The Mul.Apin Tablets



Definition: [Source Texts of Astrology] The Mul.Apin [i.e. Mul and Apin] tablets contain the most comprehensive surviving Babylonian star and constellation catalogue from before 600 BC.

Mul.Apin Tablet 1. Larger plate (67 KB) ©

Further Information: WA 86378 [BM 86378] Mul.Apin tablet 1 [pictured] is in the British Museum, London. [The tablet is 8.4 centimetres high incised with miniature cuneiform writing.] This principal copy of Tablet 1 probably dates circa 500 BC and is a late Babylonian copy. The earliest copies were recovered from the royal library of the Assyrian King Assurbanipal (667-629 BC) in Nineveh (and also from Assur). The text of Tablet 1 was able to be restored with the aid of five copies - one dated to the Neo-Babylonian Period, two from Assurbanipal's library [hence written before 612 BC when Nineveh was sacked], and two from Assur. [The first part of Mul.Apin to be published was this almost complete copy of tablet 1 by Leonard King in CT 33, Plates 1-8 (1912)].*

The principal copy of the second tablet is VAT 9412 from Assur, dated 687 BC. (This is the oldest of the texts.) Multiple copies of tablet 2 are known: principally three from Assur, three from Assurbanipal's library, and one dated to the Neo-Babylonian period.

Translations of the Cuneiform Inscription: The translations linked below are separated out into the subject areas of the tablets.

One:   The 33 Stars on the Path of Enlil  [Mul.Apin: Column I, Lines 1 - 39] 
Two:   The 23 Stars on the Path of Anu  [Mul.Apin: Column I, Lines 39 - 44; Column II, Lines 1 - 18] 
Three:   The 15 Stars on the Path of Ea [Mul.Apin: Column II Lines 19 - 35 ]
Four:   The Heliacal Risings of 34 Stars by Month  [Mul.Apin: Column II, Lines 36 - 47, Column III, Lines 1 - 12] 
Five:   Heliacal Node Stars Rising and Setting  [Mul.Apin: Column III, Lines 13 - 33] 
Six:   Day Differences in the Rising of 15 Stars  [Mul.Apin: Column III, Lines 34 - 50] 
Seven:   The Ziqpu Stars  [Mul.Apin: Column IV, Lines 1 - 30] 
Eight:   Stars on the Path of the Moon  [Mul.Apin: Column IV, Lines 31 - 39] 


* Much of this description of the tablets taken from the work of Gary D. Thompson, at

© Dr Shepherd Simpson, Galactic Astrologer, except where the work of others has been cited.


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