Akkadian: "Pa" and "χut" = Dayspring?


Senior Member
American English
At this website:

Richard Hinckley Allen • Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning

...they have separate pages on each of the major constellations, about the constellations' lore and names in various cultures, such as this one on Sagittarius:

LacusCurtius • Allen's Star Names — Sagittarius

That page describes how the constellation has been associated with two different general concepts: an archer (originally a specific named main character of the ancient Middle East who was an archer), and something else about daylight or the arrival of daylight, whether as dawn or a time of year; its transit time each year is near the winter solstice, when days start getting longer and dawn starts happening earlier.

The particular part of the page that caught my attention is this:

Another inscribed tablet, although somewhat imperfect, is thought to read Kakkab Kastu, the Constellation, or Star, of the Bow, — in Akkadian Ban, — indicating one or more of the bow stars of the Archer. This will account for the Τόξον of Aratos and the Arcus of the Latins, Sayce agreeing with this in his rendering Mulban, the Star of the Bow. Pa and χut, Dayspring, also seem to have been titles, the latter because our Archer was a type of the rising sun.

It's not totally clear what "dayspring" means, but it's even less clear what the author means about "pa" and "χut". He usually identifies what language a name is from or what author wrote the name, but left that out this time. Worse yet, although the names that weren't originally in the Roman & Greek alphabets are always transliterated/transcribed, he normally gives Greek names in the Greek alphabet... and "χut" somehow uses 1 Greek letter and 2 Roman letters!

Does anybody here know where these could have come from?
  • Rocko!

    Senior Member
    Español - México

    His Story in the Skies


    Senior Member
    German (Austria)
    From the context I would say it can't be much else but what he calls "Akkadian", which seems to be rather Sumerian names or Sumerogramms in Babylonian writing. I suspect they may be outdated 19th century readings he took from Sayce, but since he doesn't mention which publication exactly it is difficult to say. The identification of MUL.BAN with Sagittarius seems to be outdated also, according to this article it rather referred to a part of Canis Major and Sagittarius was Pabilsaĝ.


    Senior Member
    American English
    And the Akkadian answer solves the problem of Greek & Roman letters in one word; looking around a bit more on Akkadian phonetics & romanization, I've found out that using Greek "χ" for one particular Akkadian sound has been a convention that's seen in some other sources, not just this one on astrology. It's the same sound that I've usually seen romanized as "ḫ" before.