"Horse" and "to Plough" in Hebrew and Indo-European

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This paper represents the first sketches of what will hopefully grow into a larger postdoctoral project, the subject of which will be the relationship between the world of the Hebrew Bible and that of the Indo-European cultures that was its early neighbours, particularly the Anatolian cultures of the Hittites, Luwians, etc. My goal is to examine how ideas, concepts and words from Indo-European sources came to be integrated into (and were reflected in) the cultural sphere that we know as that of the Old Testament, and perhaps ultimately to study if these patterns of integration can tell us something of the way in which the peoples involved interacted with each other. We are dealing with two of the most historically significant cultures of ideas, thought and mental production that the world has known, and what I wish to do is look at a few instances where they can be shown to have influenced each other at an early period. The study of the relationship between the Old Testament milieu and the Indo-European cultures of antiquity may help shed light on the cultural and linguistic contexts out of which the Hebrew writings grew – and help us understand how that language came to look the way that it does in the texts preserved to us.

In this paper, I discuss two Hebrew words which have been suggested as possible borrowings between these two linguistic cultures: the word sûs (“horse”) and the word ḥāraš (“plough”). These two are merely to be regarded as “case studies”, and I cannot stress strongly enough that this paper represents “work in progress” in a very real sense. The project is only in its first, beginning stages, and as such this paper must be viewed. I have chosen to concentrate on sûs and ḥāraš because of the facts that (a) they have both been thought to represent specimens of the kind of borrowing interaction that I would like to study, and (b) that the words themselves represent important technological and cultural concepts that would have provided natural points of inter-cultural contact in their spread.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Religionsvetenskap


StatusUnpublished - 2012
Peer review utfördNej
EvenemangOTSEM Annual Conference, 2012 - Oxford University, Oxford, Storbritannien
Varaktighet: 2012 sep 172012 sep 20


KonferensOTSEM Annual Conference, 2012