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The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age
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The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  45 Ratings  ·  2 Reviews
The culture of the ancient Greeks has often been described as emerging like a miracle from a genius of its own, owing practically nothing to its neighbours. Walter Burkert offers a decisive argument against that view, pointing toward a more balanced picture of the archaic period in which, under the influence of the Semitic East - from writers, craftsmen, merchants, healers ...more
Paperback, 1st edition Revealing Antiquity [5], 225 pages
Published 1995 by Harvard University Press (first published 1984)
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Barnaby Thieme
In this short volume, Walter Burkert sifts through literary and linguistic evidence with a fine-tooth comb, searching for Mesopotamian, Anatolian and Levantine influences on Archaic Greek culture, especially the writings of Hesiod and Homer.

Burkert introduces the book with a historical account of the migrant culture of soothsayers, skilled craftsmen and poets from the Near East who traveled the Mediterranean. He then puts numerous cases of arts of letters under his microscope, establishing mode
...more
Charles
Burkert's text explains something people forget when discussing ancient Greek culture or literature, etc. The Greeks borrowed much from their eastern neighbours, before making it, the influences and traditions of their neighbours, their own and finally producing uniquely Greek art and culture in the "Classical" age (510-323 BC).

Very informative, well-written, but more suited to an academic or enthusiast of ancient Greek culture.
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