Graffiti are an often neglected but crucial witness to everyday life of ancient civilizations. The Aramaic graffiti from Hatra (North Iraq) can make an invaluable contribution in this sense, distributed as they were in various buildings throughout this city which flourished between the 1st and the 3rd century AD. Thanks to an effective interaction between epigraphy and archaeology, Marco Moriggi and Ilaria Bucci offer a thorough analysis of the Aramaic graffiti from Hatra as documented by the Archive of the Missione Archeologica Italiana (Turin). In addition to the edition of 48 published and 37 unpublished graffiti, this study further includes the concordances of numbers of all Hatran texts published so far and full archaeological information about the graffiti.
Le devin historien en Mesopotamie is a combined study of divination and historiography. More than mere custodians of historical memory, diviners approached omens as written signs and developed a sophisticated semiology to recognize and order them. Diviners perceived omens as potentially rich in various meanings and cultivated an elaborate hermeneutic for working these out using hypothetical and inductive reasoning. Even if omens were removed from the recorded facts, diviners endowed them with a wide range of possibilities. Divination sought to establish links among historical, cosmic, and natural events because it investigated at once the past, present, and future. The first study of its kind since 1946, when only about 60 historical omens were known, this work presents 385 in a comprehensive edition.
For some time scholars have debated whether the Song of Songs has connections to the wisdom genre and how this changes our understanding of it. In Wise and Foolish Love in the Song of Songs, Jennifer Andruska shows that the influence of the wisdom genre on the Song is pervasive, running throughout the book, and offers an entirely new understanding of the book’s wisdom message. She demonstrates that the Song has combined elements of the ancient Near Eastern love song and wisdom genres to produce a wisdom literature about romantic love, inspiring readers to pursue a particular type of love relationship, modelled by the lovers throughout the poem, and aiming to transform them, through character formation, into wise lovers themselves.