This international research program in historical lexicography aims to explore the lexical field of peace in several eastern Mediterranean and Near Eastern cultures of antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Peace may perhaps be understood as harmony between nations, as good relations between the inhabitants of a town or country, or even as peace with oneself, a state of interior well-being, a state attained through spiritual effort. But these definitions may not be shared cross-culturally, and peace may have other referents in other cultures.

For instance, in Arabic, in the Medieval period, there are few words to express peaceful relationships with the other. On the other hands, notions such as the cessation of war, treaties, and reconciliation offer a very rich vocabulary.

Thus, we are not working on a single word, but on a lexical field, that of peaceful relationships with the other or, ultimately, with oneself.

This historical lexicography will be carried out on texts written in Sumerian, Akkadian, Ugaritic, Nabataean, the South Arabian Epigraphic languages, Ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Coptic, Arabic, Ottoman Turkish, Persian, Latin, Greek, in the languages of Hittite AnatoliaMongolian, Armenian, Hindi, Malay, Sanskrit, and Chinese.

The researchers in our team will examine texts written on different supports (tablets, inscriptions, papyri, parchments, papers, and so on), in many literary genres (official documents, private correspondence, literary or religious texts), taking into account co-text (the textual context which will allow us to determine the referent), and in their historical and social contexts. This will enable us to take into account, over the longue durée, referents and conceptions communicated by the terminology of the lexical field of peace in different epistemes.

This work will produce multiple outcomes, including a database and dictionary of terms and their referents, and published volumes giving examples of the methodology at work. This project is intended to result in several outputs.

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