Skip to main content

Geminate Ballast: An Unrecognized Literary Feature in Ancient Semitic Poetry

" The device examined here appears to be employed in all strata of biblical Hebrew poetry, and its widespread usage in other Semitic texts shows that it was acquired in scribal circles along with other sophisticated compositional techniques. Its appearance in Akkadian suggests that the device may have originated in Mesopotamia and moved westward with cuneiform culture at an early date. However, regardless of its provenance, the evidence suggests that geminate ballast and clustering was yet another technique available to the ancient Semitic poet."

Author(s):  Noegel, Scott
Format:  Article
Date:  2004
Source:  The Journal of Hebrew Scriptures
Volume:  5