Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Alan R. Millard (1937-2024)

SAD NEWS: Word has been coming in from multiple sources that Alan R. Millard has passed away. Jack Sasson posted the following message om the Agade List:
Lawson Younger <lyounger@tiu.edu> shared the unhappy news that Alan Millard passed away a couple of days ago. I will post funeral arrangements that come to me ============

It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Alan Millard, FSA, of Leamington Spa, England on 5 June 2024 at the age of 86 after a heart attack. Millard was Rankin Professor Emeritus of Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages, and Honorary Senior Fellow (Ancient Near East), at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology (SACE) in the University of Liverpool.

Millard was born 1 December 1937. His experiences as a youth investigating Roman ruins in Britain begot a life-long interest in archaeology of the ancient past. He was involved in British archaeological expeditions in Syria: Tell Nebi Mend (ancient Qadesh) and Tell Rifʿat (ancient Arpad), and in Iraq: Nimrud (ancient Kalḫu), publishing the important alphabetic inscriptions on ivories from Nimrud. He rediscovered the Epic of Atrahasis, which had remained in a drawer at the British Museum unrecognized for several decades (published with W. G. Lambert, 1969). From 1964 to 1970 he was Librarian at Tyndale House, Cambridge. In 1970, he was appointed Rankin Lecturer in Hebrew and Ancient Semitic Languages at the University of Liverpool. He was a Fellow at the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in 1984, studying with a team led by Yigael Yadin. Millard’s greatest interest was in ancient Semitic epigraphy, and in editing Akkadian cuneiform tablets and Aramaic inscriptions.

The practices of ancient Near Eastern scribes was a subject that was a continual interest since this bore on his Evangelical Christian belief in the essential historicity of the Bible. Millard was Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a member of the Society for Old Testament Study, and served as the Vice-Chairman of the British School of Archaeology in Iraq. He was the recipient of two Festschriften.

Alan Millard was a true Christian gentleman and scholar, a mentor and friend. He will be greatly missed.

His Wikipedia page is here (courtesy of Todd Bolen at the Bible Places Blog).

I never met Professor Millard, but I was fortunate to read his and Lambert's edition of the Akkadian Atrahasis Epic with William Moran in the mid-1980s.

Requiescat in pace.

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