Saturday, October 29, 2022

Review of Clark, Melania the Younger

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Melania the Younger: from Rome to Jerusalem.
Elizabeth A. Clark, Melania the Younger: from Rome to Jerusalem. Women in antiquity. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2021. Pp. 304. ISBN 9780190888237 $29.95.

Review by
Joseph Reisdoerfer, Institut grand-ducal, Section de Linguistique. reisdoe@gmail.com

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

Friday, October 28, 2022

Review of Hope & Bowen, Kellis

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: Kellis: a Roman-period village in Egypt’s Dakhleh Oasis
Colin A. Hope, Gillian E. Bowen, Kellis: a Roman-period village in Egypt's Dakhleh Oasis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022. Pp. 400. ISBN 9780521190329 £105,00.

Review by
Robert J. Littman, University of Hawai'i at Manoa. littman@hawaii.edu

... The neglected site of Kellis, a village in the Dakhleh Oasis in the Western Desert, dating from the first to the fourth centuries CE, has proven to be a treasure trove of data and artifacts about Roman Egypt. ...

For PaleoJudaica posts on the important site of Kellis, see here links. Cross-file under Coptic Watch

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

Ancient material culture for blind scholars

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Accessing the Ancient Mediterranean Studies Classroom (Daniel C. Smith).
“I don’t think material culture has anything for you,” said a senior scholar to me, a blind student in my first semester of a Master’s program. “You’d be better off sticking to texts.” The comment was offered in response to my request for a letter of recommendation for an archaeological grant regularly awarded to students at the institution and, while certainly not offered in malice, this feedback constricted my scholarly imagination—my sense of what questions and methods I could pursue—for years.

[...]

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

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Review of the Aleppo Synagogue exhibition

BIBLE HISTORY DAILY: Step into the Aleppo Synagogue. VR exhibit displays a lost wonder on the verge of its destruction (Nathan Steinmeyer).
Step into the great Aleppo Synagogue, one of the most important synagogues in the world and home to the oldest Hebrew Bible in existence, the Aleppo Codex. At least, that was how the Aleppo Synagogue would have been described before its destruction in 1947. Now an incredible virtual reality experience is bringing this lost wonder back to life.

[...]

PaleoJudaica posts on this exhibition are here and here. Follow the links from there for many posts on the Aleppo Codex of the Hebrew Bible.

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

Retellable Gilgamesh?

THE ANCIENT NEAR EAST TODAY: Prismatic Gilgamesh (Sophus Helle).
Faced with this abundance of versions, I find myself asking two questions. One: What is it about Gilgamesh’s story that renders it so endlessly retellable? And two: How might a would-be translator (or playwright or composer or painter or filmmaker) contribute to this already impressive lineage? I will argue that the answer to the first question provides us with an immediate answer to the second.
For many PaleoJudaic posts on Gilgamesh, his Epic, and his importance for the study of ancient Judaism, see here and links, here, and here and links

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

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Wetzel, Violence and Divine Victory in the Book of Esther (Mohr Siebeck)

NEW BOOK FROM MOHR SIEBECK: Thomas Wetzel. Violence and Divine Victory in the Book of Esther. 2022. IX, 198 pages. Forschungen zum Alten Testament 2. Reihe 136.74,00 € including VAT. sewn paper ISBN 978-3-16-160660-1.
Published in English.
Thomas Wetzel offers a new way to understand the violence and religious absence long emphasized in readings of the Hebrew version of the Esther story. By tracing the vestiges of Jewish liturgical activity described in the story as well as the story's reliance on the tradition of the Divine Combat myth, the author uncovers a profound, yet intentionally hidden, religious sensibility within the story's narrative world. These connections link the Esther story to the great acts of deliverance in the larger biblical tradition, but also bring into sharp focus the biblical view that Israel's survival and sometimes violent deliverance remain the definitive sign of the Lord's ongoing and active presence in creation. The author's conclusion suggests that this understanding has profound implications for Jewish-Christian dialogue and for the future existence and practice of the two communities.

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

Hybrid event: Were Ezra and Nehemiah Real People?

PLANET PRINCETON: Were Ezra and Nehemiah Real People? A lecture by Dr Mark Leuchter on Monday 14 November 2022 in person and on Zoom. Follow the link for details and registration information.

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

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Paleomagnetic archaeology

TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Archaeologists Reconstruct Biblical Conflicts Using Earth’s Magnetic Field. Israel is full of ancient ruins, but who destroyed what and when? Earth’s magnetic field is helping researchers identify remains of wars described in the Bible (Ariel David, Haaretz).
Questions over the dating of ancient sites in the Levant are not purely academic. They lie at the heart of the longstanding debate over fact and fiction in the Bible.

Now a new scientific technique based on information from the Earth’s ever-changing magnetic field is helping archaeologists date their finds and reconstruct biblical conflicts that occurred in the Iron Age – that is the period that goes from the 12th to the sixth century B.C.E. and spans the rise and fall of the biblical kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

For more on the the use of archaeomagnetic dating in Israel, see here.

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

The kibbutz as an unexpected influence

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Unexpected Influences with Mira Balberg.
... The first time I saw kibbutz regulations (takanonim) from the 20th century, I was astounded by their similarity to the Mishnah in terms of their ambition to cover every aspect of everyday life and every possible scenario. ...

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

Monday, October 24, 2022

The Bruriah Episode: Talmudic apocrypha? Rashi apocrypha?

TALMUD WATCH: The Mysterious Bruriah Episode (Eitam Henkin).
An excerpt from the work of Eitam Henkin, a brilliant doctoral student who was murdered by terrorists in front of his four young children
This article is a reprinted chapter of his book, Studies in Halakhah and Rabbinic History (Koren, 2022). Excerpt:
Despite our dismissal of the aforementioned claims, the reliability of the Bruriah Episode is worthy of clarification. Rashi’s source is unknown to us. The story does not appear anywhere in Talmudic literature, it is not mentioned in Ge’onic writings, nor do we find even a single mention of it in the period of the Rishonim, except for Rashi (and, in his wake, Menorat HaMa’or and Maharil, as we shall presently see). The story is singular and improbable, casting two exceptional Talmudic figures in a most problematic light.
For a review of the book see What the Straus Center Is Reading — Studies in Halakhah and Rabbinic History (Stu Halpern, YU News).

Mosaic also has a 2020 essay by David Wolpe on the Bruriah tradition: The Woman Who Earned a Place Alongside the Rabbis of the Talmud. Bruriah is the only female cited repeatedly as a religious authority, and rarely shown in the roles the Talmud generally associates with women. Who was she?

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

Arab Archaeologists in Israel

ARCHAEOLOGY AND ARCHAEOLOGISTS: The Groundbreaking Work of Arab Archeologists in Israel. Over the years, Arabs who sought to work as archaeologists were looked on with suspicion by Jews and Arabs alike. Haaretz speaks with pioneers in the field about their challenges and achievements (Nir Hasson, Haaretz).
Fortunately for the first generation of Arab archaeologists in Israel, the early ‘90s brought two developments which significantly influenced the field: In 1990, the Israel Antiquities Authority was established, replacing the Antiquities Department that had operated as a small department within the Education Ministry. This coincided with a construction boom all over the country thanks to the need to house the hundreds of thousands of immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Archaeological remains were discovered at many construction sites, and there was great demand for archaeologists to supervise rescue excavations – digs conducted in advance of construction or development. Many of the students who completed their bachelor’s degree in archaeology at the time were hired by the Israel Antiquities Authority. Some of them advanced to senior positions.

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

Symposium in memory of Shaul Shaked

UPCOMING CONFERENCE: Yahwism under the Achaemenid Empire. Prof. Shaul Shaked in memoriam. University of Haifa @ Hadarim center | 20-22.12.2022.
This three-day international symposium—in memory of the late Prof. Shaul Shaked—is dedicated to the study of the touch-points between diverse Yahwistic communities throughout the Achaemenid empire and the Iranian attributes of the empire that ruled over them for about two centuries. This is arguably the most formative period in the development, redaction and composition of some of the most central texts within the Jewish (and, by extension, Christian) heritage. However, there has historically been too little dialogue between scholars of Achaemenid history and linguistics and those of Jewish history, Bible scholarship, archeology and Semitics.

To respond to these lacunae, the conference’s approach is fundamentally interdisciplinary. It brings together scholars of Achaemenid history, literature and religion, Iranian linguistics, historians of the Ancient Near East, archeologists, biblical scholars and Semiticists.

Follow the link for the presentation schedule and registration information. This conference appears to be on-site only.

For more on the late Professor Shaul Shaked, see here and links, plus here.

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

Sunday, October 23, 2022

PROVERBS, QOHELETH, AND SONG OF SONGS ACCORDING TO THE SYRIAC PESHITTA VERSION WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION (Gorgias)

NEW BOOK FROM GORGIAS PRESS:
PROVERBS, QOHELETH, AND SONG OF SONGS ACCORDING TO THE SYRIAC PESHITTA VERSION WITH ENGLISH TRANSLATION
English Translation by Robert J. Owens; Text Prepared by George Anton Kiraz & Joseph Bali

This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars.

Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-3911-4

Formats Cloth

Publication Status: In Print
Series: Surath Kthob
Publication Date: Aug 23,2022
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 7 x 10
Page Count: 368
Languages: English, Syriac
ISBN: 978-1-4632-3911-4

$150.00

OVERVIEW

This volume is part of a series of English translations of the Syriac Peshitta along with the Syriac text carried out by an international team of scholars. Owens has translated the text, while Kiraz has prepared the Syriac text in the west Syriac script, fully vocalized and pointed. The translation and the Syriac text are presented on facing pages so that both can be studied together. All readers are catered for: those wanting to read the text in English, those wanting to improve their grasp of Syriac by reading the original language along with a translation, and those wanting to focus on a fully vocalized Syriac text.

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