- Dear Members.
After reading the entire thread concerning the notion of 'Nation' in
the ancient world, I have to ask myself why would anyone speculate on
the ancient meaning of a term that never existed in the ancient world?
In the 3rd-2nd and certainly the 1st half of the last millennium BCE,
such modern terms as 'nation' and for the most part 'country' never
The ancient world proliferated with tribal regions and city-states. In
ancient Egyptian texts we often read of the "country of Mitanni", or
"country of Hatti". We are taught to read the "tripple-hill"
determinative as "country" when we know that even the names of suburbs
of cities (Abydos comes to mind), this determinative was used.
Peoples living inside Egypt were described using this same glyph, so
yes it certainly meant 'land', 'territory', 'terrain', 'region', etc.,
but the modern concept of 'country' is far too grand an interpretation
and conjures up a completely wrong idea of the intent of the phrase.
However, the idea of a 'nation' is even more erroneous, we can try
adapt our modern 18th-19th or even 20th century notions of what we
meant by 'nation' in our times but to write about a national identity
in the ancient world is bound to invite unfounded speculation.
The problem as I see it is that writers today should refrain from
using certain modern terminology to describe an ancient 'state',
either ethnic or political, which simply did not exist until centuries
after the subject under discussion.
Generally speaking the use of the term 'nation' before the last half
of the last millennium BCE is an anachronism, so what it meant, means,
or should mean, is purely academic.
Best Wishes, Jon Smyth
- That's an interesting point -- where to begin. I've only dipped into this occassionally, since you guys lost me long ago. I'm just an interested observer. Can you give me some names of books to read, etc, to get more up to speed? And, especially, some assistance on teach yourself (since I'll never speak, just read) languages. Thanks!
Where, if much of my knowledge on these subjects comes from BAR, BR (magazines) and books such as "Who Wrote the Bible?" by Friedman, "The Bible as History" By Keller & several courses from the Learning Company (www.teach12.com) with such lecturers as Bart D. Ehrman and Amy-Jill Levine. And a few Bible study classes at church.
nancy in chicago
Nancy L. Jones
Arlington Hts, IL
"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend; inside of a dog, it's toodark
to read." Groucho Marx
---------- Original Message-----------
From: Andrew Fincke <finckean@...>
Sent: Thu, 4 Jan 2007 10:20:14 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: SV: SV: SV: SV: [ANE-2] Ancient Nationlism?
>Where to begin? With The Israelites in History and Tradition, 1998? orPrelude to Israel's Past, 1998? Or Historical Dictionary, 2003? Or DieVogeschichte, 1996? Please advise.