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The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures Paperback – November 28, 2010


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The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures + Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture (2nd Edition) + The Ancient Near East: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press (November 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0691147264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0691147260
  • Product Dimensions: 1.4 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Pritchard enlisted some of the best scholars of his day to translate myths from Mesopotamia, novellas from Egypt, and calendars from Palestine. They provide an amazing backdrop to reread, and in some cases reinterpret, the Bible. Furthermore, the translations themselves are works of art. . . . These translations have staying power. Not only do they convey the cultural environment of the biblical world but they do so with elegance and timeliness. The translators achieved an admirable balance of fidelity to the original compositions and imaginative creativity."--Books & Culture

"While there are other collections of texts published more recently with some more current translations, there is no extant, modestly priced volume that includes both texts and pictures tor the many cultures this one includes. . . . [T]his volume can serve well in personal, public, school, and small college libraries with its modest price and collected materials. It provides a wealth of material useful for understanding the ancient Near East."--Susan Tower Hollis, American Reference Books Annual

From the Inside Flap

"There is no other anthology on the ancient Near East with this breadth of geographical and linguistic coverage, or with this variety of genres, from the literary and historical to the legal, epistolary, and religious."--Francesca Rochberg, University of California, Berkeley

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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I will very much enjoy this work as I prepare to write my novel.
Maximilian K. Biltz
It is good to have this material back in print, and nice that it is now consolidated.
Ian M. Slater
Excellent book for those interested in original documents to study ancient cultures!
Jrish

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Ian M. Slater TOP 1000 REVIEWER on January 11, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures" (2011) is a terrific book for the purposes for which it is intended -- as a textbook, or for supplementary readings. In any case, as a companion to other sources of information. It could also serve as an introduction (but only that) to several ancient literatures. With the current (January 2013) Amazon discount, the paperback edition is a bargain. Putting together a collection of more recent translations to replace it would be far more expensive.

However, it can't be considered as a stand-alone introduction to the world of the Hebrew Bible ("Old Testament"), as was the case with the full edition, back when it first appeared, sixty-some years ago.

The volume is an abridged edition of the now-classic collection "Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament" (1950, corrected 1955; supplement / expanded edition 1969; commonly ANET) and its companion volume of "The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament" (1954; supplement / expanded edition 1969; commonly ANEP). A library reserve copy of ANET was essential reading for a seminar course on Mesopotamian mythology I took in the 1970s. Competent scholars have quoted its often felicitous translations for decades; some as recently as 2012 (albeit in a revision of work published in the 1980s).

However, the present volume has been stripped of most headnotes, footnotes, and bibliographic information; which may leave a reader at a loss for where else to turn. This could have been handled better; several pages of new bibliography, put together by a few graduate students, could have enhanced the volume significantly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jrish on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent book for those interested in original documents to study ancient cultures! It would be a great addition for Biblical studies/scholarship.

I teach at a community college and have used excerpts from this book for my Ancient Middle East classes. This book has a wide variety of documents, songs, etc. from those time periods. I highly recommend it as a personal reference...though I would like to see it in ebook format to use in my classes.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By warren on January 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is worth more than a two if you are just after pictures, but am rating it two because if you are after any information on the texts or pictures, you will need to purchase the original volume and also 3rd edition. There is very little in the way of date and provenance for over half of the texts, which is something that I'd taken for granted would be in this work :/

the sales blurb says it is a combination of previous works - it is an abbreviation!
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Format: Paperback
This book delivers exactly what it promises - primary textual material from the Ancient Near East. The book covers a broad front ranging from Egypt, Akkad, Ugarit, Canaan and the other parts of the Ancient Near East ("ANE"). The texts that are provided include wisdom literature, letters, myths, and legal documents.

This book is great for someone curious about the literature of the ANE and wants direct exposure to ANE literature itself. Although very brief introductions to some of the texts are provided as orientation, the book does not provide a great deal of interpretative material explaining the meaning or context of the texts. The reader is therefore left to interact directly with the ANE texts.

This interaction is often tough sledding. A lot of the texts are formulaic or stilted or presume a cultural context that a modern reader can't understand. The texts are not something that a reader is likely to dip into for a casual read. In my experience, a certain motivation is required to generate the interest and determination necessary to complete the various texts.

On the other hand, sometimes the stories can make for ripping good yarns. As part of some research I was doing after reading Mark Smith's The Origins of Biblical Monotheism: Israel's Polytheistic Background and the Ugaritic Texts, I read the section on the Ugaritic Ba'al cycle. In that section I read how Ba'al fought and beat the Leviathan, and then fought Mat (death). Initially, Ba'al loses to Mat, and, apparently dies, but after his consort Anath beats up Mat, Ba'al re-appears and this time wins.

The Ba'all story was actually captivating as literature.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent compendium of texts and visuals of the first three millennia BCE. This is a classic that covers Egypt to Persia.
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Very good Anthology of Ancient Literature. Some of the commentary reflects a theological bias - but otherwise, it is a very good collection. Benjamin Foster is a better translator.. my only critique is that it did not seem to include any of his translations.
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