A word to the wise for grad students and recent Ph.D.’s: writing snarky book reviews is really not a good way to make friends or to impress either your peers or more senior colleagues…it’s great that you think you know everything, but you don’t. Rather than tearing down others, your career would be better served if you write your own article or book on the same topic and show your superior intelligence and vast knowledge that way. – Eric Cline
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to correspond with the greatest of the great. Here are some of the letters I’ve received and in the case of Käsemann and Stuhlmacher, a postcard while in the case of Noth a letter to my teacher at SEBTS which he then gave to me. I’ve got quite a few from quite a few other names you would know as well, but I don’t want to hand over everything. ;-) Some letters are for my enjoyment alone.
I don’t even… I can’t explain how or why Chris is without clothing or why he is in that thing or why the other guy, who happens to be Jeremy Thompson, is taking… I can’t…
Jack M. Sasson, the Mary Jane Werthan Professor ofJewish Studies and Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt, has been inducted into the International Association for Assyriology’s Honorary Council. Sasson, who is also a professor of classics, is one of a dozen scholars to receive this prestigious honor in recent years. The announcement was made July 24 in Warsaw at the group’s annual meeting and during the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, a yearly five-day conference that is open to all those who are interested in Assyriology and Near Eastern archaeology.
The International Association for Assyriology was founded in 2003. With offices in the Netherlands, it serves as a platform for scholars working in cuneiform studies and in Near Eastern archaeology. It encourages and promotes the study of these fields in all their aspects on an international scale. Sasson was the association’s first president, serving from 2005 through 2009.
Sasson’s scholarly efforts in Assyriology have included the clay tablets archives found at the Middle-Euphrates town of Mari. He is currently putting final touches on a volume that translates and annotates over 600 letters and administrative documents from its archives, largely from the reign of Zimri-Lim, king of Mari, a contemporary of Hammurabi of Babylon (early 18th century B.C.E.). In May, Yale University Press published his Judges 1-12. a new translation, with introduction and commentary (The Anchor Yale Bible). Via.
He’s going to be on our panel in the Hebrew Bible section, along with the equally amazing Doug Knight, at SBL Southeast next March. We’d love to have you come along and join us. It promises to be a great discussion.
Visiting Germany… to the dismay of Germany…
German newspaper Bild lists the “ailments” that afflict Britons abroad, including a tendency to drink too much and strip off at the slightest opportunity. The article lists “underwear amnesia”, “vodka cough”, and “Welsh wandering hands” among the ailments that afflict Brit tourists. British men, the newspaper says, are particularly at risk of “Prince Harry Syndrome”, which it describes as the “pathological need constantly to undress”…
You know, that’s really true! I’ve never been to Britain but that someone on a train or in a pub didn’t randomly disrobe. Once, during a meeting of SOTS, Jim Aitken did exactly that whilst in the middle of his presentation!
The Germans may be on to something. For, really, who wants to face this:
Chris Tilling on the beach, in Germany (somewhere near Potsdam)
A former handyman serving life in prison for the 1993 murder of seven people at a suburban Chicago restaurant has been awarded nearly a half-million dollars in a civil lawsuit in which he alleged a jail guard punched him in the face.
[Those of you who know Chris will be shocked by the likeness... They say everyone has a twin somewhere. Chris's is in Illinois]
He’s in the news:
In a western Galilee excavation site, archaeologists unearth a massive stone covered in mysterious Aramaic engravings. Along the Mediterranean coast, scholars are puzzled by Phoenician markings on 4,000-year-old pottery shards. And in the deserts of Jordan, an ancient Moabite altar is discovered, but experts struggle to decipher the inscriptions adorning its surface.
What do each of these cases have in common? When Near East researchers found themselves stumped by the words on ancient artifacts, they all called Christopher Rollston.
Among the world’s leading Near East epigraphers, Rollston is a master of more than a dozen long-dead languages, from Akkadian to Ugaritic. He is a veteran of dig sites like Syria’s Umm e-Marra and Israel’s Megiddo. And, according to Eric Cline, professor of classics and anthropology, “He’s the go-to-guy when you’ve got an ancient inscription that needs translating.”
This fall, Rollston brings his skills and passion—not to mention his encyclopedic knowledge of texts from the Hebrew Bible to the Dead Sea Scrolls—to Columbian College. Or, more precisely, back to Columbian College. A popular visiting professor in the spring 2013 semester, Rollston will return to the school as a full-time associate professor of Northwest Semitic languages and literatures.
“I am delighted to be coming back to George Washington University,” Rollston said. “It is a great university with a distinguished faculty and stellar students. I have rarely enjoyed teaching as much as I did here.”
Rollston is a scholar of the ancient Near East, specializing in the Hebrew Bible, Old Testament Apocrypha, Northwest Semitic literature, paleography and biblical languages. Epigraphy—the translation of ancient inscriptions into modern languages—remains his true passion, and one that he’s eager to convey to students.
And more- which read. Chris deserves this recognition and the fact that Emanuel foolishly let him go because of the petty jealousy of a minor academic has turned out for the best not just for Chris, but for academia.