Saturday, February 24, 2018

The first philologists

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: EVA CANCIK-KIRSCHBAUM / JOCHEM KAHL, Erste Philologien. Archäologie einer Disziplin vom Tigris bis zum Nil. Unter Mitarbeit v. Klaus Wagensonner. [First Philologies. Tracing a Discipline between Tigris and Nile.] 2018. XVI, 471 pages. 29,00 €. sewn paper. ISBN 978-3-16-155425-4.
Published in German.
As complex notation systems or script emerge in Egypt and Mesopotamia both cultures develop large bodies of written lore over the millennia addressing various areas of knowledge. Compilation, care, and transmission of these texts between 3000 BC until the turn of the eras required a high degree of specialisation. Minute familiarity with the script(s) and language(s), their structure and characteristics, as well as the methods of compilation represent the foundation of philological work. These involve, for instance, techniques for transferring knowledge over time, comparing texts and reassembling knowledge into new editions, or interpreting and commenting on texts in circulation. A main goal of this study is to make available vantage points, which allow glimpses into the primary sources, where actors, institutions, and methods engage systematically with the written lore. In doing so, the book aims to illuminate first philologies in the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Mesopotamia.

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