This book is the first full-length work concerning the restoration and excavations carried out at Qal’at Sem’an in Syria in the twentieth century. It was written by the notable architect and archaeologist Georges Tchalenko based on his notes, plans, photographs and sketches as he undertook the work in the years before and during the Second World War. Left unpublished at the time of his death during the Lebanese Civil War, it is published here for the first time in the original French with an English translation. The text is richly illustrated throughout and accompanied by a biographical essay by John Tchalenko and an introduction to the historiography of Qal’at Sem’an and Symeon Stylites by Emma Loosley Leeming.
Sortilege—the making of decisions by casting lots—was widely practiced in the Mediterranean world during the period known as late antiquity, between the third and eighth centuries CE. In My Lots are in Thy Hands: Sortilege and its Practitioners in Late Antiquity, AnneMarie Luijendijk and William Klingshirn have collected fourteen essays that examine late antique lot divination, especially but not exclusively through texts preserved in Greek, Latin, Coptic, and Syriac. Employing the overlapping perspectives of religious studies, classics, anthropology, economics, and history, contributors study a variety of topics, including the hermeneutics and operations of divinatory texts, the importance of diviners and their instruments, and the place of faith and doubt in the search for hidden order in a seemingly random world.
The seventeen studies in Golden Calf Traditions in Early Judaism, Christianity, and Islam explore the biblical origins of the golden calf story in Exodus, Deuteronomy, 1 Kings, as well as its reception in a variety of sources: Hebrew Scriptures (Hosea, Jeremiah, Psalms, Nehemiah); Second Temple Judaism (Animal Apocalypse, Pseudo-Philo, Philo, Josephus); rabbinic Judaism; the New Testament (Acts, Paul, Hebrews, Revelation) and early Christianity (among Greek, Latin, and Syriac writers), as well as the Qur’an and Islamic literature. Expert contributors explore how each ancient author engaged with the calf tradition—whether explicitly, implicitly, or by clearly and consciously avoiding it—and elucidate how the story was used both negatively and positively for didactic, allegorical, polemical, and even apologetic purposes.