Death, Underworld and Afterlife in the Ugaritic Texts.
This investigation of the topics of death,
underworld and afterlife is based on texts already
published. The first two chapters deal with mythological
aspects of the subject - the god of death, the underworld
and its associated deities, Chapters Ill-V with the cult
of the dead and the possibility of blessed immortality.
No previous treatment of the subject as a whole
exists. Chapter I, however, primarily examines critically
the observations of others on diverse aspects of the
subject, especially noting the problems raised. It
includes original interpretations of the basic texts.
Chapter II is an original investigation of the underworld
contacts of various gods. Of these the assessment of
Dagan is particularly important.
Chapters Ill-V provide a new translation of texts
which in a number of instances lead to radically new
interpretations, especially suggesting that there was in
Ugarit a ritual feeding of the dead; that the royal dead
were important in this context; and that the dead kings
lived in a special relationship with the gods. The
discussion of rites of mourning and burial gives important
information on attitudes to the dead as well as new
conclusions about terminology (notably on nsr discussed in
Chapter IV). (Sections of Chapter IV have already been
published and copies of the publications are included as
supplementary material. However, the published form was
revised and the revised text is presented in the chapter).