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Book: About Edom and Idumea in the Persian Period

Chapter: 1. The Complexity of a Site: “Edom” in Persian Period from the Perspectives of Historical Research, Hebrew Bible Studies and Ancient Near Eastern Studies

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42818


The opening essay in this section is my own contribution, entitled “The Complexity of a Site: ‘Edom’ in the Persian Period from the Perspectives of Historical Research, Hebrew Bible Studies, and Ancient Near Eastern Studies.” It introduces the current state of research on Edom in the Persian period and outlines the open questions, desiderata, and issues for future research. The essay is meant to serve as an orientation into this complex and problematic situation, particularly the intersections of historical studies, archaeology, and cultural, religious, and literary histories. Consequently, it is imperative that perspectives from historical research, Hebrew Bible studies, and ancient Near Eastern studies are brought into dialogue with each other. Therefore, the essay concerns itself with the various (and partially divergent) results, inquiries, and sectors of future research from the different disciplines on the question of Persian-period Edom, and it seeks to bring these together so as to develop the larger historical, literary-historical, and religious-historical picture that the field desperately needs. At the same time, the essay serves to profile the task of the whole volume in fuller detail – the book strives to be an entry into the topic that is as comprehensive as possible, both in terms of topics and approaches.

Chapter Contributors

  • Benedikt Hensel ( - bhensel) 'University of Zurich'