ARAMAIC OSTRACA OF THE FOURTH CENTURY...

The 201 of containing in the book Aramaic ostraca dating 361-311 BC are almost exclusive source for the study of the ethnic structure and the economic life for end of the Persian rule in the Land of Israel and the beginning of the Hellenistic period.

Introduction # 12. Straw ( pn) was measured and loaded in rope- bags ( f^ ns). This word deserves special attention. An ostracon from the Raphia region has 10 p^ nD pn ( straw: 10 rope- bags). The word ρ* 7Π( ΐ) ο occurs in the Mishna and Talmud meaning  a bale, made of a net of ropes with wide meshes, containing the freight of camels ( Jastrow 1950: 1152b, s. v. y^ nD). Since, how­ever, its etymology is not clear, it was often misread and written y^ nCOD. Thus we find in Mishna, Kelim XXIV: 9; Tosefta, Kelim Bava Mesica VI: 6; Palestinian Talmud, Nedarim 37d and Shevucot 34d the following forms: n^ m^ w r^ na or D^ ötfw y^ na and ]^ mi y^ nD or y^ mi y^ HD. Since, however, the ostracon from Raphia region has the plural form p*? nD, there is no doubt that the correct version is y^ nD ( Naveh 1985: 118). This has now been confirmed by our ostraca; see Nos. 19 ( l y^ nD) and No. 18 ( 2 p*? nD). # 13a. Besides γ*? nD there is another term for measuring straw. In No. 136 we read: ^ tfrio Mpl 7 i^ nwö pri ( Naqru to Elcali, straw: 7 mstls). *? nw in Aramaic and Arabic ( as in Hebrew) means  to plant Cnttftt in Arabic means  seed plot,  nursery). Its etymology does not justify the translation of ^ nttfft as a basket for straw. Nevertheless, because ^ nttftt is associated with straw in other ostraca, it is difficult to escape such an assumption. # 13b. Nos. 169- 171 read: *? nwö  HW pn ^ V. The first word ( in No. 170 it is nay) means in Jewish Aramaic  sprouting,  branches,  foliage. In Syriac fcTDis; =  flower,  grass,  hay ( Peshitta Ps. 90: 5 equals τχπ = fcOSltf), and Syriac WW =  putrefaction,  stench,  manure ( Payne- Smith 1903: 422a; cf. Arabic ^ \\ f *\\\\ r =  bits of straw,  weeds;  refuse of wheat [ Hava 1915: 530]). Thus bnwft ΉΙΡ pn can be translasted:  refuse ( or dung) of cast ( thrown away) straw: a mstl. Tosefta Bava Qamma 11: 7 reads: D^ nfr ΟΤΙΠ mm1? wp) inn nx Ν^ ΊΟΠ ( if one puts his straw and his stubble out on a public road to form dung ...). # 13c. There is still the problem of ^ ΓιϋΏ. Mishna Kelim XXIV: 9 reads: ^ nftttf :] Π nV7DWö tiftttf n^ ftfiw forlorn ... p r f r t t f( There are three kinds of refuse- baskets: that for dung ... that for straw... and a camels rope- bag). Mishna Shevicit 111: 2 has: mnDWN uftw ti^ w IV Ty^ nttD ΠΜ nV7DWö itpy iwsftw ΠΚΟ ΓΡ: ^ ( How much dung may they lay down? Three dung- heaps in every seahs space, ten ni^ Dttfö [ refuse- baskets] of dung to every heap). See also Midrash Tehillim to Ps. 2: nnx o ^ M wp ^ n n Π Μ iK pünx1? nnx D ^ M pn nV? Dwa TOD Λ ΊΕΠΧ ΊΓΧ linx1? ( He does not ask him, how many basketfuls of straw or how many bundles of straw did you bring into the storehouse?). The word n^ DWtt also has no clear etymology. Is it possible that ^ nttfη and n^ Dttftt are somehow related to each other? # 14. Loads of wood are mentioned in ostracon No. 25: 1 ] pv ( one load of wood) and in No. 167: 3 i^ mft ] pv ( 3 loads of wood). Sometimes the commodity is not mentioned, but the quantity is given in ( load): 1 ^ ma =  1 load ( No. 129); 3 ftniö =  3 loads ( No. 158). # 15. There are commodities or objects in the ostraca that are not measured, but counted. In seven texts ( Nos. 22, 67, 114, 155, 156, 157 and 163) grgr X occurs. Generally, pünλ means  grains; but since in our ostraca it is not followed by a measurement, and obviously the texts [ 12] Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index

ARAMAIC OSTRACA OF THE FOURTH CENTURY BC FROM IDUMAEA


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Front Matter Half Title Page Title Page Copyright Page Table Of Contents Preface INTRODUCTIONREFERENCESABBREVIATIONSContents TEXTS, TRANSLATIONS AND COMMENTARYBack Matter GLOSSARYINDICES OF NAMESPersonal Names in Nos. 1-199 ToponymsPersonal Names in Nos. 200-201 Back Cover
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