Akkadian is one of the best attested languages of antiquity. As the corpus of the language and our understanding of it grow constantly, the existing dictionaires of Akkadian are now several decades out of date. The Supplement to the Akkadian Dictionaries is an ongoing project to compile corrections and additions to von Soden's Akkadisches Handwörterbuch and the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary. The electronic Supplement - eSAD - is open access and updated constantly.

Introduction and Outline

Akkadian (Babylonian-Assyrian), a Semitic language written in the cuneiform script, was the native language of Babylonia and Assyria, the two main areas of Ancient Mesopotamia. It spread all over the Ancient Near East and was used, at least in written form and during certain periods, also from Elam in southwest Iran to Anatolia Syria, Palestine and even Egypt in the west. Written from ca. 2600 BC to the 1st century AD, Akkadian is one of the best attested languages of antiquity: the size of the Akkadian text corpus approximately corresponds to the size of the corpus of ancient Latin.

The Akkadian lexicon is currently accessible through two large dictionaries, W. von Sodens Akkadisches Handwörterbuch (1958–1981, 3 volumes) and The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago (1956–2010, 20 volumes). Both dictionaries present Akkadian words with their meaning in context and a large number of references. However, due to the many new texts published after the completion of the Akkadisches Handwörterbuch and The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago, as well as new secondary literature and corrections, both dictionaries, especially in their earlier volumes, are outdated in part.

The Supplement to the Akkadian Dictionaries is meant to update both dictionaries. Since July 1st 2013, it is funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as a long-term project, in connection with the Etymological Dictionary of Akkadian conducted by Manfred Krebernik (Jena) and Leonid Kogan (Moscow). All results are published on this website, and in addition printed volumes will appear successively. 

The project leader is Michael P. Streck. Collaborators are:  Nadezda Rudik (2013–2017), Elyze Zomer (2017), Janine Wende (2017–2021), N. J. C. Kouwenberg (2017), Vitaly Margolin, Tommaso Scarpelli, Maria Teresa Renzi Sepe (2022).

Text Corpus and Secondary Literature

In the following we preliminarily define the text corpus which will be used for the Supplement. This corpus does not represent all Akkadian texts which have appeared after the completion of the dictionaries AHw. and CAD and its individual volumes. Rather, it contains a selection of texts and text groups which seem to be especially important for the Akkadian lexicon. The reason for this selection is a question of efficiency: the project is rather limited in time and resources and therefore forced to concentrate on sources that produce the most fruitful results.

Three criteria define the selection of texts:

  1. We prefer texts from periods and/or places hitherto not well documented in the dictionaries. Examples are the Middle Babylonian texts from Qatna or the Neo-Babylonian texts from Nippur.
  2. We prefer texts and text genres which produce rich lexicographical materials because of their content. Examples are the letters from the palace archives from Mari that touch so many subjects not attested elsewhere in the cuneiform corpus, or the Old Babylonian literary texts from the Schøyen collection.
  3. We prefer texts edited in full, preferably with complete indices because this limits the tasks of the lexicographer. Good examples are the Old Babylonian texts from Tuttul or the Middle Assyrian texts from Dūr-katlimmu.

The following list is preliminary and will be supplemented in the course of the project.

Old Akkadian

  • Tall Baydar: Subartu 2 and 12.
  • Sargonic letters: FAOS 19.
  • Garšana, Ur III documents: CUSAS 4.
  • Šū-ilišu archive: CUSAS 27.
  • For royal inscriptions see Kienast/Sommerfeld 1994 under secondary literature, below.

Old Babylonian

  • Early OB letters from Ešnunna: AS 22.
  • Late OB texts from the sealand dynasty: CUSAS 9.
  • Letters from Babylonia: AbB (esp. the latter volumes); CUSAS 36.
  • Mari, texts from the palace archive: ARM (esp. the latter volumes), FM, MARI.
  • Tuttul: KTT.
  • Shemshara, letters: Shemshara 1.
  • Šubat-Enlil, Royal Archives: RATL (Eidem).
  • Dūr-Abī-ešuḫ: CUSAS 29.
  • Cohen 2018 (OB list of sheep body parts).

Middle Babylonian

  • Ekalte: WVDOG 102.
  • Emar: Emar 6/1–4.
  • Qatna: QS 3.
  • Ur: Gurney 1983.
  • CUSAS 30.


  • Nippur, Early NB Governor’s archive: OIP 114.
  • Letters: SAA 17, 18, 21 (esp. new texts from CT 54).
  • Texts from Ur in the British Museum (dubsar 7).

Late Babylonian

  • Letters: AOAT 414/1; dubsar 3.
  • Bēl-rēmanni archive: Bēl-rēmanni (index).
  • Texts from Ur in the British Museum (dubsar 7).
  • Documents of West Semites: CUSAS 34.


  • CUSAS 34.

Old Assyrian

  • Letters and documents (all texts new): AKT 1–10 (AKT 3 = FAOS Bh. 3). Prag (Hecker et al.); TPAK 1 (Michel; Garelli).

Middle Assyrian

  • Assur: StAT 5.
  • Dūr-Katlimmu: BATSH 4, BATSH 9, BATSH 18.
  • Giricano: Subartu 14.
  • Tall Khuera: Jakob 2009.


  • Aššur: STAT 1–3.
  • Dūr-Katlimmu: BATSH 6.
  • Kalḫu, Ninive etc.: SAA (esp. new text such as from CT 53, CTN 5); CTN 6.

Literary Texts

  • Aššur literary texts: KAL 1–9.
  • Babylonian divinatory texts in the Schøyen Collection: CUSAS 18.
  • Emar literary texts: Emar 6/4.
  • Gilgameš epic: George 2003 and recent publications.
  • Uruk literary texts: SpTU 1–4 (indices).
  • Mesopotamian Incantations and Related Texts in the Schøyen Collection: CUSAS 32.
  • Old Babylonian literary texts in the Schøyen Collection: CUSAS 10.
  • Old Babylonian Flood Account: Finkel 2014.
  • Old Babylonian Love Literature: Wasserman, ALL.
  • Old Babylonian Incantations: SEAL; Wasserman 2018
  • Old Babylonian Legends of Akkadian Kings: Westenholz 1997.
  • Old Babylonian Juste Souffrant: RB 59 = Fs. Reiner 188ff.
  • Old Babylonian Ištar Louvre: Streck/Wasserman 2018.
  • Ugarit literary texts: Arnaud 2007.
  • Hymn to Marduk (RS 25.460): ORA 7, 205ff.
  • Lament of Nabû-šuma-ukīn: ORA 7, 316ff.
  • SB Disputation Poems: Jiménez 2017
  • SB: KAL 5-7, 9.
  • SB Oracle Questions: MesCiv. 13.

For further literary texts from the OAkk, OB, MB, OA and MA periods see SEAL.

Lexical Texts

  • Edubba 7, 100: list of birds.
  • Lexical texts in the Schøyen Collection: CUSAS 12.
  • Malku-šarru, synonym list: AOAT 50.
  • UET 7, 93.

Secondary Literature

The following selection of the secondary literature will be included systematically. Due to the restrictions of the project it is impossible to include the entire secondary literature. Rather we prefer explicitly lexicographic studies:

  • Reviews of AHw. and CAD.
  • Archiv für Orientforschung, after W. Sommerfeld (ed.), www.dnms.org/assets/apps/agi/Belegsammlung.pdf
  • Abraham/Sokoloff, AfO 52 (2011) 22–76: Aramaic Loanwords.
  • ARM 32 for the letters B, P, D, T, and Ṭ
  • Beaulieu 1999: LB Uruk cult inventory
  • Beaulieu 2003, Pantheon of Uruk: Philological Notes
  • Bulletin of Sumerian Agriculture: Terminology of plants and agriculture.
  • Cherry 2016: Aram. loanwords
  • Jursa 2009: LB list of aromatic plants and substances.
  • Jursa 2010: Aspects of Economic History.
  • Kienast/Sommerfeld 1994: Glossary of OAkk. inscriptions.
  • Mayer 2016 and 2017: Additions to the Akk. dictionaries.
  • Michel/Nosch (ed.) 2010: textile terminology (esp. the articles by Michel/Veenhof on OA and by Zawadzki on LB textiles).
  • McEwan 1988 (Babylonia in the Hellenistic Period, Klio 70, 412-421): Greek loanwords
  • Moran 1987: The Amarna Letters.
  • Pentiuc 2011: West Semitic Loan Words in MB texts from Emar.
  • Richter 2012: Hurrian.
  • Sallaberger 1996: terminology of pottery.
  • Sivan 1987: Northwest Semitic loanwords in Akk. texts of the MB period.
  • Sjöberg 1998: Emar Sa vocabulary.
  • Streck 2000, 82–123: Amorite Loanwords.
  • Streck 2003a: verbal stems with ta-infix.
  • Streck 2017: times of the day.
  • Such-Gutiérrez 2018: OAkk Adab.
  • Zawadzki 2006 and 2013: textiles in NB (cult).

The Supplement to the Akkadian Dictionaries is a work in progress.

  • Vol. 1: B, P was published in 2018: LAOS 7,1
  • Vol. 2: D, T, Ṭ was published in 2019: LAOS 7,2
  • Vol. 3: G, K, Q was published in 2022: LAOS 7,3
  • We are currently working on the letters L, M, N, and R.


Detailed State of Work
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The Electronic Supplement to the Akkadian Dictionaries (eSAD)

The order of the entries, the basic translations, and the abbreviations of dialects and periods normally follow the Concise Dictionary of Akkadian (ed. by J. Black/A. George/N. Postgate, SANTAG 5, 2000, Harrasowitz: Wiesbaden). Instead of J, Y is used.

Divergences or additions to the print version are marked yellow in the digital version (eSAD).


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