The Ancient Near East

The Ancient Near East : An Anthology of Texts and Pictures

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James Pritchard's classic anthologies of the ancient Near East have introduced generations of readers to texts essential for understanding the peoples and cultures of this important region. Now these two enduring works have been combined and integrated into one convenient and richly illustrated volume, with a new foreword that puts the translations in context. With more than 130 reading selections and 300 photographs of ancient art, architecture, and artifacts, this volume provides a stimulating introduction to some of the most significant and widely studied texts of the ancient Near East, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Creation Epic (Enuma elish), the Code of Hammurabi, and the Baal Cycle. For students of history, religion, the Bible, archaeology, and anthropology, this anthology provides a wealth of material for understanding the ancient Near East. * Represents the diverse cultures and languages of the ancient Near East--Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Canaanite, and Aramaic--in a wide range of genres: * Historical texts * Legal texts and treaties * Inscriptions * Hymns * Didactic and wisdom literature * Oracles and prophecies * Love poetry and other literary texts * Letters * New foreword puts the classic translations in context * More than 300 photographs document ancient art, architecture, and artifacts related to the texts * Fully indexedshow more

Product details

  • Paperback | 512 pages
  • 154.94 x 228.6 x 38.1mm | 975.22g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • 0691147264
  • 9780691147260
  • 182,878

Review quote

"Pritchard enlisted some of the best scholars of his day to translate myths from Mesopotamia, novellas from Egypt, and calendars from Palestine. They provide an amazing backdrop to reread, and in some cases reinterpret, the Bible. Furthermore, the translations themselves are works of art... These translations have staying power. Not only do they convey the cultural environment of the biblical world but they do so with elegance and timeliness. The translators achieved an admirable balance of fidelity to the original compositions and imaginative creativity."--Books & Culture "While there are other collections of texts published more recently with some more current translations, there is no extant, modestly priced volume that includes both texts and pictures tor the many cultures this one includes... [T]his volume can serve well in personal, public, school, and small college libraries with its modest price and collected materials. It provides a wealth of material useful for understanding the ancient Near East."--Susan Tower Hollis, American Reference Books Annual "I recommend the new edition to all academic libraries in light of the quantity of primary source material... [I]t would make an excellent classroom resource."--Tyler Mayfield, Religious Studies Reviewshow more

Back cover copy

"There is no other anthology on the ancient Near East with this breadth of geographical and linguistic coverage, or with this variety of genres, from the literary and historical to the legal, epistolary, and religious."--Francesca Rochberg, University of California, Berkeleyshow more

About James Bennett Pritchard

James B. Pritchard (1909-1997) was professor of religious thought at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of Syro-Palestinian archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Daniel E. Fleming is professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York more

Table of contents

List of Illustrations xi Foreword ? Daniel E. Fleming xxiii Preface to the 1975 Edition xxvii Preface to the 1958 Edition xxix Chapter I: Egyptian Myths and Tales by John A. Wilson The Memphite Theology of Creation 1 Deliverance of Mankind from Destruction 3 The Story of Si-nuhe 5 The Story of Two Brothers 11 The Journey of Wen-Amon to Phoenicia 14 The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt 21 Chapter II: Myths and Epics from Mesopotamia A Sumerian Myth by S. N. Kramer The Deluge 25 Akkadian Myths and Epics The Creation Epic (Enuma elish) E. A. Speiser 28 Additions to Tablet V by A. K. Grayson 36 The Epic of Gilgamesh by E. A. Speiser 39 A Cosmological Incantation: The Worm and the Toothache by E. A. Speiser 72 Adapa by E. A. Speiser 73 Descent of Ishtar to the Nether World by E. A. Speiser 77 The Legend of Sargon by E. A. Speiser 82 Nergal and Ereshkigal by A. K. Grayson 83 Pritchard. The Myth of Zu (Anzu) by A. K. Grayson 92 A Babylonian Theogony by A. K. Grayson 99 Chapter III: Hittite Myths by Albrecht Goetze The Telepinus Myth 101 El, Ashertu, and the Storm-god (Elkunirsha and Ashertu) 105 Chapter IV: Ugaritic Myths and Epics by H. L. Ginsberg Poems about Baal and Anath (The Baal Cycle) 107 The Tale of Aqhat 134 Chapter V: Legal Texts Collections of Laws from Mesopotamia The Laws of Eshnunna by Albrecht Goetze 150 The Code of Hammurabi by by Theophile J. Meek 155 The Laws of Ur-Nammu by by J. J. Finkelstein 179 Sumerian Laws by J. J. Finkelstein 182 The Edict of Ammisaduqa by J. J. Finkelstein 183 Documents from the Practice of Law Mesopotamian Legal Documents by Theophile J. Meek, J. J. Finkelstein 187 Aramaic Papyri from Elephantine by H. L. Ginsberg 200 Chapter VI: Treaties Hittite Treaty by Albrecht Goetze Treaty of Suppiluliumas of Aziras of Amurru 205 Akkadian Treaties from Syria and Assyria by Erica Reiner Treaty between Niqmepa of Alalakh and Ir-dim of Tunip 208 Treaty between Idrimi and Pilliya 210 Treaty between Ashurnirari V of Assyria and Mati'ilu of Arpad 210 Treaty of Esarhaddon with Baal of Tyre 212 The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon 213 Chapter VII: Egyptian Historical Texts by John A. Wilson The Expulsion of the Hyksos 226 The Asiatic Campaign of Thut-mose III 228 A Campaign of Seti I in Northern Palestine 234 The Report of a Frontier Official 235 A Syrian Interregnum 236 The War against the Peoples of the Sea 237 The Megiddo Ivories 239 The Campaign of Sheshonk I 239 Asiatics in Egyptian Household Service 240 The War against the Hyksos 242 Chapter VIII: Assyrian and Babylonian Historical Texts A. Leo Oppenheim The Dedication of the Shamash Temple by Yahdun-Lim 246 The Story of Idrimi, King of Alalakh 248 Ashurnasirpal II (883-859): Expedition to the Lebanon 250 The Banquet of Ashurnasirpal II 250 Shalmaneser III (858-824): The Fight against the Aramean Coalition 255 Adad-nirari III (810-783): Expedition to Palestine 258 The Assyrian King List 259 Tiglath-pileser III (744-727): Campaigns against Syria and Palestine 264 Sargon II (721-705): The Fall of Samaria 266 Sennacherib (704-681): The Siege of Jerusalem 269 Esarhaddon (680-669): The Syro-Palestinian Campaign 271 Receipt of Tribute from Palestine 272 The Fall of Nineveh 272 The Fall of Jerusalem 273 The Conquest of Jerusalem 273 Nebuchadnezzar II (605-562) 274 The Mother of Nabonidus 275 Nabonidus and His God 278 The Fall of Babylon 281 Cyrus (557-529) 282 The Uruk King List from Kandalanu to Seleucus II 284 A Seleucid King List 285 Chapter IX: Palestinian Inscriptions by W. F. Albright The Gezer Calendar 287 The Moabite Stone 287 The Ostraca of Samaria 289 The Siloam Inscription 290 A Letter from the Time of Josiah (Mesad Hashavyahu Ostracon) 290 Three Ostraca from Arad 291 The Lachish Ostraca 292 Chapter X: Canaanite and Aramaic Inscriptions Franz Rosenthal Building Inscriptions Yehimilk of Byblos 294 Azitawadda of Adan 294 Kilamuwa of Y'dy-Sam'al 296 Barrakab of Y'dy-Sam'al 297 Cultic Inscriptions Ben-Hadad of Damascus 298 Kilamuwa of Y'dy-Sam'al 298 Zakir of Hamat and Lu'ath 298 Yehawmilk of Byblos 299 The Marseilles Tariff 300 The Carthage Tariff 302 Other Inscriptions The King of Kedar 303 Punic Ex-voto Inscriptions 303 The Amulet from Arslan Tash 304 The Uruk Incantation 305 The Treaty between KTK and Arpad 305 Ahiram of Byblos 310 Agbar, Priest of the Moon-god in Nerab 310 Tabnit of Sidon 310 Eshmun'azar of Sidon 311 Chapter XI: South-Arabian Inscriptions by A. Jamme Sabaean Inscriptions 313 Minaean Inscriptions 315 Qatabanian Inscriptions 318 Hadrami Inscriptions 320 Chapter XII: Egyptian Execration Texts by John A. Wilson The Execration of Asiatic Princes 322 Chapter XIII: Egyptian Hymns by John A. Wilson The Hymn to the Aton 324 Hymn of Victory of Mer-ne-Ptah ("The Israel Stela") 328 Chapter XIV: Mesopotamian Hymns Sumerian Hymns by S. N. Kramer Hymn to Ninurta as God of Vegetation 330 Hymn to Ninurta as God of Wrath 331 Hymnal Prayer of Enheduanna: The Adoration of Inanna of Ur 332 The King of the Road: A Self-Laudatory Shulgi Hymn 337 An Akkadian Hymn by Ferris J. Stephens Hymn to Ishtar 341 Chapter XV: Didactic and Wisdom Literature Egyptian Instructions by John A. Wilson The Instruction of the Vizier Ptah-hotep 343 The Instruction of Amen-em-Opet 346 Sumerian Didactic and Wisdom Literature Man and His God: A Sumerian Variation of the "Job" Motif by S. N. Kramer 352 Proverbs from Mesopotamia by Robert H. Pfeiffer 357 Akkadian Didactic and Wisdom Literature Observations on Life: A Pessimistic Dialogue between Master and Servant by Robert H. Pfeiffer 358 An Akkadian Fable by Robert D. Biggs 360 Counsels of Wisdom by Robert D. Biggs 362 Ludlul Bel Nemeqi, "I Will Praise the Lord of Wisdom" by Robert D. Biggs 365 The Babylonian Theodicy by Robert D. Biggs 374 Aramaic Proverbs and Precepts The Words of Ahiqar by H. L. Ginsberg 379 Chapter XVI: Oracles and Prophecies The Egyptian Prophecy of Nefer-rohu by John A. Wilson 384 Akkadian Oracles and Prophecies Divine Revelations in Letters from Mari and Ashur by William L. Moran 388 Oracles concerning Esarhaddon by Robert D. Biggs 398 A Letter to Ashurbanipal by Robert D. Biggs 399 An Oracular Dream concerning Ashurbanipal by Robert D. Biggs 400 Prophecies by Robert D. Biggs 400 Chapter XVII: Love Poetry Egyptian Love Songs by John A. Wilson 403 Sumerian Love Poetry by S. N. Kramer Dumuzi and Inanna: Love in the Gipar 404 Dumuzi and Inanna: The Ecstasy of Love 406 Inanna and the King: Blessing on the Wedding Night 408 "The Honey-man": Love-song to a King 410 "Set Me Free, My Sister": The Sated Lover 411 Chapter XVIII: Other Literary Texts An Egyptian Poem In Praise of the City Ramses by John A. Wilson 413 Sumerian Literature by S. N. Kramer The Curse of Agade: The Ekur Avenged 414 Ua-aua: A Sumerian Lullaby 423 Chapter XIX: Letters Akkadian Letters The Mari Letters by W. F. Albright 427 The Amarna Letters by W. F. Albright 429 The Substitute King by William L. Moran 443 A Happy Reign by William L. Moran 444 A Royal Decree of Equity by William L. Moran 444 A Letter to a God by William L. Moran 445 Punishment by Fire by William L. Moran 445 Treaties and Coalitions by William L. Moran 445 "The God of My Father" by William L. Moran 446 A Loan between Gentlemen by William L. Moran 447 A Boy to His Mother by William L. Moran 447 Aramaic Letters by H. L. Ginsberg Letters of the Jews in Elephantine 448 Assignment to a New Lessor of Land Abandoned in the Egyptian Rebellion of 410 B.C. 452 Illustration Credits 455 Index to Biblical References 457 Index 461show more