Front - Line 17

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Hand drawing below by Ernst F. Weidner (1952)


U5ANKIANIGI7U.U.UNAANGI6


Transliteration:

[xxx] x 15 DINGIR KI DINGIR IGI 7.30 NA AN.MI sin ša2 DIB [...]

Translation - by P.V. Neugebauer and E. F. Weidner (1915) edited by Hermann Hunger (1988)

The 15th, one god was seen with the other; sunrise to moonset: 7°30'. A lunar eclipse which passed by [...]

Note

One God Was Seen With The Other

Content last updated: 19th June 2022 09:39 (UTC)

What does this mean?

The expression "one god was seen with the other" is only found in VAT 4956 and one other diary dated to 652 BC.

Abraham Sachs suggests the expression "refers to sun and moon in opposition" - Astronomical Diaries and related texts from Babylonia. Volume 1. completed and edited by Hermann Hunger (1988).

Mathieu Ossendrijver suggests similarly that it's a "technical term for Full Moon, i.e. opposition of Moon and Sun". - Translating Babylonian Astronomical Diaries and Procedure Texts (2016).

Below are images of the two examples from -651

Month I day 14 - "The 14th, one god was seen with the other."
Actual full moon BC 652 Apr 5 19:37




Month XII day 15 - "The 15th, one god was seen with the other."
Actual full moon BC 651 Feb 24 18:46




On both occasions in 652 BC both the sun and moon could be viewed at the same time from a good vantage point. To the observer they would appear opposite each other. This would happen near the end of the day before sunset.


What happened in 588BC

Much has changed in Babylon since 652 BC, Nebuchadnezzar is credited with fortifying the city with impressive walls. The images below support the view that these walls affected astronomical observations.

Month I day 14 - "On the 14th, one god was seen with the other;"
Actual full moon BC 588 May 17 16:00(UTC+3)

Month I day 14



Month III day 15 - "The 15th, one god was seen with the other; "
Actual full moon BC 588 Jul 15 08:40(UTC+3)

Month III day 14

Month III day 15



Month XII day 12 - "The 12th, one god was seen with the other,"
Actual full moon BC 587 Apr 7 09:50(UTC+3)

Month XII day 12


What happened in 568BC

Month I day 14 - "On the 14th, one god was seen with the other;"
Actual full moon BC 568 May 6 08:12(UTC+3)

Month I day 14




Month III day 15 - "The 15th, one god was seen with the other; "
Actual full moon BC 568 Jul 4 13:54(UTC+3)

Month III day 13

Month III day 14 - Moons geometric altitude: -02°55'44.1"

Month III day 15 - Moons geometric altitude: -12°55'21.7"



Month XII day 12 - "The 12th, one god was seen with the other,"
Actual full moon BC 567 Mar 26 21:23(UTC+3)

Month XII day 12



In "The Reports of the Magicians and Astrologers of Nineveh and Babylon" - R Campbell Thompson (1900) There are nearly 50 omens associated with the moon and sun being visible together from the 12th - 16th day. Other than the two astronomical diaries considered here, all the other diaries are from the Persian period and later, none of them include any references to the sun and moon being seen together. Are these two diaries examples of a mix between astrological and astronomical?

Note C

SymbolSyllablesMeanings
15 fifteen
AN.KI.AN.IGI AN.KI.AN.IGI
7 7
ušu3
ba3
es2
sin
šalāšā: thirty, 30
half

the moon
NA do, sky, be, heaven, man, not, lie,
AN
DINGIR
ILU
Sky, Heaven, Mars
Deity, Determinative for a deity
God
GI6
ĝi6
ku10
mi
mūšu: night
ṣalāmu: cause to become dark, darkened, obscured

Note D

A. The moon observations.

9. On the 15th (Sivan) the god was seen with the god (= full moon, see above p. 42). 30m Time between sunrise and moonset the next morning (Vs. 17). Full moon July 4, 1h noon. The 15th Sivan begins July 4 evening.

July 5, early: ☉ A - ☾ U = 29m.

10. On the 15th (Sivan) lunar eclipse, invisible in Babvlon (Vs. 17). ' . Eclipse July 4. The eclipse could not be seen in Babylon as the full moon came soon after noon. The information indicates that an eclipse cycle was already known at that time (see above p. 50).

From page 50, mentioned above:

17. The meaning of ilu itti ili ittanmar and NA has already been discussed on p. 42 above. The lunar eclipse of Sivan 15 (= — 567 July 4) was not visible in Babylon. The Babylonian astronomer had only determined the same on the basis of an eclipse period known to him (probably of Saros) and therefore wrote: atalû Sin "calculated lunar eclipse". After that one can probably read: ša etetiḳ (LU) "which fails" (i.e. in Babylon is invisible; see Kugler, Sternkunde I, p. 268a). Traces of ša LU are probably still clearly recognizable.

TRANSLATION FROM: Paul V. Neugebaner und Ernst F. Weidner (1915) Ein astronomischer Beobachtungstext aus dem 37. Jahre Nebukadnezars II (- 567/66).

Modern Results

SkyCharts
  • Full moon: -567 Jul 4 10:54 (UT); -567 Jul 4 13:54 (+3) (astropixels.com )
  • Sunrise: -567 Jul 05 04:50 (+3)
  • Moonset: -567 Jul 05 05:24 (+3)
  • 34 mins

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