If a pig carries a reed and enters a man’s house…
Observations on some structuring devices in Babylonian omen lists
Abstract: The paper studies a sequence of eleven interrelated omens dealing with the ominous behaviour of pigs from Šumma izbu Tablet 22. My aim is to demonstrate how the authors of the omen sequence creatively operate with similarity and contrast between contiguous or near contiguous textual elements both on the horizontal, syntagmatic, and on the vertical, paradigmatic axis.
This article results from research conducted under the auspices of the project REPAC “Repetition, Parallelism and Creativity: an Inquiry into the Construction of Meaning in Ancient Mesopotamian Literature and Erudition” (2019-2024, University of Vienna) that has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement no. 803060).
This paper was originally published as a showcase of the project REPAC, Repetition, Parallelism and Creativity: an Inquiry into the Construction of Meaning in Ancient Mesopotamian Literature and Erudition, funded by the European Research Council, work package 4 (divinatory texts) on the homepage of the project:https://repac.at/repacshowcase-nicladezorzi-ifapigcarriesareed/
omen lists, micro-structure, repetition, symmetry, binary opposition, similarity, analogy