Cyprian Cylinder



The  inscription on the Enkomi clay cylinder

(Drawn by Emilia Masson)


The  inscription on the Enkomi clay cylinder
(Drawn by Emilia Masson)


Transcription of the Cyprian cuneiform inscription on the Enkomi cylinder
(Brian Colless)

In the attempt to interpret the text, the assumption will be that the words are Semitic, on the grounds that the sequence MALIKI (in line 3) is the West Semitic term for 'king'.
It is obvious that this script is not suited to Semitic: it does not distinguish b/p, t/t./d, s/s./sh/, k/q/g, h/h./, '/`.

1-2] E LA NU TI YA TI | MO SA ' SA RI ZE TI /'
ELANU invites a connection with il/el 'god'; Ugaritic 'iln, Phoenician 'ln,  'god'.
TI could be the relative pronoun (Ugaritic d, Aramaic di)
YATI might be 'my hand' (yadi).
MOSA, cp. mas.a' 'find'?
SARIZETI looks like a personal name, and indeed royal, with sar/shar 'ruler', and perhaps zayt 'olive', 'olive tree'. It also occurs in lines 9 and 26. It seems to have a counterpart  on a pot handle from Enkomi (J-P Olivier ##112, ENKO Avas 005, CypMus 4103), which could read SA RI ZE I TI or  SA RI LA RO TI. Olivier has chosen 97 (=RO) for the penultimate sign, deciding that the stroke at the top was intended to be closing off the square, not indicating a dot to make the syllabogram I; the resulting -ROTI matches the ending of SI NA KU RO TI, a name found here (4-5) and elsewhere (see below). But the preceding character, identified as 88 by Olivier, is indefinite with regard to its sound. On the table above, there are two similar signs: 2o (= 87, LA, from Linear AB60 RA) and 24 (=88), with two short strokes (=) attached to the overhanging line on the right of the character. This has its origin in Linear AB74 and pictograph 45, clearly representing a saw, having the phonetic value ZE, and with 86, 92, 93, 112 as variants (all apparently showing the teeth of the saw), but 112 has sprouted two legs, like signs 29 (I 104) and 30 (KE 107) on the table above; and 25 (A, an ax, 102) and 26 (KU, 110) also have variant forms with legs. Now, Emilia Masson's category 88 also includes a version with only one stroke (a one-tooth saw?), but this may be a variant of 87 (LA). If syllabogram 112 (with legs, and four or more teeth as dots or strokes) is indeed a form of ZE, then we can demonstrate that the intermediate sign with one stroke (versus no stroke or two strokes) is not ZE, by referring to the names inscribed on clay balls from Enkomi. On B39 (Olivier ##o42) it stands side by side with 112, so it presumably represents LA, and belongs with 87 not 88. B42 (045) has 87 and 112 together in a name, but I cannot find an example of the two characters assigned to 88 in the same text. Accordingly, our supposed counterpart for SARIZETI is actually SARILAROTI.
2-3] I | TE PO MA LI KI PO TI /'
MALIKI could be 'king', as stated at the outset. POTI might go with bayt 'house' ('King of the house(s)'?).

3-4] KU A MA [TA/RO?] '  Olivier favours TA for the obliterated sign; MATA could be 'dead' or 'died' or 'death' (the sounds M and T occur everywhere in words denoting death: Semitic mt, Latin mort, Maori mate); AMATA suggests amatu/awatu 'word' or 'command' of a king or god. A possible reading is: 'according to (ku) the word (amat) of Sinakuroti'.
4-5] SI NA KU RO TI /' This word, assumed to be a personal or royal name, is attested on a cylinder seal from Kourion (Olivier ##202, NY MetMus). 
5] NE SA RA NI '   There is a gap between NE and SA; Olivier suggests it contained the punctuation mark /'. He also equates the damaged sign 14 (=2 NE, in my view, from LAB24, originally a vessel for libations) with 19 (=U).  SARANI is reminiscent of the seranim, the princes of the Philistines in the Bible.

6] I PE KU? PA PO TI /' PA/'
PA PO, might be Paphos (Jean Faucounau)
PA 'and' or 'here'.

7-8] TU NA /' ' PA/' SU MA PO | TI/' SA/' PO KA'
TU NA (dn 'judge')
SU MA, perhaps shum 'name', 'fame', POTI 'of the house'.
SA, possibly sha 'which', 'of'.
PO KA ('your mouth'? bk' 'weep'?)

8-9] KU/' | SARIZETI/' 'according to Sarizeti'?

9-10] LI KI TU | RA/': LI (preposition 'to', 'for'); KITURA (kittar 'surround, encompass'; ktr 'diadem, crown')