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Admonition and Curse

Hardback|Dec 2004
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$214.50

Noel Weeks investigates treaty occurrences in different cultures - Mesopotamia, the Hittites, Egypt, Syrian centers, and Israel - and finds that the forms used correlate with ways of maintaining political control both internally and over vassals.


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Noel Weeks investigates treaty occurrences in different cultures - Mesopotamia, the Hittites, Egypt, Syrian centers, and Israel - and finds that the forms used correlate with ways of maintaining political control both internally and over vassals.
-Publisher


The occurrence of treaties throughout the Ancient Near East has been investigated on a number of occasions, generally in order to resolve certain questions arising in the biblical field. As a result of that focus, the existence of a similar institution in a number of different cultures has not been treated as a problem in itself. Generally the existence of treaties throughout the area has been taken for granted, or a simple borrowing model has been used to explain how similar forms came to be used in different cultures. Why forms were similar across the area has not been probed.This work investigates treaty occurrences in different cultures and finds that the forms used correlate with ways of maintaining political control both internally and over vassals. Related concepts are projected in official accounts of history. Thus one can roughly distinguish threats based on power from persuasion based on benevolence and historical precedent, though various combinations of these two occur. There is a likely further connection of the means chosen to the degree of centralisation of power within the society. Underlying the local traditions is a common tradition which has to be dated to the pre-literate period. Biblical covenants fit within this pattern. The cultures treated are Mesopotamia, the Hittites, Egypt, Syrian centres and Israel.

-Publisher

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Noel Weeks

Dr. Noel Weeks is a senior lecturer in the Department of Ancient Hist'ory at the University of Sydney.

  • Ch. 1 Introduction; Asking New Questions; Why Bother? The Rise And Fall Of The Treaty In Scholarship; Overview Of The Data; Problems Of Silence; Preview Of Results; Ch. 2 Mesopotamia; Defining The Area And The Culture; Outline Of The History; The Lagash Treaties; The "treaty" Of Naram-sin With Elam; Interpreting Silence; Hammurabi; The Old Assyrian Evidence; Summary Of Old Babylonian And Old Assyrian; Evidence; The Middle Babylonian Period And The; Kudurru; A Middle Babylonian Divine-human; Covenant? The Middle Assyrian Evidence; Mesopotamia In The First Millennium; Summary; Ch 3 The Hittites; Overview; Outline Of The History; The Early Evidence; The Early Hittite Treaties; The Treaties Of The Empire Period; Instructions And Service Oaths; Land Grants; A Ritual Text With An Oath; Accidents Of Discovery And Archives; Summary Of The Evidence; Treaty Concepts And Hittite Society; The Relationship To Mesopotamia; Reconsidering The Old Kingdom; Ch. 4 Egypt; Overview; Outline Of The History; The Evidence For Parity Treaties; Vassal Treaties; Lessons From History; The Place Of Egypt; Ch. 5 Syria; Historical Context; Ebla; Alalakh; Mari; The Treaty Between Ugarit And Amurru; Covenants With Gods At Ugarit; The Sefire Treaties; Arslan Tash; Tentative Conclusion; Ch. 6 Israel; The Methodological Problems; A Historical Framework; The Phenomena In General; The Problem Of Development; Covenant And Treaty: A Relationship? The Time And Nature Of The Connection Baal/el Berith At Shechem; The "objectivity" Of Extra-biblical Analogy; Israelite Covenant: An Internal; Development? The Place Of Israel In Treaty History; Ch. 7 The Significance Of It All; The Problem Of Definition; The Origin Problem; The Problem Of Development; Political Structure And Historiography; A Basic Thesis; Parallel Developments And; Convergences; The Special Case Of Israel; The Special Case Of Egypt; Divine-human Covenants; The Resultant Model

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