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Life and Mortality in Ugaritic

A Lexical and Literary Study

Matthew McAffee

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$119.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-1-57506-663-9

392 pages
6" × 9"
2019

Explorations in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations

Life and Mortality in Ugaritic

A Lexical and Literary Study

Matthew McAffee

While topics such as death, funerary cult, and the netherworld have received considerable scholarly attention in the context of the Ugaritic textual corpus, the related concept of life has been relatively neglected. Life and Mortality in Ugaritic takes as its premise that one cannot grasp the significance of mwt (“to die”) without first having wrestled with the concept of ḥyy (“to live”).

 

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While topics such as death, funerary cult, and the netherworld have received considerable scholarly attention in the context of the Ugaritic textual corpus, the related concept of life has been relatively neglected. Life and Mortality in Ugaritic takes as its premise that one cannot grasp the significance of mwt (“to die”) without first having wrestled with the concept of ḥyy (“to live”).

In this book, Matthew McAffee takes a lexical approach to the study of life and death in the Ugaritic textual corpus. He identifies and analyzes the Ugaritic terms most commonly used to talk about life and mortality in order to construct a more representative framework of the ancient perspective on these topics, and he concludes by synthesizing the results of this lexical study into a broader literary discussion that considers, among other things, the implications for our understanding of the first-millennium Katumuwa stele from Zincirli.

McAffee’s study complements previous scholarly work in this area, which has tended to rely on conceptual and theoretical treatment of mortality, and advances the discussion by providing a more focused lexical analysis of the Ugaritic terms in question. It will be of interest to Semitic scholars and those who study Ugaritic in particular, in addition to students of the culture of the ancient Levant.

Matthew McAffee is Provost at Welch College, where he teaches Biblical Studies in the School of Theology.

Acknowledgments

List of Abbreviations

Introduction

Lexicography and Method

A Lexical Analysis of Life and Mortality in Ugaritic

Chapter 1. An Analysis of Words for “Life” in Ugaritic

1.1. Introduction

1.2. The Roots ḥwy/ḥyy

1.3. Summary

Chapter 2. NPŠ and Other Terms for Body Parts Especially Associated with the Concept of Life

2.1. Introduction 67

2.2. Life and Body Parts: npš = “Neck” and “throat”

2.3. Life and Body Parts: brlt as a Parallel of npš

2.4. Life and Other Body Parts: kbd, lb, and aʾp

2.5. Summary

Chapter 3. An Analysis of Words for “Death” in Ugaritic

3.1. Introduction

3.2. The Root m-w-t

3.3. Substantive Forms

3.4. Summary

Chapter 4. The Ugaritic Rapaʾūma

4.1. Introduction

4.2. The Root rpʾ 192

4.3. The rpʾum 200

4.4. Summary

Chapter 5. Life and Mortality at Ugarit: A Synthesis

5.1. Introduction

5.2. Mythology and the Language of Correspondence

5.3. Life and Revivification 274

5.4. The Anatomy of Life

5.5. The Life and Death of Physical Objects

5.6. The Intersection of Mythology and Burial

5.7. The Royal Dead

5.8. Summary

Appendix. First Millennium BC Funerary Monuments

6.1. Introduction

6.2. The Phoenician Royal Funerary Inscriptions

6.3. The Zincirli Funerary Inscriptions

6.4. Defining Disembodied npš/nbš

6.5. Summary

Bibliography

Index of Authors

Index of Scripture

Index of Ugaritic Sources

Index of Subjects