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Reading 4QZodiacal Physiognomy (4q186) And 4QPhysiognomy Ar (4q561): Texts, Genre, And Structure

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Chapter Summary

This chapter introduces the remains of the two physiognomic catalogues from Qumran. Attention is paid to matters such as material reconstruction, arrangement of columns, cryptic writing, paleography, and date, as well as to the contents of both texts. Most scholars have assumed that the Hebrew manuscript 4QZodiacal Physiognomy (4Q186) is an astrological text structured according to astrological criteria, but the different entries of this catalogue-text consist of a set arrangement of elements in which the astrological data are provided subsequently to the physiognomic descriptions. The Aramaic manuscript 4QPhysiognomy ar (4Q561) primarily preserves physiognomic descriptions. It has been argued that the text did not list predictions in relation to these descriptions, but the occurrence of certain words seems to suggest otherwise. In Dead Sea Scrolls research, 4Q186 has primarily been interpreted from an astrological perspective.

Keywords: 4QPhysiognomy ar (4Q561); 4QZodiacal Physiognomy (4Q186); Dead Sea Scrolls; Hebrew manuscript; Qumran



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