Sumerian: bara6

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New Member
Hello, new here, thanks for having me, my apologies if this is in the wrong section { or wrong forum altogether }

OK, here's my search:

I am studying the history of the use of colors in the priesthoods that originated in Sumerian culture

I have come across an obscure cuneiform that the ePSD { Electronic Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary } defines as " color term ", with no further explanation as to it's meaning or function:

The symbol for the obscure " color term " { bara_6 }

The reason I posit the term " bara_6 " is related to the Sumerian priesthood is based on the fact that the word for " priest / lord " { en } is placed inside the " color term " { bara_6 }

There seems to be an additional third word to the left of the word " en " ?
bara, color term, draft.png

Any ideas ?

I've yet to make heads or tails of it, and can only assume it's possibly related to the priests of Istar { Venus }

Thanks for your time,
  • Luigi Terrio

    English - Canada
    The other sign within it is me, which has a fairly abstract meaning of "being."

    EPSD is awesome but they stopped updating it years ago. Try to find an academic article discussing one of the texts that uses the sign. I know I have had many obscure signs clarified for me by reading something Civil had written.


    New Member
    Thank you very much !

    I have made a little headway and think that it possibly has to do with eclipse omen, as red eclipse phenomenon apparently comprise the bulk of astronomical ephemeris and other texts

    Something having to do with the priest being the earthly manifestation of the god represented by the planet / moon / star

    The color red is apparently central to many religious topics and until I did a comprehensive comparison I did not understand

    Thanks again !

    Luigi Terrio

    English - Canada
    Have you checked the full entries on ePSD? I just looked at the entries for that sign and was able to get some info not mentioned in your OP.

    Bara6/para6/men4 is composed of LAGABxME+EN, that is, block/rail x being/essence + lord/priest. It can mean bara, the color, but it can also mean barag, meaning ruler, king, dais, or seat. It can also mean men, meaning a type of royal crown. This could be a color associated with priesthood, but it could also just be a color considered royal or fitting for a dais or throne. The page on barag references the publications:
    [1992] M. Sigrist, Drehem 141-142.

    [1991] I.J. Gelb, P. Steinkeller and R.M. Whiting, Kudurrus 54-55.

    and the page for men references:
    [1995] P. Steinkeller, BiOr 52 704.

    [1972] H. Waetzoldt, UNT XXII-XXIII
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