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SV: [ANE-2] New Book by Daniel Fleming

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  • Thomas L. Thompson
    I have begun reading the book. Some things are very promising, such as his rejection of the concept of ethnicity. Yet. so far--and I hope it is only so far--I
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 2, 2012
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      I have begun reading the book. Some things are very promising, such as his rejection of the concept
      of ethnicity. Yet. so far--and I hope it is only so far--I miss a detailed intention to argue from evidence.
      It is a very American book, but open to many ideas. I have a long train ride to Uppsala next week and
      I hope I will come foreward with the book. In ways it reminds me of the Miller-Hayes book of 1986.
      __
      Thomas
      Thomas L. Thompson
      Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen

      ______________________________________
      Fra: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] På vegne af Douglas Petrovich [dp@...]
      Sendt: 29. oktober 2012 15:43
      Til: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Emne: [ANE-2] New Book by Daniel Fleming

      Dear List,

      An important book on the history of ancient Israel has just been published by Daniel E. Fleming, entitled, The Legacy of Israel in Judah's Bible: History, Politics, and the Reinscribing of Tradition (Cambridge U. Press, 2012).

      The author is an Assyriologist, Biblical Scholar, and Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at NYU. He also is possibly the foremost authority on religious life and practice at LBA Emar.

      For whatever it is worth, Finkelstein seems to rave about the book. The price seems to quite reasonable, between $25 and $35 USD, depending on where you look.

      Sincerely,

      Doug Petrovich
      Toronto, CA

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
      Dear Thomas, would you mind clarifying what you meant by very American book ? There has been a few ripples, recently, as to the use of the divide American
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 3, 2012
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        Dear Thomas,

        would you mind clarifying what you meant by "very American book" ?
        There has been a few ripples, recently, as to the use of the divide
        'American' versus 'European' in Classical scholarship, with respect to
        the amount of footnoting and the breadth of vision displayed, of which I
        should like to inform / remind the list. I remarked (Aristarchus
        antibarbus, pp. LIX-LX note ***********) : � B. B. Powell �crit de la
        riche collection d�articles de J. N. Bremmer Greek Religion and Culture,
        the Bible, and the Ancient Near East, Leyde & Boston, 2008, qu�elle
        parade son �rudition secondaire (BMCR 2009. 01.13, ad finem : � the
        too-abundant notes are also an unpleasant feature, as if Bremmer were
        playing a parlor game when the reader wants to learn something about the
        ancient world. A footnote should lead the reader to a source worth
        exploring, or verify a point of contention. Too many of these notes, to
        obscure journals or even such languages as Polish, do neither. I doubt
        we need a footnote to prove that Gladstone was busy in December, 1872
        (p. 101) or that Greek poets could be given to exaggeration (p. 176), or
        seven citations to verify that Codrus dressed as a woodworker when he
        killed himself (p. 180). (...) But Bremmer writes in a European
        tradition that admires such behavior �). Passons sur la dichotomie
        outranci�re opposant la science am�ricaine � la Wissenschaft du Vieux
        Continent ; Powell est all� chercher loin ses exemples, et il se gausse
        de cas extr�mes, non sans oublier qu�il ne fit pas autrement dans son
        Homer and the Greek Alphabet (1991), travail tout alourdi de bourrage
        �pigraphique servant � d�tourner l�attention des faiblesses de la th�se
        et � esquiver les difficult�s contre lesquelles elle achoppe. Alius sic,
        alius uere sic ; je me berce de l�espoir d�avoir �quip� de r�f�rences
        dans le texte ou muni de notes bibliographiques celles, et celles-l�
        seules, de mes affirmations qui ne relevaient pas de la banalit� pour
        quiconque a quelque connaissance du sujet qui m�occupe. � Compare H. S.
        Versnel, Coping with the Gods. Wayward Readings in Greek Theology
        (Leiden & Boston, 2011), pp. 18-19 : � in a review of a recent book of a
        compatriot of mine, whose craving for footnotes is one of the few things
        we share, the critic frontally censures the �too-abundant notes as an
        unpleasant feature�, giving a few deterring examples. In his view �a
        footnote should lead the reader to a source worth exploring, or verify a
        point of contention.� And he explains the author�s aberrant preference
        for the footnote: �But the author writes in a European tradition that
        admires such behavior.� (...) Such critical assessments baffle me. How
        can notes, more particularly endnotes, obscure the main text? And what
        about �a European tradition� as proposed by the first reviewer? Did he
        ever cast a glance into the early scriptures of the �Paris school� ? I
        well remember that at least one of my incentives to give rather free
        rein to the footnote was the shocking observation of the dearth of
        them�and the near total lack of references to non-French literature�in
        these French works. For other conceivable motives, some of which I
        recognize, I refer the reader to the highly amusing studies of Steve
        Nimis and Antony Grafton. �Giving an intellectual context for one�s
        argument, referring the reader to further or contrary discussions on the
        subject, giving credit to predecessors� strikes me as a suitable generic
        summary of the major functions of the footnote, especially since it
        leaves the author sufficient room for his own interpretation of these
        options. Relevancy moreover is a highly individual concept. However,
        imposing restrictive directives on what a footnote should/must/ought to
        offer is in my view a pedantic hobby. � I, for one, find it quite barren
        to oppose US scholarship to European Wissenschaft, even if by the latter
        one understands the good old, German-Swiss tradition of Classical studies.

        All the best,
        J.-F. Nardelli
        Universit� de Provence


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Thomas L. Thompson
        Dear Jean-Fabrice, It is interesting what you write and, as stated, I recognize what you mean. However, I wasn t at all thinking about footnotes when I wrote
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 3, 2012
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          Dear Jean-Fabrice,
          It is interesting what you write and, as stated, I recognize what you mean. However, I wasn't at all thinking
          about footnotes when I wrote that it was 'very American'--as barren or empty as that is without any kind
          of clarification. Nor had I seen it as particularly negative, even as I would have begun such a work, which
          departs so much from the expected by making my starting point within scholarship somewhat clearer. But then,
          I studied in Tübingen under Kurt Galling. As it is, I have just begun reading and writing again as I am recovering
          from eye surgery and I was considering putting my thoughts into a few short paragraphs as I read through the
          book. Having read only the two introductions and just beginning to deal with the book itself, I was not really clear
          yet what the book wanted to do or what its genre and context was within the wide-ranging writing of ancient
          history over the past 40 years about Israel and Judah, history and tradition and I was trying to find a way of expressing
          my feelings of uncertainty. It read like a student textbook, but was not. When it did address the works of others,
          it was to acknowledge his using them. In doing so, he took their conclusions and added his own, but didn't seem
          to work with questions, but with a kind of model of how he was going to draw further conclusions. So far, the book
          reminds me very much of Norman Gottwald's Tribes of Yahweh; not because of footnotes, which Gottwald of course
          loved (!), but because of the implicit authorial voice. I don't know yet whether I will continue thinking this way,
          but I wanted to mark the expectation this awakened so that I could return to it. As a scholar, I have always lived on
          both sides of the Atlantic and have always found it very fruitful to be aware of the many typical differences that
          separates our scholarship traditions. As a former American, I must admit that in trying to understand an issue, what does
          not fit or what I didn't know before, ngages my interest. What is already known, however, doesn't interest me very much.
          From this side of the Atlantic, however, and as a Dane, I start with such questions and end best with several others.

          Thomas

          Thomas L. Thompson
          Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen



          Professor Nardelli wrote:
          Dear Thomas,

          would you mind clarifying what you meant by "very American book" ?
          There has been a few ripples, recently, as to the use of the divide
          'American' versus 'European' in Classical scholarship, with respect to
          the amount of footnoting and the breadth of vision displayed, of which I
          should like to inform / remind the list. I remarked (Aristarchus
          antibarbus, pp. LIX-LX note ***********) : « B. B. Powell écrit de la
          riche collection d’articles de J. N. Bremmer Greek Religion and Culture,
          the Bible, and the Ancient Near East, Leyde & Boston, 2008, qu’elle
          parade son érudition secondaire (BMCR 2009. 01.13, ad finem : « the
          too-abundant notes are also an unpleasant feature, as if Bremmer were
          playing a parlor game when the reader wants to learn something about the
          ancient world. A footnote should lead the reader to a source worth
          exploring, or verify a point of contention. Too many of these notes, to
          obscure journals or even such languages as Polish, do neither. I doubt
          we need a footnote to prove that Gladstone was busy in December, 1872
          (p. 101) or that Greek poets could be given to exaggeration (p. 176), or
          seven citations to verify that Codrus dressed as a woodworker when he
          killed himself (p. 180). (...) But Bremmer writes in a European
          tradition that admires such behavior »). Passons sur la dichotomie
          outrancière opposant la science américaine à la Wissenschaft du Vieux
          Continent ; Powell est allé chercher loin ses exemples, et il se gausse
          de cas extrêmes, non sans oublier qu’il ne fit pas autrement dans son
          Homer and the Greek Alphabet (1991), travail tout alourdi de bourrage
          épigraphique servant à détourner l’attention des faiblesses de la thèse
          et à esquiver les difficultés contre lesquelles elle achoppe. Alius sic,
          alius uere sic ; je me berce de l’espoir d’avoir équipé de références
          dans le texte ou muni de notes bibliographiques celles, et celles-là
          seules, de mes affirmations qui ne relevaient pas de la banalité pour
          quiconque a quelque connaissance du sujet qui m’occupe. » Compare H. S.
          Versnel, Coping with the Gods. Wayward Readings in Greek Theology
          (Leiden & Boston, 2011), pp. 18-19 : « in a review of a recent book of a
          compatriot of mine, whose craving for footnotes is one of the few things
          we share, the critic frontally censures the “too-abundant notes as an
          unpleasant feature”, giving a few deterring examples. In his view “a
          footnote should lead the reader to a source worth exploring, or verify a
          point of contention.” And he explains the author’s aberrant preference
          for the footnote: “But the author writes in a European tradition that
          admires such behavior.” (...) Such critical assessments baffle me. How
          can notes, more particularly endnotes, obscure the main text? And what
          about “a European tradition” as proposed by the first reviewer? Did he
          ever cast a glance into the early scriptures of the ‘Paris school’ ? I
          well remember that at least one of my incentives to give rather free
          rein to the footnote was the shocking observation of the dearth of
          them—and the near total lack of references to non-French literature—in
          these French works. For other conceivable motives, some of which I
          recognize, I refer the reader to the highly amusing studies of Steve
          Nimis and Antony Grafton. “Giving an intellectual context for one’s
          argument, referring the reader to further or contrary discussions on the
          subject, giving credit to predecessors” strikes me as a suitable generic
          summary of the major functions of the footnote, especially since it
          leaves the author sufficient room for his own interpretation of these
          options. Relevancy moreover is a highly individual concept. However,
          imposing restrictive directives on what a footnote should/must/ought to
          offer is in my view a pedantic hobby. » I, for one, find it quite barren
          to oppose US scholarship to European Wissenschaft, even if by the latter
          one understands the good old, German-Swiss tradition of Classical studies.

          All the best,
          J.-F. Nardelli
          Université de Provence


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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