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The Ancient Near East, Volume 1: An…
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The Ancient Near East, Volume 1: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures

by James B. Pritchard

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I hate anthologies which contain abridged material or only selections from a work. What good are excerpts? When you go to the movies, do you only watch the beginning and middle? When you read a book, do you skip a chapter here and there? This book has taken the liberty to edit content that it feels is either unimportant to its readers or doesn't have as much parallel or interest with biblical literature and study. But who are they to decide, for instance, whether the last tablet of Gilgamesh is unimportant to me or whether it wouldn't be of much interest to biblical studies? In the attempt to contain as many important ancient Near Eastern texts as possible in a single, small space, the book has done a great disservice to many of those very texts by chopping off pieces here and there. Those with any real interest in edited texts will have to look elsewhere for the complete works. Moreover, in an era which is now attempting to find meaning out of the whole or entire form of texts, the nature of this anthology makes it almost a faux pas. Footnotes have been almost completely eliminated. Sometimes a footnote number will appear in a text, but the footnote itself will be absent. Sometimes there will be a numbered footnote at the bottom of a page which links to nothing on the page itself. The translations, like the King James Version, have had a long, authoritative run, but are now out-of-date and out-of-style. To make things even worse, the binding is horrific. On average, I've had one page fall out for every ten read and the seam is so rigid, it simply split instead of bending. The book was not used when I bought it, but you would not have guessed that after the first reading. This is sort of the dirty whore version of the real deal. Sure, you'll get what you want for cheap, but is it worth it? The really nice thing about the book was the plethora of incredible pictures. I don't think I've yet seen a book with so many photographs which are pertinent to biblical studies and the ancient Near East. The only one that comes close is The City of Ugarit at Tell Ras Shamra, but its pictures are strictly Ugarit-related. Do yourself a favor, if you have to have this book instead of its superior counterparts, look for a cheaply priced, used copy. ( )
  slaveofOne | Nov 23, 2008 |
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Preface
The aim of this volume is to make available in convenient form those ancient Near Eastern documents which are important for an understanding of Biblical people and their writings.
Quotations
Akkadian Myths and Epics
The Creation Epic
Tablet IV
They erected for him a princely throne,
Facing his fathers, he sat down, presiding
Thou art the most honored of the great gods,
Thy decree is unrivaled, thy command is Anu.
[p. 31]
The Hymn to Aton
Praise of Re Har-akhti, Rejoicing on the Horizon, in his name as Shu Who Is the Aton-disc, living forever and ever; the living great Aton who is in jubilee, lord of all that the Aton encircles, lord of heaven, lord of earth, lord of the House of Aton in Akhet-Aton....
[p. 227]
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0691002002, Paperback)

An anthology drawn from two magnificent and widely-praised volumes by the same author: "Ancient Near Eastern Texts, " and "The Ancient Near East in Pictures."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:06 -0400)

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