Liturgical Poetry in the Late Antique Near East

A Comparative Approach

In: Journal of Ancient Judaism
Ophir Münz-Manor The Open University of Israel

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The article presents a contemporary view of the study of piyyut, demonstrating that Jewish poetry of late antiquity (in Hebrew and Aramaic) was closely related to Christian liturgical poetry (both Syriac and Greek) and Samaritan liturgy. These relations were expressed primarily by common poetic and prosodic characteristics, derived on the one hand from ancient Semitic poetry (mainly biblical poetry), and on the other from innovations of the period. The significant connections of content between the different genres of poetry reveal the importance of comparative study. Thus the poetry composed in late antiquity provides additional evidence for the lively cultural dialogue that took place at that time.

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