Welcome to the May issue of Ancient News. Our warehouse operations continue to be suspended for the safety of our employees. I wish I could give you a date for reopening, but like so many things in life right now, certainty is not attainable.
In other news, we asked for feedback on releasing things that are #stuckinthewarehouse, and you answered! We ended up converting five titles to print on demand so you could get your hands on them. I’ve listed them below. Be sure to use coupon code NR18 to receive 40% off.
Despite the warehouse suspending operations, we’re still producing—and acquiring— books. I’ve listed four forthcoming titles below that you will probably find interesting, especially the Festschrift for Jack Sasson, From Mari to Jerusalem and Back.
To get a better idea of what is coming out later this year, download the PSU Press catalog. It has three pages devoted to Eisenbrauns titles. I’m especially excited about the new Languages of the Ancient Near East Didactica series, featuring teaching grammars. We’re starting with Coptic; now I’ll have one less excuse not to learn it.
I ran across several good reviews of Eisenbrauns books this month. I’ve included an excerpt of one of them and an interview with an Eisenbrauns author below. Both of them are available for purchase; use coupon code NR18 for 40% 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 recently released as e-books that you might find interesting.
Please, take care of yourselves, and read a few good books—even amid the uncertainties!
In this volume, Noonan identifies all the Hebrew Bible’s foreign loanwords and presents them in the form of an annotated lexicon. An appendix to the book analyzes words commonly proposed to be non-Semitic that are, in fact, Semitic, along with the reason for considering them as such. Noonan’s study enriches our understanding of the lexical semantics of the Hebrew Bible’s non-Semitic terminology, which leads to better translation and. . . (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 tradition, responding to and reworking extrabiblical myths and reworking its own myths. In this study, Robert Miller examines the dragon and. . . (more)
With its unique geographic diversity and abundant archaeological and textual data, the southern Levant is an excellent “laboratory” for studying how Assyrian domination operated. This collection of essays explains how Neo-Assyrian rule influenced the demographics, economy, and culture of the region.
A systematic study of Assyrian rule in the west that integrates archaeological and textual perspectives and reconsiders 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 introductory discussions of major critical issues, organized under four key rubrics: tablets, scribes, compositions, and audiences. Here, the reader will find descriptions of the tablets used as. . . (more)
The Name Command (NC) is usually interpreted as a prohibition against speaking Yhwh’s name in a particular context: false oaths, wrongful pronunciation, irreverent worship, magical practices, cursing, false teaching, and the like. However, the NC lacks the contextual specification needed to support the command as speech related. Taking seriously the narrative context at Sinai and the closest lexical parallels, a different picture emerges—one animated by concrete rituals and their associated metaphorical concepts. The unique phrase ns' shm is one of several expressions arising from the conceptual metaphor, election as branding, that finds analogies in high-priest regalia as well as in various ways of claiming. . . (more)
View all available titles here
The “radiocarbon revolution” has profoundly altered traditional historical frameworks in the Near East. Addressing the ramifications of the new, higher radiometric (14C) chronology, as well as the impact of new excavations and expanded data sets on third-millennium BCE studies, this volume brings together twenty-three essays covering a diverse array of topics, such as urbanism, heterarchy, nomadism, ruralism, terminology, and cultural continuity/discontinuity. . . (more)
Jack Murad Sasson, distinguished scholar of the ancient Near East, has enjoyed a long career studying the cultures, languages, and literatures of that consequential region. His many books and articles span a seemingly endless array of topics and materials. Foremost are his in-depth analyses of the Syrian city of Mari and its remarkable heritage. Of comparable importance are. . . (more)
This is the first of a three-volume final report on the Tel Aviv–Heidelberg Renewed Excavations at Ramat Raḥel, 2005–2010. It presents the stratigraphy and architecture of the excavation areas, including portions of the palatial compound, the subterranean columbarium complex, and the Late Roman cemetery; site formation of the tell; twentieth-century fortifications at the site; and the. . . (more)
The emergence of ancient urbanism has long held the interest of archaeologists attempting to understand the origins of inequality and its links to early urban life. This volume presents the results of archeological research at the Early Bronze Age sites of Numayra and Ras an-Numayra, conducted to investigate the rise of Early Bronze Age urban society, with a distinctive focus on links between environmental and social systems.. . . (more)
“Though some discussion in the volume may challenge established positions, the use of material culture and innovative methods of analysis make it required reading for those interested in this period in the region. The extensive bibliographies of each chapter and the comprehensive indices of authors, biblical and cuneiform texts, and geographic names make this a well-designed reference volume for any serious scholar. It is a well-conceived and extremely well-executed collection.”—C. Mark McCormick, Stillman College in Review of Biblical Literature, March 2020
In this volume, Michael Flexsenhar III advances the argument that imperial slaves and freedpersons in the Roman Empire were essential to early Christians’ self-conception as a distinct people in the Mediterranean and played a multifaceted role in the making of early Christianity. . . (more)
Since its construction, Notre Dame Cathedral has played a central role in French cultural identity. In the wake of the tragic fire of 2019, questions of how to restore the fabric of this quintessential French monument are once more at the forefront. This all-too-prescient book, first published in. . . (more)
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