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14 May 2024

RCHC is pleased to announce the publication of a new issue of the Old World journal. Based on the proceedings of the conference “Bronze Age Civilizations” conducted in 2022, it brings together fresh perspectives on Bronze Age studies across Eurasia.

Old World open access journal (published by BRILL) seeks contributions from scholars focusing on the studies of different regions of the pre-modern world.

The Dragon and the Rainbow: Man's Oldest Story: new book by Robert Blust published in the Ancient Languages and Cultures series.





Old World is an inclusive, non-Eurocentric, multi-disciplinary journal devoted to the study of temporal, spatial, economic, social, and linguistic aspects of ancient civilizations from the Old World, namely Africa, Asia, and Europe.


Fully Open Access

Non-Eurocentric Vision of Ancient World

Quick Turnaround

Published by BRILL

Issue contents: Vol.1 (2021)

Book Series: Ancient Languages and Civilizations

  • Ahmad Al-Jallad
    The Religion and Rituals of the Nomads of Pre-Islamic Arabia: A Reconstruction Based on the Safaitic Inscriptions
    This book approaches the religion and rituals of the pre-Islamic Arabian nomads using the Safaitic inscriptions. Unlike Islamic-period literary sources, this material was produced by practitioners of traditional Arabian religion; the inscriptions are eyewitnesses to the religious life of Arabian nomads prior to the spread of Judaism and Christianity across Arabia. The author attempts to reconstruct this world using the original words of its inhabitants, interpreted through comparative philology, pre-Islamic and Islamic-period literary sources, and the archaeological context.
  • Dirk Meyer and Adam Craig Schwartz
    The songs of the Royal Zhōu (“Zhōu Nán” 周南) and of the Royal Shào (“Shào Nán” 召南) have formed a conceptual unit since at least the late Spring and Autumn period (771–453 BC). With this book Meyer and Schwartz provide a first complete reading of their earliest, Warring States (453–221 BC), iteration as witnessed by the Ānhuī University manuscripts. As a thought experiment, the authors seek to establish an emic reading of these songs, which they contextualise in the larger framework of studies of the Shī (Songs) and of meaning production during the Warring States period more broadly. The analysis casts light on how the Songs were used by different groups during the Warring States period.
  • Glenn W. Most, Dagmar Schäfer, and Mårten Söderblom Saarela
    Was plurilingualism the exception or the norm in traditional Eurasian scholarship? This volume presents a selection of primary sources—in many cases translated into English for the first time—with introductions that provide fascinating historical materials for challenging notions of the ways in which traditional Eurasian scholars dealt with plurilingualism and monolingualism. Comparative in approach, global in scope, and historical in orientation, it engages with the growing discussion of plurilingualism and focuses on fundamental scholarly practices in various premodern and early modern societies—Chinese, Indian, Mesopotamian, Jewish, Islamic, Ancient Greek, and Roman—asking how these were conceived by the agents themselves. The volume will be an indispensable resource for courses on these subjects and on the history of scholarship and reflection on language throughout the world.
  • Federico Giusfredi, Valerio Pisaniello, and Alvise Matessi
    Ever since the early 2nd millennium BCE, Pre-Classical Anatolia has been a crossroads of languages and peoples. Indo-European peoples – Hittites, Luwians, Palaeans – and non-Indo-European ones – Hattians, but also Assyrians and Hurrians – coexisted with each other for extended periods of time during the Bronze Age, a cohabitation that left important traces in the languages they spoke and in the texts they wrote. By combining, in an interdisciplinary fashion, the complementary approaches of linguistics, history, and philology, this book offers a comprehensive, state-of-the-art study of linguistic and cultural contacts in a region that is often described as the bridge between the East and the West. With contributions by Paola Cotticelli-Kurras, Alfredo Rizza, Maurizio Viano, and Ilya Yakubovich.
  • Robert Blust
    Modernization and conversion to world religions are threatening the survival of traditional belief systems, leaving behind only mysterious traces of their existence. This book, based upon extensive research conducted over a period of nearly four decades, brings scientific rigor to one of the questions that have always attracted human curiosity: that of the origin of the dragon. The author demonstrates that both dragons and rainbows are cultural universals, that many of the traits that are attributed to dragons in widely separated parts of the planet are also attributed to rainbows, and that the number and antiquity of such shared traits cannot be attributed to chance or common inheritance, but rather to common cognitive pathways by which human psychology has responded to the natural environment in a wide array of cultures around the world.
The Religion and Rituals of the Nomads of Pre-Islamic Arabia: A Reconstruction Based on the Safaitic Inscriptions

Volume 1

Songs of the Royal Zhōu and the Royal Shào: Shī 詩 of the Ānhuī University Manuscripts

Volume 2

Plurilingualism in Traditional Eurasian Scholarship: Thinking in Many Tongues

Volume 3

 Contacts of Languages and Peoples in the Hittite and Post-Hittite World: Volume 1, The Bronze Age and Hatti

Volume 4

 The Dragon and the Rainbow: Man’s Oldest Story

Volume 5