ACABS 591 - Topics in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies
Section: 004 Poetry from the Ancient Levant: from the Baal Myths to the Dead Sea Scrolls
Term: WN 2010
Subject: Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies (ACABS)
Department: LSA Near Eastern Studies
Credits:
3
Waitlist Capacity:
unlimited
Repeatability:
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit(s). May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

The course will explore the variety of ancient poems from the Middle East, which, while outside the Bible, provide the most immediate context for the imagery, metaphors, and poetic vocabulary from the Bible. Thus, a study of this ancient poetry not only offers us access to the thought-world of the ancient Middle East, but it also informs our understanding and reading of biblical books like Psalms, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Job.

The corpus of texts to be studied includes the Canaanite mythic/epic/magic texts from the ancient city of Ugarit at one extreme and the poems from the Dead Sea Scrolls, from early Judaism and early Christianity at the other. The texts are read in order to explore their literary characteristics, how these literary characteristics reflect the themes and ideas of the works they are incorporated within, and the literary parallels to other works, including the Bible and other Ancient Near Eastern texts.

In addition to these aspects of the poems themselves, the course will explore the manner in which we read and analyze poems, specifically how scholars have described ancient Semitic poetry and how their methodologies and approaches can be applied to the texts we will be reading.

Each class will include a lecture followed by a discussion of pertinent poems and passages. Students are given a series of specific questions that they are to think about concerning specific poems/passages and are responsible for having something prepared for class to say in response to the questions.

Student evaluation will be made based on class attendance/participation, on regular readings, on a midterm, a final, and a short paper.

We will use, as our textbooks, the following translations Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (ed. Simon B. Parker; Writings from the Ancient World Series 9; N.P.: Society of Biblical Literature/Scholars Press, 1997) and Geza Vermes's The Complete Dead Sea Scrolls in English (New York: Penguin, 2004).

Students should also have access to a Bible, specifically a NRSV or JPS translation. Other material will be covered by handouts distributed once classes begin.

There are no language prerequisites for the course. No prior knowledge of Ugaritic or Hebrew is required. Texts are read in English Translation.

Feel free to ask questions. Email me at ereymond@umich.edu.

ACABS 591 - Topics in Ancient Civilizations and Biblical Studies
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
P
36061
Open
17
 
-
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: THIS CLASS MEETS WITH ACABS 491.001
002 (SEM)
P
45449
Open
9
 
-
TBA
003 (SEM)
P
45634
Open
5
7Graduate Standing
-
MW 1:00PM - 2:30PM
Note: ACABS 591.003 meets with ACABS 323.001 on MW 1-2:30 in 1300 Chem. Students will also meet for an additional hour per week for the graduate seminar.
004 (REC)
P
46283
Open
17
 
-
TuTh 11:30AM - 1:00PM
Note: Meets with ACABS 491.002
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