The History of Ancient Palestine

The History of Ancient Palestine

The History of Ancient Palestine

The History of Ancient Palestine

Synopsis

This magnum opus, which encompasses the history of the people of Palestine from the earliest times to Alexander's conquest, reconstructs the major epochs and events through analysis of social, political, military, and economic phenomena. It draws on all available source material--textual, epigraphic, and archeological. At the time of his retirement in 1988, Ahlstrom (d.1992) held a joint appointment at the U. of Chicago Divinity School and at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.

Excerpt

It is a serious, bittersweet business to help publish a friend's work posthumously. Despite the best intentions, such a service done on behalf of a scholar may do more harm than good to his memory. However, since the present volume had already been accepted for publication by Sheffield Academic Press and was initial stages of preparation, there was little need for concern. Its author had expressed the half-serious, half-joking concern on many occasions that he wanted to see the book in print 'before he thed'. An unanticipated delay with its original US publisher caused him much anguish over the 'currency' of his footnote data. He was keenly aware of the amount of information mat was published annually in the six years between the completion of the manuscript and its Anal, projected publication date with Sheffield Academic Press, and he lamented his inability to include it in the volume without producing a 'revised and updated' manuscript. His quip mat 'a scholar's work is never done' aptly encapsulates his personal philosophy and endless thirst for knowledge.

It is hardly accidental that Gösta W. Ahlström was the first scholar to prepare such a synthesis of recent trends in Hebrew Bible studies. He represented a combination of many schools and directions of study. To his death, he was a true Scandinavian with a solid background in the old Uppsala School. While he moved beyond the views of this school in many ways, his ability to formulate theories that were simultaneously independent and controversial continued the ways and manners of his former teacher and the master of the Uppsala School, Ivan Engnell. It should not be forgotten that the Scandinavian School was a part of European continental scholarship, regularly engaging in dialogue with the German School and the Anglo-Saxon 'Myth and Ritual School'. By moving to Chicago in 1962—the year Engnell died—Gösta W. Ahlström established a bridgehead of European scholarship among his Norm American colleagues.

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