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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.

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Edited by Madalina Toca and Dan Batovici

Ancient translations of late antique Christian literature serve to spread the body of knowledge to wider audiences in often radically new cultural contexts. For the texts which are translated, their versions are not only sometimes crucial textual witnesses, but also important testimonies of independent strands of reception, cast in the cultural context of the new language. This volume gathers ten contributions that deal with translations into Latin, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Coptic, Old Nubian, Old Slavonic, Sogdian, Arabic and Ethiopic, set in dialog in order to highlight the range of problems and approaches involved in dealing with the reception of Christian literature across the various languages in which it was transmitted.

The Coptic Life of Aaron

Critical Edition, Translation and Commentary

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Jacques van der Vliet and Jitse Dijkstra

The Life of Aaron is one of the most interesting and sophisticated hagiographical works surviving in Coptic. The work contains descriptions of the lives of ascetic monks, in particular Apa Aaron, on the southern Egyptian frontier in the fourth and early fifth centuries, and was probably written in the sixth century. Even though the first edition of this work was already published by E.A. Wallis Budge in 1915, a critical edition remained outstanding. In this book Jitse H.F. Dijkstra and Jacques van der Vliet present not only a critical text, for the most part based on the only completely preserved, tenth-century manuscript, but also a new translation and an exhaustive commentary addressing philological, literary and historical aspects of the text.

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.

Mesopotamian Commentaries on the Diagnostic Handbook Sa-gig

Edition and Notes on Medical Lexicography

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John Z Wee

Mesopotamian Commentaries on the Diagnostic Handbook Sa-gig is intended for specialists in cuneiform studies, and includes a cuneiform edition, English translation, and notes on medical lexicography for thirty Sa-gig commentary tablets and fragments, as well as a study on technical notations recurring in these commentaries. Within the Cuneiform Monographs series, this book represents a companion volume to Knowledge and Rhetoric in Medical Commentary (Brill, 2019).

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Greta Van Buylaere and Mikko Luukko

Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is a large body of magical and medical texts written in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. An especially significant branch of this literature centres upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations attribute ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, devices, and treatments for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and protecting and curing the patient. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals aims to present a reconstruction of this body of texts; it provides critical editions of the relevant rituals and prescriptions based on the study of the cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the libraries of ancient Mesopotamia.

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Tzvi Abusch, Daniel Schwemer, Mikko Luukko and Greta Van Buylaere

Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is a large body of magical and medical texts written in the Sumerian and Akkadian languages. An especially significant branch of this literature centers upon witchcraft. Mesopotamian anti-witchcraft rituals and incantations attribute ill-health and misfortune to the magic machinations of witches and prescribe ceremonies, devices, and treatments for dispelling witchcraft, destroying the witch, and protecting and curing the patient. The Corpus of Mesopotamian Anti-Witchcraft Rituals aims to present a reconstruction of this body of texts; it provides critical editions of the relevant rituals and prescriptions based on the study of the cuneiform tablets and fragments recovered from the libraries of ancient Mesopotamia.