MUL.APIN, written sometime before the 8th century BC, was the most widely copied astronomical text in ancient Mesopotamia: a compendium including information such as star lists, descriptions of planetary phases, mathematical schemes for the length of day and night, a discussion of the luni-solar calendar and rules for intercalation, and a short collection of celestial omens. This book contains an introductory essay, followed by a new edition of the text and a facing-page transliteration and English translation. Finally, the book contains a new and detailed commentary on the text. This is a fascinating study, and an important resource for anyone interested in the history of astronomy.
Table of Contents
Preface; List of abbreviations; Introduction; Edition; Table of sources; Description of sources; Concordance of museum numbers; Concordance of previously published tablets; Tablet I; Table II; Colophons; Philological Notes; Composite Text and Translation; Commentary; Plates; Bibliography; Indices; Index of words and names; Subject index
Hermann Hunger is Emeritus Professor of Assyriology at the University of Vienna, Austria.
John Steele is Professor of the History of the Exact Sciences in Antiquity in the Department of Egyptology and Assyriology at Brown University, USA.
"MUL.APIN is the earliest surviving general work on astronomy in which a wide range of theoretical and practical information relating to the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets is presented. Hermann Hunger and John Steele have done us all an immense service in providing this up-to-date edition and accessible, yet accurate translation of a document of central importance for our understanding of the history of Mesopotamian astronomy, and more broadly of all pre-telescopic astronomy."
- Alexander Jones, Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, New York University, USA