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One of Italy's foremost experts on antiquity addresses a new issue surrounding the birth of Israel and its historic reality. Many a tale has been told of ancient Israel, but all tales are alike in their quotation of the biblical story in its narrative scheme, despite its historic unreliability. This book completely rewrites the history of Israel through the evaluation of textual and literary critiques as well as archaeological and epigraphic findings. Conceived along the lines of modern historical methodology, it traces the textual material to the times of its creation, reconstructs the temporal evolution of political and religious ideologies, and firmly inserts the history of Israel into its ancient-oriental context.