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 contain clear Arabic elements, e. g., ^ KTOW , ΠΚΤΗ  KTT / ΤΙ^ ΚΉΤ / a m , Τ5Λ Χ ,^ ΓΡΠΚ and The structure of these names differs from that which we know from Judah ( from both biblical and epigraphical sources) and Samaria ( but caution is needed here in view of the fact that our ostraca derive from a rural population living on agriculture, while the Samaria ostraca originated from an urban population connected to slave trade and provincial administration). The mixture of Edomite and Arabic names is well founded in the fourth- century BC epi­graphical material from southern Palestine, especially from Idumaea. From our ostraca it appears, then, that the ethnic structure of the population of Idumaea, with which we are acquainted from the beginning of the Hellenistic period, existed already some generations earlier. 4 Thus, these documents shed light on the economic life and demographic structure of this region during a period about which our information was hitherto quite scant. For Jewish names see commentary on No. 16. The vocalization of the personal names in our ostraca is sometimes conjectural. Thus, for example, in the names DV7W / Ίϋρ , snrp ,5ητ and  nan it is not always clear whether they are constructed in the qätül pattern or in the qattül one. The study of a large collection of documents such as ours reveals features that are indis­cernible in a small collection or a single document. Different spellings of the same name — such as D n ^ n , Dnsn poip / » sip ( and most probably also Nop and xsp); τα, n u ; and * 73im; and perhaps also KD* tt and KDia — indicate that the local rural writers did not insist on a standard spelling of personal names and wrote them according to the various ways they were pronounced. # 28. The Dates of the Ostraca: Many dockets bear dates. Some ostraca mention only the day and the month but quite a number also specify the year — e. g., No. 62: On the 8th of Marheshvan, year 2. Obviously, the year is counted from the accession of a certain king. In five cases the date formulae also contain kings names, as follows: Artaxerxes ( No. 13), Alexander ( Nos. 1 l l , 112) and Philip ( Nos. 96, 97; note also DID^ D IDUM [ tribute of Philip], which occurs in No. 98 dated  year 2 without a royal name, which may refer to Philips reign. See, however, the commentary on No. 98, below). The years mentioned in the ostraca are 1- 19 and 42- 46. The lack of documents dated 20- 41, as well as the prosopographical sequence of names of people mentioned in the ostraca, indicates that the documents dated 42- 46 belong to the reign of one king while those dated 1- 19 belong to a king or kings who followed him. 5 The only one among the Persian kings ( and, 4 The earliest historical attestation to Idumaea as a distinct territorial and administrative unit ( eparchy) is in the year 312 BC ( Diodorus Siculus XIX. 95.2), i. e., one year before our latest- dated ostracon. Although we do not know whether Idumaea existed as a distinct administrative unit in the Persian period, it becomes clear from the above- mentioned names that the ethnic and cultural nature of the population of the region known from the early Hellenistic period as Idumaea was already determined some generations earlier. 5 Halfat son of Samuk is mentioned in the following documents: In year 45: No. 1. In year 46: Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5. [ 1 6 ] 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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