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Department of the Languages and Cultures of the Near and Middle East

The Šamaš Hymn, lines 15-52, read by Martin West

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With the kind permission of Professor B. R. Foster, the translation below is taken from his work Before the Muses (Bethesda, 2005), with minor modifications. The transcription is based on the transliteration in W. G. Lambert's Babylonian Wisdom Literature.

Original TranscriptEnglish Translation
15 šamaš ana aṣîka kitmusā tenēšēti
16 […] gimiršina mātāti
O Šamaš, humankind kneels at your rising,
((this line contains a large lacuna, and is not read))
17 [m]ušnammir pētû eklēti ṣerret šam[āmi]
18 mušahmiṭ ziqnat urrī mēreš šêm napiš[ti] māti
Illuminator of darkness, opener of heaven's bosom,
hastener of the beard(?) of the day, the grain field, life of the land,
19 šadî bīrūti errima šalummatka
20 namrirrūka imlû sihip mātāti
Your splendour envelops distant mountains,
your glare has filled all the lands,
21 šūrâta ana hursāni erṣeta tabarri
22 kippat mātāti ina qirib šamê šaqlāta
Leaning over the mountains, you inspect the earth,
you suspend the circle of the lands from the midst of heaven,
23 nišī mātāti kullatsina tapaqqid
24 ša ea šar malku uštabnû kališ paqdāka
You make the people of all lands your charge,
all those king Ea, the prince, has created are entrusted to you,
25 šūt napišti šakna mithāriš tere’’e
26 attama nāqidsina ša eliš u šapliš
You shepherd all living creatures together,
you are their herdsman, above and below,
27 tētenettiq ginâ šamāmī
28 [š]umdulta erṣetu taba’’a ūmešam
You regularly cross the heavens,
ever day you traverse the broad earth,
29 mīl tâmti hursāni erṣeta šamāmī
30 kī iṣṣūri ginâ taba’’a ūmišam
High seas, mountains, earth and sky,
you traverse them regularly, every day, like a ...,
31 šaplâti m[a]lkī kusū anunnakī tapaqqid
32 elâti ša [d]admē kalīšina tuštēšer
In the lower regions you take charge of the netherworld gods, the demons, the Anunnaki-gods,
in the upper regions you administer all the inhabited world,
33 rē’û šaplâti nāqidu elâti
34 muštēšir nūr kiššati šamaš attama
Shepherd of the lower regions, herdsman of the upper regions,
you, Šamaš, are the regulator of light for all,
35 tētenebbir tâmatum rapaštum šadilta
36 [ša] igigī lā īdû qirib libbīša
You cross time and again the vast expanse of the seas,
[whose] depths not even the Igigi-gods know,
37 [šama]š birbirrūka ina apsî ūridū
38 [lahm]ū šūt tâmti inaṭṭalū nūrka
[O Šamaš], your radiance has gone down to the deep,
[the hairy hero-m]en of the ocean can see your light.
39 [šamaš] kīma qê kasâta kīma imbari [ka]tmāta
40 [rap]šu andullaka sahip mātāti
[O Šamaš], you tighten like a noose, you shroud like a mist,
your [bro]ad protection is cast over the lands,
41 [l]ā tāšuš ūmešamma ul a’darū pār[ū]ka
42 [tuš]tabarri ina mūšimma tušahmiṭ [ek]eta
You are not dejected each day, your surface(?) is not dark,
by night you constantly burn up [the da]rk,
43 ana šiddi ša lā idê nēsûti u bērī lā man[ûti]
44 šamaš dalpāta ša urra tallika u mūša tassahr[a]
To far-off regions unknown and for uncoun[ted] leagues,
you have persevered, O Šamaš, where you went by day you also returned by night,
45 ul ibašši ina gimir igigī ša šūnuhu balīka
46 ina ilī naphar kiššati ša šūturu kīma kâta
Among all the Igigi-gods there is none but you who does such toil,
nor among the sum total of the gods one who does so much as you,
47 [ṣ]ītukka iphurū ilū māti
48 [n]amurratka ezzeti mātum sahpat
At your rising (this morning?) the gods of the land assembled,
your fierce glare covered the land,
49 [š]a naphar mātāti šūt šunnâ lišānu
50 [t]īdi kipdīšina kibissina naṭlāta
Of all the lands of different tongues,
you know their intentions, you see their footprints,
51 [kams]ānikka kullatsina tenēšēti
52 [ša]maš ana nūrīka ṣummurat mithurti
All humankind kneels before you,
[O Ša]maš, the universe longs for your light.