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In The Cross in the Visual Culture of Late Antique Egypt Gillian Spalding-Stracey brings the design of crosses in monastic and ecclesiastical settings to the fore. Visual representations of the Holy Cross are often so ubiquitous in Christian art that they are often overlooked as artistic devices themselves. This volume offers an exploration of the variety of designs and associated imagery by which the Cross was expressed across the Egyptian landscape in late antiquity. A survey of locations and images leads to an analysis of artistic influences, possible symbolism, variance across time and place and the contextual use of the motif. Gillian Spalding-Stracey provides the reader with an art-historical perspective of the socio-cultural situation in Egypt at the time.
This volume collects 33 papers that were presented at the international conference held at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University in November 2015 to celebrate the centenary of Bedřich Hrozný’s identification of Hittite as an Indo-European language. Contributions are grouped into three sections, “Hrozný and His Discoveries,” “Hittite and Indo-European,” and “The Hittites and Their Neighbors,” and span the full range of Hittite studies and related disciplines, from Anatolian and Indo-European linguistics and cuneiform philology to Ancient Near Eastern archaeology, history, and religion. The authors hail from 15 countries and include leading figures as well as emerging scholars in the fields of Hittitology, Indo-European, and Ancient Near Eastern studies.
A Study of Deportees in the Sixth and Fifth Centuries BCE
In Judeans in Babylonia, Tero Alstola presents a comprehensive investigation of deportees in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE. By using cuneiform documents as his sources, he offers the first book-length social historical study of the Babylonian Exile, commonly regarded as a pivotal period in the development of Judaism.
The results are considered in the light of the wider Babylonian society and contrasted against a comparison group of Neirabian deportees. Studying texts from the cities and countryside and tracking developments over time, Alstola shows that there was notable diversity in the Judeans’ socio-economic status and integration into Babylonian society.

Abstract

Before Bedřich Hrozný concluded his scientific career in the 1940s, he became interested, among other scripts, in the 2nd millennium bc Aegean writing systems, most notably Linear A and Linear B. There is archival evidence nowadays that his interest was lively for a number of years, even after his acute health problems in the mid-1940s. His interest culminated in a proposed decipherment of Linear B, which was harshly criticized by scholars such as Helmuth Bossert (1944), Alice Kober (1946), Spyridon Marinatos (1947) and Emmett Bennett (1950). The reviews concentrated on both dubious recognitions of phonetic values of signs, as well as the historical arguments that were used by Hrozný to support his suggestion and his lumping together of Linear A and B as representing a single Indo-European language.

This paper aims to examine the phonetic transcriptions and the historical evaluations proposed by Hrozný at the time, in view of what we now know of the Aegean writing systems in particular and the Mycenaean civilization in general. His decipherment proposal was one of the first to be presented to the public and built upon the extremely limited Linear B material published at the time. His study of this material was based on the assumption that the Minoan culture was in close contact and affinity with Near Eastern cultures, a belief then widespread. An additional clue that led him astray was the fact that simple, ‘linear’ signs, such as the ones used in Aegean writing, were very similar to signs attested in the Egyptian writing systems, in the Anatolian hieroglyphs, the Indus script and even the Phoenician alphabet. This paper thus aims to insert Hrozný’s decipherment attempt into the intellectual circumstances of his era and evaluate its position in the history of the decipherment of the Linear B writing system.

In: Hrozný and Hittite
In: Judeans in Babylonia
In: Judeans in Babylonia

Abstract

One of the typically chaotic situations produced in Carian both by the singularity of the alphabet and by the scarcity of the documentation available is the so-called “defective notation of vowels”: the fact that Carian writing tends to omit the notation of vocalic segments, and does so without any clear pattern and for no apparent reason. In this paper I will try to bring some order into the chaos. I will attempt to show that, in spite of appearances, the Carian words attested in the Memphis-Saqqâra subcorpus offer a very regular and not particularly complex syllable structure, and that the defective notation of vowels can be explained if one interprets these vowels as excrescent vowels, i.e. unstressed and very short vowels of fluctuating timbre that are inserted without affecting the syllable structure of the word. The situation is not so clear in the rest of the Carian documentation, but I will present a first approach in order to establish whether a similar pattern of syllable structures and spelling procedures is at work in other Carian subcorpora.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

Based on Hittite evidence, this paper argues that the <u> of some Hittite words and toponyms in Old Assyrian transmission does not represent an Old Assyrian anaptyctic vowel as was suggested by J.G. Dercksen. Instead, it reflects a phonetic peculiarity of local Hittite, an allophone of /a/ under specific phonological conditions. Due to the verbs involved, the paper also includes a critical discussion of the phonetics of the stem vowel of Hittite verbs with ā/a-ablaut. It is suggested that these vowels were neither empty nor schwa as hypothesised by A. Kloekhorst, but real ā/a-vowels.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

The deity Nikara(wa) of KARKAMIŠ A 6 §31 is not the Mesopotamian healing-goddess Ninkarrak as I. Gelb long ago suggested, but an Old Syrian deity, who is also mentioned in the Aramaic inscriptions of Kuttamuwa and in Sfire A. She was associated with dogs, for which reason she could be equated with the Sumerian healing goddesses Gula, Nin-Isina and others, but Nikara(wa)’s dogs were terrifying. KARKAMIŠ A 6 §31, the Kuttamuwa Stele and Sfire A thus do not attest the veneration of the Mesopotamian Ninkarrak, but rather the survival of a genuine Syrian deity.

In: Hrozný and Hittite

Abstract

The Hittite myth of the disappearance of the god Telipinu (CTH 324) is one particular expression, and the most fully attested, of the genre of the disappearing god in Hittite tradition. In many of its structural details, the myth of Telipinu’s disappearance parallels strikingly a widespread Indo-European mythic tradition (with ritual underpinnings), being especially similar to the tradition of the disappearance of Indra following his slaying of the dragon Vṛtra. In the several Indo-European cultures that attest the tradition—Indo-Iranian, Italic, Celtic, even Greek—the myth is concerned with the functional absence of a powerful warrior after a combat episode in which the warrior prevails against his enemy but is then overwhelmed by trauma; in his traumatized state, the warrior turns his rage against his own society or physically removes himself from society: either way, he becomes a dysfunctional warrior. In the case of the Hittite myth, however, the disappearance of the god appears to be bound up with the rhythm of the vegetative cycle. The myth of the disappearance of Telipinu presents itself as a reflex of a transplanted Indo-European myth that has experienced synthesis with local southwest Asian traditions. Particularly significant in this regard is its apparent engagement with and influence upon a Syrian storm-god tradition.

In: Hrozný and Hittite