Saturday, August 19, 2023

Syriac PhD program at Turkish university

SYRIAC WATCH: Turkish uni to offer doctoral program in Syriac language (Daily Sabah).
Mardin Artuklu University (MAU) on Tuesday announced the launch of a doctoral program within the Syriac Language and Culture Department, part of the Institute of Living Languages.


This is good news! For more on the founding and development of the Syriac program at Mardin Artuklu University, see here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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Friday, August 18, 2023

Review of The Rediscovery of Shenoute

BRYN MAYR CLASSICAL REVIEW: The rediscovery of Shenoute: studies in honor of Stephen Emmel.
Anne Boud'hors, David Brakke, Andrew Crislip, Samuel Moawad, The rediscovery of Shenoute: studies in honor of Stephen Emmel. Orientalia Lovaniensia analecta, 310. Leuven; Paris; Bristol: Peeters, 2022. Pp. xxii, 546. ISBN 9789042948303

Review by
Ellen Muehlberger, University of Michigan.

[Authors and titles are listed at the end of the review.]

Shenoute of Atripe was many things: leader of the White Monastery in Upper Egypt from about 385 C.E. until his death some time in the first part of the fifth century; the organizer of an extended group of Christian monastic communities for both men and women; a defender of orthodoxy who was not afraid to break a window or throw a punch; a preacher who indicted everyone from liars, adulterers, and demon worshippers to wage thieves and the merely half-hearted. What Shenoute has not been, though, is well-known to most modern scholars of the ancient world. He wrote in Coptic, a language that has not benefitted from being labeled one of the “classics”; instead of being transmitted and studied in an established discipline, Shenoute’s works, collected and edited at his own monastery, remained there for the most part until the great extractive force of the colonial antiquities market gave those pages value, and thus wings. ...

Some PaleoJudaica posts on Shenoute and the White Monastery are here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

Cross-file under Coptic Watch.

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Review of Henze & Lincicum (eds.) Israel’s Scriptures in Early Christian Writings

READING ACTS: Matthias Henze and David Lincicum, eds. Israel’s Scriptures in Early Christian Writings (Phil Long).
Israel’s Scriptures in Early Christian Writings collects forty-two essays on topics related to how early Christian writers used the Jewish scripture they inherited. As Henze and Lincicum explain in their introduction, the Scriptures of Israel “forms the cultural encyclopedia necessary to understand what Jesus and his earliest followers did and thought” (1). Not only did the writers of the New Testament interact extensively with Israel Scriptures, they “inherited strategies of scriptural interpretation from their Jewish predecessors” (1). This volume, therefore, expresses the state of the question and presses the field forward into new avenues of scholarship. In doing so, they stand on the shoulders of Krister Stendahl (School of Matthew, 1968) and Richard Hays (Echoes of Scripture in Paul, 1989). However, even though the authors of the New Testament are either “Jews or Judaphiles,” not all New Testament scriptural interpretations are easily illustrated in Jewish literature, nor can all types of scriptural interpretation in contemporary Judaism be illustrated in the New Testament.


I noted the publication of the book here.

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Thursday, August 17, 2023

Megiddo "Jesus" mosaic to be loaned to Museum of the Bible?

ARCHAEOLOGY, EPIGRAPHY, DECORATIVE ART, POLITICS: Israel may uproot ancient Christian mosaic, send it to US Evangelical museum. Megiddo Mosaic could be loaned to Museum of the Bible in Washington; some worry it will be used in ideological, rather than archaeological, context (Ilan Ben Zion, AP via Times of Israel).

For the Megiddo mosaics, including the one that refers to "the God Jesus Christ," see here and links. For more on the Museum of the Bible, follow the links from here, notably here.

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

Gold coins and baby sacrifices excavated at Carthage

PUNIC WATCH: Rare golden gifts — left at a sacrificial site 2,300 years ago — uncovered in Tunisia. (Aspen Pflughoeft; "Google Translate was used to translate the news release from Tunisia’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs and articles from RT and Shems FM").
Archaeologists excavating the tophet [at the site of Carthage] uncovered a collection of offerings, Tunisia’s Ministry of Cultural Affairs said in an Aug. 11 news release. They found five gold coins from 2,300 years ago, tombstones and several urns with the remains of animals, infants and premature babies.

The rare gold coins are about an inch in size and have a design showing the face of Tanit, an ancient goddess of fertility and motherhood, the Tunisian outlet Shems FM reported. Photos show a few of the still-shiny golden treasures.

For many PaleoJudaica posts on ancient Carthage, its history, and its archaeology, start here and follow the links. For a brief history, see here. Also see "Carthage" in the archive. For the gold coinage of Carthage, see here. For ancient Tunisian coinage more generally, see here and links. For the Punic (and Phoenician?) goddess Tanit (Tannit), the "Snake Lady," see here and links. For the issue of child sacrifice at Carthage, see here and links.

Cross-file unde Numismatics.

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

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

First-century CE synagogue excavated on the Cimmerian Bosporus

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: One of the World's Oldest Synagogues Has Just Been Discovered (Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek)
Archaeologists say they have discovered one of the world's earliest synagogues at the site of an ancient city.

A team of experts made the find during excavations at the archaeological site of Phanagoria, which is on the Taman Peninsula in southwestern Russia. The ancient settlement was founded by Greek settlers around the middle of the 6th century B.C. on the peninsula, which borders the Sea of Azov to the north and the Black Sea to the south.


Reportedly, two inscriptions identifying the building as a "house of worship" and "synagogue" date to the first century C.E.

For additional background, see Ruth Schuster's article in Haaretz: Synagogue From Late Second Temple Period Found by Black Sea in Russia. Identity of the house of worship from about 2,000 years ago confirmed by menorah engravings and inscriptions calling it a ‘synagogue’, Phanagoria excavation director Vladimir Kuznetsov explains.

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

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Briquel Chatonnet & Debie, The Syriac World (Yale)

The Syriac World
In Search of a Forgotten Christianity

by Francoise Briquel Chatonnet and Muriel Debie
Translated by Jeffrey Haines

304 Pages, 6.12 x 9.25 in, 68 b-w illus.

Published: Tuesday, 20 Jun 2023


A comprehensive survey of Syriac Christianity over three thousand years

Syriac is often referred to as the third main language of Christianity, along with Latin and Greek, and it remains a foundational classical, literary, and religious language throughout the world. Originating in Mesopotamia along the Roman and Parthian frontiers, it was never the language of a powerful state or ethnic group, but with the coming of Christianity it developed into a rich religious and cultural tradition. At the same time that Christianity was making its way through Europe, Syriac missionaries were founding churches from the Mediterranean coast to Persia, converting the Turkic tribes of Central Asia, and building communities in India and China.

This comprehensive work tells the underexplored story of the Syriac world over three thousand years, from its pre-Christian roots in the Aramaic tribes and the ancient Near East to its vibrant expressions in modern diaspora churches. Enhanced with images, songs, poems, and important primary texts, this book shows the importance of Syriac history, theology, and literature in the twenty-first century.

This is a translation of their 2017 French book.

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Monday, August 14, 2023

The Ma'on synagogue mosaic

DECORATIVE ART: Ancient Ma'on synagogue in Israel's southern Negev features mosaic floor. Historic synagogue testifies to existence of Jewish community in the Christian town All Israel News). Nice photos.

I noted the 2009 discovery of the mosaic here. Another post on the site is here.

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

Sunday, August 13, 2023

More excavations at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

ANCIENT ARCHITECTURE: Round-the-clock excavations at Church of Holy Sepulchre yield historical treasures. Continued work on a two-year, $11 million cooperative restoration project reveals fascinating details from centuries of patchwork building at one of Christianity’s holiest sites (MELANIE LIDMAN, Times of Israel).
The most recent excavation revealed more information about the early Christian layout of the Edicule, parts of which date to the 4th century. Under one of the floor slabs, archaeologists discovered a coin hoard that included coins minted up until the time of Roman Emperor Valens (364-378).

Other interesting discoveries include a fragment of wall cladding, or the exterior of the wall, from the main Edicule, covered with graffiti from the 18th century in various languages, including Greek, Latin and Armenian.

For some PaleoJudaica posts on the recent renovations and excavations in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre (Holy Sepulcher), see here, here, here, here, here, and here. And follow the many links for much more on the Church.

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