by B. Walfish, 53–62. Haifa: Haifa University Press. Abusch, Tz. 2008. “The Witch’s Messages. Witchcraft, Omens, and Voodoo-Death in Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Studies in Ancient Near Eastern World View and Society. Presented to Marten Stol on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, edited by R.J. van der Spek, 53–68. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press.

376

sibbing-plantholt

Abusch, Tz. 2015. Male and Female in the Epic of Gilgamesh: Encounters, Literary History, and Interpretation. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Abusch, Tz. 2016. The Magical Ceremony Maqlû. A Critical Edition. Ancient Magic and Divination 10. Leiden: Brill. Abusch, Tz. and D. Schwemer. 2011. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals. Volume 1. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/1. Leiden: Brill. Abusch, Tz. and D. Schwemer. 2016. Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals. Volume 2. Ancient Magic and Divination 8/2. Leiden: Brill. Ahn, G. 1999. “Schicksal I. Religionsgeschichtlich.” In Theologische Realenzyklopädie 30, edited by H.R. Balz et al., 102–107. Berlin: De Gruyter. Alster, B. (ed.) 1980. Death in Mesopotamia. Papers Read at the 26th Rencontre assyriologique internationale. Compte Rendu de la 26e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Mesopotamia 8. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Alster, B. 2014. “Listening to the Roaring Ox: K 7674+, On Some Proverbial Sayings from the Neo-Assyrian Period. Studies in Bilingual Proverbs III.” In He has Opened Nisaba’s House of Learning. Studies in Honor of Åke Waldemar Sjöberg on the Occasion of His 89th Birthday on August 1st 2013, edited by L. Sassmannshausen, 1–10. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Annus, A. 2001. The Babylonian Epic of Anzu: Introduction, Cuneiform Text, Transliteration, Score, Glossary, Indices and Sign List. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 3. Helsinki: Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project. Arbøll, T.P. 2019. “A Newly Discovered Drawing of a Neo-Assyrian Demon in BAM 202 Connected to Psychological and Neurological Disorders.” Journal des Médicines Cunéiformes 33: 1–31. Arkhipov, I. 2009. “L’usage médical du plomb à Mari.” Journal des Médicines Cunéiformes 13: 48. Astour, M.C. 1980. “The Nether World and its Denizens at Ugarit.” In Death in Mesopotamia. Papers Read at the 26th Rencontre assyriologique internationale. Compte Rendu de la 26e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Mesopotamia 8, edited by B. Alster, 227–238. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Attia, A. 2000. “A propos de la signification de šer’ânu dans les textes médicaux mésopotamiens: une question d’anatomie.” Histoire des Sciences Médicales 34: 47–56. Bach, J. 2018. “A Transtextual View on the ‘Underworld Vision of an Assyrian Prince’”. In Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic. Studies in Honor of Markham J. Geller, Ancient Magic and Divination 14, edited by S.V. Panayotov and L. Vacín, 69–92. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Barnett, R.D. 1976. Sculptures from the North Palace of Ashurbanipal (668–627B.C.). London: British Museum Publications. Barre, M.L. 2001. “ ‘Wandering about’ as a Topos of Depression in Ancient Near Eastern Literature and in the Bible.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 60(3): 178–181.

visible death and audible distress

377

Bartelmus, A. 2016. Fragmente einer grossen Sprache. Sumerisch im Kontext der Schreiberausbildung des kassitenzeitlichen Babylonien. 2 Vols. Untersuchungen zur Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 12 1/2. Berlin: De Gruyter. Bauer, T. 1933. Das Inschriftenwerk Assurbanipals. 2 Vols. Leipzig: J.C. Hinrich. Böck, B. 2000. Die babylonisch-assyrische Morphoskopie. Archiv für Orientforschung Beiheft 27. Wien: Institut für Orientalistik der Universität Wien. Böck, B. 2007. Das Handbuch Muššuʾu „Einreibung“. Eine Serie sumerischer und akkadischer Beschwörungen aus dem 1. Jt. vor Chr. Biblioteca del Proximo Oriente Antiguo 3. Madrid: CSIC. Borger, R. 1974. “Die Beschwörungsserie Bīt Mēseri und die Himmelfahrt Henochs.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 33: 183–196. Bottéro, J. 1982. “Les inscriptions cunéiformes funéraires.” In La mort, les morts dans les sociétés anciennes, edited by G. Gnoli and J.-P. Vernant, 373–406. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Cagni, L. 1969. L’epopea di Erra. Studi Semitici 34. Roma: Istituto di Studi del Vicino Oriente. Cagni, L. 1977. The Poem of Erra. Sources of the Ancient Near East 1/3. Malibu: Undena. Cancik-Kirschbaum, E. 2009. “Zeit und Ewigkeit: ein Versuch zu altorientalischen Konzeptionen.” In Zeit und Ewigkeit als Raum göttlichen Handelns: religionsgeschichtliche, theologische und philosophische Perspektiven, edited by R.G. Kratz and H. Spieckermann, 29–51. Berlin: De Gruyter. Cavigneaux, A. 1994. “Reviewed work: Spätbabylonische Texte aus Uruk. Teil III. Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft in Uruk-Warka, Band 12 by Egbert von Weiher.” Welt des Orients 25: 138–143. Cavigneaux, A. and F.N.H. al Rawi. 1993. “Textes magiques de Tell Haddad (Textes de Tell Haddad II).”Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 83: 170–205. Charpin, D. 1993. “Un souverain éphémère en Ida-maraṣ: Išme-Addu d’Ašnakkum.” Mari, Annales de Recherches Interdisciplinaires 7: 165–191. Charpin, D. 2008. “ ‘Le roi est mort, vive le roi!’ Les funérailles des souverains amorrites et l’avènement de leur successeur.” In Studies in Ancient Near Eastern World View and Society. Presented to Marten Stol on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, edited by R.J. van der Spek, 69–95. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. Claudius, M., J. Perfahl, and W. Pfeiffer-Belli. 1968. Sämtliche Werke. Text redaction by J. Perfahl. München: Winckler. Cohen, A.C. 2005. Death Rituals, Ideology, and the Development of Early Mesopotamian Kingship: Toward a New Understanding of Iraq’s Royal Cemetery of Ur. Leiden: Brill. Cohen, Y. 2012. “The Ugu-mu Fragment from Ḫattuša/Boğazköy KBo 13.2.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 71(1): 1–12. Couto Ferreira, M.E. 2010. “It Is the Same for a Man and a Woman: Melancholy and Lovesickness in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Quaderni di Studi Indo-Mediterranei 3: 21– 39.

378

sibbing-plantholt

Da Riva, R. 2013. The Inscriptions of Nabopolassar, Amēl-Marduk and Neriglissar. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records 3. Boston; Berlin: De Gruyter. deJong Ellis, M. 1981–1982. “Gilgamesh’ Approach to Huwawa: A New Text.” Archiv für Orientforschung 28: 123–131. De Zorzi, N. 2014. La Serie Teratomantica Šumma izbu. 2 Volumes. History of the Ancient Near East/Monographs 15. Padova: S.A.R.G.O.N. Editrice e Libreria. Ebeling, E. 1920. “Religiöse Texte aus Assur.”Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 74: 175–191. Ebeling, E. 1930–1934. Neubabylonische Briefe aus Uruk. 1–4. Heft. Berlin: [author]. Ebeling, E. 1931. Tod und Leben nach den Vorstellungen der Babylonier. Berlin; Leipzig: De Gruyter. Ebeling, E. 1938. Bruchstücke eines politischen Propaganda-Gedichtes aus einer assyrischen Kanzlei. Mitteilungen des Altorientalischen Gesellschaft XII/2. Leipzig: Harrassowitz Verlag. Edzard, D.O. 1991. “Gilgameš und Huwawa A. II. Teil.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 81: 165–233. Epley, N., A. Waytz, and J.T. Cacioppo. 2007. “On Seeing Human: a Three-Factor Theory of Anthropomorphism.” Psychological Review 114(4): 864–886. Erlbruch, W. 2007. Ente, Tod und Tulpe. München: Antje Kunstmann. Farber, W. 2014. Lamaštu. An Edition of the Canonical Series of Lamaštu Incantations and Rituals and Related Texts from the Second and First Millennia B.C. Mesopotamian Civilizations 17. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Fincke, J.C. 2013. “mūt ilī-šu mâtu, ‘to die a death (decreed by) his god’.” N.A.B.U. 2013/4: 124–125. Foster, B.R. 2005. Before the Muses. An Anthology of Akkadian Literature. 3rd ed. Bethesda: CDL Press. Freedberg, D. 1989. The Power of Images: Studies in the History and Theory of Response. Chicago: Chicago University Press. Freedman, S. 1998. If a City is Set on a Height. The Akkadian Omen Series Šumma Alu ina Mele Šakin. Volume 1: Tablets 1–21. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Freedman, S. 2006. If a City is Set on a Height. The Akkadian Omen Series Šumma Alu ina Mele Šakin. Volume 2: Tablets 22–40. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Freedman, S. 2017. If a City is Set on a Height. The Akkadian Omen Series Šumma Alu ina Mele Šakin. Volume 3: Tablets 41–63. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Frijda, N.H., S. Markam, K. Sato and R. Wiers. 1995. “Emotions and Emotion Words.” In Everyday Conceptions of Emotion: An Introduction to the Psychology, Anthropology and Linguistics of Emotions, edited by J.A. Russell et al., 121–143. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Gadotti, A. 2014. ‘Gilgamesh, Enkidu and the Netherworld’ and the Sumerian Gilgamesh Cycle. UAVA 10. Berlin; Boston: De Gruyter.

visible death and audible distress

379

Geller, M.J. 1985. Forerunners to Udug-Ḫul: Sumerian Exorcistic Incantations. Freiburger Altorientalische Studien 12. Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner. Geller, M.J. 2000. “The Landscape of the ‘Netherworld’.” In Landscapes. Territories, Frontiers, and Horizons in the Ancient Near East, Papers Presented to the XLIV Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale Venezia, 7–11 July 1997, History of the Ancient Near East/Monographs 3/1, edited by L. Milano et al., 41–49. Padova: Sargon. Geller, M.J. 2016. Healing Magic and Evil Demons. Die babylonisch-assyrische Medizin in Texten und Untersuchungen 8. Berlin: De Gruyter. George, A.R. 1991. “Babylonian Texts from the Folios of Sidney Smith. Part Two: Prognostic and Diagnostic Omens, Tablet I.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale 85: 137–163. George, A.R. 1992. Babylonian Topographical Texts. Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta 40. Leuven: Peeters. George, A.R. 1994. “Tazzīqum, «vexation»”. N.A.B.U. 1994(2): 27. George, A.R. 1999. The Epic of Gilgamesh. A New Translation. London: Penguin Books. George, A.R. 2003. The Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic: Introduction, Critical Edition and Cuneiform Texts. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Goodnick Westenholz, J. 1997. Legends of the Kings of Akkade. The Texts. Mesopotamian Civilizations 7. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Goodnick Westenholz, J. 2000. “Intimations of Mortality.” In Studi sul Vicino Oriente Antico dedicati alla memoria di Luigi Cagni, edited by S. Graziani, 1179–1201. Napoli: Istituto Orientali di Napoli. Guthke, K.S. 1999. The Gender of Death. A Cultural History in Art and Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Guthrie, S. 1993. Faces in the Clouds. A New Theory of Religion. New York: Oxford University Press. Harris, R. 2000. Gender and Aging in Mesopotamia. The Gilgamesh Epic and Other Ancient Literature. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press. Hasada, R. 1998. “Sound Symbolic Emotion Words in Japanese.” In Speaking of Emotions: Conceptualization and Expression. Cognitive Linguistics Research 10, edited by A. Athanasiadou and E. Tabakowska, 83–98. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter. Hauser, S.R. 2012. Status, Tod und Ritual. Stadt- und Sozialkultur Assurs in neuassyrischer Zeit. Abhandlungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 26. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Huber, I. 2005. Rituale der Seuchen- und Schadensabwehr im Vorderen Orient und Griechenland: Formen Kollektiver Krisenbewältigung in der Antike. Oriens et Occidens 10. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Hunger, H. 2003–2005. “Orion.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 10, edited by D.O. Edzard, 130–131. Berlin: De Gruyter. Irvine, J.T. 1995. “A Sociolinguistic Approach to Emotion Concepts in a Senegalese Com-

380

sibbing-plantholt

munity.” In Everyday Conceptions of Emotion, edited by J.A. Russell et al., 251–265. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Jacobsen, T. 1980. “Death in Mesopotamia (Abstract).” In Death in Mesopotamia. Papers Read at the 26th Rencontre assyriologique internationale. Compte Rendu de la 26e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Mesopotamia 8, edited by B. Alster, 19– 24. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Jacobsen, T. 1990. “The Gilgamesh Epic. Romantic and Tragic Vision.” In Lingering over Words. Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Literature in Honor of William L. Moran, edited by Tz. Abusch et al., 231–250. Atlanta: Scholars Press. Jacquet, A. 2012. “Funerary Rites and Cult of the Ancestors During the Amorite Period: The Evidence of the Royal Archives of Mari.” In (Re-)Constructing Funerary Rituals in the Ancient Near East, edited by P. Pfältzner et al., 123–136. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Jaques, M. 2006. Le vocabulaire des sentiments dans les textes sumériens: Recherches sur le lexiques sumérien et akkadien. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Jaques, M. 2017. “The Discourse on Emotion in Ancient Mesopotamia: A Theoretical Approach.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 185– 205. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Jiménez, E. 2018. “Highway to Hell: The Winds as Cosmic Conveyors in Mesopotamian Incantation Texts.” In Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore, Ancient Magic and Divination 15, edited by G. Van Buylaere et al., 316–350. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Joannès, F. 1993–1997. “Metalle und Metallurgie. A. I. In Mesopotamien.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 8, edited by D.O. Edzard, 96–112. Berlin: De Gruyter. Kagan, J. 2007. What is an Emotion? History, Measures, and Meanings. New Haven; London: Yale University Press. Katz, D. 2003. The Image of the Netherworld in the Sumerian Sources. Bethesda: CDL Press. Katz, D. 2005. “Death They Dispensed to Mankind. The Funerary World of Ancient Mesopotamia.” Historiae 2: 55–90. Katz, D. 2014–2016. “Tod (death). A. In Mesopotamien.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 14, edited by M.P. Streck, 70–75. Berlin: De Gruyter. Klein, J. 1998–2001. “Namtar.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 9, edited by D.O. Edzard, 142–145. Berlin: De Gruyter. Köcher, F. and A.L. Oppenheim. 1957–1958. “The Old-Babylonian Omen Text VAT 7525.” Archiv für Orientforschung 18: 62–77. Kövecses, Z. 1995. “Metaphor and the Folk Understanding of Anger.” In Everyday Conceptions of Emotion: An Introduction to the Psychology, Anthropology and Linguistics

visible death and audible distress

381

of Emotions, edited by J.A. Russell et al., 49–71. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Kouwenberg, N.J.C. 1997. Gemination in the Akkadian Verb. Studia Semitica Neerlandica 32. Assen: van Gorcum. Kouwenberg, N.J.C. 2004. “Assyrian Light on the History of the N-Stem.” In Assyria and Beyond. Studies Presented to Mogens Trolle Larsen, edited by J.G. Dercksen, 333–352. Leiden: NINO. Kouwenberg, N.J.C. 2010. Akkadian Verb and its Semitic Background. Languages of the Ancient Near East 2. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Kraus, F.R. 1989–1990. “Brieven uit Babylonië.” Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 31: 41–52. Kulemann-Ossen, S. and M. Novák. 2000. “dKūbu und das ‘Kind im Topf’. Zur Symbolik von Topfbestattungen.” Altorientalische Forschungen 27: 121–131. Lämmerhirt, K. and A. Zgoll. 2009–2011. “Schicksal (-stafel, -sbestimmung). A. In Mesopotamien.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 12, edited by M.P. Streck, 145–155. Berlin: De Gruyter. Lambert, W.G. 1959–1960. “An Address of Marduk to the Demons.” Archiv für Orientforschung 19: 114–119. Lambert, W.G. 1960. Babylonian Wisdom Literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Lambert, W.G. 1974. “DINGIR.ŠA.DIB.BA Incantations.” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 33(3): 267–322. Lambert, W.G. 1980. “The Theology of Death.” In Death in Mesopotamia. Papers Read at the 26th Rencontre assyriologique internationale. Compte Rendu de la 26e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Mesopotamia 8, edited by B. Alster, 53–66. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Lambert, W.G. 1980–1983. “Kūbu.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 6, edited by D.O. Edzard et al., 265. Berlin: De Gruyter. Lambert, W.G. 2013. Babylonian Creation Narratives. Mesopotamian Civilizations 16. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Landsberger, B. 1920. “Zu den Übersetzungen Ebeling’s ZDMG. 74, 175ff.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 74: 439–445. Landsberger, B. 1968. “Zur vierten und siebenten Tafels des Gilgamesh-Epos.” Revue d’Assyriologie et d’Archéologie Orientale 62: 97–135. Laribi-Glaudel, S. 2014. “Une Lecture Anthropologique des Rites de Naissances Mésopotamiens.” In Life, Death, and Coming of Age in Antiquity: Individual Rites of Passage in the Ancient Near East and Adjacent Regions, Publications de l’Institut HistoriqueArchéologique Néerlandais de Stamboul 124, edited by A. Mouton and J. Patrier, 212–230. Leiden: NINO. Lawson, J.N. 1994. The Concept of Fate in Ancient Mesopotamia of the First Millennium. Toward an Understanding of Šīmtu. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Leichty, E. 1970. The Omen Series Šumma Izbu. Locust Valley, NY: J.J. Augustin.

382

sibbing-plantholt

Lion, B. 1994. “Des princes de Babylone à Mari.” In Florilegium Marianum 2: Recueil d’études à la mémoire de Maurice Birot. Mémoires de N.A.B.U. 3, edited by D. Charpin and J.-M. Durand, 221–234. Paris: SEPOA. Litke, R.L. 1998. A Reconstruction of the Assyro-Babylonian God-Lists, AN: dA-NU-UM and AN: ANU ŠÁ AMĒLI. Texts form the Babylonian Collection 3. New Haven: Yale Babylonian Collection. Machinist, P. 1978. The Epic of Tukulti-Ninurta I. A Study in Middle Assyrian Literature. Ph.D. Diss. Yale University, New Haven. Margalit, B. 1980. “Death and Dying in the Ugaritic Epics.” In Death in Mesopotamia. Papers Read at the 26th Rencontre assyriologique internationale. Compte Rendu de la 26e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale. Mesopotamia 8, edited by B. Alster, 243–254. Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag. Martin, S. 1975. A Reference Grammar of Japanese. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Maul, S.M. 1994. Zukunftbewältigung. Eine Untersuchung altorientalischen Denkens anhand der babylonisch-assyrischen Löserituale (Namburbi). Baghdader Forschungen 18. Mainz: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Maul, S.M. 1995. “Totengeist und Vogel. Eine Vogelliste aus dem neubabylonischen Grab 433.” In Uruk. Die Gräber, Ausgrabungen in Uruk-Warka Endberichte 10, edited by R.M. Boehmer et al., 218–220. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. Maul, S.M. 2005. “Altorientalische Trauerriten.” In Der Abschied von den Toten. Trauerrituale im Kulturvergleich, edited by J. Assmann et al., 359–372. Göttingen: Wallstein Verlag. Mayer, W. 1976. Untersuchungen zur Formensprache der babylonischen „Gebetsbeschwörungen“. Studia Pohl Series Maior 5. Roma: Pontificio Instituto Biblico. Mayer, W. 1983. “Sargons Feldzug gegen Urartu—714 v. Chr., Text und Übersetzung.”Mitteilungen der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft zu Berlin 115: 65–132. Meier, G. 1941–1944. “Die zweite Tafel der Serie bīt mēseri.” Archiv für Orientforschung 14: 139–152. Michel, C. 2010. “Le langue figuré dans les lettres paléo-assyriennes. Expressions relatives à l’homme et à la nature.” In Language in the Ancient Near East. Proceedings of the 53e Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Volume 1, Part 1, edited by L. Kogan et al., 347–376. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Moorey, R.S. 1985. Materials and Manufacture in Ancient Mesopotamia: the Evidence of Archaeology and Art. Metals and Metal Work, Glazed Materials and Glass. British Archaeological Reports 237. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports. Moorey, R.S. 1999. Ancient Mesopotamian Materials and Industries. The Archaeological Evidence. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Moors, A., P.C. Ellsworth, K.R. Scherer and N.H. Frijda. 2013. “Appraisal Theories of Emotion: State of the Art and Future Development.” Emotion Review 5(2): 119– 124.

visible death and audible distress

383

Muhly, J.D. 1993–1997. “Metalle. B. Archäologisch.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 8, edited by D.O. Edzard, 119–136. Berlin: De Gruyter. Nougayrol, J. 1968. “Choix de texts littéraires: 162. (Juste) suffrant (R.S. 25.460).” Ugaritica 5: 265–273. Oppenheim, A.L. 1943. “Akkadian pul(u)ḫ(t)u and melammu.” Journal of the American Oriental Society 63: 31–34. Parpola, S. 1983. Letters from Assyrian Scholars to the Kings Esarhaddon and Assurbanipal. 2 Volumes. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 5/1–2. Neukirchen: Verlang Butzon & Bercker Kevelaer. Pettinato, G. 1971. Das altorientalische Menschenbild und die sumerischen und akkadischen Schöpfungsmythen. Heidelberg: C. Winter. Plamper, J. 2012. Geschichte und Gefühl. Grundlagen der Emotionsgeschichte. München: Siedler. Ponchia, S. and M. Luukko. 2013. The Standard Babylonian Myth of Nergal and Ereškigal. State Archives of Assyria Cuneiform Texts 8. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Potts, D.T. 1997. Mesopotamian Civilization: The Material Foundations. London: Athlone Press. Prinsloo, G.T. 2013. “Suffering Bodies—Divine Absence: Towards Spacial Reading of Ancient Near Eastern Laments with Reference to Psalm 13 and An Assyrian Elegy (K 890).” Old Testament Essays 26(3): 773–803. Reade, J.E. 1979. “Assyrian Architectural Decoration: Techniques and Subject-Matter.” Baghdader Mitteilungen 10: 17–49. Reiner, E. 1970. [1958] Šurpu: A Collection of Sumerian and Akkadian Incantations. Reprint. Osnabrück: Biblio Verlag. Reiner, E. 1985. Your Thwarts in Pieces, Your Mooring Rope Cut. Poetry from Babylonia and Assyria. Michigan Studies in the Humanities 5. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. 2011a. Bruit et émotion dans la littérature akkadienne. Ph.D. diss. Université de Genève. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. 2011b. “Décrire le corps d’un dieu en Mésopotamie ancienne.” In Supplemento a Mythos 2 Rivista di Storia delle Religioni Nova Series, Les représentations des dieux des autres, edited by C. Bonnet et al., 65–82. Caltanissetta: Salvatore Sciascia Editore. Rendu Loisel, A.-C. 2016. “When Gods Speak to Men: Reading House, Street, and Divination from Sound in Ancient Mesopotamia (1st millennium BC).” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 75(2): 291–309. Rochberg, F. 1998. Babylonian Horoscopes. Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 88/1. Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society. Römer, W.H.Ph. 1973. “Einige Bemerkungen zum dämonischen Gotte dKūbu(m).” In Symbolae Biblicae et Mesopotamicae F.M.Th. de Liagre Böhl dedicatae, edited by F.M.Th. de Liagre Böhl et al., 310–319. Leiden: Brill.

384

sibbing-plantholt

Römer, W.H.Ph. 1988. “Religion of Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Historia Religionum I: Religions of the Past, edited by C.J. Bleeker and G. Widengren, 115–194. Leiden: Brill. Roth, M.T. 1995. Law Collections from Mesopotamia and Asia Minor. Writings from the Ancient World 6. Atlanta, GA: Scholars Press. Rutz, M.T. 2011. “Threads for Esagil-kīn-apli. The Medical Diagnostic-prognostic Series in Middle Babylonian Nippur.” Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 101: 294–308. Sachs, A. 1952. “Babylonian Horoscopes.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 6: 49–75. Sallaberger, W. 1999. „Wenn Du mein Bruder bist.“ Interaktion und Textgestaltung in altbabylonischen Alltagsbriefen. Cuneiform Monographs 16. Groningen: Styx. Sallaberger, W. 2000. “Das Erscheinen Marduks als Vorzeichen: Kultstatue und Neujahrsfest in der Omenserie Šumma ālu.”Zeitschrift für Assyriologie und vorderasiatische Archäologie 90: 227–262. Sasson, J.M. 2015. From the Mari Archives: An Anthology of Old Babylonian Letters. Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns. Schaffer, A. 1963. Sumerian Sources of Tablet XII of the Epic of Gilgameš. Ph.D. diss. University of Pennsylvania. Schaffer, A. 1967. “The Mesopotamian Background of Qohelet 4: 9–12.” Eretz-Israel 8: 246–250. Schaffer, A. 1969. “New light on the ‘three-ply cord’.” Eretz-Israel 9: 159–160. Scherer, K.R. 2005. “What are emotions? And how can they be measured?” Social Science Information 44(4): 695–729. Scherer, K.R. 2013. “Measuring the meaning of emotion words: A domain-specific componential approach.” In Components of Emotional Meaning: A Sourcebook, edited by J.R.J. Fontaine, K.R. Scherer and C. Soriano, 7–30. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Schwemer, D. 2007. Abwehrzauber und Behexung. Studien zum Schadenzauberglauben im Alten Mesopotamien. Unter Benutzung von Tzvi Abuschs Kritischem Katalog und Sammlungen im Rahmen des Kooperationsprojektes Corpus of Mesopotamian AntiWitchcraft Rituals. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag. Schwemer, D. 2018. “Evil Helpers: Instrumentalizing Agents of Evil in Anti-Witchcraft Rituals.” In Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore, Ancient Magic and Divination 15, edited by G. van Buylaere et al., 173–191. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Scurlock, J.A. 1988. “KAR 267 // BMS 53: A Ghostly Light on Bīt Rimki?” Journal of the American Oriental Society 88: 203–209. Scurlock, J.A. 1991. “Baby-Snatching Demons, Restless Souls and the Dangers of Childbirth: Medico-Magical Means of Dealing with Some of the Perils of Motherhood in Mesopotamia.” Incognita 2: 135–183. Scurlock, J.A. 2006. Magico-Medical Means of Treating Ghost-Induced Illnesses in Ancient Mesopotamia. Ancient Magic and Divination 3. Leiden; Boston: Brill; Styx. Scurlock, J.A. and B.R. Andersen. 2005. Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine.

visible death and audible distress

385

Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analysis. Urbana/Chicago: University of Illinois Press. Selz, G.J. 1998. “Über Mesopotamische Herrschaftskonzepte: Zu den Ursprüngen mesopotamischer Herrscherideologie im 3. Jahrtausend.” In DUBSAR ANTA-MEN. Studien zu Altorientalistik. Festschrift für Willem H.Ph. Römer, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 253, edited by M. Dietrich and O. Loretz, 281–343. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Selz, G.J. 2004. “‘Tief ist der Brunnen der Vergangenheit.’ Zu ‘Leben’ und ‘Tod’ nach Quellen der mesopotamischen Frühzeit—Interaktionen zwischen Diesseits und Jenseits.” In Zwischen Euphrat und Tigris. Österreichische Forschungen zum Alten Orient, Wiener Offene Orientalistik 3, edited by F. Schipper, 39–59. Wien: Lit. Shibatani, M. 1990. The Languages of Japan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Shtulman, A. 2008. “Variation in the Anthropomorphization of Supernatural Beings and Its Implications for Cognitive Theories of Religion.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition 34(5): 1123–1138. Shweder, R., J. Haidt, R. Horton and C. Joseph. 2008. “The Cultural Psychology of the Emotions: Ancient and Renewed.” In The Handbook of Emotions, 3rd edition, edited by M. Lewis and J.M. Haviland-Jones, 409–427. New York: Guilford Press. Sibbing Plantholt, I. 2017. “Black Dogs in Mesopotamia and Beyond.” In From the Four Corners of the Earth. Studies in Iconography and Cultures of the Ancient Near East in Honour of F.A.M. Wiggermann, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 441, edited by D. Kertai and O. Nieuwenhuyse, 165–180. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Sjöberg, Å.W. 1967. “Contributions to the Sumerian Lexicon.” Journal of Cuneiform Studies 21: 275–278. Smith, J. 1981. “Self and Experience in Maori Culture.” In Indigenous Psychologies: The Anthropology of the Self, edited by P. Heelas and A. Lock, 145–159. London: Academic Press. von Soden, W. 1969. “Bemerkungen zu einigen literarischen Texten in akkadischer Sprache aus Ugarit.” Ugarit-Forschungen 1: 189–195. von Soden, W. 1990. “Klage eines Dulders mit Gebet an Marduk.” In Texte aus der Umwelt der Alten Testaments III: Weisheitstexte, Mythen und Epen—Weisheitstexte 1, edited by W.H.Ph. Römer and W. von Soden, 140–143. Gütersloh: G. Mohn. von Soden, W. 1995. Grundriss der akkadischen Grammatik. 3rd edition. Analecta Orientalia 33. Roma: Pontificium Institutum Biblicum. Sonik, K. 2017. “Emotion and the Ancient Arts: Visualizing, Materializing, and Producing States of Being.” In Visualizing Emotions in the Ancient Near East, edited by S. Kipfer, 219–261. Fribourg; Göttingen: Academic Press; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht. Soriano, C. 2013. “Chapter 28. Conceptual Metaphor and the GRID Paradigm in the Study of Anger in English and Spanish.” In Components of Emotional Meaning: A Sourcebook, edited by J.R.J. Fontaine, K.R. Scherer and C. Soriano, 410–424. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

386

sibbing-plantholt

Soriano, C. and A. Ogarkova. 2009. “Linguistics and Emotion.” In Oxford Companion to Emotion and the Affective Sciences, edited by D. Sander and K. Scherer, 240–242. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Spronk, K. 2008. “The Delicate Balance Between Life and Death. Some Remarks on the Place of Mot in the Religion of Ugarit.” In Studies in Ancient Near Eastern World View and Society. Presented to Marten Stol on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday, edited by R.J. van der Spek, 121–125. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. Stadhouders, H. and S.V. Panayotov. 2018. “From Awe to Audacity. Stratagems for Approaching Authorities Successfully: The Istanbul Egalkura Tablet A 373.” In Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic. Studies in Honor of Markham J. Geller, Ancient Magic and Divination 14, edited by S.V. Panayotov and L. Vacín, 623–697. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Steinert, U. 2010. “Der Schlaf im Licht der altmesopotamischen Überlieferung.” In Von Götter und Menschen. Beiträge zu Literatur und Geschichte des Alten Orients. Festschrift für Brigitte Groneberg, Cuneiform Monographs 41, edited by D. Shehata et al., 237–285. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Steinert, U. 2012. Aspekte des Menschseins im Alten Mesopotamien. Eine Studie zu Person und Identität im 2. und 1. Jt. v. Chr. Cuneiform Monographs 44. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Stol, M. 1989. “Old Babylonian Ophthalmology.” In Reflets des deux fleuves: volume mélanges offerts à André Finet, Akkadica Supplement 6, edited by M. Lebeau and Ph. Talon, 163–166. Leuven: Peeters. Stol, M. 1993–1997. “Mūtu.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 8, edited by D.O. Edzard, 523. Berlin: De Gruyter. Stol, M. 1999. “Psychosomatic suffering in Ancient Mesopotamia.” In Mesopotamian Magic. Textual, Historical, and Interpretative Perspectives, Ancient Magic and Divination 1, edited by Tz. Abusch and K. van der Toorn, 57–68. Groningen: Styx. Stol, M. 2000. Birth in Babylonia and the Bible: Its Mediterranean Setting. Cuneiform Monographs 14. Groningen: Styx. Stol, M. 2007. “Fevers in Babylonia.” In Disease in Babylonia, Cuneiform Monographs 36, edited by I.L. Finkel and M.J. Geller, 1–39. Leiden; Boston: Brill. Streck, M. 1916. Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen Könige bis zum Untergang Niniveh’s. Vorderasiatische Bibliothek 7. 3 Volumes. Leipzig: J.C. Heinrichs. Streck, M.P. 1999. Die Bildersprache der akkadischen Epik. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 264. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Streck, M.P. 2014–2016. “Türhütergottheiten (divine door-keepers). A. In Mesopotamien.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 14, edited by M.P. Streck, 163–164. Berlin: De Gruyter. Tammuz, O. 1998. “Do Me a Favor! The Art of Negotiating According to Old Babylonian Letters.” In Intellectual Life of the Ancient Near East. Papers Presented at the 43e

visible death and audible distress

387

Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Prague, July 1–5, 1996, edited by J. Prosecký, 379–388. Prague: Academy of the Sciences of the Czech Republic Oriental Institute. Taussig, M.T. 1980. The Devil and Commodity Fetishism in South America. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press. Tigay, J.H. 2002. The Evolution of the Gilgamesh Epic. Reprint of 1982 University of Pennsylvania Press edition. Wauconda, IL: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers. van der Toorn, K. 1985. Sin and Sanction in Israel and Mesopotamia: A Comparative Study. SSN 22. Assen: van Gorcum. van der Toorn, K. 2001. “Echoes of Gilgamesh in the Book of Qoheleth? A reassessment of the Intellectual Sources of Qoheleth.” In Studies Presented to Klaas R. Veenhof on the Occasion of his Sixty-Fifth Birthday, edited by W.H. van Soldt et al., 503–514. Leiden: NINO. Toratani, K. 2015. “Iconicity in the Syntax and lexical semantics of sound-symbolic words in Japanese.” In Iconicity. East Meets West. Iconicity in Language and Literature 14, edited by M.K. Hiraga et al., 125–142. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Tsagalis, C. 2004. Epic Grief. Personal Laments in Homer’s Iliad. Untersuchungen zur antiken Literatur und Geschichte 70. Berlin; New York: De Gruyter. Tsukimoto, A. 1985. Untersuchungen zur Totenpflege (kispum) im alten Mesopotamien. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 216. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Verlag Butzon & Bercker Kevelaer. Ullmann, S. 1973. Meaning and Style: Collected Papers. Language and Style Series 14. Oxford: Blackwell. Valk, J. 2016. “‘They Enjoy Syrup and Ghee at Tables of Silver and Gold’: Infant Loss in Ancient Mesopotamia.” Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 59: 695–749. Veenhof, K.R. 2008. “The Death and Burial of Ishtar-lamassi in Karum Kanish.” In Studies in Ancient Near Eastern World View and Society. Presented to Marten Stol on the Occasion of His 65th Birthday. Edited by R.J. van der Spek, 97–119. Bethesda, MD: CDL Press. Voigt, R.M. 1988. Die infirmen Verbaltypen des Arabischen und das BiradikalismusProblem. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner. Walls, N. 2001. Desire, Discord and Death. Approaches to Ancient Near Eastern Myth. Boston: American School of Oriental Research. Waytz, A., N. Epley and J.T. Cacioppo. 2010. “Social Cognition Unbound: Insights Into Anthropomorphism and Dehumanization.” Current Direction in Psychological Science 19(1): 58–62. Westbrook, R. 2015. Ex Oriente Lex. Near Eastern Influences of Ancient Greek and Roman Law. Edited by D. Lyons and K. Raaflaub. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. Wierzbicka, A. 1995. “Everyday Conceptions of Emotion: A Semantic Perspective.” In

388

sibbing-plantholt

Everyday Conceptions of Emotion: An Introduction to the Psychology, Anthropology and Linguistics of Emotions, edited by J.A. Russell et al., 17–47. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Wierzbicka, A. 1999. Emotions across Languages and Cultures: Diversity and Universals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Wierzbicka, A. 2010. “The ‘History of Emotions’ and the Future of Emotion Research.” Emotion Review 2(3): 269–273. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1981–1982. “Exit, Talim! Studies in Babylonian Demonology, I.” Jaarbericht Ex Oriente Lux 27: 90–105. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1992a. Mesopotamian Protective Spirits. The Ritual Texts. CM 1. Groningen: Styx. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1992b. “Mythological Foundations of Nature.” In Natural Phenomena. Their Meaning, Depiction and Description in the Ancient Near East, edited by D.J.W. Meier, 279–306. Amsterdam: KNAW. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1993–1997a. “Mischwesen. A. Philologisch. Mesopotamien.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 8, edited by D.O. Edzard, 222–246. Berlin: De Gruyter. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1993–1997b. “Mušḫuššu.” In Reallexikon der Assyriologie und Vorderasiatischen Archäologie 8, edited by D.O. Edzard, 455–462. Berlin: De Gruyter. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1996. “Scenes from the Shadowside.” In Mesopotamian Poetic Language: Sumerian and Akkadian, Cuneiform Monographs 6, edited by M.E. Vogelzang and H.L.J. Vanstiphout, 207–231. Groningen: Styx. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 1997. “Transtigridian Snake Gods.” In Sumerian Gods and Their Representations. Cuneiform Monographs 7, edited by I.L. Finkel and M.J. Geller, 33– 56. Groningen: Styx. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 2000. “Lamaštu. Daughter of Anu: a Profile.” In Birth in Babylonia and the Bible: Its Mediterranean Setting, Cuneiform Monographs 14, edited by M. Stol, 217–252. Groningen: Styx. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 2007. “Some Demons of Time and their Functions in Mesopotamian Iconography.” In Die Welt der Götterbilder, Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 376, edited by B. Groneberg and H. Spieckermann, 102–116. Berlin: De Gruyter. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 2011a. “Agriculture as Civilization: Sages, Farmers, and Barbarians.” In The Oxford Handbook of Cuneiform Culture, edited by K. Radner and E. Robson, 663–689. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 2011b. “The Mesopotamian Pandemonium. A Provisional Census.” Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni 77(2): 298–322. Wiggermann, F.A.M. 2018. “The Göttertypentext als Mappa Mundi. An Essay.” In Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore, Ancient Magic and Divination 15, edited by G. van Buylaere et al., 351–370. Leiden; Boston: Brill.

visible death and audible distress

389

Wiggermann, F.A.M. and W. van Binsbergen, 1999. “Magic in history. A theoretical perspective, and its application to ancient Mesopotamia.” In Mesopotamian Magic. Textual, Historical, and Interpretative Perspectives, Ancient Magic and Divination 1, edited by Tz. Abusch and K. van der Toorn, 3–34. Groningen: Styx. Zernecke, A.E. 2011. “A Shuilla: Ishtar 2, The Great Ishtar Prayer.” In Reading Akkadian Prayers and Hymns: An Introduction, edited by A. Lenzi, 257–290. Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature. Zgoll, A. 2003. Die Kunst des Betens: Form und Funktion, Theologie, und Psychagogik in babylonisch-assyrischen Handerhebungsgebeten zu Ištar. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 308. Münster: Ugarit-Verlag. Ziegler, N. 1999. Le Harem de Zimri-Lim. La population féminine des palais d’après les archives royales de Mari. Florilegium Marianum 4. Mémoires de N.A.B.U. 5. Paris: SEPOA. Ziegler, N. 2007. Les musiciens et la musique d’après les archives de Mari. Florilegium Marianum 9. Mémoires de N.A.B.U. 10. Paris: SEPOA.

chapter 16

Gilgamesh and Emotional Excess: The King without Counsel in the SB Gilgamesh Epic Karen Sonik

‘You, O Aruru, created [man:] now create what he [Anu] suggests! Let him [Enkidu] be equal to the storm of his [Gilgamesh’s] heart, Let them rival each other and so let Uruk be rested.1

∵ The Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic begins, following its 28-line prelude, with a description (I 29–91) of the physique and character of Gilgamesh, the youthful and intractable king of Uruk. Gilgamesh, in keeping with his status as two-thirds divine and one-third human (I 48), is an incomparable physical specimen among mortals, surpassing not only his subject citizens of Uruk but also “all (other) kings,” šūtur eli šarrī (I 29).2 The narrative lingers on the divinely drawn and executed perfection of his royal body and its enormous vitality: his foot is “a triple cubit,” his leg “half a rod,” his hair growing as thickly as that of the goddess Nissaba (I 56–60).3 The dense tangibility of his mighty physique is underscored by the imagery used to evoke his extraordinary vigor: Gilgamesh is a “butting wild bull,” “a mighty bank,” “a violent flood-wave that smashes a stone wall” (I 30–34).4 This type of imagery, conjuring powerful and dangerous wild beasts and overwhelming and implacable forces of nature, is not unusual in royal descriptions.5 Within this framework, however, it should be marked for its vivid conjuring of the superabundance of Gilgamesh, his more-than-human excess in or 1 2 3 4 5

SB Gilg. Epic I 95–98; George 2003, 542–545. George 2003, 544–545. George 2003, 540–543. George 2003, 538–541. E.g., RINAP 3/1 no. 17 i 85, iv 25.

© koninklijke brill nv, leiden, 2021 | doi:10.1163/9789

gilgamesh and emotional excess

391

of every physical feature and capability, an excess that renders him more akin to a violent storm manifested in mortal flesh than to an ordinary mortal. Gilgamesh’s superabundance, moreover, is not confined to the physical, despite the pride of place of his physique, strength, and vigor in the opening part of the epic and in many of its major episodes. It is evident also in his immediate and unthinking execution of his impulses and desires (e.g., I 66–72) and the vast and terrible torrents of his emotions, which are unchecked, following Enkidu’s death, not only by any internal but also by any external restraint or counsel (e.g., X 58–71, 135–148, 235–248). It is one of the great tragedies—and perhaps also failings—of Gilgamesh that he, for much of the epic, lacks both a capacity for internal moderation6 and any external moderation capable of countering and matching ūm libbišu, “the storm of his heart” (I 97).7 This phrase, which may read to the contemporary Western audience as suggesting only Gilgamesh’s emotional turbulence, is in this context perhaps better understood as more generally referencing Gilgamesh’s chaotic willfulness:8 the absence of any internal (and also, prior to the coming of Enkidu, external) restraint—based on concern for or recognition of potential consequences—on his emotions or impulses, or on the actions or behaviors arising from these. (We may regard the heart [Akkadian libbu] as the primary seat of emotion but, in Mesopotamia, this term was also associated with the mind, will, and intentionality.9) The Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic is the most famous of the Mesopotamian narrative compositions to survive to the present day. It has, in light of its comprehensive reconstruction and translation, been the subject of numerous studies and analyses over recent decades. And yet, despite the longstanding interest in the narrative, many of its features remain to be fully explored. This study, conceived as a contribution to the larger task of defining the (or a) system

6

7

8

9

Such a failing is by no means an uncommon one among epic heroes, particularly those of ancient Greece. The opening lines of the Iliad, after all, sing of the devastating rage of the hero Achilles, which brings the Greek army (as well as the Trojan one) to such great grief. And the hero Ajax, second only to Achilles, ends his life on the point of his own sword, expurging his shame and dishonor with the flood of his blood in Sophocles’ Ajax. George 2003, 544. The full line reads ana ūm libbišu lū maḫ[ir?]. The reading of ma-šil rather than ma-ḫir was suggested by Ebeling (1932–1933, 227) and also noted by George (2003, 788). The topic of self-control and politeness is taken up by Jaques (2017, 191 n. 22), who discusses negative judgements of emotional expression in the Old Assyrian letters and notes that princes in particular were expected to demonstrate self-control. See, for example, CAD L 3.

392

sonik

of emotions prevalent in Mesopotamia,10 specifically examines and compares those characters in the Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic who take counsel before acting—who take thought for consequences and outcomes—and those who demonstrate unthinking willfulness, and who act (without taking counsel) on the basis of impulse and (overwhelming or excessive) emotion.

1

The Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic

The Standard Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic, also known by its incipit, “He who saw the deep[s]” (ša naqba īmuru),11 is a lengthy and comprehensive narrative composition detailing the exploits of the youthful king of Uruk, Gilgamesh, through the great trials, victories, and tragedies through which he finally comes to wisdom. Originally running some three thousand lines in length and inscribed across twelve clay tablets,12 it is written in the Akkadian literary dialect of Standard Babylonian (henceforth SB). The SB version of the epic, which draws upon a long tradition of narratives pertaining to Gilgamesh materialized in a range of Sumerian and Akkadian compositions dating back to at least the late third millennium BCE, is traditionally attributed to Sin-leqiunninni, an exorcist who lived in or around the twelfth century BCE. Contemporary translations of the epic are, however, based on copies extant from somewhat later, the seventh century BCE.13 As the hero and central character of the SB Gilgamesh Epic, Gilgamesh has naturally taken pride of place in modern scholarship and analysis. Beginning as an irresponsible menace to his own people, one who vexes and harasses them with his enormous and frequently misdirected energies, passions, and appetites (I 65–93), Gilgamesh meets and partners with the one-time wild man Enkidu, who is created by the gods to be his match, and sets his feet upon a different road. With Enkidu, he undertakes extraordinary exploits both in distant lands and at home, proving himself as a heroic adventurer and monster slayer through the destruction of both Humbaba in the Cedar Forest and the 10 11

12

13

See Sonik 2017. The SB Gilgamesh Epic may be referred to by its incipit—either ša naqba īmuru, “He who saw the deep,” or ša naqbī īmuru, “He who saw the deeps”—or the series name, iškar Gilgameš; see, further, George 2003, 28–29. The relationship between the twelfth tablet and the rest of the composition is contested. For the argument that it is not part of the composition, see (among others) George 2003, xxviii. See, further, on Sin-leqi-unninni and the date of his existence, George 1999, xxiv–xxv, 2003, 28–33.

gilgamesh and emotional excess

393

Bull of Heaven in Uruk. At the same time, in his demonstrated lack of forethought or capacity for self-regulation—his lack of counsel (internal or external regulation)—that might control and divert his willfulness and (emotional) impulses, Gilgamesh repeatedly acts in rash and hubristic defiance of not only his own interests and duties but also of the gods themselves, bringing disaster down upon himself and all those for whom he is responsible. Much of what has been written about the SB Gilgamesh Epic focuses—and rightly so—on the role of the narrative as a complex and poignant meditation on what it means to be human and mortal. The narrative lays bare the inevitability of perpetual loss and change, and of the death that is the common fate of all men. It also explores that which redeems human life from unremitting tragedy: joy in one’s beloved friends and family; the children and descendants that perpetuate one’s memory (and perhaps also one’s material well-being14) even after one’s passing into the realm of the dead; and the fulfillment of one’s duties and obligations. But the epic is a dense and enormously complex composition, and there remain many other veins to mine. One of these is the recurrent, significant, and, I would argue, quite deliberate contrast between those figures in the epic who take counsel with themselves and/or provide counsel to others—who pause to think through situations and who act strategically as a result—and those who act instead on impulse and emotion (without thought and without control), and who not only suffer the consequences but also impose suffering on others. Those who explicitly take counsel with themselves in the narrative include Enkidu (who also gives counsel to Gilgamesh in IV 26, 107), Shiduri, and Utanapishti. Alongside these should be mentioned also the goddess Ninsun, mother of Gilgamesh, who gives (good) counsel to Gilgamesh and Enkidu: kibsī milki išakkan ana šēpīni, “she [Ninsun] will set in place for our feet tracks of (good) counsel” (III 18).15 In the other camp, among those who do not take counsel (with themselves) are Gilgamesh himself, the great and terrible goddess Ishtar, and the great god Enlil. It is no coincidence that these figures are among the most emotionally demonstrative—and emotionally driven—of all the characters in the SB Gilgamesh Epic, and that each is responsible for a different type of devastation: Ishtar weeps tears of rage before her parents and threatens to release the dead to consume the living if she is not given the Bull of Heaven to loose upon Uruk (VI 80–100); Gilgamesh, overcome by grief at the

14 15

See the narrative of the contested Tablet XII of the SB epic, in which Enkidu recounts the relationship between one’s status in the netherworld and the number of one’s children. George 2003, 574–575.

394

sonik

death of Enkidu,16 ravages his own body and self (and abandons his duties to his people) in his wanderings in the wilderness; and Enlil drowns the face of the world in the flood in Uta-napishti’s narrative-within-a-narrative (in Tablet XI) of the great deluge, and then reacts with rage [libbātu] when he discovers human survivors. Among the most famous and well-known lines of the great epics extant from human history are the two that open Homer’s Iliad: “Rage—Goddess, sing the rage of Peleus’ son Achilles, / murderous, doomed, that cost the Achaeans countless losses” (I 1–2).17 The prominent position of these lines has ensured they receive their due: they have launched a number of rich and powerful explorations of anger in ancient Greece.18 This study, in taking up the “storm of [Gilgamesh’s] heart” in the SB Gilgamesh Epic, seeks to spur a similar interest in analyzing and defining emotions in Mesopotamia. It also foregrounds the degree to which the SB Gilgamesh Epic is concerned with elucidating the consequences of overpowering emotion and impulse as drivers of action—of action entered into without taking counsel—without the intervention of reason, a term we might define as the ability to think, understand, and form judgement through a process of logic and consideration of various possible solutions and/or outcomes.

2

Defining the Terms: A Mesopotamian System of Emotions

The term “emotion” is a contested and problematic one in contemporary neuroscientific and psychological scholarship, and remains resistant to singular or universal definition. In using the term here, I have deliberately maintained as broad a usage as possible, and refrained from attempting to establish fine distinctions between emotions, feelings, moods, affects, proto-emotions, and moods.19 Scholars pursuing the study of emotions across cultures, and specifically seeking to define the system of emotions of another culture, have mostly established their work on two foundations, both of which are adopted here. The first

16 17 18 19

Sonik 2017. Fagles 1990, 77. E.g., Harris 2001; Konstan 2003, 2008; Kalimtzis 2012. On ancient Greek emotions more generally, see, e.g., Chaniotis and Ducrey 2013. A recent edited volume by the neuroscientists Adolphs and Anderson (2018) is instructive in clarifying the number and extent of the slippages involved in the contemporary study of emotions.

gilgamesh and emotional excess

395

is that there are broad similarities in emotions across cultures—e.g., anger, joy, fear, grief, pain—which are grounded in common human biology and physiology. The other is that emotions are socially and culturally mediated, as a result of which their specific character, boundaries, and expression differ in different contexts.20 Harris, for example, in a seminal study on restraining rage in the Greco-Roman world, emphasized his exploration not only of that which corresponded to his own conception of anger but also of “anger-like” emotions:21 he recognized that the parameters and boundaries of any particular emotion in another cultural context might diverge from those that he recognized. In trying to delineate a Mesopotamian system of emotion, then, it is necessary that we remain cognizant that this system will diverge—potentially in quite significant ways—from our own, and that we remember Konstan’s warning that the variations in a specific culture’s basic emotion terms, combined with the particular character of emotions included in its overall system of emotions, might indeed yield “a coherent structure of feeling that differs in determinate ways from that of other cultures.”22 At the same time, however, our focus on cultural (and individual) specificity and nuance should not efface the existence of the broad commonalities in human physiology that permit the translatability and (to some degree) accessibility of the experiences and the arts of other cultures. The latter point is particularly important with respect to a Mesopotamian system of emotion. While scholars of ancient Greece and Rome must grapple with the idea, as deeply entrenched as it is false, that the emotional systems of the Classical world were contiguous with or are identical to our own,23 scholars of ancient Mesopotamia must contend with the equally false notions that the region is wholly alien or unknowable.24 Konstan, writing on emotions in ancient Greece, observed the peculiarity of querying “whether the emotions of the Greeks were the same as ours,” given how deeply we are moved by and responsive to their arts and philosophies.25 And yet close study revealed—and continues to reveal—emotional categories present in ancient Greek contexts that cross-cut, collapse, or have no clear equivalent in our own system of emotions. He concluded that one might come to understand these divergences only through close study and analysis of the

20 21 22 23 24 25

E.g., Levenson et al. 2007. Harris 2001, 15, 25, 33–34. Konstan 2005, 225. Konstan 2006, 5. See, further, Sonik 2017. Konstan 2006, 5.

396

sonik

“emotional language” deployed by the culture under study.26 I would extrapolate this observation to Mesopotamia and reiterate the necessity of conducting a thorough and multifaceted exploration particularly of the extant written sources as we move to delineate a Mesopotamian system of emotions—one that might be further fleshed out by archaeological and art historical studies of the extant visual and material remains. The SB Gilgamesh Epic, remarkable for its length and comprehensiveness, is a particularly fruitful (perhaps the most fruitful) narrative source in this regard. It touches the heart of what it means to be human and, in so doing, puts on display a striking range of emotions and their physical performances and materializations. It is perhaps unsurprising, in a narrative peopled by heroes, gods, monsters, and Others (none of the named figures in the narrative may be characterized as ordinary or conventional), that the emotions on display are towering, complex, and capable of overwhelming all other considerations.27 What is striking, for the purposes of this study, is that there yet exist characters in the narrative who explicitly resist (at times at least) acting on emotion and impulse alone, who pause to take (and give) counsel. These figures stand in explicit contrast in the narrative to those (enormously destructive) characters who do not demonstrate such resistance, control, or self-regulation. Those in the latter group, which includes Gilgamesh himself, act rashly and impulsively, often in the grip of powerful emotion(s)—and effect terrible consequences on themselves and/or others. The motif of counsel, as well as the consequences of its absence, is thus the primary theme that threads through this study of emotion and its consequences.

3

The King without Counsel and the Storm of Gilgamesh’s Heart

The motif of counsel, as well as the consequences of its absence, winds through, and arguably binds together, the SB Gilgamesh Epic. Its earliest appearance is towards the end of Tablet I, in which the histories and characters of both Gilgamesh and his soon-to-be inseparable companion, Enkidu, are recounted. Gilgamesh is the youthful and intractable king of Uruk, who drives his people to exhaustion with his enormous energies and appetites. When the people appeal to the gods for relief, the great god Anu conceives an idea that will be executed by the goddess Aruru: the making of Enkidu to match and partner

26 27

Konstan 2006, 16. E.g., Sonik 2017.

gilgamesh and emotional excess

397

(and ultimately to counsel) Gilgamesh. Enkidu, who will begin his life as a wild man among the animals, is only gradually tamed and civilized through a process beginning with his intercourse (both sexual and social) with the harlot Shamhat.28 This intercourse,29 while it severs Enkidu from his herd (his earlier animal companions), also awakens him to ṭēmu, “reason” or “(fore)thought,” and sees him become rapaš ḫasīsa, “wide of understanding” (lit. perhaps “broad with respect to understanding”) (I 202).30 To be “broad of understanding” (variously written, including rapša uznī [lit. “broad with respect to ears”?]31 and šadal karše [lit. “broad of interior”]) is, of course, a characteristic feature of kings, sages, and gods—and particularly of the crafty god Ea,32 who saves Utanapishti and the world order in the flood story told in Tablet XI of the epic.

28

29 30 31

32

It is worth noting that Shamhat, too, in the earlier Old Babylonian Pennsylvania Tablet (ii 67–68) explicitly gives good counsel to Enkidu: mil[k]um ša sinništum / imta[q]ut ana libbišu, “a woman’s counsel / struck home in his heart” (George 2003, 174–175). She arguably functions, vis-à-vis Enkidu, in one of the same roles as Enkidu functions vis-à-vis Gilgamesh: she acts as his guide and adviser, his “counsellor.” Harris (1997, 83), noting this point, linked Shamhat to Ninsun as a wise woman: there are many characters, both male and female, in the Gilgamesh narratives who are capable of taking (and giving) good counsel. That Gilgamesh is typically not among their ranks is all the more striking. George’s (2018) recent publication has shown that there are two distinct episodes of intercourse in the epic. George 2003, 550–551. On the constructions rapaš uzni and ākil karṣi, see also Wasserman 2002, 53. The use of “broad of ear” to signify wisdom appears already in the Sumerian and is discussed, with respect to Gudea, by Winter 1989, 2009. She cites the phrase ensi₂ lu₂-geštu₃-dagal-kam / geštu₃ i₃-ga₂-ga₂, referencing a man who is “of wide ear” and thus attentive (or capable of being so) and wise; Winter 1998, 579–581. On the god Ea as “broad of understanding,” see, for example, Fragment C (British Museum, K 8743) of Adapa and the South Wind, as known from fragments recovered from the Library of Ashurbanipal at Nineveh: [x x dé-a rap-ša uz-ni m]u-du-ú lìb-bi ilānī rabûti, “[… Ea, broad of understanding, who kn]ows the hearts of the great gods” (Fragment C 4, also 10; Izre-el 2001, 35–36). See, further, Holloway 2002, 83–84; Pongratz-Leisten 2015, 273. This description of Enkidu is interesting, though perhaps not worth making much of, in light of George’s 2007 publication of a peculiar second millennium tablet presenting events that coincide with those of the Old Babylonian epic but where d30 (elsewhere used to signify the moon god Sin) is given where the name Gilgamesh is expected and d40 (elsewhere used to signify the crafty god Ea [Enki in Sumerian, of course]) is given where the name Enkidu is expected. The city name Ur (the city of the moon god), too, is used where the city name Uruk would be expected, excepting in a single case in line 65 (George 2007, 60). Various possibilities and explanations for this peculiar text are elucidated by George, which are not elaborated on here, but I think it worth revisiting and rethinking George’s (2007, 62) observation that “Ea is the source of all wisdom, but in this role is hardly matched with the wild Enkidu, even if he [Enkidu] is accredited with native intuition as an interpreter of dreams.” (It was also rather amusing to realize, as we did at

398

sonik

Even as Enkidu is undergoing his transformation from homo ferus to homo urbanus, from man of the wild to man of the city, Gilgamesh dreams obliquely of his coming, and has his dreams interpreted by his mother, the wise Ninsun. She recounts that Enkidu will be Gilgamesh’s match, his companion and protector (I 268), and that Gilgamesh will come to love Enkidu “like a wife” (I 267, 271, 284, 289).33 Gilgamesh, looking forward to Enkidu’s coming, speaks fateful words as Tablet I draws to a close: “O mother, by Counsellor Enlil’s [Enlil mālik] command may it befall me! I will acquire a friend, a counsellor [māliku], a friend, a counsellor [māliku], I will acquire!” (I 295–297).34 The role of Enkidu as counsellor is deeply embedded in the older Gilgamesh narratives, both those in Sumerian (e.g., Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld) and those in Akkadian (e.g., OB Harmal).35 But if this seemingly incongruous function of Enkidu in the SB Gilgamesh Epic has been marked and explored, its significance—as part of a larger theme threading through the epic—has not been fully realized. As Tablet II opens, Enkidu has achieved a state of being in which he can and does take “his own counsel,” mitluku ramānišu, and use “his own judgement,” ina ṭēmišuma (II 30–31).36 Later in Tablet II, after Gilgamesh and Enkidu have come together as partners and companions, Enkidu attempts to exercise this judgement on behalf of Gilgamesh (II 216–229, 272–286), warning him against travelling to the Cedar Forest and doing battle there with the monstrous Humbaba. Gilgamesh, in a show of youthful bravado and enthusiasm, derides this good counsel—though it is later echoed by the city’s elders (II 287–299)—and

33

34 35

36

the end of a long day in the Tablet Room, that two-thirds of d30, the number for the god Sin, is 20. The number 20, of course, not only identifies the sun god Shamash but also is associated with kingship. The peerless king Gilgamesh, of course, is famously and rather inexplicably described as two-thirds divine and one-third mortal.) The question of whether the relationship between Gilgamesh and Enkidu is sexual is not one taken up here at any length, though it is worth noting that Enkidu, as the adopted son of Ninsun (III 120–128), is also the (adopted) brother of Gilgamesh. George 2003, 556–557. E.g., George 2003, 141–143, 174–175, 196–197, 220–221, 253, 256–257, 268–269. In Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld (GEN) (l. 13; George 2003, 141), Gilgamesh laments Enkidu’s loss: “ ‘My favourite servant, [my] steadfast companion, the one who counselled me [ad.gi₄.gi₄.a.mu]—the Netherworld has [seized him].’” George (2003, 142) also notes the seeming incongruity of the wild-born Enkidu as counsellor in the SB epic, observing that “the notion … that a man of no education and culture was best suited to be a counsellor is an unusual one”; given the trials Gilgamesh undertakes in the company of Enkidu, including travel to the Cedar Forest and the slaying of Humbaba there, I, however, am inclined to wonder who would be better suited to counsel Gilgamesh in this context. George 2003, 560–561.

gilgamesh and emotional excess

399

accuses Enkidu of speaking “like a weakling” who, with “feeble talk,” vexes Gilgamesh’s heart (II 232–233).37 Gilgamesh, if foolhardy, is not entirely foolish and, in Tablet III, seeks the counsel of another trusted advisor, his mother Ninsun, before he and Enkidu actually set out for the Cedar Forest: kibsī milki išakkan ana šēpīni, “she [Ninsun] will set in place for our feet tracks of (good) counsel” (III 18).38 Ninsun, though sorrowing at her son’s dangerous plan, acts to beseech on Gilgamesh’s behalf the patronage of the sun god Shamash and the intercession of Shamash’s consort, Aya. She also undertakes the adoption of Enkidu as her son, in order that he might proceed in brotherhood with Gilgamesh (III 120–128). In Tablet IV, having set off on the long and arduous journey to the Cedar Forest, Gilgamesh is again afflicted with strange dreams and seeks out the counsel of Enkidu (IV 138–162, 179–183ff.), who interprets the dreams and advises his friend on what is to come. Still later, in Tablet V, after the heroes have defeated and bound Humbaba, the monstrous guardian of the Cedar Forest, Enkidu is called on again to advise Gilgamesh. His role as the king’s counsellor is seemingly evident to Humbaba (V 234–239), who beseeches Enkidu’s intervention to spare his life and gain his release. But Enkidu instead argues that Humbaba be slain, an act that is soon thereafter carried out. (The reasons for this advice are rather obliquely presented in the text of the SB epic itself: Enkidu is certainly concerned that the god Enlil will hear of their treatment of Humbaba, who guards the Cedar Forest at the god’s behest. Likely, extrapolating from circumstance and from earlier narrative accounts of the encounter with the monstrous guardian of the Cedar Forest [e.g., Gilgamesh and Huwawa B], Enkidu is also concerned that Humbaba will turn on them if he is released—a not unlikely scenario given their treatment of the monster.) In Tablet VI, Gilgamesh and Enkidu go too far. They seem to return to Uruk and, to refresh themselves after their long journey, Gilgamesh cleans his equipment and matted hair (not yet matted for mourning) and dons clean clothing and his crown (VI 1–5). Thus renewed, he attracts the attention and desire of the goddess Ishtar, who seeks him as her consort. Gilgamesh not only rebuffs her attentions but also insults her at reckless length (VI 22–79), provoking her both to rage (see discussion below) and to revenge. Ishtar gains access to and unleashes the Bull of Heaven upon his city of Uruk (IV 80–124). Gilgamesh and Enkidu, working together, slay the Bull of Heaven; when Ishtar bewails the

37 38

George 2003, 566–567. George 2003, 574–575.

400

sonik

death of the creature, however, Enkidu tears off a haunch of the bull and flings it down before her, adding the hubristic threat that, had he caught her, he would treat her similarly (VI 156). That the gods, taking counsel together following these grave and extraordinary deeds (VII 1), decree the death of Enkidu is hardly surprising. But it is on this event that the narrative turns. Enkidu’s death strips bare and puts on display Gilgamesh’s turmoil, the overwhelming storm of emotions that move him and, ultimately, provoke him to unceasing motion in the wilderness as he descends into and seeks to cope with grief (as well as fear and, arguably, hope) beyond bearing.39 But more important for the purposes of this study is the fact that Enkidu’s death deprives Gilgamesh of Enkidu’s counsel—and, more, that Gilgamesh, by absenting himself from his city and his people to pursue a desperate quest to discover the secret of immortality (IX 1–7), further deprives himself of any other sources of counsel (e.g., from his city elders or from his mother). This choice will be emphasized, and its implications thrown into stark relief, later in the epic. As Gilgamesh enters and roams the wilderness, he encounters two other figures pertinent to this particular thematic elucidation: the ale-wife Shiduri and the flood-hero Uta-napishti. The thought processes, as well as the careful taking of counsel (here in the form of internal thought), of both these figures are rendered explicitly visible to the audience. The scorpion-men are worth mentioning here in passing also: though they are not described as taking counsel with themselves in the same way as Shiduri and Uta-napishti, it is significant that, upon seeing Gilgamesh, one of the scorpion-men is shown in the process of thinking through (with his “woman”) the appearance of the hero. The scorpion-man calls out to his woman his observation that “flesh of the gods is his [Gilgamesh’s] body”; he receives from her the correction (or refinement) that “two-thirds of him [Gilgamesh] are god but a third of him is human” (IX 49–51).40 The ale-wife Shiduri, who dominates the beginning of Tablet X, lives by the sea-shore on the other side of the Path of the Sun. As Gilgamesh emerges from the darkness of the path and is dazzled by the brilliant trees of carnelian, lapis lazuli, and other extraordinary materials (IX 169–195), Shiduri watches him from a distance (IX 196). Before taking action with respect to the strange interloper, she stops to think, to take counsel of herself, and her thought processes 39 40

See, further, Sonik 2017. George 2003, 668–669. The perceptiveness and knowledge of the female figures of the narrative is explored in a forthcoming work by the author on gender in the SB Gilgamesh Epic.

gilgamesh and emotional excess

401

are rendered visible to the audience: uštamma ana libbiša amāt[a] iqabb[i] / itti ramānišama šī imtalli[k], “talking to herself she spoke a word, [amātu] / taking counsel in her own mind” (X 12).41 After taking this counsel, Shiduri (wisely) retreats from the dangerous-looking stranger, barring her gate and taking refuge on her roof (X 11–16). When Gilgamesh hears and (reflexively) threatens her (X 19–24), Shiduri retains the ground she has chosen: she conducts the remainder of her conversation with him, and dispenses her advice to him, from the distance of the rooftop that she has chosen to occupy. Uta-napishti, the flood hero, stands at the end of Gilgamesh’s quest. Like Shiduri, he watches from a distance as he sees the unknown and unexpected Gilgamesh in the boat with his ferryman Ur-Shanabi (X 184). Also like Shiduri, he stops to think, cautiously and strategically, about how to proceed, allowing the audience direct entry into his thoughts even as Gilgamesh remains unaware of his gaze: uštamma ana libbišu amāta i[qabbi] / itti ramānišuma šū i[mtallik], “talking to himself, he [Uta-napishti] [spoke] a word. / He [was taking counsel] in his own mind” (X 185–186).42 More, when Uta-napishti and Gilgamesh finally come face to face, the motif of counsel, which has hitherto represented only a subtle thread throughout the epic, is twice suddenly and sharply foregrounded. In the first instance, Uta-napishti has given Gilgamesh a hearing, listening as the latter recounts his quest to discover the secret of immortality. The flood hero then responds in a vivid passage that reveals Gilgamesh’s folly—and that censures Gilgamesh for leaving aside the trappings, dues, and responsibilities of his kingship to take on instead the inferior food, garb, and circumstances of the fool. Particularly important for the purposes of this study are two of the final lines of Uta-napishti’s admonition: aššu lā īšû mā[liki? …] / amāt milki lā īš[û ......], “Because he [the fool] has no advisers […,] / (because) he [the fool] has no words of counsel [......,]” (X 266–277).43 A fool may fall into folly, lacking as he is in (internal) counsel and external counsellors, and must look to the king for his care. But Gilgamesh, who was born to be a king, and who is possessed of flesh belonging to both gods and men, has left his city and people behind and chosen to live a life appropriate to a fool, eating inferior food, wearing animal skins instead of fine garments, and, most importantly (for the purposes of this study), exiling himself from any advisers who might offer him good counsel: Enkidu may be dead but there are other sources of counsel in Uruk, not least Ninsun and the elders. Gilgamesh has also proven himself inadequate, as his repeatedly rash and unconsidered actions 41 42 43

George 2003, 678–679. George 2003, 688–689. George 2003, 694–695.

402

sonik

prove, to counsel himself in the manner of Shiduri and Uta-napishti, who are possessed of wisdom Gilgamesh has not yet assimilated. That Gilgamesh’s lack of counsel—in part a self-inflicted weakness—is a crucial point in the narrative, lying at the heart of Uta-napishti’s admonishment of