A Comparative Study of the Literatures of Egypt, Palestine and Mesopotamia
The Egyptologist Eric Peet (1882-1934), whose works on the prehistory of Italy and the cemeteries of Abydos are also reissued in this series, published this book, based on a series of three lectures delivered at the British Academy in 1929 on ancient literature of the Near East, in 1931. It examines the claims of Egyptian and Babylonian literature - rediscovered less than a century earlier - to be considered as the influential forerunners of the Hebrew literature of the Old Testament, composed up to a millennium later, and, by this argument, not suddenly arising as an isolated phenomenon. As Peet remarks in his first lecture, his aim is to persuade Old Testament scholars that 'Egyptian literature is worthy of far more attention ... than it has hitherto received'. Further work on ancient Egyptian grammar, and better translations as the texts become better understood, are, he believes, a prerequisite for useful comparative analysis.