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Digital archive of theses discussed at the University of Pisa


Thesis etd-10132014-160357

Thesis type
Tesi di dottorato di ricerca
email address
epaola@tiscali.it, p.mollo@studenti.unipi.it
Thesis title
La DOR biblica ed il tema del ricambio generazionale. Studio lessicologico e letterario di un tòpos
Academic discipline
Course of study
tutor Prof. Borbone, Pier Giorgio
  • Bibbia
  • generazione
  • lessicologia
  • letteratura antica
  • primary history
  • storiografia antica
Graduation session start date
The theme of generational change is quite recurrent in the Old Testament, both in the accounts of primeval times, and in the first stages of the history of Israel. Emblematic "generations", which are entitled DOR in Hebrew, demarcate specific historical periods in biblical narrative from Genesis to Judges, and their cyclical death and renewal contributes to shape the flow of history according to different epochs and different political settings.
The contribution this research makes is the investigation of the DOR and the theme of generational change as narrative tools playing an important role in biblical history writing.
The present study raises this issue for the first time in biblical studies, and examines it from an historiographical and literary point of view. Consequently, this generational change is first investigated as a thought pattern, formed by recurring conceptual elements and both similar and quite dissimilar phrasal wording. Second, it is studied as a conventional and topical theme throughout biblical and also extra-biblical literature.
Through integrated analysis of concepts, lexicon, discourse, style, rhetoric, structure and narrative, we find that the six DOR accounts occurring in the Old Testament have a twofold nature, one "re-generational" and the other "de-generational". Two of these accounts turn the flow of history into a positive outcome (re-generational), two others into a negative outcome (de-generational). In the remaining two cases, the theme itself appears modified in conceptual structure and wording, leading to a final outcome which may be defined as a "missed" generational change.
This pioneering study opens the way for new developments in the field of biblical history writing. The formation process of this thought pattern and literary tòpos could be studied in greater detail by analyzing textual witnesses and ancient translations. Furthermore, the historiographical role of the DOR-generations deserves more attention given that after the Book of Judges the word DOR, and its use as a device to indicate "generational change", disappear completely from biblical prose to be substituted by a new history writing device: the figure of the king.