Many thanks to Jim Eisenbraun (and Gina Hannah) for sending me a copy of Eisenbruans‘ A Manual of Ugaritic (by Pierre Bordreuil and Dennis Pardee) to review.
Anyone who teaches or studies Ugaritic will want to take a serious look at adding this book to his or her collection of resources. I had high hopes for this book and I was not disappointed.
The manual was first published as Manuel d’Ougaritique in 2004 (by Librairie Orientaliste Paul Geuthner S. A.). This 2009 edition not only provides an English translation, but also incorporates corrections, modifications (of some grammatical presentations and also some text interpretations), and updates to the bibliography. The authors note in the preface that the “most important of the modifications is in the presentation of the verbal system particular to poetry.”
Working in ancient languages requires patience when working on a computer. This little bookmark is a handy reminder of the keyboard map for inputting cuneiform and transliteration using the Durham font set. I created and used this bookmark frequently when typing up papers for our Ugaritic class. You can download a PDF with two copies of the bookmark on it here.
The top line is the cuneiform (which, I really think students should learn and continue to use rather than just transliteration), the second line is the transliteration for that character, and the bottom line (greyed out) is the US English keyboard equivalent. Even if you are not trying to type up translation worksheets or charts, the bookmark is a handy reminder of the cuneiform transliteration.
As I said, I think students should not learn the cuneiform solely to know the alphabet, but to be able to actually read/analyze/vocalize texts. With the ability to access high resolution texts (the Inscriptifact database, for instance), knowing the cuneiform is rewarded.