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The God Ṣalmu and the Winged Disk

  • Stephanie Dalley

Extract

The exact nature and function of the winged disk in Western Asia have been the subject of discussion and disagreement for over half a century. There is no shortage of evidence; representations are found over a very wide geographical and chronological span. However, a new monument has recently come to light in Arabia, and it affords an unparalleled context for the winged disk. This study investigates in detail the proposal made by Winnett in 1970, that the Aramaic deity ṢLM, known mainly from inscriptions in the area of N.W. Arabia around the city of Teima, is the winged disk, and analyses cuneiform sources for the cognate Akkadian god Ṣalmu. The evidence shows that Ṣalmu may indeed be a name for the winged disk in cuneiform, and there are good indications that the winged disk was an object on which oaths of loyalty were sworn to the king and probably also to the crown prince during the neo-Assyrian period. Probable references to Ṣalmu as the winged disk in personal names and in various texts dating to the late second and early first millennia B.C. are assembled. Some evidence that Hebrew 'edūṯ and late Babylonian Adēšu are West Semitic words for the winged disk is presented. In the second part of the study the title šamšī, meaning “his/your majesty”, is investigated, and evidence is presented to show that the winged disk was adopted as the visual equivalent of the verbal title šamšī, and marked both mortal kings and certain deities who could claim to be head of a pantheon in a particular city or country. The symbol, whether representing a human or divine king, proclaims the sovereign's protection under oaths of loyalty which were guaranteed by dire curses and enforced by sympathetic magic on oath-breakers.

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1 A brief version of a part of this study was published in Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies 15 (1985), 2733 .

2 A full bibliography is given by Donner and Röllig, KAI 2 no. 228.

3 Various suggested interpretations are: Lipiński, , Onomastics, 98 , “moongod of the palace”; Millard, , UF 4, 161–2, “divine queen”, Drijvers, , Cults and Beliefs of Edessa, 143 , “moongod of the heap of stones”. Clearly more information is needed.

4 This corrected reading of ‘ŠYR’ is made on the basis of the new text. See Atlal 7 (1983), 111 .

5 Portrayed in similar pose and garb to Nabonidus on the Harran stelae; see Gadd, , An. St. 8 (1958), Pls. 2–3.

6 Gadd, op. cit., 42.

7 Ancient Records from North Arabia (Toronto, 1970), 92 .

8 Photographs given in Atlal 4 (1980), Pl. 69; Atlal 3 (1979), Pl. 49, and Atlal 7 (1983), Pl. 96, from which the sketches of Figs. 1 and 2 were made.

9 The sculptures are not clear or easy to interpret; compare Rashid, , Bagh.Mitt. 7 (1974), Fig. 2 on p. 159 , with Klähn, J. Börker, Altvorderasiatische Bildstelen (Mainz, 1982), Tafel 265.

10 Teixidor, X., The Pagan God (Princeton, 1977), 72 .

11 Schrader, E., Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament3 (Berlin, 1903), 475–6.

12 CAD Ṣ, 84; AHw, 1078–9.

13 Andrae, W., Stelenreihe, 8 ff., and CAD Ṣ, 84a.

14 Oiler, G., Autobiography of Idrimi (Univ. Microfilms International, 1977); Dietrich, and Loretz, , UF 13 (1981), 207 . See also Na'aman, , Oriens Antiquus 19 (1980), 116 .

15 See p. 100 and note 115 below.

16 Sommerfeld, W., Der Aufstieg Marduks (AOAT 213; 1983), 175 , correcting W. G. Lambert, in RIA, sub Götterlisten.

17 K 4365 (CT 25, 27a:8) and 80–7–19, 131 (CT 25, 46c rev.2). According to Professor Lambert, K 7722 (CT 25, 46: d3) is to be read differently. I am grateful to him for help in using the god-list information.

17a MAD III, 244–5; and MAM III, passim.

18 The second millennium god-lists read dALAM as bišeba and mušebi, which is not understood. Variants in neo-Assyrian god lists show that dALAM was read Ṣalmu by that time. Two separate forms of the early sign ALAM seem to have converged during the second millennium.

19 A Textbook of North Semitic Inscriptions (Oxford, 1903), 196 , repeated in KAI2 II, 279 .

20 As implied by AHw, 1078b. Possibly MI stands for ṣillu which is a near-synonym of andullu and ṣulūlu.

21 See CAD K, sub kajamānu for references.

22 For the interpretation of dALAM as “a statue” in this text, see Na'aman, , JNES 40 (1981), 47–8.

23 Reading established by Bordreuil, and Pardee, , Syria 59 (1982), 121 ; different etymology proposed by Dietrich, and Loretz, , UF 15 (1983), 18 . I am grateful to Beatrice Teissier for drawing my attention to this text.

24 Levine, and de Tarragon, , JAOS 104/4 (1984), 651–2. According to AHw ṣalmu II the first consonant of this word in early S. Arabian alternates between and .

25 Lambert, W. G., RA 76 (1982), 72–3.

26 All the lists have been re-edited together by Menzel, B., Assyrische Tempel (Studio, Pohl: Series Maior, Rome 1981) II, T 113–56. For statues of rulers see T 147 line 12 and T 138 lines 19–20.

27 Menzel op. cit., e.g. T 114 i.25 with dšamšu mātāti; ii 1–32 headed by Salmu, listing deities in the shrine of Sin and Samas; T 119, vi. 32 among the deities of a major city in Assyria; T 130, ii. 20–32 headed by Ṣalmu, listing deities in the shrine of “Old Bel”.

28 Menzel, op. cit., e.g. T 114 i. 27 with Aššur, i. 32 with Tispak.

29 Menzel, op. cit., T 147 ff. lines 57 and 80; also T 119 vi. 29.

30 Menzel, op. cit., T 119 vi. 29 and 32.

31 Menzel, op. cit., T 150 lines 60 and 105.

32 APN, 205a sub Ṣalmu-šar-iqbi 9.

33 APN, 205. Phonetic writings and complements show that the singular construct of ṣalmu can be ṣalam or ṣalmu; the latter appears to be more frequent.

34 Tākultu, 112.

35 Ungnad in Friedrich, J. et al., Die Inschriften vom Tell Halaf (AfO Beiheft 6; Berlin, 1940), 58, note to line 21.

36 See below, p. 100 and note 115. It used to be thought that there was a god dmār šarri “son of the king”, but it is now read as Apladad. See Dalley, and Postgate, , CTN III, p. 92, note to 38:12.

37 Friedrich el al., op. cit.

38 Parker, , Iraq 16 (1954), Plate V.

39 See CAD, sub adû and bu'û; and CTN III, nos. 31, 32, 34 and 36.

40 See CAD, sub adû.

41 McEwan, ROMCT II, no. 12.

42 AJO 28 (1981/1982), 142 .

43 I agree with Tadmor, el al., Mesopotamien und seine Nachbaren ed. Renger, J., 470 note, and with Weinfeld, , UF 8 (1976), 403 n. 226, that CAD has wrongly divided adu into two words; it means both “(royal) majesty” and “oath by majesty”.

44 Craig, , ABRT I , and see discussion by Weippert, , ARINH ed. Fales, F. M. (Rome 1981), 95 .

43 Beiträge zur Assyriologie II (Leipzig, 1894), 630 f.

46 Abstract from American Oriental Society meeting, 1985.

47 Yeivin, S., IEJ 24 (1974), 1720 , with references. Cf. R. Borger, Ash., 72 1. 40: kī adê ina muhhi Aššurbānapli…. Šaknūni.

48 Gibson, , SSI III, 94 line 5 and note on 97.

49 Moran, , Or. 53 (1984), 298 with references.

50 LXX marturion, Vulgate testimonium.

51 See AHw s.v. and Mayer, , UF 9 (1977), 364–6, and CAD N II, 292b. Unger, , Belleten 29 (1965), 424–83, suggested that šugarriā'um was the “ballstaff” on Old Assyrian seals.

52 See Hirsch, , AfO Beiheft 13/14 (1961), 64–9.

53 Walther, A., Das altbabylonische Gerichtswesen (LSS 6; Leipzig, 1917), 192 ff.; and CAD, s.v.

54 Harris, , Ass.St. 16 (Chicago 1965), 217–25.

33 Menzel, op. cit., T 119, vi. 14 in tempie of Assur; T 125, xii. 9' in tempie of Marduk; T 126, 15' and T 137, 3'. For the god Kakku in PNs see CTN III, 272 n. 43.

56 Walther, op. cit., 194.

57 A mAss. record in which the last phrase is: “I have set the gods of my father(s) as witnesses” is published by Snell, , Abr Mahrain 22 (19831984).

58 CT 41, 28:1 (commentary on šumma ālu); CT 41, 42:3 (extispicy text commentary), both quoted in CAD, sub ṣalmu.

59 MSL VII, 164 .

60 Müller, , MVAeG 41/3 , Krönungsritual, 10, lines 7–8.

61 Müller, op. cit., 16 line 37.

62 Or. 10 (1941), 89 .

63 von Schuler, E., AfO Beiheft 10 (1957), 4 . He discusses questions of derivation and connexion between Hittite and Assyrian practice.

64 See ANET 3, 184.

65 E.g. Tell Halaf, no. 107 (post-canonical Assyria); PSBA 38, 27 (Nebuchadnezzar II). See also p. 100 below.

66 The Kurkh stela, BM 118884.

67 See e.g. Calmeyer, and Seidl, , An.St. 33 (1983), 10314 ; Özgen, E., The Urartian Bronze Collection at the University Museum, (Penn. Diss. 1979), Fig. 11 on p. 240 and Fig. 30 on p. 256.

68 A statue or figurine would normally be rendered in Akkadian with a qualifying noun such as ṣalam bēlūti or ṣalam amēli.

69 Adler, H.-P., Das Akkadische des Königs Tušratta (AOAT 201; 1976), 158, iii.5.

70 Lacheman, , JEN VI .

71 Bottéro, , RA 43/1 (1949), 142 .

72 Bottéro, op. cit., 148 line 116.

73 Thureau-Dangin, , Huitième Campagne, TCL 3 (Paris, 1912).

74 Luckenbill, , OIP 2, 145:1719 , discussed and translated by van Driel, , Cult of Askur, 27 .

73 Orthmann, W., Untersuchungen zur späthethitischen Kunst (Bonn, 1971), Pl. 12b.

76 Gibson, , SSI 3, 95 .

77 See Postgate, , TCAE, 316–20, for a new edition with joins and collations. Ṣalmu-šarri occurs in a problematic context in ABL 1051:4, 6 .

78 See Parpola, , OLZ 74 (1979), 30b.

79 E.g. van Loon, M., Urartian Art (Istanbul, 1966), Pls. 21–3.

80 Van Loon, op. cit., 110 referring to Lehmann-Haupt, , Armenian einst und jetzt II/2, 866–7. I am grateful to Dr. J. Curtis for confirmation of the mistaken provenance. It is BM 22494.

81 Van Loon, op. cit., 109.

82 Met. Mus. Journal 11 (1976), 42 .

83 References are given in AHw sub ṣalmu I.

84 Stark, J. K., Personal names in Palmyrene Inscriptions (Oxford, 1969), 47 .

85 ARNA, 90, n. 19.

86 Stark, op. cit., 109.

87 Gelb, Purves and Macrae, , Nuzi Personal Names (Chicago, 1943). The analysis of the second element is doubtful.

88 Judges 8:5, king of Midian. The analysis of the name is not certain. Human names ending -unna are all female; but it is likely that the name is Midianite-Semitic rather than Hurrian.

89 Reign of David. The man is an Ahohite. 2 Samuel 23:28 .

90 Tallqvist, APN; CTN III, 277a; BT 136 in Iraq 25 (1963), 99 .

91 See Zadok, R., West Semites in Babylonia (Jerusalem, 1977), 200 .

92 This entry assumes that the Teima stelae are Achaemenid rather than neo-Babylonian in date, which is uncertain.

93 Harding, G. L., An index and concordance of pre-Islamic Arabian Names (Toronto, 1971).

94 Stark, op. cit., 109.

95 Laroche, E., Les hiéroglyphes hittites (1960), 99 .

96 Calmeyer, , JdI 94 (1979), 360–1 n. 35; Winter, , Iraq 38 (1976), 45 .

97 In the name Šulgi-dUTUši see Limet, , Anthronoponymie Sumerienne, 133 .

98 KHV 4, and in the name Hammurapi-dUTUši. He was not deified; see Reiner, , RA 64 (1970), 73 for the solution to a textual problem.

99 See Collon, D., The Seal Impressions from Tell Atchana/Alalakh (AOAT 27; 1975), 192 .

100 Gönnet, H., La titulature royale hittite, Hethitica III (1979), 19 .

101 Names of this type in the OB period have been collected comprehensively by Sommerfeld, W., Der Aufstieg Marduks (AOAT 213; 1980), 73 .

101a YOS VIII 7.

102 See Clay, Personal Names of the Cassite Period, s.v.

103 See Saporetti, Onomastica Medio-assira s.v.

104 See Tallqvist, APN s.v. I have not used names of the type DN-šar-māti/nišī/kittim, in case there are other factors at work.

105 Lambert, , BWL, 134, iii. 31. The correct translation of this line is given by Stephens, F.J. in ANET3 , 389 , justified in note 10 there.

106 Orthmann, op. cit., Pl. 53.

107 Orthmann, op. cit., Pl. 38e and f.

108 Gurney, , Aspects of Hittite Religion, 8 n. 6 and 22. Note that the word ṣalmu in Human form is found in epithets of the god Nupatik/Lubadig, who may be identified with dLAMA; See Laroche, , RHA 35 (1977), 301 ; and Hawkins, and Gurney, , Bi. Or. 39 (1982), 610–11.

109 An.St. 27 (1977), 167 ff.

110 Güterbock, in Kramer, (ed.), Mythologies of the Ancient World, 161 .

111 Illustrated e.g. in Caquot, and Sznycer, , Ugaritic Religion, (Leiden, 1980), Pl. VII.

112 Orthmann, op. cit., Pl. 5c; and one from Malatya, Pl. 42 f. Titles of royalty taken by Kubaba are described in RIA, sub Kubaba, 258b.

113 See CAH, plates to vol. III (1984), 101 ; Moscati, World of the Phoenicians, Pl. 4.

114 Weinfeld, The loyalty oath in the Ancient Near East, UF 8 (1976), 379414 .

113 Cogan, M., Imperialism and Religion (Montana, 1984), 5660 .

116 Cogan, op. cit., 53 gives references.

117 See Amiet, , Akkadica 28 (1982), 26 .

118 Börker Klähn, op. cit., nos. 217–18.

119 RlA, sub Eid.

120 ZA 65 (1975), 62 .

121 Thureau-Dangin, , RA 18 (1921), 161 ff; and RIA, sub Lamaštu.

122 SPAW 49 (1916), 1191 ff.; B. Scholz, op. cit.

123 See Gibson, , SSI II, 34 ; and Moran, , Or. 53 (1984), 298 .

124 This study has benefited during gestation from the help and criticism of Dr. P. R. S. Moorey, Dr. A. R. Green, Michael MacDonald, J. D. Hawkins, Diana Stein and Beatrice Teissier, but they cannot be held responsible for the result.

The God Ṣalmu and the Winged Disk

  • Stephanie Dalley

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