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Experiences of Philology and Replication
Volume Editor: Lucia Raggetti
Traces of Ink. Experiences of Philology and Replication is a collection of original papers exploring the textual and material aspects of inks and ink-making in a number of premodern cultures (Babylonia, the Graeco-Roman world, the Syriac milieu and the Arabo-Islamic tradition). The volume proposes a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to the study of technical traditions, in which new results can be achieved thanks to the close collaboration between philologists and scientists. Replication represents a crucial meeting point between these two parties: a properly edited text informs the experts in the laboratory who, in turn, may shed light on many aspects of the text by recreating the material reality behind it.
br/> Contributors are: Miriam Blanco Cesteros, Michele Cammarosano, Claudia Colini, Vincenzo Damiani, Sara Fani, Matteo Martelli, Ira Rabin, Lucia Raggetti, and Katja Weirauch.
A Microhistorical Study of the Neo-Assyrian Healer Kiṣir-Aššur
In Medicine in Ancient Assur Troels Pank Arbøll offers a microhistorical study of a single exorcist named Kiṣir-Aššur who practiced medical and magical healing in the ancient city of Assur (modern northern Iraq) in the 7th century BCE. The book provides the first detailed analysis of a healer’s education and practice in ancient Mesopotamia based on at least 73 texts assigned to specific stages of his career. By drawing on a microhistorical framework, the study aims at significantly improving our understanding of the functional aspects of texts in their specialist environment. Furthermore, the work situates Kiṣir-Aššur as one of the earliest healers in world history for whom we have such details pertaining to his career originating from his own time.
Volume Editor: Chiara Thumiger
This volume aims at exploring the ancient roots of ‘holistic’ approaches in the specific field of medicine and the life sciences, without, however, overlooking the larger theoretical implications of these discussions. Therefore, the project plans to broaden the perspective to include larger cultural discussions and, in a comparative spirit, reach out to some examples from non Graeco-Roman medical cultures. As such, it constitutes a fundamental contribution to history of medicine, philosophy of medicine, cultural studies, and ancient studies more broadly. The wide-ranging selection of chapters offers a comprehensive view of an exciting new field: the interrogation of ancient sources in the light of modern concepts in philosophy of medicine, as justification of the claim for their enduring relevance as object of study and, at the same time, as means to a more adequate contextualisation of modern debates within a long historical process.
Author: Fei Chen
In Study on the Synchronistic King List from Ashur, CHEN Fei conducts a full investigation into that king list, which records all the kings of Assyria and Babylonia in contemporary pairs from the 18th to the 7th century BC. The texts of all the exemplars of the Synchronistic King List are reconstructed anew by the existing studies and the author’s personal collations on their sources, and part of the text of the main exemplar is thus revised. The author also looks into the format of the Synchronistic King List and draws the conclusion that the Synchronistic King List was composed by Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria, to support his Babylonian policy.
In Hellenistic Astronomy: The Science in Its Contexts, new essays by renowned scholars address questions about what the ancient science of the heavens was in the ancient Near East and Mediterranean worlds, and the numerous contexts in which it was pursued. Together, these essays will enable readers not only to understand the technical accomplishments of this ancient science but also to appreciate their historical significance by locating the questions, challenges, and issues inspiring them in their political, medical, philosophical, literary, and religious contexts.
Author: Tzvi Abusch
Among the most important sources for understanding the cultures, religions, and systems of thought of ancient Mesopotamia is the large corpus of magical and medical texts directed against witchcraft. The most important of these texts is the Akkadian series Maqlû (“Burning”).

This volume offers a collection of studies on Mesopotamian witchcraft and Maqlû written subsequent to the appearance of the author’s 2002 collection of studies on witchcraft (Brill, 2002). Many of the studies reprinted here take a diachronic approach to individual incantations and rituals and attempt to solve textual difficulties using literary-critical and/or text-critical approaches.
Aristotle's De Animalibus was an important source of zoological knowledge for the ancient Greeks and for medieval Arabs and Europeans. In the thirteenth century, the work was twice translated into Latin. One translation was produced directly from the Greek by William of Moerbeke. An earlier translation, made available as a critical edition in the present volume for the first time, was produced through an intermediary Arabic translation (Kitāb al-Ḥayawān) by Michael Scot (1175 - c. 1232). Scot's translation was one of the main sources of knowledge on animals in Europe and widely used until well into the fifteenth century. As a faithful translation of a translation produced by a Syriac-speaking Christian, the text contributes to our knowledge of Middle Arabic. The De Animalibus is composed of three sections: History of Animals (ten books), Parts of Animals (four books) and Generation of Animals (five books). Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals were published by BRILL as Volumes 5.2 and 5.3 of the book series ASL in 1998 (ASL 5.2) and 1992 (ASL 5.3). The present Volume 5.1.a contains the first section of Scot's translation of History of Animals: the general introduction and books 1-3, with Notes. Editions of the two concluding parts of History of Animals, ASL 5.1.b, books 4-6 and ASL 5.1.c, books 7-10, are in preparation. Complete Latin-Arabic and Arabic-Latin indices of History of Animals will be published in due course.
"Clock time", with all its benefits and anxieties, is often viewed as a "modern" phenomenon, but ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures also had tools for marking and measuring time within the day and wrestled with challenges of daily time management. This book brings together for the first time perspectives on the interplay between short-term timekeeping technologies and their social contexts in ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Rome. Its contributions denaturalize modern-day concepts of clocks, hours, and temporal frameworks; describe some of the timekeeping solutions used in antiquity; and illuminate the diverse factors that affected how individuals and communities structured their time.
Edition and Notes on Medical Lexicography, Cuneiform Monographs vol. 49/2
Author: 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).
Ancient Mesopotamian Commentaries on a Handbook of Medical Diagnosis (Sa-gig), Cuneiform Monographs vol. 49/1
Author: 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.