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Letter from Aba-indasa to Šulgi about his neglect

1-8. Say to my lord, and repeat to my kid of the mountains, with beautiful horns; to my horse of the mountains, with an eagle's claws; my date-palm, growing on untouched ground and with fresh (?) dates hanging from it: this is what the captain of pledged {troops} {(2 mss. have instead:) soldiers}, Aba-indasa -- who, by means of prayers for his king, greatly pleases his king's heart -- your servant, says:

9-10. You are mighty, {my lord; I will follow you} {(1 ms. has instead:) let me be your soldier}! {Let me be the courier of your business} {(1 ms. has instead:) I will stand (?) before him attentively}!

11-13. When a boat is available, I will steer (?) with the rudder; {when water is available} {(1 ms. has instead:) when a father is available}, I will plunge in; {(2 mss. add:) when a son is available, I will thresh (?);} {(1 ms. adds:) …… I will make …… shiny;} when wind is available, {I will winnow} {(1 ms. has instead:) I will ……}.

14-15. I am a scribe and I write on stelae. {(2 ms. add:) …… business concerning the troops.} I will …… business which has been neglected in the assembly, when it ……. {(1 ms. adds:) …… business which makes good …… equal.}

16-19. But like a tree planted in riverine thickets, I am bowed down in dirt. They have bound a rope around my hands, on my chair where they have tied me. In my city, where I would wear clean clothes, I am clothed instead in mourning dress. When I wash away clods of soil, dust still gets into my eyes.

20-23. Dogs devour corpses, lifting their chests. When dragons kill, what is left from their mouths is put aside. Fire consumes reedbeds even though they have waterways. Utu, who eats butter, who eats cream, nevertheless touches the table of the poor. {(1 ms. adds:) Grant me my life and hold my hands! I am a son of a widow, and I have no one to take care of me.}

24. As for me, when will the heart of Šulgi, my lord, be restored to me? {(1 ms. adds:) May my lord attend to me and restore me to my mother.}

Revision history

02.iv.2001-05.iv.2001: EFH, editor: adapting translation
09.viii.2001: JAB, editor: proofreading
12.viii.2001: GZ, editor: SGML tagging
21.ix.2001: ER, editor: proofreading SGML
28.ix.2001: ER, editor: web publication GC/JE, editor/technical developer: XML/TEI conversion

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