Thursday, January 29, 2004

I regularly read a webcomic called "Life of Riley" by the Clan BOB collective. It's a half-gaming, half-apocalyptic soap opera sort of deal. Goofy, but lots of fun. They recently introduced Lilith as a character, and made an offhand reference to Nippur bowls, which went right over my head. They were kind enough to provide a link to a paper on Nippur bowls in particular, and Lilith traditions in general. That last link is a pretty solid paper on the textual references to Lilith over the millennia, from secondary Gilgamesh stories and Isaiah to rabbinical satires and medieval Kabbalistic arcana.

The rabbinical satire, the Alphabet of Ben Sira, sounds interesting. Sadly, it seems as if there has never been a full English translation of the book. There's a partial translation in an out-of-print book called Rabbinic Fantasies (Stern, David and Mirsky, Mark J. (1990). Rabbinic Fantasies; "The Alphabet of Ben Sira". New Haven: Yale University Press); looks like Pattee Library has a copy on campus. Maybe I'll make a trip of it this weekend.

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