The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth

Paperback | March 1, 1999

byM. L. West

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Ever since Neolithic times Greek lands lay open to cultural imports from western Asia: agriculture, metal-working, writing, religious institutions, artistic fashions, musical instruments, and much more. Over the last sixty years scholars have increasingly become aware of links connecting earlyGreek poetry with the literatures of Mesopotamia, Anatolia, Canaan, and Israel. Martin West's new book far surpasses previous studies in comprehensiveness, demonstrating these links with massive and detailed documentation and showing that they are much more fundamental and pervasive than hashitherto been acknowledged. His survey embraces Hesiod, the Homeric epics, the lyric poets, and Aeschylus, and concludes with an illuminating discussion of possible avenues of transmission between the orient and Greece. He believes that an age has dawned in which Hellenists will no more be able toignore the Near Eastern literature than Latinists can ignore Greek.

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Ever since Neolithic times Greek lands lay open to cultural imports from western Asia: agriculture, metal-working, writing, religious institutions, artistic fashions, musical instruments, and much more. Over the last sixty years scholars have increasingly become aware of links connecting earlyGreek poetry with the literatures of Mesopo...

Martin West FBA was formerly Professor of Greek, University of London (1974-91).

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Format:PaperbackPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198152213

ISBN - 13:9780198152217

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Table of Contents

AbbreviationsNote on the transcription of oriental languagesNote on chronologies1. Aegean and Orient2. Ancient Literatures of Western Asia3. Of Heaven and Earth4. Ars Poetica5. A Form of Words6. Hesiod7. The Iliad8. The Odyssey9. Myths and Legends of Heroes10. The Lyric Poets11. Aeschylus12. The Question of TransmissionBibliographyIndexes

Editorial Reviews

`Shows in brilliant detail that there are parallels at the level of ritual, custom, belief ... down to even the minute phraseology of poetic language.'Peter Jones, The Spectator