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Document number: 4495
Date: 04 Feb 1875
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SAYCE Archibald Henry
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 20th April 2012

Queen’s Coll.
Feb. 4th 1875.

Dear Sir,

I see that by a curious accident we have both been translating the same passage in the last volume of Records of the Past <1> pp. 141, 148. Line 21. was a great puzzle to me; but your rendering has cleared it up. The Accadian text also proves the correctness of your version. My difficulty was with [illegible], whether it should be regarded as an abstract or concrete noun. Mamitu is of course the word wh so frequently occurs in the sense of “oath” or “covenant” (from [Hebrew text]); & it seems to me that its meaning must be “enchantment” in these tablets of exorcisms. You will notice that the Accadian equivalent is nam neru, nam being the prefix of abstract nouns. Now mul neru is elsewhere “sorcerer”, & neru is rendered by the Assn aibu. The sorcerer was naturally regarded as wicked.

Please forgive the liberty I have taken in writing to you, & believe me

Yours faithfully
A. H. Sayce.

W. H. Fox Talbot Esq.
&c. &c. &c.
Lacock Abbey,


1. Records of the Past being English Translations of the Assyrian and Egyptian Monuments (London: Samuel Bagster & Sons). [See Doc. No: 04150].

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