More than five hundred years before the Odyssey and the Iliad, before the biblical books of Genesis or Job, masters of the epic lived and wrote on the Mediterranean coast. The Ugaritic tablets left behind by these master scribes and poets were excavated in the second quarter of the twentieth century from the region of modern Syria and Lebanon and are brought to life here in contemporary English translations by five of the best known scholars in the field. Included are the major narrative poems Kirta, Aqhat, and Baal, in addition to ten shorter texts, newly translated with transcriptions from photographs using the latest techniques in the photography of epigraphic materials.
Mark Smith is Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies at New York University. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University where he studied Northwest Semitics and Hebrew Scripture. He is the author of The Early History of God as well as other books on the Hebrew Bible, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and West Semitic mythology and literature.
Simon Parker was a School of Theology and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences professor at Boston University, where he specialized in the Hebrew Bible. The late professor received his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and taught at Reed College before arriving at BU in 1977. His scholarly work focused on the interpretation of biblical literature in its ancient literary, religious, and social contexts.
Edward Greenstein is Professor of Bible at Bar-Ilan University. He has taught at Tel Aviv University and The Jewish Theological Seminary. He has published in the fields of Hebrew Bible and ancient Semitic language and culture, as well as literary theory and Biblical narrative. He is the author of Essays on Biblical Method and Translation.
Theodore Lewis received his Ph.D. at Harvard University, studying Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. He has the honor of being the first Blum-Iwry Professor in Near Eastern Studies at Johns Hopkins University.
David Marcus is a professor of Bible at The Jewish Theological Seminary. He teaches on the Bible and ancient languages, including Babylonian Aramaic. He is the author of numerous articles and his most recent book is a critical edition of Ezra-Nehemiah for the new Biblia Hebraica Quinta series. He received his Ph.D. from Columbia in the Department of Middle East Languages and Cultures.