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Byblos in the Late Bronze Age

Interactions between the Levantine and Egyptian Worlds

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Marwan Kilani

In Byblos in the Late Bronze Age, Marwan Kilani reconstructs the “biography” of the city of Byblos during the Late Bronze Age. Commonly described simply as a centre for the trade of wood, the city appears here as a dynamic actor involved in multiple aspects of the regional geopolitical reality.

By combining the information provided by written sources and by a fresh reanalysis of the archaeological evidence, the author explores the development of the city during the Late Bronze Age, showing how the evolution of a wide range of geopolitical, economic and ideological factors resulted in periods of prosperity and decline.

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

Hrozný and Hittite

The First Hundred Years

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Edited by Ronald I. Kim, Jana Mynářová and Peter Pavúk

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.

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Shiyanthi Thavapalan

In The Meaning of Color in Ancient Mesopotamia, Shiyanthi Thavapalan offers the first in-depth study of the words and expressions for colors in the Akkadian language (c. 2500-500 BCE). By combining philological analysis with the technical investigation of materials, she debunks the misconception that people in Mesopotamia had a limited sense of color and positions the development of Akkadian color language as a corollary of the history of materials and techniques in the ancient Near East.

Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry

A study of Anzû, Enūma Eliš, and Erra and Išum

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Selena Wisnom

In Weapons of Words: Intertextual Competition in Babylonian Poetry Selena Wisnom offers an in-depth literary study of three poems central to Babylonian culture: Anzû, Enūma eliš, and Erra and Išum. Fundamentally interconnected, each poem strives to out-do its predecessors and competes to establish its protagonist, its ideals, and its poetics as superior to those that came before them.

The first of its kind in Assyriology, Weapons of Words explores the rich nuances of these poems by unravelling complex networks of allusion. Through a sophisticated analysis of literary techniques, Selena Wisnom traces developments in the Akkadian poetic tradition and demonstrates that intertextual readings are essential for a deeper understanding of Mesopotamian literature.

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary

Ancient Mesopotamian Commentaries on a Handbook of Medical Diagnosis (Sa-gig)

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John Z Wee

Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary is intended for historians of medicine and interpretation, and explores the dynamic between scholastic rhetoric and medical knowledge in ancient commentaries on a Mesopotamian Diagnostic Handbook.

In line with commentators’ self-fashioning as experts of diverse disciplines, commentaries display intertextuality involving a variety of lexical, astronomical, religious, magic, and literary compositions, while employing patterns of argumentation that resist categorization within any single branch of knowledge. Commentators’ choices of topics and comments, however, sought to harmonize atypical language and ideas in the Handbook with conventional ways of perceiving and describing the sick body in therapeutic recipes. Scholastic rhetoric—supposedly unfettered to any discipline—served in fact as a pretext for affirming current forms of medical knowledge.

Aramaic Graffiti from Hatra

A Study Based on the Archive of the Missione Archeologica Italiana

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Marco Moriggi and Ilaria Bucci

Graffiti are an often neglected but crucial witness to everyday life of ancient civilizations. The Aramaic graffiti from Hatra (North Iraq) can make an invaluable contribution in this sense, distributed as they were in various buildings throughout this city which flourished between the 1st and the 3rd century AD. Thanks to an effective interaction between epigraphy and archaeology, Marco Moriggi and Ilaria Bucci offer a thorough analysis of the Aramaic graffiti from Hatra as documented by the Archive of the Missione Archeologica Italiana (Turin). In addition to the edition of 48 published and 37 unpublished graffiti, this study further includes the concordances of numbers of all Hatran texts published so far and full archaeological information about the graffiti.

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Elizabeth Agaiby

In The Arabic Life of Antony Attributed to Serapion of Thmuis, Elizabeth Agaiby demonstrates how the redacted Life of Antony, the “Father of all monks and star of the wilderness”, gained widespread acceptance within Egypt shortly after its composition in the 13th century and dominated Coptic liturgical texts on Antony for over 600 years – the influence of which is still felt up to the present day. By providing a first edition and translation, Agaiby demonstrates how the Arabic Life bears witness to the reinterpretation of the religious memory of Antony in the Coptic Orthodox Church.

The Babylonian Disputation Poems

With Editions of the Series of the Poplar, Palm and Vine, the Series of the Spider, and the Story of the Poor, Forlorn Wren

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Enrique Jiménez

In The Babylonian Disputation Poems Enrique Jiménez studies a group of ancient Babylonian poems that feature discussions between animals and trees. Using intertextual parallels and comparison with similar works in other literatures, he espouses a new classification of the Babylonian disputation poems as parodies. After examining neighboring traditions of literary disputation, he argues that the Babylonian poems influenced them, and that some may have been translated from Akkadian to Aramaic, from Aramaic and Syriac to Arabic.

In addition, The Babylonian Disputation Poems provides editions of several previously unpublished Babylonian disputations, such as Palm and Vine and the Series of the Spider. It also offers the first edition of the latest known Babylonian fable, The Story of the Poor, Forlorn Wren.

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J. Cale Johnson and Markham J. Geller

In The Class Reunion—An Annotated Translation and Commentary on the Sumerian Dialogue Two Scribes, J. Cale Johnson and Markham J. Geller present a critical edition, translation and commentary on the Sumerian scholastic dialogue otherwise known as Two Scribes, Streit zweier Schulabsolventen or Dialogue 1. The two protagonists, the Professor and the Bureaucrat, each ridicule their opponent in alternating speeches, while at the same time scoring points based on their detailed knowledge of Sumerian lexical and literary traditions. But they also represent the two social roles into which nearly all graduates of the Old Babylonian Tablet House typically gained entrance. So the dialogue also reflects on larger themes such as professional identity and the nature of scholastic activity in Mesopotamia in the Old Babylonian period (ca. 1800–1600 BCE).

He Has Opened Nisaba's House of Learning

Studies in Honor of Åke Waldemar Sjöberg on the Occasion of His 89th Birthday on August 1st 2013

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Edited by Leonhard Sassmannshausen

In He has Opened Nisaba’s House of Learning twenty-six scholars honor Åke Sjöberg, professor emeritus of Assyriology at the University of Pennsylvania and former editor of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary. The twenty-one studies included focus on Mesopotamian wisdom literature, religious texts, cultural concepts, the history of writing, material culture, society, and law from the invention of writing to the Hellenistic period. The volume includes editions of several previously unpublished texts.