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Biblical Archaeologist

Biblical ArchaeologistPerspectives on the Ancient World from Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean
A Publication of the American Schools of Oriental Research

Volume 59 Number 1
March 1996

Special Issue
Cyrus H. Gordon: A Synthesis of Cultures

2 "Forever Gordon": Portrait of a Master Scholar with a Global Perspective
Meir Lubetski and Claire Gottlieb
A rare combination of scholarly gentlemaqn, mentor, and teacher par excellence, Cyrus Gordon's life overflows with unique experiences and soaring achievements. Often blazing trails on the edge of scholarship, it is gratifying to behold the esteem in which growing circles hold this "scholar for all seasons."

13 Homer and the Near East: The Rise of the Greek Genius Louis H. Feldman
Once the eccentricity of pioneers like Gordon, the postulate of an early Greek acquisition of the alphabet from the Phoenicians, permits Homer to be recast as a literate poet, much influenced by the Near Eastern epic tradition.

22 A "Mediterranean Synthesis": Professor Cyrus H. Gordon's Contributions to the Classics
Howard Marblestone
Cyrus Gordon's most emplematic and enduring intellectual legacy will undoubtedly be his vision of cultural synthesis interweaving the East Mediterranean axis of Syria-Palestine, the delta of Egypt, and Minoan Crete which became the multiplex foundation of Greek and Hebrew civilizations. Recent scholarship on contact between these cultures and, ilndeed, the word of Rome's greatest poet Vergil, vindicates Gordon's farsighted vision.

31 A Continuing Adventure: Cyrus Gordon and Mesopotamia
Martha A. Morrison
Mesopotamia figures prominently from the beginning of Gordon's career. His observations as a field archaeologist and epigrapher from Ur to Tell el-Amarna brought philological and cultural issues in the Nuzi tablets to his attention. The parallels he drew between Nuzi and the Hebrew Bible were to resonate through succeeding generations of scholarship.

36 "Someone Will Succeed in Deciphering Minoan": Minoan Linear A as a West Semitic Dialect
Gary A. Rendsburg
A tiny seal unearthed by the excavators of Megiddo in the 1930s belonged to Anu-ziti. After a decade of research on the interconnections between Greece, Ugarit, and Israel, with Crete as the hub, Gordon approached the decipherment of Minoan Linear A. Previous scholars had realized that Linear A was not Greek as in Linear B. Gordon stepped in to assert, controversially, that the language of Minoan Linear A was a West Semitic dialect.

44 The Father of Ugaritic Studies
David Toshio Tsumura
From his provision of basic tools for Ugaritic study to his specific linguistic contributions, from his analysis of literary style to his view of the entire ancient Near East as the world of the Hebrew Bible, Gordon's impact on Ugaritic and biblical studies reaches the proverbial seven times seven.

51 Magic Bowls: Cyrus H. Gordon and the Ubiquity of Magic in the Pre-Modern World
Edwin M. Yamauchi
Magic bowls illuminate everyday human concerns--fears and worries, jealousies and hatreds. They remind us of the presence of magic in the ancient--and indeed, modern--world. Gordon's work on magic bowls carried on the interest of his teacher Montgomery, and he himself passed the passion on to a congeries of his students.

56 Archaeological Applications of Advanced Imaging Techniques
Gregory H. Bearman and Sheila I. Spiro
Utilizing techniques developed by NASA, the imaging of texts on papyri, parchment, pottery, or plaster can capture much information invisible to the naked eye. Multi-spectral imaging and computer manipulation of digital images enhances legibility of obscured Dead Sea Scroll texts and faded ostraca alike.