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Nebo and writing (1)

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01 Religious and ideological doctrines and imagery

9th century CE
Christian-Syriac philosophers and scholars
Mandean culture

Nabu’s connection with writing is still reflected in the commentary on Isaiah 46:1 contained in the Liber scholiorum of Theodore bar Konai. Here, Nebo is interpreted as a school master for whom a pupil erected a statue in the hope of ingratiating himself with his severe teacher. An analogous idea is contained in Ishodad of Merw’s Commentary on Genesis, where the invention of the Persian script is attributed to a man from Maisan (on the Persian Gulf) called Nebo, who was brought up in the court of “the king of Assur at Nineveh”. Writing, books, and wisdom are also associated with Nabu (nbu, ˀnbu) in Mandaic texts.

Sources (list of abbreviations)
Theodore bar Konai, Liber scholiorum
Ishodad of Merw, Commentary on Genesis


Drower and Macuch 1963, 287Drower, E. S. and R. Macuch. A Mandaic Dictionary. Oxford: Clarendon Press 1963.
Pomponio 1978, 225Pomponio, Francesco. Nabû. Il culto e la figura di un dio del Pantheon babilonese ed assiro. Studi Semitici 51. Roma: Istituto di studi del Vicino Oriente, Università di Roma 1978.

Amar Annus

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