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Drop a tiger into a court-bouillon

Bee Wilson: Mesopotamian cookery

6 October 2005
The Oldest Cuisine in the World: Cooking in Mesopotamia 
by Jean Bottéro, translated by Teresa Lavender Fagan.
Chicago, 134 pp., £16, May 2004, 0 226 06735 1
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... the best things to eat for one’s stomach. Compare this with historians of the cooking of ancient Mesopotamia, where the sources are quite maddeningly scanty. ‘We must resign ourselves,’ writes JeanBottéro, a French scholar who has cornered the field of Mesopotamian food studies, ‘to not knowing everything, let alone knowing it well, and must get used to this cloudy and too often veiled ...

At the tent flap sin crouches

James Wood: The Fleshpots of Egypt

23 February 2006
The Five Books of Moses: A Translation with Commentary 
by Robert Alter.
Norton, 1064 pp., £34, November 2004, 0 393 01955 1
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... cosmogony wherein various parts of the natural world were represented by different all-powerful gods, and junior ‘personal’ deities looked after one’s daily interests. Frank Moore Cross and JeanBottéro, among many others, have shown the Pentateuch’s indebtedness to Egyptian and Babylonian mythic narratives. In Religion in Ancient Mesopotamia, Bottéro gives an account of the Atrahasis, a ...

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