The Mythic Mind follows the tradition of works which insist on the necessity for a comparative dimension in the study of ancient Israel. The Israelite world-view was essentially a West Semitic world-view in origin, with additional deeply embedded influences from Egypt and Mesopotamia, though it produced its own distinctive character by way of synthesis and reaction. The essays in this volume explore various aspects of this process, historically and cosmologically, commonly challenging received views developed in the treatment of Israel in isolation. The importance of the Ugaritic texts in particular, as reflecting the cultural context in which ancient Israel developed into two symbiotic kingdoms, heirs to a common 'Canaanite' tradition, emerges clearly from such studies as chapter 5: 'Sea and Desert', chapter 7: 'Of Calves and Kings', chapter 9: 'The Significance of Spn' and chapter 10: 'The Vocabulary and Neurology of Orientation.'
N. Wyatt holds a personal chair in Ancient Near Eastern Religions at the University of Edinburgh. He has previously taught at the Universities of Glasgow, Stirling, Ibadan and Paris and his recent publications include Religious Texts from Ugarit (Sheffield University Press, 1998 and 2002) and Space and Time in the Religious Life of the Ancient Near East (Sheffield University Press, 2001). A volume of essays on royal ideology in Ugarit and Israel will be published by Ashgate Press.