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The Ugaritic Baal Cycle (2 vols.)

by Smith, Mark S., Pitard, Wayne T.

Brill 1994–2009

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The Ugaritic Baal Cycle (2 vols.)
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Overview

Mark S. Smith and Wayne T. Pitard have produced the only commentary of its kind on the Ugaritic Baal Cycle, a collection of ancient Ugaritic stories centered around the Canaanite god Baal and his quest to become king. The characters of the Cycle are primarily the gods of Canaanite pantheon. The stories were originally written in Ugaritic, a Northwest Semitic language spoken in the city of Ugarit. The language was written in a cuneiform alphabet.

Anyone interested in Canaanite and biblical studies, ancient literary works, Semitic philology and linguistics, and the religion of Israel or the Ancient Near East will greatly appreciate these two volumes.

Key Features

  • First ever translation and commentary of the Ugaritic Baal Cycle
  • Translated and authored by leading Ugaritic scholars
  • Provides a valuable window into the culture and religious life of Canaan.

Individual Titles

The Ugaritic Baal Cycle: Volume I

  • Author and Translator: Mark S. Smith
  • Series: Vetus Testamentum Supplement Series 55
  • Publisher: Brill
  • Publication Date: 1994
  • Pages: xxxvii, 446

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13

The Ugaritic Baal Cycle offers a translation and the first commentary on the Ugaritic Baal Cycle. The longest and most important religious text from ancient Ugarit, the Baal Cycle witnesses to both the religious worldview of Ugarit and the larger background to many of the formative religious concepts and images in the Bible. The volume treats introductory matters such as date, order and continuity of the tablets, the history of interpretation, and finally, a new proposal for the interpretation of the text that draws on the insights of previous views as well as newer evidence. The commentary proper provides bibliography, text, textual notes, literary structure, and detailed commentary for each column in the first two tablets.

...this volume and its successors will surely and deservedly enjoy in Ugaritic studies the same long and respectful usage by generations of scholars that the pioneering critical commentaries of biblical texts enjoyed.

—Dennis Pardee, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 1998

The author's views are always temperate and balanced, and his handling of alternative positions irenic and entirely fair.

—N. Wyatt, Society for Old Testament Study, 1998

The Ugaritic Baal Cycle: Volume II

  • Authors and Translators: Mark S. Smith and Wayne T. Pitard
  • Series: Vetus Testamentum Supplement Series 114
  • Publisher: Brill
  • Publication Date: 2009
  • Pages: xl, 864

Sample Pages: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14

This second volume of the commentary on the Baal Cycle, the most important Canaanite religious text from Ugarit, in Syria, analyzes KTU/CAT 1.3 and 1.4, the tablets that contain the long episode about how Baal secured permission from El to build his royal palace and how the palace was built. It includes a new edition of the tablets, a comprehensive introduction, new translation and vocalized text, and detailed commentary. The authors develop an interpretation of the episode which places it into the larger context of the Baal Cycle as a whole.

Product Details

  • Title: The Ugaritic Baal Cycle (2 vols.)
  • Authors and Translators: Mark S. Smith and Wayne T. Pitard
  • Series: Vetus Testamentum Supplements Series
  • Publisher: Brill
  • Volumes: 2
  • Pages: lxxvii, 1,310

About the Authors

Mark S. Smith, Ph. D. Yale, 1985, is Skirball Professor of Bible and Ancient Near Eastern Studies at New York University. He is the author of ten books on the religion of ancient Israel and Ugarit, most recently God in Translation: Deities in Cross-Cultural Discourse in the Biblical World, as well as many articles on the literature, religion and grammar in Ugaritic, the Hebrew Bible, and the Dead Sea Scrolls.

Wayne T. Pitard, Ph. D. Harvard, 1982, is Professor of Hebrew Bible in the Department of Religion and Director of the Spurlock Museum at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Ancient Damascus and numerous articles on Ugaritic texts and epigraphy, as well as Syro-Palestinian history.