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Astrological Reports to Assyrian Kings (SAA 08, 147, K 00120a), 7-8 & r1

The star of Marduk becomes visible in the presence of d šulpae that has been rising 1[] double-hour only if Jupiter is standing in the sky in the middle of the night at [the position of ] the Autumnal equinox.

Explanatory Notes:  Langdon, S. (1923), "The Babylonian Epic of Creation", Oxford, p. 156 suggests that d nibiru may be identified with either equinox. The calendars of 3R53 no2 and CT26 plate 49 Sm0777 further suggest that the interpretation of d nibiru may be constrained to the position of the Autumnal equinox, since they both associate month VII with d nibiru. According to mul APIN Ii28, d SAG-ME-GAR keeps changing its position and crosses the sky, while according to mul APIN IIi2, d šulpae takes the place we would expect of d SAG-ME-GAR in the list of astronomical objects that travel the same Path the Moon travels. If d SAG-ME-GAR is identified with Jupiter,d šulpae may be interpreted as Jupiter at opposition, since Jupiter transits at the local midnight when at opposition. This viewpoint is further supported by the poem of Erra & Išum Tablet IV 124 (I want to dim the brilliance of d šulpae!) which suggests that d šulpae is brilliant and it is well-known that Jupiter is typically bright at opposition. If Jupiter is located near the position of the Autumnal equinox, the translation further suggests that the star of Marduk may be associated with the Milky Way, perhaps near Antares or Aldebaran, depending on whether Jupiter stands at opposition near the Autumnal or Vernal equinox respectively, based on the dates associated with the tablet as ca. 911-612 BCE according to the ORACC record for SAA 08, 147.
Source:  RMA094
Date:  ca. 911-612 BCE (according to ORACC)
Language:  Akkadian
Medium:  clay tablet
Find Spot:  Nineveh (modern Kuyunjik)
See all in category Astromonical Texts