Mighty Baal

Essays in Honor of Mark S. Smith


Mighty Baal: Essays in Honor of Mark S. Smith is the first edited collection devoted to the study of the ancient Near Eastern god Baal. Although the Bible depicts Baal as powerless, the combined archaeological, iconographic, and literary evidence makes it clear that Baal was worshipped throughout the Levant as a god whose powers rivalled any deity. Mighty Baal brings together eleven essays written by scholars working in North America, Europe, and Israel. Essays in part one focus on the main collection of Ugaritic tablets describing Baal’s exploits, the Baal Cycle. Essays in part two treat Baal’s relationships to other deities. Together, the essays offer a rich portrait of Baal and his cult from a variety of methodological perspectives.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.

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Stephen C. Russell, Ph.D. (2008), New York University, is Associate Professor of History at John Jay College, CUNY. His publications include Space, Land, Territory and the Study of the Bible (Brill, 2017) and The King and the Land (Oxford, 2016).

Esther J. Hamori, Ph.D. (2004), New York University, is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary. Her publications include Women's Divination in Biblical Literature (Yale University Press, 2015) and When Gods Were Men (de Gruyter, 2008).
“This important volume containing eleven essays by colleagues and pupils of Mark Smith presents the reader an excellent overview of recent research on the Ugaritic god Baal as a fitting tribute to Mark Smith, celebrating his sixtyfifth birthday. In offering this gift to him as an expert in this field the editors ran the risk of bringing owls to Athens. However, the different contributions are in most cases renewing and sometimes also take up the discussion with previous work of Smith.(…) This well-edited volume, which is concluded by an index on subjects, can be regarded as a good mix of a Festschrift and a collection of coherent contributions focussing on one subject.”
- Klaas Spronk, Protestant Theological University Amsterdam, in Bibliotheca Orientalis, LXXVIII N° 5-6, oktober-december 2021
Acknowledgments Vii
List of Abbreviations
Notes on Contributors

Stephen C. Russell

Part 1: Baal’s Story

1 The Baal Cycle as a Myth of Cosmic Unification
Robert S. Kawashima

2 Fight Like a Girl: the Performance of Gender and Violence in the Baal Cycle
Corrine Carvalho

3 Male Agency and Masculine Performance in the Baal Cycle
Martti Nissinen

4 Active and Reactive Bodies in the Baal Cycle
Deena Grant

5 The Grammar of Baal’s Epithets
Steven E. Fassberg

6 Where Are All the Colophons? Colophons in the Ancient Near East and in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Sidnie White Crawford

Part 2: Baal’s Peers

7 Gods in Translation and Location
Ronald Hendel

8 Ugaritic Athtartu Šadi, Food Production, and Textiles: More Data for Reassessing the Biblical Portrayal of Aštart in Context
Theodore J. Lewis

9 Yahweh among the Baals: Israel and the Storm Gods
Daniel E. Fleming

10 Who Is the Baal of Peor?
Susan Ackerman

11 Baal’s Legacy: Echoes of Ugarit in Papyrus Amherst 63
Karel van der Toorn

All interested in ancient Near Eastern religion, mythology, and history and anyone wishing to better understand the context of biblical monolatry and the development of western monotheism.
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