Speiser, Ephraim Avigdor
SPEISER, EPHRAIM AVIGDOR
SPEISER, EPHRAIM AVIGDOR (1902–1965), U.S. Orientalist and archaeologist. Born in Skalat, Galicia, Speiser emigrated to the United States (1920). In 1926–27 he surveyed northern Iraq, discovering Tepe Gawra, whose excavation, along with that of the adjacent Tell Billa, he directed during 1930–32 and 1936–37. In 1927 Speiser taught comparative Semitics at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. From 1928 to the end of his life he lectured in Semitic languages and literatures at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War ii, Speiser served as the chief of the Near East section of the Research and Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services. From 1955 he was a key member of the translation committee of the Jewish Publication Society of America that produced a new English version of the Torah (1962).
Speiser was one of the pioneers in the discovery of the *Hurrians and their culture. He clarified the scope and significance of the Hurrian component in Western Asia during the second millennium b.c.e. and investigated the structure of their language in the still standard Introduction to Hurrian (1941). In The United States and the Near East (1947, 19502) he illuminated the modern problems of the region by his expert knowledge of its long history. Speiser's philological and synthetic studies in Mesopotamian civilization displayed its values, with emphasis upon the centrality of law and the influence of Mesopotamian legal conceptions on peripheral peoples, including Israel. During the last decade of his life he devoted much time to the origin of Israel's history and faith. He regarded these as both a reflex of, and a critical reaction to, the Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures from which Israel emerged. His biblical research culminated in the volume on Genesis in the Anchor Bible (1964).
Speiser's scholarly, humanistic, and professional distinction was nationally recognized. He was a president of the American Oriental Society, a member of the American Philosophical Society, and a fellow of the American Academy for Jewish Research.
D.D. Finkelstein and M. Greenberg (eds.), Oriental and Biblical Studies: Collected Writings of E.A. Speiser (1967), 587–616; J.B. Pritchard et al. in: basor, 79 (1965), 2–7; M. Greenberg, in: jaos, 88 (1968), 1–2.
"Speiser, Ephraim Avigdor." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 23, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/speiser-ephraim-avigdor
"Speiser, Ephraim Avigdor." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved October 23, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/speiser-ephraim-avigdor
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.