This online anthology of several papers given by Robert Kraft on copies of Greek Jewish scriptures contains, apart from actual texts, a number of images of fragments of the Septuagint and a short bibliography. The main scope of Kraft's site is the extent of continuity or discontinuity between Jewish scribal culture and early Christian practices at the beginning of the Christian era. 'Textual Mechanics' also lists a number of links to related sites, document lists, and bibliographic information. 'Textual Mechanics' is not the most user-friendly site you may encounter: its layout could be much improved. However, it is worth making an effort to read through this resource, as its content fully compensates for its lack in form.
Felix Just's resource provides a succinct overview of the different periods of Israelite, Jewish, and early Christian history, ranging from 3000 BCE to the Edict of Milan in 313 CE (plus a very brief summary of the major phases of the history of Israel up to the present day). Several additional charts open up specific periods and events into greater detail. Containing Biblical genealogy as well as historical chronology, this site is intended for beginners in the field and people wanting basic information on the periodisation of Biblical history.
This resource makes available online several texts relating to the study of ancient history, archaeology and Biblical studies. Included are English translations of some inscriptions and works by ancient authors as well as papers written by modern scholars. Whilst the works of ancient writers which are provided here (Julius Caesar; Tacitus; Livy; Herodotus; and Plutarch) are easily accessible elsewhere on the Internet, one area where this site is unusual is in providing texts relating to Assyria, Babylon and Persia. The following inscriptions are included in English translation: inscription of Tiglath Pileser I; black obelisk of Shalmaneser II; annals of Assur-Nasir-Pal; inscription of Nebuchadnezzar; and the Behistun inscription of Darius I. There is also: a translation of the Assyrian epic of Ishtar and Izdubar; the Babylonian law code of Hammurabi (1780 BC); the text of a 1937 article on Susa by H. G. Spearing; two articles on the Behistun inscription; and the full text of Austen Henry Layard's 1854 work Discoveries at Nineveh. Several resources for bible study are also provided here.
This website brings to life the social world of ancient Greek and Roman associations, Christian congregations and Jewish synagogues using inscriptions, monuments, archaeological finds, and literary texts from the Roman empire, especially Asia Minor (Turkey) in an interactive context. The site's author is Philip Harland of York University, Toronto, and it accompanies his 2003 book 'Associations, synagogues and congregations: claiming a place in Ancient Mediterranean Society' (reviews and a table of contents for the book can be found here). Several of the author's other published articles are available to view on the website. As well as this the site provides information about courses taught by the author on topics including: religion in ancient Asia Minor; early Christianity; early Jewish and Christian apocalypticism; personified evil in early Judaism and Christianity. Course outlines, discussion notes and detailed handouts can be accessed here. The site is clear and easy to navigate and will be useful for those teaching, studying or researching these aspects of ancient religion.
This is the website of the quarterly journal Azure, which deals with Jewish issues in history, culture, politics, and religion, as it pertains to Israel and world Jewry. It is published by the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem think-tank, in an English and a Hebrew edition, the latter of which goes under the name Techelet. Like the think-tank that backs it, Azure is committed to bringing to a wider audience the "richness of Jewish tradition and the centrality of a strong, free, and Jewish State of Israel". Contributors, many of whom are affiliated with the Shalem Center, generally write from the perspective of the political and religious right. They include Michael B. Oren, Yossi Klein Halevi, Martin Kramer, and Natan Sharansky. There are notable exceptions, however, such as the Israeli novelist A.B. Yehoshua, a well-known peace activist with left-leaning views. Azure offers most of its content free of charge online, and through an easily navigated archival section, the visitor is allowed access to back-issues, dating as far back as the first issue from 1996. In addition, a handy search function allow searches by title, author, and keyword.
The Institute for Antiquity and Christianity (IAC) is part of the Claremont Graduate School and is a research centre which focuses on the origins of western civilisation; its bulletin is made available online by the Claremont Colleges Digital Library. Volumes available here date from 1970 to 1997. The user may browse contents lists for each volume and then access each volume page-by-page in PDF format. Of particular academic interest are the texts of IAC public lectures, and a wide range of topics is covered by these, including: archaeology relating to Biblical sites; the writing of the New Testament; ancient Roman education; Judaism and Christianity; Alexandrian poetry; ancient magic; the synagogue; and papyrology.
Early Jewish Writings is a useful online gateway, providing links to texts of many Jewish religious and historical texts, together with additional online study resources such as introductions, commentaries and encyclopaedia entries. The corpus of links includes material on: the Tanakh (familiar to Christians as the Old Testament) and Deuterocanon (also known as the Apocrypha); various Jewish, Hellenistic, and Christian pseudepigrapha; and an introduction to the Talmud. The site also hosts the complete works of Philo of Alexandria and Josephus. While full primary texts are not available for all of the other works covered by this resource, and the quality of the online resources linked to varies from text to text, the editor provides much helpful introductory material, often in the form of excerpted material from biblical scholars. This is particularly useful for those approaching the less familiar works for the first time, or for undergraduate students of theology or classics in search of a study aid. This is a non-commercial site, but readers can support this project by purchasing a CD-ROM, which offers a more detailed version of these resources.
This website (which is published by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology) contains the complete works of Flavius Josephus, including the 'Antiquities' (an history of the Jewish people), the 'Jewish War' (an historical account of the revolt against Rome from AD 66-70), Josephus's 'Autobiography', the 'Discourse on Hades' and, 'Against Apion' (an apology of the Jewish people and customs). All the translations are those of William Whiston (who translated them in the seventeenth/eighteenth century). The book version of Whiston's translation was updated in 1906 and more recently in 1988. The version which appears here is based upon the 1906 edition. The translation into English is therefore somewhat archaic, but elegant and eminently readable. There is, however, no commentary on the text, nor even the smallest background detail on any of the works, Josephus, or Whiston. Josephus was born in AD 37 to a priestly Jewish family, and as such was destined for the priesthood himself. At the age of sixteen Josephus spent several months studying with the Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes before deciding to become a Pharisee. During the Jewish Revolt against Rome (AD 66-70), Josephus was appointed commander of the region around Galilee. The Romans captured Josephus in AD 67, and he remained a prisoner of Vespasian (the military commander and future emperor) until AD 69, when Josephus was given his freedom for prophesying Vespasian's rise to the purple. Josephus remained in Rome after the revolt was put down, and retained close connections with the imperial family (with both Vespasian and Vespasian's sons Titus and Domitian when they also became emperor). Although Josephus became a Roman citizen, he retained his Jewish religion - choosing to remarry a Jewess in AD 73/4. The date of Josephus' death is unknown, but is conjectured to have been around AD 92/3. Josephus's works are clearly set out and the individual chapters (or books) are labelled so that one can click on to a particular book without having to wade through the entire opus. There is no search engine, however. One can also download the complete works as a Zip file from this site.
This site provides an attractively illustrated introduction to the coins and measures of Judaea from early times until the crusader period with historical background and a useful basic bibliography. Before the adoption of Greek and, later, Persian coins (or 'darics') in the 7th-4th centuries BC, a sophisticated system of inscribed weights, based on the unit of the Shekel, was used in Jewish areas. The first Judaean issues proper were not struck until the 4th century BC under Persian and Seleucid licence and were based on the widely used Athenian owls or Persian modes. The Seleucid Antiochus VII also struck hybrid Syrian-Jewish issues in the later 2nd century. The first properly 'Jewish' coins, with Hebrew inscriptions and lacking the portrait heads of earlier issues for religious reasons, did not appear until the time of John Hyrcanus (135-104 BC) and his successors when Judaea became fully independent. The series of coins from the reign of the Herodian dynasty and the Roman conquest down to the Late Empire and Byzantine period provide a fascinating potted history of Judaea as well as important insights on economic and iconographic matters. There is also a short section on the revival of coins of Israel in the 20th century, both in the Mandate period and after independence in 1948. The resource is part of the Jewish History Ring published by Amuseum.org (The Jewish Museum in Cyberspace) and associated with the American Jewish Historical Society. It is a useful complementary source for students of ancient history and archaeology working in the East Mediterranean or those studying general numismatics as well as an attractive introduction for the interested amateur.
'The Hebrews: A Learning Module' provides an excellent introduction to the history of the Hebrew peoples from the Age of the Patriarchs (beginning c. 1950 BC) to the Diaspora of the Jews in the first century AD. Based largely on the testimony of the Torah and the rest of the Old Testament, the account provided here also introduces corresponding evidence where available. The history is divided into separate chronological web pages, covering periods such as: Egypt and the wanderings; the occupation of Canaan; the Monarchy (with accounts of Saul, David, and Solomon); the two kingdoms (of Israel and Judah); the exile; and the Greeks and the Jews. The site includes a separate section on the Hebrew religion. This looks at the evolution of Jewish scripture and beliefs from the pre-Mosaic period, to monotheism and the prophetic books, to the post-exile reforms. There is a page on the Torah and a glossary of Hebrew terms and concepts. An anthology of Hebrew readings includes extracts from Genesis, Exodus, and Judges. The site also includes a map of ancient Israel, and a list of links to other sites (although a few of these were not in operation at the time this record was reviewed). This site forms part of an online courseware unit from Washington State University's 'World Civilizations' project. It is targeted at students about to begin university and first year undergraduates.
The House of Ptolemy is a resource guide, intended as a study aid and to provide bibliographical material for students of Greco-Roman Egypt. The main focus of the site, as its name suggests, is the period of the Ptolemaic kings (331 BCE - 30 BCE), descendants of Macedonian Greeks. There are also compendious sections on Roman, Byzantine and modern Egypt. Within these periods, links are arranged by theme into sets and subsets, in a fashion that is generally clear and efficient. Topics covered include: historical overviews; Ptolemaic numismatics; Ptolemaic genealogy and king lists; the transition to Roman provincial Egypt; the city of Alexandria; the culture of Ptolemaic Egypt; the Ptolemaic empire outside Egypt; the Jews of Egypt. Most of the links are presented with a comment from the site's author: this is a personal list, not a faculty or institutional webpage. The selection of items is therefore prone to subjectivity and its completeness cannot be guaranteed; furthermore, material of widely varying intellectual depth, rigour, and specialisation is included among the links. At the time of writing this review, the site was last updated in 2002 - this meant that some of the links were no longer functional. Nonetheless, there is a wealth of material here, well organised; the numerous awards garnered by the page indicate its worth. This site is a useful starting point for students.
The InscriptiFact project at the University of Southern California publishes photographs of ancient Middle Eastern inscriptions, mainly from Phoenicia, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Egypt. To access the website it is necessary to register by faxing a signed user agreement; read the instructions (PDF files); and install Java components (administrator rights required). The database is accessed using a special Java browser (Mac and Windows supported). After logging in, it is possible to browse the inscriptions by period, site, language, support and collection, or search them. Once a list of relevant inscriptions is produced, clicking on any entry will display the metadata associated with that inscription. Clicking on the "go" button on the list of inscriptions provides access to a series of thumbnails of all the available photographs for that inscription; there is a set of BW and colour photographs for each inscription. The thumbnails can be saved as TIFF or JPEG pictures, or preferably as full resolution JPEG2000 photographs (recommended). There is also a standalone viewer to visualise Reflection Transformation Imaging (RTI) images.
There are no transliterations or translations of the inscriptions. Among the scripts are Ammonite; Arabic; Aramaic; Coptic; Cuneiform (Akkadian; Babylonian; Sumerian; Ugaritic); Egyptian hieroglyphs; Greek; Hebrew; Latin; Nabatean; Phoenician; Semitic and others. There are also early alphabetic inscriptions such as that from Wadi el-Hol and some Dead Sea scrolls. This website can be useful primarily for teaching and researching, but postgraduate students specialising in ancient languages may also find it useful. The project has been funded by several organisations, including the Underwood Family Trust Fund; the Ahmanson Foundation; and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
The Inscriptions of Israel/Palestine website aims to publish an electronic version of all inscriptions found in Israel dating from the Hellenistic period (ca. 330 BCE) to the Islamic Conquest (640 CE). A search engine allows users to access some 15,000 inscriptions, with searches possible for individual inscriptions or words, including proper names, occurring in one or more inscriptions. There is, however, no browse function, which makes general access to the site difficult without prior knowledge of sources. Ultimately users should be able to access detailed maps of every single archaeological site that contains inscriptions of the period concerned, as well as photographs of every inscription with a translation. The site also provides a bibliographic database and lists related links; links to some scholarly essays on epigraphy were broken at the time of last review.
'Into His Own' focuses on the historical study of Jesus and the New Testament. It consists of a number of primary texts in translation, including extracts from the works of Josephus and Tacitus, and from the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Talmud, and the Mishna, on the political, social and religious situation in 1st-century Palestine. In addition to the primary material, these pages offer information (including maps) on the historical sites and sources on which this study is based. Thorough and scholarly, but still aimed at an audience of non-experts, this resource is an excellent teaching and introductory research tool. The site also features a blog and a short list of related links.
The "Jerusalem Archaeological Park" website boasts a virtual reconstruction model of Israel's most important site stretching from Temple Mount to the Mount of Olives. The park is an open museum and the archaeological discoveries span a range of 5,000 years from the Bronze Age to the Middle Age. The park also contains the Davidson Center within a palace dating from the Umayyad period, which has been combined with modern architecture in an innovative way. The website provides historical notes on three key periods: First Temple period; Second Temple period; and the Early Islamic period. There are also sections on water systems; the history of research; biographies of excavators of the site and historical figures; a bibliography; and historical sources. There are maps and a comprehensive timeline. A section on virtual panoramas publishes a few small panoramas, and interestingly it documents each step undertaken in their production with a series of illustrated articles. This is a wonderful site for those interested in archaeology, Biblical History, Jewish Studies and may be useful to both students and researchers.
This is an excellent resource offering articles on ancient history and archaeology together with an impressive library of photographic images of ancient sites which can be down-loaded for free for non-commercial use. The website is laid out geographically with sections on Greece, Persia, Anatolia, Carthage and Punic Sicily, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Judaea, Germania and Rome (as well a Dutch language resource on Dutch history) while the authoritative but very readable text has many cross links between them. There is no overall structure to individual sections: the Greek entries have a strong emphasis on Alexander the Great and his successors, on various authors such as Plutarch and Herodotos (including selections of extracted texts) and a series of short encyclopaedia-style entries on politicians, philosophers and literary figures. The Judaean passages discuss, for instance, Messianic claimants, the Diaspora and anti-Semitism in the ancient and mediaeval worlds, alongside more linear accounts of the Roman wars and potted biographies of leading Jewish figures. This website will benefit both students and teachers of the ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern world but the author makes the pointed observation that students must combine the use of electronic resources with proper library research for which the Web is not a substitute.
This unique online resource, Graeco-Roman Marriage Papyri, compiled by David Instone-Brewer, collates every Greek, Roman and Jewish text relating to marriage and divorce from the fourth century BC to the fourth century AD. The texts are accessible here in their original languages, whether Greek, Latin, Aramaic or Hebrew; links are given to the documents on the websites of the Perseus Digital Library, the Tyndale Archive and the Advanced Papyrological Information System (APIS). References to the texts in which the documents can be found are also given (these are shown in pop-up windows, so to make use of this resource the user must disable any pop-up blockers). The papyri are organised in chronological order, and the catalogue listing for each item is accompanied by references to relevant secondary material and English translations, where possible. Also featured are: a full bibliography; a checklist of editions of papyri; links to other works on divorce, remarriage and the New Testament written by the site's author; and link to downladable Greek and Hebrew fonts.
Created by Philip Harland of York University, Toronto, this website is devoted to an ongoing seminar within the Sociey of Biblical Literature. The seminar originated in 2002 and looks at the way in which meals and dining can provide an insight into the social and religious lives of ancient Greeks and Romans, as well as aiding understanding of early Christianity and Judaism. Users may access full text versions of papers given by members of the seminar (these are available to download in PDF format). Topics covered include: women and dining; the Greco-Roman banquet; biblical references to meals; dining, the eucharist and Christianity; meals and Judaism; and ancient philosophy and food. There is also a list of the academics who are members of the seminar.
Under the direction of Frank Unlandherm (East & Jewish Studies Librarian), the Columbia University Libraries have constructed a superior gateway to "research-orientated" Internet resources covering ancient and modern periods in the Middle East and Sinai Peninsula. Part of Columbia Universityís larger library network, these easily navigable selections begin with the simple division between Middle Eastern and Jewish resources and then focus on more specific aspects of the regionís history and culture. Links are organized both by topic and nation, and include (but are not limited to) economic, linguistic, religious, and contemporary political issues. Of special interest to researchers will be the very large collection of links to bibliographies, maps, and libraries with major Middle Eastern collections and news resources.
Developed and compiled by Scott Noegel (University of Washington), Okeanos is a comprehensive and detailed online gateway to a large cache of electronic resources related to the study of the culture of the ancient, Biblical, classical and late antique Near East. Sections covering the following types of resources are included: atlases; Bible; bibliographies; general resources; journals; discussion lists; museums; and philology. The structure of the site makes navigating these links simple, and sections are typically organized by topic and then by geographic location. Overall, the material presented by Okeanos will be most relevant to students and academics already involved in some aspect of ancient near-eastern studies who wish either to locate a particular journal or to familiarize themselves with the entire breadth of scholarly activity in the field.
The 'Philo Judaeus: On Ascetics' website contains a copy of the first four chapters of the aforementioned text (based on a translation which appeared in an edition by O. Thatcher in 1907 and which has been adapted by Professor Arkenberg). This is one of many texts which appears in the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. There is a brief introduction, taken from Thatcher's edition, which explains who Philo was and when he wrote (an Alexandrian Jew of the first century CE). This text was composed c.30 CE and focuses on the customs of the Essenes - a particular set of Jews who had an especially rigid modus vivendi (hence the title 'On Ascetics').
The 'Philo Judaeus: The Creation of the World' site is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook and contains an English translation (of the first eleven chapters only) of the aforementioned work. Philo was an Alexandrian (Hellenised) Jew of the first century AD, whose most famous work is arguably 'The Embassy to Gaius'. Philo, however, also wrote many works (all in Greek) on the Jewish religion, of which this is one. Professor Arkenberg of Fordham University has modified Thatcher's (1907) edition. This appears to be the standard translation of Philo, by C. Yonge (who is not credited on the site), which first appeared in 1854-5, and which has since been published in much more recent and more accessible editions than Thatcher's. The site, unfortunately, indicates none of this rather essential and elementary information. There is a very brief introduction to the text, taken directly from Thatcher's book, but there is no commentary, and the format of the text is plain and unadorned.
The Studia Philonica Annual is a scholarly journal devoted to the study of Hellenistic Judaism, and in particular the writings of Philo, an Alexandrian Jew who lived in the 1st century CE. The journal's website offers tables of contents and indexes of articles from 1989 onwards, but the articles themselves are not currently available online. Subscription details are available from the site, as is information on ordering back copies. The Studia Philonica Annual is published annually by Brown Judaic Studies under the aegis of SBL (Society of Biblical Literature) publications. The journal has an international advisory board, consisting of academics from America, France, the United Kingdom and Norway.
The Project on Ancient Cultural Engagement (PACE) focuses on ancient authors who found themselves in between cultures in order to address problems of cultural identity and cultural interaction in the Roman world, 200 BCE to 300 CE, with particular emphasis to the Greek and eastern world. Among the texts included are those of Polybius of Megalopolis; Flavius Josephus; Diodorus Siculus and others. The website publishes Classical texts with original text; English translations; full commentary; and textual parallels. The website also publishes full-text papers and books in PDF format ("scholarly studies") and abstracts of relevant theses ("dissertations"). There is a section on "History of Reception" concerned with the reception of "The Judean War"; "The Judean Antiquities"; "Life of Josephus"; and "Against Apion". It is possible to perform keyword searches on the bibliographic database only or on the bibliographic database plus the geographical (places) and archaeological notes; the notes can also be browsed. It is possible to contribute to this project by registering using a form. This website may interest researchers interested in the topics of cultural identity and acceptance in the Roman world.
The website of the Shalem Center think-tank in Jerusalem offers a comprehensive and accessible overview of the Center's activities, which are primarily geared towards researching and writing on all the major issues relevant to world Jewry. This includes Jewish and Zionist intellectual, social, cultural, and political history, Biblical archaeology, as well as more contemporary subjects, such as economics and social policy. With strong ties to the American neo-conservative movement, the stated aim of the Shalem Center is to conduct research in the interest of "enriching and strengthening the State of Israel," and its scholars are, by and large, positioned on the political and religious right. They include Michael B. Oren, Yossi Klein Halevi, Martin Kramer, and Natan Sharansky, whose writings and various media appearances are collected on the website. Furthermore, the site offers briefings and analyses of current affairs from their fellows. In addition to its research, the Shalem Center operates its own publishing house and puts out a scholarly journal, Azure, which is available in both English and Hebrew. From the site, it is possible to sign up for the Center's newsletter for those interested to keep abreast of its activities.
Travel and Religion in Antiquity is an ongoing seminar (since 2005) within the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies (CSBS); this website makes available its papers and abstracts online. The seminar looks at the ways in which travel affected religious activity and cultural interaction in antiquity (with an emphasis on the Hellenistic and Roman periods, but with some attention to the Persian and earlier periods). Papers and abstracts are available to view as PDF files. Topics covered to date include: Hellenistic, Judaean and early Christian travellers; ethnographic discourses and migration; cultic journeys and early Christian travellers; the interplay of travel and religion; and the realities of travel. There is also a lengthy bibliography, divided into themed sections, on travel and religion in antiquity. Finally, an annotated list of links to relevant external resources is also provided.