Transmission and Interpretation of Therapeutic Texts. Šumma amēlu muḫḫašu umma ukāl: a Case Study

  • Silvia Salin (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Among the Assyro-Babylonian medical texts the therapeutic series šumma amēlu muḫḫašu umma ukâl, probably composed during the reign of Assurbanipal, is an extremely interesting case study in order to explain how medical texts were received and medical knowledge transmitted among professionals. The series deals with the particular group of diseases affecting the head and is related to other groups of diagnostic and therapeutic texts. Moreover, it was the object of a commentary preserved in a tablet from Uruk (SpTU 1.47) dating from the fifth century BCE. This later document attests to the efforts of understanding difficult words and illustrates the continuity in the interpretation and study of ancient texts. The comprehensive consideration of these texts allows facing the problems concerning the instruments and methods Mesopotamian intellectuals used when employing technical lore and the texts that transmitted it.