SOAS University of London

Department of History, School of History, Religions & Philosophies

Tooth Worm Incantation read by George Heath-Whyte

After the cuneiform copy by L. W. King in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonian Tablets in the British Museum vol. 17 (1901), plates 50-51.  Italics in the translation signify uncertainty.

 

Line

Original transcription

English Translation

1’

ultu anum ibnû šamê

After Anum (the sky god) created the heavens,

2’

šamû ibnû erṣetum

(and) the heavens created the earth,

3’

erṣetum ibnû nārāti

(and) the earth created rivers,

4’

nārāti ibnâ atappāti

(and) rivers created canals,

5’

atappāti ibnâ rušumta

(and) canals created mud,

6’

rušumta ibnû tūltu

(and) mud created the worm,

7’

illik tūltu ana pan šamaš ibakki

the worm went crying before Šamaš,

8’

ana pan ea illakā dimāša

its tears flowed before Ea:

9’

mīná tattanna ana akāliya

“What have you given for me to eat?

10’

mīná tattanna ana munzuqiya

What have you given for me to suck?”

11’-12’

attannaki titta bašilta arman(n)â hašhūra

“I have given you the ripe fig and the apricot

13’-14’

anāku ammīnannâ titta bašilta u arman(n)â hašhūra

What good is that to me, the ripe fig and the apricot?

15’-16’

šuknanni-ma ina birīt šinni u lašhi šūšibanni

Place me and let me dwell between tooth and gum,

17’

ša šinni-ma lunzuqa damīšu

so I can suck the tooth’s blood

18’-19’

u ša lašhim luksu[p] kusāpēšu

and mince up the gum!”

20’

sikkata rite-ma šēpa ṣabat

Drive in the peg and seize the foot (while saying:)

21’

aššum annâ taqbî tūltu

“Because you said this, worm,

22’-23’

limhaṣki ea ina dannati rittišu

may Ea strike you with his mighty hand!”

 

Lines 9’-10’ – context suggests that tattanna has future sense (“what will you give?”), though this is grammatically difficult.  (Cf. the analogous situation in Gilgameš XI 275, 280)

Lines 18’-19’ – also possible: luksu[s] kusāsēšu, with similar sense.