The Performance of Ancient Jewish Letters: From Elephantine to MMT

  • Marvin Miller

Student thesis: Phd


This thesis will apply performance criticism to ancient Jewish letters in order to answer two connected questions. First, how do we adequately describe the form and function of letters as they were read in antiquity in order to be able to define the genres of letters in a more precise way and second, to consider how performance theory in conjunction with other approaches can be applied to ancient letters. In order to address these concerns, we will include examples of free-standing letters from Elephantine, embedded Hebrew and Aramaic letters, and embedded Greek letters. By studying these texts, we will gain a substantial perspective on the variety of Second Temple period letters and we will be able to consider how probing the form and function of those letters may be applied for a better understanding of MMT. The intent of this inquiry is to help explain how MMT, or a section thereof, may have been performed in various situations and thereby provide a clearer view of the genre(s) of MMT.
Date of Award1 Aug 2013
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • The University of Manchester
SupervisorGeorge Brooke (Supervisor) & Philip Alexander (Supervisor)


  • performance theory, ancient Jewish letters, MMT, Elephantine

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