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Averting consequences of astral omens

Dear Fred,
Unforunately I don't have Maul's book on namburbis available to me, but 
let me cite something from  Caplice's little Undena monograph.

...references to namburbi rituals in the Assyrian royal correspondence 
more often specify the portent as an eclipse or other astronomical 
phenomenon of the type catalogued in teh omen series Enuma Anu Enlil [the 
major corpus of astronomical omens- v.h.]. Astronomical portents are 
however prominent in the special type of text called `Namburbi for every 
evil' (or, in modern parlance,  Universalbeschwoerung), as their name 
indicates, such rituals are intended to avert any possible evil... If our 
lack of individual namburbis dealing with celestial portents is not a 
mere accident of discovery, it may be that the normal reaction to such 
portents w as to perform either a general namburbi... It is clear, in any 
case, that for the ancients the namburbi was the proper  reaction to 
both terrestrial and celestial portents of ill, the it dealt with the 
signs of heaven and earth, as many as they are'".
If any one out there is interested in the letters Caplice refers to (Fred 
already knows them), they are available in Parpola's collection of 
Letters from Assyrian Scribes and his recent volume in the SAA series. 


On Tue, 22 Oct 1996, Frederick Cryer wrote:

> Avigdor, while I think it is quite likely that you're right in 
> claiming that attempts were made to avert the consequences of 
> unfortunate astrological omina, there are no apotropaic texts known 
> to me which actually attempt to do this. Perhaps they employed  some of 
> the namburbis of extreme generality for this purpose, or else simple 
> prayers;  but no astrological series has conjurations appended to it as is the case 
> with the Assyrian Dream Book; nor are there namburbi series 
> specificaly designed to answer to enuma anu enlil's portents. In 
> fact, I believe C.J. Gadd even claimed that no attempt was made to 
> avert such portents.
> Fred Cryer