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Extra resources for Melothesia in Babylonia : medicine, magic, and astrology in the ancient near east

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The spells for) ‘bringing about a volte-face’: region of Gemini. (The spells for) ‘cleansing (of guilt) by river or well-water’ (ordeal): region of Capricorn. (The spells for) ‘entering the palace’ (egalkurrû): region of Cancer. (The spells for) ‘appeasing (divine-)anger’: region of Aquarius. (The spells for) the ‘king remembering his name favourably in his palace’:  degrees before ……. (The spells so that) the ‘prince will mention his name favourably in his palace’: in the region of Pisces. (The spells so that) the one who sees you will rejoice and be happy at seeing you: in the region of Leo.

The final correspondence between kidneys and testicles may be more suggestive, since within Babylonian medicine the kidneys were seen as the major organs of the entire urinary system and ‘kidney’ disease also involved all functions of the penis, including ejaculation. Moreover, the four factors mentioned above in Galen’s work (hot, cold, dry, wet) are equally important within Babylonian diagnostics and occur frequently within the Babylonian Diagnostic Handbook as fixed reference points for diagnostic and prognostic criteria, to determine the nature of the disease and its duration.

Kar with ekēmu, ‘to take away by force’, or alternatively eṭēru, for which the Sumerian is usually /kar/. kar has the meaning of to ‘save’ (šūzubu), which suggests translating the phrase as: ‘(spells) to save the profits of the publican – or (spells to be recited on the occasion of) an eclipse’. l. da). Why should magic for breaking a spell appear in this list of mostly offensive magic? zu can refer to a male witch (kaššāpu), as well as to sorcery (ruhû or kišpu), and this might account for the difference between terminology in ll.

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