Aramaic Poetry in Qumran

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Aramaic Poetry in Qumran

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Title: Aramaic Poetry in Qumran
Author: Lee, Peter Y.
Abstract: Aramaic Poetry in QumranPeter Y. LeeDirector: Edward M. Cook, Ph.D.The often fragmentary Aramaic texts preserved by the Qumran community represent a large collection of well edited texts, whose publications have triggered numerous contributions that have brought a significantly clearer understanding of them. Little attention, however, has been devoted to the poetic structure of these Aramaic texts, much less on Aramaic literature as a whole. This study presents a model for the analysis of Aramaic poetic texts as well as a detailed poetic discussion of six Aramaic texts within the Qumran collection. These texts are: 1) 4Q246, "The Son of God" text; 2) 4QLevia, a portion of the wisdom poem in the Aramaic Levi Document; 3) 4Q534, "The Elect of God" text; 4) 4Q542, The Testament of Qahat; 5) 4Q541, two fragments from the Apocryphon of Levi; 6) 1QapGen, the beauty of Sarai in the Genesis Apocryphon. Three have been previously identified as poetic, namely 4Q246, the wisdom poem in ALD, and the beauty of Sarai. The poetic nature of the remaining three has not. Also included are the eight poetic passages from the Aramaic portions of the Book of Daniel: 2:20-23 (=4QDana), 3:33-4:2; 4:7b-14; 4:31-32; 6:27b-28; 7:9-10; 7: 13-14; 7:23-27. Combined, this study examines over 124 lines of poetry. These texts use literary features and devices that are characteristic of poetic texts, specifically parallelism and terseness. It is the interrelationship between these two particular poetic devices that is the hallmark characteristic of Aramaic poetry. In addition to these is the use of imagery, strophic formations, and sound repetitions. The application of all these various techniques within any given text is what identifies it as poetic. It is what makes Aramaic poetry poetic.
Description: Degree awarded: Ph.D. Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures. The Catholic University of America
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1961/9731
Date: 2011-06-24


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