Mighty Baal: Essays in Honor of Mark S. Smith is the first edited collection devoted to the study of the ancient Near Eastern god Baal. Although the Bible depicts Baal as powerless, the combined archaeological, iconographic, and literary evidence makes it clear that Baal was worshipped throughout the Levant as a god whose powers rivalled any deity.
Mighty Baal brings together eleven essays written by scholars working in North America, Europe, and Israel. Essays in part one focus on the main collection of Ugaritic tablets describing Baal’s exploits, the Baal Cycle. Essays in part two treat Baal’s relationships to other deities. Together, the essays offer a rich portrait of Baal and his cult from a variety of methodological perspectives.
Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include
Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and
Harvard Semitic Monographs,
Stephen C. Russell, Ph.D. (2008), New York University, is Associate Professor of History at John Jay College, CUNY. His publications include
Space, Land, Territory and the Study of the Bible (Brill, 2017) and
The King and the Land (Oxford, 2016).
Esther J. Hamori, Ph.D. (2004), New York University, is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Union Theological Seminary. Her publications include
Women's Divination in Biblical Literature (Yale University Press, 2015) and
When Gods Were Men (de Gruyter, 2008).
Acknowledgments Vii List of Abbreviations Notes on Contributors
Introduction Stephen C. Russell
Part 1: Baal’s Story
The Baal Cycle as a Myth of Cosmic Unification Robert S. Kawashima
Fight Like a Girl: the Performance of Gender and Violence in the Baal Cycle Corrine Carvalho
Male Agency and Masculine Performance in the Baal Cycle Martti Nissinen
Active and Reactive Bodies in the Baal Cycle Deena Grant
The Grammar of Baal’s Epithets Steven E. Fassberg
Where Are All the Colophons? Colophons in the Ancient Near East and in the Dead Sea Scrolls Sidnie White Crawford
Part 2: Baal’s Peers
Gods in Translation and Location Ronald Hendel
Ugaritic Athtartu Šadi, Food Production, and Textiles: More Data for Reassessing the Biblical Portrayal of Aštart in Context Theodore J. Lewis
Yahweh among the Baals: Israel and the Storm Gods Daniel E. Fleming
Who Is the Baal of Peor? Susan Ackerman
Baal’s Legacy: Echoes of Ugarit in Papyrus Amherst 63 Karel van der Toorn
All interested in ancient Near Eastern religion, mythology, and history and anyone wishing to better understand the context of biblical monolatry and the development of western monotheism.