Saturday, April 24, 2021

Pruszinski, An Ecology of Scriptures (T&T Clark)

An Ecology of Scriptures
Experiences of Dwelling Behind Early Jewish and Christian Texts

By: Jolyon G. R. Pruszinski

Published: 04-22-2021
Format: Hardback
Edition: 1st
Extent: 224
ISBN: 9780567694942
Imprint: T&T Clark
Series: Jewish and Christian Texts
Volume: 33
Illustrations: 14 bw illus
Dimensions: 6 1/8" x 9 1/4"
List price: $115.00
Online price: $103.50
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About An Ecology of Scriptures

In this volume, Jolyon G. R. Pruszinski examines the experiences of domestic and quotidian space that contributed to the extant form of many foundational early Jewish and Christian scriptures. His analytical approaches are derived from diverse sources including modern psychological science, Gaston Bachelard's critical theories of domestic space, and Henri Lefebvre's observations regarding “spatial practice.”

The result of this attention to textual “ecology” or “home-logic” is an innovative exploration of classic texts yielding exciting new interpretive possibilities for the Gospel of John, the undisputed Pauline letters, the Parables of Enoch, the Book of Revelation, the History of the Rechabites, and Augustine's De Trinitate. Experiences of loss, homelessness, imprisonment, and marginal dwelling lie behind these texts and contributed to their authors' re-imagination and re-establishment of home. Pruszinski proves inescapably that while the most familiar of experiences are often overlooked, they are also among the most important of formative influences on the early Jewish and Christian literary imagination.

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

Raggetti (ed.) Traces of Ink (Brill, Open Access)

Traces of Ink

Experiences of Philology and Replication

Series: Nuncius Series, Volume: 7

Volume Editor: Lucia Raggetti

Traces of Ink. Experiences of Philology and Replication is a collection of original papers exploring the textual and material aspects of inks and ink-making in a number of premodern cultures (Babylonia, the Graeco-Roman world, the Syriac milieu and the Arabo-Islamic tradition). The volume proposes a fresh and interdisciplinary approach to the study of technical traditions, in which new results can be achieved thanks to the close collaboration between philologists and scientists. Replication represents a crucial meeting point between these two parties: a properly edited text informs the experts in the laboratory who, in turn, may shed light on many aspects of the text by recreating the material reality behind it.

Contributors are: Miriam Blanco Cesteros, Michele Cammarosano, Claudia Colini, Vincenzo Damiani, Sara Fani, Matteo Martelli, Ira Rabin, Lucia Raggetti, and Katja Weirauch.

Prices from (excl. VAT): €99.00 / $119.00 Hardback

E-Book (PDF)
Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-44480-5
Publication Date: 22 Feb 2021

Availability: Published
ISBN: 978-90-04-42111-0
Publication Date: 25 Feb 2021

Again, the E-Book (PDF) is Open Access. HT the AWOL Blog. For some PaleoJudaica posts on the study of ancient ink, see here and links, here, and (on inkwells) here and links.

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

On the Urfa Citadel

From Edessa to Urfa: The Fortification of the Citadel

Author: Cristina Tonghini. Paperback; 205x290mm; 270 pages; 190 figures, 6 tables, 39 plates (colour throughout). 725 2021. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789697568. Epublication ISBN 9781789697575.

From Edessa to Urfa: the Fortification of the Citadel is the outcome of an archaeological research project focused on a specific monumental area in the city of Urfa: its citadel. Urfa is better known to the general reader by its ancient name, Edessa. Three seasons of fieldwork were carried out (2014-2016), concentrating on the study of the evidence preserved above ground and employing the methods of stratigraphic analysis to identify the building sequence of the citadel and to characterise the various building phases. Transformation of the relative sequence into absolute chronology depended primarily on inscriptions in situ, but also on typological elements (masonry type, decorative elements, specific architectural forms). Data from the written sources also contributed relevant information regarding the development of the fortification works and the establishment of an absolute sequence.

In late antiquity the Aramaiac dialect (Syriac) spoken in Edessa (modern Urfa) spread across the Middle East and became the language of the Eastern Church for many centuries. Some PaleoJudaica posts on other discoveries at Edessa are here, here, here, here, and here.

Ephrem the Syrian (cf. here, here, and here) spent the last ten years of his life in Edessa. His vast corpus of Syriac hymns, poems, and biblical commentaries contributed to the importance of the language in the Eastern Church. Cross-file under Syriac Watch.

The citadel excavated by this team existed from as early as the third century CE.

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Alphabetic inscriptions from the third millennium BCE?

ROLLSTON EPIGRAPHY: Tell Umm el-Marra (Syria) and Early Alphabetic in the Third Millennium: Four Inscribed Clay Cylinders as a Potential Game Changer. This essay by Christopher Rollston is technical. But its point is that these inscribed cylinders may indicate that the Canaanite alphabet was invented 500 years earlier than anyone thought.

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

Friday, April 23, 2021

British Museum uncancels Nero

EXHIBITION: British Museum to restore Nero’s reputation after it was destroyed by Rome’s cancel culture (Robert Dex, Yahoo!Sport).
The ultimate victim of Ancient Rome’s “cancel culture” will be rehabilitated in a blockbuster show at the British Museum next month.

Nero: The Man Behind the Myth will examine how Rome’s fifth emperor had his reputation destroyed after his death with all mention of him deleted from official records and statues bearing his likeness torn down.


The British Museum Blog has a nicely illustrated post on Nero as introduction to the exhibition: Who was Nero?
Nero is one of Rome’s most infamous rulers, notorious for his cruelty, debauchery and eccentricity. But was he really the tyrant that history has painted him to be? Nero exhibition curator Francesca Bologna goes in search of the real Nero.
For PaleoJudaica posts on Nero as the Beast in the Book of Revelation, with ancient Jewish background and Antichrist-related history of interpretation, start here and follow the links. Other posts on Nero are here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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

Review of Friedeman (ed.) A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature

READING ACTS: Book Review: Caleb T. Friedeman, ed. A Scripture Index to Rabbinic Literature (Phil Long). I noted the publication of the book here.

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Seleznev et al. (eds.), The Gospel of Matthew in its Historical and Theological Context (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: The Gospel of Matthew in its Historical and Theological Context. Papers from the International Conference in Moscow, September 24 to 28, 2018. Edited by Mikhail Seleznev, William R. G. Loader, and Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr. 2021. IX, 470 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 459. 154,00 € including VAT. cloth ISBN 978-3-16-160104-0.
Published in English.
This volume includes eighteen essays on the Gospel of Matthew from historical and theological perspectives. They center around three topics: Matthew in Reception and Research; Matthew in Context; and Themes and Motifs in Matthew. The volume includes studies of both the Gospel in its context and its reception history in ancient Christianity and in churches today. All contributors are leading authorities in biblical studies on different continents, in a variety of countries, and of different confessions. The book therefore showcases the present state of inter-confessional and international biblical studies on Matthew.

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

Another Avalos obituary

DES MOINES REGISTER: ISU professor Hector Avalos, renowned in Latino/a/x, atheist/agnostic communities, dies at 62 (PHILLIP SITTER).

Background here and links.

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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Algorithm says 2 scribes wrote the Great Isaiah Scroll

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Cracking the code of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Artificial Intelligence tools enable researchers to ‘shake hands’ with ancient scribes (University of Groningen Press Release).
The Dead Sea Scrolls, discovered some seventy years ago, are famous for containing the oldest manuscripts of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and many hitherto unknown ancient Jewish texts. But the individual people behind the scrolls have eluded scientists, because the scribes are anonymous. Now, by combining the sciences and the humanities, University of Groningen researchers have cracked the code, which enables them to discover the scribes behind the scrolls. They presented their results in the journal PLOS ONE on 21 April.


Congratulations to the Groningen team for this important project. The press release gives a clear, relatively nontechnical summary of the underlying Plos One article. The article:
Artificial intelligence based writer identification generates new evidence for the unknown scribes of the Dead Sea Scrolls exemplified by the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa)

Mladen Popović , Maruf A. Dhali , Lambert Schomaker
Published: April 21, 2021


The Dead Sea Scrolls are tangible evidence of the Bible’s ancient scribal culture. This study takes an innovative approach to palaeography—the study of ancient handwriting—as a new entry point to access this scribal culture. One of the problems of palaeography is to determine writer identity or difference when the writing style is near uniform. This is exemplified by the Great Isaiah Scroll (1QIsaa). To this end, we use pattern recognition and artificial intelligence techniques to innovate the palaeography of the scrolls and to pioneer the microlevel of individual scribes to open access to the Bible’s ancient scribal culture. We report new evidence for a breaking point in the series of columns in this scroll. Without prior assumption of writer identity, based on point clouds of the reduced-dimensionality feature-space, we found that columns from the first and second halves of the manuscript ended up in two distinct zones of such scatter plots, notably for a range of digital palaeography tools, each addressing very different featural aspects of the script samples. In a secondary, independent, analysis, now assuming writer difference and using yet another independent feature method and several different types of statistical testing, a switching point was found in the column series. A clear phase transition is apparent in columns 27–29. We also demonstrated a difference in distance variances such that the variance is higher in the second part of the manuscript. Given the statistically significant differences between the two halves, a tertiary, post-hoc analysis was performed using visual inspection of character heatmaps and of the most discriminative Fraglet sets in the script. Demonstrating that two main scribes, each showing different writing patterns, were responsible for the Great Isaiah Scroll, this study sheds new light on the Bible’s ancient scribal culture by providing new, tangible evidence that ancient biblical texts were not copied by a single scribe only but that multiple scribes, while carefully mirroring another scribe’s writing style, could closely collaborate on one particular manuscript.

The story has received a lot of media attention.

It looks to me as though the algorithms have crossed a threshold. They now can perceive finer distinctions than the human brain can. They have to dumb down their results for us to understand. Hopefully we can trust them.

For past posts on algorithms applied to cuneiform studies, archaeology, paleography, and epigraphy, see here and follow the links. Cross-file unde Algorithm Watch and The Singularity is Near.

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

Afghanistan wants its "oldest" Hebrew siddur back

THE MUSEUM OF THE BIBLE IN THE NEWS: Afghanistan wants to repatriate stolen medieval Hebrew prayer book. The prayer book is currently in Washington DC’s Museum of the Bible (Gil Zohar, Jerusalem Post).
“It is our responsibility to get back our ancient treasures,” said Abdul Manan Shiwaysharq – the country’s Deputy Minister for Information and Publications in the Information and Culture Ministry – in the first-ever on-the-record interview between an Afghani official and an Israeli journalist.

Shiwaysharq argues photos of the ancient siddur in Kabul’s National Museum dating from 1998 contradict the ownership documents provided by the Museum of the Bible in Washington, DC. The MotB says it bought the siddur in 2013 from antiquities dealers in the UK who provided provenance documents showing the manuscript had been in Britain since the 1950s. The MotB paid $2.5 million for the prayer book. Though Shiwaysharq appraises the unique volume at $30m. for insurance purposes, it truly is priceless.

I have no opinion on the merits of the claim that the siddur was stolen. The principals and perhaps the courts will have to sort that out. I have a few thoughts on other matters.

First, the story behind this manuscript and its dating is complicated. On the one hand, early reports (see here and here) said that carbon dating, paleography, and the vocalization system all indicated that the manuscript was from the first part of the ninth century. On the other, there was soon dissent from specialists, who thought the manuscript looked much more recent. That was my reaction too when I saw the photo in the Jerusalem Post article above. One possibility mentioned was that a collection of older fragments was bound into the book "in modern times." Unfortunately, the links in the latter post have rotted.

Second, even if some or all the manuscript is from the ninth century, it is not "the world’s oldest Hebrew manuscript after the Dead Sea Scrolls" (or Judean Desert Scrolls). The carbonized Leviticus scroll from Ein Gedi was carbon dated to c. 300 CE. The London and Ashkar-Gilson fragments of Exodus are from c. 700 CE. Cambridge University Library, T-S NS 3.21, containing a fragment of Genesis, dates to c. 800 CE. For more on all three, see here and links. This is not necessarily a complete list, but it makes the point.

Third, I repeat my opinion that ancient artifacts are the heritage of humanity. They should be kept where they are safest. Sometimes that is not in their country of origin. I have commented on the issue here and mentioned it elsewhere. The people involved in the current controversy acknowledge the problem and have a constructive suggestion on how to address it.

Also, as I have noted before, the MOTB Gilgamesh fragment is in Akkadian, not Sumerian.

For more on the Museum of the Bible and the Green Collection, and the various problems that have arisen from their collecting, start here and follow the links.

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

Schliesser et al. (eds.), Alexandria. Hub of the Hellenistic World (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Alexandria. Hub of the Hellenistic World. Edited by Benjamin Schliesser, Jan Rüggemeier, Thomas J. Kraus, and Jörg Frey, with the assistance of Daniel Herrmann. 2021. L, 621 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 460. 154,00 € including VAT. cloth ISBN 978-3-16-159892-0.
Published in English.
Alexandria was one of the main hubs of the Hellenistic world and a cultural and religious »kaleidoscope.« Merchants and migrants, scientists and scholars, philosophers, and religious innovators from all over the world and from all social backgrounds came to this ancient metropolis and exchanged their goods, views, and dreams. Accordingly, Alexandria became a place where Hellenistic, Egyptian, Jewish, and early Christian identities all emerged, coexisted, influenced, and rivaled each other. In order to meet the diversity of Alexandria's urban life and to do justice to the variety of literary and non-literary documents that bear witness to this, the volume examines the processes of identity formation from a range of different academic perspectives. Thus, the present volume gathers together twenty-six contributions from the realm of archaeology, ancient history, classical philology, religious studies, philosophy, the Old Testament, narratology, Jewish studies, papyrology, and the New Testament.

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Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin!

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Another Tale of Thomas: The Acts of Thomas and His Wonderworking Skin (Jonathan D. Holste). Being flayed alive didn't slow Thomas down. Not a bit!

This is the fourth installment of a series on volume 2 of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (MNTA 2), ed. Tony Burke. I noted the first essay here, the second here, and the third here.

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

The Torah and tattoos

DR. DAVID BERNAT: Tattoos - What Exactly Is Prohibited? (
It is widely assumed that the Torah prohibits all tattoos. And yet, a look at the verse in context yields alternative understandings.
It scarcely helps when a biblical prohibition contain an hapax legomenon (a word that only appears once).

Related PaleoJudaica posts are here, here, and here. And follow the links from them for some posts on modern tattoos in ancient languages. These often turn out badly. It is wise not to get one unless you know the ancient language.

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

Dusenbury, The Innocence of Pontius Pilate (Hurst)

The Innocence of Pontius Pilate
How the Roman Trial of Jesus Shaped History

David Lloyd Dusenbury

How have Christianity and Empire been shaped by perceptions of Pilate’s role in the Crucifixion?

April 2021

The gospels and ancient historians agree: Jesus was sentenced to death by Pontius Pilate, the Roman imperial prefect in Jerusalem. To this day, Christians of all churches confess that Jesus died ‘under Pontius Pilate’. But what exactly does that mean?

Within decades of Jesus’ death, Christians began suggesting that it was the Judaean authorities who had crucified Jesus—a notion later echoed in the Qur’an. In the third century, one philosopher raised the notion that, although Pilate had condemned Jesus, he’d done so justly; this idea survives in one of the main strands of modern New Testament criticism. So what is the truth of the matter? And what is the history of that truth?

David Lloyd Dusenbury reveals Pilate’s ‘innocence’ as not only a neglected theological question, but a recurring theme in the history of European political thought. He argues that Jesus’ interrogation by Pilate, and Augustine of Hippo’s North African sermon on that trial, led to the concept of secularity and the logic of tolerance emerging in early modern Europe. Without the Roman trial of Jesus, and the arguments over Pilate’s innocence, the history of empire—from the first century to the twenty-first—would have been radically different.

The book looks at pagan and Christian debate over Pilate in late antiquity, with lots of indirect information on the attitude of both toward Jews.

There is a detailed review by David Keys in the Independent: Revealed: the ancient propaganda war that led to the triumph of Christianity.

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

Phoenician artifacts in the British Museum

PHOENICIAN WATCH: 21 Interesting Phoenician Artifacts You’ll Find On Display At The British Museum In London (Souad Lazkani, The961). The collection includes a marble coffin, carved ivory decorations, glass and ceramic jugs, metal statues and bowls, carved seals, inscribed objects, and lots of ancient bling.

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T&T Clark Handbook for Septuagint Research (ed. Ross & Glenny)

WILLIAM ROSS: IT’S FINALLY HERE! THE HANDBOOK FOR SEPTUAGINT RESEARCH. I noted the T&T Clark Handbook for Septuagint Research (ed. William A. Ross and W. Edward Glenny) as forthcoming and then available for pre-order. It is now published and shipping.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Grappling with Joshua's conquest

DR. GILI KUGLER: Joshua’s Conquest: A Cultural and Pedagogical Dilemma in Modern Israel (
Ben-Gurion saw the IDF as a modern instantiation of Joshua’s military might. The Israeli writer and politician S. Yizhar, in contrast, asserted that we should discard Joshua because of the violence and wholesale slaughter recounted in the book. Contemporary Israeli teachers grapple with the question of how to teach students such a core story of Jewish history that is fraught with moral problems.

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

Avalos obituary

IOWA STATE DAILY: Hector Avalos: A lifelong teacher (Katherine Kealey).

Background here.

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

Eliphaz and the Polyanna Psalm

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Books Against Books (Philip Jenkins).

For PaleoJudaica posts on Psalm 91, some interacting with earlier posts by Professor Jenkins, see here and links and here. And for some interaction with that post on Ezekiel, see here. Yes, I know the link has rotted.

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

Garber, Teaching the Historical Jesus (Routledge)

Teaching the Historical Jesus
Issues and Exegesis

Edited By Zev Garber

Copyright Year 2015



ISBN 9780367738891
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
284 Pages

Book Description

Teaching the Historical Jesus in his Jewish context to students of varied religious backgrounds presents instructors with not only challenges, but also opportunities to sustain interfaith dialogue and foster mutual understanding and respect. This new collection explores these challenges and opportunities, gathering together experiential lessons drawn from teaching Jesus in a wide variety of settings—from the public, secular two- or four-year college, to the Jesuit university, to the Rabbinic school or seminary, to the orthodox, religious Israeli university. A diverse group of Jewish and Christian scholars reflect on their own classroom experiences and explicates crucial issues for teaching Jesus in a way that encourages students at every level to enter into an encounter with the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament without paternalism, parochialism, or prejudice. This volume is a valuable resource for instructors and graduate students interested in an interfaith approach in the classroom, and provides practical case studies for scholars working on Jewish-Christian relations.

The book was published in 2015, but I missed it then. The recent paperback release provides a good excuse to note it.

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Monday, April 19, 2021

The Antikythera Mechanism and astronomy

THE ANTIKYTHERA MECHANISM has been in the news lately:

World’s first computer was the fusion of finest Greek and Middle Eastern scientific knowledge. Greek physicist Aris Dacanalis who is part of the team that has finally put together the puzzle of how the world’s first computer, the Antikythera Mechanism, worked, spoke to Neos Kosmos about what it would have taken to build such a machine in ancient times. (Alex Economou, Neos Kosmos)

“The device could have been made by one person or a team of up to ten specialists. A Hellenistic kingdom like Egypt under the Ptolemies would have had the vast resources to pay for a highly specialised team that would have included an astronomer, a mathematician and highly skilled craftsmen who would have been engineers in their own right,” said Mr Dacanalis. “There was a tradition of engineering in Alexandria under the Ptolemies who were patrons of the arts and who also funded research.”


“No single culture had the means to make this device. This is the merging of two cultures – the marriage of Babylonian observations of the stars and the mathematical methods that they developed combined with Greek geometry and cosmological models.

New Model of Ancient Astronomical Device Reveals a ‘Creation of Genius’ (George Dvorsky, Gizmodo)
By building a digital model of the Antikythera Mechanism, scientists may have finally exposed a key function of the ancient device, revealing a design that required some seriously advanced thinking.


“Solving this complex 3D puzzle reveals a creation of genius—combining cycles from Babylonian astronomy, mathematics from Plato’s Academy and ancient Greek astronomical theories,” wrote the authors, which included mechanical engineer Adam Wojcik, also from UCL.

Indeed, the ancient Babylonians chronicled the motions of the planets, while the ancient Greek philosopher Parmenides developed a mathematical model to explain these movements.

In addition Bryn Mayr Classical Review has just published a relevant review: Hellenistic astronomy: the science in its contexts
Alan Bowen, Francesca Rochberg, Hellenistic astronomy: the science in its contexts. Brill's companions in classical studies. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2020. Pp. xxxii, 751. ISBN 9789004400566 €197,00.

Review by
Ulla Koch, Copenhagen University.

Babylonian, Greek, and Alexandrian astronomy, perhaps with Ptolemaic engineering, are at work in the Antikythera Mechanism. The book has many relevant articles, as well as a couple on ancient Jewish astronomy and astrology.

PaleoJudaica posts on the Antikythera Mechanism are collected here with comments. Ancient Enochic astronomy also drew on Hellenistic and Babylonian traditions.

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

Coins, ancient and modern

NUMISMATICS: Ancient Coins Tell the Story of the Jewish People. From the Roman conquest of Judea to the rebirth of Israel (Harold Witkov, Ancient coins were a vehicle for political propaganda. But that can work both ways.

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

Was the Rebellious Son a glutton or an idolator?

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: Excessive and Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible (Rebekah Welton).

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The Life of Mary Magdalene

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: “Bringing the West Back East, or How to Make Sure the Magdalene Belongs to Byzantium: The Life of Mary Magdalene” (Christine Luckritz Marquis).

This is the third installment of a series on volume 2 of New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (MNTA 2). I noted the first essay here and the second here.

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

Sunday, April 18, 2021

King (ed.), The Syriac World (Routledge)

The Syriac World

Edited By Daniel King

Copyright Year 2019




Open access content is available for this title.
ISBN 9780367732363
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
896 Pages

Book Description

This volume surveys the 'Syriac world', the culture that grew up among the Syriac-speaking communities from the second century CE and which continues to exist and flourish today, both in its original homeland of Syria and Mesopotamia, and in the worldwide diaspora of Syriac-speaking communities. The five sections examine the religion; the material, visual, and literary cultures; the history and social structures of this diverse community; and Syriac interactions with their neighbours ancient and modern. There are also detailed appendices detailing the patriarchs of the different Syriac denominations, and another appendix listing useful online resources for students.

The Syriac World offers the first complete survey of Syriac culture and fills a significant gap in modern scholarship. This volume will be an invaluable resource to undergraduate and postgraduate students of Syriac and Middle Eastern culture from antiquity to the modern era.

Chapter 26 of this book is freely available as a downloadable Open Access PDF under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives 3.0 license.

Chapter 26 is on "Syriac Medicine." I noted a review of the book when it came out in hardback in 2019.

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Loader, Sexuality and Gender (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: William R. G. Loader. Sexuality and Gender. Collected Essays. 2021. IX, 463 pages. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 458. 154,00 € including VAT. cloth ISBN 978-3-16-160199-6.
Published in English. This collection brings together a wide range of essays on themes related to sexuality and gender, written by William R. G. Loader, who has published widely on attitudes towards sexuality in early Jewish and Christian literature. The essays explore connections and make comparisons among the ancient texts, seeking to understand them in the light of their religious and cultural contexts, providing summaries, and pursuing key themes, from subtle changes in the Septuagint, to the Pseudepigrapha, the Dead Sea Scrolls, Philo, and the New Testament.

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Virtual Baalbek

PHOENICIAN WATCH: Virtual Tour Restores Baalbek’s Stunning Roman Temples to Their Former Glory. The free online experience allows users to toggle between views of the ancient Lebanese city today and as it appeared in 215 A.D. (Livia Gershon, Smithsonian Magazine).
The free app—available for computer, mobile devices and virtual reality headsets—offers interactive, 360-degree views of 38 locations in the city, reports Robert McKelvey for Al Jazeera. Users can listen to expert audio commentary in Arabic, English, French or German and call up additional images and text for more information about specific spots. They can also toggle between seeing the buildings as they appear today and as they looked almost 2,000 years ago.
A couple of recent PaleoJudaica posts on the site of Baalbek are here and here.

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

They found WHAT in Egypt?

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Egyptian “Lost Golden City” Uncovered Near Luxor. Archaeology reveals aspects of daily life 3,000 years ago, at height of Egypt’s power.

Recently I noted that, surprisingly, Egypt is still producing important archaeological discoveries even in heavily explored areas like the Pyramid grounds. I wondered, "Who knows what important archaeological treasures remain to be found in Egypt and elsewhere?"

And now archaeologists have just noticed a misplaced city near the Valley of the Kings.

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