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Document number: 9610
Date: 19 Jan 1870
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SMITH George (2)
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 17th June 2013

41 Crowndale Road NW
January 19th 1870

My Dear Sir

Many thanks for your kind recommendation which Dr Birch sent in to the trustees I do not know when the matter will be settled I am very busy or I would have answered your notes earlier you are quite correct that Cuneiform occurs in the Accad or Proto Babylonian for death but I do not think the pronunciation was durga Oppert is right as to Cuneiform occuring in the account of the death of Tirhak[ah?] the passage is Cuneiform I should think from a numer [sic] of cases in which no Cuneiform occurs that it probably means region or place and Cuneiform would mean “region of darkness” – I have a similar passage unpublished where Assurbanipal speaks of the death of Esarhaddon and I can point you to a published one in Layards Inscrip. P. 95 line 152 [ill. del.] Cuneiform “he went to his region of death” (i.e tomb) [ill. del.] here Cuneiform region of death replaces region of night or darkness and the position of the words is reversed Cuneiform might mean fate but I do not think it does – Cuneiform in Akkad means a kingdom and Cuneiform means the region of a king or his kingdom and is so translated in the bilinguals, and even among the Assyrians [ill.del.] governors of districts were called Cuneiform an example is quoted in Norris’s dictionary p 85 but Mr Norris does not appear to appreciate the value of Cuneiform In my article to the North British Review January 1870 I have quoted the value of the sign Cuneiform and I think I have given the same example as you have in your glossary but I have no copy of my paper and so cannot be sure, this character meaning ‘so and so’ occurs on many tablets I am interested in your glossary and I would certainly have begged a copy earlier if I had known it to be published the suggestions as to some of the proper names are very good I hope you will allow me [ill. del.] to send you one or two observations on some points when I have time

Yours respectfully
George Smith

Hon. Fox Talbot

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