Re-Reading KAR 44, the Vademecum of the Exorcist

Document Type

Conference Presentation


Religious Studies

Conference Title

American Oriental Society Annual Meeting


American Oriental Society


San Antonio, TX

Conference Dates

March 15-19, 2007

Date of Presentation

Spring 3-18-2007


In this paper I develop an alternative reading of KAR 44, the Vademecum of the Exorcist, that adjusts the common view of Esagil-kin-apli’s editorial activities and demonstrates the attribution of secrecy to the Ashiputu corpus. In distinction to the common view, I suggest that the ruled off line in rev. 4 refers to the first list in the text (obv. 2–rev. 3). If rev. 4 is a note about authorship, as I think it is, this interpretation indicates that Esagil-kin-apli is not the author of the supplemental list in rev. 5ff. but the author of the first list. Furthermore, the emphasis on totality in obv. 1 matches the concern of the supplemental list in rev. 5ff. Thus I believe the line was added to the text at the same time that rev. 5ff. was added. For this reason, obv. 1 should not be read as the heading of the first list but as the new heading to the text as a whole, supplement and all. Having made these observations, I consider rev. 5–8, 12–13 in more detail. Rev. 5–8 do not list particular (still unidentified) works, as commonly held; rather, they characterize the serialized works of Ashiputu in their totality as secret.

This document is currently not available here.