The Babylonian šumma immeru Omens: Transmission, Reception and Text Production

Research output: Book/ReportBook


The Babylonian ?umma immeru (?If the Sheep?) omens are concerned with ominous signs drawn from the behaviour of the sacrificial sheep at the time of its sacrifice. They are part of the diviner?s craft of divination and are related to the technique of extispicy (i.e., the examination of the entrails). The literary history and the transmission of the ?umma immeru omens is long and convoluted. The omens are attested from the Old Babylonian period to almost the very end of cuneiform civilization at Seleucid Uruk. Manuscripts of the omens and of their commentaries arrive from Babylonia, Assyria, Anatolia and Northern Syria. This book is the first comprehensive study of this omen genre. It offers complete text editions and commentaries of the omens, some previously unpublished. It places the ?umma immeru omens within the context of Babylonian divination, and investigates how texts reached a ?canonical? status that had become immune from changes during millennia of textual production, transmission and reception.00Yoram Cohen is Professor of Assyriology at the Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, Tel Aviv University. He is the author of The Scribes and Scholars of the City of Emar in the Late Bronze Age (2009) and, with Lorenzo d?Alfonso and Dietrich Sürenhagen, the editor of The City of Emar among the Late Bronze Age Empires: History, Landscape, and Society (2008). His book Wisdom from the Late Bronze Age (2013) is a study of Babylonian wisdom and its spread throughout the cuneiform world. He has written many articles about scribes, schooling, and the dissemination of knowledge in the ancient Near East, as well as about the history of Hittite Syria.0.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMünster
Number of pages406
ISBN (Print)396327042X, 3963270438, 9783963270420, 9783963270437
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

VolumeBand 9


  • (Produktform)Hardback
  • (BISAC Subject Heading)HBJF1
  • (Produktform (spezifisch))Sewn
  • Babylonische Literatur
  • Schaf-Omina
  • (BIC subject category)HBJF1
  • (VLB-WN)1553: Hardcover, Softcover / Geschichte/Altertum
  • (BISAC Subject Heading)HIS026000
  • Babylonische Omina
  • Schafe

ULI Keywords

  • uli
  • Animal sacrifice
  • Assyro-Babylonian religion
  • Omens -- Iraq -- Babylonia
  • Sheep
  • Religion, Assyro-Babylonian


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