Registers and Modes of Communication in the Ancient Near East : Getting the Message Across book cover
1st Edition

Registers and Modes of Communication in the Ancient Near East
Getting the Message Across

ISBN 9780367594633
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
252 Pages

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Book Description

It is the quintessential nature of humans to communicate with each other. Good communications, bad communications, miscommunications, or no communications at all have driven everything from world events to the most mundane of interactions. At the broadest level, communication entails many registers and modes: verbal, iconographic, symbolic, oral, written, and performed. Relationships and identities – real and fictive – arise from communication, but how and why were they effected and how should they be understood? The chapters in this volume address some of the registers and modes of communication in the ancient Near East. Particular focuses are imperial and court communications between rulers and ruled, communications intended for a given community, and those between families and individuals. Topics cover a broad chronological period (3rd millennium BC to 1st millennium AD), and geographic range (Egypt to Israel and Mesopotamia) encapsulating the extraordinarily diverse plurality of human experience. This volume is deliberately interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, and its broad scope provides wide insights and a holistic understanding of communication applicable today. It is intended for both the scholar and readers with interests in ancient Near Eastern history and Biblical studies, communications (especially communications theory), and sociolinguistics.

Table of Contents





General Introduction

Gillan Davis and Kyle H. Keimer, Communicating in the Past; Connecting with the Past

Part I. Imperial and Court Communications

Introduction to Part I

Chapter 1

Noel Weeks, The Disappearance of Cuneiform from the West and Elites in the Ancient Near East

Chapter 2

Samuel Jackson, Contrasting Representations and the Egypto-Hittite Treaty

Chapter 3

Luis R. Siddall, Text and Context: The Question of Audience for Sennacherib's 'Public' Inscriptions

Chapter 4

Wayne Horowitz, Communication and Miscommunication in the Southern Sky: The Case of Scorpio and the Southern Cross in Cuneiform

Chapter 5

Samuel N. C. Lieu, Imperialism and Language: Observations on Bilingual Inscriptions from Palmyra

Part II. Community Communications

Introduction to Part II

Chapter 6

Gareth Wearne, ‘Guard it on Your Tongue!’: The Second Rubric in the Deir ʿAlla Plaster Texts as an Instruction for the Oral Performance of the Narrative

Chapter 7

Rachelle Gilmour, Juxtaposition and Narrative Evaluation in Joshua 1-2

Chapter 8

Ian Young, Literature as Flexible Communication: Variety in Hebrew Biblical Texts

Chapter 9

Rachel Mansfield, Benjamin Overcash and Stephen Llewelyn, The Use of Paleo-Hebraic Script on Jewish Revolt Coins: A Semiotic Focus

Part III. Communications Between Families and Individuals

Introduction to Part III

Chapter 10

Peter Zilberg, From Dragomans to Babel: The Role of Interpreters in the Ancient Near East in the 1st Millennium B.C.E.

Chapter 11

Louise M. Pryke, Sex, Lies and Beautiful Eyes: Divine Communication and Premarital Relations in Sumerian Poetry

Chapter 12

Alanna Nobbs, Communication within a Dysfunctional Family in Late Antique Egypt

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Kyle H. Keimer is Lecturer in the Archaeology and History of Ancient Israel and the Near East at Macquarie University, Australia.

Gillan Davis is Director, Program for Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Macquarie University, Australia.


Encompassing a wide spectrum of civilizations and periods, from the Early Bronze Age to the Roman imperial period, and ranging in its coverage from Mesopotamia to Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, this volume provides many penetrating insights into the ways Near Eastern people communicated with one another, on personal, state, and international levels. Through its multi-disciplinary approach and use of modern research methods which enhance our understanding of both verbal and written interactions between the ancient Near Eastern peoples, it will be of great benefit to students and scholars engaged in any field of Near Eastern studies, from the Bronze Age through the biblical and Classical eras.

- Professor Trevor Bryce, University of Queensland, Australia