Studies Presented to A. Leo Oppenheim, June 7, 1964 R. D. Biggs and J. A. Brinkman, editors

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The essays composing this volume were offered as a tribute to one of the most productive and versatile Assyriologists, Professor Oppenheim. So much is standard praise. Perhaps his unique and overriding quality, however, is an impatience with the accepted paradigm of the discipline, a determination both to expand its field of action and to examine critically some of its most fundamental assumptions. Whether collaborating with chemists in studies of ancient glass or with economists on institutions of market-less trading, he conducted a vigorous, wide-ranging search for new methods of study and new areas of relevance. At the same time, in emphasizing the canonical distortions and limitations of the recorded stream of tradition with which Assyriologists deal, he calls for a reappraisal of the structure of the field itself. These facets of his outlook and activities converged in his editorship of the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary; without such a tool, it is difficult to see how a new generation will appear that can either test and modify the paradigm further or meet the challenge of the flood of new material and the increasing interest on the part of other disciplines.

It is only fitting that the contributors to this volume all were junior collaborators or former students of Dr. Oppenheim and that the initiative in conceiving and editing it remained entirely in their hands. Principal responsibility for initiating it rested with Rivkah Harris, Anne D. Kilmer, and E. V. Leichty, while the papers were edited by R. D. Biggs and J. A. Brinkman.

  • Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1964
  • Pp. vii + 200; 11 figures
  • Out of Print