Shame and Insult in Anatolia: Luvo-Hittite zammurai-.

Author:Nikolaev, Alexander
Position:Essay
 
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  1. In Hittite texts zammurai- and its verbal nouns, [??]zammurai- (n.) and zammuratt(i)- (c), denote offence of the gravest kind: the objects are usually gods, kings, cities, and lands. (1)

    1.1 In most of its occurrences the verb refers to verbal insult, slander, or defamation. This meaning is best seen in the following passage from the "Indictment of Madduwatta" (CTH 147), where zammuraizzi is used along with idalun memian and kururas memian memai "speaks evil/hostile word(s)":

    idalunn=a=wa=tta memian [ku]is peran mema[i] nassu=wa=tta ku[rur]as memian kuiski peran memai nasma=wa=kan LUGAL.MES DUMU.MES LUGAL (38) kuiski zammuraizzi z[ikk=a]= war=an le [san]natti. KUB 14.1+ obv. 37-38 (MH/MS) Also, whoever speaks an evil word before you, whether someone speaks of a matter of hostility before you, or someone zammura-es (2) the kings and princes, you, too, shall not conceal him. Similarly, zammuraizzi is preceded by idalu uttar in Tudhaliya II's instructions to the army:

    man=kan apas=ma DUMU.LUGAL nasma BELUM tuzziya peran arha idalu uttar pehute[zzi] (27)n=asta [.sup.d]UTU-SI zammuraizzi. KUB 13.20 i 26-27 (MH/NS; CTH 259) If that prince or lord spreads a bad word before the army and he zammura-es (3) My Majesty. . . In the following example the verb likewise appears to refer to verbal insult (note idalun memian in the preceding clause):

    nasma=kan SA E.GAL-LIM=ma (3) idalun memian kuiski kuedanikki anda (4) istamaszi INA E.GAL-LIM=kan (5) kuiski kuitki zammuraizzi. KBo 31.42 ii 2-5 (late NH; CTH 294) Or if someone hears an evil word about the palace in someone('s mouth) or someone zammura-es in some way in the palace. . . In its only attestation the verbal noun zammurai- is modified by KAxU-i 'mouth', and so the translation 'slander' seems appropriate:

    man=a=wa=kan ANA SES-Y4> (13) SA [.sup.d]UTU-SI HUL-lu [??]zamurai KAxU-i GESTU-asmi. KUB 40.33 obv. 12-13 (late NH; CTH 212.74) If I hear any evil zammurai (acc. sg.) against My Majesty in the mouth of my brother. . . Finally, in a fragmentary NH letter 1st. sg. pret. zammuranun is used parallel to hurtahhun 'I cursed', once again suggesting the idea of defamation (4):

    . . . ] LU kuitki zammuranun nasma k[u-. . . (15') kuit]ki hurtahhun. KUB 23.45: 14'-15' (NH; CTH 209) [If] I zammura-ed a [man.sup.?] in any way, or if [. . ., or if] I [in any w]ay cursed (5). . . 1.2 The verb zammurai- can refer not only to a verbal insult, but also to actions constituting an offence. For instance, in a letter sent by the future emperor Tudhaliya [IV.sup.?] to the queen [Puduhepa.sup.?] the speaker uses the verb zammurai-, speaking about the distress he caused to the emperor (presumably Hattusili III):

    EN-YA=kan kuin [??]zamuranun. KUB 19.23 obv. 3 (similar text in 1. 10; NH; CTH 192) Regarding my lord, whom I zammura-ed... (6) The (alleged) offense--to which Tudhaliya is pleading not guilty--apparently consisted in his failing to supply reinforcements to the emperor. (7) As a result, Hattusili had to retreat and thereby lost face; Tudhaliya's actions can thus be described as causing disgrace or dishonor.

    A similar use of our verb is found in the "Indictment of Mita of Pahhuwa": man LU.MES [.sup.URV]Pahb[uwa ke uddar]] (25) Henzi n=at ANA [.sup.d]UTU-SI ARAD.MES man LU.MES Pahhuwa=ma ke uddar UL ienzi n=a[t. . .] (26) AMA BELUTIM zammuranzi. KUB 23.72 rev. 24-26 (MH/MS; CTH 146) If the people of Pahhuwa do [these things], they are servants of My Majesty. If the people of Pahhuwa do not do these things, [. . .] they zammura- [my] lordship. In the preceding ll. 18-24 we learn what the actions expected of "servants of My Majesty" are: They should hand over the traitor Usapa and his entire household, and in the future provide troops, participate in joint military endeavors, detain enemy envoys, and send them to Hattusa. Failure to do so constitutes a zammurai which, I submit, is in this context closer to "disgrace" than to "offense."

    1.3 zammurai- is also used to denote defilement and profanation. In the following passage from "Instructions for Temple Personnel," shepherds are made to swear that they will deliver first-born animals to the temple, rather than keep some of the cattle for themselves, which would amount to desecration and offense:

    man=wa=za ki huelpi anzel ZI-ni hudak (50)piyauen. . . (52) DINGIR.MES-as=ma=wa=kan Zl-an zammurauen. KUB 13.4 iv 49-52 (MH/NS; CTH 264) If we claimed these young animals for ourselves on the spur of the moment,... we have zammura-ed (8) the spirit of the gods. The sense 'to offend gods' aligns well with the use of 1.sg.imp. zammurallu with the Storm God in the following prayer, even though the text is too mutilated to allow a definitive interpretation:

    kuwat UL UL=ma=war=at w[a-. . .] (6') nu=wa=za ammuk kuis antuhas x [. . .] (7) [D.sup.IM] BELI=YA zammurallu x [... KUB 36.85: 5'-7' ([MH.sup.?];CTH 389) Why not? But it not [...] I who am a man/person [. . .] I will surely zammura- the Storm God, My Lord,. . . (9) The expression DINGIR.MES [??]zammuratti "profanation of the gods" (verbal noun of zammurai-) occurs in the treaty between Suppiluliumas II and Talmi-Tesub of Karkamis, where it is listed along with other kinds of schemes (kup(i)yati-), such as plotting against the emperor or seeking to harm the country:

    man=ma=ta=kk[an] [??]kupyati=ma ser (13) nassu S[A. . . [m.sup.]]Suppiluliuma HUL-ui [??]mali (14) SA DINGIR[.MES. . . ] [??]zammuratti U SA [KUR URU.sup.HATTI] [GVB.sub.3]-l[awann]i ser kuiski EGIR-p[a] a[nda uizzi...]. KBo 12.30 ii 12-15 (NH; CTH 122.2) But if someone [approaches] you for the sake of a plot, (10) either for an evil thought concerning Suppiluliuma, or a zammuratt(i)- to the gods, or the detriment of Hatti-land (do not listen to him)! 1.4 It has been argued that zammurai- may occasionally need a stronger translation, such as 'to injure, attack, harm'. (11) Evidence has been sought in the following three passages, which, however, all lend themselves to a satisfactory interpretation without assuming a "physical" sense for zammurai-. (12)

    1.4.1 In the "Instructions for Temple Personnel," already cited above, the temple guards are instructed to leave their post if an enemy enters Hattusa unbeknownst to the guards on the outer wall:

    man INIM [.sup.LU]KUR kuiski (27) [.sup.URU]Hattusan=za=kan] zammurauwanzi kuiski tiskezzi (28) n= an arahzenas BAD-as UL uwanzi nu apus LU.MES E DINGIR-LIM (29) andurza uwanzi [.sup.LU]haliyattallas=si paiddu=pat. KUB 13.4 iii 26-29 (MH/NS; CTH 264) If there is some hostile matter and someone begins to zammura- Hattusa, and the (guards) on the outer wall do not see him, but those temple servants inside see (him), let, by all means, a haliyattalla-guard go to him. The problem at hand is certainly not a military raid: the infiltrator is alone (as the pronouns =an and =si make clear (13)), and dispatching one guard would certainly not be a sufficient measure in case Hattusa were under attack. (14) Since this part of the text deals with admission to the temple, it is reasonable to assume that this passage is likewise concerned with undesirable entrance to the temple: once inside, a hostile person might be able to do something that would be detrimental for Hattusa--presumably a sacrilege of some kind--and the temple personnel are instructed to act as soon as they see a perpetrator who has made it past the wall guards. "To harm" would be a valid translation for zammurauwanzi here, (15) if a rather general one, but the choice of the verb becomes clear once one considers the enemy's supposed motive: to profane the temple and thus make Hattusa disgraced in the eyes of the gods. This usage of zammurai- is thus fully compatible with the sense of the verb surveyed above in 1.3.

    1.4.2 Translations of zammurai- as 'harm, injure, attack' have also been inspired by the use of the verb in two treaties of Mursili II's treaty with Targasnalli:

    [man ITTI [.sup.d]UTU-SI kuiski] antuhsas idalaweszi nu=kan [.sup.d]UTU-SI zamm[uraizzi... KBo 5.4: 5' (NH; CTH 67) [If some] person quarrels [with My Majesty] and zammura-es My Majesty... Treaty with Kupanta-Kuruntiya:

    man [d.sup.]UTU-SI=ma kuiski waggariyazzi n=an=kan zammuraizzi... KBo 4.3 ii 8 (NH; CTH 68) If someone revolts against My Majesty and zammura-es him... All things being equal, 'offends' or 'belittles' would seem to fit both passages. (16) But there is an additional difficulty: The second passage has been transmitted in several copies, two of which (KBo 5.13 iii 12 and KUB 6.41 iii 31) have hatganu(z)zi where KBo 4.3 ii 8 uses zammuraizzi- Assuming that these two versions are approximately synonymous, Puhvel (HED 3.267) renders hatganuzi as 'besets' (17) and takes zammuraizzi to mean 'assails'.

    There is, however, too little evidence to be certain that hatganuzi implies physical pressure: The verb is thus far attested only in this text. The derivation of [hatganu-.sup.zi] from hatku- 'narrow' is beyond doubt, but the adjective is often used in the figurative meaning 'difficult', (18) and nothing stands in the way of interpreting the hapax hatganu(z)zi as 'stresses out', 'puts in a tight spot', or 'makes things difficult'. (19) Under this analysis there is no longer any reason for...

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