Cover image for Poets Before Homer: Collected Essays on Ancient Literature Edited by F. Allsopp and Delbert Hillers

Poets Before Homer

Collected Essays on Ancient Literature

Edited by F. Allsopp, and Delbert Hillers

BUY

$59.50 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-340-9

6" × 9"

Poets Before Homer

Collected Essays on Ancient Literature

Edited by F. Allsopp, and Delbert Hillers

This volume collects and reprints many of Delbert R. Hillers’s most important published essays and articles, his long out-of-print Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets, and three previously unpublished essays, including the aforementioned “‘Poets Before Homer’: Archaeology and the Western Literary Tradition”. Hillers gave the latter as the 1992 William Foxwell Albright Lecture at The Johns Hopkins University and in it uses Ernst Robert Curtius’s European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, with its “topological” method, as a model for exploring the connections of the most ancient Near Eastern literatures (including the Bible) to later Western literature. Though one of his latest pieces of writing, “Poets Before Homer” represents, as Hillers himself recognized, a fairly clear statement of what he had been doing in much of his earlier scholarship and the volume collects the best of this earlier scholarship. Most of these essays work themselves out from a particular passage, theme, topos, image, or grammatical issue, and gain their interpretive vantage point by reading said passage, etc. comparatively, whether in light of relevant ancient Near Eastern and/or more recent European literary parallels or with reference to some more theoretical interest, such as modern linguistic theory. Hillers’s habit of mind ran toward the particular, toward the individual detail. His genius—if this word may be used—was in his capacity to seize upon one aspect of some larger entity, problem, or topic, to work it through, thoroughly and, as often as not, decisively, all the while resisting the temptation to take up the larger, perhaps un(re)solvable complex of which the detail or problem was but a part. The worked example is the Hillersian trademark—“exemplum followed by moralisatio”—and Poets Before Homer collects all of his best.

 

  • Description
  • Table of Contents
This volume collects and reprints many of Delbert R. Hillers’s most important published essays and articles, his long out-of-print Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets, and three previously unpublished essays, including the aforementioned “‘Poets Before Homer’: Archaeology and the Western Literary Tradition”. Hillers gave the latter as the 1992 William Foxwell Albright Lecture at The Johns Hopkins University and in it uses Ernst Robert Curtius’s European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages, with its “topological” method, as a model for exploring the connections of the most ancient Near Eastern literatures (including the Bible) to later Western literature. Though one of his latest pieces of writing, “Poets Before Homer” represents, as Hillers himself recognized, a fairly clear statement of what he had been doing in much of his earlier scholarship and the volume collects the best of this earlier scholarship. Most of these essays work themselves out from a particular passage, theme, topos, image, or grammatical issue, and gain their interpretive vantage point by reading said passage, etc. comparatively, whether in light of relevant ancient Near Eastern and/or more recent European literary parallels or with reference to some more theoretical interest, such as modern linguistic theory. Hillers’s habit of mind ran toward the particular, toward the individual detail. His genius—if this word may be used—was in his capacity to seize upon one aspect of some larger entity, problem, or topic, to work it through, thoroughly and, as often as not, decisively, all the while resisting the temptation to take up the larger, perhaps un(re)solvable complex of which the detail or problem was but a part. The worked example is the Hillersian trademark—“exemplum followed by moralisatio”—and Poets Before Homer collects all of his best.

Foreword

1. “Poets Before Homer”: Archaeology and the Western Literary Tradition

Part I: Traditions in Metaphor, Magic, and Other Aspects of Literature: Some Examples

2. A Convention in Hebrew Literature: The Reaction to Bad News

3. “The Roads to Zion Mourn” (Lam 1:4)

4. Homeric Dictated Texts: A Reexamination of Some Near Eastern Evidence

5. A Study of Psalm 148

6. Salamalecchi: Formulas of Greeting and ‘Salute Jerusalem’ (Ps 122:6–9)

7. The Effective Simile in Biblical Literature

8. Dust: Some Aspects of Old Testament Imagery

9. Two Notes on the Decameron (III vii 42–43 and VIII vii 64, IX v 48)

I. The “santa parola dell’Evangelio” (III vii 42–43)

II. Cateratte (VIII vii 64 and IX v 48)

Part II: Traditions in Treaty and Covenant

10. Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets

Detailed Table of Contents

Acknowledgements

Abbreviations

List of Works Cited

I. The Problem and the Sources

II. Types of Treaty-Curses and Their History

III. Two Biblical Lists of Curses: Deuteronomy 28 and Leviticus 26

IV. Old Testament Parallels to Treaty-Curses

V. Additional Considerations and Conclusions

11. A Note on Some Treaty Terminology in the Old Testament

12. Rite: Ceremonies of Law and Treaty in the Ancient Near East

Performative Ritual in the Aramaic Papyri

Ceremony in Ancient Near Eastern Treaties

Part III: Starting Points: Ugarit, Hermopolis, and Palmyra

13. The Bow of Aqhat: The Meaning of a Mythological Theme

I. The Bow of Aqhat

II. The Mythological Theme

III. The Meaning of the Theme

IV. The Meaning of the Aqhat Epic

14. A Proposal for a Difficult Line in Keret lm ank ksp

15. Redemption in Letters 6 and 2 from Hermopolis

16. Analyzing the Abominable: Our Understanding of Canaanite Religion

17. Palmyrene Aramaic Inscriptions and the Old Testament, especially Amos 2:8

I. Palmyrene Aramaic Inscriptions and the Old Testament

II. Amos 2:8

18. Palmyrene Aramaic Inscriptions and the Bible

A. Genesis 2–3 “The God Yahweh and the Naked Couple”

B. Abraham’s Purchase of Tomb Property

C. “Goddess” in Biblical Hebrew

Part IV: Grinding at Grammar

19. Observations on Syntax and Meter in Lamentations

Verbless Clauses in Lamentations

The Order of Sentence Elements: Following the Verb in Lamentations

20. Delocutive Verbs in Biblical Hebrew

21. Hôy and Hôy-Oracles: A Neglected Syntactic Aspect

22. Some Performative Utterances in the Bible

List of Publications

Doctoral Dissertations Directed at the Johns Hopkins University

Index of Scripture

Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list and be notified about new titles, journals and catalogs.