The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts & Pictures (Vol. 2)
Pritchard (J.), Ed.
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Amazon Customer Review

  1. This and its companion volume ("Pritchard (J.), Ed. - The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts & Pictures (Vol. 1)") is a collection of academic translations of key ancient near and middle eastern texts which have a bearing on the Old Testament. It is supplemented by black and white photographs of key finds which are probably rather less useful, since colour images are now readily available.
  2. The importance of reading primary ancient texts as opposed to commentaries that merely refer to them cannot be over-emphasised. Even in fragmentary form - which some of these texts are - the poems, stories and treatises themselves draw us into their own cultural context. This is a much better position to evaluate them from than merely seeing them as objects to be mined for their bearing on Old Testament topics.
  3. For example, most people who are aware of the Gilgamesh Epic - including many theology undergraduates - seem to believe that it is primarily a parallel to the story of Noah. In fact, reading it in either this or one of the other translations makes it clear that the story of Utnapishtim is largely incidental to Gilgamesh, which is about the quest for immortality.
  4. Again, reading commentaries on Ecclesiastes might easily give the impression that the book is merely an example of Pessimism Literature. These two volumes contain the three texts which are generally referred to. Reading here, it becomes clear that the categorisation is an extremely loose one: the parallel texts stand in their own right, but they are largely dissimilar from Ecclesiastes.
  5. Reading extra-Biblical primary texts - even in translation - is a discipline which is sadly missing both in the liberal-critical and evangelical schools of Biblical study. I cannot recommend these two volumes highly enough.

  1. In this volume we have sought to make readily available to the serious student some of the most important recently discovered source materials for the history of the ancient Near East. In aim and format it is a sequel to a volume which we edited seventeen years ago, The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures (Princeton, 1958). Since that volume appeared, however, archaeology has provided a wealth of new material for understanding the peoples of the ancient Near East and their cultures. Not only have new literary texts come to light but previously known ones have been more precisely interpreted, and scientifically controlled excavations have succeeded in supplying new documentation for the art, architecture, religion, and daily life in the ancient world. It is the increment of the more recent discoveries that we have sought to present in this volume.
  2. The anthology published in 19581 was an abridgment of two larger volumes intended for the professional student of the ancient Near East: Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (abbreviated ANET), 1950, 2nd ed. 1955; and The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament (ANEP), 1954. Both of these volumes have been published in new editions that incorporate the newly discovered materials, ANET (3rd edition, 1969) and ANEP (2nd edition, 1969). (The supplementary material was published simultaneously in a volume, The Ancient Near East: Supplementary Texts and Pictures Relating to the Old Testament, 1969.) The present volume is an abridgment intended for the more general public of the supplementary materials in the latest editions of ANET and ANEP.
  3. The reference in the margin at the beginning of each text is to the third edition of ANET, where the interested reader can find more detailed bibliographic information and footnotes that give philological discussions by the translator. Similarly, references in the List of Illustrations to the publication in the second edition of ANEP will direct the reader to the detailed descriptions and bibliography for each of the pictures.
  4. Within the translations certain conventions have been followed in the signs and notations.
    • Italics have been used to designate doubtful translations of a known text and for transliterations of the original text.
    • Square brackets are employed for restorations in the text made by the translator;
    • Round brackets (parentheses) have been put around interpolations made for a better understanding of the translation;
    • Obvious scribal omissions have been placed between triangular brackets.
    • A lacuna has been indicated by three dots;
    • In case the lacuna comes before a final sentence dot, four dots appear.
    • References to the tablets, columns, and lines of the text have been given usually in parentheses either within the translation, as in prose, or in the right-hand margin when the form is poetry.
    • Capital Roman numerals indicate the number of the tablet or some other well-recognized division;
    • Lower-case Roman numerals have been used for columns;
    • Arabic numerals indicate the line or lines.
  5. It is fitting that acknowledgment be made and thanks expressed to the many excavators, museum directors, and scholarly friends who have kindly supplied photographs and given permission for their inclusion in the second edition of ANEP, from which this selection is taken.

    List of Illustrations – xiii
  1. Akkadian Myths and Epics (A. K. Grayson)
    • The Creation Epic: Addition to Tablet V – 1
    • Nergal and Ereshkigal – 5
    • The Myth of Zu – 17
    • A Babylonian Theogony – 26
  2. A Hittite Myth (Albrecht Goetze)
    • El, Ashertu and the Storm-god – 29
  3. Laws From Mesopotamia (J.J. Finkelstein)
    • The Laws of Ur-Nammu – 31
    • Sumerian Laws – 35
    • Edict of Ammisaduqa – 36
  4. Treaties
    • Hittite Treaty (Albrecht Goetze) – 42
    • Akkadian Treaties from Syria and Assyria (Erica Reiner)
    • Treaty between Niqmepa of Alalakh and Ir-'dIM of Tunip – 46
    • Treaty between Idrimi and Pilliya – 48
    • Treaty between Ashurnirari V of Assyria and Mati'ilu of Arpad – 49
    • Treaty of Esarhaddon with Baal of Tyre – 52
    • The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon – 53
  5. Documents From The Practice Of Law
    • Mesopotamian Legal Documents (J. J. Finkelstein) – 70
    • Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine (H. L. Ginsberg) – 83
  6. Egyptian Historical Texts (John A. Wilson)
    • Asiatics in Egyptian Household Service – 87
    • The War against the Hyksos – 89
    • The Dedication of the Shamash Temple by Yahdun-Lim – 94
    • The Story of Idrimi, King of Alalakh – 96
    • The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II – 99
    • The Mother of Nabonidus – 104
    • Nabonidus and His God – 108
    • The Conquest of Jerusalem – 112
    • The Assyrian King List – 113
    • The Uruk King List from Kandalanu to Seleucus II – 118
    • A Seleucid King List – 119
  8. Palestinian Inscriptions (W. F. Albright)
    • A Letter from the Time of Josiah – 121
    • Three Ostraca from Arad – 122
  9. Sumerian Hymns (S. N. Kramer)
    • Hymn to Ninurta as God of Vegetation – 123
    • Hymn to Ninurta as a God of Wrath – 124
    • Hymnal Prayer of Enheduanna: The Adoration of Inanna of Ur – 126
    • The King of the Road; A Self-Laudatory Shulgi Hymn – 132
  10. Sumerian Wisdom Text (S. N. Kramer)
    • Man and His God: A Sumerian Variation of the "Job" Motif – 136
  11. Akkadian Didactic and Wisdom Literature (Robert D. Biggs)
    • Akkadian Fable – 142
    • Counsels of Wisdom – 145
    • Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, "I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom" – 148
    • The Babylonian Theodicy – 160
  12. Akkadian Oracles And Prophecies (Robert D. Biggs)
    • Oracles Concerning Esarhaddon – 168
    • A Letter to Ashurbanipal – 170
    • An Oracular Dream Concerning Ashurbanipal – 170
    • Prophecies – 171
  13. Akkadian Letters (William L. Moran)
    • Divine Revelations – 175
    • The Substitute King – 186
    • A Happy Reign – 187
    • A Royal Decree of Equity – 188
    • A Letter to a God – 188
    • Punishment by Fire – 188
    • Treaties and Coalitions – 189
    • "The God of My Father" – igo
    • A Loan between Gentlemen – 191
    • A Boy to His Mother – 191
  14. Aramaic Letter (H. L. Ginsberg)
    • Assignment to a New Lessor of Land Abandoned in the Egyptian Rebellion of 410 B.C. – 193
  15. Miscellaneous Sumerian Texts (S. N. Kramer)
    • Dumuzi and Inanna: Love in the Gipar – 195
    • Dumuzi and Inanna: The Ecstasy of Love – 197
    • Inanna and the King: Blessing on the Wedding Night – 199
    • "The Honey-man": Love-Song to a King – 202
    • "Set Me Free, My Sister": The Sated Lover – 203
    • The Curse of Agade: The Ekur Avenged – 204
    • Ua-aua: A Sumerian Lullaby – 215
  16. Canaanite And Aramaic Inscriptions (Franz Rosenthal)
    • The King of Kedar – 218
    • Punic Ex-voto Inscriptions – 218
    • The Amulet from Arslan Tash – 219
    • The Uruk Incantation – 220
    • The Treaty between KTK and Arpad – 221
    • Ahiram of Byblos – 226
    • Agbar, Priest of the Moon-God in Nerab – 227
    • Tabnit of Sidon – 227
    • Eshmun'azar of Sidon – 227
  17. South-Arabian Inscriptions (A. Jamme)
    • Sabaean Inscriptions – 230
    • Minaean Inscriptions – 232
    • Qatabanian Inscriptions – 235
    • Hadrami Inscriptions – 238
  18. Index – 241

In-Page Footnotes ("Pritchard (J.), Ed. - The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts & Pictures (Vol. 2)")

Footnote 1: See "Pritchard (J.), Ed. - The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts & Pictures (Vol. 1)".


Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1975 hardback

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