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Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic

Studies in Honor of Markham J. Geller

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Edited by Strahil V. Panayotov and Luděk Vacín

Mesopotamian Medicine and Magic. Studies in Honour of Markham J. Geller is a thematically focused collection of 34 brand-new essays bringing to light a representative selection of the rich and varied scientific and technical knowledge produced chiefly by the cuneiform cultures. The contributions concentrate mainly on Mesopotamian scholarly descriptions and practices of diagnosing and healing diverse physical ailments and mental distress. The festschrift contains both critical editions of new texts as well as analytical studies dealing with various issues of Mesopotamian medical and magical lore. Currently, this is the largest edited volume devoted to this topic, significantly contributing to the History of Ancient Sciences.
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Fedor Benevich

In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition stellt Fedor Benevich einen Kerngedanken der Metaphysik und der Epistemologie Avicennas (gest. 1037) vor: seine Theorie der Essenz und der wissenschaftlichen Bestimmung essentieller und notwendiger Attribute. Die Studie untersucht zentrale Begriffe der avicennischen Philosophie wie Essentialität, Notwendigkeit, Universalität, Unmittelbarkeit, Primärheit und Spezifizität. Zudem wird erstmals dargelegt, wie Avicenna seine Position in Bezug auf diese Thematik im Laufe seiner Karriere entwickelte und so seinen revolutionären “konzeptionellen Essentialismus” ausarbeitete. Es wird weiterhin gezeigt, dass Avicennas Position der aristotelischen Tradition zu Teilen folgt, von dieser jedoch am zentralen Stellen abweicht, insbesondere dort, wo sich Avicenna kritisch mit den Interpretationen der „Bagdader Peripatetiker“ auseinandersetzte.

In Essentialität und Notwendigkeit: Avicenna und die Aristotelische Tradition Fedor Benevich presents the key doctrine of Avicenna’s (d. 1037) metaphysics and epistemology: his theory of essence and the scientific determination of essential and necessary attributes. The book studies central notions of Avicenna’s philosophy such as essentiality, necessity, universality, immediacy, primacy, and specificity. It also provides an unprecedented account of how Avicenna’s views on these issues changed throughout his career, in arguing for his revolutionary “conceptual essentialism”. Avicenna’s position partially follows the Aristotelian tradition yet also departs from it, especially when Avicenna argues against the Baghdad Peripatetic School.
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CyberResearch on the Ancient Near East and Neighboring Regions

Case Studies on Archaeological Data, Objects, Texts, and Digital Archiving

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Edited by Vanessa Bigot Juloux, Amy Rebecca Gansell and Alessandro Di Ludovico

CyberResearch on the Ancient Near East and Neighboring Regions is now available on PaperHive! PaperHive is a new free web service that offers a platform to authors and readers to collaborate and discuss, using already published research. Please visit the platform to join the conversation. CyberResearch on the Ancient Near East and Neighboring Regions provides case studies on archaeology, objects, cuneiform texts, and online publishing, digital archiving, and preservation.
Eleven chapters present a rich array of material, spanning the fifth through the first millennium BCE, from Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran. Customized cyber- and general glossaries support readers who lack either a technical background or familiarity with the ancient cultures. Edited by Vanessa Bigot Juloux, Amy Rebecca Gansell, and Alessandro Di Ludovico, this volume is dedicated to broadening the understanding and accessibility of digital humanities tools, methodologies, and results to Ancient Near Eastern Studies. Ultimately, this book provides a model for introducing cyber-studies to the mainstream of humanities research
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Sources of Evil

Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore

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Edited by Greta Van Buylaere, Mikko Luukko, Daniel Schwemer and Avigail Mertens-Wagschal

Sources of Evil: Studies in Mesopotamian Exorcistic Lore is a collection of thirteen essays on the body of knowledge employed by ancient Near Eastern healing experts, most prominently the ‘exorcist’ and the ‘physician’, to help patients who were suffering from misfortunes caused by divine anger, transgressions of taboos, demons, witches, or other sources of evil. The volume provides new insights into the two most important catalogues of Mesopotamian therapeutic lore, the Exorcist’s Manual and the Aššur Medical Catalogue, and contains discussions of agents of evil and causes of illness, ways of repelling evil and treating patients, the interpretation of natural phenomena in the context of exorcistic lore, and a description of the symbolic cosmos with its divine and demonic inhabitants.
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"The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts"

Essays on Assyriology and the History of Science in Honor of Francesca Rochberg

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Edited by C. Jay Crisostomo, Eduardo A. Escobar, Terri Tanaka and Niek Veldhuis

Francesca Rochberg has for more than thirty-five years been a leading figure in the study of ancient science. Her foundational insights on the concepts of “science,” “canon,” “celestial divination,” “knowledge,” “gods,” and “nature” in cuneiform cultures have demanded continual contemplation on the tenets and assumptions that underlie the fields of Assyriology and the History of Science.

“The Scaffolding of Our Thoughts” honors this luminary with twenty essays, each reflecting on aspects of her work. Following an initial appraisal of ancient “science” by Sir Geoffrey Lloyd, the contributions in the first half explore practices of knowledge in Assyriological sources. The second half of the volume focuses specifically on astronomical and astrological spheres of knowledge in the Ancient Mediterranean.
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Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran

Mulla Muḥammad-Ṭāhir Qummi’s Ḥikmat al-ʿĀrifīn

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Edited by Ata Anzali and S.M. Hadi Gerami

In Opposition to Philosophy in Safavid Iran, Ata Anzali and S. M. Hadi Gerami offer a critical edition of a hitherto unpublished manuscript that is arguably the most erudite and extensive polemical work against philosophy and philosophical mysticism from the Safavid period. The introduction offers an extensive and in-depth analysis of the status of philosophy in the late Safavid period, placing Mulla Muhammad-Tahir Qummi’s (d. 1689) work in the broader context of the relevant cultural and intellectual developments of his time.
The content of Hikmat al-‘arifin itself is divided between a refutation of many traditional philosophical arguments about the nature of God and His attributes and, more importantly for those interested in Safavid intellectual history, attacks on Mulla Sadra and his students for synthesizing fundamental elements Ibn ‘Arabi’s thought into the framework of traditional philosophical discourse.
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Edited by John Z Wee

The Comparable Body - Analogy and Metaphor in Ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman Medicine explores how analogy and metaphor illuminate and shape conceptions about the human body and disease, through 11 case studies from ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Greco-Roman medicine. Topics address the role of analogy and metaphor as features of medical culture and theory, while questioning their naturalness and inevitability, their limits, their situation between the descriptive and the prescriptive, and complexities in their portrayal as a mutually intelligible medium for communication and consensus among users.
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Edited by Siam Bhayro and Catherine Rider

In many near eastern traditions, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, demons have appeared as a cause of illness from ancient times until at least the early modern period. This volume explores the relationship between demons, illness and treatment comparatively. Its twenty chapters range from Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt to early modern Europe, and include studies of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They discuss the relationship between ‘demonic’ illnesses and wider ideas about illness, medicine, magic, and the supernatural. A further theme of the volume is the value of treating a wide variety of periods and places, using a comparative approach, and this is highlighted particularly in the volume’s Introduction and Afterword. The chapters originated in an international conference held in 2013.

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Edited by John M. Steele

Astronomical and astrological knowledge circulated in many ways in the ancient world: in the form of written texts and through oral communication; by the conscious assimilation of sought-after knowledge and the unconscious absorption of ideas to which scholars were exposed.
The Circulation of Astronomical Knowledge in the Ancient World explores the ways in which astronomical knowledge circulated between different communities of scholars over time and space, and what was done with that knowledge when it was received. Examples are discussed from Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Greco-Roman world, India, and China.
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The Star of Bethlehem and the Magi

Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Experts on the Ancient Near East, the Greco-Roman World, and Modern Astronomy

Edited by Peter Barthel and George van Kooten

This book is the fruit of the first ever interdisciplinary international scientific conference on Matthew's story of the Star of Bethlehem and the Magi, held in 2014 at the University of Groningen, and attended by world-leading specialists in all relevant fields: modern astronomy, the ancient near-eastern and Greco-Roman worlds, the history of science, and religion. The scholarly discussions and the exchange of the interdisciplinary views proved to be immensely fruitful and resulted in the present book. Its twenty chapters describe the various aspects of The Star: the history of its interpretation, ancient near-eastern astronomy and astrology and the Magi, astrology in the Greco-Roman and the Jewish worlds, and the early Christian world – at a generally accessible level. An epilogue summarizes the fact-fiction balance of the most famous star which has ever shone.

Cover illustration: © Michael Farrell