The East Face of Helicon

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


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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 early Greek 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 has hitherto 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 to ignore the Near Eastern literature than Latinists can ignore Greek.

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Product details

  • Paperback | 688 pages
  • 156 x 230 x 38mm | 997.91g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 map, 3 tables
  • 0198152213
  • 9780198152217
  • 607,231

Review quote

An impressive and substantial volume ... The book is very readable and OT scholars can learn much from it Journal for the Study of the Old Testament

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About Emeritus Fellow M L West

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

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Table of contents

Abbreviations ; Note on the transcription of oriental languages ; Note on chronologies ; 1. Aegean and Orient ; 2. Ancient Literatures of Western Asia ; 3. Of Heaven and Earth ; 4. Ars Poetica ; 5. A Form of Words ; 6. Hesiod ; 7. The Iliad ; 8. The Odyssey ; 9. Myths and Legends of Heroes ; 10. The Lyric Poets ; 11. Aeschylus ; 12. The Question of Transmission ; Bibliography ; Indexes

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