Need help figuring out a logogram or want to find the definition of a Sumerian word? Check out the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary online. They have a quick intro to the Sumerian language and a searchable dictionary. The entries are not as detailed as the print version, but they do include pictures of signs as well as links from the entry to texts in the Electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature that contain the word. Now if only the Oriental Institute will do this for the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary.
Iamassu (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10-29-04)Originally uploaded by RTQ.
If you haven’t checked out the Met’s website–do it. They have over 100 artifacts online with helpful descriptions. So, what are you waiting for–go to their ancient Near East department!
Christopher Heard provides a link for the PDF preview of the new Archaeological Study Bible from Zondervan. He also has a link to some critique that he has leveled against it. While I’m all for packaging archaeological information in user friendly ways for non-specialists–do we really need a new study Bible? There are already archaeological/background commentaries and handbooks for the Bible, why produce the 1,248,396th study Bible? I guess too many professors are sitting around with nothing else to do and a publishers wants another product. But, download the PDF, evaluate it, and give us your opinion.
“If the Greeks are going to change the current approach to education of citizens, then the training of those who teach the Greeks must be altered radically. There is something backwards about the current process–the unhappy state of graduation explains why we produce more killers of Homer than saviors. Morticia, matron of the Adams Family and gardener extraordinaire, could have designed the archetypal PhD. program in Classics in America today, tending her thorny wards, cultivating spurs and prickly stems while carefully pruning off the roses as soon as they bloomed. Homer’s heroes strove “to be always the best in battle and pre-eminent beyond all others.” But graduate school is the great sieve maipulated to pass on the most insignificant particles while discarding the odd and bulky nugget. The best-kept secret is that this system of training is designed to reward exactly the kind of individual who is least likely to think or act like a Greek: narrow-focused, self-promoting, teaching-resistant, and by necessity in these lean times absolutely servile” (Hanson and Heath, Who Killed Homer?, 223)
Wow! That’s rough! Do you agree? Are these statements accurate for Bible or ANE grad. studies? How were your professors? Anything like this? How would you change the PhD process?
*I must add that many have severely critiqued this book. Some of that is to be expected–you try to change things, you have to expect resistance. One of the most vigorous challenges to this book, including challenges of some factual data, is given by Tom Palaima of the University of Texas at Austin. I learned Greek from Tom and I am pleased to say that he is an excellent professor that deeply cares about teaching–he personally keeps the intensive summer Greek program alive at UT; it is a fantastic program run by a fantastic professor. This quote (and those that follow) are meant to start discussion and are picked for their provocative element in order to encourage comments.
Author: Donny Deutsch
Donny Deutsch is the CEO of Deutsch Inc., one of the leading advertising firms, and host of the CNBC show The Big Idea. In this book he gives business and life advice that he has learned through his experience managing the Deutsch ad firm. It’s an interesting and quick read and contains some motivating and thoughtful insights. The meta theme is: be your own person–don’t just imitate other people around you, even if they are very successful. In order to accomplish something great you have to have great ideas and run with them, even if others around you think you are crazy. And if your idea is truly amazing and disruptive, people will almost certainly tell you you’re crazy. But, you can’t live your life seeking the approval of others, especially your peers (whether that’s other advertising creatives or biblical scholars) you have to develop your idea as best you can and throw it out there.
Furthermore, the riskiest thing to do is to not take risks. If you don’t take risks, others will pass you by and cause you to be just ordinary or irrelevant. These are themes that almost anyone can learn from–especially academics who absolutely crave the acceptance of peers. This craving of acceptance (or fear of rejection) drives many scholars’ research–both content and topics. Instead, be your own person. Have your own perspectives and take some risk–throw it out there. (Hey, I’m doing it–what do you think 90% of the biblical studies “academics” who stumble onto this site will think of me reviewing an ad guy’s book? They probably think I’m a capitalistic lacky who doesn’t engage in “real” scholarship. They can think what they like, I’m out to change academia and that doesn’t happen without scorn, opposition, and obstacles. Bring it on. Donny would be so proud of me!)
Tags: Donny Deutsch, Advertising, Risktaking
Authors: Charles Halton
Journal: Journal of Near Eastern Studies
Tags: Structured Blogging, word press plugin, reviews
Tags: reviews, blogging plugins
In case you don’t have Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, you can go here for a PDF version. The PDF is made from the 1910 version of the grammar–but hey–if you’re scoffing at the grammar because I mentioned it’s from 1910 you don’t know your way around the secondary literature very well. This is still a great grammar. Yea, some things are out of date, but by and large Gesenius (and Kautzsch & Cowley) knew his Hebrew. They knew Hebrew because they actually read the Bible in Hebrew–a lot. They didn’t just tinker with electronic searches and play with the text (I’m not knocking the search software, I love Accordance, but it’s no substitute to READING large chunks of text every day). Check out Gesenius, it’ll be worth it.