Click here to get the answers to the most commonly asked RBL questions.

Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical and Literary Study
McAffee, Matthew

University Park, PA: Eisenbrauns, 2019 pp. xvii + 371. $119.95

Series Information
Explorations in Ancient Near Eastern Civilizations, 7

Description: While topics such as death, funerary cult, and the netherworld have received considerable scholarly attention in the context of the Ugaritic textual corpus, the related concept of life has been relatively neglected. Life and Mortality in Ugaritic takes as its premise that one cannot grasp the significance of mwt (“to die”) without first having wrestled with the concept of ḥyy (“to live”). In this book, Matthew McAffee takes a lexical approach to the study of life and death in the Ugaritic textual corpus. He identifies and analyzes the Ugaritic terms most commonly used to talk about life and mortality in order to construct a more representative framework of the ancient perspective on these topics, and he concludes by synthesizing the results of this lexical study into a broader literary discussion that considers, among other things, the implications for our understanding of the first-millennium Katumuwa stele from Zincirli. McAffee’s study complements previous scholarly work in this area, which has tended to rely on conceptual and theoretical treatment of mortality, and advances the discussion by providing a more focused lexical analysis of the Ugaritic terms in question. It will be of interest to Semitic scholars and those who study Ugaritic in particular, in addition to students of the culture of the ancient Levant.

Subjects: Ancient Near East, Other ANE Literature, Literature, Methods, Linguistics, Ugaritic, Literary Approaches

Login to Read the Review(s)

You must be a member of SBL to read the review(s). In May 2019, SBL improved security of its main site with a new login procedure that requires an email address and a password, instead of an SBL member number. RBL’s login procedure is now synched to SBL’s. Please use your email address and SBL password to log in to RBL. Your use of this site indicates your acceptance of RBL’s Terms of Use.

Email Address
SBL Password
 Forgot Your Password
 Join SBL or Renew Membership

Review by Timothy Hogue
Published 7/30/2020
Citation: Timothy Hogue, review of Matthew McAffee, Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical and Literary Study, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

Review by Jonathan Yogev
Published 3/27/2020
Citation: Jonathan Yogev, review of Matthew McAffee, Life and Mortality in Ugaritic: A Lexical and Literary Study, Review of Biblical Literature [] (2020).

Adobe Acrobat Reader
All RBL reviews are published in PDF format. To view these reviews, you must have downloaded and installed the FREE version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you do not have the Reader or you have an older version of the Reader, you can download the most recent version now.


Privacy PolicyTerms of UseContact Us