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Stories from Ancient Canaan Paperback – January 1, 1978
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Dr. Coogan's book is a translation of fifteen tablets recovered from the library of the priest Ilimilku from Shubbani, who was the chief priest of Baal in the city's main temple complex. The texts were commissioned under King Niqmaddu II (c. 1375-1345), and four stories from that commissioning are here translated and published by Dr. Coogan.
The first translated story is titled Aqhat, which is the story of a man, Danel, who wants a son. After entreating the chief god El, Aqhat is born to Danel. The story then traces Aqhat and his struggles with the gods, which ends in his death.
The second story is called The Healers, and is quite fragmentary and only takes up a page of translated text.
The third story is the story Kirta (Keret). King Kirta is a sort of Job figure who entreats El for children and then receives a dream and instructions. He follows the instructions of the dream and has children.Read more ›
For a comprehensive study these and other religious texts found at Ras Shamra, see _Religious Texts from Ugarit_ by Nicolas Wyatt.
As for the myths themselves . . . I didn't care for them. Their primary concerns seem to be the nature of authority and/or kingship. This is useful information for understanding what was important for some of these folks back when this was written. I just don't find this to be as compelling as Gilgamesh or even some of the liturgical poetry of mesopotamia, and the language certainly did not sing to me the way that liturgical poetry does.
One cool thing that struck me about this stuff is how it can remind you of aspects of the big three monotheistic franchises:
"And if Baal the Conqueror lives,
if the Prince, the Lord of the Earth, has revived,
in a dream of El the Kind, the Compassionate,
in a vision the Creator of All,
let the heavens rain down oil,
let the wadis run with honey;
then I will know that Baal the Conqueror lives,
that the Prince, the Lord of the Earth has revived."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book gave me exactly what I was looking for which was a portable means to prove to people that the concepts and names of God as found in the Tanakh/Bible were based upon and... Read morePublished on November 8, 2011 by Archon474