The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

Book Specifications
col. 275-560 pp.

Bibliotheca Orientalis LXXII, 3/4 (2015)

2015  |  BiOr Volume 72 3/4 ISSN: 0006-1913

In Memoriam

Milde, H. — In Memoriam M.S.H.G. Heerma van Voss


Archi, A. — Remarks on Hittite Augur Rituals and rituals from Arzawa

This article will address the Hittite augur rituals, taking the book Die Rituale der Auguren by D. Bawanypeck (henceforth: Rituale) as a starting point. It will place these rituals in a wider perspective in light of the recent discussion on the identification of the language and culture of western Anatolia in relation to the ‘eastern’ Luwians.

In Rituale, all Hittite rituals performed by augurs have been collected. Only one of the altogether seven discussed texts (to which one has to add the ritual of Pupuwanni, pp. 273-289!) is explicitly said to be a ritual from the land of Arzawa: Text VI (KUB 7.54 I 1- II 6, CTH 425.1 with three duplicates, see p. 126), a ritual concerning a plague in a military encampment, mentions that it is the ritual of “Maddunani the augur (IGI.DÙ), a man from Arzawa”. Text VII (KUB 7.54 II 7-IV, CTH 425.2 with one duplicate, see p. 137) is a ritual performed by ‘Dandanku the augur (MUŠEN.DÙ)’ which relates to the same subject as the previous ritual and is similar in structure as well. It is therefore likely to also have originated in Arzawa, although the augur’s origin is not given. In general, all these rituals performed by augurs are held to belong to western Anatolia, in particular to Arzawa (see e. g. Haas 2003a: 29-31). In this article, I will first discuss the rituals said explicity to be from Arzawa and Kizzuwatna and then the rituals of the augurs.

Cook, J. — Cognitive-Linguistic Confusion

Robar’s cognitive-linguistic approach would appear to be a welcome voice in Biblical Hebrew verb and discourse study. The focus of her work is the relationship between thematic continuity and discontinuity and the finite verbal forms. But the conclusions are problematic because of the inchoate character of the study. Robar largely limits her study of the indication of thematic continuity and discontinuity to the finite verbal forms while admitting that alternative linguistic strategies may be employed for these purposes. She analyzes the semantics of the finite verbal forms, but she interacts little with current semantic theories of the Biblical Hebrew verbal system, nor does she give treat the finite verb forms as a system. In this review I assess the main claims of her theory and some of the specific arguments she undertakes.

Himmelfarb, L. — The Revelation of Miraculous Events Unmentioned by the Bible in Rashi’s Commentary

This study focuses on events that Rashi characterized as miraculous even though the text itself makes no mention whatsoever of a miracle occurring. Investigating is limited to five places where Rashi used the term “miracle” (nes) to describe a miracle that God performed for people.
The examples are presented sequentially, following the order of the Bible. In each case, I have provided the narrative background necessary to understand the text, and I have explained Rashi’s commentary on it while highlighting his reasons for introducing a miracle-event, even though it is not mentioned by the Bible.
This study sheds light on the definition of the term “miracle” according to Rashi, on the purpose of miracles and on the fact that some miracle-events seem to be derived from or have their sources in various difficulties in the biblical verse.

Bietak, M. — Recent discussions about the chronology of the Middle and the Late Bronze Ages in the Eastern Mediterranean: Part I

In recent years discussions of the chronology of the Bronze and Iron Ages in the Eastern Mediterranean has played a major role in research, with special focus on the dating of the Minoan eruption of the Thera volcano. Historical and radiocarbon dating in some cases appear to produce different results. The discussions are publicised with much passion and conviction and by some scientists with propaganda, with lobbying and repetitive publication. Time’s Up! presents the papers of a conference in Denmark which offered a forum for these discussions. The volume is reviewed in-depth.

Cottrell, E. — « L’Hermès arabe » de Kevin van Bladel et la question du rôle de la littérature sassanide dans la présence d’écrits hermétiques et astrologiques en langue arabe

This review-article of Kevin van Bladel’s study of the posterity of Hermes Trismegistus in Arabic medieval literature attempts to give a thorough examination of several of the thought-provoking hypotheses offered by the author about the transmission of the Greek treatises and fragments where the figure of “Hermes” appears as an author. The central role given to Middle Persian as the language into which some Greek hermetica – astrological in particular – were translated, is discussed. This thesis, once put forward by the late David Pingree, is questioned in detail, occasioning an evaluation of Pingree’s methology and his interpretation of the Arabic evidence. A new translation of an extract of Abū Sahl Ibn Nawbakht transmitted by Ibn al-Nadīm – which Pingree and others read as historical evidence – is provided and new readings are suggested, pointing to a different set of influence (i.e. Manichaean and Enoch literature, next to the commonly accepted late Zoroastrian). The author’s dismissal of any possible influence of Alexandrian Hermeticism on such scholars as al-Kindī, Thābit ibn Qurra, or al-Mubashshir ibn Fātik is re-evaluated, and confronted to the methodology of the book.


Book reviews and announcements

Faraonisch Egypte, Grieks-Romeins Egypte, Assyriologie, Hettitologie, Ugaritisch, Oude Testament, Archeologie, Midden-Oosten, Varia


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