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Rabbis, Language and Translation in Late Antiquity

$151.00 (C)

  • Date Published: December 2013
  • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107026216

$ 151.00 (C)

Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
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About the Authors
  • Exposed to multiple languages as a result of annexation, migration, pilgrimage and its position on key trade routes, the Roman Palestine of Late Antiquity was a border area where Aramaic, Greek, Hebrew and Arabic dialects were all in common use. This study analyses the way scriptural translation was perceived and practised by the rabbinic movement in this multilingual world. Drawing on a wide range of classical rabbinic sources, including unused manuscript materials, Willem F. Smelik traces developments in rabbinic thought and argues that foreign languages were deemed highly valuable for the lexical and semantic light they shed on the meanings of lexemes in the holy tongue. Key themes, such as the reception of translations of the Hebrew Scriptures, multilingualism in society, and rabbinic rules for translation, are discussed at length. This book will be invaluable for students of ancient Judaism, rabbinic studies, Old Testament studies, early Christianity and translation studies.

    • Comprehensive and integrated discussion offers an original and innovative approach to rabbinic views of languages and translation in Late Antiquity
    • All source texts are translated, so the reader does not have to be familiar with the original languages to follow the argument
    • Careful close readings of relevant source texts provides a context for understanding the Scriptures of early Christianity
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A very extensive bibliography and two indices top off the book, which is bound to become the standard work on the rabbinic view on languages and translations."
    Lieve Teugels, Journal for the Study of Judaism

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2013
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107026216
    • length: 591 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 161 x 32 mm
    • weight: 1kg
    • availability: Temporarily unavailable - available from TBC
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Multilingualism and the Holy Tongue:
    1. The family of languages
    2. The holy tongue
    3. The multilingual context of language selection
    Part II. The Locus of Translation:
    4. The terminology of translation
    5. Chanting the Scriptures
    6. Between holy writ and oral Torah
    7. Ashurit and alphabet
    Part III. Rabbis and Translation:
    8. Targum in Talmud
    9. The faces of Aquila

  • Author

    Willem F. Smelik, University College London
    Willem F. Smelik teaches in the Department of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, University College London. He is the author of The Targum of Judges (1995).

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