The Amarna Letters consist of diplomatic correspondence of Canaanite and other rulers with the Egyptian Pharaoh. Dating to the 14th century B.C., these letters are primary source material for the political and military situation of Canaan and the ancient Near East roughly in the age of Moses and the Exodus. This translation, by Assyriologist and Amarna expert William Moran, is the standard English edition, with introduction, extensive notes, and commentary. This work is an essential resource for the study of the Egyptian New Kingdom as well as of Syria-Palestine in the late Bronze Age. It will be of interest both to scholars of the ancient Near East and to students of the Bible.
William Lambert Moran (1921–2000) was an American Assyriologist born in Chicago. He joined the Jesuit order in 1939 and then attended Loyola University, where he received his BA in 1944. He taught Latin and Greek at the high school level until resuming his education at Johns Hopkins University, where he received his PhD in 1950. In 1955, he left for the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where he taught until 1966. That year, he took a professorship at Harvard to teach Assyriology, and was eventually appointed as Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities Emeritus. In 1996, he was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.