Yale University has a number of free lectures and class materials available online. I previously mentioned the Old Testament Intro course taught by Christine Hayes but they also have a more recently added New Testament Intro taught by Dale B. Martin. These are full classes with accompanying reading assignments and materials. While you are there also check out the Ancient Greek History class taught by Donald Kagan.
On iTunes U Emory University has a workshop on academic publishing that is available for free download (you will need iTunes in order for the link to work). Some of the sessions include: How to Publish in a Top Journal, How Should Authors Think of Authorship and Research?, Editorial Strategies and Refereeing, and The Use of Journal Rankings in the Selection of Publication Outlets. Enjoy!
Ed Cook has a very nice discussion of tense in biblical Hebrew poetry that is worth your while. I certainly think he is onto something noting that the waw is optional in poetry and in these cases a sequential form can appear with or without a waw. Ed mentions that he will discuss (time permitting) in a future post the so-called prophetic perfect tense and I eagerly await this discussion. As an appetizer to this I am wondering what those of you who speak in tongues think of the perfects in Exodus 15:14-16 which the NIV and NET translate as straight-up futures “”will hear…will grip…will be terrified…” seemingly interpreting them as “prophetic perfects,”1 the ESV translates them as a mix of perfects and presents (why the inconsistency?) while the TANAKH renders them all as presents. Possibly Ed will weigh in on this topic in his hopefully forthcoming remarks on the “prophetic” perfect….
- The NET Bible gives the note: “This verb is a prophetic perfect, assuming that the text means what it said and this song was sung at the Sea. So all these countries were yet to hear of the victory.” [back]
Here is the table of contents for the new volume of JCS. I can’t wait to get my hands on it–all the articles look very interesting:
Daniel Potts, Bevel-Rim Bowls and Bakeries: Evidence and Explanations
from Iran and the Indo-Iranian Borderlands
Wolfgang Heimpel, The Location of Madga
Eva von Dassow, Nara-m-Sîn of Uruk: A New King in an Old Shoebox
Anne Kilmer and Jeremie Peterson, More Old Babylonian
Music-Instruction Fragments from Nippur
Jerome Colburn, A New Interpretation of the Nippur Music-Instruction Fragments
Jeanette C. Fincke, Zu den akkadischen Hemerologien aus Hattusha (CTH
546), Teil I. Eine Hemerologie für das „Rufen von Klagen“ (shigû shasû)
und das „Reinigen seines Gewandes“ (subat-su ubbubu): KUB 4, 46 (+)
KUB 43, 1
Philip C. Schmitz, Archaic Greek Names in a Neo-Assyrian Cuneiform
Tablet from Tarsus
Rick Steves is a tour guide most known for his travel shows for PBS as well as guides and tours of Europe. However, he recently filmed a show about Iran that is well worth a view–you can see it for free (with a few commercials) on Hulu. He tours Persepolis toward the end of the film and there are about 5 minutes of really good footage of the site. Furthermore, he explores some of the contemporary issues surrounding the relations between Iran and America.
It seems that the normally sleepy discipline of philology is starting to take on some of the sensationalistic sizzle normally reserved for archaeology. John Hobbins sagaciously notes: “Scholars are known to succumb to the temptation of suggesting that their findings are of revolutionary significance even if they are not.” It seems to me that this statement describes Ellen Van Wolde’s recent comments regarding Genesis 1. From her translation of Gen 1:1 as “in the beginning God separated the Heaven and the Earth” she concludes: “It meant to say that God did create humans and animals, but not the Earth itself.” In other words she says that Gen 1 is concerned with God forming the world through pre-existent matter by separating the land from water, etc.
I find it hard to discern what is new or even noteworthy here. Scholars have been saying this for years. In fact, the translation commissioned by the National Council of Churches, the New Revised Standard Version, contains this interpretation by translating Gen 1:1 as “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…” Furthermore, even evangelical scholars have embraced this view–most recently John Walton who has a new book out by IVP and a forthcoming volume also by Eisenbrauns (the publisher of Van Wolde’s new book on this subject).
Like John Hobbins I respect Van Wolde’s scholarship I just wish that it wasn’t dressed in sensationalism.
From the Agade list:
Serge Cleuziou was Professor of Ancient Near Eastern archaeology at Paris1 – La Sorbonne University and was the head of the team “du village à l’état au Proche et Moyen Orient” of the CNRS laboratory”Archéologies et sciences de l’antiquité” (ArScAn, UMR 7041).
[A few of his papers are available via <http://www.clio.fr/espace_culturel/serge_cleuziou.asp#>.]
Update: Here is an English obit from the Global Arab Network.
Every beginning cuneiform student sets out on the seemingly impossible task of learning the hundreds of signs that make up the syllabaries. There are many different ways in which people try to do this but lately I came across an interview that might be of help. In the newsletter, “Damqatum,” Father Marcel Sigrist, who has done more than anyone else in the last quarter century to further the study of Neo-Sumerian, describes how he learned the signs:
Many people, when they start Assyriology, have a great problem with the signs. And to recognize the signs, to learn the signs, you have people who have a lot of little flashcards with the signs. I must say I had really very few problems to memorize the signs, and even to recognize the various shapes. Nothing is printed, but it is handwritten, it changes from one tablet to the other. The way to learn the signs was to put the signs as they are classified on one sheet of paper, and then to draw the sign and write the basic phonetic. So when you do this, and then you take a book -The Letters of Mari, which are very easy to read-you compare all the time the transliteration of the tablet with your chart. And when you have seen twenty times the same sign in a day, you know it. So there are easy ways to learn the signs.
This is pretty close to the way that I learned the signs as well. However, I did start with flashcards to give myself a little foothold while reading.
Lastly, the Knowledge and Power website has a section that helps you learn 100 signs.