BOOK SERIES  ›  Book Series

Ancient Languages and Civilizations

This book series is devoted to new insights into the ancient world and offers a broader view of antiquity, up to the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire (1453).

This series covers various geographical regions, such as Ancient Egypt and Africa, Mesopotamia and Middle East, Europe, Asia, the Americas and Oceania.

Each area is investigated in its specific historical, economic, and social context and in the various aspects of its civilizations, such as language, philology, literature, art, architecture, technology, sciences, laws, and customs. All volumes are published under the CC BY-NC-ND license.

Published by BRILL
Established in 1683, Brill is a leading global academic publisher specializing in the humanities and social sciences. with a particularly strong record of publications on world languages and linguistics.

Volumes Published in the Series

  • 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

Submission instructions
The editors welcome submissions regarding any aspects of Antiquity: history, archaeology, art and architecture, philology, linguistics, literature, philosophy, religious studies, sociology, anthropology, etc. Studies demonstrating non-Eurocentric perspectives on ancient and medieval world are particularly welcome.

Authors are cordially invited to submit proposals and full manuscripts by email to the Series Editors: Professor CHEN Zhi, Professor Carlotta Viti, and Professor WANG Xiang (Shawn Wang).
  • ALAC (Ancient Languages and Civilizations) series was initiated by and received the initial funding support from the Research Centre for History and Culture (RCHC). All volumes are published under a CC BY-NC-ND license.
  • Proposals must present original work and must have been submitted exclusively to ALAC. Both monographs and edited volumes are welcome.
  • Submissions may regard any civilizations from any continents, developed between prehistory and the 15th century AD, that is, the fall of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • ALAC also considers studies of oral literature, such as proverbs and folklore, as well as field work on endangered languages, which represent the legacy of ancient traditions verbally transmitted from generation to generation.