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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.

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 convincingly 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.

Kritik des Wachstumsmodells

Die Grenzen alttestamentlicher Redaktionsgeschichte im Lichte empirischer Evidenz

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Benjamin Ziemer

Mit seiner bahnbrechenden preisgekrönten Kritik des Wachstumsmodells plädiert Benjamin Ziemer für einen Paradigmenwechsel in der alttestamentlichen Literaturgeschichte. Er untersucht in detaillierten Einzelstudien einen repräsentativen Katalog empirischer Beispiele für Redaktion, vom Gilgamesch-Epos über das ägyptische Totenbuch bis hin zu biblischen Büchern (Chronik, Jeremia, Daniel, Esther) und Qumranschriften (Tempelrolle, Sektenregel). Er zeigt, dass die durch Textvergleich nachweisbaren Redaktoren ihre Vorlagen nie nur durch Neues erweitert, sondern immer auch zugleich Formulierungen angepasst oder vervielfältigt, heterogenes Material eingearbeitet oder eine kürzende Auswahl getroffen haben. Bislang dominieren im kontinentaleuropäischen Forschungskontext Fortschreibungs- und Ergänzungshypothesen, nach denen man ein beliebiges Textelement nur der richtigen Entstehungsschicht zuweisen müsse, um seinen ursprünglichen literarischen Kontext wiederherstellen zu können. Dieses Modell stufenweisen »literarischen Wachstums« ist, so Ziemer, wissenschaftlich nicht mehr haltbar.
With his groundbreaking award-winnig study Kritik des Wachstumsmodells, Benjamin Ziemer is arguing for a change of paradigm in Old Testament literary criticism. He examines a representative list of empirical examples of editorial processes, including the Gilgamesh Epic, the Book of the Dead, books of the Bible and Dead Sea Scrolls. He shows that redactors who can be identified by external evidence never confined themselves to adding new material. Rather, they simultaneously adjusted or duplicated parts of the text, incorporated material from elsewhere or shortened their source texts. Until now, the bulk of redaction critical studies in Europe adhere to the presupposition of textual or literary »growth« – assuming that multiple previous layers are to be found intact in the final texts. With Ziemer’s study, this model of growth is no longer tenable.

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Émilie Martinet

In L'Administration provinciale sous l'Ancien Empire égyptien, Émilie Martinet offers an innovative analysis of the provincial administrative structures and the stratification of the local elites in the Old Kingdom (2700-2160 BC) based on a critical study of sources and building on a database containing about 1500 titled individuals. She applies a comprehensive and novel approach which goes beyond the scope of prosopographical analysis and which includes all the hierarchy levels as well as the links between central administration and provincial administration. The exhaustive character of this study, the historical reasoning which is employed, and the development of a typology of provincial administrative structures and of a new terminology for the rulers of the provinces are among the major assets of this book.