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Document number: 5972
Date: 02 Apr 1857
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: OPPERT Julius
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

London British Museum

2d of April 1857.


I was very Satisfied indeed at receiving your estimable papers on the Nebuchadnezzar inscription, and in seeing that independently from myself, you came to the same results. Allow me only, Sir, to answer to the objection in account of the monogramm <cuneiform>.

This letter denotes really the Signification of measure in general רחמ, and I believe that the form of this character is nothing else but the derivation of the images of a measured land <diagram>. Myself I pointed out that the <cuneiform> is a square of 60 f babylonian feet. But I believe, Dr. Hincks did not see a little tablet in the British Museum, where several kinds of measures are given equally assigned to this character. It is not only a measure of surface, but also of weight <hebrew> and of time רמע, and the original restricted sense had been enlarged in the same way as <metric?> denotes firstly a local evaluation and then a temporal one.

In the present case the measure is really applied to time, that is <ill. del.> evident by the verb


yu – za ak – ki – vu

<hebrew>, they record, they remember.

The part of the verb רבז to remember: <then?> do not remember a measure of length, In that case the Assyrians employ the radical חשמ or רשמ.

Permit me also to rectify your idea on the monogram you translate – by lapis lazuli. We have two evidences that it is actually copper. First the copper tablet of the foundation of Khorsabad is named a tablet of <cuneiform>, then this monogram is transcribed by sipru רפצ and you know that in arabic <arabic> denotes the metal of Venus.

I should be glad and happy, Sir, to remain in correspondence with a man so distinguished in two sorts of human investigation and am

yours most respectfully

Dr. Julius Oppert

38 rue de Lille


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