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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.
Zur Rezeption thukydideischer Motive im Bellum Judaicum
Josephus war ein Historiker mit jüdischer Identität und einem hellenistisch geprägten Bewusstein. Er schuf sein Werk auf klassischer Grundlage und bewegte sich damit bewusst zwischen Judentum und Hellenismus. Er versuchte, durch das jüdisch-hellenistische Labyrinth seinen eigenen Weg zu finden. Inwieweit hat Josephus seine eigene ethnische Identität als Jude respektiert? Inwieweit verdient ein Protegé des Kaisers die Kennzeichnung als kritischer Historiker? Der lange Schatten von Thukydides fällt schwer auf sein Werk, deshalb lassen sich viele stilistische und motivische Parallelen entdecken. Die Rezeption des Thukydides durch Josephus stellt eine wichtige Quelle für die Geschichte der Verbreitung des thukydideischen Werks im ersten Jahrhundert n. Chr. dar.
Josephus was an historian with a Jewish identity and a Hellenistic consciousness. He created his work on a classical basis and thus consciously moved between Judaism and Hellenism. He tried to find his own way through the Jewish-Hellenistic labyrinth. To what extent did Josephus respect his own ethnic identity as a Jew? To what extent does a protégé of the emperor deserve to be labelled a critical historian? The long shadow of Thucydides falls heavily on his work, therefore many stylistic and thematic parallels can be discovered. The reception of Thucydides by Josephus constitutes an important source for the history of the dissemination of Thucydidean work in the first century AD.
Author:
This book explores the way that the Torah was appreciated and interpreted as a text and symbol in Christian and Jewish sources from the Second Temple period through the Middle Ages. It tracks the development and complex interactions of three images of Torah— “God-like,” “Angelic,” and “Messianic”— which are found in late-antique Jewish and Christian materials as well as in medieval kabbalistic and Jewish philosophic sources. It provides a unique template for tracing the development of theological ideas related to the images of Torah and offers a sophisticated and innovative analysis of the relationship between mystical experience, theology, and phenomenology.
No one mentions Syriac, – a dialect of the Aramaic language Jesus spoke –, without referring to Sebastian P. Brock, the Oxford scholar and teacher who has written and taught about everything Syriac, even reorienting the field as The Third Lung of early Christianity (along with Greek and Latin). In 2018, Syriac scholars world-wide gathered in Sigtuna, Sweden, to celebrate with Sebastian his accomplishments and share new directions. Through essays showing what Syriac studies have attained, where they are going, as well as some arenas and connections previously not imagined, flavours of the fruits of labouring in the field are offered.

Contributors to this volume are: Susan Ashbrook Harvey, Shraga Bick, Briouria Bitton-Ashkelony, Alberto Camplani, Thomas A. Carlson, Jeff W. Childers, Muriel Debié, Terry Falla, George A. Kiraz, Sergey Minov, Craig E. Morrison, István Perczel, Anton Pritula, Ilaria Ramelli, Christine Shepardson, Stephen J. Shoemaker, Herman G.B. Teule, Kathleen E. McVey.
Editor:
J. L. Moles (1949–2015) made fundamental contributions to the fields of ancient (especially Cynic) philosophy, Greek and Roman historiography and biography, Latin poetry, and New Testament studies. These two volumes gather together all of his major articles and reviews, along with six previously unpublished papers. The papers display Moles’ individual and sometimes iconoclastic approach, his impressive range in both Classical and New Testament texts, and his unrivalled abilities in close reading. This is volume 1.
Editor:
J. L. Moles (1949–2015) made fundamental contributions to the fields of ancient (especially Cynic) philosophy, Greek and Roman historiography and biography, Latin poetry, and New Testament studies. These two volumes gather together all of his major articles and reviews, along with six previously unpublished papers. The papers display Moles’ individual and sometimes iconoclastic approach, his impressive range in both Classical and New Testament texts, and his unrivalled abilities in close reading. This is volume 2.
From the Books of Maccabees to the Babylonian Talmud
This volume offers a comprehensive discussion of all relevant sources concerning Jewish martyrdom in Antiquity. By viewing these narratives together, tracing their development and comparing them to other traditions, the authors seek to explore how Jewish is Jewish martyrdom? To this end, they analyse the impact of the changing social and religious-cultural circumstances and the interactions with Graeco-Roman and Christian traditions. This results in the identification of important continuities and discontinuities. Consequently, while political ideals that are prominent in 2 and 4 Maccabees are remarkably absent from rabbinic sources, the latter reveal a growing awareness of Christian motifs and discourse.
Research into the cultural contexts of the Bible has opened new ways of reading and understanding biblical texts as cultural artefacts and witnesses to particular locations, times, and circumstances. The series aims to publish latest research from the areas of cultural - including the: social sciences, scientific, economic, legal, and literary studies as well as hermeneutical approaches dealing with the production and reception of the Bible as a cultural text.
The series focusses predominantly on monographs but is also open to inter- and transdisciplinary scholarly edited volumes about the texts and contexts of individual biblical books, including work drawing from aesthetic, art, and poetry. The series accepts contributions in English, French, and German. All manuscripts are evaluated by a peer reviewing process.


Die Erforschung der kulturellen Kontexte der Bibel hat neue Wege eröffnet, biblische Texte als kulturelle Artefakte und Zeugnisse für bestimmte Orte, Zeiten und Umstände zu lesen und zu verstehen. Ziel der Reihe ist es, neueste Forschungsergebnisse aus den Bereichen Kultur – einschließlich Sozialwissenschaften, Wissenschaft, Wirtschaft, Recht und Literatur – sowie hermeneutische Ansätze zur Produktion und Rezeption der Bibel als Kulturtext zu veröffentlichen.
Die Reihe konzentriert sich überwiegend auf Monographien, ist aber auch offen für inter- und transdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Sammelbände über die Texte und Zusammenhänge einzelner biblischer Bücher, darunter Werke aus Ästhetik, Kunst und Poesie. Akzeptiert werden Beiträge in Englisch, Französisch und Deutsch. Alle Manuskripte werden in einem Peer-Review-Verfahren bewertet.