Collected essays –

Collected essays — La Palestine a l’epoque perse edited by Ernest-Marie Laperrousaz and Andre Lemaire

Cody, Aelred

ERNEST-MARIE LAPERROUSAZ and ANDRE LEMAIRE (eds.), La Palesline d lepoque perse (Etudes annexes de la Bible de Jrusalem; Paris: Cerf, 1994). Pp. 329. Paper 198 F.

It is hard to paint a cultural, political, and demographic picture of Palestine during the Persian period in which regional differences are apparent and the parts are chronologically measured. In recent years new bits of evidence have come forth to raise new questions and elicit new interpretations. We are beginning to see how impressive the cultural and commercial importance of the Phoenicians was in Palestine, especially along the coast and in Galilee. The contributors to this volume report on various aspects of the current state of the question.

Andre Lemaire, “Histoire et administration de la Palestine a l’poque perse” (pp. 11-53), leads the way with a historical synthesis based on all the information now available. He considers not only the different regions of Cisjordanian Palestine but those beyond the Jordan as well. Jacques Briend, “L’occupation de la Galilee occidentale a l’poque perse” (pp. 55-76), and Ephralm Stern, “Dor a l’poque perse” (pp. 77-115) discuss two important areas in greater detail. Since Avigad’s bullae and seals show that Jewish civil governors succeeded one another in Judaea between Zerubbabel and Nehemiah, before the later ones who were already known, Ernest-Marie Laperrousaz, “Le statut de la province de Judbe”(pp. 117-22), concludes that Judaea was not a “theocracy” (hierocracy?) ruled by priests until the Persian period had come to an end. In a second article, “L’tendue de Jerusalem a l’poque perse” (pp. 123-56), Laperrousaz returns to his thesis that, with the exception of the slight retraction on the west side of the City of David, the urban areas included within the walls repaired by Nehemiah were the same as those within the walls at the time of the Babylonian siege (including the western hill).

Hedwige Rouillard-Bonraisin, “Les livres bibliques d’poque perse” (pp. 157-88), attempts to place the biblical writings of the period, including postexilic components of the Pentateuch, in their historical and cultural setting. Ursula Schattnerrieser, “Lhbreu postexilique”(pp. 189-224), lists the main features distinguishing postexilic Hebrew from the language typical of preexilic biblical texts, and she illustrates each feature with a few well-chosen examples. Jean Margain, “L’aramten d’empire” (pp. 225-43), situates imperial Aramaic in the history of the Aramaic language and tells us about some of its grammatical and lexical components. He takes imperial Aramaic as something a little broader than the highly standardized form of Aramaic canonized by the Achaemenid chancery in the second half of the sixth century, for he includes the Hermopolis papyri in his discussion of an orthographic point, and he sets 700 B.C. as the approximate time when the language reached the stage in question. He evens gives a grammatical example from Sefire, which is earlier still, but the example illustrates a construction retained in imperial Aramaic.

Josette Elayi, “Presence grecque sur la cote palestinienne” (pp. 245-60), reflects on the use and interpretation of various kinds of evidence (and the insufficiency of some kinds of evidence) for eking out the poor documentation of the undeniable Greek presence on the coast. Andre Lemaire, “Epigraphie et numismatique palestiniennes” (pp. 261-97), inventories the epigraphic and numismatic remnants of the Persian period, including epigraphic finds in all languages represented. While Lemaire limits his numismatic survey to coins minted in Palestine itself, Josette Elayi, ‘La diffusion des monnaies phniciennes en Palestine” (pp. 289-309), studies the distribution of those minted in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and Arvad.

In a brief conclusion (pp. 311-15), Andre Lemaire shows where all this fits in an increasingly complex picture, but also increasingly realistic picture, of Palestine in the Persian period.

Aelred Cody, O.S.B., St. Meinrad Archabbey, St. Meinrad, IN 47577

Copyright Catholic Biblical Association of America Jan 1996

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved