Inventory of Structurally Important Literary Features in the Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literatures of Antiquity
A corpus-based list of generically defined literary features occurring in at least one text of the Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, the Apocrypha of the Old Testament, the near-complete large Dead Sea Scrolls, or Rabbinic Literature.
Work in progress, version -355, 25 February 2011. Please cite information from this document as: A. Samely, P. Alexander, R. Bernasconi, R. Hayward, "Inventory of Structurally Important Literary Features in Ancient Jewish Literature (Version -355)" (Manchester: http://www.manchester.ac.uk/ancientjewishliterature, 2010), plus Inventory Point number.
This Inventory is part of the outcomes of the Project Typology of Anonymous and Pseudepigraphic Jewish Literature of Antiquity (TAPJLA) Manchester-Durham 2007-2011, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK).
C. Text body form
3. Formation of the body of the text by poetic or communicative-rhetorical forms
|Definition of the literary feature||Selected texts illustrating the feature|
|3.1. The text's functional parts are sequenced as communicative stages for engaging the projected addressee's attention or goodwill. This "rhetoric" determines a thematic selection and sequencing (alternative to section 5).|
|3.1.1. The text as a whole is a prayer of petition with the communicative sequence: praise of God/confession of sins/appeal for forgiveness[+/- anticipation of forgiveness/promise of future praise]. The parts are not necessarily formally distinct from each other.||Prayer of Manasseh|
|3.1.2. The text as a whole treats a biblical passage and/or theme by 1. an approach to that passage/theme from an unrelated verse (Petichah) - 2. a meta-linguistic treatment of the verse constituting that passage/theme (Inyan) - 3. a link to a consolation verse (Chatimah). Optional further steps are: an opening legal question-answer unit (Yelammedenu); an examination of the biblical co-text of the Inyan (Semikhah). This creates and usually resolves an aesthetic-communicative tension and is built up from units of explicit bible interpretation.||Rabbinic homilies (e.g. Leviticus Rabbah 7)|
|3.1.3. The text as a whole treats a biblical passage/theme by sequencing units of Bible interpretation in such a way as to create (and resolve or leave unresolved) an aesthetic-communicative tension without following the pattern of 3.1.2. See also section 5.||homily-like units of Pesiqta Rabbati 34 (and the other "mourners of Zion" homilies?)|
|3.1.4. Some functional parts occur more than once with different contents, and are merely juxtaposed to each other. See also 9.8.||Petichot in Leviticus Rabbah 7|
|3.2. The text is bounded by a formal, communicative or poetic (poetic-thematic) formation, constituting a single piece (3.3 and 3.4 do not apply.)||Prayer of Manasseh|
|3.3. The text bears resemblance in length and theme to a biblical prayer, song, lament or psalm, and is thereby recognizable as constituting a single piece, without being bounded by its own constitution (3.2 does not apply).||Psalm 151|
|3.4. The text constitutes one piece in a sequence of pieces that only show themselves as separate from each other by their contrast in adjacency (3.2 does not apply to this single piece). The contrast may arise from theme, perspective, opening or closing formulae, terms of address and style (including language, poetic devices). For the aggregate of pieces, see 10.2.||Hodayyot: 1QHa VI, 8-22|
|3.5. The language of a text whose overall boundaries are determined by poetic formation or by contrast in adjacency (i.e., 3.2-4) exhibits poetic formation as follows: [use for individual poems, songs, etc.]||Prayer of Manasseh, individual piece from Hodayyot, individual Psalm of Solomon, Psalm 151|
|3.5.1. There is pervasive use of rhyme and/or metre.|
|3.5.2. There is pervasive use of parallelism.|
|3.5.3. There is pervasive use of other features that can be interpreted as defining poetic formation, such as heightened or figurative language, repetitions of key phrases, short or otherwise poetically defined lines, etc.|
|3.6. The language of a text whose boundaries are not determined by poetic formation or by contrast in adjacency (i.e. not 3.2-4) exhibits poetic formation as follows (this applies to 10.2 compilations as well as to continuous texts where section 10 is not applicable):||Psalms of Solomon, Sibyl.Or., Sirach, Wisdom of Solomon
|3.6.1. There is pervasive use of rhyme and/or metre.|
|3.6.2. There is pervasive use of parallelism.|
|3.6.3. There is pervasive use of other features that can be interpreted as defining poetic formation, such as heightened or figurative language, repetitions of key phrases, short or otherwise poetically defined lines, etc.|