tibira

anonymous asked:

What would you call a merchant in Sumerian? More specifically a merchant of luxury goods (spices, silks, etc).

Hello! I know of a few words for “merchant” in Sumerian, but they’re not divided by the kind of goods the person sells.

The most basic word for “merchant” is tibira or ibira (the word is spelled both ways), which can also refer to a tradesman more generally. Damgar means “merchant” or “trader”; it’s probably a loan into Sumerian from Akkadian tamkarum “person who does business”. And the word probably closest to what you’re looking for is gaesh, which means “traveling merchant” or “river-traveling salesman” — which is such a great image!