Congratulations to Dr Fran Reynolds, Fellow of St Benet's Hall and Director of Studies, Oriental Studies, on the publication of her second book, A Babylon Calendar Treatise: Scholars and Invaders in the Late First Millennium BC:
Her book publishes in full for the first time all known cuneiform manuscripts of an Akkadian calendar treatise that is unified by the theme of Babylonia's invasion. It was composed in the milieu of Marduk's Esagil temple in Babylon, probably in the Hellenistic period before c. 170 BC. The rituals are presented as essential to protect Babylonia, and specifically Esagil and Marduk's principal cult statue, from attack by enemies termed Elamite and Subarian.
The treatise is partially preserved on damaged clay tablets in the British Museum's Babylonian collection and the volume presents hand-drawn cuneiform copies, a composite edition, and a manuscript score. A comprehensive contextualizing introduction is designed for readers in a range of fields, including Assyriology, classics and ancient history, ancient Iranian studies, Biblical studies, and ancient astronomy and astrology. It provides a key overview not only of topics in Mesopotamian scholarship and the elite Mushezib family, but also of the manuscripts themselves, and their language and orthography. A commentary explores in further detail how the treatise aimed to demonstrate the critical importance of the traditional Esagil temple in Babylon for the security of Babylonia and its later imperial rulers.