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Ni (cuneiform)

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Ni (cuneiform)

Cuneiform ni.
(digitized form ni)
Amarna letter EA 367-(titled: "Pharaoh to a Vassal").
A common Amarna letter that uses cuneiform ni.

The cuneiform sign ni, is a common-use sign of the Amarna letters, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and other cuneiform texts. It has a secondary sub-use in the Amarna letters for addressing the Pharaoh, from the vassal states of Canaan. The address to the Pharaoh is often 'King-Lord-Mine': LUGAL, EN-ia which has many varieties of expression. "LUGAL" is Akkadian language for "Šarru", English "king", and EN in Akkadian is bēlu,[1] for "Lord", (thus "King, Lord-Mine"). In some Amarna letters the sub-use of ni is , for spelling "bēlu", be-lí often .

There are other sub-uses of ni (see Epic of Gilgamesh usage below). It is also found in some Amarna letters, EA 9, and EA 252, for example where ni or is scribed in a "flourish" format (an over-lengthened version of the 2-horizontals that construct the sign), similar to tab, . In EA 9 especially, there is a 'scribe margin line', both left and right on the clay tablet obverse. For the right margin, some words in the lower paragraphs of the obverse (Para 4-7), some words ending with ni/, have the sign lengthened, and sitting upon the right margin line-(the cuneiform texts read: left-to-right).

Epic of Gilgamesh usage

The ni sign usage in the Epic of Gilgamesh is as follows: -(5) times, -(42), ni-(326), ṣal-(8), zal-(1), Ì-(9) times. Ì, the sumerogram is Akkadian language "šamnu", for English "oil".[2]

Because of its multiple usages in the Epic, ni, or , can be used as a syllabic for " "ne", "ni", or "li"/"lí", etc. It also can be used as a syllabic for combinations related to: "sal", "ṣal", or "zal"; (in Akkadian many consonants, or the 4-vowels, a, e, i, u can be interchanged, for performing the final Akkadian language 'dictionary word').

References

  1. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, bēlu, šarru, p. 122, p. 141.
  2. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Sign List, pp. 155-165, no. 231, p. 159.

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