Welcome to the September issue of Ancient News. First off, we have great news: we hired Jennifer Singletary to be the new acquisitions editor for Eisenbrauns. You can read the press release here. We’re very excited to have her on board and are looking forward to her stewardship of the imprint’s publications. You will be able to meet her at the Annual Meetings in November. Watch for more news in the October Ancient News.
The latest 10-day sale features titles in the Languages of the Ancient Near East series at 30–40% off. The sale ends September 22nd. I’ve listed some of the titles below, but do visit the sale page to see them all.
Our publication schedule is very heavy for the next couple of months as we gear up for ASOR/AAR/SBL. I’ve listed four of the thirteen forthcoming titles below. Personally, I’m especially excited about Alan Lenzi's An Introduction to Akkadian Literature, which I had the opportunity to read. It would make a great introductory textbook (or a nice review to get you up-to-date on the latest in the field). I could go on listing the other great releases in the MesCiv, HACL, JTISup, LSAWS, CUSAS, and BBRSup series, plus some stand-alone books. Let’s just say that to avoid missing any of them, you should subscribe to our new release emails. Update your email preferences here.
As usual, we received some nice reviews of Eisenbrauns books this month. I’ve included excerpts from two of them below. 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 new PSU Press book that you might find interesting. I also included an older one that you might want to add to your library for Yom Kippur. Use coupon code NR18 to receive 30% off.
Hoffner and Melchert’s long-awaited work is sure to become both the standard reference grammar and the main teaching tool for the Hittite language. The first volume includes a thorough description of Hittite grammar, grounded in an abundance of textual examples. Moreover, the authors take into account a vast array of studies on all aspects of the Hittite language. In the five decades since the publication of the second edition of Johannes Friedrich’s Hethitisches Elementarbuch (1960), our knowledge of Hittite grammar has become more detailed and nuanced, especially because of the number of new texts available and the growing. . . (more)
In this magnum opus, N. J. C. Kouwenberg presents a thoroughgoing, modern analysis of the Akkadian verbal system, taking into account all of the currently available evidence for the language during the course of the long period of its attestation. The book achieves this goal through two strategies: (1) to describe the Akkadian verbal system, as comprehensively as the data permit; and (2) to reconstruct its prehistory on the basis of internal evidence and reconstruction, comparison with cognate languages, and typological evidence. Akkadian has one of the longest documented histories of any language: data from nearly two-and-one-half millennia are available, even if the stream of data is sometimes. . . (more)
A Glossary of Old Syrian: ʔ–ḳ is the first of two volumes aimed at the completion of a lexicographical index of the Old Syrian linguistical continuum. This glossary gives a picture, or map, of the Old Syrian lexicon as it can be extracted and reconstructed from the available sources, from the (Old Akkadian-)Eblatic through the Old and Middle Babylonian corpora.
Old Syrian can be defined most appropriately as a diachronically conservative, geographically pluricentric, and pragmatically multilayered linguistic cluster. Therefore, the present work pays special attention to the distribution of. . . (more)
This grammar provides a comprehensive overview of Middle Egyptian and illustrates its grammatical features with extensive examples from various sources. Exercises at the end of each chapter, along with a sign list and a hieroglyphic word list, provide the reader with the means to apply and practice the content, enabling this book to be used as both a grammar reference and a textbook.
The book’s structure and detailed outline facilitate its use as a reference, making it easy to find information on any particular grammatical feature. At the same time, the extensive content of the forty chapters provides a suitable basis for self-guided study and enables the student to . . (more)
View all the titles here
This book offers a diachronic and synchronic account of the verb morphology and phonology of Aramaic from its initial appearance early in the first millennium B.C.E. until the second millennium C.E. Aramaic, a subfamily of Semitic, is closely related to Hebrew and the other Canaanite languages; together, the two subfamilies of Aramaic and Canaanite constitute the northwest branch of the. . . (more)
This book initiates the reader into the study of Akkadian literature from ancient Babylonia and Assyria. With this one relatively short volume, the novice reader will develop the literary competence necessary to read and interpret Akkadian texts in translation and will gain a broad familiarity with the major genres and compositions in the language.
The first part of the book presents. . . (more)
In Western tradition, St. George is known as the dragon slayer. In the Middle East, he is called Khidr (“Green One”), and in addition to being a dragon slayer, he is also somehow the prophet Elijah. In this book, Robert D. Miller II untangles these complicated connections and reveals how, especially in his Middle Eastern guise, St. George is a reincarnation of the Canaanite storm god Baal, another “Green One” who in Ugaritic texts slays dragons. Combining art history, theology, and archeology, this multidisciplinary study demystifies the identity of . . . (more)
This book presents a reassessment of the governmental systems of the Late Babylonian period—specifically those of the Neo-Babylonian and early Persian Empires—and provides evidence demonstrating that these are among the first to have developed an early form of administrative law.
The present study revolves around a particular expression that, in its most common form, reads ḫīṭu ša šarri išaddad and can be translated as “he will be guilty (of an offense) against the king.” The authors analyze. . . (more)
“Sykora’s treatment of these texts is thorough and admirable, and his observations concerning the dynamic nature of chosenness is helpful. One might wish he had devoted more effort to exploring what particular chain of events might have led a Judean author to edit the narrative for the purpose of highlighting Judah’s rise and Joseph’s fade. As always, however, one purpose of innovative work is to raise good questions for further research.”—Tony W. Cartledge, Campbell University Divinity School, Review of Biblical Literature, August, 2019
“The work is well reasoned, acquainted with a wide array of scholarship, and based upon sound philological analysis. Dewrell is cautious in his approach in order to remain faithful to the kinds of evidence we current have at our disposal, lest he overreach in making definitive conclusions. . . . I conclude by emphasizing with Dewrell that human sacrifice in Hebrew tradition was more diverse than some have allowed. Dewrell has helped further the study of this matter in meaningful ways.”—Jason R. Tatlock, Georgia Southern University in Review of Biblical Literature, August 2019
For many, U2’s Bono is an icon of both evangelical spirituality and secular moral activism. In this book, Chad E. Seales examines the religious and spiritual culture that has built up around the rock star over the course of his career and considers how Bono engages with that religion in his music and in his activism.
Looking at Bono and his work within a wider critique of white American evangelicalism, Seales traces Bono’s career, from his background in religious groups in the 1970s to his rise to stardom in the 1980s and his. . . (more)
Avodah: Ancient Poems for Yom Kippur is the first major translation of one of the most important genres of the lost literature of the ancient synagogue. Known as the Avodah piyyutim, this liturgical poetry was composed by the synagogue poets of fifth- to ninth-century Palestine and sung in the synagogues on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Although it was suppressed by generations of rabbis, its ornamental beauty and deep exploration of sacred stories ensured its popularity for centuries. . . (more)
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