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Michael Markovits

This monumental history of the organ in antiquity provides a wide overview of the technical development, use and recognition of the organ as an instrument. The interdisciplinary study relies on a comprehensive collection of literary works and archaeological monuments from Hellenistic, Roman, Jewish, Early Byzantine, Syrian and Western civilization ranging from 270 B.C. to 630 A.D., and discusses the survival of this rich heritage in Byzantium, the Islam and the Latin Middle Ages until about 1200.
The volume completes with an account of the relevant scholarship since the Renaissance and extensive indices. Fully documented and richly illustrated with numerous photographs and drawings, it will appeal to students and scholars of both the arts and the sciences. This history of the organ in antiquity will serve as an indispensable reference work for decades.

This handbook will appeal to students and scholars of both the arts and the sciences. It should interest all those concerned with the history of music and musical instruments, archaeologists, and historians of art and of science and technology.

The Oral Background of Persian Epics

Storytelling and Poetry


Kumiko Yamamoto

This volume discusses the indirect influence of oral transmission on the genesis and evolution of the Persian written epic tradition. On the basis of formal characteristics of naqqâli (Persian storytelling) performance, a set of formal and thematic criteria is proposed to determine the extent to which written Persian epics show structures ultimately deriving from oral performance. It is applied to the Shâh-nâme of Ferdowsi (c. 1000) and to the Garshâsp-nâme of Asadi (c. 1064-66).
The first part of the book examines the Oral-Formulaic Theory and proposes an alternative approach focusing on naqqâli. The book may be relevant to both oralists and Iranists; it demonstrates the complex process where orality interacts with written tradition in the genesis of the Shâh-nâme.

The Soul and its Instrumental Body

A Reinterpretation of Aristotle's Philosophy of Living Nature


A.P. Bos

For more than 1800 years it has been supposed that Aristotle viewed the soul as the entelechy of the visible body which is 'equipped with organs'. This book argues that in actual fact he saw the soul as the entelechy of a natural body 'that serves as its instrument'. This correction puts paid to W. Jaeger's hypothesis of a three-phase development in Aristotle. The author of this book defends the unity of Aristotle's philosophy of living nature in De anima, in the biological treatises, and in the lost dialogues. Aristotle should therefore be regarded as the author of the notion of the 'vehicle of the soul' and of a 'non-Platonic' dualism. The current understanding of his influence on Hellenistic philosophy needs to change accordingly.

The Postcolonial Arabic Novel

Debating Ambivalence


Muhsin Al-Musawi

This is the first study of its kind to tackle the postcolonial in Arabic fiction. In ten chapters, a lengthy preface and an extensive bibliography, the author discusses and questions a large number of novels that demonstrate cultural diversity and richness in the Arab World. Using current methodologies and discourse analysis, the author highlights engagements with postcolonial issues that relate to identity formation, the modern nation-state, individualism, nationalism, gender and class demarcations, and micro-politics. With this intention, the book locates Arabic narrative in the mainstream of world literature, and establishes the modern Arabic novel in the contemporary literary critical world of postcolonial studies. The author's lucid style and thorough knowledge of the field should recommend the book to students and scholars alike, as it comes in time to meet the needs of the academy for solid writing on Islam and the Arabs.

Semitic Papyrology in Context

A Climate of Creativity. Papers from a New York University conference marking the retirement of Baruch A. Levine


Lawrence Schiffman

One of the major – and complicating - characteristics of the antique Middle East is the interconnection between the Semitic and Greco-Roman cultures. The current volume brings together studies which relate to the multi-cultural traditions of papyrus writing, with special attention regarding the linguistic, literary, and cultural features of these, often documentary texts.
Originally presented at a conference in honour of the retirement of Professor Baruch A. Levine, Skirball Professor Emeritus of Biblical and Ancient Near Eastern Studies (New York University).
Important for students of the Greco-Roman world and the Near East in Late Antiquity.

Ibn García's shu'ūbiyya Letter

Ethnic and Theological Tensions in Medieval al-Andalus


Göran Larsson

This volume deals with the medieval shu'ūbiyyah movement (in which non-Arab Muslims sought equality of power and status with Arabs) in al-Andalus, Muslim Spain. By analysing a letter composed by Ibn García during the 11th century, the tensions between Arab and non-Arab Muslims are discussed in detail. Symbols, stories and legends used in the shu'ūbiyyah corpus of writings are analysed in the light of the political and theological development in al-Andalus and the Muslim world. Authority, legitimacy and power are central both to the discussion of Ibn García’s letter and the history of the shu'ūbiyyah movement.
The first part gives the historical background to the history of al-Andalus. Ethnic conflicts and tensions related to authority and power are of special interest. The second part, gives a detailed analysis of Ibn García’s shu'ūbiyyah letter in relation to the historical and contemporary situation in al-Andalus.

Reconstructing the Reality of Images

Byzantine Material Culture and Religious Iconography (11th - 15th Centuries)


Maria Parani

This volume examines the occurrence of secular contemporary artefacts (realia) in Middle and Late Byzantine religious painting. It explores the potential of Byzantine art as a source of information on material culture and inquires into the semiotic function of realia in religious pictorial contexts.
The first part of the book comprises five case studies dedicated to imperial, official, aristocratic, and military dress, furniture, furnishings, and implements. The creative processes that led to the introduction of realia into religious iconography are discussed in the commentary.
The book conveys a wealth of information especially on Byzantine dress and provides valuable new insights into the workings of Byzantine art. It is an original and thorough investigation of a fascinating, yet surprisingly little-studied subject.

Verleiblichung und Synergie

Grundzüge der Bibelhermeneutik bei Maximus Confessor


Assaad Kattan

This volume examines the biblical hermeneutics of Maximus the Confessor (579/580-662). Although some aspects of the Confessor's hermeneutical approach had already been tackled, a comprehensive analysis was still missing. Accordingly, this book fills a gap in Patristic studies.
The study consists of three chapters. The first one deals with the logoi theory of Maximus being the ontological nucleus around which his whole theological thinking is organized. The second chapter examines Maximus' understanding of mystical ascension. Equipped with the "ontological" and "mystical" foundation, the third chapter analyzes thoroughly the hermeneutics of Maximus as such, attempting to show its coherence and rootedness in the general christological perspective of the Confessor.
This book will be of benefit not only for byzantinists and patrologists, but also for biblical scholars interested in the history of hermeneutics and exegesis as well as for historians of philosophy and medieval ideas.

Edited by William W. Hallo and Younger

The Context of Scripture illuminatingly presents the multi-faceted world of ancient writing that forms the colourful background to the literature of the Hebrew Bible. Designed as a thorough and durable reference work for all engaged in the study of the Bible and the Ancient Near East, and involving many of the world’s outstanding scholars in the field, it provides reliable access to a broad, balanced and representative collection of Ancient Near Eastern texts that have some bearing on the interpretation of the Bible. Translations of recently discovered texts are included, alongside new translations of better-known texts and in some cases the best existing translations of such texts.

The substantial three-volume work, with its specially designed page layout and large format, features full cross-referencing to comparable Bible passages, and new, up-to-date bibliographical annotations with judicious commentary. Its many distinct advantages over other collections will ensure the place of The Context of Scripture as a standard reference work for the 21st century.

Volume 3, Archival Documents from the Biblical World, provides a generous selection from the vast number of legal, commercial and private documents preserved from pre-classical antiquity. These courtcases, contracts, accounts and letters, so often slighted or underrepresented in older anthologies, throw a bright light on the daily life of ordinary human beings as recorded by their contemporaries. In addition, exhaustive indices to all three volumes identify and classify all proper names and many of the themes struck throughout the work. With this third Volume The Context of Scripture is completed.

Josephus in Galilee and Rome

His Vita and Development as a Historian


Josephus, a Palestinian Jew, authored Bellum Judaicum, which chronicled the Jewish revolt against Rome begun in 66 C.E. in Jerusalem, and roughly twenty years later wrote Antiquitates Judaicae, a study of Jewish history from the creation to 66 C.E. In both Bellum Judaicum and the Vita, an appendix to Antiquitates Judaicae, Josephus deals with his own role in the war. Although both works have apologetic aims, Josephus changes his story from one work to the next. By viewing these two works in the greater context of Josephus’s life and not in isolation from each other, Cohen traces Josephus’s development as a historian, as an apologist, and as a Jew. Cohen bases his historical reconstruction of Josephus’s participation in the war on a delineation of specific contradictions between the two works, a survey of the scholarship on the subject, a discussion of the literary relationship between the two documents, an investigation of how Josephus treated his sources, and a detailed analysis of both the Bellum Judaicum and the Vita. Comprehensive and contextual, this work will be of general interest to students and scholars of ancient Judaism and classical antiquity.

Please note that Josephus in Galilee and Rome was previously published by Brill in hardback (ISBN 90 04 05922 9, no longer available).