Bulletin of the American Society of Papyrologists 27 (1990) 69-75 BOOK REVIEW The Documents from the Bar Kokhba Period in the Cave of Letters. Greek Papyri edited by Naphtali Lewis, Aramaic and Nabatean signatures and subscriptions edited by Yigael Yadin and Jonas C. Greenfield. Israel Exploration Society: Jerusalem 1989. Pp. xii + 164; 40 plates. ISBN 965-221-009-9. $60 + 10% postage fee (surface mail). The existence of these documents from the archive of Babatha (abbreviation: P.Yadin) has been known since their discovery's announcement by Yigael Yadin in 1961. Several of the papyri (15, 18, 27-30) have previously appeared in full or in partial editions. Others have been known through excerpt (verbal and photographic) or in summary, most fully in Yadin's book, Bar-Kokhba (New York 1971). Consequently, nearly all the archive's documents have been long familiar to scholars and to the general public--but only at second hand. Now at last, through the hand of Naphtali Lewis, taking up where H. J. Polotsky left off, the substantially larger part of the archive, the Greek, has been brought to full publication. Still awaiting final edition by Jonas Greenfield (with Ranon Katzoffs legal commentary) are six Nabatean and three Aramaic documents. Also still under study are Aramaic, Nabatean and Hebrew inscriptions. Summaries by Yadin and others have made the outlines of the life of the archive's principal figure, Babatha, well-known.1 She was born and lived most of her life in the first third of the second century at Maoza, a village on the south shore of the Dead Sea. Her father had settled and acquired property there, especially palm groves, toward the end of Nabatean rule. Babatha was widowed and left with a very young son in A.D. 124. In 128 she remarried to a propertied man, Judah son of Eleazar, residing in Maoza, but originating from En-Gedi, an oasis near 1E.g., H. J. Polotsky, "The Greek Papyri from the Cave of Letters," IEJ 12 (1962) 258-62; Nelson Glueck, Deities and Dolphins: The Story of the Nabataeans (New York 1965) 8-9; Yadin, Bar-Kokhba, esp. chapt. 16, pp. 233ff.; N. Lewis, "Two Greek Documents from Provincia Arabia," ICS 3 (1978) 100-14; G. W. Bowersock, Roman Arabia (Cambridge, MA, 1983), esp. chapt. VI. 0
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