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A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture and Literature



By: William M. Schniedewind(Author) Joel H. Hunt(Author)

Language: English

Genre: Religion & Spirituality

Publisher: Cambridge University Press (2 July 2007)

Format: pdf doc docx mobi djvu epub ibooks (*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.)

The original title of the book: A Primer on Ugaritic: Language, Culture and Literature

A Primer on Ugaritic is an introduction to the language of the ancient city of Ugarit, a city that flourished in the second millennium BCE on the Lebanese coast, placed in the context of the culture, literature, and religion of this ancient Semitic culture. The Ugaritic language and literature was a precursor to Canaanite and serves as one of our most important resources for understanding the Old Testament and the Hebrew language. Special emphasis is placed on contextualization of the Ugaritic language and comparison to ancient Hebrew as well as Akkadian. The book begins with a general introduction to ancient Ugarit, and the introduction to the various genres of Ugaritic literature is placed in the context of this introduction. The language is introduced by genre, beginning with prose and letters, proceeding to administrative, and finally introducing the classic examples of Ugaritic epic. A summary of the grammar, a glossary, and a bibliography round out the volume.

'In the Ugaritic Primer, Joel Hunt and William Schiedewind have given to the field its first introduction to the Ugaritic language ever to be produced in English. Informed by the most recent research, the authors provide a well-rounded and balanced treatment of grammatical information and texts. This book contains everything students beginning Ugaritic need: a fine introduction to the ancient city of Ugarit; a concise survey of the grammar; accessible introductions to the various genres of texts; a chrestomathy of more than twenty Ugaritic texts from different genres, along with helpful notes; a glossary of the words in the texts with cognates from various languages; and a listing of resources for further study. The work is user-friendly, clear and engaging.A very welcome addition to Ugaritic studies, this primer will serve generations of students.' Mark Smith, New York University'In contrast to many introductory Semitic language grammars, this volume is surprisingly readable.The presentation is clear, accessible, and largely jargon-free.Because of the thoughtful arrangement and composition of this primer, students will be able to learn the language more quickly and enjoyably … Schniedewind and Hunt have produced a very fine grammar that will surely be a welcome mainstay in all levels of introductory Ugaritic courses whether they are undergraduate or graduate programs.' The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures

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  • By Mr. Richard D. L. Sargent on 14 May 2011

    An extremely helpful introduction to Ugaritic indeed.The authors are at pains to stress that their publication is INTRODUCTORY, and with that in mind, it excels.The grammar is concise, perhaps a nuts-and-bolts sketch, but if you have a reasonable background in Hebrew or similar Semitic language you'll sail through smoothly. If you are unfamiliar with Semitic languages, I fear you'll not so much sail, as find yourself aboard the Titanic in a sea of homing icebergs.Contained in the aforementioned grammar are the usual suspects: pronouns (including the dual), nouns + adjectives (again, including the dual), numerals and verbs.The glossary is extensive enough to get comparative linguist-anoraks like myself drooling.Perhaps the greatest strength of this Primer is the inclusion of Ugaritic texts... not only in transliteration but the cuneiform as well. I should add that the cuneiform of Ugaritic is alphabetical, unlike Akkadian (etc) with hundreds of naughty little characters to be learnt. There are even a few photographs of cuneiform tablets, with accompanying transcripts, to help get one's eye in, so to speak.If you possess "Canaanite Myths and Legends - Gibson", this Primer is very complementary. Gibson has the Baal Cycle in transliteration and English only, whereas this has "Mourning", "Yam and Baal" and also "Keret", in cuneiform and transliteration. Also, the style, size and quality of printing is much clearer than Gibson.Finally, for those wishing to further their Ugaritic study, there is a helpful bibliography / further reading section.Overall, highly recommended for Semitic studies and historical linguists. The casual reader might be lost after the introductory history chapters.

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