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Brill’s Companion to Bodyguards in the Ancient Mediterranean is the first scholarly volume solely dedicated to understanding bodyguards of the ancient Mediterranean world. From the Pharaohs of Egypt through to the emperors of the Early Byzantine Empire, this volume not only identifies who served as bodyguards for rulers and other political powerbrokers, but also details the symbolic role bodyguards played in the maintenance of power. The volume also highlights the political, religious, and social significance of bodyguards to individual regimes, and the important role bodyguards played in the projection of power and legitimacy to key interest groups within a particular society.
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At the center of this book stands a text-critical edition of three chapters of the Gāthās, exemplifying the editorial methodology developed by the “Multimedia Yasna” (MUYA) project and its application to the Old Avestan parts of the Yasna liturgy.
Proceeding from this edition, the book explores aspects of the transmission and ritual embedding of the text, and of its late antique exegetical reception in the Middle Persian (Pahlavi) tradition. Drawing also on a contemporary performance of the Yasna that was filmed by MUYA in Mumbai in 2017, the book aims to convey a sense of the Avestan language in its role as a central element of continuity around which the Zoroastrian tradition has evolved from its prehistoric roots up to the modern era.
A Memorial in the World offers a new appraisal of the reception and role of Constantine the Great and Ardashir I (the founder of the Sasanian Empire c.224-651), in their respective cultural spheres. Concentrating on marked parallels in the legendary material attached to both men it argues that the memories of both were reshaped by processes referencing the same deep literary heritage.

What is more, as “founders” of imperial systems that identified with a particular religious community, the literature that developed around these late antique figures applied these ancient tropes in a startlingly parallel direction. This parallel offers a new angle on the Kārnāmag tradition, an originally Middle Persian biographical tradition of Ardashir I.
Was sind die Kiutu-Gebetsbeschwörungen? Was sind ihre besonderen Merkmale im Vergleich zu anderen Arten von Gebetsbeschwörungen? Unter Verwendung vieler bisher unveröffentlichter Texte bietet dieses Buch die erste vollständige philologische Edition eines Korpus der sumerischen Literatur, der in der Wissenschaft oft unterrepräsentiert ist. Das Buch untersucht diese speziell an den Sonnengott gerichtete Texttypologie und ordnet sie in die breitere Geschichte der mesopotamischen Literatur und Religion ein. Einzigartig ist, dass diese Typologie von Gebetsbeschwörungen die Bewegung der Sonne am Himmel mit der Tageszeit verbindet, zu der sie vorgetragen wurde, was uns einen seltenen Einblick in die praktische Realität der mesopotamischen religiösen Praxis gewährt.

What are the Kiutu incantation-prayers? What are their distinctive features in comparison to other types of incantation-prayers? Making use of many previously unpublished texts, this book offers the first complete philological edition of a corpus of Sumerian literature often underrepresented in scholarship. The book examines this textual typology specifically addressed to the Sun god finding its place within the broader history of Mesopotamian literature and religion. Uniquely, this typology of incantation-prayers connects the movement of the sun in the sky to the time of day when it was performed, giving us a rare glimpse into the practical realities of Mesopotamian religious practice.
The story of Tobit builds on various themes derived from myth, legend and folktale. Tobiah’s journey recalls Homer’s Odyssey, the suffering of the righteous brings to mind the legend of Job, and the narrative around a disgraced and then rehabilitated official evokes the story of Ahiqar. The author of Tobit seeks to exploit his readers’ knowledge of these stories in order to convey his message more effectively: he encourages them to trust in divine providence that intervenes on behalf of the faithful.
This volume, based on essays previously published in Italian, charts Tobit’s narrative sources through comparative literary analysis, firmly placing the story in the genre of the didactic and edifying religious novel.
Anchoring Cultural Formation in the First Millennium BCE
Canonisation is fundamental to the sustainability of cultures. This volume is meant as a (theoretical) exploration of the process, taking Eurasian societies from roughly the first millennium BCE (Babylonian, Assyrian, Persian, Greek, Egyptian, Jewish and Roman) as case studies. It focuses on canonisation as a form of cultural formation, asking why and how canonisation works in this particular way and explaining the importance of the first millennium BCE for these question and vice versa. As a result of this focus, notions like anchoring, cultural memory, embedding and innovation play an important role throughout the book.