The idea of writing commentaries on the major Ugaritic poems has been circulating for some time. In the volume under review Margalit has produced the first such work. He has chosen neither to imitate the biblical commentary nor to attempt to represent the present state of Ugaritic scholarship. He claims that any Ugaritic commentary “will contain explanations and interpretations which cannot, and do not, represent a scholarly consensus" (p. xiv). This is certainly true of the present volume. The value of such an offering, of course, depends on its persuasiveness, or at least its plausibility.
The book is divided into two major parts. The first consists primarily of a "History of Research." This is not so much a history as a series of notes on most of the relevant treatments of the poem from 1936 (the editio princeps: Virollcaud 1936) to 1986, highlighting what agrees and disagrees with Margalit's own interpretation (often referred to as a “fact" or “datum"). There is no balancing of possibilities and probabilities of interpretation. Having thus disposed of prior commentators, the author gives little heed to their or others' treatment in his subsequent commentary.
§ 1. History of Research
§ 2. Prosodic Analysis
§ 3. Textual Analysis
§ 1. Text-Layout
§ 2. Translation
§ 3. Textual and Epigraphic Notes
§ 4. Literary Commentary
§ 1. The Poem of AQHT: An Overview
§ 2. Ugaritic Literature and the Hebrew Bible
Appendix: The Principles of Ugaritic Prosody