A Cow of Sīn
'A Cow of Sīn' is an Akkadian incantation for a woman in childbirth. It contains a small mythological narrative (about 20 lines) about the moongod and his beloved cow, Geme-Sīn. Sīn falls in love with his cow and impregantes her. When at the end of her pregnancy the birth-pangs begin, Sīn hears her cries in heaven. Two helping spirits descend to earth and perform a ritual to ease the birth. The incantation ends with a supplication: may this woman give birth as easily as Geme-Sīn. Veldhuis presents the various versions of the text and offers a literary analysis which takes into account the poetic and pragmatic aspects of the incantation. This study is meant both for the Assyriologist and for anyone interested in Akkadian literature.
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TEXTS AND TRANSLATIONS
TRANSLATION AND COMMENTARY
adverbial clauses Akkadian appasu ardatum arhu Boghazkoy buru comparison Cow of Sin cow trembled cuneiform daughters of Anu Dijk double entendre dXXX earth ekdu gave birth normally Geme-Sin GEME2 Gi-Sin girl in labour grammatical hali usappiha kala heard her screaming herdsman i-na ilput iltet imursima incantation A Cow incantational structure iramsi isaris istamme kaparru kima klma labour give birth labour pains Lamassus descended Lambert lexeme littu logographic lushest grasses magical ceremony magician manuscript Mesopotamian mounted the cow musapsiqtum namru Nannaru narrative nasat Neo-Assyrian nepalsah Nineveh oil-from-the-jar pangs paradox of birth parallel phonemes phonological pregnant present preterit puri pussa reading repetition ritual screaming in labour sentence sign play siptu sitta sprinkled her whole stative Stol story subsection Sumerian supplication tablet texture touched her forehead translation umesa usappala verb phrase verbal forms versions water-of-labour wild bull mounted woman in childbirth woman in labour