A Study of the Geography of 1 Enoch 17-19 examines the travels of the patriarch Enoch who is given a guided tour of extraordinary and at times terrifying places located throughout the cosmos. Coblentz Bautch clarifies the text of 1 Enoch 17-19 by explaining how the sites described relate to one another geographically and by reconstructing the mental map of the geography that lies behind the textual descriptions. Especially provocative is the consideration of sources from the ancient Near East, Hebrew Bible and the world of Hellenistic Judaism that may have informed the world view of 1 Enoch 17-19 and parallel traditions. Through this study an important facet of apocalypses is illumined: their portrayal of geography and sacred space.
Historians of antiquity and of the modern and postmodern world have made advances in defining esotericism and mysticism and ought to be in conversation with one another. Collaborative work among scholars of esotericism of diverse periods is at a beginning stage, despite shared methodologies and commitment to undergirding studies in cultural and historical contexts. Contemporary study of esoteric rhetoric aids our understanding of hiddenness, secrecy and revelation in ancient Jewish and Christian texts. The practice of pseudepigraphy in antiquity, which obscures a text’s author, may be related, though, to religious experience or to a traditionary process. Scholars who are aware of misrepresentations of esotericism have a responsibility to consider manifold reasons for the practice of pseudepigraphy, in contrast to the scholars who associate use of pseudonyms with duplicity and malfeasance.
This article takes up the distinctive text of Synkellos for 1 En. 8:1 and asks whether it offers the preferred reading or at least may be defended as an early variant rather than as an interpolation of the Byzantine chronographer. To that end, the article examines the Greek translation featured in Synkellos's Chronography and compares the text to other manuscript traditions, especially to the Aramaic fragments of Enoch found in Cave 4 of Qumran. Close examination leaves the author reluctant to dismiss the reading of Synkellos. Further, the author argues that Genesis 4 and 6 might have provided a warrant for this sort of interpretative tradition inasmuch as culture bringers (i.e. the Cainites) precede the account of the angels' descent and mating with women as one finds in Synkellos's version of 1 En. 8:1.