Veteran American writer Herman Wouk takes on Moses

By Mary Fisk|January 4, 2013|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Literature|0 comments

At the age of 97, the veteran American writer, Herman Wouk, has just published The Lawgiver – a “postmodern epistolary novel” (according to the Jewish Review of Books) following the efforts of tycoon Louis Gluck, lapsed Hasid, Margot Solovei, and a writer named “Herman Wouk” to script and produce a film about the life of the Biblical Moses Read the  Jewish Review of Books article, which discusses the novel, Wouk’s life

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Responsa Project: trial running for another week

By Mary Fisk|November 23, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Law, Religions|0 comments

Coordinated by Bar-Ilan University, the Responsa Project is the world’s largest online collection of Torah literature “The database includes the Bible and its principal commentaries, the Talmud Bavli and Talmud Yerushalmi with commentaries, Midrash, Zohar, Halachic Law (Rambam, Shulchan Aruch with commentaries), a large Responsa collection of questions and answers (‘Shut’ in Hebrew), the Talmudic Encyclopedia etc.” Go to  from any computer on campus to explore the database &

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New open-access titles from the Oriental Institute (University of Chicago)

By Mary Fisk|November 23, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Linguistics, Literature|0 comments

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has released the following open-access monographs on ancient Near Eastern languages, literatures and cuneiform studies. These titles complete the Assyriological Studies series AS 24. The Hittite Instruction for the Royal Bodyguard. H. G. Güterbock and Theo van den Hout. 1991 AS 21. Computer-Aided Analyses of Amorite. I. J. Gelb. 1980 AS 19. The Akkadian Influence on Aramaic. S. Kaufman. 1974

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Learning Akkadian?

By Mary Fisk|October 11, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica|0 comments

Try these online vocabulary flashcards designed to be used with John Huehnergard’s textbook,  A grammar of Akkadian. The Library has several editions of Huehnergard’s book, the latest being the 3rd edition (2011) at Ref QEG415 / 978864 Click here to link to the Library catalogue

Book review: Women and the Messianic heresy of Sabbatai Zevi

By Mary Fisk|September 10, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Religions|0 comments

Ada Rapoport-Albert’s latest book Women and the Messianic heresy of Sabbatai Zevi: 1666-1815 explores the role of female prophets, mystics and religious activities in the “heretical” Sabbathaian Jewish sect of the 17th to early 19th century, making comparisons with the role of women among the Hasidim at the time and contending that pre-modern roots of “feminism” can be found among the Sabbathaians rather than the Hasidim. She also looks at the place of Jewish female prophets

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Make your own Mesopotamian bread!

By Mary Fisk|August 3, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica|0 comments

The Silk Road Gourmet is a blog from food writer Laura Kelley looking at “the cuisines, histories and cultures of the more than thirty countries that traded goods along … the Silk Road” This post looks at bread-making in ancient Mesopotamia and suggests recipes to create your own sourdough spelt loaves (perhaps flavoured with onion seeds, sumac or saffron ) Click here to go to The Silk Road Gourmet

On the Aleppo Codex

By Mary Fisk|August 2, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Religions|0 comments

Click to read an article from the New York Times on the “murky and often contradictory story” of the travels of “the oldest, most complete, most accurate text of the Hebrew Bible” dating from around 930 AD. The Codex has been digitized and made available by the Ben Zvi Institute in Jerusalem. Click here to view the Codex website. There is a another link to the digitized text. The text can

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Gilgamesh among us: Book review

By Mary Fisk|July 25, 2012|Ancient Near East, Semitics and Judaica, Literature, Music, Media and Film Studies|0 comments

Professor Andrew George has reviewed Theodore Ziolkowski’s recent study Gilgamesh among us: modern encounters with the ancient epic (Cornell University Press, 2012) The book looks at “the cultural history of the reception of Gilgamesh in modern times, especially its popular reception and its impact on literature, art and music” To read the full review, go to the Institute of Historical Research’s Reviews in History  SOAS Library has a copy at QED892.1

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