Myth and Politics in Ancient near Eastern Historiography

Myth and Politics in Ancient near Eastern Historiography

by Mario Liverani
     
 

ISBN-10: 0801443334

ISBN-13: 9780801443336

Pub. Date: 09/28/2004

Publisher: Cornell University Press

The essays included in this volume analyze important historical texts from various regions of the Ancient Near East. The distinguished Italian historian Mario Liverani suggests that these historiographical texts were of a "true" historical nature and that their literary forms achieved their intended results. Liverani focuses on two central themes in these texts:…  See more details below

Overview

The essays included in this volume analyze important historical texts from various regions of the Ancient Near East. The distinguished Italian historian Mario Liverani suggests that these historiographical texts were of a "true" historical nature and that their literary forms achieved their intended results. Liverani focuses on two central themes in these texts: myth and politics.There is a close connection, Liverani finds, between the writing of history and the validation of political order and political action. History defines the correct role and behavior of political leaders, especially when they do not possess the validation provided by tradition. Historical texts, he discovers, are more often the tools for supporting change than for supporting stability.Liverani demonstrates that history writing in the Ancient Near East made frequent use of mythical patterns, wisdom motifs, and literary themes in order to fulfill its audience's cultural expectations. The resulting nonhistorical literary forms can mislead interpretation, but an analysis of these forms allows the texts' sociopolitical and communicative frameworks to emerge.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801443336
Publisher:
Cornell University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2004
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.13(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1Mesopotamia
1Adapa, guest of the gods3
Pt. 2Hittite Anatolia
2Telipinu, or : on solidarity27
3Shunashura, or : on reciprocity53
Pt. 3Syria
4Leaving by chariot for the desert85
5Rib-Adda, righteous sufferer97
6Aziru, servant of two masters125
Pt. 4Hebrew Bible
7The story of Joash147
8Messages, women, and hospitality : inter-tribal communication in Judges 19-21160

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