Definitions of ĝiš-ḫur (B/W) Dec 23, 2007 10:29:14 GMT -5
Post by us4-he2-gal2 on Dec 23, 2007 10:29:14 GMT -5
ĝiš-ḫur: circle or plan?
Recently on the "Devils and Evil Spirits: CT16 + CT17" thread, Madness has pointed to an example of the concept of ĝiš-ḫur when used in the ban.ban incantation and he has cross-referenced Binsbergen and Wiggermann for an explanation of this concept. I believe a detailed survey/examination of this term may say something about its use in incantations, about the theortical approach we are elsewhere considering, and at the same time, highlight what would seem to have every possibility of being an important Sumerian religious concept.
There would seem to be two ePSD entries to consider. The first, already given, is very non-descript and seems to be of little use in understanding ĝiš-ḫur - however B/W have given usurtu as the Akk. of ĝiš-ḫur and so Im drawn to this first entry, if for no other reason
"wr. ĝeš-har-har "encirclement" Akk. usurtu"
The second entry seems much more relevent though lacking the Akkadian equivolent. So far as B/W's explanation of secret knowledge or divine plan, we have here a corresponding entry:
ĝešhur [PLAN] (123x: ED IIIb, Ur III, Old Babylonian) wr. ĝeš-hur "plan"
Incedentially, its interesting to note also the ePSD for the cuneiform sign ĝeš hur meaning "Draw". ĝeš meaning tree and hur scratch. The cuneiform sign is also very much like that for "Design" though with a space between the signs The relation between Draw and Design is understandablen though I wouldnt be inclined to think of tree's as a typical medium for Mesopotamian drawing (?). Its possible entry 1 above could be an extension of design, or by merit of forethought and cunning, the enemy is encircled and surrounded.
Examples of ĝiš-ḫur in literature:
-Ninurta and the Turtle T.1.6.3 :
When Anzu is struck he loses the divine perogatives he stole and explains:
(Segment B, l.3)
"As I let the divine plan go out of my hand, this divine plan returned to the abzu."
In this case ĝiš-ḫur is rendered divine plan.
- The lament for Sumer and Urim T.2.2.3
1-2. To overturn the appointed times, to obliterate the divine plans, the storms gather to strike like a flood.
Here ĝiš-ḫur is rendered divine plans.
-Amar-Suena and Enki's temple (Amar-Suena A) T.18.104.22.168
In the fourth year it remained in ruins, and he did not restore it. Although he had been advised (?) by a sage, he could not realise the plans of the temple.
Here ĝiš-ḫur is rendered the plans.
-Sîn-iddinam and Iškur (Sîn-iddinam E) T.22.214.171.124
"who puts in order the divine plans of Eridug, who makes perfect offerings to the gods; the wise one who has restored the ancient divine powers, ……"
Here ĝiš-ḫur is rendered divine plans (Part of the royal praise of a king).
As a Magic Circle:
Although sources so far considered seem to solidify the meaning of ĝiš-ḫur, the CAD entry indicates we might still look for some examples of this term as meaning magic circle. They entry for gišḫuru (gešḫuru)
1. plan (of a building), model, archetype
2. magic circle,
3. (unkn. mng.); MA, NA, NB; Sum. lw.
writing pl. gišḫurāte; we. syll. (gešḫuru YOS 7 61:4) and GIŠ.ḫUR [h should be capitalized.]
Will need to study further.