The Image of the Dragon in RS 16.266 (= KTU1–3 1.83) Ugaritic √ṯrp and Its Syriac, Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, and Mandaic Cognates

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Madadh Richey



The fragmentary Ugaritic text RS 16.266 (= KTU1–3 1.83) contains a number of lexical and other problems exacerbated by the state of the tablet and difficulties in defining the plot and characters involved in the text. One of these lexical issues involves the analysis of two verbs that appear to be from the root √trp. In the present paper, I survey previous hypotheses as to the etymology and semantics of this verb and contrast the deficiencies of these with the merits of identifying a thus far unrecognized cognate set in lexemes from the root √trp in later Aramaic dialects, i.e., Syriac, Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, and Mandaic. The verbs in this cognate set have the semantics ‘to strike (esp. of a snake)’, and thus clarify both the activity and morphology of the fearsome dragon described in RS 16.266.

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