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Articles

Legal Disputes of Judeans in the Achaemenid Era

Holtz, Shalom E. 2024. Foreign but fair: Legal disputes of Judeans in the Achaemenid era. Orientalia 92 (2): 185-201.

In this study, we present newly discovered duplicates of three significant Old Babylonian literary texts. 1) An unpublished Louvre duplicate (AO 6161) of the Papulegara hymns collection, which is currently housed at the British Museum. 2) A recently published Geneva duplicate (MAH 16069) of the large hymnic ritual commonly referred to as Ištar-Louvre. 3) The Yale prism (YBC 2394), which contains an almost complete version of the Dialogue Between Father and Son. Previously, only a small fragment of this text was known. The paper provides a philological commentary and a thorough discussion of these duplicates, considering the relatively uncommon phenomenon of duplicate literary texts during the Old Babylonian period.

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Books

Architecture and Archaeology of the Achaemenid Empire

Dan, Roberto. 2023. Studies on the architecture and archaeology of the Achaemenid Empire. Dynamics of interaction and transmission between centre and periphery. Roma: ISMEO – The International Association for Mediterranean and Oriental Studies.

The relations between the centre and periphery of the Achaemenid Empire have been, for several years, the focus of numerous in-depth studies. The characteristics of this World Empire, which was a new phenomenon in the ancient Near East, have stimulated this scholarly research, based on written sources, as well as archaeological and cultural evidence. Quite often, the goal of these studies was to assess the impact of the empire’s core? A concept whose cultural outline warrants precise definition?within the regions under its control. For several decades, the basic question on the matter put forward by Roger Moorey (Cemeteries of the First Millennium B.C. at Deve Höyük, 1980: 128), who challenged the significance of the material traces of Persian domination (considered too flimsy), was echoed by many historians, who indeed have asked whether there “ever was a Persian empire.” That question was raised by Amélie Kuhrt and Heleen Sancisi-Weerdenburg in the introduction of a book whose title was, relevantly, Centre and Periphery (Achaemenid History, IV, 1990).

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Articles

Yahwistic Identity in the Achaemenid period

Barnea, Gad. 2024. Yahwistic Identity in the Achaemenid period. Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft 136 (1): 1-14.

The question of the Yahwistic identity – especially at Elephantine – has seen a resurgence of scholarly attention in recent years, which has highlighted the complexity of this issue. This article offers a new analysis showing that, already in the Achaemenid period, by the fifth century BCE, the Yhwdy label was, contrary to scholarly consensus, an ethno-religious identifier that defined all believers in Yhw – not just those from Yhwd. The identity of the Elephantine Yahwists within this overarching Yhwdy identity was modulated by their identification as ʾrmy – an attribute unique to that community.

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Books

The Achaemenids, the Black Sea and Beyond

Tsetskhladze, Gosha R. (eds.). 2023. The Achaemenids, the Black Sea and Beyond: New Evidence and Studies (Colloquia Antiqua, 40). Leuven: Peeters.

The Achaemenids, the Black Sea and Beyond, a short and well-illustrated volume, presents some of the papers due to have been presented at a small conference in Constanta in 2020 that became victim to the public policy response to Covid. It is dedicated to Alexandru Avram, one of the intended participants, who died before submitting his paper. The remaining nine papers, with a balance towards the northern and southern Black Sea, are supplemented by an introduction from the editor in the form of a cut and reworked paper of 2019 (the full version appeared in Ancient West and East); he too died before he could complete his proper introduction. Two deaths have given life to this volume. It may appear a little uneven in its coverage of the Black Sea’s four shores, but it is a child of circumstance. The abstracts of some, but not all, of those who did not submit papers are included as an appendix.

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Books

Studies on Persian objects from Greece

Fleischmann, Kristina Esther. 2023. Die Faszination des Orientalischen. Studien zu persischen Objekten aus Griechenland und zum Einfluss der persischen auf die griechische Kultur 550–330 v. Chr. (AOAT 52). Münster: Ugarit.

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Books

Personal Names in Cuneiform Texts from Babylonia

Waerzeggers, Caroline & Melanie M. Groß (eds.). 2024. Personal names in cuneiform texts from Babylonia. An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Personal names provide fascinating testimony to Babylonia’s multi-ethnic society. This volume offers a practical introduction to the repertoire of personal names recorded in cuneiform texts from Babylonia in the first millennium BCE. In this period, individuals moved freely as well as involuntarily across the ancient Middle East, leaving traces of their presence in the archives of institutions and private persons in southern Mesopotamia. The multilingual nature of this name material poses challenges for students and researchers who want to access these data as part of their exploration of the social history of the region in the period. This volume offers guidelines and tools that will help readers navigate this difficult material. The title is also available Open Access on Cambridge Core.

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Articles

Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana

Fattori, Marco. 2023. Miscellanea Epigraphica Susiana. Textual Observations on some Achaemenid Inscriptions from Susa. Arta 2023.003.

This article presents some new philological observations on three Achaemenid texts from Susa (DSe, DSi, A2Se) based on a new inspection of the inscriptions. These include the edition of previously unpublished fragments and the attribution of previously misplaced fragments to the texts under examination. For each inscription, a brief epigraphic, philological and linguistic commentary is provided.

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Journal

Phoenix (vol. 76)

The volume 76 (2022) of the journal Phoenix is out. It contains several papers about numismatics especially within the economy of Achaemenid empire.

  • Andrew Meadows, Jarosław Bodzek: Preface
  • Andrew Meadows: Coinage in Imperial Space: Ps.-Aristotle Oikonomika and the Place of Monetary Production
  • Peter van Alfen: Payment, Profit, or Prestige? The Political Economy of Achaemenid Coin Production
  • François de Callataÿ: Pseudo-Civic not Civic: The Abundant Double Sigloi Struck by Pamphylian and Cilician Cities (ca 460–333 B.C.E.)
  • Jarosław Bodzek: Kings, Satraps, Local Dynasts, and Cities in Achaemenid Imperial Space: Pseudo-Aristotle’s Oikonomika and Numismatic Reality
  • Christopher J. Tuplin: Of Darics, Staters, and Disks: Some Issues in Achaemenid
  • Selene E. Psoma: The ΣYN Coinage: Agesilaus versus Lysander
  • Aneurin Ellis-Evans, Jonathan Kagan: Bimetallism, Coinage, and Empire in Persian Anatolia
  • Frédérique Duyrat: Money in Southern Transeuphratene during the Fourth Century B.C.E.
  • Haim Gitler, Oren Tal: Indigenous Coinages in Palestine: Towards an Understanding of the Persian-Hellenistic Transitional Monetary Phase
  • Evangeline Markou: The Coinage of the Kings of Cyprus From Achaemenid to Hellenistic Rule: An Autonomous Royal Coinage?
  • Marek Jan Olbrycht: The India-Related Tetradrachms of Alexander the Great
  • Karsten Dahmen: Money and Legitimacy after Alexander
Categories
Books

The Torah in the Persian Period

Achenbach, Reinhard. 2023. Tora in der Perserzeit: Gesammelte Studien zu Theologie und Rechtsgeschichte Judas (Forschungen zum Alten Testament 173). Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.

Reinhard Achenbach offers a collection of studies on the redactional composition of the Pentateuch, the history of institutions, on concepts of international law, and the rights of foreigners in the scribal tradition of Judah during the Second Temple Period in the Persian Empire (539–333 B.C.E.). He examines the changes in theological ideas, priestly institutions, sacral rules, and purity law in the tension between the pursuit for religious autonomy in the community and Jewish monotheism’s claim of universal significance.

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Books

Ethnicity and Geography in the Eastern Mediterranean Area

Ponchia, Simonetta & Luisa Prandi (eds.). 2023. Shaping boundaries. Ethnicity and geography in the Eastern Mediterranean area (Melammu Workshops and Monographs 8). Münster: Zaphon.

This conference volume assembles 16 contributions to “Ethnicity and Geography in the Eastern Mediterranean Area (First Millennium BC). In combination with the corresponding “Shaping Boundary” project of the University of Verona it aims to analyse a crucial period: the formation of Greek identity, the first one documented in the West, at the time of the contacts with the Near East during the first millennium BC. More in detail, the authors examined the interactions between the Syro-Mesopotamian, Levantine and Aegean worlds that took place along the coastal region extending from Bosporus to Syria and Lebanon. Special attention was paid to methodological issues and diverse approaches in the investigation of boundaries and borderlands. These can be interpreted as different kinds of geo-political, or socio-cultural lines of separation, but should also be interpreted by taking into account their fundamental functions of communication spaces, where new, mixed, or hybrid identities took shape over time. – Among other, Giovanni B. Lanfranchi examines the borders between Assyria and Northwestern Iran as Polities of Unequal Power from the 9th to the 7th century BCE. – Raija Mattila discusses Neo-Assyrian letters reporting from the border areas on guarding and protecting the border, on building and maintenance of fortresses, and on the movements on the other side of the border. – The Northwest boundaries of Achaemenid expansion (Anatolia and the North Aegean) is taken into account by Sarah P. Morris. – Luisa Prandi questions the conception of the Cimmerian Bosporus as a Boundary between Europe and Asia according to Aeschylus. – Silvia Gabrieli reconstructs the foundation myth of Tarsus between Assyrian propaganda and Hellenistic fascination.