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KAR 44 - An Assyrian Magician's Manual

Reshe Ishkari Mashmashuti
The Titles of the Works of Magic

This text has been called "a magician's vade mecum," a handbook of the trade. It outlines what a magician, or ashipu, of the 8th century b.c.e. was supposed to know, or have on hand for reference. Reshe Ishkari Mashmashuti lists books, rituals and other techniques of the ashipu's profession. Archeologists and scholars have recovered a large part of this material, and I have tried to put most of it on this site. Because KAR 44 forms a kind of table of contents to the study of Babylonian Magick, I will link the texts mentioned as they appear on the site.

(Ebeling, KAR 44 (pp.77-78) (Keilschrifttexte Aus Assyrien Religiosen Inhalts no.44); transliteration, translation and commentary, H. Zimmern, ZA 30 (1915), pp. 204-229; transliteration, translation and commentary, J. Bottero, MRB pp. 65-112; partial English translation, Henshaw Female and Male, p. 150)

1. Here is the complete list of the titles of the works of Magic that have been established for teaching and reference.

2. The God Kulla: for placing the foundations of a building.
The Washing of the Mouth.
When you bless the oil.

3. The formulae of the Apsu.
The touching of the reed.
The ablution rites of the Gods.

4. The conjurations by Shamash.
The conjurations by the Lifted Hand.
The Irate Gods.

5. The conjuratory operations for the month of Du'uzu.
The Royal Ceremonial.

6. Symptomatology.
Elocution.< p>7. The Pure Waters.
The Evil Utukku Demons.
The Who Are You?
The Evil ......

8. The purifying rubbings.
The Annoying Asakku Demons.
The Ritual Drawings made of flour.

9. Headaches.
All physical problems.

10. The Demon Lillu.
The Demoness Ardat Lilli.
The substitution figurines.

11. The Bathroom.
The Enclosed Dwelling.
For washing the mouth.

12. The Evil Sorceries.
The Evil Maledictions.
To dissolve sorcery.
To dissolve the evil effects of broken oaths.

13. The conjurations by Shamash, of the Gods and Men.
To dissolve sorcery.
To dissolve the evil effects of broken oaths.
The Demoness Lamashtu.

14. The Conjurations against All Evil (Namburbi).
Combustion (Maqlu).
Cremation (Shurpu).
To change bad dreams into good.
The Lifting of the Heart.

15. The Pregnant Woman Impeached.
The woman in difficulty.
The Demoness Lamashtu.
To calm a baby.

16. The eye-ache.
Frozen mouth.

17. The stomach ache.
Chest pain.
The Incantation against all sorts of illness.

18. To stop nose-bleed.
To stop vomiting.
To stop diarrhea.

19. To heal snake-bites.
To heal scorpion-bites.
To heal shamanu (red disease).

20. To avoid infection from the house of the client.
To avert epidemic diseases and the presence of death.
To make the Gods accept sacrifices.

21. Conjuratory operations for city, houses, fields, orchards and the irrigations system.
Daily offerings to Nisaba.

22. To avert torrential rain.
To avert locusts' devouring of the crops.
To ...... to the desert.

23. To pass without danger through the desert.
To prevent the arrow of the enemy from touching the client.
To keep his army fighting.

24. To purify the stables of the cattle large and small, as well as the horses.

25. Divinations according to falling stars, the flight of birds, the behavior of oxen and cattle, ominous sounds, flour, dice and of all the Gods.

26. The Stone which looks like this (series).
The Plant which looks like this (series).
The Stone Tablets.
The Plant Tablets.
The Tablets of Necklaces and Pendants.

27. The following are the titles of Esagil-kin-apli's magical works.

28. All the prescriptions of the Touching of the Reed, which Ea has authored.
The Ceremonies and the Sacred Chants.

29. All that exists concerning the Rites against Bewitchment,
and the Rites of the Dissolution of the Evil Omens of Heaven and Earth (Namburbi).

30. The Totality of Wisdom.
The Secret of Magic.

31. The Sealed Book of the Order of Heaven and Earth.
The Mystery of the Apsu.
Extraordinary Conjurations.

32. Prescriptions against paralysis.
Swollen muscles.
Clinical symptoms.
All the prescriptions against .......

33. The remedies for the Evil Above.
The Evil of the Lord of the Roof.
The Seizure of a God.
The Seizure of a Goddess.
The Seizure of a Ghost.

34. The Evil Demon Alu.
The Demon Lemmu.
The Harbinger.
Seizure by a broken oath.
Seizure by a man.

35. The remedies for all similar diseases, completely.
All of the symptoms of diseases.
The prescriptions relating to the diseases of women.

36. Until the time when, having become a Master of the entire Art of Magic, you possess the secret.

37,38. After which you will learn to hear and interpret the commentaries as well as the list of correspondences, and to practice the rituals in both Sumerian and Akkadian.

39. "In This Way Your Sanctuary...."
"I Have Wandered In Despair..."
"When Anu, Enlil,...."
"If A City Is Located On A Height..."

40. And also to reason and debate in order to reach a consensus.

41. Upon the one who is vigorous, wise, and penetrating to Great Knowledge, the Two Gods, the Lords (Ea and Marduk), will confer Vast Understanding;

42. Unto this one these Gods will grant a Guardian Angel, whose name will be pronounced unto the Most Distant Times.

43. Copied and collated with a most ancient copy. A tablet belonging to Kisir-dNabu, son of dŠamaš-ibni, magician of the Ešara.