Les religions du Proche-Orient asiatiqueby René Labat; André Caquot; Maurice Sznycer; Maurice Vieyra

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<ul><li><p>Les religions du Proche-Orient asiatique by Ren Labat; Andr Caquot; Maurice Sznycer;Maurice VieyraReview by: Edwin C. KingsburyJournal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 92, No. 2 (Apr. - Jun., 1972), pp. 311-312Published by: American Oriental SocietyStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/600673 .Accessed: 10/06/2014 09:34</p><p>Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms &amp; Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p><p> .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org.</p><p> .</p><p>American Oriental Society is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal ofthe American Oriental Society.</p><p>http://www.jstor.org </p><p>This content downloaded from 193.104.110.53 on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:34:01 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=aoshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/600673?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Reviews of Books Reviews of Books </p><p>Antonino di Vita presents the results of his findings in Tripolitania in "Les pheniciens de l'occident d'apres les decouvertes archeologiques de Tripolitaine". This here- tofore neglected area has significance for the study of western Phoenician culture mainly because three im- portant centers established there by the Carthaginians- Leptis, Oea and Sabratha-were not destroyed as was Carthage. Nor did they become sites of Roman colonies, thus partially preserving their Semitic culture. Di Vita gives a survey of the architecture including the impor- tant Mausoleum of Sabratha. </p><p>James B. Pritchard in "New Evidence on the Role of the Sea Peoples in Canaan at the Beginning of the Iron Age" presents findings from the cemetery at Tell es- Sa'diyeh in the Jordan valley during the years 1964-65. Forty-five tombs were excavated and although Pritch- ard presents only one tomb in his paper (Tomb 101) the grave goods confirm the view that the coastal and fertile plains and valleys of Palestine were invaded by that diverse group known as the "Peoples of the Sea" during the 13th and 12th centuries B.c. Burial customs, certain decorative elements on pottery, bronze objects, made primarily for display rather than for utilitarian or religious purposes, were introduced and used by these settlers in the Jordan valley. Traditional pottery forms were reproduced in metal indicating that these people probably possessed the skill for casting such metal objects. According to Pritchard archaeological evidence from Beth-shan, Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Tell Mazar and Deir 'Alla is strong enough to justify the term "metalworking people" as a designation for these newcomers in the central Jordan valley. These sea-borne intruders who settled here belong to the "Peoples of the Sea" mentioned in historical sources extending from the times of Mer- ne-Ptah through the reign of Rameses III. To what ex- tent they were related to the Phoenicians, their suc- cessors to the sea power in the Mediterranean, can only be answered by further archaeological discovery and research. </p><p>John A. Wilson in his essay "A Century of Near East- ern Archaeology and the Future" reviews one century of purposeful research in the Near East dividing this century into four phases. The pre-archaeological period in which he places Renan, responsible in 1860 for the first archaeological investigation in Phoenicia, was char- acterized by the desire for the monumental piece with- out any precision as to where the piece had been erected or its association with other objects. The proto-archaeo- logical period began in 1870 with Schliemann at Troy. The true archaeological period begins with Petrie when he emphasized the importance of "unconsidered trifles" as being the true materials for the guidance of the archaeologist and that "pottery is the very key to dig- ging." An intermediate stage followed World War I. World War II to the present day is classified as the post- classical period by Wilson with some shift of emphasis from written materials to the archaeological story as </p><p>Antonino di Vita presents the results of his findings in Tripolitania in "Les pheniciens de l'occident d'apres les decouvertes archeologiques de Tripolitaine". This here- tofore neglected area has significance for the study of western Phoenician culture mainly because three im- portant centers established there by the Carthaginians- Leptis, Oea and Sabratha-were not destroyed as was Carthage. Nor did they become sites of Roman colonies, thus partially preserving their Semitic culture. Di Vita gives a survey of the architecture including the impor- tant Mausoleum of Sabratha. </p><p>James B. Pritchard in "New Evidence on the Role of the Sea Peoples in Canaan at the Beginning of the Iron Age" presents findings from the cemetery at Tell es- Sa'diyeh in the Jordan valley during the years 1964-65. Forty-five tombs were excavated and although Pritch- ard presents only one tomb in his paper (Tomb 101) the grave goods confirm the view that the coastal and fertile plains and valleys of Palestine were invaded by that diverse group known as the "Peoples of the Sea" during the 13th and 12th centuries B.c. Burial customs, certain decorative elements on pottery, bronze objects, made primarily for display rather than for utilitarian or religious purposes, were introduced and used by these settlers in the Jordan valley. Traditional pottery forms were reproduced in metal indicating that these people probably possessed the skill for casting such metal objects. According to Pritchard archaeological evidence from Beth-shan, Tell es-Sa'idiyeh, Tell Mazar and Deir 'Alla is strong enough to justify the term "metalworking people" as a designation for these newcomers in the central Jordan valley. These sea-borne intruders who settled here belong to the "Peoples of the Sea" mentioned in historical sources extending from the times of Mer- ne-Ptah through the reign of Rameses III. To what ex- tent they were related to the Phoenicians, their suc- cessors to the sea power in the Mediterranean, can only be answered by further archaeological discovery and research. </p><p>John A. Wilson in his essay "A Century of Near East- ern Archaeology and the Future" reviews one century of purposeful research in the Near East dividing this century into four phases. The pre-archaeological period in which he places Renan, responsible in 1860 for the first archaeological investigation in Phoenicia, was char- acterized by the desire for the monumental piece with- out any precision as to where the piece had been erected or its association with other objects. The proto-archaeo- logical period began in 1870 with Schliemann at Troy. The true archaeological period begins with Petrie when he emphasized the importance of "unconsidered trifles" as being the true materials for the guidance of the archaeologist and that "pottery is the very key to dig- ging." An intermediate stage followed World War I. World War II to the present day is classified as the post- classical period by Wilson with some shift of emphasis from written materials to the archaeological story as </p><p>told by unwritten materials. As to the future, the range of each field has become too vast for one man to maintain full coverage of every aspect. Here Wilson makes a plea for closer relations between foreign and local scholars, joint expeditions by western museums and eastern ser- vices of antiquities to illustrate that scholarship is universal. Insofar as future archaeology goes, the essen- tial search should not be for the rich art object but for a primitive stratified village or for the foreign merchant colony in an ancient city. Wilson emphasizes the ab- solute necessity for rounding out the picture of ancient times. </p><p>Father Mitchell Dahood in "The Phoenician Con- tribution to Biblical Wisdom Literature" uses the term "Phoenician" to designate the Canaanite people and culture of the Syrian and Phoenician coast after the year 1200 B.C. Over five thousand Phoenician, Punic and Neo-Punic inscriptions have been published and this body of linguistic material may prove helpful in the explanation of grammatical and lexical difficulties en- countered in Biblical Wisdom literature. Dahood has divided his paper under the following headings: Orthog- raphy, Phonology, Pronouns, Nouns, Case-endings, Syn- tax and Vocabulary, an index of Hebrew words, and an index of Biblical texts. </p><p>This valuable collection of essays edited by William A. Ward is further supplemented by forty plates, in- cluding some illustrations hitherto unpublished. </p><p>NINA JIDEJIAN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT </p><p>Les religions du Proche-Orient asiatique. By RENA LABAT, ANDRE CAQUOT, MAURICE SZNYCER, AND MAURICE VIEYRA. Pp. 583, chronological table. Paris: FA- YARD/DENOEL. 1970. Ffr. 55.-. </p><p>This book is the second of a trilogy published under the title Le tresor spirituel de l'humanite under the editor- ship of Jean Chevalier. The largest part of this volume was prepared by Labat (pp. 1-349). Herein he treats the Akkadian literature, while minor sections on Ugaritic and Hittite literature are left for Caquot, and Sznycer and Vieyra respectively. </p><p>The book is a very well done piece, written for the general public, with accurate and pleasing translations of the ancient materials. Each selection is accompanied by a scholarly and precise introduction and filled in with adequate notes. Probably the most serious fault of the first part of the book lies in Labat's refusal to recog- nize the separateness of Sumerian literature. He in- dicates (pp. 16 ff.) that Semitic and Sumerian ideas were fused as early as the literature arose. This thesis is at best debatable and cannot account for the large and persistent body of Sumerian literature. It is almost as if one were to neglect the whole Latin tradition when </p><p>told by unwritten materials. As to the future, the range of each field has become too vast for one man to maintain full coverage of every aspect. Here Wilson makes a plea for closer relations between foreign and local scholars, joint expeditions by western museums and eastern ser- vices of antiquities to illustrate that scholarship is universal. Insofar as future archaeology goes, the essen- tial search should not be for the rich art object but for a primitive stratified village or for the foreign merchant colony in an ancient city. Wilson emphasizes the ab- solute necessity for rounding out the picture of ancient times. </p><p>Father Mitchell Dahood in "The Phoenician Con- tribution to Biblical Wisdom Literature" uses the term "Phoenician" to designate the Canaanite people and culture of the Syrian and Phoenician coast after the year 1200 B.C. Over five thousand Phoenician, Punic and Neo-Punic inscriptions have been published and this body of linguistic material may prove helpful in the explanation of grammatical and lexical difficulties en- countered in Biblical Wisdom literature. Dahood has divided his paper under the following headings: Orthog- raphy, Phonology, Pronouns, Nouns, Case-endings, Syn- tax and Vocabulary, an index of Hebrew words, and an index of Biblical texts. </p><p>This valuable collection of essays edited by William A. Ward is further supplemented by forty plates, in- cluding some illustrations hitherto unpublished. </p><p>NINA JIDEJIAN AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF BEIRUT </p><p>Les religions du Proche-Orient asiatique. By RENA LABAT, ANDRE CAQUOT, MAURICE SZNYCER, AND MAURICE VIEYRA. Pp. 583, chronological table. Paris: FA- YARD/DENOEL. 1970. Ffr. 55.-. </p><p>This book is the second of a trilogy published under the title Le tresor spirituel de l'humanite under the editor- ship of Jean Chevalier. The largest part of this volume was prepared by Labat (pp. 1-349). Herein he treats the Akkadian literature, while minor sections on Ugaritic and Hittite literature are left for Caquot, and Sznycer and Vieyra respectively. </p><p>The book is a very well done piece, written for the general public, with accurate and pleasing translations of the ancient materials. Each selection is accompanied by a scholarly and precise introduction and filled in with adequate notes. Probably the most serious fault of the first part of the book lies in Labat's refusal to recog- nize the separateness of Sumerian literature. He in- dicates (pp. 16 ff.) that Semitic and Sumerian ideas were fused as early as the literature arose. This thesis is at best debatable and cannot account for the large and persistent body of Sumerian literature. It is almost as if one were to neglect the whole Latin tradition when </p><p>311 311 </p><p>This content downloaded from 193.104.110.53 on Tue, 10 Jun 2014 09:34:01 AMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions</p><p>http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp</p></li><li><p>Journal of the American Oriental Society, 92.2 (1971) Journal of the American Oriental Society, 92.2 (1971) Journal of the American Oriental Society, 92.2 (1971) </p><p>considering the romance literature of the late Middle Ages. As a result Labat organizes the Sumero-Akkadian literature by topics; such as, "The origins and glory of the creator," "The underworld and the underworld deities," and "The cycle of Istar." Neither chronology nor ethnic background come much into play in the writer's ordering. </p><p>The second two parts of the book suffer from brevity. Considerable portions of both Ugaritic literature and Hittite thought are completely omitted. And most surprisingly, under Hittite thought one finds a subsec- tion entitled, "Hurrian myths and (other) myths of foreign origin." The justification for this section seems to be the author's thesis that the Hittites learned the system of cuneiform writing from the Hurrians (pp. 538 f.). </p><p>All in all the book is an adequate presentation of ancient Near Eastern thought in a popular vein. In that goal the authors achieve their purpose. But as a scholarly presentation to experts, the book seems better kept in the library than on a shelf near the desk. </p><p>EDWIN C. KINGSBURY XENIA, OHIO </p><p>The World of the Phoenicians. By SABATINO MOSCATI. Translated from the Italian by ALASTAIR HAMILTON. Pp. xxii + 281. Illustrations 113 and drawings 50. New York and Washington: FREDERICK A. PRAEGER. 1968. $10.-. </p><p>As his The Face of the Ancient Orient treated the an- cient Near East in general, this book attempts to present a synthesis of the history and spread of the Phoenicians across the Mediterranean world. Once again Moscati has collected the latest data and edited them so as to present precisely and accurately an overview of Phoenician- Punic history. </p><p>Perhaps the outstanding contribution of the book lies in its broadness. Little time was wasted on minutia. In- stead, notes,...</p></li></ul>