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166 LETTERS IN CANADA 1998 and/or rigorous treatment of the context of English and North American Baptist history could have strengthened the paper on the LordIs Supper. The writer falsely assumes a later Baptist theological dependency upon John Smyth (fl1606) which cannot be substantiated in any source. In terms of raWI freshI scholarshipI Walter Ellis's piece on Baptist development in Western Canada provides a good reference tool. Wilfrid Laurier University Press has done a commendable job with the technical aspects of the book. Tables are a bit small in type size; there is a helpful index. The cover is attractively designed and of high-quality material and the price is reasonable. Among the other earlier conference publicationsI this volume belongs in Canadian religious collections. (WILLIAM H. BRACKNEY) Douglas R. Frayne. Ur III Period (2112-2004 Be) Volume 3/2 ofThe Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Early Periods. University of Toronto Press 1997. xliv, 490. $200.00 With the publication of each volume from the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia Project the study of the ancient Near East takes a major step forward. The volume under review was edited by D.R. Frayne, who has already produced two massive studies of the Sargonic and Old Babylonian periods respectively (RIME 2 and 4). This volume fills the historical gap between the two and provides the first truly comprehensive collection of historical inscriptions relating to the Dr III period that comprises nearly all of the twenty-first century Be. During this century we witnessed the last floruit of Sumerian civilization, soon to be ovetwhelmed by the Semitic populations that came to be dominant throughout Mesopotamia. FrayneIs edition is more than a simple compilation and translation of the relevant royal inscriptions. It is an exhaustive collectionItranslationIand study of all these inscriptions and details the historical, prosopographicat and chronologicalissues associatedwitheach ofthem.1t reflects the most up-todate linguistic and historic scholarship and acomprehensive knowledge of all sources, published and unpublished. Most inscriptions were checked againstthe originals wherever possible and unpublished sources referenced or included. The net result is that scholars and students have available a work of reference that will stand as the major source for historical reconstruction for this crucial period for decades to come. The volume contains many useful listings: for example, deities appearing in the inscription; all members of the royal family; and all known governors of the Dr III period. In addition, the year names of each king of the Ur III dynasty are treated exhaustively with extensive discussion of the chronological problems associated with some of them. All votive inscriptions and dedicatory seals have also been collected and arulOtated to pro- HUMANITIES 167 vide all the known contemporary documentation for the Dr III kings and their courtiers. The availability of this data will facilitate subsequent research on many aspects of Vr III society. In addition, sources from/for peripheral cities on the frontier are included: Mari, Karahar, Kimash, Urkish, and Nawar. Occasional maps provide excellent supplemental data on geographical issues touched upon often throughout the text. Indexes of museum and excavation numbers and a concordance of selected publications facilitate the cross-checking of the sources with previous publications. And finally, a microfiche containing the transliteration scores of 108 inscriptions is included in a pocket in the rear cover. Frayne's publicationisin keeping with the high standards ofscholarship that we have come to associate with the Royal Inscriptions of Mesopotamia . The publication reflects wide internationalco-operation by a handful of dedicated scholars - historians, philologists and archaeologists - whose major preoccupationis therecovery ofancient Near Easterncivilization, the wellspring of our own Western civilization. This volume and the others, published and forthcoming, rank among the great intellectual endeavours to reconstruct the remote early history of the ancient Near Eastern world. Frayne is to be congratulated once again for an outstanding accomplishment . (DAVID LOWEN) Jennifer Wise. Dionysu.s Writes: The Invention ofTheatre in Ancient Greece Cornell University Press. x, 270. us $39.95 This book makes large claims for writing - not good writing or bad writing (which, sadly, characterizes much of the book), but writing per se. According to Wise, this teclmological innovation enabled ancient Athenians to invent the theatre. She denies ritual influence, without discussing...


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