Ia (cuneiform)
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Ia Cuneiform
Cuneiform sign for ia.
(reading left-to-right)
line 1, 2nd sign ia, line 2, 1st sign, LUGAL,
line 3, 1st sign "and"-(Ù), 3rd sign, a.
(high resolution, expandible photo)

The cuneiform ia sign, is a combined sign, containing i (cuneiform) ligatured with a (cuneiform); it has the common meaning in the suffix form -ia, for the meaning of "-mine". In the Amarna letters, the letters written to the Pharaoh of Egypt (Mizri/Misri in the letters), the Pharaoh is often referenced as "Lord-mine", or especially: King-Lord-mine: "My King, My Lord". In Akkadian, the form is "?arru-B?lu-ia"-(King-Lord-mine), since the spelling in some Amarna letters is sometimes ?ÁR-RI for ?arru, (LUGAL = ?ÁR).

Ia is also used in the Epic of Gilgamesh. It is listed in Parpola's Glossary (Parpola, 1971), for Akkadian language words: meaning "mine", "(to) me", and "me", and one usage for the word "battering ram", ia?ub?.[1]

Amarna letter usage of "ia"

Besides the usage of Akkadian language words beginning with ia, the common examples of — ii, "(to) me", i?ti, "me", i?'u, "mine",[2] and i?nu,[3] "there is not", (often ia-a-nu), "ia" is used in the Introduction Paragraph, to the Pharaoh. The statement is often in the possessive form as a suffix, -ia-(iYa), starting at the very beginning of the letter, and sometimes repeated in lines to follow, or in later paragraphs:

"To "King-Lord-mine", God-(s)-mine, God-Sun-mine, (added "God-Sun from Sa-me"-(Akkadian "?am?", heaven))... Message Xxxxx (PN, personal name)...."

The suffix form is common throughout all sections of the Amarna letters.

Specific examples of the suffix form can be especially seen in letters from Alashiya, and Tushratta, the king of Mitanni, (Tushratta letters EA 19, EA 26, and EA 28; Alashiya letter EA 35). In those letters, the suffix -ia is used especially with the word 'brother': "Brother-mine", the cuneiform for brother being used as the sumerogram: ?E? (brother Sumerogram), since ?e? (cuneiform) in the Epic of Gilgamesh is also used for: sis, ?es, ?e?, ?i?, and "?E? (brother Sumerogram)".[4]


  1. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, ia words, p. 127, ia?ub?, p. 127.
  2. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Glossary, pp. 119-145, ia words, p. 127.
  3. ^ Rainey, 1970. El Amarna Tablets, 359-379, Glossary:Vocabulary, i?nu, pp. 55-87, p. 65.
  4. ^ Parpola, 197l. The Standard Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh, Sign List, pp. 155-165, no. 331-(sign for ?e?), p. 156.
  • 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.
  • Rainey, 1970. El Amarna Tablets, 359-379, Anson F. Rainey, (AOAT 8, Alter Orient Altes Testament 8, Kevelaer and Neukirchen -Vluyen), 1970, 107 pages.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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