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The story of Tobit builds on various themes derived from myth, legend and folktale. Tobiah’s journey recalls Homer’s Odyssey, the suffering of the righteous brings to mind the legend of Job, and the narrative around a disgraced and then rehabilitated official evokes the story of Ahiqar. The author of Tobit seeks to exploit his readers’ knowledge of these stories in order to convey his message more effectively: he encourages them to trust in divine providence that intervenes on behalf of the faithful.
This volume, based on essays previously published in Italian, charts Tobit’s narrative sources through comparative literary analysis, firmly placing the story in the genre of the didactic and edifying religious novel.
A Textual Reconstruction of Chapters 1–7
The first half of the book of Daniel contains world-famous stories like the Writing on the Wall. These stories have mostly been transmitted in Aramaic, not Hebrew, as has the influential apocalypse of Daniel 7. This Aramaic corpus shows clear signs of multiple authorship. Which different textual layers can we tease apart, and what do they tell us about the changing function of the Danielic material during the Second Temple Period? This monograph compares the Masoretic Text of Daniel to ancient manuscripts and translations preserving textual variants. By highlighting tensions in the reconstructed archetype underlying all these texts, it then probes the tales’ prehistory even further, showing how Daniel underwent many transformations to yield the book we know today.
Anchoring Cultural Formation in the First Millennium BCE
Canonisation is fundamental to the sustainability of cultures. This volume is meant as a (theoretical) exploration of the process, taking Eurasian societies from roughly the first millennium BCE (Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Jewish and Roman) as case studies. It focuses on canonisation as a form of cultural formation, asking why and how canonisation works in this particular way and explaining the importance of the first millennium BCE for these question and vice versa. As a result of this focus, notions like anchoring, cultural memory, embedding and innovation play an important role throughout the book.
Volume Editors: and
For Jews and Christians in Antiquity beliefs about demons were integral to their reflections on fundamental theological questions, but what kind of ‘being’ did they consider demons to be? To what extent were they thought to be embodied? Were demons thought of as physical entities or merely as metaphors for social and psychological realities? What is the relation between demons and the hypostatization of abstract concepts (fear, impurity, etc) and baleful phenomenon such as disease? These are some of the questions that this volume addresses by focussing on the nature and characteristics of demons — what one might call ‘demonic ontology’.
Essays on the Greek Translations and Other Ancient Versions by the Association for the Study of the Septuagint in South Africa (LXXSA)
Volume Editors: and
This volume tackles topics relevant to the study of the Septuagint and related fields of research, such as the historical context of the Greek translations and texts, their anthropology, theology, language, and reception, as well as the comparison of the Septuagint with other ancient translations and texts of its intellectual environment. The authors make contributions to the study of the texts themselves, their themes, and theories in modern research on the ancient artefacts.
Scholars working with ancient scrolls seek ways to extract maximum information from the multitude of fragments. Various methods were applied to that end on the Dead Sea Scrolls as well as on other ancient texts. The present book augments these methods to a full-scale protocol, while adapting them to a new computerized environment. Fundamental methodological issues are illuminated as part of the discussion, and the potential margin of error is provided on an empirical basis, as practiced in the sciences. The method is then exemplified with regard to the scroll 4Q418a, a copy of a wisdom composition from Qumran.
Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and Ancient Near East in Honor of Daniel E. Fleming
A “Community of Peoples”: Studies on Society and Politics in the Bible and Ancient Near East in Honor of Daniel E. Fleming draws together a diverse community of scholars to honor the career of Daniel E. Fleming as a historian of the Bible and ancient Near East.

Together, these scholars participate in a dynamic historical enterprise, each one positioning themself along a Middle Eastern spatial-temporal continuum stretching from the Old Babylonian to the Persian periods. Each contributor attempts to touch a sliver of ancient history, whether a particular person or community, a text or visual image or scribal process. They do so through a diversity of methods and disciplines, which together reflect the possibilities and promises for history writing.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Semitic Museum. 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://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/publications.
The corpus of Aramaic magic bowls from Sasanian Mesopotamia is perhaps the most important source we have for studying the everyday beliefs and practices of the Jewish, Christian, Mandaean, Manichaean, Zoroastrian and Pagan communities on the eve of the Islamic conquests. The bowls published in this volume are from the Schøyen Collection, which has over 650 texts in Jewish Babylonian Aramaic, Mandaic and Syriac, and forms the largest collection of its kind in the world. This volume presents editions of fifty-five Jewish Babylonian Aramaic texts, with accompanying introductions, translations, philological notes, photographs and indices. The themes covered are magical seals and signet-rings. It is the second in a multi-volume project that aims to publish the Schøyen Collection of magic bowls.