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Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation(Blackwell Sourcebooks in Ancient History) Paperback – July 12, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0631235811 ISBN-10: 0631235817 Edition: 1st

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Ancient Near East: Historical Sources in Translation(Blackwell Sourcebooks in Ancient History) + A History of the Ancient Near East ca. 3000 - 323 BC, 2nd Edition
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; 1 edition (July 12, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631235817
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631235811
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 6.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #807,550 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


?All of these scholars are to be applauded for the excellence of their work.? (Journal of American Oriental Society , January 2008)

A Choice Outstanding Academic Title for 2007

"Blackwell has rendered an excellent service to the study of the Ancient Near East by undergraduates ? and, indeed, to those of the general public with anything more than superficial interest in the subject ... Chavalas provides a solid textual basis for a better understanding of this area."

"Mark W. Chavalas has gathered an excellent ensemble of scholars and doctoral candidates to edit and translate representative historical texts from the major cultures of the ancient Near East into English ... Students and non-specialists who are embarking on the study of the ancient Near East would do well to consult The Ancient Near East for a quick reference to Near Eastern historical documents."
Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"An invaluable reference for most academic and large public libraries."

"An extremely full selection of texts of historical import and an invaluable resource for college and university teaching. The extensive commentaries make it accessible for anyone interested in investigating the manner in which the peoples of the ancient Near East represented their past."
Gary Beckman, University of Michigan

?Chavalas has assembled a sterling cast of translators. The historical introductions bristle with insights and the book gives us 'history from above' in the best sense.?
Daniel C. Snell, The University of Oklahoma

?Mark Chavalas has gathered an impressive international group of scholars, who offer a judicious sampling of texts from Mesopotamia and related ancient Near Eastern cultures. The texts are carefully translated and liberally provided with illuminating introductions and commentary. In all, a volume that should become a prized resource for students and scholars alike.?
Peter Machinist, Harvard University

?A welcome and affordable anthology in English and the editor and the contributors deserve our thanks for their efforts. It is extremely readable, the translations are admirably put into context and by and large excellent.?
J.G. Dercksen, Boekbesprekingen - Algemeen

?This much-needed, well-done primary sourcebook ? is a must for anyone teaching the history of the ancient Near East.?
Religious Studies Review

From the Back Cover

This book provides the reader with the primary sources for the history of the ancient Near East. Covering the period from the earliest historical and literary texts (ca. 2700 BC) to the advent of Alexander the Great (331 BC), it presents new translations of Mesopotamian and ancient Near Eastern historiographic texts, and other related materials.

An opening chapter sets out the themes of the book and discusses the difficulties of translating cuneiform texts into English, as well as the difficulty of reconstructing ancient Near Eastern history from textual sources. Texts featured in the main body of the book range from the code of Hammurabi to the Assyrian royal inscriptions. For each text, a detailed commentary is provided, placing it in its historical and cultural context. A map helps to orient the reader.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Brian K. Miller on April 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is so useful I have it both on my bookshelf and on my Kindle. It is a sources book, so there is not much commentary other than translation notes. On the other hand, I refer to it almost daily when searching for just the right example of a dirge, diplomatic missive, or hymn.

If you need a compact collection of Sumerian and Akkadian sources with the current translations you could easily spend a lot more money and receive far less value.

Added on March 22, 2013:

At $19.95 this book in either paperback or ebook was one of the best deals on the planet. It is still one of the finest source books for Sumerian and Akkadian literature. However, every 5th download you must pay for a new copy and at nearly $50 a pop that is both unnecessary and very, very expensive.

If I were to review this book today, I would not recommend it. Scholars can get free copies through their library system and the rest of us can buy half a dozen quality books for the price of this one, especially with "pay again every 5th copy" deal hardwired into the text. I'm a powerful proponent of preservation of intellectual property rights, but the way this book is priced has gone from a reasonable tax on an important work to an insane money grab by a greedy publisher and writer. Better to grab Gilgamesh: A New English Version or any of the Penguin books instead.

Naturally if the price drops back down to reasonable levels this update to my review can be ignored.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jrish on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I teach about the Ancient Near East at a community college and use ancient documents as a part of analyzing the culture of those times. I love this book as a personal reference, but would not use it in my classroom as a book for students to buy. This is the kind of book that would be excellent if it were to be produced in an ebook format, so that portions of it could be used in a classroom setting. The translations are extensive, but as a teacher, I would only use portions of it that were appropriate to my class. Thus, I highly recommend it as a personal reference, but cannot recommend it for teaching, unless you have a highly specialized class.

It covers Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Hittite and Neo Assyrian translations, and more. The Hittite translations were of great interest to me, as texts that are not readily available elsewhere. As I said, it is a great personal reference book, but cannot be justified as an expense for students, unless your course covers all those periods in history.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. S. GIANNAKOS on June 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It is a very good source of Hittite texts. It could be a little better if it could cover a greater variety of the Hittite tab;ets.
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