Dead Names, Dead Dog: Sumerian Shenanigans

After that digression, let’s dive back into Dead Names

There has been as much controversy over the term “Cutha” as over the origins of the Sumerians, Yezidis, and Todas. I put forward my thesis that the Lovecraftian entity known as Cthulhu may be a form of KUTULU, a Sumerian word meaning “Man of Kutu” or “Man of the Underworld.” This has been attacked, naturally, by those who see in my Sumerian phraseology as well as my Sumerian history errors reflecting poor scholarship. However, as we will see, the facts instead support the case I made in 1975 and which I make again today. What I did not know at the time was the extent of the idea of the Sumerian city of Cutha and its deep significance to chthonic, or underworld, deities.

“Simon” goes on to show that Cutha was, indeed, a city with a vast metropolis connected with the Underworld. He’s made a credible case, and I’ve been able to find this in other sources. Thus, I’m going to enter this into the errata.

It’s too early for his supporters to celebrate, however. Often, what is more interesting than what “Simon” says is what he doesn’t say. “Simon” brings up his “Sumerian phraseology” and then lets it drop, as if he’s proven that “Kutu-Lu” is a correct word as well. Actually, as I posted not so long ago, his only source for this information is two posters on the Internet who, to my knowledge, have no personal knowledge of Sumerian. What’s really going on here?

Unlike “Simon”, I actually went out to get a Sumerian grammar – in this case, the appropriately named Sumerian Grammar by Dietz Edzard, published in 2003. Here’s what I found:
Complex explanation: The section on the genitive case (Section details the “X of Y” construction that is required to create the “man of Kutu” phrase. In most cases, the X (“lu”) does come before Y (“Kutu”), leading to a construction “lu-Kutu”. The only exception to this order must be accompanied by a possessive particle added as a suffix, which is not present in “Kutulu.”

Simple explanation: No. Nuh-uh. No way. Never happened.

Thus, by keeping the attention on a lengthy explanation of the city of “Cutha”, “Simon” has neglected the main point – that the phrase “Kutu-Lu” still has no basis in Sumerian. (And if someone more knowledgeable regarding Sumerian does, somebody point me to a reference!)

Published in: on July 7, 2006 at 9:23 am  Comments (8)  

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  1. […] As we’ve already dismissed “Simon’s” “Kutu-Lu” argument, I feel no shame in labeling this an interesting coincidence.  If “Simon” wants to assert otherwise, he’ll have to do his own etymological and cultural research to prove that this word has a connection to ancient Sumer. […]

  2. I fully have to agree with you. although Cutha was the city of whom Nergal and Ereshkigal were the patron deities, the construction of KUTU-LU(2) is impossible.
    in correct Sumerian grammar, ‘the man of Cutha’ would be (analysed) *Lú-KUTU-(AK)…

    I have actually searched neo-Babylonian and late-Babylonian texts, as well as neo-Assyrian ones for that phrase, because in those times, scribes weren’t really acquainted with the Sumerian grammar. however, I found NOTHING like KUTU-LU.

    on a sidenote:
    the name of Nergal (the Lord of Cutha) is never written like that. from Early Dynastic times on he has usually been written with GìR. URUGAL.GAL , which was later replaed by varous other writings (for reference, see von Weiher, ‘Der babylonische Gott Nergal’, AOAT 11).

    also, IF the deity would have been written as KUTU([Gish.x]TAR)… LU means ‘sheep’.

    Simon should really try to get some hang on grammar, orthography and sign-forms if he wants to list them as ‘evidence’

    • Kutulu has no roots in the Sumerian or Babylonian language or mythos, unless you connect it to Kulullu, which is (amongst other things) one of the 11 monsters of Tiamat and is a Man-fish. Kulullu and Kutulu are close enough, no?

  3. […] have to assume that some of the material with little roots in actual Mesopotamian practice, like the strained etymologies for Cthulhu and a ritual requiring the deaths of multiple people, would be removed.  Let’s assume those […]

  4. […] Is “Kutulu” actually Sumerian? Find out here. […]

  5. […] Is “Kutulu” actually Sumerian? Find out here. […]

  6. […] Dan Harms is a good friend of mine. Though I do not know John Wisdom Gonce III, I believe they approached the idea of the Necronomicon Files, a book that claims the Necronomicon by Simon as a hoax, in sincerity, but a lot of the “facts” found in their book are not consistent with ancient Sumerian spirituality. One example of this can be found in the book’s editorial on the subject of Kutulu. In an effort to critique the Simon Necronomicon, we find the authors of the Necronomicon Files making the following statement on page 148 of their publication: […]

  7. There is a Greek word, Cthulhou, for the underworld.The Sumerians would pronounce it as Kutulu. The Greeks conceived everything as part of a certain god. So it roughly translates as “The God of the Underworld who is Worshipped by the Greeks.”

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