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The 2009 Eisenbrauns
Ancient Near Eastern Valentine Contest

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Love is in the air! We again went looking for a few good scholars to display both eros and erudition in our second Ancient Near Eastern Valentines contest.

Now, the alliteration of eros and erudition is lovely, but some of the entries we've been getting are a bit heavy on the eros side — I regretfully had to censor a number of entries for that, despite their obvious quality. Perhaps we need a new tag line, to encourage more platonic platitudes? Suggestions are welcome.

We asked for no more than three original compositions in any ancient Near Eastern language (or Greek), accompanied by an English translation. Music and artwork were similarly welcome.

The judging is remarkably arbitrary, and the the prizes are thus:

1st Place: $75 Eisenbrauns Gift Certificate
2nd Place: $50 Eisenbrauns Gift Certificate
3rd Place: $25 Eisenbrauns Gift Certificate
Honorable Mentions: Fame and glory.

The results of the 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 contests are available here for your reference and enjoyment.

And now, without further ado, the results of the 2009 Eisenbrauns Ancient Near Eastern Valentine Contest...


Honorable Mention

You Raise Me Up
English lyrics by Josh Groban
Translated by Bev McCoy for her husband, Jerry


Bev McCoy - Hebrew Valentine

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains,
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas,
I am strong when I am on your shoulders,
You raise me up to more than I can be.


Honorable Mention

A Newly Discovered Hittite Love Letter
Transcribed, Transliterated, & Translated
by Matthew Scarborough
Undergraduate in Classical Languages at the University of Alberta


Cuneiform Valentine


Third Place

Hittite Hope for Love
by Andreas Schulz
Undergraduate student at the University of Jena, Germany





Second Place

With a Heavy Heart
by Cali Coquet




How great is the love of you in my heart!
It is the beer that refreshes my throat in the summer,
that quenches my throat and causes me to see your face (twice)
How great is the love of you in my heart!
It is the brave soldier who cuts off my hand that my actions are not my own
How great is the love of you in my heart!
I contemplate your beauty like Senefru, justified, when he watches the beautiful big-bosomed women with braided hair as they row
How great is the love of you in my heart!
My heart will be weighed and I will be judged, my heart heavy with the love of you


First Place

An Unpublished Poetic Tablet from Ugarit
by James R. Getz, Jr.
Brandeis University

The complete article is available for download.



That's all for this year, folks. Enjoy the day!

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