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Šu

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Cuneiform sign for šu, qat, and sumerogram ŠU.
Amarna letter EA 364-(Obverse), Ayyab to Pharaoh, "Justified War"; line 5: 7 times 7, "7 šu 7".[1]
(High Resolution exandable photo)

The cuneiform šu sign is a common, multi-use syllabic and alphabetic sign for šu, š, and u; it has a subsidiary usage for syllabic qat; it also has a majuscule-(capital letter) sumerogram usage for ŠU, for Akkadian language "qātu", the word for "hand".[2] The human hand is the shape of cuneiform character šu, and thus the origin of its creation (late 4th millennium BC, or early 3rd millennium BC).

The scribal usage of a sign allows for any of the 4 vowels (no vowel 'o' in Akkadian), a, e, i, u to be interchangeable; thus a usage for syllabic qat could conceivably be used for the following (k can replace 'q', and d can replace 't'): q, a, or t; also ka, qa, ad, at. (The "š" (shibilant s) is also interchangeable with the other two esses, "s", and "ṣ", for "šu"!)

The šu sign has a common usage in the Amarna letters and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Its usage numbers in the Epic are as follows:[3] qat-(16), šu-(420), ŠU-(13).


References[edit]

  1. ^ Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. EA 365, Justified War, p. 362.
  2. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, qātu, p. 137.
  3. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Sign List, pp. 155-165, no. 354, p. 161.
  • Moran, William L. 1987, 1992. The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1987, 1992. 393 pages.(softcover, ISBN 0-8018-6715-0)
  • Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Parpola, Simo, Neo-Assyrian Text Corpus Project, c 1997, Tablet I thru Tablet XII, Index of Names, Sign List, and Glossary-(pp. 119–145), 165 pages.

Media related to Šu (cuneiform) at Wikimedia Commons

Media related to Cuneiform signs, Amarna letters at Wikimedia Commons