Library of Sacred Scrolls
- Hooker, J. T., intro. Reading the Past: Ancient Writing from Cuneiform to the Alphabet. Berkeley & Los Angeles: University of Calfornia Press/British Museum, 1990.
I've loved books on the history of writing systems ever since i was little. The chapters have been previously published as booklets by various authors on Cuneiform, Egyptian, Canaanite-Phoenician, Minoan, Greek, and Etruscan. The section The Early Alphabet begins with Proto-Sinaitic/Proto-Canaanite, then to cuneiform Ugaritic to alpu-betic Phoenician, through the development of Hebrew, Arabic, and Greek alphabets from it, eventually leading to the Roman alphabet most Europeans and Anglophones use (and the Vietnamese, and the Indonesians, and... ); and also to Cyrillic and its off-shoots.
- Kramer, Samuel Noah, ed. Mythologies of the Ancient World. New York: Anchor Books, 1961. Now reprinted in a new edition. Pocketbook size.
Pages 181-218 by Cyrus H. Gordon on Canaanite Mythology are
a synopsis of the known Ugaritic myths. Also includes chapters on Ancient
Egypt, Sumer and Akkad, the Hittites, Canaan, Ancient Greece, India, Ancient
Iran (i.e. Persia), Ancient China, Ancient Japan, and Ancient Mexico.
- Loewe, Michael and Blacker, Carmen. Oracles and Divination. Boulder, CO: Shambala Publications, 1981.
Excellent book with chapters on divination among the Babylonians & Hittites, in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Israel, the Classical World, the Germanic World, Islamic World, Tibet, China, Japan.
- Meyer, Marvin W., ed. The Ancient Mysteries, A Sourcebook: Sacred Texts of the Mystery Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean World. San Francisco: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1987. Still in print.
An excellent resource, containing translations of actual ancient
texts, with illuminating commentary by the editor. ESSENTIAL for the practicing Pagan. THIS IS GREAT!!
- Neusner, Jacob, Ernest S. Frerichs and Paul Virgil McCracken Flesher, eds. Religion, Science, and Magic: In Concert and In Conflict. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.
Another excellent book including chapters on magic among the Babylonians, Neo-Platonists, Jews, and Christians.
General Middle Eastern Studies
- Gaster, Theodor H. Thespis: Ritual, Myth, and Drama in the Ancient Near East. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1950, 1961. I think this is still in print.
Includes translations of many useful texts, Canaanite, Hittite,
Egyptian, and Greek, with analysis. I don't always agree with his interpretation and beware the author's tendancy to elaborate the original language into rather "purple" prose, but ESSENTIAL, anyway. A good book to own. Often found in college book stores.
- Gray, John. Near Eastern Mythology: Mesopotamia, Syria, Palestine. London: Hamlyn Publishing Group, 1969 (other editions). Often in book stores specializing in remaindered books.
Simplified introduction to the mythologies of the Near East with lovely photographs.
- Hooke, S. H. Middle Eastern Mythology. Harmondsworth, Middlesex, England: Penguin Books, Ltd., 1963. May still be in print. Pocketbook
Synopses of myths of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Ugarit (aka Canaan),
Hittites, Hebrews, Old and New Testament, and Christians. The author unfortunatelyoften displays his Christian bias.
- Long, Asphodel P. In a Chariot Drawn by Lions: The Search for the Female in Deity, 1993. The Crossing Press: Freedom CA.
Focuses particularly on the Feminine Divine of the Middle
East: Egypt, Israel, Canaan and Mesopotamia - but includes a chapter on Greek goddesses, and one on Egyptian goddesses. This book is rather one-sided (leaves out the gods) and definitely modern interpretation. Still, a decent introduction.
- Pritchard, James B., ed. The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1958. Still in print. Near pocketbook size.
Excellent selection of Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Hittite, Ugaritic,
Canaanite, Palestinian, & Aramaic documents, from Pritchard's Ancient
Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton University Press, 1955 (ANET) and The Ancient Near East in Pictures Relating to the Old Testament, Princeton University Press, 1954 (ANEP). Pritchard just died in the beginning of January 1997, he was in his 80's. A good book to own & easy to find in used book stores near colleges. ESSENTIAL. Volume II is also useful, but has less Levantine material.
- Thompson, R. Campbell. Semitic Magic: Its Origins and Development. New York: KTAV Publishing House, Inc., 1971 (1908).
Dated but still useful studies of Mesopotamian magic with
a few useful cross-cultural comparisons. Reflects the old idea that the collection of tablets called Maqlu was merely a collection of spells. The current thinking is that Maqlu is one long ritual, in three parts done at dusk, midnight, and dawn.
Go on to The Library of Links to see what other Pagans are doing, as well as Ancient Near Eastern Museum Collections, Archaeological sites, and more Spiritual pages.
Return to the Temple Directory for links to other rooms in this temple.
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Page modified 18 December 2007