'Mario Liverani's work is among the most original and penetrating in the discipline of ancient Near Eastern studies. I recommend this brilliant and fascinating book with high enthusiasm.' Benjamin R. Foster, Laffan Professor of Assyriology and Babylonian Literature and Curator of the Yale Babylonian Collection, Yale University 'This collection of his classic essays, selected by Liverani himself, and presented in English for the first time, displays Liverani's brilliance in dissecting a variety of myths, treaties, royal inscriptions, letters and Biblical narratives. Liverani's influence on the interpretation of history is generously acknowledged by professional historians of the Ancient Near East and by the Italian reading public. This collection will bring his substantive contributions and his method to a wider audience of historians, anthropologists, and literary critics. The editors have done a splendid job introducing the essays, revising Liverani's own translations and providing handy references to studies that have appeared since Liverani's original work.'
Norman Yoffee, Professor of Near Eastern Studies, University of Michigan The essays collected in this volume represent a selection of studies, previously published mainly in Italian, that make explicit use of anthropological and semiological tools in order to analyze important texts of historical nature from various regions of the Ancient Near East. They suggest that these historiographical texts were of a 'true' historical nature, and that the literary forms and mental models employed were very apt at accomplishing the intended results. Two different aspects are especially emphasized: myth and politics.
Mario Liverani is Professor of History of the Ancient Near East at the University of Rome "La Sapienza". Zainab Bahrani is Edith Porada Associate Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Art in the Department of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University. Marc Van De Mieroop is Professor of Ancient Near Eastern Studies in the Departments of History and Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University.
Editors' Introduction; Abbreviations; Part One: Mesopotamia; 1. Adapa, Guest of the Gods; Part Two: Hittite Anatolia; 2. Telipinu, or: on Solidarity; 3. Shunashura, or: on Reciprocity; Part Three: Syria; 4. Leaving by Chariot for the Desert; 5. Rob-Adda, Righteous Sufferer; 6. Aziru, Servant of Two Masters; Part Four: Hebrew Bible; 7. The Story of Joash; 8. Messages, Women, and Hospitality. Inter-tribal Communication in Judges 19-21