1992-93 Annual Report
Harry A. Hoffner, Jr.
The Society of Biblical Literature wanted to celebrate and publicize the inauguration of its new series, Writings From the Ancient World, which offers translations of ancient Near Eastern texts. With travel grants awarded from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Society of Biblical Literature sent the editor of the new series accompanied by Professor Harry A. Hoffner, author of Hittite Myths, the second volume in the new series, to make presentations at the International Academy of Religion Conference in Melbourne, Australia (July 12-18, 1992). While there, Hoffner was interviewed on Australian radio. In early January 1993, he flew to Philadelphia to serve as one of the University's two delegates to the annual meeting of the American Research Institute in Turkey. In late May he lectured on the history and culture of the Hittites to a large touring group on board a Greek ship in the Mediterranean. In late June he presented a lecture at the Second International Congress of Hittitology in Pavia, Italy, and a week later another lecture at the International Congress of Assyriologists meeting in Leiden, the Netherlands.
The August issue of The Atlantic contained a witty and urbane article by editor Colin Murphy based upon a telephone interview with Hoffner. The article introduced a new term into the lexicon, "necrolexicography," which according to Murphy means "one who writes dictionaries of dead languages." This means, of course, that the Oriental Institute is well represented by "necrolexicographers"! The Atlantic article generated a follow-up interview with Hoffner on National Public Radio on August 10th. The program was a radio "magazine" show. The interview with Hoffner about the Chicago Hittite Dictionary followed a new recipe for a broccoli dish! In October 1992, he and his colleague Hans Güterbock were photographed by Chicago Magazine as a prominent part of their photographic essay on the University of Chicago entering its second century.
On May 13th, after months of advance planning, he and his associates held a very successful surprise 85th birthday party for Professor Hans Güterbock in Breasted Hall, which was attended by not only Chicago friends but also by visitors from as far away as the Netherlands.
Among his publications in 1992-93 were: "Advice to a King," in Hittite and Other Anatolian and Near Eastern Studies in Honour of Sedat Alp, edited by H. Otten, E. Akurgal, H. Ertem, and A. Süel, pp. 295-304 (Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu Bas1mevi, 1992); "The Last Days of Khattusha," in The Crisis Years: The 12th Century B.C. from Beyond the Danube to the Tigris, edited by W. A. Ward, pp. 46-52 (Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1992); a review of P. Cornil, Hethitica VII and VIII, Louvain: Peeters, 1987, in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 51 (1992): 148-49; "Studies in the Hittite Particles, II: On Some Uses of -kan," in Per una grammatica ittita: Towards a Hittite Grammar, edited by O. Carruba (Pavia: Iuculano, 1992); "Akkadian ßumma immeru texts and their Hurro-Hittite Counterparts," in The Tablet and the Scroll: Near Eastern Studies in Honor of William W. Hallo, edited by Mark Cohen, pp. 116-19 (Bethesda, Maryland: CDL Press, 1993); "The Hittites," in Peoples of the Old Testament World, edited by G. Mattingly (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Book House, 1993); "Milch, bei den Hethitern," in Reallexikon der Assyriologie, edited by D. O. Edzard (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1993); "Syrian Cultural Influence in Hatti," in New Horizons in the Study of Ancient Syria, edited by M. Chavalas (Malibu: Undena Publications, 1993). In addition August 1992 saw the publication of his English translation of Arthur Ungnad's Akkadian Grammar, 5th ed., edited by M. A. Sweeney, Society of Biblical Literature Resources for Biblical Study, No. 30 (Atlanta: Scholars Press).