Skip to main content

Full text of "The Amorite Form of the Name Ḫammurabi"

See other formats


Early Journal Content on JSTOR, Free to Anyone in the World 

This article is one of nearly 500,000 scholarly works digitized and made freely available to everyone in 
the world byJSTOR. 

Known as the Early Journal Content, this set of works include research articles, news, letters, and other 
writings published in more than 200 of the oldest leading academic journals. The works date from the 
mid-seventeenth to the early twentieth centuries. 

We encourage people to read and share the Early Journal Content openly and to tell others that this 
resource exists. People may post this content online or redistribute in any way for non-commercial 

Read more about Early Journal Content at 
journal-content . 

JSTOR is a digital library of academic journals, books, and primary source objects. JSTOR helps people 
discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content through a powerful research and teaching 
platform, and preserves this content for future generations. JSTOR is part of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit 
organization that also includes Ithaka S+R and Portico. For more information about JSTOR, please 

Critical 0om 


In JAOS, XXXVII, 250-53, Luckenbill has solved the long-puzzling 
question of the original west-Semitic name of the great Babylonian king. 
As he has seen, the variant writings Ammura-PI, Ammurabi, ffammurabi, 
ffammura-PI, ffammurabi)i (cf. for the variations Clay, Empire of the 
Amorites, p. 113, n. 4, on pp. 113-15) can only be explained on the basis of 
an original '^Ammvr-rawih (■=). That the second element in the name is 
rawih and not rawi^, or the like, is established by the Babylonian translation 
kimta rapastum, "the family [clan] is extended." Luckenbill, however, did 
not happen to recall any parallels to this meaning for a proper name ; the 
parallels show that it is perfectly regular. In South Arabian inscriptions, 
e.g., Halevy, 349, the regular expression for "extend (power, influence, 
number, territory) of a tribe or people " is hrioh, harwah, causative of rawih, 
"be extended." Exactly the same idea is found in the Hebrew name Reho- 
boam, Behab'^am, "He has extended the people." In Assyrian inscriptions 
the phrases kimta ruppusu, z&ra ruppusu, etc., are frequent: Rassam Cyl- 
inder, I, 27 ff., we read asar AsHrahiddin kimtu urappim, "where Esarhaddon 
extended the family"; Pinches, Texts, 16, No. 4, has zerusu lirappis-ma 
lisamHdu nannabsu, "May he extend his seed, and make his progeny numer- 

Unfortunately, Hommel's idea that the element ^amm in a proper name 
means not "people" but ^Amm, as the name of a hypothetical god, has 
become very popular, and is still creating much unfortunate confusion regard- 
ing the proper explanation of a whole group of proper names. I fail to see a 
shred of valid evidence for the view that Ah in proper names means "divine 
father" or that '^Amm means "divine uncle"; names like Abi-ihi, "god 
is my father," are quite different, while EWam and '^AmmPel mean respec- 
tively, "The people is my god," and "My people is god," names which 
indicate the hypostatization of the spirit of the people, like the Latin Roma. 
From another angle these names appear as the culmination of the tendency 
to honor the people or tribe which is found in such proper names as '^Ammi- 
ditdn and '^Ammi-sadHq, also of kings of the First Dynasty, and meaning 
respectively "My people is mighty," and "My people is righteous." The 
corresponding Greek proper names (as well as Teutonic in Lut-, etc.) are 
individualistic rather than socialistic in type: cf. Menelaus, "Cherishing 
the people," and Arcesilaus, "Defending the people"; Laomedon, "The 
one who rules among the people"; and Laodicus, "The one who judges the 


Critical Notes 


people." In conclusion it should be observed that the development "uncle" 
for '=amm is specifically Arabic, and due solely to a misunderstanding of the 
expression ibn<^amm, "son of the clan, cousin," after <^amm, "people," had 
become obsolete, being replaced by aM, qaum. 

W. F. Albright 
Ambeican School of Oriental Research 


1 bought the following tablet from a little Arab boy in the ruins of 
Babylon, April 2, 1920. 



Obverse: »30+6 udu nitdg ^20+8 udu 'sd-dug kud-du <bal li-Sd- 
num pa-te-si AMAR-DA**' ^ki ''dun-gi-uru-mu ta *ud 30-LAL-l kdm. 

Reverse: 'mu-tum %b-ba-§ag-ga 'ni-[. . .] ^itu ki-sig ''nin-a-zu 
^u en-mag-gal an-na en ''nannar ba-tiig. 

Left edge: 60+4. 

"Thirty-six fat sheep, twenty-eight sheep, the regular offering fassessed 
as the tax ofl Lishanum Patesi of Marad, from Dungiurumu, on the twenty- 
ninth day, fas a contribution!, Abbasbagga [receiv]ed. Month Kisig- 
Ninazu, year when the great high priest of Anna Tappointedl the priest of 
Nannar" (foiui;h year of Bur-Sin). Docket on the left edge: "Sixty-four." 

Keiser, Patesis of the Ur Dynasty, page 29, hsts only one occurrence 
of the name Lishanum: Genouillac, Tablettes de Drihem, 5504, III, 17, 
where Lishanum is mentioned as patesi of an unnamed city in the fifth 
year of Bur-Sin. We now learn that he was patesi of Marad in the fourth 
year of Bur-Sin. 

William F. Edgeeton 

Universitt of Chicago