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OBO 266 – Patrick M. Michel / Le culte des pierres à Emar à l’époque hittite

Le but de cet ouvrage est de donner un nouvel éclairage aux cultes aniconiques dans un Proche-Orient où, d’ordinaire, le culte des pierres en Syrie et en Anatolie est étudié séparément. L’ouvrage propose une vision synthétique des informations à disposition sur le sujet et offre une nouvelle interprétation du culte des pierres à Emar au Bronze récent. L’étude des textes rituels permet de comprendre comment et à quelle fréquence les pierres dressées étaient vénérées à Emar, non seulement dans le rituel du Zukrum mais aussi dans les rituels d’intronisation et les rituels mensuels. Certaines comparaisons avec les pratiques attestées à Ebla ou à Mari placent Emar dans une continuité culturelle et religieuse avec l’ensemble du monde syrien. Mais l’analyse des divers rituels attestés à Emar nous impose également de reconnaître que la conquête hittite à la fin du XIVe siècle av. J.-C. a eu des conséquences sur la vie religieuse locale. L’étude de P. M. Michel établit désormais Emar comme faisant partie de l’Empire hittite avec une pratique des rites hittites et hourrites clairement attestée.
Si les questions liées à l’administration hittite en Syrie ont fait l’objet de plusieurs publications, la question religieuse restait peu étudiée, puisque l’on considère que les Hittites étaient particulièrement tolérants en la matière. Or le roi Tudḫaliya IV, et son père déjà, ont réintroduit des éléments hourrites dans la religion hittite que nous retrouvons simultanément à Šarišša, Nérik, Zippalanda et Emar, preuve que les pratiques religieuses émariotes faisaient partie du monde hittite. La comparaison entre les rituels aniconiques d’Emar et ceux hittites montre comment le pouvoir hittite a imposé des traditions anatoliennes dans les cultes locaux et quel a été le rôle des devins dans la ville. L’étude du rôle et de la place du Devin d’Emar dans l’ensemble du corpus religieux émariote souligne les relations entre les devins et le pouvoir hittite, en particulier les responsables hittites de Karkémiš, et aide à mieux comprendre comment ces devins étaient impliqués dans le programme de réorganisation des cultes voulu par Tudḫaliya IV.
Les deux traditions (émariote et hittite) ont en commun le fait que la statue du dieu est sortie de son temple pour se rendre dans un sanctuaire lithique de plein-air nommé « La Porte des Pierres Dressées » (attesté à Emar et à Šarišša-Kuşaklı), après quoi les pierres sont ointes de sang et d’huile et des sacrifices sont brûlés sous forme d’ambaššu. L’analyse permet de comprendre pourquoi les « rituels anatoliens » d’Emar doivent être considérés comme des traductions akkadiennes d’originaux hittites et comment les populations locales pratiquaient ces rituels. Une lettre particulièrement intéressante, Emar 271, décrit comment un jeune homme, un natif d’Emar, doit nourrir les dieux hittites. On comprend dès lors que l’ensemble des divinités devait être vénéré à la manière hittite, pratique normale du moment que, du point de vue hittite, Emar faisait partie de l’Empire. Des documents administratifs permettent d’étayer cette thèse.

The purpose of this book is to shed new light on the aniconic cults of the ancient Near East, where previously standing stone cults of Semitic and Anatolian populations were invariably studied separately. The study offers a synthetic view of all the information currently available and then proceeds to a renewed interpretation of cultic standing stones in Late Bronze Age Emar. At the end of the fourteenth century BCE, Aštata and Emar entered the Hittite sphere of influence. While previous scholars have discussed matters of Hittite administration in Emar, they have little studied religious aspects, considering that the Hittites were tolerant in these matters. However, a close analysis of various Emar rites related to cultic standing stones leads us to acknowledge that the Hittite conquest of Aštata had repercussions also on local religious life.
It is necessary to begin by clarifying the meaning of certain terms such as «standing stone» and «aniconism» and proceed with an investigation into how the word for a standing stone appears in the relevant cultures and languages cited: Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite and Luwian. The author then discusses the practise of how and how frequently standing stones were worshipped at Emar – not only at the well-known Zukrum festival but also during the enthronement of priestesses and during monthly rituals. A comparison of certain features with practices attested at Ebla and Mari places Emar in a cultural and religious continuity with greater ancient Syria: examples include the existence of a Yaminite Zukrum and the occurrence of the word pirikku at both Mari and Emar.
The second part of the book then allows the reader to see Emar in an unfamiliar way, not only as part of religious continuity in a Semitic world, but as part of the Hittite empire with Hittite and Hurrian religious practices. An introduction to the so-called «house of the diviner» and the scribal traditions is followed by a close analysis of the Emar rites, and in particular the Zukrum festival. A detailed presentation of the role of the great Diviner of Emar underlines the relations between the diviners of Emar and the Hittite Empire (in particular the Hittite representatives in Carchemish), helping us to appreciate how these diviners were involved in the reorganization of cults initiated by king Tudhaliya IV as well as the mechanism of and the political reasons for that reorganization. King Tudhaliya introduced new Hurrian elements in the Hittite religion which we find at the same period at Šarišša, Nerik, Zippalanda, and Emar – an indication that religious practices of Late Bronze Age Emar were indeed part of the Hittite world.
A comparison between Emar and Hittite aniconic rites highlights the way the Hittite Empire imposed Hittite traditions on the local cults of Emar, why the Anatolian rituals should be considered as translations of Hittite originals, how the local population practiced these rituals and in what way the powerful Emar diviners were responsible for adapting local traditions. In comparing the Zukrum with Hittite cults we can determine that both the local and the Anatolian traditions have in common a popular feast offering food and drink to all participants as the divine statue is taken out of the temple to an open air sanctuary beyond the city walls, to a sacred place called «Door of the Standing Stones» (in Emar and Šarišša-Kuşaklı), after which the stones are rubbed with oil and blood and the offerings are burnt in an ambaššu form.
The impact of the Hittite conquest on local religious life is also underscored by more indirect proof beyond the religious texts. A very important letter, Emar 271, describes how a local boy is to feed Hittite deities at Emar. One subsequently understands that all the deities are to be worshipped in a Hittite way, not so unusual as it were since the Hittites considered Emar as part of their Empire. Administrative documents further depict the Hittites’ involvement in Hittite cults at Emar, and some cult inventories written in Akkadian show that some of the diviners’ activities were similar to those of the Bel Madgalti.

 

Patrick Maxime Michel (*1983) est maître-assistant à l’Université de Genève où il enseigne l’akkadien et l’histoire du Proche-Orient ancien. La présente monographie est une version remaniée de sa thèse de doctorat défendue en 2011 à l’Université de Genève.

 

2014, pages VIII-312,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1758-8

 

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OBO SA 34 – Amir Golani / Jewelry from the Iron Age II Levant

Jewelry has always had an irresistible allure yet in the past also had a significance and function within society that went far beyond ornamentation. Jewelry is an important, if often forgotten facet of material culture. Its study is inter-disciplinary, involving archaeology, anthropology, art history, historical/textual studies, and research of materials and manufacturing techniques. While the renowned jewelry from regions such as Egypt and Mesopotamia has been studied, that of the southern Levant has received only limited attention, yet research of its archaeological/contextual, technological and socio-cultural perspectives is illuminating.
The book is a final publication of the author‘s doctoral dissertation made available to the archaeological and academic community at large. It is geared to be a working tool for archaeologists dealing in this period and region and to scholars who study its arts and crafts. The book provides a handy typological structure for jewelry classification as well as a comprehensive andf useful catalogue for research in this and related fields. In addition, it illustrates the significance, meaning and functions of jewelry and the development of the jeweler‘s craft in the southern Levant during the first and second millennia BCE.

 

Amir Golani (born Jerusalem, 1961) studied archaeology at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, where he completed a thesis on the jewelry of Tel Miqne-Ekron (1996). He received a doctoral degree in archaeology from Tel Aviv University upon completion of a dissertation (2009) of which the present book is a thoroughly revised version.
Since 1990, Dr. Golani has been working in the Department of Excavations, Surveys and Research at the Israel Antiquities Authority. He has also excavated with Prof. Amihai Mazar at Tel Beth-Shean and with Profs. Trude Dothan and Seymour Gitin at Tel Miqne-Ekron. A member of the Archaeological Institute of America and associate fellow with the W.F. Albright Institute for Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, he has continued post-doctoral studies as a visiting scholar at the University of Pennsylvania (2012-2013).
r. Golani has published numerous jewelry assemblages and co-authored several articles concerning ancient jewelry studies (see bibliography). Other publications include excavation reports on Qiryat Ata (IAA Reports 18, 2003), Ashqelon Afridar, Area E (‘Atiqot 45, 2004, 9-120), Tel Burga in the Sharon Plain (‘Atiqot 682011, 69-98), and soon to be published, The Early Bronze Age I Site of Ashqelon Barnea – Vol. I, The Site and Excavations, Vol. IIThe Finds (Monograph, IAA Reports).

 

2013, pages XII-313,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1733-5

 

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OBO 265 – Jean-Marie Durand, Thomas Römer & Micaël Bürki (éds.) / Comment devient-on prophète?

Actes du collque organisé par le Collège de France, Paris, les 4-5 avril 2011.

 

For the third year running, the chairs “Assyriology” and “Hebrew Bible and its Context” at the Collège de France (Paris) have come together to discuss questions of prophecy from a variety of different angles and perspectives. The Mari tablets, the oldest Semitic corpus of prophetic writings that has been passed down to us directly, give us valuable insight into the role and nature of prophetism and divination in the second millennium BCE. An edition of new texts, prepared by the team of Mari epigraphers, bears witness to the impressive variety of prophetic figures. Above all other things, these texts demonstrate that a prophet can be an anonymous personality acting as an intermediary of a divine voice that makes itself heard unexpectedly and on specific occasions, and that divination, most often manifesting itself in dreams, may be difficult to disseminate.
The nature of biblical prophetism, on the other hand, appears to be rather different. Around the first millennium BCE, the prophets of ancient Israel founded their own schools. Put down in writing and transmitted from generation to generation, the teachings of the first prophets were believed to convey a timeless message, adaptable to any given socio-political context. Gradually, with more copies being produced, these writings were given new interpretations and amended with additional oracles. The texts as we know them today thus constitute an impressive collection of puzzles whose reconstruction poses a number of methodological problems. Biblical prophets can be understood as being ancient figures of Hebrew prophetism or representatives of literary traditions that were developed much later, leading us to the texts of Qumran and to Flavius Josephus. The investigation on prophecy is complemented by interpretations of prophetism deriving from the Greek tradition and from Islamic culture.
The contributions presented in this volume aim to shed new light on various different aspects of prophetism and define the socio-historical context not only of prophetic phenomena as such, but also of the texts documenting them.

Jean-Marie Durand est professeur au Collège de France, titulaire de la chaire d’Assyriologie, et à l’École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris. Il a dirigé l’équipe UMR 7192 (CNRS/ Collège de France) jusqu’en 2011.
Thomas Römer est professeur au Collège de France, titulaire de la chaire des Milieux bibliques, et à l’Université de Lausanne. Il est directeur de l’équipe UMR 7192 (CNRS/ Collège de France) depuis 2012.
Micaël Bürki est ATER de la chaire des Milieux Bibliques au Collège de France, doctorant de l’université de Lausanne.

2014, pages XII-223,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1750-2

 

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OBO 264 – Ludwig A. Morenz / Anfänge der ägyptischen Kunst

Eine problemgeschichtliche Einführung in ägyptologische Bild-Anthropologie.

 

In bildanthropologischer Perspektive prägten die altägyptische Bildproduktion und -rezeption besonders (a) der kulturelle Umgang mit dem Tod, (b) der Bezug auf die Götterwelt und (c) die Inszenierung von Herrschaft. Alle drei Funktionen der Bildlichkeit waren in der altägyptischen Kultur eng miteinander verwoben, und in allen spielt die Problematik einer Sichtbarmachung des Abwesenden eine herausragende Rolle.
Diese Einführung in die altägyptische Bilder-Welt verbindet das Jahrtausende von uns entfernte alte Material mit modernen Fragestellungen, und es wird ein breites Spektrum von Methoden und Blickweisen vorgestellt. In Fallstudien zu teilweise bereits lange bekannten Objekten werden neue Fragen an die in Malerei, Felsritzung oder Relief materialisierten altägyptischen Bilder-Welten gestellt und damit weitere Verständniszugänge eröffnet.

Ludwig D. Morenz (*1965) ist Professor für Ägyptologie an der Universität Bonn und Direktor des Bonner Ägyptischen Museums. Er widmet sich den Forschungsschwerpunkten Schriftgeschichte, Kultursemiotik und ägyptische Bildanthropologie. Ausgewählte Monographien: Bild-Buchstaben und symbolische Zeichen. Die Herausbildung der Schrift in der hohen Kultur Altägyptens (2004); Sinn und Spiel der Zeichen. Visuelle Poesie im Alten Ägypten (2008); Kultur- und medienarchäologische Essays zu einer Archäologie der Schrift. Von den frühneolithischen Zeichensystemen bis zu den frühen Schriftsystemen in Ägypten und dem Vorderen Orient (2013); Kleine Archäologie des ägyptischen Humors. Ein kulturgeschichtlicher Testschnitt (2013).

2014, pages XVIII-257,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1749-6

 

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OBO 263 – David T. Sugimoto (éd.) / Transformation of a Goddess

Ishtar – Astarte – Aphrodite.

 

This book deals with the changing nature of the goddess Ishtar/Astarte/Aphrodite, who was widely revered in the ancient West Asia and the Mediterranean world and was known by different names. Although the three names are often closely related, their mutual relation has not yet been sufficiently clarified. They appear with different characters and attributes in various areas and periods. They may well refer to independent goddesses, each of whom may also be connected with other deities. In this volume, specialists on different areas and periods discuss the theme from various perspectives, allowing a new and broader understanding of the goddess(es) concerned. The areas covered range from Mesopotamia to the Levant, Egypt and the Mediterranean world, the periods embraced from the third millennium BCE to the Hellenistic age.
The volume is the fruit of an international conference held in Tokyo in 2011. Drawing on discussions at the conference, each article was completely rewritten. Contributors include Stephanie L. Budin, Stéphanie Anthonioz, Elizabeth Bloch-Smith, Izak Cornelius, Eiko Matsushima, Mark M. Smith, David T. Sugimoto, Keiko Tazawa and Akio Tsukimoto.

 

David T. Sugimoto (*1958), PhD University of Sheffield (UK), is a professor in the Department of Archaeology and Ethnology of Keio University in Tokyo. He has published studies on religious artifacts unearthed in the Southern Levant, including Female Figurines with a Disk from the Southern Levant and the Formation of Monotheism(Tokyo: Keio University Press, 2008). He has also excavated at several archaeological sites in Israel, including Tel ‘En Gev and Tel Rekhesh, and is currently co-directing the excavations at Beitin in Palestine.

 

2014, pages XIV-228,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1748-9

 

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OBO 262 – Joshua Aaron Roberson / The Awakening of Osiris and the Transit of the Solar Barques

Royal Apotheosis in a Most Concise Book of the Underworld and Sky.

 

Among the many scenes and texts that occur for the first time in the Nineteenth Dynasty cenotaph of Seti I at Abydos is a representation of the awakening of Osiris by Horus, which appears directly beneath a vignette depicting the transit of the solar barques. The annotations to this bi-partite tableau appear in a mixture of standard, hieroglyphic Egyptian and cryptographic scripts. Similar groups of scenes and texts occur in the Twentieth Dynasty royal tombs of Ramesses VI (KV9) and Ramesses IX (KV6), the Twenty-Second Dynasty tomb of Sheshonq III at Tanis (NRT5), and the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty private tomb of Mutirdis at Thebes (TT410). In addition, significant, albeit partial parallels occur on the re-carved, Twenty-Second Dynasty sarcophagus of Psusennes and a Ptolemaic sarcophagus inscribed for a certain Khaf. This study offers a summary of the scenes’ iconography together with the first synoptic edition of the relevant annotations, taking into account all currently published exemplars. Many of the cryptographic texts are translated here for the first time, while others receive updated translations and expanded analyses. The author also considers the meaning and context of the paired scenes in royal and private monuments, in order to demonstrate the status of the bi-partite tableau as a unified composition. This composition is identified as a concise representative of the cosmological genre referred to usually as the Books of the Underworld and Sky.

Joshua Aaron Roberson received his Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007. He has served as a consulting scholar for the Egyptian section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology since 2011 and is employed also as Assistant Professor of History at Camden County College in Blackwood, New Jersey. He has conducted field surveys of royal and private tombs in the Valley of the Kings and el-Asasif necropolis, as well as research on private sarcophagi in the Cairo Museum. In addition, he has worked as a sigillographer for the French-Egyptian expedition to the Opet precinct of Karnak temple, and as a sigillographer and epigrapher for the University of Pennsylvania expeditions to Saqqara and Abydos. His previous monographs include The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Earth (Wilbour Studies in Egypt and Ancient Western Asia vol. 1, Providence and Atlanta, 2012); and Le parvis du temple d’Opet à Karnak. Exploration archéologique(2006-2007) (Cairo, 2012), co-authored with Guillaume Charloux, et al.

2013, pages XII-184,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1746-5

 

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OBO 261 – Eva Andrea Braun-Holzinger / Frühe Götterdarstellungen in Mesopotamien

Ausgangspunkt dieser Abhandlung sind die auf Grund ihrer Hörnerkrone sicher erkennbaren Götter der jüngeren frühdynastischen Zeit. Vorläufer dieser Götterdarstellungen im älteren Bildrepertoire zu identifizieren ist schwierig, da eine Abgrenzung gegenüber menschlichen Darstellungen kaum mit Sicherheit vorzunehmen ist. Ob Bankett- und Kampfszenen ‚mythologisch‘ zu deuten sind, ist eine viel diskutierte Frage, der hier nachgegangen wird. Auch bisherige Deutungen der Tierkampfszenen mit ihren Mischwesen und sogenannten Helden, die oft mit Göttern in Zusammenhang gebracht werden, werden kritisch betrachtet. Es zeigt sich, daß mythologische und kultische Szenen, in denen Götter eine Rolle spielen können, vor der späten frühdynastischen Zeit zumindest in der erhaltenen Kleinkunst fehlen. Erst dann wird das Verhältnis der Menschen zu den Göttern, wie der Kult es schon lange vorgab, auch ins Bild umgesetzt. Die zahlreichen Siegel unterschiedlichster Qualität belegen, daß dies kein Privileg der Eliten war, sondern weite Bevölkerungsschichten bildlich in Kontakt zu ihren Göttern traten.

Eva Andrea Braun-Holzinger, 1972 Promotion in Frankfurt am Main, 1987 Habilitation in Heidelberg, bis 2009 Professorin für Vorderasiatische Archäologie in Mainz. Forschungsschwerpunkte: Ikonographie; beschriftete Objekte, ihre Tradierung und ihre Bedeutung für das Vergangenheitsinteresse in Mesopotamien (3. bis 1. Jt.).

2013, pages X-238 + 46 Tafeln,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1744-1

 

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OBO 260 – Stefan Zawadzki / Garments of the Gods. Vol. 2: Texts

An integral part of Garments of the Gods (OBO 218, 2006), this volume offers the transliteration, translation and selected copies of over 600 administrative documents on the textile industry in the Ebabbar temple at Neo-Babylonian Sippar. The documents are mostly divided in accordance with the former discussion presented in OBO 218. The aim of the new publication is to enlarge the data base for future studies and to create the possibility of checking and discussing the observations made in the first volume. Indices provide the names of garments and fabrics, and the paleography will allow the reader easy comparison when identifying new texts in the future.

Stefan Zawadzki (b. 1946), since 1991 professor of history at the Institute of History of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland. His interests concentrate on the political and economic history of the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian Empires (first millennium B.C.E.). He is the author of the following books: The Fall of Assyria and Median-Babylonian Relations in the Light of the Nabopolassar Chronicle (Poznań – Delft, 1988); Neo-Babylonian Documents from Sippar Pertaining to the Cult (Poznań, 2013);and (in Polish): Podstawy Gospodarcze Nowoasyryjskich Świątyń [The Economic Foundations of the Neo-Assyrian Temples] (Poznań, 1981); Ze Studiów nad Chronologią Babilonii (koniec VII-początek V wieku przed Chr.) (Poznań, 1996) [Studies in Babylonian Chronology from the End of the Seventh Century to the Beginning of the Fifth Century B.C.]; Mane, Tekel, Fares. Źródła do Dziejów Babilonii Chaldejskiej [Mane, Tekel, Fares. Sources for the History of Chaldean Babylonia] (Poznań, 1996); co-editor with J. Zabłocka: ŠULMU IV. Everyday Life in the Ancient Near East. Papers presented at the International Conference Poznań, 19-22 September 1989 (Poznań, 1993); as well as over 120 articles, notes, and reviews. The first volume of Garments of the Gods was published as OBO 218 (2006).

2013, pages XIV-743,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1742-7

 

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OBO 259 – Julia M. Asher-Greve & Joan Goodnick Westenholz (éd.) / Goddesses in Context

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Goddesses in Context examines from different perspectives some of the most challenging themes in Mesopotamian religion such as gender switch of deities and changes of the status, roles and functions of goddesses. The authors incorporate recent scholarship from various disciplines into their analysis of textual and visual sources, representations in diverse media, theological strategies, typologies, and the place of image in religion and cult over a span of three millennia.
Different types of syncretism (fusion, fission, mutation) resulted in transformation and homogenization of goddesses’ roles and functions. The processes of syncretism (a useful heuristic tool for studying the evolution of religions and the attendant political and social changes) and gender switch were facilitated by the fluidity of personality due to multiple or similar divine roles and functions.
Few goddesses kept their identity throughout the millennia. Individuality is rare in the iconography of goddesses while visual emphasis is on repetition of generic divine figures (hieros typos) in order to retain recognizability of divinity, where femininity is of secondary significance.
The book demonstrates that goddesses were never marginalized or extrinsic and that their continuous presence in texts, cult images, rituals, and worship throughout Mesopotamian history is testimony to their powerful numinous impact.
This richly illustrated book is the first in-depth analysis of goddesses and the changes they underwent from the earliest visual and textual evidence around 3000 BCE to the end of ancient Mesopotamian civilization in the Seleucid period. Goddesses in Context is a compelling contribution to Mesopotamian religion and history as well as to history, art history, history of religion and gender studies.

Julia M. Asher-Greve received her doctorate in Near Eastern Archaeology, Assyriology, and Classical Archaeology from the University of Basel (Switzerland). She co-directed an interdisciplinary research program funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation and has lectured at several universities. She was a Research Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University Women’s Studies in Religion Program. The focus of her research is on gender analysis, inter-disciplinary studies, historiography (Wissenschaftsgeschichte), andBildwissenschaft. Her interest in women studies began with her dissertation on Sumerian women (published 1985) and she has pioneered the incorporation of gender theory into Ancient Near Eastern studies. She is co-founder and one of the editors of NIN – Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity. Her publications comprise studies on theory and application, women, gender roles and relations, goddesses, the body, Gertrude Bell, and Semiramis from antiquity to the twentieth century AD.
The late Joan Goodnick Westenholz received her PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from the University of Chicago. She served for twenty years as Chief Curator at the Bible Lands Museum in Jerusalem and was Senior Research Associate on the Assyrian Dictionary Project of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago (CAD). She was Research Fellow and Visiting Lecturer at Harvard University Women’s Studies in Religion Program, Research Fellow at the Internationales Kolleg für Geisteswissenschaftliche Forschung “Dynamiken der Religionsgeschichte zwischen Asien und Europa“ at Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), Visiting Research Scholar at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, Member at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Princeton University, and at the time of her death National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research at Jerusalem. Her research and numerous publications comprise studies on various aspects of religion, society, literature, lexicography and several ground-breaking articles on gender, goddesses, and women. She was a pioneer of gender analysis in Ancient Near Eastern studies and with a group of colleagues founded and edited the inter-disciplinary NIN – Journal of Gender Studies in Antiquity.

2013, pages XII-454,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1738-0

 

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OBO 258 – Richard Jude Thompson / Terror of the Radiance

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This study investigates Martin Noth’s conclusion about the Deuteronomistic History (DH) that the people of Israel had committed apostasy (Abfall), ceased to obey the law code of Yhwh, and thus lost their land. Scholars have challenged Noth’s hypothesis and even the existence of such a history. The present study adopts a thematic reading of the DH as a coherent corpus of writing with a consistent message. A close reading reveals a god, Yhwh, who declares war on other gods (’ĕlōhîm ’ăḥērîm) and commands his followers to conquer and to sanctify the mountain of the Emorites (har hā’ĕmōrî; Deut 1:7) and the land of Canaan (’ereṣ kənaʽan; Deut 32:49) to Yhwh. The sanctification includes the killing of the people living there: “When you attack them, you shall annihilate (haḥărēm taărîm) them entirely. Do not make a treaty with them and do not show mercy to them” (Deut 7:1–2). Throughout the DH, Yhwh and his spokespersons, the nəbî’îm, reward obedience and punish disobedience. Because the disobedient people of Israel fail to enforce Yhwh’s command to remove the nations of Canaan and their ’ĕlōhîm ’ăḥērîm, Yhwh enforces imperial law and sentences them to national death and exile.
This study thus hypothesizes that the DH depicts an imperial, military covenant. After a survey of the inscriptions of the second-millennium b.c.e. Levant, the Hittite empire, the Neo-Assyrian empire, and the first-millennium b.c.e Levant, the study concludes with a hypothesis that the evidence points to the ideology of the Neo-Assyrian empire as the historical precedent for the Dtr covenant. The study challenges two presuppositions that underlie both the DH and its scholarship: that of the tôrāh as law and that of Yhwh as a unique god.

Richard Jude Thompson (b. 1951) comes from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. At Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, he finished the A.L.B. (1991) in religion with a thesis about the Gospel of Thomas logion 27; the A.L.M. (1993) in Hebrew Bible with a thesis about the sapiential works (4Q416–4Q418) among the Dead Sea scrolls; and the Ph.D. (2011) in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations with a dissertation about the deuteronomistic covenant and Neo-Assyrian imperial ideology, of which this book is a revised version. At present he teaches biblical Hebrew and Aramaic online with eTeacherGroup.com in affiliation with The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and holds an adjunct teaching position in the History and Anthropology departments of Idaho State University.

2013, pages X-260,
ISBN 978-3-7278-1737-3

 

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Peeters Publishers

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