Tadmor, Hayim

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TADMOR, HAYIM (1923–2005), Assyriologist and historian of the Ancient Near East. Tadmor was born in Harbin, China, and arrived in Palestine with his family in 1935. He studied at the Hebrew University where he received his doctorate in 1954 for his dissertation on problems in chronology of the Ancient Near East. His postdoctoral studies took him to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago where he studied Assyriology under Benno Landsberger.

From 1958 he lectured at the Hebrew University – until 1965 in the Department for Ancient and Near Eastern Studies and then in the Department of Assyriology. In 1971 he was appointed professor of Assyriology and history of the Ancient Near East.

Tadmor was a foremost authority on the history of the first millennium b.c.e. who made notable contributions to the study of chronology, historiography, and institutions in antiquity as well as to understanding the interrelations between Assyria and the West and the place of Israel in the Ancient Near East.

He applied canons of criticism to inscriptions and historical texts, viewing texts in their broad cultural perspective and emphasizing the value of historiography and literary forms of historical texts. One of his major contributions was his work on Assyrian and Babylonian royal inscriptions.

He edited, with Moshe Weinfeld, and was a contributor to History, Historiography and InterpretationsStudies in Biblical and Cuneiform Literature (1983). He edited The World History of the Jewish People, volume 5 (The Restoration, The Persian Period). Tadmor served as a chief editor of the Enẓiklopedya Mikra'it (1971–82) and was a major contributor to A History of the Jewish People (edited by H.H. Ben-Sasson, 1969) and the Russian version (edited by S. Ettinger, 1967). He collaborated with M. Cogan to produce a Commentary on Kings (1988) and served as an editor of the Shorter Jewish Encyclopedia in Russian.

add. bibliography:

M. Cogan and I. Ephal (eds.), Ah, Assyria … Studies … Tadmor (Scripta Hierosolymitana 33; 1991); bibliography of Tadmor in: ibid., 341–47; additional bibliography in Er Isr, 27 (Hayim and Miriam Tadmor Volume, 2003), 17–22.

[Elaine Hoter]