Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Sacred Bridge

(photo from

Prof. Anson Rainey, who has been called  "probably the world’s greatest authority on Semitic languages," will be buried at noon today in Barkan.
Israel and the world have lost a great scholar and teacher.
Born in 1930, he got his first degree in Arkansas and came to Israel in 1960.
Rainey converted to Judaism at the age of 50.
His CV, posted at the Tel Aviv University Department of Archaeology website, is an astonishing read in itself.
The culmination of his life's work,  The Sacred Bridge. The Carta Atlas of the Biblical World,  was published in Jerusalem in 2006. 

From the book's blurb: 
“The Land of Canaan, the Land of Israel and early Roman Judea are treated as the southern part of the Levant, and as the focus in Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean history. The Levant is the land bridge between Asia and Africa, between Greco-Roman culture and the coasts of Arabia. As such it has seen the influx of peoples bringing new blood and initiatives to the life of the region. It has also suffered the conquerors’ heel as ancient empires sought to dominate this geographical hub of communications and commerce. The historical experience of the southern Levant, well documented in the Bible and in many inscriptions from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria and Anatolia, has become enshrined in Jewish/Christian tradition … It is therefore more than a land bridge between different cultures. It is a bridge of faith.”

This post is therefore added to the Sunday Bridges meme.

See also blog and a review of  The Sacred Bridge.  Photos of Rainey are here.

Shalom and thanks, Professor Rainey.  Go in peace.


J Bar said...

Interesting link.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Francisca said...

An interesting bridge post, Dina. It's always sad when the world loses a good scholar. I think they are insufficiently appreciated.

cieldequimper said...

One less. Superb post.

VioletSky said...

According to his CV, he has led an extremely active life!

VP said...

A great loss, an interesting like.

Petrea said...

Always an interesting post from you, Dina. And a brilliant conceptualization of the bridge theme.

Dr M said...

His annual presentations at ASOR will be missed. One of the first to adopt the Apple computer (since it could print hieroglyphics or cuneiform), you could count on Anson for a good handout, a certain opinion, and a kindness in conversation.