Apkallu Baghdad Museum


The terms apkallu has multiple uses, but usually refers to some form of wisdom; translations of the term generally equate to English language uses of the terms "the wise"or "sage."

As an epithet, prefix, or adjective it can mean "the wise"; it has been used as an epithet for the gods Ea and Marduk, simply interpreted as "wise one amongst gods" or similar forms. It has also been applied to Enlil, Ninurta, and Adad, alternatively translated as meaning 'expert.'

A second meaning is when used to refer to the "seven sages." It has also been applied as an epithet of the sage Adapa The term has also been used specifically when referring to apotropaic figures, which are often figurines the 'seven sages' themselves.


A collation of the names and 'titles' of theses seven sages in order can be given as:

Uanna, "who finished the plans for heaven and earth",Uannedugga, "who was endowed with comprehensive intelligence",Enmedugga, "who was allotted a good fate",Enmegalamma, "who was born in a house",Enmebulugga, "who grew up on pasture land",An-Enlilda, "the conjurer of the city of Eridu",Utuabzu, "who ascended to heaven".

Additionally, the term is used when referring to human "priests" (also 'exorcists', 'diviners').However, Mesopotamian human sages also used the term ummianu (ummânù).

The term 'apkallu' is Akkadian, it is though to derive from the Sumerian abgal

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