New book by James P. Allen
This book, the first of its kind, examines how the phonology and gram-mar of the ancient Egyptian language changed over more than three thousand years of its history, from the first appearance of written documents, ca. 3250 BC, to the Coptic dialects of the second century AD and later.
A mummy unwrapping party marked the launch of a mentoring partnership between the Egyptology-Ancient West Asian Studies Department Undergraduate Group and the Egyptology department’s graduate students Thursday night.
Berossos was a priest and historian from Babylon. A contemporary of Alexander the Great and the first Seleucid kings, he wrote a history of the world in Greek and for a Greek audience, but articulating his Babylonian perspective: he told Greek conquerors about the culture they had conquered. The Babyloniaca, as the work was probably called, was influential through the ages: in antiquity, it was quoted directly or indirectly by such diverse thinkers as Alexander Polyhistor and Eusebius. The text was lost in the middle ages but continued to be read in fragments and paraphrases. When the fragments were reassembled (and indeed forged) in the Renaissance, Berossos found himself at the heart of crucial debates about authenticity, scholarship and the shape of divine and human history.
This edited volume, the first ever devoted to Berossos and his work, brings together leading scholars from a range of academic disciplines, including Classics, Assyriology, Iranology, Ancient History, Patristics, the History of Science and Renaissance Studies, to reassess the life, work and reception of one of the most fascinating and elusive figures in antiquity. The picture which emerges speaks powerfully of the enduring links between the classical world and the Ancient Near East; links which have profoundly shaped the development of European literature, culture and thought.
In Bodies of Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia (Ancient Magic and Divination 9, Leiden: Brill, 2013) Matthew Rutz explores the relationship between ancient collections of texts, commonly deemed libraries and archives, and the modern interpretation of titles like ‘diviner’. By looking at cuneiform tablets as artifacts with archaeological contexts, this work probes the modern analytical categories used to study ancient diviners and investigates the transmission of Babylonian/Assyrian scholarship in Syria. During the Late Bronze Age diviners acted as high-ranking scribes and cultic functionaries in Emar, a town on the Syrian Euphrates (ca. 1375-1175 BCE). This book’s centerpiece is an extensive analytical catalogue of the excavated tablet collection of one family of diviners. Over seventy-five fragments are identified for the first time, along with many proposed joins between fragments.
This book investigates the founding and building of cities in the ancient Near East. The creation of new cities was imagined as an ideological project or a divine intervention in the political narratives and mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, often masking the complex processes behind the social production of urban space. During the Early Iron Age (ca. 1200–850 BCE), Assyrian and Syro-Hittite rulers developed a highly performative official discourse that revolved around constructing cities, cultivating landscapes, building watercourses, erecting monuments, and initiating public festivals. This volume combs through archaeological, epigraphic, visual, architectural, and environmental evidence to tell the story of a region from the perspective of its spatial practices, landscape history, and architectural technologies. It argues that the cultural processes of the making of urban spaces shape collective memory and identity as well as sites of political performance and state spectacle.