Who's Who in the Ancient Near East

Who's Who in the Ancient Near East

Who's Who in the Ancient Near East

Who's Who in the Ancient Near East

Synopsis

What do we know of the real Nebuchadnezzar? Was there an historical precedent for the mythical Gilgamesh? Who were the Hittites? When did Isaiah preach? How did Jezebel get her reputation?These and many more questions are answered in this fascinating survey of the people who inhabited the Near East between the twenty-fifth and the second centuries BC. From Palestine to Iran and from Alexander the Great to Zechariah, Who's Who in the Ancient Near East presents a unique and comprehensive reference guide for all those with an interest in the ancient history of the area. A comprehesive glossary, chronological charts, maps and bibliographical information complement the biographical entries.

Excerpt

This book was the idea of Richard Stoneman, editor of the Classics List at Routledge. It follows the format of the Who’s Who series, being a biographical dictionary of people who were important in the history of the ancient Near East and whose memory has survived the long passage of time that separates their world from ours. Many of these societies were to some extent literate and there are documents in the various languages of the region. Although by no means all original sources have as yet been translated and analysed, there is a considerable body of transcribed material, secondary and tertiary literature. For this volume, a reference book that is also meant to provide information for non-specialists, I have not used any unpublished original texts but have relied instead on works that are relatively easy to access, such as the Cambridge Ancient History series and similar historical treatises, supplemented by more specialised studies and articles. The sources of my information are listed under each entry. The entries often reflect the opinions and conclusions of the quoted authors rather than my own and should give an idea of the current state of scholarship. Some periods and places have attracted more attention than others. This is generally determined by the availability of sources; new excavations, and particularly the discovery of archives, force a revision of the always provisional conclusions.

In single-author reference works the specialisation of the writer is both a strength and a weakness. As an Assyriologist I have more access to Mesopotamian material and there are proportionally more entries on Babylonia and Assyria in this book. For Iranian and Anatolian history I have relied more on the standard works.

The majority of entries concern kings and local rulers. As explained in my Introduction it was the ruler’s prerogative to perpetuate his name. However, like a contemporary Who’s Who, I have also included intellectuals, writers, businessmen, generals and a few ecclesiasts. I have included as many women as I could find, though merely private individuals are excluded. All these categories can be accessed through the index. Some entries were included to

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