James Pritchard’s classic anthologies of the ancient Near East have introduced generations of readers to texts essential for understanding the peoples and cultures of this important region. Now these two enduring works have been combined and integrated into one convenient and richly illustrated volume, with a new foreword that puts the translations in context.
With more than 130 reading selections and 300 photographs of ancient art, architecture, and artifacts, this volume provides a stimulating introduction to some of the most significant and widely studied texts of the ancient Near East, including the Epic of Gilgamesh, the Creation Epic (Enuma elish), the Code of Hammurabi, and the Baal Cycle. For students of history, religion, the Bible, archaeology, and anthropology, this anthology provides a wealth of material for understanding the ancient Near East.
Historical textsLegal texts and treatiesInscriptionsHymnsDidactic and wisdom literatureOracles and propheciesLove poetry and other literary textsLetters
- Represents the diverse cultures and languages of the ancient Near East—Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Hittite, Ugaritic, Canaanite, and Aramaic—in a wide range of genres:
- New foreword puts the classic translations in context
- More than 300 photographs document ancient art, architecture, and artifacts related to the texts
- Fully indexed
James B. Pritchard (1909-1997) was professor of religious thought at the University of Pennsylvania and curator of Syro-Palestinian archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Daniel E. Fleming is professor of Hebrew and Judaic studies at New York University.
"Pritchard enlisted some of the best scholars of his day to translate myths from Mesopotamia, novellas from Egypt, and calendars from Palestine. They provide an amazing backdrop to reread, and in some cases reinterpret, the Bible. Furthermore, the translations themselves are works of art. . . . These translations have staying power. Not only do they convey the cultural environment of the biblical world but they do so with elegance and timeliness. The translators achieved an admirable balance of fidelity to the original compositions and imaginative creativity."—Books & Culture
"While there are other collections of texts published more recently with some more current translations, there is no extant, modestly priced volume that includes both texts and pictures tor the many cultures this one includes. . . . This volume can serve well in personal, public, school, and small college libraries with its modest price and collected materials. It provides a wealth of material useful for understanding the ancient Near East."—Susan Tower Hollis, American Reference Books Annual
"I recommend the new edition to all academic libraries in light of the quantity of primary source material. . . . It would make an excellent classroom resource."—Tyler Mayfield, Religious Studies Review
"There is no other anthology on the ancient Near East with this breadth of geographical and linguistic coverage, or with this variety of genres, from the literary and historical to the legal, epistolary, and religious."—Francesca Rochberg, University of California, Berkeley