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Prayer in the Ancient World (PAW) is an innovative resource on prayer in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. The over 350 entries in PAW showcase a robust selection of the range of different types of prayers attested from Mesopotamia, Egypt, Anatolia, the Levant, early Judaism and Christianity, Greece, Rome, Arabia, and Iran, enhanced by critical commentary.
The project illustrates the variety of ways human beings have sought to communicate with or influence beings with extraordinary superhuman power for millennia. By including diverse examples such as vows and oaths, blessings, curses, incantations, graffiti, iconography, and more, PAW casts a wide net. In so doing, PAW privileges no particular tradition or conception of how to interact with the divine; for example, the project refuses to perpetuate a value distinction between “prayer,” “magic,” and “cursing.”

Detailed overviews introduce each area and address key issues such as language and terminology, geographical distribution, materiality, orality, phenomenology of prayer, prayer and magic, blessings and curses, and ritual settings and ritual actors. In order to be as comprehensive as practically possible, the volume includes a representative prayer of every attested type from each tradition.

Individual entries include a wealth of information. Each begins with a list of essential details, including the source, region, date, occasion, type and function, performers, and materiality of the prayer. Next, after a concise summary and a brief synopsis of the main textual witnesses, a formal description calls attention to the exemplar’s literary and stylistic features, rhetorical structure, important motifs, and terminology. The occasions when the prayer was used and its function are analyzed, followed by a discussion of how this exemplar fits within the range of variation of this type of prayer practice, both synchronically and diachronically. Important features of the prayer relevant for cross-cultural comparison are foregrounded in the subsequent section. Following an up-to-date translation, a concise yet detailed commentary provides explanations necessary for understanding the prayer and its function. Finally, each entry concludes with a bibliography of essential primary and secondary resources for further study.
Author:
Akkadian Royal Letters in Later Mespotamian Tradition reconsiders the question of the authenticity of the letters attributed to earlier royal correspondents that were studied in Assyrian and Babylonian scribal centres ca. 700–100 BCE. By scrutinizing the letters’ contents, language, possible transmission histories ca. 1400–100 BCE and the epistemic limitations of authenticity criticism, the book grounds scepticism about the letters’ authenticity in previously undiscussed features of the texts. It also provides a new foundation for research into the related questions of when and why these beguiling texts were composed in the first place.
Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online, Collection 2024 is the electronic version of the book publication program of Brill in the field of Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity in 2024.

Coverage:
Biblical Studies, Ancient Judaism, Ancient Near East, Egyptology, Dead Sea Scrolls, Gnosticism & Manichaeism, Early Church & Patristics

This E-Book Collection is part of Brill's Biblical Studies, Ancient Near East and Early Christianity E-Books Online Collection.

The title list and free MARC records are available for download here.

For other pricing options, consortium arrangements and free 30-day trials contact us at sales-us@brill.com (the Americas) or sales-nl@brill.com (Europe, Middle East, Africa & Asia-Pacific).
An Early Qurʾānic Codex on Papyrus (P. Hamb. Arab. 68)
In the eighth century CE, the Christian theologian John Damascene referred to a Book of the Cow among the sacred texts of the Muslims. P. Hamb. Arab. 68 not only represents so far the earliest known Qurʾānic manuscript preserved on papyrus, but also bears witness to an independent circulation of the Sūra of The Cow in late seventh- or early eighth-century Egypt. Significant deviations from the commonly accepted text of the Qurʾān suggest that this copy was rapidly discarded. The present volume offers a complete edition as well as a thorough philological and historical study of the manuscript.
Oriental Studies, Politics, and History between Gotha and Africa, 1650-1700
Volume Editors:
Jan Loop, and
Hiob Ludolf (1624-1704) and Johann Michael Wansleben (1635-1679), the master and his erstwhile student could not be more different. Ludolf was a celebrated member of the Republic of Letters and the towering authority on Ethiopian studies. Wansleben, himself a brilliant scholar and, unlike Ludolf, a seasoned traveller in the Middle East, converted to Catholicism and eventually died impoverished and marginalized. Both stood at the centre of the burgeoning study of Ethiopia and spent a formative part of their career in middle sized Dutchy of Saxe-Gotha which for several years played a pivotal role in Ethiopian-European encounters. This volume offers in-depth studies of the remarkable life and work of these two scholars in a broader intellectual, political, and confessional context.