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182 Hebraica 

estate on which they lived. Though a glebes, adscriptus, he could acquire 
and hold property of his own. Crown lands as a rule descended from 
father to son. At times town dwellers, retired merchants, etc., settled in 
the country and became cultivators of the soil or vigniards. The " levy," 
ilku, tithe and other requisitions, exacted at times, were contributed by 
the owner of the estate, although the peasants discharged the obligation. 7 

Pp. 28-72 contain transcription, translation, and commentary of the 
separate texts ; followed by lists of place names ; gods, named, or ocur- 
ring in compound names; and personal names (pp. 72-76); and a 
glossary (pp. 76-79). 8 

This short summary, inadequate though it is, will show the great 
importance of this contribution toward our knowledge of the history, 
geography, and culture of garran, written by one who, more than any 
other Assyriologist, speaks on this subject as one with authority. 9 

W. Muss-Arnolt. 
The University of Chicago. 


In this excellent and careful little volume, which was presented as a 
Doctor's Dissertation to the University of Chicago, Dr. Stevenson collects 
together such contract texts as bear Aramaic inscriptions in the British 
Museum. In the infancy of cuneiform research much was hoped for 
from such inscriptions. As bilingual tablets they would perhaps furnish 
a welcome check or confirmation to the readings proposed for the wedge- 
formed characters. But it soon became evident that such a hope was 

7 " Many estates were exempt from some or all of these obligations, by charter, probably, 
and others owed their dues to temples. The contracts for the sales of estates frequently 
show a clause specifying that the estate is free from such charges. As we can hardly suppose 
such a general freedom obtained by letters patent, it probably was possible to compound 
with the government by some recognized payment. Such a composition would not be made 
in the case of crown lands and we expect them to be subject to all the charges exacted from 
the peasantry. This may be the explanation of the mysterious 'marks' (discussed at 
length on pp. 79-81) attached to certain of the members of the families in our documents." 

«Tho Glossary mentions some very interesting words and forms, e. g., ad-ru, an 
enclosed yard, barn, or the like; ba-tu-su, epithet of a "daughter," perhaps "child" (see 
also ibid., p. 80, and Assyrian Deeds and Documents, Vol. Ill, 519-21); (icu) u-lu-pu; za- 
am-ri, a plant; on amel rab MU = "chief baker," see now, on the other hand, 
Delitzsch in BAS., Vol. IV, p. 484; the reading nishu for the sign MAN-hu is quite 
certain from the passages where nis is spelled ni-is, see Muss-Arnolt, Dictionary, pp. 700, 701 ; 
sar-bu-tu; qab-lu, some sort of garden, or enclosure; qa-tin, an official, overseer, 
store-keeper; the bit ri-pi-tu, No. 15, 1, contains perhaps the same word as akal 
ri-pi-tu, Zimmern, Bitualtafeln, Nos. 66, 08; 67, O 7, explained by Zimmern as a " Getreide- 
art;" cf. rfiB'H; 1 ri-bit, in No. 7, left-hand edge, II 3, belongs also perhaps here; bit 
ri-pi-tu would be a granary; raku, "idle, unemployed," pi. rftkftti, occurs also in 
Neb. 62, 6, etc.; (icu) Sa-Su-gi, a cultivated plant. Is u-Se-lu-ni really a Pi'el of 
§ e lu , "to offer, dedicate " ? 

9 P. 12, 1. 4, read: Distinguish Assyrian from Babylonian names; 1. 21 (end), read cer- 
tainty for " certainly ;" p. 13, 1. 18 ( + 21), "pB3 for TE3; p. 16, 1. 6 from below, Ser for S§r; 
p.78,col.2, nadbaru, MAT-BAR "steppe," waste land, 8, 1, 12, where (on p. 62) the form 
is correctly read madbar (c. st. of madbaru). 

io Assyrian and Babylonian Contracts with Aramaic reference notes. By J. H. 
Stevenson, Ph.D., Professor in Vanderbilt University. The Vanderbilt Oriental Series. 
American Book Company. 

Book Notices 183 

quite illusory. Indeed, we now turn rather to the cuneiform in order to 
discover what these Aramaic inscriptions mean. It is, therefore, no 
small gain to have the cuneiform texts as well. Dr. Stevenson further 
transliterates and translates the cuneiform, so that any one can follow 
their bearing on the sense to be conjectured for the Aramaic. 

The book deserves great praise for the kindly way in which the 
previous attempts to deal with these inscriptions are described and 
corrected. Many of the tablets are hard to read in the cuneiform but 
as a rule the Aramaic is far harder. The signs are scratched in, often 
very slightly. But whatever can be made out is really valuable, because 
it is so accurately dated. A student of Semitic palaeography has here 
the most perfect guide he can get to the changes which the Aramaic 
writing underwent from the seventh to the fifth centuries B. C; at any 
rate, in Assyria and Babylonia. 

With the exception of one or two texts written wholly in Aramaic 
the inscriptions rarely add any information to what the cuneiform con- 
tained. They were in no way essential parts of the documents. They 
seem to have played the same part as a penciled note on an engrossed 
deed. Hence they are well described as "reference notes." This need 
not be pressed to mean that they were for the convenience of a curator, 
who might be called upon to find them in a hurry. For sometimes the 
Aramaic, as in No. 2, gives practically all the information of the cunei- 
form. In other cases, as in No. 1, a whole deed of sale of twenty-four 
lines is docketed with simply the name of the seller. 

It is probable that in the present state of the originals no more 
accurate copies can be made than Dr. Stevenson has given. Advances 
may be made when the meaning of some obscure words, or traces of 
words, are illustrated by parallels elsewhere, or by better understanding 
of the cuneiform. Any day a tablet may turn up, which by a variant, or 
a fresh context, may fix the sense of the many ideographic or otherwise 
uncertain words in the cuneiform. What is certain is set down clearly 
and with due references to the source of our knowledge. 

A few suggestions may here be made for the purpose of eliciting 
further research. On p. 116 the rendering of TftfiXD by "interest" is pre- 
ferred to Eawlinson's "rice." But SE-PAT seems to be always used 
of corn for food, and SE-BAR as corn more generally. It is therefore 
still possible that the Aramaic means "barley," as the usual food of the 
working classes. There seems no ground for the rendering "interest," 
or "taxation" in the circumstances of an advance of grain to a farmer at 
harvest time. 

The phrase referred to on p. 20, sibtu bennu ana me um§ sartu 
ana kal sanate, means probably that as sibtu, "seizure," and bennu 
some "fever" or disease was a thing likely to render the purchased slave 
valueless, a hundred days were allowed within which the purchaser 
might repudiate his bargain. The seller suspecting that his slave was 
sickening might have tried to sell him, but the purchaser inserted this 
clause to protect himself from having a sick slave on his hands. The 

184 Hbbeaioa 

hundred days seems a long time for an illness to incubate. But in 
the early Babylonian contracts the time allowed for the bennu was 
"one month." There it is associated with tepitum, which is allowed 
one to three days. This was in the case of female slaves, who were 
thus sold on trial. The buyer could not send back the slave after 
three days on the ground that she had any organic deficiency. The 
sartu here is any "blemish" such as justified the return of a slave. 
That could be pleaded any time. So the code of Hammurabi enacted 
that a slave could be sent back on proof of a bagru, or cause of com- 
plaint. The clause is a guarantee on the part of the seller that the slave 
has no undisclosed defect. It is a stock phrase and condensed by omis- 
sion of the apodosis. So, often, we read sa pi duppi suati unakkaru, 
" who shall pervert the tenor of this document," but the fate in store is 
not set down. In the phrase quoted from III R. 49, No. 3, 32, the sen- 
tence reads in full, sa sinnisti, istu pani sarte, kata sibti, habulli, 
Karmeuni su am6lu urkiu, "for the woman, against any defect, 
seizure of- the hands (or) injury, Karmeuni he is guarantee." The 
"seizure of the hands," like sibit pi, "seizure of the mouth," means a 
seizure which renders them useless. 

The notes on the text are always helpful and suggestive though 
finality is out of the question yet on account of the lacunae and for want 
of parallels. Here and there a small typographical error occurs and 
there are one or two oversights. On p. 138, FlblX is for amiltu rather 
than amelutu. In No. 35, line 1, for ina mati isu read ina sat- 
tuk. The asne seem to be a sort of date fruit, brought from Dilmun 
(ZA., XII, p. 408 f.). On p. 130, the b el it tree is better read til lit and 
seems to be a variant of tillatu, a grape vine. 

The translations are well done with the present state of knowledge ; 
the cuneiform texts seem to be the most reliable yet produced, and 
there is a very useful register of proper names. Altogether it is a most 
useful and careful piece of work. 

C. H. W. Johns. 

Queens' College, 


Since the days of Lenormant's work {fitudes Accadiennes, 1873- 
1880; Die Magie und Wahrsagekunst der Chaldaer; improved and 
enlarged German edition, Jena, 1878) no attempt has been made to 
produce an exhaustive treatise on Babylonian Magic, although many 
texts dealing with this subject have been published. The present care- 
fully edited book cannot fail, therefore, to be a welcome contribution to 
our knowledge of this important and interesting branch of Assyriology. 
Dr. Fossey, 2 who has dedicated his work to the veteran Jules Oppert, 

i La Magie Assybienne. fitude suirie de Textes Magiques transcrits, traduits et com- 
ments par C. Fossey, Docteur-es-Lettres (Bibliotheque de l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes; 
Sciences Religieuses. Quinzieme Volume). Paris : Ernest Leroux, 1902. Pp. 1-474.