The Ancient Word is dedicated to publishing exciting, broadly relevant new research in ancient Near Eastern and biblical studies. Each book represents an advance both philologically, in our understanding of ancient sources, and intellectually, in providing fresh ways to think about what the remote past means. Herder once imagined an "archive of paradise" containing the first writing in the world from its oldest civilization: primordial texts holding the keys to understanding our formation. In unearthing the remains of the ancient Near East, we have something like this archive - but it remains mostly unread. Herder's bold search has been replaced with safer techniques, from sweeping theories of oral vs. literate societies to reductive legitimation theories that boil culture down to power. This series showcases fresh work that helps unlock this archive's potential.If you would like to discuss contributing to the series, please contact Seth Sanders - [email protected]
Ritual in Deuteronomy The Performance of Doom
Baal and the Politics of Poetry
Ea’s Duplicity in the Gilgamesh Flood Story
Beyond Orality Biblical Poetry on its Own Terms
By Melissa D. Ramos
April 20, 2021
Ritual in Deuteronomy explores the symbolic world of Deuteronomy’s ritual covenant and curses through a lens of religious studies and anthropology, drawing on previously unexamined Mesopotamian material. This book focuses on the ritual material in Deuteronomy including commands regarding sacrifice,...
By Aaron Tugendhaft
September 22, 2020
Baal and the Politics of Poetry provides a thoroughly new interpretation of the Ugaritic Baal Cycle that simultaneously inaugurates an innovative approach to studying ancient Near Eastern literature within the political context of its production. The book argues that the poem, written in the last ...
By Martin Worthington
November 14, 2019
This volume opens up new perspectives on Babylonian and Assyrian literature, through the lens of a pivotal passage in the Gilgamesh Flood story. It shows how, using a nine-line message where not all was as it seemed, the god Ea inveigled humans into building the Ark. The volume argues that Ea ...
By Jacqueline Vayntrub
February 28, 2019
Central to understanding the prophecy and prayer of the Hebrew Bible are the unspoken assumptions that shaped them—their genres. Modern scholars describe these works as “poetry,” but there was no corresponding ancient Hebrew term or concept. Scholars also typically assume it began as “oral ...