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Myth and Politics in Ancient Near Eastern Historiography

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The essays collected in this volume represent a selection of studies, previously published mainly in Italian, that make explicit use of anthropological and semiological tools in order to analyze important texts of historical nature from various regions of the Ancient Near East. They suggest that these historiographical texts were of a ‘true’ historical nature, and that the literary forms and mental models employed were very apt at accomplishing the intended results. Two different aspects are especially emphasized: myth and politics.

Published: Aug 1, 2004


Section Chapter Authors
Editor's Introduction Zainab Bahrani, Marc Van De Mieroop
Acknowledgements Mario Liverani
Abbreviations Mario Liverani
1. Adapa, guest of the gods Mario Liverani
2. Telipinu, or: on solidarity Mario Liverani
3. Shunashura, or: on reciprocity Mario Liverani
7. The story of Joash Mario Liverani
8. Messages, women, and hospitality: Inter-tribal communication in Judges 19–21 Mario Liverani
4. Leaving by chariot for the desert Mario Liverani
5. Rib-Adda, righteous sufferer Mario Liverani
6. Aziru, servant of two masters Mario Liverani
Bibliography Mario Liverani
Index Mario Liverani

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The availability of these essays now in English is a truly invaluable service to the wider scholarly audience of the ancient Near East. Bryn Mawr College Review 'This valuable collection of essays in English translation will rightfully bring this notable scholar to the attention of a wider audience. SOTS Booklist 2005 Mario Liverani’s work is among the most original and penetrating in the discipline of ancient Near Eastern studies. I recommend this brilliant and fascinating book with high enthusiasm. Professor Benjamin R. Foster, Yale University This collection of his classic essays, selected by Liverani himself, and presented in English for the first time, displays Liverani’s brilliance in dissecting a variety of myths, treaties, royal inscriptions, letters and Biblical narratives. Liverani’s influence on the interpretation of history is generously acknowledged by professional historians of the Ancient Near East and by the Italian reading public. This collection will bring his substantive contributions and his method to a wider audience of historians, anthropologists, and literary critics. The editors have done a splendid job introducing the essays, revising Liverani’s own translations and providing handy references to studies that have appeared since Liverani’s original work. Professor Norman Yoffee, University of Michigan