Text #9082

Kronk. Cometography: A Catalog of Comets. Series: Cometography. Vol. 1
[p. 509]

In the book History of Babylonia, by George Smith, a comet is reported for the year -1140, when the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar I invaded Elam (a kingdom of ancient Asia, roughly corresponding to the present day province of Khuzistan, Iran). It is described as very bright and extending from the north to the south like the tail of a scorpion. W. T Lynn (1903) wrote, “It seems to me that it is more likely to refer to a meteor than a comet.” Babylonian scholar Hermann Hunger has said the account came from an erroneous translation.

Text #9083

Editorial comment by Laura Knight-Jadczyk

In his note about the declaration of Hermann Hunger, Kronk says this was personal correspondence. Since there is no reference to a printed source, and he does not identify how the text was mistranslated, and what the correct translation was/is, I’m going to include this anyway. The scorpion like tail is curious, however, and it may be that which is mistranslated.

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