Kinyras: The Divine Lyre

  Franklin, John Curtis. 2016. Kinyras: The Divine Lyre. Hellenic Studies Series 70. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies.

7. Kinnaru of Ugarit

The King and His Musicians

That cymbalists are distinguished in the economic texts makes us wonder about the other instruments necessary for ritual music. Lyres, double-pipes, frame-drums, and other percussion are variously attested in two ‘paramythological’ and ritual texts connected with the cult of dead kings. [21] Are these other musician categories simply unattested as yet in the administrative texts? This seems unlikely, given the dozen or more occurrences of ‘singer(s)’. Rather, ‘singer’ must imply the use of various instruments—much like Sum./Akk. nar/nâru, with which Ugaritic šr was lexically equated. [22] There is a good parallel from the fourth-century temple of Astarte at Kition on Cyprus, where only ‘singers’ (šrm) are listed among the personnel, despite the considerable musical variety implied by the Cypro-Phoenician symposium bowls. [23] Similarly the various musical ‘guilds’ whose establishment the Chronicler attributes to David are grouped under the general heading of ‘singers’; they are to be equipped with ‘instruments of song’ (kelê šir), which include the kinnōr, nēbel, and meṣiltayīm (cymbals). [24] The implications of this are confirmed, and extended, by the Septuagint, where the normal translation of ‘singers’ is Gk. psaltōidoí—a word whose derivation from psállein, ‘pluck’, clearly indicates the primacy of chordophones among the ‘instruments of music’. [25] It is quite certain, therefore, that the invisible kinnāru-players of Ugarit were reckoned as a subset of singers, and were indeed the singers par excellence. [26] Recall the Hittite ritual texts, in which lyre-music is very often specified, with or without other instruments. [27] Here lyre-playing can be described by the same verb used for singing, and in several case both seem to be implied simultaneously. [28] Elsewhere the accompaniment of singing by lyre-music is explicit. [29] Especially illuminating is the lexical equation of Hurro-Hittite kinirtallaš with nar- and Akk. za-am-ma-]ru: that is, ‘singer’ = ‘kinnarist’. [30]

One may conclude, therefore, that at Ugarit lyre-players were as vital to the cult as cymbalists (and pipers and other percussionists). But this equally confirms that the cymbalists, being separately specified, were a group apart. [31] This may seem surprising, yet there is a striking Biblical parallel. [32] The cymbalists Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, while they and their instruments are subordinated to the general categories of ‘singers’ and ‘instruments of song’, nevertheless occupy a lead position in the temple music described by the Chronicler:

A similar hierarchy is elaborated at 15:16–22, where “the singers Heman, Asaph, and Ethan were to sound bronze cymbals,” [
34] while the more numerous nēbel- and kinnōr-players are said to be “kindred of the second order” (18). [35] Even if this material is secondary to the traditions about Davidic music in 2 Samuel, [36] the very peculiarity of the arrangement makes it quite certain that the managerial prominence of cymbalists in I Chronicles perpetuates an ancient regional practice, one form of which was also current at Ugarit. This is confirmed by the archaeological record, with more than twenty actual instruments recovered not only from Ugarit itself, but other LBA sites in Syria, Anatolia, Egypt, the Levant, and Cyprus (n.b.). [37] It might be suggested that their brazen clash served as a call for attention, ‘clearing the air’ for the sacred songs to follow; or that cymbals were endowed with extra-musical powers, serving as a link between the orchestra and non-musical ritual gestures. [38] Yet the Chronicler himself describes them as accompanying song, and this is also found in an Ugaritian text to be discussed below. Therefore, whatever other properties cymbals may have possessed, they had a definite musical function. The obvious practical explanation is that cymbals, with a more penetrating sound than the frame-drum, would have provided a fundamental rhythm. [39] As such, they would be appropriate to an orchestral leader, comparable to a conductor’s baton. And such a position of leadership would naturally go to a person of higher social status than the players under him. [40]

Whatever the exact explanation at Ugarit, it does seem clear that cymbalists enjoyed a certain prominence within the practical machinery and social stratification of cult-music. And yet the very existence of Kinnaru indicates some key role for the instrument, which alone was deified so far as we know. How can this be reconciled with the idea of cymbalist-leaders?

In what follows I shall further explore the intersection of kinnāru and royal ideology in the Ugaritian narrative and ritual texts. Kinnaru implies the cultural primacy of the ancestral lyre, with the tradition’s depth vividly indicated by the evidence from Ebla. The significance of this emerges still more clearly when one considers that Ugarit, by the thirteenth century, presented a highly cosmopolitan environment. The city’s pantheon contained Hurrian and even Anatolian deities alongside WS and Mesopotamian gods, [44] and the Ugaritian onomasticon indicates a Hurrian ethnic heritage for as much as a quarter of the city’s population. [45] The musical dimension of this cultural mélange is vividly illustrated by the many Hurrian hymnic elements found in Ugaritian ritual texts, including the famous cult-songs with ‘notation’, discussed above in connection with the currency of the kinnāru among the Hurrians of North Syria and Kizzuwatna. [46] This material shows that the music-culture of Ugarit, both within and without the state cult, must have been very rich and diverse, with multiple strands of tradition of considerable antiquity. It is this total complex, and not just the kinnāru itself, which one should see as the domain of Kinnaru. This ‘commanding role’ also helps explain how a Divine Lyre might mirror the king, as the ultimate authority over the state cult and its musicians. This suggestion is most clearly validated by David and Kinyras. But A. Caubet has attractively proposed that, at Ugarit itself, the Hymn to Nikkal was composed by ‘Ammurapi, the city’s last king, rather than a homonymous scribe (the name appears in the colophon). [47] The hymn may therefore reflect the king’s direct involvement in the larger musical life of the palace, which was itself substantially structured around the royal cult. [48]

With this we may turn to the rich evidence of the Ugaritian texts for the role of the kinnāru in royal cult.

More about Kinnaru

Recurrent sub-groupings of gods in the Ugaritian sacrificial lists point to a living tradition of theological speculation. D. Pardee has noted a striking parallel between the first five recipients in the second sacrificial text discussed above, and a genealogical sequence in the fragments of Philo of Byblos’ Phoenician History. [74] Composed in the late first or early second century CE, Philo’s work survives mainly in several extensive quotations and paraphrases by Eusebios (ca. 260–339), bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, who exploited it for Christian polemic. Philo claimed to possess the work of an ancient priest, Sankhuniathon, who supposedly lived around the time of the Trojan War according to Philo’s quite detailed discussion. [75] While the dating and even existence of Sankhuniathon have been subjected to serious doubt, Philo is likely enough to have had recourse to relatively early writings, not to mention living mythological traditions. [76] It is certainly clear that Philo exercised considerable invention, combining parallel regional traditions to compose a continuous ‘history’; and following the Hellenistic model of Euhemeros, he interpreted the Phoenician gods as culture-heroes, mapping the course of civilization as he perceived it. Nevertheless, the Ugaritian texts have substantially refurbished the overall credibility of his raw material. While there are many inconsistencies with what we find at Ugarit, these may be explained through EIA evolution [77] and/or Philo’s synthesis of regional variants. So the structural agreement between his ‘cosmogony’ and the aforementioned Ugaritian text should indeed reflect, as Pardee argues, a common theological tradition going back to the LBA at least.

Praising Baal

The kinnāru is mentioned several times in Ugaritian mythological and paramythological texts. Some of these passages, like much of Ugaritian literature, are still imperfectly understood and have occasioned much debate. Their obscurity is due both to the fragmentary state of many texts and to the city’s laconic alphabetic script, where the omission of vowels occasions much ambiguity and hinders lexical analysis via cognates in other Semitic languages. The interpretations offered here, largely dependent as they are on the philological work of others, are necessarily provisional. They are, however, informed by much comparative material.

Three mythological vignettes evoke the use of the kinnāru in royal praise poetry, seemingly of a narrative nature. Together they attest a formulaic scene, the basic expression of which makes Baal the subject of song. [85] A hymn to Baal depicts him seated in majesty on Mount Sapan (Saphon), enjoying peace after his defeat of Yamm:

Almost identical verses occur in two other poems concerning Baal and Anat, so that, although in each case the verse where kinnāru is expected has been destroyed, it may be confidently restored. There remains, however, some grammatical and textual uncertainty about whether it is Anat who sings in both cases, rather than a male minstrel. [
88] That the subject is Baal’s loves may tend to support Anat as the more likely performer, being herself female and his lover (and sister). While a female singer praising a king’s deeds of war might seem striking from a Greek perspective, [89] the Bible attests a women’s tradition of greeting returning warriors, when victorious, with celebratory music—scenes which relate to the pre-monarchic period. [90] Most of the passages specify only frame-drum, which evidently serves as the principal marker of the women’s tradition; [91] but those who greet the victory of Saul and David over the Philistines present some greater variety. [92] Such an event may be portrayed on the famous ivory plaque from Megiddo, dated by stylistic criteria to the thirteenth or early twelfth century BCE (Figure 11 = 4.1p), [93] if the lyrist who provides a victory song to a seated king, as prisoners are led before him, is indeed female, as some believe (but this is hardly certain). [94] The birds that flock about may represent the king’s own divine favor, and/or an epiphany evoked by the music.


Figure 11. ‘Kinyrist’ celebrating victorious king. Ivory plaque from Megiddo, ca. 1250–1200. Jerusalem, IAA 38.780. Drawn from Mertzenfeld 1954 pl. XXIV–XXV.

In the so-called Baal Cycle, however, we encounter a praise-singer who is unambiguously male, and the subject is non-erotic praise. The scene is a feast following a victory by Baal, probably over Yamm (Sea), although this is still disputed. [95]

The word n‘m, variously rendered ‘handsome’, ‘pleasant’, ‘gracious’, or ‘good’, is often applied to gods or heroes. [
98] The present passage, however, is one of several where it seems to have a special musical application. Such an interpretation is made probable here by the evident parallelism of n‘m with ǵzr ṭb ql (‘the youth, good of voice’), and corroborated by the respective verbal phrases ybd wyšr … yšr (‘intoned and sang’ … ‘sang’). (It most naturally follows that there is only one singer, who simultaneously accompanies himself with cymbals: see below.) [99] N‘m may be applied to another ‘youth of good voice’ who apparently executes some seven-fold cultic song-act in the enigmatic Gracious Gods, a paramythological text of obscure ritual application that many scholars have connected with hierogamy. [100] We shall see n‘m used of a praise-singer of Baal in the Tale of Aqhat, where it is again the subject of the phrase ybd wyšr (‘intoned and sang’), thus further supporting the idea of a praise-singing type-scene (although in Aqhat the kinnāru is not specified). [101] It appears, therefore, that n‘m had a specialized application to court- and/or cult-music, approaching the force of a title. This semantic development is often explained by supposing in Ugaritic a convergence of the roots n‘m and nǵm, the latter productive of musical words in Arabic. [102] This argument was first made by U. Cassuto, who observed the same phenomenon in Biblical Hebrew, [103] and elegantly explained the resulting semantic duality: n‘m was an epithet of something or someone “who made pleasant [or sweet] the songs, one who composed them with sweetness.” [104] The most outstanding example, we shall see, is the description of David himself as nĕʿîm, where the Ugaritian examples just discussed provide compelling parallels for understanding him as praise-singer of Yahweh. [105] In accord with this semantic duality, I have translated n‘m as ‘Gracious Minstrel’, and shall do so consistently below. [106]

In any event, the Anat scene and its restored parallels show that the kinnāru played an important role in praise-singing and festive music generally. Given this, it is a reasonable guess that Kinnaru himself could play the role of n‘m before Baal, for instance in the passage of Aqhat where cymbals are not mentioned. [110] Certainly Baal’s praise-singer must be divine, and although Baal’s servants and attendants are generally not named either in fragments of the Cycle or in other texts, [111] many scholars have attempted to divine the identity of Baal’s singer. U. Cassuto, writing before the ‘pantheon’ texts had been fully apprehended and dismissing a variety of earlier conjectures, saw in the present passage “one of the gods who was famed as a musician and a singer.” [112] M. H. Pope suggested in 1965 that it could be the versatile craftsman-god Kothar, but confessed the lack of unambiguous Ugaritian parallels for his musical nature. [113] While Kothar’s putative musicality remains controversial, [114] his status as a magical inventor god and patron of craftsmen might give him a logical claim to the art, and derive some support from the Rāp’iu text (discussed below). [115] Pope did note the attribution of musical abilities to Phoenician Khousor by Philo of Byblos, and this has remained the main support for a musical Kothar. [116] I shall argue, however, that that passage actually derives from an ancient ‘brotherly’ association between Kothar and the Divine Lyre, perhaps especially at Byblos. [117]

If one is to identify Baal’s praise-singer at all, why should he not be Kinnaru himself—the only known musical god attested for the city? This explanation works very well for the scenes featuring the kinnāru. It is admittedly awkward in the aforementioned passage with cymbals. But since the type-scene was apparently flexible as to its musical details, we need not expect kinnāru and Kinnaru in every instance. Moreover, if Kinnaru symbolized the totality of Ugaritian music-making, he himself might have been treated somewhat flexibly when anthropomorphized into the realm of mythological narrative, when he might ‘leave’ the lyre and become simply a Gracious Minstrel.

Bow and Lyre in the Tale of Aqhat

The motif of the royal praise-singer is cleverly developed in the Tale of Aqhat. The poem’s crisis revolves around the hero’s wonderful bow, built by Kothar; he apparently receives it as a coming-of-age gift, representing his arrival to the peak of life and strength—a fitting symbol in this age of chariot-warfare. [118] This weapon is apparently bestowed at a feast, attended by Kothar himself and other gods. Anat is present, and lusts for the bow on first sight. Trying to coax it away, she offers Aqhat the world:

Although a lacuna frustrates exact interpretation of the final line quoted, [
121] the parallels of diction with the second Baal-celebration scene discussed above strongly support those who see in n‘m a reference to the singer rather than the music. [122] The present passage, therefore, should be considered yet another instance of the type-scene in which Baal is the subject of praise-singing. [123] One must then ask why the Aqhat-poet has deployed the scene in this secondary context. [124] Without denying other possible levels of meaning, [125] I believe that the present passage and other examples of the type-scene must be treated synoptically as a formulaic system; this will reveal specific emphases developed in each case. In the first passage discussed above, Anat lavishes musical attentions on Baal; in the second and third, it is a Gracious Minstrel (n‘m). It is not certain that one arrangement should be preferred as more basic than the other. The majority rule would suggest that it was a Gracious Minstrel, rather than Anat, who was normal. Yet in the third instance (our Aqhat passage), it is Anat herself who conjures the image of minstrelsy. Moreover, details in the sequel seem to implicate Anat once again in music-making.

This reading, though obviously very speculative, is no more so than others’—all based on such an uncertain text. It has the advantage of establishing mutual coherence between two critical passages of the poem.

Rāp’iu and the Eternal Power of Music

In the last Ugaritian text that mentions the kinnāru (RS 24.252), celebratory music and royal immortality are again juxtaposed. It begins with an invocation of Rāp’iu, ‘king of eternity’, who is invited to drink amidst festive music-making (1–5):

The text goes on to invoke Anat under several names (‘Lady of kingship, / Lady of sovereignty’, etc.) along with other gods, mainly obscure (6–13). A damaged middle section seems to have contained a prayer to Rāp’iu by the king of Ugarit (14–18). [
143] The concluding section refers to some such petition, and states that Rāp’iu will exercise his ‘power’ (ḏmr, 22), ‘might’, ‘paternal care’, and ‘divine splendor’ to ensure that the king will long possess and enjoy these self-same attributes (18–27, with ḏmr repeated at 25). An attractive conjecture, with some basis in the damaged text, is that Rāp’iu is to accomplish this by interceding with Baal on the king’s behalf. [144] Yet by a curious sleight-of-hand, the actual delivery of these blessings is entrusted to a group called the Rapa’ūma. Verbatim repetition of the list of royal advantages shows that Rāp’iu and Rapa’ūma are essentially equivalent somehow. Evidently, both serve to link the worlds of men and gods.

I suggest the following interpretation. Milku, as Rāp’iu, embodies the ‘power’ that is a property of the Rapa’ūma; he is the agent who bestows it, or effects its transfer, to the living king. This active relationship with ‘power’, by its homonymous equation with ‘song’, supports the view that Rāp’iu himself is the singer in the first part of the text. His song is power, power projected precisely through song: the royal line will maintain its position for as long as Milku sings. This would accord, first, with Pardee’s idea that festive music is a primary marker of the eternal, blissful condition. Other nuances emerge, however, from the perspective of ritual performance. The text’s opening attempts to secure Rāp’iu’s good will through an offering of libations; this is expressed paramythologically as an invitation to a ritual symposium that is supposed to mirror the situation at Milku’s own palace. [164] It is this offering that, by the principle of reciprocity, will secure the god’s beneficent actions at the end of the text. The corresponding ritual in real life would have involved an actual musical celebration of the god, itself an offering, and this is doubtless echoed by the description of music in the opening scene. That is, whatever Milku may be imagined as doing, one must envision cult-musicians in their usual liturgical roles. Yet this too accords with the equation of ‘song’ and ‘power’. If the cult-honors for Milku and the royal ancestors are continuously maintained, they will maintain the royal line in power. Cult-songs thus express Milku’s power, both literally and figuratively. The position of Milku, which oscillates between his giving and receiving song, mirrors that of the living king—the notional executant of all royal ritual, yet subject of praise-singing by his own minstrel. (The syntax of line 3 may be intentionally ambiguous for just this reason.)

Silence of Kinnaru

A principal uncertainty is the identity of the ‘Gracious One’ (n‘m). Given the context, and the word’s normal application to gods or heroes like Keret and Aqhat, the most obvious referent should be a king (whether the reigning monarch, or each of his divinized ancestors, remains an interpretive conundrum). [181] And yet, as T. Lewis has stressed, “the weakness of such a view is that it does not justify why l n‘m occurs repeatedly among musical instrumentation.” [182] This makes it very reasonable to look to the special musical sense of n‘m, discussed above, so that ‘Gracious One’ becomes rather ‘Gracious Minstrel’. [183] Yet this need not mean that the text refers only to “various musical instruments which are dedicated to the chief musician.” [184] The two positions may be well harmonized by supposing that the king(s) himself is depicted here as a singer/musician. Hence, Pardee attractively suggested that Rāp’iu/Milku, whom he sees as a musician in RS 24.252, is in fact the ‘Gracious One’ of the present text. [185] On the other hand, Pardee was equally drawn to Wyatt’s suggestion that the formula was repeated once for each of the divinized kings in the list of the reverse. [186] Once again the two interpretations need not be mutually exclusive. Each divinized monarch, invoked as ‘Gracious One’, may be seen as occupying one stage of an eternal royal continuum whose totality is represented by Rāp’iu/Milku. Each king, by virtue of being n‘m, is invoked as an instantiation of the eternal musician-king which (on the hypothesis) Rāp’iu/Milku is represented as being in RS 24.252. It must be significant that on the one occasion when David is described as nĕʿîm—a Heb. cognate to n‘m—the kinnōr-playing king is on his deathbed, laying out the legacy of his reign. [187]

Now if it is right to suppose an intimate link between king and kinnāru in the ideology of a blissful afterlife, it would be quite appropriate for the lyre not to be heard during a ritual marking the king’s descent ‘into the dust’. Its silence would echo the king’s death, a royal object to be mourned, like his throne. After arriving in the underworld and being accepted by his deceased forebears, the king would again take his throne, resuming a joyous existence modeled on that which he had pursued in life. The pipe-drum music of RS 24.257 might thus recall an immemorial sequence of royal funerary rites-of-passage, each having issued in a revival of the joyous kinnāru, whereupon pipes and percussion reverted to the secondary and tertiary positions they occupy in the Rāp’iu text. The kinnāru would thus symbolize the deceased’s attainment of eternal kingship: he assumes a new form of power, which, as with Rāp’iu, is envisioned as a life-giving song.

RS 24.257 is not decisively illuminated by any one of these parallels, which do not themselves conform to a single underlying template. But their collective diversity is useful and suggestive, demonstrating purposeful articulations in the use of cult instruments to create musical environments appropriate to specific ritual contexts. Any explanation of RS 24.257 should bear this material in mind.

Isaiah and the Lyres of the Rephaim

That the kinnāru may have been ‘brought down’ by or with the king during his ritual descent to the underworld—and/or in the paramythological representation of that rite—recalls a passage of Isaiah, one of many places in the Bible that mention ‘Rephaim’. The precise relationship of the Rephaim to the Rapa’ūma of Ugarit remains controversial, but here especially their essential kinship is clear. The Rephaim are described as “all who were leaders of the earth … all who were kings of the nations” (14:9). [204] Isaiah predicts the downfall of “the king of Babylon” (in fact probably an Assyrian emperor) and conjures an image of his arrival in the underworld. [205] There the royal shades will be raised from their thrones to greet him thus:

Isaiah was clearly familiar with the details of royal ideology going back to the BA in the region: his ‘Rephaim’ are correctly placed in the underworld, their royal status is ongoing, and they are enthroned. [
207] The larger passage parodies a royal dirge both in form and content, [208] and offers a number of parallels to the funerary ritual for Niqmaddu III discussed above. Common elements include the weeping over, or of, inanimate objects; the rousing of the ‘Rephaim’ to greet the newly deceased; the king’s katábasis; propitiatory sacrifices; and proclamation of the new king. Isaiah systematically perverts this agenda: cedar trees celebrate the hated tyrant’s death; the Rephaim—themselves disempowered—do not welcome him to their company, but meet him with cold disdain; instead of hailing a successor, his sons are to be slaughtered and the royal line eradicated. [209] Whereas the Rephaim “lie in glory, each in his tomb” (14:18), the “king of Babylon” will not enjoy a proper burial, nor go to a royal resting-place but to the lowest pit (14:15–20): “you are cast out, away from your grave … / … like a corpse trampled underfoot” (14:19). [210]


Ugaritian texts are notoriously difficult, and this chapter has called for more speculation than elsewhere. But my interpretations have been constrained by the reasonable assumption that the kinnāru material is consistent both within itself and with other evidence for cult-music in the city, which offers the most abundant textual evidence for the instrument outside of the Bible. Thus, while the Divine Kinnaru itself has remained rather elusive, we have gained some idea of the sacred musical life that he epitomized.


[ back ] 1. See p130–131, 139–140, 443–445.

[ back ] 2. General studies of music at Ugarit: Tsumura 1973, 176–178; Caubet 1987b; Koitabashi 1992a; Caubet 1994; Caubet 1996; Koitabashi 1996; Koitabashi 1998; Caubet 1999; Caubet 2014.

[ back ] 3. HUS:423–439 (Heltzer), 467–475 (Vita).

[ back ] 4. del Olmo Lete 1999 passim. This point is often and rightly stressed: Xella 1979–1984:473; Pardee 2000:77–78; RCU:57.

[ back ] 5. See RS 24.250+ = KTU/CAT 1.106.15–17 (Herdner 1978:26–30; RCU:53–56), with discussion of Koitabashi 1996:226–227; Koitabashi 1998:384. Also RS 2.002 = KTU/CAT 1.23.15, 18, perhaps 21, RTU:324–335, with further literature on 324; a qdš-priest sings in RS 24.256 = KTU/CAT 1.112.18–21 (RCU:36–38). Further evidence may be found in Clemens 1993:68n21; Koitabashi 1996.

[ back ] 6. Wyatt 2007:63, 69.

[ back ] 7. Pardee 2000:77–78.

[ back ] 8. Such texts rarely make a cult context clear. But as singing is specified in Ugarit’s rituals, and there is much comparative evidence for cult-musicians in the ANE, it is generally assumed that singers listed in the city’s economic texts were indeed of this kind. See the balanced review of SURS:312–313, concluding that “as bnš.mlk, their sphere of service as a group could include both temple and palace.”

[ back ] 9. Singer of Ugarit: RS 19.16 (KTU/CAT 4.609; PRU 5 no. 11), line 37 (mnn.śr.ugrt); cf. Caubet 1996:17 (“qui devait marquer l’identité du clan ou de la ville au cours d’une liturgie sociale”); Caubet 1999:13 (“le titre … semble indiquer le caractère officiel, lié à la capitale (ou au royaume) d’Ougarit”); SURS:448–451 (“may actually indicate a singer in the service of the city rather than of its temples,” 450); Koitabashi 1998:365–366; McGeough and Smith 2011:331–335; Caubet 2014:182, comparing the Chief Singer of Mari.

[ back ] 10. Singer of Astarte: KTU/CAT 4.168, 4 (RS 15.82): SURS:313 and n861, 346–348, with references, and 347n1019 for whether a singular or plural should be read; McGeough and Smith 2011:125–126; Koitabashi 2012 (Japanese, English abstract), addressing also the new hymn to Astarte (for a preliminary reading of which see Pardee 2007).

[ back ] 11. For a current survey see Smith 2015.

[ back ] 12. Koitabashi 2012:53 (quotation).

[ back ] 13. RIH 98/02: see p52n26, 102n82.

[ back ] 14. For the bowls, see Chapter 11. The texts in question are KTU/CAT 4.360 (RS 18.050) and KTU/CAT 4.410 (RS 18.250A+B): see PRU 5:105–106 (no. 80, line 12); SURS:438–439, 440–443 (noting for the second text that it is hard to envisage a scenario, “lurid or otherwise,” in which some 78 female singers “would be allocated to or levied from so many citizens,” 442); McGeough and Smith 2011:246 (treating šrt as a TN in the first text) and 276–278 (“archers” in the second).

[ back ] 15. Levine 1963a:211–212.

[ back ] 16. RS 2.002 = KTU/CAT 1.23, 2. See Tsumura 1973:24–25, 174–175; Koitabashi 1998:367.

[ back ] 17. Twelve examples of singers (šrm) were known to Heltzer 1982:137n28. For further discussion and sources, see Koitabashi 1998:365–368; HUS:433–436 (Heltzer), 300 (Merlo/Xella); SURS:311–314, 370 and n1121 (rejecting the thesis that šrm were instrument-builders, 314 and n864). Note also KTU/CAT 4.399 (RS 18.138), an obscure text that might deal with land distribution for singers: McGeough and Smith 2011:269n144.

[ back ] 18. KTU/CAT 4.610 (RS 19.017): Heltzer 1982:137; Koitabashi 1998:367; HUS:429–430 (Heltzer); SURS:451.

[ back ] 19. Caubet 2014:181 and n20.

[ back ] 20. HUS:301 (Merlo/Xella).

[ back ] 21. See p134–135, 443–444.

[ back ] 22. For the equation, Heltzer 1982:137; SURS:312n856 with further references.

[ back ] 23. Amadasi and Karageorghis 1977 C1, A.6 with comments on 111–112 (superseding KAI 37). The proposal of van den Branden 1956:91–92, to see a payment to ‘lyre-players’ (KNRM) at B7, has been abandoned: see p57n58.

[ back ] 24. 1 Chronicles 15:16, 19–21. Noted by Koitabashi 1998:370, cf. 377, concluding that “‘to sing’ … which could express singing to the accompaniment of musical instruments, is [equivalent to] the term ‘music’ in modern times.”

[ back ] 25. For ‘singers’ = ψαλτῳδοί, a few examples may suffice: 1 Chronicles 15:16 (David appoints τοὺς ψαλτῳδοὺς ἐν ὀργάνοις ᾠδῶν, νάβλαις καὶ κινύραις καὶ κυμβάλοις); 9:33, 13:8; 2 Chronicles 5:12–13; etc.

[ back ] 26. But there is a counter-example at Psalms 68:25, where singers (šarîm) are distinguished from instrumentalists/chordophonists (nōgenîm) and drummers (tôpēpôt): noted by Koitabashi 1996:223.

[ back ] 27. HKm:97–106 passim.

[ back ] 28. HKm:98, 99–100.

[ back ] 29. Cf. Popko 1978:83; HKm:100–106 passim.

[ back ] 30. KBo 1.52 obv. i.15–16: see p98.

[ back ] 31. Cymbals (mṣltm) are mentioned in two texts: RS 2.[014] + 3.363 = KTU/CAT 1.3 i.18–22; RS 24.252 = KTU/CAT 1.108, 4. For general discussion of cymbalists, including the several pairs of instruments discovered at Ugarit itself (one in ‘la maison du Grand Prêtre’), see Caubet 1987a; Caubet 1987b:734, 739–740; Koitabashi 1992b; Caubet 1994:131; Caubet 1996:10; Koitabashi 1998:375; Caubet 2014:175.

[ back ] 32. Noted by Tsumura 1973:178; Koitabashi 1992b:4: Koitabashi 1996:222.

[ back ] 33. 1 Chronicles 16:5.

[ back ] 34. 1 Chronicles 15:19: οἱ ψαλτῳδοί· Αιμαν, Ασαφ καὶ Αιθαν ἐν κυμβάλοις χαλκοῖς.

[ back ] 35. For Biblical cymbalists, see also 2 Samuel 6:5, Ezra 3:10, 1 Chronicles 13:8, 16:5, Psalms 150:4, etc. The role of Asaph in 1 Chronicles 16:5 could suggest that, in the construction of 15:16–22, Heman and Ethan would preside over similarly constituted but discrete ‘orchestras’. This would make good sense in an environment like Ugarit, where multiple cults and locations had to be serviced; this seems to be the sense of 1 Chronicles 25:6 also. At Ezra 3:10, however, it is suggested that Asaph’s ‘clan’ was made up entirely of cymbalists. That the tradition is multiform, however, does not invalidate its individual elements for purposes of historical comparison. The Mishnaic tradition agrees that a single cymbalist played among a varying but much larger number of lyrists: see ‘Arakin 10a, 13b = BT 16:54, 72–74, specifying 2–6 nēbel-players, nine or more kinnōr-players, and 2–12 pipes (ḥalil), in varying contexts. For the massed lyres of Phoenician tradition, see Chapter 11.

[ back ] 36. See Myers 1965:111–112.

[ back ] 37. Archaeological evidence: Caubet 1987b; NG 3:527–528 (Braun); MAIP:107–112.

[ back ] 38. Cf. Kleinig 1993:82–84; Koitabashi 1992b:4. For a good discussion of the ‘extra-musical’ properties of percussion in ritual contexts, with special reference to Cyprus, see Kolotourou 2005. At Ugarit horns (one instrument is apparently engraved with an Astarte figure: Caubet 2014:178–180 with references) may have played a comparable role as signal instruments, as they did in Hittite and Jewish ritual: see generally Kleinig 1993:79–82; NG 3:529–530 (Braun); HKm:259.

[ back ] 39. See references in Kleinig 1993:82n3.

[ back ] 40. Compare the use of cymbals by king and queen in the Hittite drinking ritual KUB 56.46 + vii.3’–7’: cf. HKm:99, and above, p95 and n28.

[ back ] 41. See p52.

[ back ] 42. See p28.

[ back ] 43. 1 Chronicles 25:2.

[ back ] 44. Del Olmo Lete 1992:62–65; Pardee 1996a:67–70; Mayer 1996:207; HUS:323–326 (del Olmo Lete).

[ back ] 45. Pardee 2000:79 with chart in HUS:509. Names are of course not a guarantee of ethnicity: naming fashions are known to change due to various acculturative processes. Nevertheless, it remains equally possible that names drawn from a given language reflect a person’s ancestry from the original speakers of that language. One may still reasonably wonder to what ethnicity one may best assign a person of Hurrian name who was otherwise completely assimilated to a local culture. Yet modern parallels (e.g. American) show that names (along with songs and dances) are one of the more stable ethnic indicators retained by many groups.

[ back ] 46. See p97.

[ back ] 47. Caubet 1999:11, 21; Caubet 2014:181.

[ back ] 48. Caubet 1999:14: “La musique est pratiquée, par le roi et pour le roi, dans le cadre de manifestations ou de cérémonies dont certaines peuvent être religieuses (chantre d’Astarté) ou sont l’expression d’une identité propre à Ougarit (chantre d’Ougarit).”

[ back ] 49. See p4–5.

[ back ] 50. This house, along with nine others containing tablet archives, was evidently a private residence, although the ritual texts themselves relate to state functions. For the find-spot, see HUS:48–51 (Pitard) with references.

[ back ] 51. RS 24.643 = KTU/CAT 1.148. Published Virolleaud 1968:580–584 (no. 9). For detailed discussion see Pardee 1992; TR:779–806; RCU, text 12 (translation used here); RTU:427–429. The first ritual (obverse) spans lines 1–22; the second (reverse) from 23–45: damage in 31–45 may be substantially restored from a new Akkadian parallel, RS 92.2004: see below.

[ back ] 52. See p5. Cf. Nougayrol 1968:64.

[ back ] 53. Only the ‘big three’ who open the list (El, Dagan, and Baal in various hypostases) receive more—both ram and bull. Note that this first section of the text concludes with three unattributed sacrifices, “two bulls, two birds, and a cow” (line 9). It is not clear whether these were destined for the gods as a whole; for Kinnaru himself (which would make him by far the greatest beneficiary of the rite, hence unlikely); or (most probably) for the Divinized Kings, the Censer, and a third god (Šalimu) who, though unnamed in the text, are expected based on the parallel ‘pantheon’ texts. See Pardee 1988a:138–139; TR:784–785, 792–793; RCU:102–103n38 (inclining towards the third explanation).

[ back ] 54. Nougayrol 1968:64.

[ back ] 55. See Pardee 2000:61, 67–68; RCU:11–13.

[ back ] 56. The problem is discussed by TR:784–785, 805 (cf. RCU:24n12, 102n33), who tentatively suggests the restoration of Kinnaru here (line 43 of RS 24.643 [rev.]) on the basis of RS 92.2004.

[ back ] 57. RS 92.2004: Arnaud 2001:323–326 no. 22, with n2 for the checkmarks; cf. RCU:12–13. A preliminary transliteration was published in TR:795, cf. 789; RCU:17–18.

[ back ] 58. RS 92.2004, line 37: Arnaud 2001:324. This is also found in RS 26.142, a damaged syllabic version of the same list discovered in 1963 and published by Nougayrol 1968:321–322 no. 170; re-edition with revised line-numbering by Arnaud 1994 (hence the Divine Lyre has moved from line 6 to line 19; cf. TR:795–806 passim. These earlier publications give dGIŠ.ZA.MÍM (whence also in TR:311n121 and RCU:18, drawing on a pre-publication version of RS 92.2004 by Arnaud), but already del Olmo Lete 1992:52n65, read d. gišZA.MÙŠ; MÍM is an alternative reading of the same sign, considered “unsicher” by Borger 2004:77 (no. 153). For clarification of this point I thank S. Mirelman; for ZA as a phonetic indicator (pointing to zannāru), see p78.

[ back ] 59. See p77–79. Although most of Ugarit’s lexical texts remain unpublished (cf. p79n46), one may note RS 13.53, a section of HAR.ra=hubullu containing names of musical instruments: see Veldhuis 1996:28 (I assume that this is what Caubet 1996:133 refers to, citing communication with D. Arnaud). While this small text fragment does not preserve kinnāru or zannāru, its close parallels with lexical texts from Emar show “that the Middle Babylonian Western lexical texts basically belong to one tradition” (Veldhuis 1996:29; cf. Veldhuis 1997:68–69n218 et passim).

[ back ] 60. See p121n58.

[ back ] 61. Note that Nougayrol 1968:321–322, in his edition of RS 26.142 (no. 170), rendered his line 6 as ‘zannaru’, while raising the question of its etymological relationship with kinnāru (see his note ad loc.). This was before the presence of kinnāru in the MB lexical texts from Emar and Assur was known (for which, see p77–79).

[ back ] 62. See p54, 65–67.

[ back ] 63. See already Nougayrol 1968:59.

[ back ] 64. See Heimpel, “Balang-Gods.”

[ back ] 65. TR:311.

[ back ] 66. See p43–46.

[ back ] 67. See p77–79.

[ back ] 68. See p83–88.

[ back ] 69. See index s.v. ‘Kinyras:(As)syria’.

[ back ] 70. See p103.

[ back ] 71. KTU/CAT 1.2 iv.11–27 (RS 3.367). The nature of this scene was identified by Obermann 1947, and has won quite general acceptance: cf. Clapham 1969:106; Baumgarten 1981:166; Smith 1984; KwH:409–410; Morris 1992:87–88; Smith 1994:341–343; Smith in Parker 1997 (translation of the names).

[ back ] 72. For the naming rituals, see p23n29, 25. The comparison of Baal’s weapons with those of Ninurta/Ningirsu was made by Albright in Ginsberg 1935:328n22; cf. Smith 1994:343.

[ back ] 73. See further p466–468.

[ back ] 74. See RCU:23n2, on RS 24.643 (reverse), 23–26. The corresponding gods in Philo (FGH 790 F 2 [15–16, 24]) are Ug. ỉlỉb ≈ ‘Gk.’ Elioun; ẚrṣ w šmm ≈ Epigeios Autokhthon (“later called Ouranos”) + Ge; ỉl ≈ Elos a.k.a. Kronos; kṯrt ≈ Seven Titanides/Artemides; dgn ≈ Dagon. The sequence is not strictly linear in Philo’s narrative: the Titanides/Artemides, who answer to the Kotharat goddesses in this position of RS 24.643, 25, are treated by Philo after the introduction of Dagon.

[ back ] 75. For the pedigree of Sankhuniathon (FGH 790 F 1 [20–22] = Eusebios Preparation for the Gospel 1.9.20–22), see generally, with earlier bibliography, Lokkegaard 1954; Barr 1974; Oden 1978; Baumgarten 1981:41–62 et passim; Attridge and Oden 1981:3–9; Cameron 2004:157 (comparing it with the Second Sophistic fashion for fabricating pre-Homeric authorities).

[ back ] 76. See the balanced assessments of Lokkegaard 1954:51–53; Baumgarten 1981:261–268.

[ back ] 77. E.g. the association of Khousor with iron, versus Kothar and bronze: cf. p46.

[ back ] 78. This connection was rightly emphasized by Grottanelli 1981:42.

[ back ] 79. See p134–146.

[ back ] 80. Cf. Caquot 1979 col. 1404.

[ back ] 81. See p102–103.

[ back ] 82. See Heimpel, “Balang-Gods,” 54 II 343–344; cf. 27 for the balang ‘cedar-resin’.

[ back ] 83. See p412–414.

[ back ] 84. For the myth vis-à-vis the Ugaritian pantheon texts: YGC:147n102 (quotation); Gese et al. 1970:169; Ribichini 1981:49n50. Albright’s suggestion is strongly supported by Grottanelli 1984:42 and n35: “il parallelo è troppo preciso per non essere significativo”; it signifies “il modus vivendi regale e divino nei suoi aspetti più seducenti.” For Grottanelli’s interpretation, see further p283.

[ back ] 85. For type-scene and other aspects of oral-formulaic composition in Ugaritian narrative poetry, see with references Cross 1974:1 and n1; Cross 1998:139–141.

[ back ] 86. The ‘bull-shaped instrument’ (r’imt) has been explained by reference to the well-known bull-headed lyres of Sumer: RTU:76n36; TPm:151 and n179; Krispijn in Koitabashi 1998:374 (for an alternative derivation, Watson 1996:78). Caubet 1987b:735 rightly cautions that a thousand years separate these from the Ugaritian text, and thinks rather of a kinnāru with “outward-curved arms resembling the horns of a bull” (Caubet 2014:177; cf. e.g. the Megiddo plaque: Figure 11 = 4.1p). Smith and Pitard 2009:218–219 suggest that the age-gap with Sumerian bull-lyres “does not preclude the use of a name for a lyre that no longer corresponds to the original form,” and go on to make the interesting suggestion that “the unusual word selection might be attributed to the alliteration that it forms with the following word, l’irth. This latter term perhaps hints at a Mesopotamian genre of love-poetry known as irtum-songs” (this genre employed all seven canonical tunings of the Mesopotamian diatonic cycle: cf. e.g. RlA 8:475 [Kilmer, *Music A I]). Perhaps it is a case of poetic fossilization, an ancient musical world removed to the realm of the gods, the ‘epic distance’ of Homeric studies? But note that an Egyptian lyre with bull-head is known from the Ptolemaic era (temple of Philae): MgB 2/1:34–35 fig. 12; AEMI:89.

[ back ] 87. RS 24.245 = KTU/CAT 1.101.16–19: ydh . btlt . ‘nt . ’uṣb‘t˹h˺ [. ybmt] | l’imm . t’iḫd . knrh . b yd[h . tšt] | r’imt . l’irth . tšr . dd ’al[’iyn] | b‘l . ’ahbt. Text and supplements: TPm:119–152, with further literature). Translation is that of RTU:388–390 (hence alternative supplements, with earlier editions and studies noted on 388).

[ back ] 88. The first is RS 2.[014] + 3.363 = KTU/CAT 1.3 iii.4–5 (Baal Cycle); the second is RS 5.180 + 5.198 = KTU/CAT 1.7.22–24. See the discussions of RTU:76–77 n36–37, 149–150n4, 289n176, 390n17; cf. ARTU:8–9 and n39, 248; Smith in Parker 1997:109, 167n54; Smith and Pitard 2009:216–217, noting a vertical wedge in the damaged line 4 which would be consistent with the expected bydh from KTU/CAT 1.101.17 (RS 24.245, in which knr actually is attested.)

[ back ] 89. But note that the aoidós channels the voice of a female Muse.

[ back ] 90. Exodus 15:20; Judges 5 (Song of Deborah) and 11:34; 1 Samuel 18:6; Jeremiah 31:4.

[ back ] 91. See Poethig 1985; Meyers 1991, especially 21–27, elucidating a Canaanite tradition of terracotta figurines of women frame-drum players; cf. Meyers 1993, especially 58–62; Fariselli 2007:26–34. The tradition is well-represented on Cyprus, from an isolated example in the late second millennium (LC III) down to abundant specimens in the IA: see especially Kolotourou 2005:188–195. Doubleday 1999 gives a good survey of ANE evidence (105–111) and the gradual and varied transformation of female musical practice with the advent of Islam (111–134). One should also note the týmpanon, which is a regular attribute of the Anatolian goddess Kybele. Its presence in the iconography of Atargatis, the ‘Syrian Goddess’ of Hierapolis, is due, according to OSG:19, 21, 29–30, 32, to the influence of Kybele in her Hellenized representation; but the ANE parallels indicate deeper indigenous strata.

[ back ] 92. 1 Samuel 18:6, specifying frame-drums along with šālîšîm, a much-debated word variously interpreted as sistra, lutes, castanets, triangular harps, or cymbals: see MAIP:41–42 with further references.

[ back ] 93. Jerusalem 38.780: Megiddo, stratum VIIa. A terminus ante quem ca. 1150 is given by a cartouche of Ramses III; yet parallels with horse-representations in Egyptian NK art show that the plaque could be as early as Ramses II, being preserved as an heirloom object: Liebowitz 1967. For further analysis of the scene, Loud 1939:13 no. 2 and plate 4 (gender unspecified); Mertzenfeld 1954 no. 342, 1:88 and pl. XXIV–XXV; Frankfort 1970:270–271; Dothan 1982:152 (treats as male); Moscati 2001:38–39; MAIP:96–97 and fig. III.16 (female; aristocratic status indicated by clothing).

[ back ] 94. Burgh 2004:134, argues that clear gender indicators are lacking in this representation, noting that the lyrist is dressed like the woman just before the throne (but for the latter’s polos); cf. Burgh 2006:89–90. This need not mean, of course, that the figure is intentionally ambiguous. One may note here the hypothesis of Jirku 1960:69, that there existed a ‘Kinaratu’ (sic) alongside Kinnaru. He wished to see this Kinaratu as the origin of the TN Kinneret (Numbers 34:11; Josh. 13:27): cf. Jirku 1963:211; YGC:144n91. See the rightful cautions of Fritz 1978:43 and n35, noting that another TN once derived from knr (Gordon 1965a:421 no. 1274) is no longer viable. Görg 1981:9, refers to Jirku’s idea in reading the ‘King’s daughter’ seal (Avigad 1978) as an apotropaic emblem; but this famous piece is probably a forgery: MAIP:161–164.

[ back ] 95. See Smith and Pitard 2009:101–102.

[ back ] 96. For the ambiguity of the preposition, see Smith and Pitard 2009:115.

[ back ] 97. RS 2.[014] + 3.363 = KTU/CAT 1.3 i.18–22: qm . ybd . wyšr | mṣltm . bd . n‘m | yšr . ǵzr . tb . ql | ‘l . b‘l . b . ṣrrt | ṣpn. Text and translation: Smith and Pitard 2009:91–96, changing ‘virtuoso’ to ‘Gracious Minstrel’ for consistency with the parallel passages, as translated below. Cf. ARTU:4 (‘gracious lad’); RTU:71 (‘minstrel’); Smith in Parker 1997:106 (‘singer’). For the identification of the figure as a praise-singer in a royal court, versus competing interpretations, see Koitabashi 1996:222–223.

[ back ] 98. TPm:171; Schmidt 1994:68–69 with references; DUL:613–614, s.v.

[ back ] 99. Tsumura 1973:177; Koitabashi 1992b:2; Koitabashi 1996:233–234; Koitabashi 1998:370 and n30; B. Zuckerman in Smith and Pitard 2009:113–114. In fact, Koitabashi considers it possible, despite the parallelism, that two different people are involved.

[ back ] 100. RS 2.002 = KTU/CAT 1.23: a musical interpretation of n‘m at 17 is made plausible by the phrase ǵzrm g ṭb at 14 (Watson 1994:5–6, interprets as a singular; others take as plural); singers (šrm) are possibly specified at line 22, apparently in the context of liturgical ‘instructions’. See with further literature D. Pardee in CS 1 no. 87, especially p278n24; RTU:324, 328 and n19, 23. For a skeptical assessment of the case for a hierogamic cult-drama, and review of the various scholarly positions, see Smith 2008.

[ back ] 101. Aqhat: RS 2.[004] = KTU/CAT 1.17 vi.32: see further p131.

[ back ] 102. For example naǵmat, ‘melody’. Ugaritic typically distinguishes between ‘ayin () and ghain (ǵ), but the correspondences are not absolute, and the latter converged with the former in some cases: thus the proposed collapse of nǵm and n‘m is “an unusual but by no means rare equation”: Cross 1998:140, with Emerton 1982; cf. Smith 1994:65n126 and more positively Smith and Pitard 2009:114, “It is possible (though irregular) that the two roots had already coalesced in Ugaritic, in which case perhaps the word’s range included both senses”; Smith in Parker 1997:166n36.

[ back ] 103. The phonetic development of ǵ > occurred unconditionally in Hebrew: ICGSL:44–45.

[ back ] 104. Cassuto 1961 1:236, 238; cf. Cassuto 1971:111–112; his Biblical comparanda are 2 Samuel 23:1; Psalms 81:2, 135:3, 147:1, and the figure of Naamah in Genesis 4:21 (see further p44, 46); also Sirach 45:9: Sarna 1993:213n8. Cf. Koitabashi 1996:223–224; cf. Tsumura 1973:189–190.

[ back ] 105. 2 Samuel 23:1. See further p149, 175–178.

[ back ] 106. Cf. Smith and Pitard 2009:114, whose ‘virtuoso’ is “an attempt to retain the etymological sense of Arabic n‘m and B[iblical]H[ebrew] n‘m operative in the word-field pertaining to music suggested by Arabic nǵm.”

[ back ] 107. See p131.

[ back ] 108. For RS 24.252, in which pipes and drums appear together with the kinnāru, see p141–146.

[ back ] 109. Smith and Pitard 2009:113.

[ back ] 110. See p131–132.

[ back ] 111. Smith 2001:56–58; Smith and Pitard 2009:50–51.

[ back ] 112. Cassuto 1943 (Hebrew: vidi …); Cassuto 1961 1:236 (quotation), 238, noting proposals by Virolleaud (Mot), Dussaud (Dan’el), and de Vaux (Baal).

[ back ] 113. Pope and Röllig 1965:296; the identification was approved by Dahood 1963:531.

[ back ] 114. Proposed musical associations of Kothar: Gaster 1961:161nXIV; Dahood 1963; Pope and Röllig 1965:276; Brown 1965; de Moor 1969:177; Parker 1970:244; TPm:99n105; Clemens 1993:74 and n68. For arguments against, see KwH:441–445, followed by Morris 1992:87–88.

[ back ] 115. Cf. Parker 1970:244n9; ARTU:188n4; Clemens 1993:74 and n68.

[ back ] 116. Pope and Röllig 1965:275.

[ back ] 117. See p445–452 and Chapter 20.

[ back ] 118. Margalit 1989:75; RTU:266n70. The royal potency of archery is not limited to this poem, but reflects a more widespread symbolism in the ANE, going back at least to Naram-Sin. The most vivid depictions from the LBA, the Golden Age of chariot warfare, are found in Egyptian reliefs representing the pharaoh as warrior and hunter; cf. the Egyptianizing, enthroned archer on a cylinder seal from Ugarit (RS 3.041, from perhaps the fourteenth century: Schaeffer 1983:12–13). Archer/chariot scenes are also known from LBA Cyprus: Aspects:61–66, fig. 46–53. This background illuminates the bow’s Excalibur-like narratological function in the Odyssey. The archer-king motif is developed extensively in the N-A reliefs, the bow representing long reach and deadly accuracy (see e.g. Winter 1997).

[ back ] 119. The lacuna makes it uncertain whether to read n‘mn or simply n‘m; but these adjectives are effectively synonymous (DUL s.v.), and in any event will be used substantively as the sentence subject (rather than ‘with pleasant tune’, Parker 1997:61): see below.

[ back ] 120. RS 2.[004] = KTU/CAT 1.17 vi.26–32: irš . ḥym . laqht . ǵzr | irš . ḥym watnk. | blmt wašlḥk. | . . . | . . . | kb‘l . kyḥwy . y‘šr. | ḥwy . y‘šr . wy[š]qynh | ybd wyšr . ‘lh | n‘m [ . . . ] ‘nynn. Translation after RTU:273 and Smith 1994:65 with observations in n125 (changing Wyatt’s ‘minstrel’ and Smith’s ‘Gracious One’ to ‘Gracious Minstrel’ for consistency with the parallel passages discussed above).

[ back ] 121. Cf. Smith 1994:65n127, “any suggestion remains most tentative.” Some representative variations are Pope 1981:162, “One sings and chants before him / Sweetly [and they] respond”; Parker 1997:61, “As Baal revives, then invites / Invites the revived to drink / Trills and sings over him, / With pleasant tune they respond”; RTU:273, “Like Baal he shall live indeed! / Alive he shall be feasted, / he shall be feasted and given to drink. / The minstrel shall intone and sing concerning him.” See also Herdner 1963:83; Dijkstra and de Moor 1975:187–188; Smith and Pitard 2009:122.

[ back ] 122. Rightly stressed by Dijkstra and de Moor 1975:187–188 (“absolutely certain”); Pardee in CS 1:347n42 (“difficult to avoid”); Smith 1994:65; RTU:273; Smith and Pitard 2009:122 (“the correspondences … are unmistakable”).

[ back ] 123. There is indeed some dispute as to whether it is Aqhat or Baal himself who is celebrated at feast here (for Baal, see Clemens 1993:68n19 with further references; Aqhat, RTU:273n110; ARTU:238–239). But that distinction does not affect my argument, for either way Baal-like honors are evoked for Aqhat himself.

[ back ] 124. Cf. Smith and Pitard 2009:122: “The primary issue is the question of the significance of the correspondence.”

[ back ] 125. See the review of opinions in Smith and Pitard 2009:122.

[ back ] 126. KTU/CAT 1.17 vi.34–38.

[ back ] 127. Cf. RTU:273n111: “The hero’s name will live on in the lays of the poets. Anat is conjuring up a picture of him being alive to hear them.”

[ back ] 128. KTU/CAT 1.17 vi.45–1.18 i.19.

[ back ] 129. KTU/CAT 1.18 iv.14, 19, 30; a feasting context is accepted by RTU, canvassing alternative interpretations in 283n147.

[ back ] 130. KTU/CAT 1.18 iv.39; cf. Caquot 1985:94.

[ back ] 131. See, with further literature, ARTU:247n149; Pardee in CS 1:350n81 (quotation); RTU:287n166; Wright 2001:140 and n1.

[ back ] 132. KTU/CAT 1.19 i.5; cf. Caquot 1985:96 (Anat breaks the bow out of spite at not being able to string it); RTU:288 and n170 (breaks by falling to the ground).

[ back ] 133. See del Olmo Lete 1984:125–131 (especially 128n289) with review of debate to date. Some would also see a reference to the kinnāru, perhaps another comparison with the bow, slightly earlier at 1.19 i.4: ARTU:247; Wright 2001:141. Note also RTU:266n70, vis-à-vis the disputed interpretation of 1.17 v.2.

[ back ] 134. ARTU:246.

[ back ] 135. RTU:290 and n177, following Cooper 1988:22; cf. Gordon 1965a:421 no. 1274.

[ back ] 136. Franklin 2002b:1–5 and p254–255 below for other conflations warrior and poet.

[ back ] 137. Cooper 1988:21–23; RTU:291–292n185. This would accord with a larger pattern of “infelicitous feasting” which has been detected in the poem: Wright 2001:99–138.

[ back ] 138. This construction is debated: see below.

[ back ] 139. The t lb is identified as a kind of pipe on the basis of Akkadian šulpu (de Moor 1969:177; TPm:98; Caubet 1996:15). This is supported by general considerations, double-pipes accompanying lyres in the Cypro-Phoenician bowls and the North Syrian ivory box from Nimrud (see p248). These iconographic sources, augmented by a second Megiddo plaque (MAIP:95, fig. III.16), a statuette from Ugarit itself (Caubet 1996:15, 31 fig. 11) and figurines and plaques from the Levant and Cyprus (Levant: MAIP:133–145 with figures; Cyprus: Meerschaert 1991:190–191; Flourentzos 1992), offer strong support for the suggestion of Koitabashi 1998:375, that tlbm in RS 24.257 (see p141) be interpreted as dual (cf. RCU:208n33). The absence of a comparable form in the present text is not necessarily problematic: the Greek double-pipes, conceived as a single instrument, were always designated by the singular αὐλός.

[ back ] 140. This line has been interpreted by some as referring to cult-dancers: Virolleaud 1968:553; KwH:438–441; ARTU:18˙8; Good 1991:159–160; cf. Clemens 1993:73n57. But I am persuaded that a passage in Aqhat (RS 3.322+ = KTU/CAT 1.19 iv.22–31) is, despite heavy damage (KwH:440–441), sufficiently parallel to clarify the present text. Dancers are thus excluded in favor of a further instrument, made of ivory (šn)—with clackers/clappers (rather than castanets) the most promising option, as such instruments have been found at Ugarit: see Caquot et al. 1974:455n‘t’ (sic); Caquot 1976:300; Margalit 1984:166–167; Caubet 1987; TPm:98–99 (tentatively); Margalit 1989:447–448; Caubet 1996:12; del Olmo Lete 1999:187n60; Caubet 1999:15–16; RTU:396; Caubet 2014:175.

[ back ] 141. Or ‘the goodly ones enchanted by Kothar’: Margalit 1989:438, following KwH:406–410, 443–445, who proposes for ḥbr Heb. and Akk. cognates relating to wizardry and ‘binding’: see further p444–445 (noting, however, the reservations of Clemens 1993:74n66). The traditional interpretation of ḥbr as ‘companions’ goes back to Virolleaud 1968:553; cf. Caquot 1976:299–300; KwH:441 with references. Clemens 1993:73–74, rightly rejects the proposal of Good 1991:156–157, to interpret b ḥbr . kṯr . ṭbm as relating to a further instrument akin to Greek κιθάρα/κίθαρις (hence ‘with the beautiful cords of the cithar’).

[ back ] 142. RS 24.252 = KTU/CAT 1.108, 1–5: [hl]n . yšt . rp’u . mlk . ‘lm w yšt | [’il] ˹g˺ṯr . w yqr . . . | . . . d yšr . w yḏmr | b knr . w ṯlb . b tp w mṣltm . b m|rqdm . d šn . b ḥbr . kṯr . ṭbm. Text, supplements, and colometry of TPm:75–118 (Virolleaud 1968:551–557 no. 2). Translation after RCU:193–194, with minor adaptations as noted.

[ back ] 143. TPm:118.

[ back ] 144. For this interpretation of line 18, see TPm:112–113; RCU:192–193, 206 n14–15.

[ back ] 145. For Rāp’iu, see inter al. Jirku 1965; Virolleaud 1968:551–557; Parker 1970; Parker 1972; KwH:419–445, 385–396; TPm:84–94; Dietrich and Loretz 1989; Brown 1998:139–141; RCU:204–205n6. The main interpretations are 1) Rāp’iu is the high god El seated in state, with Astarte at his side, and hymned by Baal/Haddu who performs upon the kinnāru (an idea developed by Cross 1973:20–22, 185, “as David sang to old Saul,” 21); 2) Baal in the chthonic phase of his cycle; 3) Resheph; 4) eponym of the Rapa’ūma (no further identification with Milku). As Pardee argues, Milku’s dwellings, known from other texts, are the same as those given here for Rāp’iu; while the latter’s description as ‘king of eternity’ (mlk ‘lm) is a roundabout allusion to Milku himself and the “atemporality of the afterlife” (RCU:204–205n6).

[ back ] 146. See various entries in DUL:742–743.

[ back ] 147. RTU:315–323 provides convenient translations of the Rpum texts (KTU 1.20–22). For the main interpretive issues, and enormous bibliography, one may usefully begin from KwH:377–396; Pitard 1992; Schmidt 1994:71–100; HUS:259–269 (Pitard); concise summary in Wright 2001:77–78n27. For connections with the Biblical Rephaim, see review in Shipp 2002:114–126.

[ back ] 148. For the identification, see p5n24. Cf. Healey 1978:91: “rp’um is simply a special epithet of mlkm, the two being not identical in meaning but probably used of exclusively the same group of people.”

[ back ] 149. TPm:118; cf. RCU:193: “In any case, the form of this text is, strictly speaking, neither that of the hymn, nor that of the prayer; rather … the text would be that of a rite by which the transfer of these powers is effected.”

[ back ] 150. Cf. RCU:206n14.

[ back ] 151. KAI 214.15–22: See Greenfield 1973; Smith 1994:99n194.

[ back ] 152. See Chapter 16.

[ back ] 153. RCU:205n8.

[ back ] 154. But there are many permutations of these ideas, and a complex development: see Lichtheim 1945 (quotation, 183); MMAE Chapter Seven. Note also that figurines of musicians were placed in tombs “as servant statues … intended to entertain the deceased in the underworld”: see Leibovitch 1960 (quotation 53), with examples from OK–late NK.

[ back ] 155. See inter al. ARTU:188 (active); TPm:81 (active); Good 1991 (passive); Clemens 1993:68–72 (impersonal, with parallels); Koitabashi 1998:371 (uncertain); RCU:205n8 (active but acknowledges other possibilities); RTU:396 and n9 (impersonal); DUL s.v. knr (passive).

[ back ] 156. Cf. Caubet 1999, 15; DDD col. 914 (Pardee), “musician and diviner”; RCU:205n8; cf. Smith 2001:268n196 (Rāp’iu “leads the musical entertainment”).

[ back ] 157. Good 1991:158; Clemens 1993:65–66 (quotation); RTU:396 and n9.

[ back ] 158. For the following philological points, see TPm:97–98 (with earlier literature in n88–89), 118; Sivan 2001:21–22; RCU:205n8 (“one of the principal wordplays in this text”).

[ back ] 159. DUL:287; Botterweck and Ringgren 1997–2006:91–98. For P-S z > Ug. z, ICGSL:34 §8.31, 44 §8.60; Pardee 2008:292. Note for instance the zammārū, cultic singers of nearby Emar (cf. p171). For musical derivatives of zmr in Hebrew, see also Jones 1992:934a (mizmôr 57 times in psalms, “probably a label indicating music associated with liturgy and the guilds”); MAIP:35.

[ back ] 160. For the “apparent confusion of /ð/ [i.e. ] and /z/,” see Pardee 2008:292, who compares nḏr/nzr (‘vow’) and ḏr‘/zr‘ (‘seed/arm’). These parallels rule out the idea that ḏmr in the present text is merely a scribal error (so Blau and Greenfield 1970:12). They also make it unnecessary to suppose complicated borrowings from other Semitic languages. Lowenstamm 1969:465–466, for instance, argued that Ug. ḏmr and Heb./Arab./Akk. zmr derived from a single P-S root *ḏmr already containing within itself the dual notions of ‘song’ and ‘power’. This involves dismissing Arabic and Syriac zmr, which are normally used to establish a P-S root *zmr (Blau and Greenfield 1970:12), as loanwords from Canaanite (similarly Blau 1977:82–83, suggested that the Hebrew and Aramaic forms were loanwords from Akkadian, with Arabic zmr borrowed in turn from Aramaic).

[ back ] 161. So already de Moor 1969:179.

[ back ] 162. Ugaritic ḏmr: DUL:287–288. Zimri- names at Mari: Huffmon 1965:187–188, cf. Buccellati 1966:227; RCU:205n8. Amarna tablets: see index to Moran 1992 (‘mayors’ of Sidon and Lakiša). Zimri in Hebrew: Numbers 25:14; 1 Kings 16:9–20.

[ back ] 163. TPm:118; Lewis 1989:51–52.

[ back ] 164. This is not to insist that the marziḥu was a subspecies of mortuary cult, only that its festive form—to which drinking and music were basic, as seen both here and in the famous polemic of Amos against those who “lie on beds of ivory … who sing idle songs to the sound of the kinnōr … who drink wine from bowls” (6:4–7, cf. 5:21–23; Isaiah 5:11–12)—lent itself well to securing divine goodwill. See Pardee 1996b:277–279; cf. RCU:184–185n2. For the marziḥu/marzeaḥ generally see inter al. Greenfield 1974; Pope 1979–1980; Friedman 1980; King 1989; McLaughlin 1991; McLaughlin 2001; del Olmo Lete in Johnston 2004:315–316.

[ back ] 165. See p443–445.

[ back ] 166. For the reasoning, see p123–124. Unfortunately, that Kinnaru and the Divine Kings might receive sacrifices on the same occasion is not confirmed by the two rituals of RS 24.643 (1–12 and 23–45) which correspond to the ‘pantheon’ texts; for while Kinnaru is honored in one or both, the Divine Kings (mlkm) are not listed—although one of the three apparently unassigned offerings of line 9 may indeed have been intended for them (TR:792–793; cf. p120n53). But this still would not corroborate a special relevance to the pairing of Kinnaru and mlkm, since they would be but two recipients in a much larger divine group. Note that offerings to the mlkm are in any case attested by two other ritual texts: oil-libations in RS 24.266, 25’ (KTU/CAT 1.119), and check-marks in RS 94.2518 which indicate the text’s use in a sacrificial ritual (TR:680; RCU:102–103n38, 104n52, 200). These have suggested that the omission of Divine Kings from RS 24.643 was intentional after all, the mortuary cult not being relevant to the two occasions comprised by RS 24.643 (TR:303n59). It would then follow that Kinnaru’s importance was not limited to the mortuary cult (as one would hardly expect anyway).

[ back ] 167. A further objection to seeing Rāp’iu as a “court entertainer” has been that he cannot play all of the instruments simultaneously: Good 1991:158; Clemens 1993:66. But this reading is overly literal. I have already offered arguments in support of Rāp’iu’s at least notional performance. If he is leader of the song, he could also play the instrument by which the ‘orchestra’ is led, just as David leads his own musicians.

[ back ] 168. See generally Cohen 1993:465–470, especially 469–470.

[ back ] 169. Temple Hymns 14.182–184; trans. Sjöberg and Bergmann 1969:27–28, with discussion at 8–9 and 88–89.

[ back ] 170. See with sources RlA 9:329–335, especially 332–333 (Wiggermann, *Nin-azu). As son of Ereshkigal, Ninazu could be steward and seal-keeper of the underworld; he is called ‘lord of prayers and supplications’ (Shulgi X, 105–106) and is once lamented alongside Dumuzi and other deceased kings (In the Desert by the Early Grass, Jacobsen 1987:59–60). For further connections with lamentation-­singing, see PHG:76 and n129. His associations with healing are somewhat elusive.

[ back ] 171. RTU:395n2.

[ back ] 172. His consistent mythological connection with Thrace, however, is problematic. Among the innumerable sources for Orpheus, note especially Kern 1922:21–22 (underworld), 25 (magician and healer).

[ back ] 173. For the post-mortem life of Orpheus’ lyre and head, see p140–141 and cf. Power 2010:390–391.

[ back ] 174. See p29.

[ back ] 175. The ‘Prittlewell Prince’ lyre has not been published yet, but other specimens are discussed by Lawson 2004:66–67; Lawson 2006:5–6; Lawson 2008:391–392.

[ back ] 176. Homer Iliad 9.185–189.

[ back ] 177. RS 24.257 = KTU/CAT 1.113: Virolleaud 1968:561–562 (no. 5); TPm:165–178; RCU:195–210 (text 56A). A parallel king list is RS 94.2518: Arnaud 1998; RCU:203–204 (text 56B). A connection between the tablet’s reverse and obverse is supported by Smith 1994:100; Lewis 1989:51–52; RCU:195–201, 203; RTU:399–403, with further references.

[ back ] 178. The music is mentioned in lines 2, 4, 6, 9–10.

[ back ] 179. [. . . ] ˹–˺ w rm tph | [. . . ] l’umm l n‘m | [. . . ] ˹w˺ rm tlbm | [. . . ]pr l n‘m. Text: TPm:165–178. Translation RCU:201–202, changing ‘Good One’ to ‘Gracious One’ for consistency with my larger interpretive arguments about the term n‘m.

[ back ] 180. RCU:200, with his most recent, and convincing, arguments that divinized kings are in question here; cf. Pardee 1996b:276.

[ back ] 181. For a representative sample of interpretations, see Kitchen 1977:133–134, 137 (the reigning king); TPm:169 (Rāp’iu?); Schmidt 1994:68–69 (a god, but does not identify); RTU:400n7, with further, dissenting literature (“the reference is unclear”), and suggesting that the ‘Gracious One’ may have referred, in each of its presumed repetitions, to a different deceased king.

[ back ] 182. Lewis 1989:52.

[ back ] 183. So F. M. Cross in Lewis 1989:52; Smith 1994:100; RCU:201. For n‘m, see p128–129.

[ back ] 184. So Lewis 1989:52.

[ back ] 185. TPm:171; RCU:201; the idea is given some credence by Smith 2001:268n196.

[ back ] 186. RCU:201.

[ back ] 187. See further p148–149, 175–178.

[ back ] 188. The appearance of pipes and drum in both texts was noted by Virolleaud 1968:561 and Kitchen 1977:140. By itself, however, this parallel is rather too general to be significant (so rightly Lewis 1989:51); and in any case the correspondence is only partial. Thus to support the mutual relevance of the texts on the basis of their musical details, one must (ideally) both find further specific performative and/or conceptual parallels, and account for the apparent absence of the kinnāru.

[ back ] 189. On this interpretation the ‘drum’ of RS 24.257 might comprise the lesser percussion instruments named in RS 24.252; so too the Cypro-Phoenician symposium bowls show predominantly, but not exclusively, frame-drums for percussion (see p265).

[ back ] 190. Ribichini 1982:498.

[ back ] 191. RS 34.126 = KTU/CAT 1.161: Bordreuil and Pardee 1982; Bordreuil/Pardee in Bordreuil 1991:151–163 no. 90; KTU:150–151. See also Levine and de Tarragon 1984; Pardee 1996b:274; RCU:85–88 no. 24 (quotation 87); RTU:430–441; Shipp 2002:53–61.

[ back ] 192. KTU/CAT 1.19 iv.22–31 = RS 3.322+. See above, n140.

[ back ] 193. Dijkstra 1979:209–210; cf. Dijkstra and de Moor 1975:211.

[ back ] 194. For instance in the Death of Ur-Nammu (Ur-Nammu A, ETCSL, 187–188: “My tigi, adab, flute and zamzam songs have been turned into laments because of me. The instruments of the house of music have been propped against the wall.”

[ back ] 195. See p95.

[ back ] 196. For the Aegean, see Chapter 12.

[ back ] 197. This was noted as a possible parallel to RS 24.257 by Dijkstra 1979:210; TPm:98 (“l’usage du mot ṯlb a peut-être bien servi à donner le ton à une cérémonie pour les morts”). As translated by E. A. Speiser (ANET:109): “Wash him with pure water, anoint him with sweet oil; / Clothe him with a red garment, let him play on a flute of lapis [or ‘let the lapis lazuli pipe play’: S. Dalley in CS 1 no. 108, here p. 383]. / Let courtesans turn his mood (rev. 48–50) … (Ishtar speaking) ‘On the day when Tammuz comes up to me, / When with him the lapis flute (and) the carnelian ring come up to me, / When with him the wailing men and the wailing women come up to me, / May the dead rise and smell the incense’” (55–58). Of course the ‘flute’ here aptly reflects Dumuzi’s role as shepherd (a very early association illustrated by an OAkk. cylinder-seal showing a seated single-pipe player among herd animals: Collon 1987 no. 675; for another pastoral piper, MgB 2/2:62–63, fig. 40). But for this very reason the instrument is a most appropriate symbol for Dumuzi’s fall and rise. There is an ominous scene in a Sumerian version of the myth. When the enraged goddess returns from the underworld and confronts the heedless lover on his throne, her demon assistants “would not let the shepherd play the pipe and flute before her” (Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld [ETCSL 1.4.1], 353).

[ back ] 198. Egyptian sources: Hickmann 1954a:50–52. Also Juba FGH 275 F 16.

[ back ] 199. Pipes at the Adōniá: LIMC s.v. Adonis no. 48, 48b. Adonis with lyre: LIMC s.v. Adonis no. 8 (Attic), 10(?, Attic), 19 (Etruscan mirror), s.v. Myrrha no. 2 (Apulian) = Aphrodite no. 1555. Cf. Servais-Soyez 1984:63, 68.

[ back ] 200. Athenaios 174f; other sources collected in AGM:92 n56–57; see also GMW 1:262–263. Apparently these instruments enjoyed some novelty value in the Greek symposium and perhaps the theatre, to judge from the comic sources cited by Athenaios.

[ back ] 201. See further p190n19, 202–204, 299n117. Some would also connect the name Abṓbas, by which Adonis was known at Perga in Pamphylia (Hesykhios s.v. Ἀβώβας), with Semitic words for pipes like Syr. abbūba and Akk. embūbu (Movers 1841–1856 1:243; SOM 2:389; AOM:251 [Farmer]; see also p55n44 and 538). But Abṓbas belongs rather with other sources which offer Ἀῷος (vel sim.) as titles of Adonis, via Gk. ἀ(ϝ)ώς/ἠ(ϝ)ώς, ‘dawn’. See Lightfoot 1999:184 and further p502 and n46.

[ back ] 202. Fariselli 2007:20. See further p262, 293, 486.

[ back ] 203. See further p308–310.

[ back ] 204. For other passages, and their link to the Ugaritian Rapa’ūma, see references in p136n147.

[ back ] 205. For the authenticity of the attribution to Isaiah here, and the identification of the “king of Babylon” with an Assyrian king, perhaps Sargon II, see Shipp 2002:158–162. But the following arguments do not depend on Isaiah’s own authorship.

[ back ] 206. Isaiah 14:10–11. In attributing all of these lines to the Rephaim’s speech, I follow the argument of Shipp 2002:129–132, 155–156.

[ back ] 207. Compare 1 Kings 18, which exhibits detailed familiarity with the ritual procedures and narratives of Baal cult: Ackerman 2001:86–88.

[ back ] 208. Shipp 2002.

[ back ] 209. Shipp 2002:60–61, 129–163, et passim; cf. also Lewis 1989:40–46.

[ back ] 210. See Shipp 2002:155–157 for the contrast between burial of the Rephaim and the ‘Babylonian king’.

[ back ] 211. See index s.v. ‘order, symbolized by music’; ‘silence, ritual’; ‘lyres:silence of’.