Page 30 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 44

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YAAKOV SHAVIT
Eretz-Israel Research:
Development and Trends
Sacred History, National History
,
History
T
h e
a im
o f
t h i s
article is to offer a broad overview of the field of
Eretz-Israel research, sometimes known as Palestinography. The
number of studies written and published in this area has grown
annually not only in Hebrew in Israel, but also in other languages
(especially German, English and French). Since we must be select­
ive, we shall offer some general observations and single out only
some of the important works that have appeared in recent years.
The completion of the ten-volume series,
The History of Eretz-
Israel
(ed. Yaakov Shavit; ed. board: Israel Efal, Yehoshua Ben-
Aryeh, Moshe David Herr, Amnon Cohen, Joshua Prawer,
Menahem Stern, Jerusalem, 1981-1985), which documents in
Hebrew the full history of Eretz-Israel from prehistoric times
down to the War of Independence, makes possible the drawing
up of such a summary. The interested reader will find in each
volume of the series detailed, annotated bibliographies for each
period, including surveys of the relevant archaeological sources
and discoveries.
We shall begin by tracing briefly the history of Israeli Palestin­
ography, or, better still, the desire to develop an original Jewish
approach which would be differentiated from the widespread
Christian research that proliferated during the 19th century.
This will enable us to understand the cultural, ideological and
national motives for the writing of Eretz-Israel history.
In a short review published in 1897 and entitled “Do You
Know the Land”
(Al Parashat Derakhim,
vol. 3, Berlin, 1930, pp.
18-19), Ahad Ha’am dealt with the work of Abraham Moshe
Luncz, the pioneering modern Eretz-Israel researcher. He
pointed to the lack of any original historical work concerning the
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