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Overview

Providing up-to-date, readable English translations of writings recovered from the ancient Near East, this series serves the general reader, the student, and the educator. Explore the roots of Western Civilization and compare these earliest records of written human thought and activity with writings from across the ancient world. Discover information on the daily life, history, and religion of the world before the Athenian Golden Age as you examine letters, songs, stories, diplomatic documents, legal codes, and administrative records.

The work of eminent language specialists, these volumes draw from the oldest sources and the most recent research—English readers will never get closer to the original texts and their meaning. Dive into the civilizations of ancient Egypt, Samaria, Babylonia, Assyria, Israel, and more.

In the Logos editions, these valuable volumes are enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Powerful searches help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Tablet and mobile apps let you take the discussion with you. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Find more analysis of ancient writings with the De Gruyter Studies in Ancient Near Eastern Records.

Key Features

  • Gathers up-to-date, readable English translations of ancient Near Eastern writings
  • Illuminates the daily life, history, and religion of the ancient Near Eastern world
  • Draws from the oldest sources and the most recent research

Product Details

  • Title: Writings from the Ancient World
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Volumes: 10
  • Pages: 3,862
  • Resource Type: Ancient Texts
  • Topic: Ancient Near East

Individual Titles

Letters from the Hittite Kingdom

  • Author: Harry A. Hoffner Jr.
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 472

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This is the first book-length collection in English of letters from the ancient kingdom of the Hittites. All known well-preserved examples—including the important corpus of letters from the provincial capital of Tapikka—are reproduced here in transliteration and English translation. They are accompanied by introductory essays, explanatory notes on the text and its translation, and a complete description of the rules of Hittite correspondence compared with that of other ancient Middle Eastern states.

Letters containing correspondence between kings and their foreign peers, between kings and their officials in the provinces, and between these officials themselves reveal rich details of provincial administration, the relationships and duties of the officials, and tantalizing glimpses of their private lives. Matters discussed include oversight of agriculture, tax liabilities, litigation, inheritance rights, defense against hostile groups on the kingdom’s periphery, and consulting the gods by means of oracular procedures.

This fine volume will become a standard source for Hittite history, politics and society.

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Harry A. Hoffner Jr. is the John A. Wilson Professor of Hittitology Emeritus at the University of Chicago. He is the founding editor of The Hittite Dictionary of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, the author of over 20 books on the Hittites and the ancient Near East, and the coauthor of the definitive grammar of the Hittite language.

Nuzi Texts and Their Uses as Historical Evidence

  • Author: Maynard Paul Maidman
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2010
  • Pages: 324

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Ancient Nuzi, buried beneath modern Yorghan Tepe in northern Iraq, is a Late Bronze Age town belonging to the kingdom of Arrapha that has yielded between 6,500 and 7,000 legal, economic, and administrative tablets, all belonging to a period of some five generations (1475–1350 BC) and almost all from known archaeological contexts. The tablets were excavated from government administrative complexes, from houses in all the urban neighborhoods, from each of the suburban villas, and even a few dozen from the temple complex. These Akkadian-language documents include contracts for labor, deeds of sale, testamentary wills, slave sales, ration lists, interoffice memoranda, trial records, scholastic texts, and much more.

The 96 texts presented here in transliteration and translation are divided into five groups dealing with topics of historical interest: Nuzi and the political force responsible for its demise; the crimes and trials of a mayor of Nuzi; a multigenerational legal struggle over title to a substantial amount of land; the progressive enrichment of one family at the expense of another through a series of real-estate transactions; and the nature of the ilku, a real estate tax whose dynamic is crucial in defining the economic and social structure of Nuzi as a whole.

Maynard Paul Maidman is professor of history at York University.

The Libyan Anarchy: Inscriptions from Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period

  • Author: Robert K. Ritner
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: 644

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Contemporary with the Israelite kingdom of Solomon and David, the Nubian conqueror Piye (Piankhy), and the Assyrian Assurbanipal, Egypt’s Third Intermediate Period is of critical interest not only to Egyptologists, but also to biblical historians, Africanists, and Assyriologists. Spanning six centuries and as many dynasties, the turbulent era extended from approximately 1100 to 650 BC. This volume, the first extensive collection of Third Intermediate Period inscriptions in any language, includes the primary sources for the history, society, and religion of Egypt during this complicated period, when Egypt was ruled by Libyan and Nubian dynasties and had occasional relations with Judah and the encroaching, and finally invading, Assyrian Empire. It includes the most significant texts of all genres, newly translated and revised.

Robert K. Ritner is professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. He specializes in Roman, Hellenistic, and Late and Third Intermediate Period Egypt, and is the author of numerous books, including The Mechanics of Ancient Egyptian Magical Practice.

Biographical Texts from Ramessid Egypt

  • Author: Elizabeth Frood
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2007
  • Pages: 324

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The Ramessid period in Egypt (1290–1075 BC) corresponds to the Late Bronze Age, a time of great change both in Egypt and the Near East. This period of empire, dominated by the figure of Ramesses II, witnessed crucial developments in art, language, and religious display. This volume offers insights into these cultural transformations through the voices of 45 priests, artists, civil officials, and military men who served under the kings of the nineteenth and twentieth Dynasties. Sixty-five biographical texts—which were inscribed in tombs, on statues and stelae in temples, and exceptionally on temple walls—give details of their careers and character. The metrically arranged translations are introduced by descriptions of the texts’ monumental contexts and, where possible, summaries of the careers of their owners.

The volume introduces the historical background of the Ramessid period, drawing together key themes and interpretive issues raised by the texts and their contexts. These include the representation of relationships to deities and the king, the thematization of the priestly life, and implications of changes in the texts’ media, including new decorative programs of nonroyal tombs. This integration of text with context sheds light on the meaning of biographical writing in ancient Egypt as a whole.

Despite its careful attention to detail and thoughtful scholarship, this collection is accessible to nonspecialists, and its presentation is exemplary. Biblical scholars may find much food for thought in it, not only because the biographies reflect important understandings of the relationship between the individual, society and the gods, but also because the work offers useful insights into the discussion of literature and ideology within modern Egyptology

Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

Elizabeth Frood is university lecturer in Egyptology at the Faculty of Oriental Studies and fellow of St. Cross College, University of Oxford. She is coauthor of Woodcutters, Potters and Doorkeepers: Service Personnel of the Deir el-Medina Workmen.

The Ahhiyawa Texts

  • Authors: Eric H. Cline, Gary Beckman, and Trevor R. Bryce
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2011
  • Pages: 320

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Twenty-six texts found in the Hittite capital of Hattusa dating from the fifteenth through the thirteenth century BC contain references to a land known as “Ahhiyawa,” which most scholars now identify with the Late Bronze Age Mycenaean world. The subject of continuing study and controversy since they were first published in 1924, the letters are still at the center of Mycenaean-Hittite studies, and are now considered in studies and courses concerned with Troy, the Trojan War, and the role of both Mycenaeans and Hittites in that possible conflict.

This volume offers, for the first time in a single source, English translations of all 26 Ahhiyawa texts and a commentary and brief exposition on each text’s historical implications. The volume also includes an introductory essay to the whole Ahhiyawa “problem” as well as a longer essay on Mycenaean-Hittite interconnections and the current state of the discipline.

Eric H. Cline is associate professor and chair of the department of classical and Near Eastern languages and civilizations, and director of the GWU Capitol Archaeological Institute, at George Washington University.

Gary Beckman is professor of Hittite and Mesopotamian studies at the University of Michigan. He is the author of numerous books, including Hittite Diplomatic Texts.

Trevor R. Bryce is professor emeritus and honorary research consultant in the school of history, philosophy, religion, and classics, at the University of Queensland.

Wisdom from the Late Bronze Age

  • Author: Yoram Cohen
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 272

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This volume presents the original texts and annotated translations of a collection of Mesopotamian wisdom compositions and related texts of the Late Bronze Age found at the ancient Near Eastern sites of Hattu a, Emar, and Ugarit. These wisdom compositions constitute the missing link between the great Sumerian wisdom corpus and early Akkadian wisdom literature of the Old Babylonian period, on the one hand, and the wisdom compositions of the first millennium BC, on the other. Included here are works such as the “Ballad of Early Rulers,” “Hear the Advice,” and “The Date-Palm and the Tamarisk,” as well as proverb collections from Ugarit and Hattu. A detailed introduction assesses the place of wisdom literature in the ancient curriculum and library collections.

Yoram Cohen is senior lecturer of Assyriology at Tel Aviv University.

Iron Age Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions

  • Author: Annick Payne
  • Publisher: Society of Bibilical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2012
  • Pages: 138

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

These Hieroglyphic Luwian inscriptions were written over a period of centuries in the region of Anatolia and northern Syria. Their authors were primarily the rulers of the so-called Neo-Hittite states, contemporaries and neighbors of early Israel. This volume collects some of the most important and representative of the inscriptions in transliteration and translation, organized by genre. Relevant information on provenance, dating, and other points of interest accompany each text, engaging the specialist and nonspecialist alike.

Written by an established scholar in the field of Hittite hieroglyphic texts, this useful book gives brief introductions, transliterations and translations to the main inscriptions found on various sites in modern Turkey, Syria and Iraq. . . . The book will surely be heartily welcomed by teachers and students.

The Expository Time

Annick Payne has taught courses on ancient Anatolian languages at Freie Universität Berlin and Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg.

The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary

  • Author: Ronald J. Leprohon
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Pages: 292

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

The titulary of the ancient Egyptian king was one of the symbols of authority he assumed at his coronation. At first consisting only of the Horus name, the titulary grew to include other phrases chosen to represent the king’s special relationship with the divine world. By the Middle Kingdom, the full fivefold titulary was clearly established, and kings henceforth used all five names regularly. This volume includes all rulers’ names from the so-called “Dynasty 0” (3200 BC) to the last Ptolemaic ruler in the late-first century BC, offered in transliteration and English translation with an introduction and notes.

Ronald J. Leprohon is professor of Egyptology at the University of Toronto. He has written a number of articles publishing new artifacts, as well as a two—volume study of the ancient Egyptian funerary stelae in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. His interests include the relationship between Egypt and Nubia, the administration of ancient Egypt, and ancient Egyptian religion.

Neo-Babylonian Trial Records

  • Author: Shalom E. Holtz
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 290

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

This collection of sixth—century BC Mesopotamian texts provides a close-up, and often dramatic view of ancient courtroom encounters, shedding light on Neo-Babylonian legal culture and daily life. In addition to the legal texts, Holtz introduces Neo-Babylonian social history, archival records, and legal materials. This is an essential resource for scholars interested in the history of law.

Shalom E. Holtz is associate professor of Bible at Yeshiva University in New York, an Assyriologist, and a biblical scholar interested in Mesopotamian literature and law, and their relationships to biblical and postbiblical writings.

Sourcebook for Ancient Mesopotamian Medicine

  • Author: JoAnn Scurlock
  • Publisher: Society of Biblical Literature
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Pages: 786

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

In this collection JoAnn Scurlock assembles and translates medical texts that provided instructions for ancient doctors and pharmacists. Scurlock unpacks the difficult, technical vocabulary that describes signs and symptoms, as well as procedures and plants used in treatments. This fascinating material illuminates the development of medicine in the ancient Near East, yet these tablets were essentially inaccessible to anyone without an expertise in cuneiform. Scurlock’s work fills this gap by providing a key resource for teaching and research.

JoAnn Scurlock is the author of Magico-Medical Means of Treating Ghost-Induced Illnesses in Ancient Mesopotamia, the coauthor of Diagnoses in Assyrian and Babylonian Medicine: Ancient Sources, Translations, and Modern Medical Analyses, and the coeditor of Creation and Chaos: A Reconsideration of Hermann Gunkel’s Chaoskampf Hypothesis.