Cover image for Unburning Fame: Horses, Dragons, Beings of Smoke, and Other Indo-European Motifs in Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible By Ola Wikander

Unburning Fame

Horses, Dragons, Beings of Smoke, and Other Indo-European Motifs in Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible

Ola Wikander

BUY

Unburning Fame

Horses, Dragons, Beings of Smoke, and Other Indo-European Motifs in Ugarit and the Hebrew Bible

Ola Wikander

In this book, Ola Wikander studies Indo-European influences in the literary world of the Hebrew Bible and the Ugaritic texts, tracing a number of poetic motifs and other concepts originating in the Indo-European linguistic milieux of the greater Ancient Near East (e.g., among Anatolians and in Indo-European traditions transmitted through Mitanni)--and possibly at earlier, reconstructible levels--as they influenced what became Northwest Semitic poetic culture. The methodology used is what Wikander refers to as “etymological poetics”: the study of poetic and mythological structures as transmitted through specific lexical material.</p>Among the motifs studied are “smoke” as a simile for human life, the great serpent-battling tales of Northwest Semitic in comparison with similar stories among Indo-European-speakers (focusing on the titulature of the combatants and on the reconstruction of inherited and calqued poetic formulas), the etymology of the divine name “Dagan,” and terminology and ideas related to borders and living outside of established social norms, including the concept of the gÄ“r, the “sojourner” or “resident alien.” The study discusses the importance of early poetic borrowings for tracing the interactions between cultural and linguistic contexts, and--using the methodology of “etymological poetics”--employs these motifs and their history as a way of uncovering new, exegetically relevant interpretations of key texts. Ugaritic passages from the Baal and Aqhat texts, as well as biblical passages from (among others) Hosea, Psalms, 1 Kings, and Judges are given new interpretations.

 

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  • Table of Contents
In this book, Ola Wikander studies Indo-European influences in the literary world of the Hebrew Bible and the Ugaritic texts, tracing a number of poetic motifs and other concepts originating in the Indo-European linguistic milieux of the greater Ancient Near East (e.g., among Anatolians and in Indo-European traditions transmitted through Mitanni)--and possibly at earlier, reconstructible levels--as they influenced what became Northwest Semitic poetic culture. The methodology used is what Wikander refers to as “etymological poetics”: the study of poetic and mythological structures as transmitted through specific lexical material.</p>Among the motifs studied are “smoke” as a simile for human life, the great serpent-battling tales of Northwest Semitic in comparison with similar stories among Indo-European-speakers (focusing on the titulature of the combatants and on the reconstruction of inherited and calqued poetic formulas), the etymology of the divine name “Dagan,” and terminology and ideas related to borders and living outside of established social norms, including the concept of the gÄ“r, the “sojourner” or “resident alien.” The study discusses the importance of early poetic borrowings for tracing the interactions between cultural and linguistic contexts, and--using the methodology of “etymological poetics”--employs these motifs and their history as a way of uncovering new, exegetically relevant interpretations of key texts. Ugaritic passages from the Baal and Aqhat texts, as well as biblical passages from (among others) Hosea, Psalms, 1 Kings, and Judges are given new interpretations.

One of the motifs discussed is that of destroying heat being used as a metaphor for forgetting important cultural memories and, consequently, of the resilience of such memories being expressed as resistance to burning. Thus, bringing these ancient connections between Indo-European and Northwest Semitic culture into the open is, in a sense, showing their “Unburning Fame.”

Preface

1. Introduction

2. Preamble: The Semitic and Indo-European Language Families, and Possible Arenas of Interaction

3. Horse and Plow: Case Studies in Technological Indo-European/Hebrew vocabulary

4.Biblical Chaos Dragons—and Indo-European Ones

5. Beings of Smoke: Terms for Living Breath and Humanity in Indo-European, Ugaritic, and Hebrew—and Remarks on Fatlings and Merciful Bodies

6.When Jeroboam Divided His God

7. Dagan/Dagon as a Possibly Indo-European-derived Name, and some Methodological Questions Raised by Religio-historical Etymology

8. Strangers, Boundary Crossers, and Young Predators in Hebrew and Indo-European: gwr, *h<sub>3</sub>erb<sup>h</sup>-, and ḫabiru

9. Fame That Does Not Burn: The Verb ṯkḥ;, the Drought Motif, Indo-European *d<sup>h</sup>g<sup>wh</sup>ei-, and Etymological Poetics

10.Dragons Returning Home: The "Pizza Effect"

11.In Conclusion

12.Abbreviations

13.Bibliography

14.Index of Personal Names

15.Index locorum

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