Welcome to the January issue of Ancient News.
The latest 10-day sale features titles in the Explorations in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations series at 30–50% off. From courtiers to children, from dragons to fish, along with a few gods, this series has a bit of everything. I’ve listed some of the titles below, but take time to visit the sale page to see them all. The sale ends January 23rd, so hurry.
Earlier this month, A Concise History of Ancient Israel arrived. I’ve listed that, plus three other recent arrivals below. Use coupon code NR18 to receive 30% off. We have some great titles in the pipeline; to avoid missing them, update your subscription preferences to the series and areas that interest you. But why limit yourself? Select “All Lists” and you will receive them all!
I ran across one review of an Eisenbrauns book this month. I’ve included an excerpt of the review below. Use coupon code NR18 for 30% off. If you happen across a review of an Eisenbrauns book, please let me know about it via email!
Rounding out this month’s Ancient News is a pair of PSU Press books that you might find interesting. One just released, and the other one is coming February. Use coupon code NR18 to receive 30% off.
In this book, Matthew McAffee takes a lexical approach to the study of life and death in the Ugaritic textual corpus. He identifies and analyzes the Ugaritic terms most commonly used to talk about life and mortality in order to construct a more representative framework of the ancient perspective on these topics, and he concludes by synthesizing the results of this. . . (more)
The dragon-slaying myth has a hoary ancestry, extending back long before its appearance in the Hebrew Bible, and a vast range, spanning as far as India and perhaps even Japan. This book is a chronicle of its trajectories and permutations. The target of this study is the biblical myth. This target, however, is itself a fluid. . . (more)
The metaphor is a hallmark of Classical Hebrew poetry. Some metaphors, such as “Yhwh is king” or “Yhwh is warrior,” play a foundational role. The same does not hold for metaphors from the fishing industry. Because they had access to only two major freshwater sources, archaeological research demonstrates that this industry did not play a major socioeconomic role in ancient Israel. Fishing has nevertheless made a substantial contribution to prophetic and wisdom literature. All metaphors manifest reality, but given the. . . (more)
Among the many religious acts condemned in the Hebrew Bible, child sacrifice stands out as particularly horrifying. The idea that any group of people would willingly sacrifice their own children to their god(s) is so contrary to modern moral sensibilities that it is difficult to imagine that such a practice could have ever existed. Nonetheless, the existence of biblical condemnation of these rites attests to the fact that some ancient Israelites in fact did sacrifice their children. Indeed, a close reading of the evidence—biblical, archaeological, epigraphic, etc.—indicates that there are at least. . . (more)
View all the titles here
Use coupon code NR18 for 30% off!
The history of biblical Israel, as it is told in the Hebrew Bible, differs substantially from the history of ancient Israel as it can be reconstructed using ancient Near Eastern texts and archaeological evidence. In A Concise History of Ancient Israel, Bernd U. Schipper uses this evidence to present a critical revision of the history of Israel and Judah from the late second millennium BCE to the beginning of the. . . (more)
Use coupon code NR18 for 30% off!
The purpose of the papers read at the meeting held in Helsinki, Finland, in 2014, and of the relevant proceedings forming this volume, was to discuss and update the historical methodologies adopted in the past and present study of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. The title of the meeting and of this proceedings volume, “Writing Neo-Assyrian History,” clearly indicates the aim of the organizers and of the participants: to submit to. . . (more)
Harlot or Holy Woman? presents an exhaustive study of qedešah, a Hebrew word meaning “consecrated woman” but rendered “prostitute” or “sacred prostitute” in Bible translations. Reexamining biblical and extrabiblical texts, Phyllis A. Bird questions how qedešah came to be associated with prostitution and offers an alternative explanation of the term, one that suggests a wider participation for women as religious specialists in Israel’s early cultic. . . (more)
While each of the previously known archives from the Third Dynasty of Ur has provided distinct views of Sumerian society, those from Iri-Saĝrig present an extraordinary range of new sources, depicting a cosmopolitan Sumerian/Akkadian city unlike any other from this period. In this publication, Marcel Sigrist and Tohru Ozaki present more than two thousand newly identified tablets, mostly from Iri-Saĝrig. This unique and extensive corpus elucidates the importance that Iri-Saĝrig represented politically, militarily, and. . . (more)
“It is almost de rigueur for reviewers to say that any collection of essays is uneven, but this is one of the more persistently rewarding collections that I have read. . . . All in all this is a collection of theologically rich, exegetically sensitive, and interpretatively wise essays. It is a suitable tribute to a scholar whose work has developed in all those ways over many years. I commend it to readers who would like to see good examples of a canonical approach in practice, both on a conceptual level and in the handling of specific texts.”—Richard S. Briggs, Cranmer Hall, St John’s College, Durham University, in Review of Biblical Literature, January 2020.
The story of how the Lisu of southwest China were evangelized one hundred years ago by the China Inland Mission is a familiar one in mission circles. The subsequent history of the Lisu church, however, is much less well known. Songs of the Lisu Hills brings this history up to date, recounting the unlikely story of how the Lisu maintained their faith through twenty-two years of government persecution and illuminating how. . . (more)
In a major departure from previous scholarship, this volume argues that the illustrations in the famous and widely influential Utrecht Psalter manuscript were inspired by a late antique Hebrew version of Psalms, rather than a Latin, Christian version of the text.
Produced during the early ninth century in a workshop near Reims, France, the Utrecht Psalter is illustrated with pen-and-ink drawings in a lively style reminiscent of. . . (more)
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