Friday, September 25, 2020

On the masthead from a late-antique shipwreck

MARINE ARCHAEOLOGY: Rare masthead from ancient shipwreck found in northern Israel. Each artifact yielded information which can help unravel mysteries of this era (Hannah Brown, Jerusalem Post).
A masthead found in a shipwreck off northern Israel sheds light on sailing and shipbuilding during the Late Antiquity period, according to a paper just published in the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology.

Maayan Cohen, a PhD candidate at the department of maritime civilizations at the University of Haifa, and Dr. Deborah Cvikel, a researcher at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies and a senior lecturer at the department of maritime civilizations – both at the University of Haifa – are the authors of the paper, titled, “Rigging of the Ma’agan Mikhael B shipwreck (7th–8th centuries AD): new finds.”

[...]
For more on the Ma’agan Mikhael B shipwreck see here. And follow the links from there for more posts on marine (maritime, underwater) archaeology and on the archaeology of ancient shipwrecks.

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HB/JS job at UBC

ACADEMIC POST: Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies (Assistant Professor, tenure-track).
The Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies at The University of British Columbia, Vancouver campus invites applications for a tenure-track position at the rank of Assistant Professor in Hebrew Bible and Jewish Studies to commence July 1, 2021. We seek a candidate who specializes in Hebrew Bible within its Iron Age or Persian Period contexts (i.e. pre-Hellenistic era), and demonstrates knowledge of the reception of the Hebrew Bible in later Jewish traditions. ...
Follow the link for further particulars and application information. "The deadline for the receipt of applications and reference letters is Oct 31st, 2020."

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

More Syriac manuscripts recovered in Iraq

APPREHENDED: Iraq: dozens of Christian manuscripts stolen by ISIS recovered in Mosul. The historical artefacts were stolen from a church and hidden in the kitchen of a suspected ISIS member (Mina Aldroubi, The National).
Dozens of hidden Syriac manuscripts were recovered by Iraqi security forces late on Tuesday following the arrest of a suspected ISIS member in the northern Nineveh governorate.

The manuscripts were stolen from Assyrian churches in Mosul after the city became the extremist group's de facto capital in the country between 2014 and 2017.

[...]
No word on the contents of the manuscripts. The photo indicates that they are bound books and the bindings look recent. That doesn't necessarily tell us much about the manuscripts, though.

Cross-file under Syriac Watch. Some related stories are here and here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity (ed. Novenson)

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity

Series: Novum Testamentum, Supplements, Volume: 180
Editor: Matthew V. Novenson

In Monotheism and Christology in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Matthew V. Novenson brings together thirteen state-of-the-art essays by leading scholars on the various ways ancient Jewish, Christian, and classical writers conceive of God, Christ, Wisdom, the demiurge, angels, foreign gods, and other divine beings. In particular, the book revisits the “early high Christology” debates of the 1990s, identifying the lasting contributions thereof as well as the lingering difficulties and new, emerging questions from the last thirty years of research. The essays in this book probe the much-touted but under-theorized distinctions between monotheism and polytheism, Judaism and Hellenism, Christianity and paganism. They show how what we call monotheism and Christology fit within the Greco-Roman world of which they are part.

Prices from (excl. VAT): €124.00

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-43808-8
Publication Date: 25 Aug 2020
Hardback
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-43797-5
Publication Date: 20 Aug 2020
Back in 1999 I co-edited a volume on much the same theme: The Jewish Roots of Christological Monotheism: Papers from the St Andrews Conference on the Historical Origins of the Worship of Jesus (ed. Davila, Newman, Lewis. Brill). It was reprinted by Baylor University Press in 2017.

Many of the same contributors have essays in Professor Novenson's book. If you want to find out what's been happening in the subsequent couple of decades, it looks like the place to go.

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Aelia Capitolina

HERITAGE DAILY: Aelia Capitolina – Roman Jerusalem. A historical survey, with archaeological etc. photos.

Aelia Capitolina was the Roman city founded on the ruins of the Second Temp-era city by the emperor Hadrian. Its founding was probably a precipitating factor for the Bar Kokhba revolt.

Some past PaleoJudaica posts on or involving Aelia Capitolina are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

BAJS Annual Book Prize 2020 and 2021

THE BAJS Annual Book Prize has announced that it is opening soon.
BAJS is pleased to announce that the 2021 BAJS Book Prize competition will open shortly. The book prize initiative was launched by BAJS in 2018 to recognise and promote outstanding scholarship in the field of Jewish Studies. We will be inviting submissions focused on topics relating to the early modern or modern period. Volumes with a copyright date of 2019 or after will be eligible. Details of the competition will be announced later in 2020.
The current topic range is not of interest to PaleoJudaica, but I include it for information.

You have to read pretty far into the announcement to get to the 2020 winners:
  • Dr Lindsey Askin (University of Bristol), for Scribal Culture in Ben Sira published with Brill in 2018. Full details about the book are available here.
  • Professor Sacha Stern (University College London), for The Jewish Calendar Controversy of 921/2 CE published with Brill in 2019. Full details about the book are available here.
Congratulations to both winners!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Late-antique Syriac mosaics excavated in Turkey church

EPIGRAPHY AND DECORATIVE ART: Mosaics in ancient church in southeastern Turkey unearthed (Daily Sabah). The church was reportedly built at the end of the fourth century.
The base of the church is inscribed with nine lines of Estrangelo, or Ancient Syriac, script, Tarkan said. "The mosaics also show depictions of animals, geometric shapes and human figures, as well as scenes depicting people hunting," he said. "The months of April and June are also inscribed on the human figures.”
There is a photo at the link.

Cross-file under Syriac Watch.

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The Masorah of the (printed ed.) Cairo Codex of the Prophets

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Introduction to the Masorah | The Masorah of the Cairo Codex of the Prophets in Perez-Castro's Printed Edition (David DeLauro).

This is part four in the series. I noted part one here, part two here, and part three here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Sogdian publications

BIBLIOGRAPHIA IRANICA: Publications on Sogdian. For the Sogdian language and why PaleoJudaica cares about it, see here. For past posts on Sogdian, see there and links and here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Dahlén (ed.), Achaemenid Anatolia (open-access book)

THE AWOL BLOG: Achaemenid Anatolia: Persian Presence and Impact in the Western Satrapies 546–330 BC. Proceedings of an International Symposium at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 7–8 September 2017.

I recently noted a book on the Achaemenid Empire in Egypt here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Boccaccini, Paul’s Three Paths to Salvation

NEW BOOK FROM EERDMANS:
Paul’s Three Paths to Salvation

Gabriele Boccaccini
Foreword by David Bentley Hart

HARDCOVER; Coming Soon: 9/29/2020
ISBN: 978-0-8028-3921-3
Price: $ 30.00
200 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9

DESCRIPTION
“We no longer need to separate Paul from Judaism in order to claim his Christianness,” writes Gabriele Boccaccini, adding, “nor do we need to separate him from the early Jesus movement in order to state his Jewishness.” With this guiding principle Boccaccini unpacks the implications of Paul’s “belonging” simultaneously to Judaism and Christianity to arrive at the surprising and provocative conclusion that there are in fact three means of salvation:
  • For Jews, adherence to Torah.
  • For gentiles, good works according to conscience and natural law.
  • For all sinners, forgiveness through faith in Jesus Christ.
Paul’s Three Paths to Salvation is an attempt to reconcile the many facets of Paul’s complex identity while reclaiming him from accusations of intolerance, and Boccaccini’s work in reestablishing the figure of Paul as a messenger of God’s Mercy to the sinners is an important contribution to the ongoing conversation about Paul’s place in the contemporary pluralistic world.

"I find much to admire in Gabriele Boccaccini's attempt to reconstruct Paul's own vision of salvation ... This is a splendid and necessary book." (David Bentley Hart, from the Foreword)

"Thanks in large part to the efforts of Gabriele Boccaccini, New Testament scholarship today is busy interpreting Paul within Second Temple Judaism. The interesting work is now in details: sorting out which features of traditional interpretations can stand and which need to be revised or jettisoned. In this fascinating book, Boccaccini threads this needle in his own inimitable way. Anyone interested in the Paul-within-Judaism debates really must read this book." (Matthew V. Novenson, University of Edinburgh)

"Gabriele Boccaccini's expertise in Second Temple Jewish apocalypticism, Enochic traditions in particular, combined with a commitment to read Paul within Judaism, warrants reconsideration of the potential relevance of 'salvation' in Paul's texts for both Christian and Jewish research." (Mark D. Nanos, University of Kansas)

"In this very accessible book, Boccaccini opens up a fresh angle for discussions on Paul. His wide knowledge of Second Temple Judaism and his focus on Enochic traditions helps to overcome the impasses of the current debate of 'Paul within Judaism.' He wisely avoids any ideological one-sidedness and helps to perceive the tensions in Paul's thought." (Jörg Frey, University of Zurich)

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Wizard battles and demon circles in MNTA2

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Wizard battles and demon circles revealed in newly translated Christian texts (Owen Jarus, Live Science). Mr. Jarus summarizes three of the texts newly translated in More New Testament Apocrypha volume 2, edited by Tony Burke.

Reviews and background are here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

"Passion" sequel is still on

CINEMA FRANCHISE RESURRECTION: 'Passion of the Christ' sequel still in development as Jim Caviezel teases 'the biggest film in world history' (Tom Butler, Yahoo News). Caviezel is still on to play Jesus. This sequel has been in the works since 2016, so no one seems to be in a hurry.

Background here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Chicago Assyrian Dictionary online

THE AWOL BLOG: The Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (CAD).

The CAD was completed in 2011. For past posts on it, see here and links. Now the whole thing is available for free online. For you, special deal!

For other online Akkadian dictionaries, see here and here. And for why Akkadian still matters, see here and here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Review of Thavapalan, The meaning of color in ancient Mesopotamia

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: The meaning of color in ancient Mesopotamia.
Shiyanthi Thavapalan, The meaning of color in ancient Mesopotamia. Culture and history of the ancient Near East, 104. Leiden: Brill, 2019. 524 p.. ISBN9789004415379 €163,00.

Review by
Ulrike Steinert, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz. usteiner@uni-mainz.de

[...]

In conclusion, The Meaning of Color in Ancient Mesopotamia is a ground-breaking, methodologically innovative, and insightful work. It makes an important contribution to the fields of color studies, historical semantics, and to the history of technologies, enriching our current understanding of Mesopotamian worldviews, languages and material culture. The book will be a valuable resource not only to Assyriologists, but, due to its comparative perspective, also to historians, linguists, and readers interested in the interrelations between language, thought, and culture.
For more on language and color perception in antiquity, see here and links. And for recovering the original color on an ancient monument, see here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

An old DSS documentary

VARIANT READINGS: Mr. Spock and Qumran. Brent Nongbri has come upon an old documentary on the Dead Sea Scrolls with you-know-who narrating.

Some sort of related posts are here and links.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

The Masorah of MS BH MSS1

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Introduction to the Masorah | Editing the Masorah of the Manuscript BH MSS1 (Madrid, Complutensian Library) (Elvira Martín-Contreras).

This is part three in the series. I noted part one here and part two here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Abraham in Jewish and Early Christian Literature (ed. Adams & Domoney-Lyttle)

THE AWOL BLOG: Abraham in Jewish and Early Christian Literature. An open-access book from Bloomsbury/T&T Clark:

Abraham in Jewish and Early Christian Literature
Sean A. Adams and Zanne Domoney-Lyttle (eds)
T&T Clark 2019

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Archaeological gardens in Israel

EXHIBITIONS: Post-lockdown field trip? Visit some of Israel’s (320!) archaeological gardens. Free historical sites nationwide, open to the public at all hours, feature Roman-era marble artifacts, ancient sarcophagi, farming implements, Crusader ruins and more (AVIVA AND SHMUEL BAR-AM, Times of Israel).

It may be a while before "post-lockdown," but these sites are certainly worth keeping in mind.

Past posts on archaeological gardens in Israel, including Givat Yeshayahu are here and links. I also noted the Ashkelon exhibition here and the one in the Old City of Jerusalem here.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Review of Goulet-Cazé, Cynicism and Christianity in antiquity

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Cynicism and Christianity in antiquity.
Marie-Odile Goulet-Cazé, Cynicism and Christianity in antiquity. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans Publishing, 2019. xvii, 278 p.. ISBN9780802875556 $75.00.

Review by
Etienne Helmer, University of Puerto Rico. etiennehelmer@hotmail.fr

This English version of Dr. Marie-Odile Goulet-Cazé’s French book[1] is a scholarly monument on the complex relationships between Cynicism and Christianity—and Judaism as well—in Antiquity. It aims at determining the possible impact of Cynicism on Christianity since the early Jesus movement, as one of its earliest literary artifacts known as the Q Gospel source—a hypothetical collection of alleged Jesus’s sayings assembled after his death—as well as apparent close similarities in their ways of life. ...

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Abusch, Essays on Babylonian and Biblical Literature and Religion

NEW BOOK FROM BRILL:
Essays on Babylonian and Biblical Literature and Religion

Series: Harvard Semitic Studies, Volume: 65
Author: Tzvi Abusch

In this volume, I. Tzvi Abusch presents studies written over a span of forty years prior to his retirement from Brandeis University in 2019. They reflect several themes that he has pursued in addition to his work on witchcraft literature and the Epic of Gilgamesh. Part 1 includes general articles on Mesopotamian magic, religion, and mythology, followed by a set of articles on Akkadian prayers, especially šuillas, focusing on exegetical and linguistic (synchronic) studies and on diachronic analyses. Part 2 contains a series of literary studies of Mesopotamian and biblical classics. Part 3 is devoted to comparative studies of terms and phenomena. Part 4 examines legal texts.

The Harvard Semitic Studies series publishes volumes from the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East. Other series offered by Brill that publish volumes from the Museum include Studies in the Archaeology and History of the Levant and Harvard Semitic Monographs, https://hmane.harvard.edu/publications.

Prices from (excl. VAT): €240.00

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-43518-6
Publication Date: 31 Aug 2020

Hardback
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-43517-9
Publication Date: 03 Sep 2020

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Fakes and Forgeries of Written Artefacts

THE AWOL BLOG: Fakes and Forgeries of Written Artefacts from Ancient Mesopotamia to Modern China. A forthcoming open-access book from De Gruyter, edited by Cécile Michel and Michael Friedrich. The topic is evergreen.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Archaeologically authentic opera

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Actual Palace of Herod Antipas Stars in Opera. An authentic section of Machaerus is part of set design for staging of biblically-themed opera (Jonathan Laden).

The opera is Strauss's Salome. This is the first time I can remember hearing of a performance, although I did once note a graphic novel based on it. The opera is based on Wilde's play of the same name. I have noted adaptations and performances of it here and links.

For more on Machaerus, the reputed site of John the Baptist's beheading, see here and here and links.

Cross-file unde Stagecraft and Ancient Architecture.

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.

The Masorah of the Leningrad Codex in BHS

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Introduction to the Masorah | The Masorah of the Leningrad Codex in the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (BHS) Edition (Daniel Mynatt).
Ancient Jew Review is pleased to host this panel, first presented at SBL 2019 in San Diego as “ A Beginner's Guide to the Masorahs of Four Great Early Manuscripts as Represented in Recent Printed Editions.”
This is part two of what sounds like a four-part series. I noted part one here. Past posts on the Leningrad Codex are here and links.

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Wagner-Durand & Linke (eds.), Tales of Royalty

NEW BOOK FROM DE GRUYTER:
Tales of Royalty
Notions of Kingship in Visual and Textual Narration in the Ancient Near East


Edited by: Elisabeth Wagner-Durand and Julia Linke
De Gruyter | 2020
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9781501506895

Language: English, German
Format: 23.0 x 15.5 cm
Pages Arabic: 325
Illustrations BW: 31
Illustrations Color: 19
Publisher: De Gruyter
Year: 2020

FORMATS
Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-5015-1555-2
Published: 20 Jul 2020
PDF
ISBN: 978-1-5015-0689-5
Published: 20 Jul 2020
EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-5015-0685-7
Published: 20 Jul 2020

OVERVIEW
The volume sheds light on Ancient Near Eastern kingship by focusing on its constant urge for legitimation. Thus, it highlights specific aspects like royal building activities, warfare and wisdom and frames these into material and textual expressions that take the powerful form of narratives.

The contributions made in this volume look for specific topoi of kingship and examine which shapes they took and why. The publication determines which narrative topoi have once been selected to legitimize kingship, which media have been chosen to transmit these narratives, and what kind of narrative strategies have been applied. To consider both, texts and images, in the same margin, the book is based on a dual approach: referring to certain narrative themes both philological and archaeological material will be presented.

By joining diverse perspectives of scholars of material culture and texts and their various approaches the publication promises new and special insight into the connection of narration and legitimation in Mesopotamia. It reflects Ancient Near Eastern kingship and its narrative strategies from a interdisciplinary and transmedial point of view and gives new insights into the matter of royal legitimation.
The ToC lists no articles specific to ancient Israel, although ancient Aramean kingship is represented. But many of the issues covered (legitimation, shepherd imagery, righteousness, building activities, martial valor, etc.) are of obvious background interest for Israelite kingship.

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What does holy and treasured mean?

DR. RABBI MICHAEL MARMUR: Israel, God’s Chosen People? (TheTorah.com).
In Deuteronomy, YHWH chooses Israel to be his holy (kadosh) and treasured (segulah) people. What does this mean in its original context, and can it be reconciled with contemporary universalist notions?

Visit PaleoJudaica daily for the latest news on ancient Judaism and the biblical world.