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THE OLDEST SPELL IN THE WORLD



This spell is perhaps one of the oldest ever found. It was discovered at the site of the ancient city of Kish, in 1930. That year an English expedition lead by Ernest Mackay discovered a small cache of tablets in a layer of the city dating from around 2800 - 2600 b.c.e., a period known historically as the First Dynasty of Kish. These tablets revealed the earliest examples of the Akkadian language (known as "Old Akkadian"), as well as affording the most ancient example of any type of magical spell. This small tablet, measuring 87 x 46 x 11 mm, is almost perfectly preserved, and is an incantation for love.



1. dEn-ki ir-e-ma-am
2. è-ra-a-am
3. ir-e-mu-um DUMU dInnana
4. in za-gi-im e-ra-ab
5. in ru-ùh-ti ga-na-ak-tim
6. ú-da-ra wa-ar-....... -da
7. da-me-iq da-tu-... da-pumx
8. ki-rí-šum tu-ur4-da-am
9. tu-ur4-da-ma a-na GIŠ.SAR
10. ru-ùh-ti ga-na-ak-tim
11. ti-ib da-ad-ga
12. a-hu-EŠ ba-ki ša ru-ga-tim
13. a-hu-EŠ bu-ra-ma-ti
14. e-ni-ki
15. a-hu-EŠ ur4-ki
16. ša lim-na-tim
17. a-áš-hi-it ki-rí-iš
18. dEN.ZU
19. ab-tuq GIŠ.A.TU.GAB.LIŠ
20. u-me-iš-sa
21. du-ri-ì i-da-as-ga-ri-ni
22. ki SIPA ì-du-ru za-nam
23. ÙZ ga-lu-ma-sa U8 SILA4-áš
24. a-da-núm mu-ra-áš
25. si-ir-gu-a i-da-su
26. X ù ti-bu-ut-tum
27. sa-ap-da-su
28. a-za-am X in ga-ti-su
29. a-za-am i-ri-nim in bu-ti-su
30. ir-e-mu ú-da-bi-bu-si-ma
31. ù iš-ku-nu-si a-na mu-hu-tim
32. a-hu-EŠ ba-ki ša da-ti
33. dInnana ù dIš-ha-ra
34. ù-dam-me-ki
35. a-ti za-wa-ar-su
36. ù za-wa-ar-ki
37. la e-dam-da
38. la da-ba-ša-hi-ì
Enki ir'emam
era"am
ir'emum mara' Innana
in zaggim errab
in ruhti kanaktim
udarra .........
damiq ..... tâbum
kiršum turdam
turdamma ana kirim
ruhti kanaktim
tib dâdka
âhuz paki ša rûqatim
âhuz burramati
êniki
âhuz ûrki
ša limnatim
ašhit kiriš
Suen
abtuq sarbatam
jumišša
dûri in-taskarinni
ki re'ijum idûru sa'nam
enzum kalumaša lahrum puhadaš
atanum mûraš
širkua idašu
.......... u tibuttum
šaptašu
assam ....... in qâtišu
assam irinim in pûdišu
ir'emu udabbibušima
u iškunuši ana muhhu'tim
âhuz paki ša dâdi
Innana u Išhara
utammîki
adi zawaršu
u zawarki
la êtamda
la tapaššahi
Ea loves
Ir'emum,
Ir'emum, Ištar's child,
Sitting in her lap
in the sap of the Kanaktu-tree
You, N., beautiful girls,
You are sweet, ........
You go down to the garden,
You go into the garden,
You collected the sap of the Kanaktu-tree.
May you please your lover!
I seized your luscious mouth,
I seized your colorful
Eyes,
I seized your vulva
Moistening.
I jumped into the garden
Of Sin, the Moon-God
I cut off branches
For her day.
You shall surround me among my boxwoods,
Like a shepherd circles his flock,
The she-goat her kid, the ewe her lamb,
The jenny her foal.
His arms are covered with jewels,
Like oil and tibuttum-plants
Are his lips;
A cruse of oil is in his hand,
A cruse of oil is on his shoulder
The Ir'emu have bewitched her
And made her love-sick.
I've seized your mouth of love
By Ištar and Išhara
I conjure you:
As long as his neck
And your neck
Are not entwined,
You shall find no peace!