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    Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam (Princeton University Press) (Hardback) By (author) William F. Mccants

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    DescriptionFrom the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, "Founding Gods, Inventing Nations" traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization's origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest - they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire.


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  • Full bibliographic data for Founding Gods, Inventing Nations

    Title
    Founding Gods, Inventing Nations
    Subtitle
    Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam
    Authors and contributors
    By (author) William F. Mccants
    Physical properties
    Format: Hardback
    Number of pages: 184
    Width: 162 mm
    Height: 239 mm
    Thickness: 20 mm
    Weight: 446 g
    Language
    English
    ISBN
    ISBN 13: 9780691151489
    ISBN 10: 0691151482
    Classifications

    B&T Book Type: NF
    Nielsen BookScan Product Class 3: T5.2
    BIC E4L: HIS
    B&T Modifier: Region of Publication: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HBJF1
    BIC geographical qualifier V2: 1FB
    B&T Modifier: Subject Development: 01
    BIC subject category V2: HRKP
    Ingram Subject Code: HP
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/MEDIVL
    B&T General Subject: 431
    Ingram Theme: CHRN/ANCIEN
    Warengruppen-Systematik des deutschen Buchhandels: 15420
    BISAC Merchandising Theme: ET135
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MIDEST
    B&T Modifier: Academic Level: 02
    Ingram Theme: CULT/MEDITR
    BISAC V2.8: HIS037010, HIS026000, REL037000
    B&T Modifier: Geographic Designator: 07
    B&T Merchandise Category: UP
    LC subject heading:
    BISAC V2.8: HIS002000
    BIC subject category V2: 1FB
    LC subject heading: , ,
    BISAC V2.8: HIS039000
    DC22: 939.40072, 939/.40072
    LC classification: DS57 .M434 2012
    LC subject heading: , , , , , , , ,
    DC23: 939.40072
    BISAC region code: 2.1.0.0.0.0.0
    Thema V1.0: NHG, NHDJ, QRS
    Publisher
    Princeton University Press
    Imprint name
    Princeton University Press
    Publication date
    01 December 2011
    Publication City/Country
    New Jersey
    Author Information
    William F. McCants received his PhD from Princeton University and is currently adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.
    Flap copy
    "This innovative book tackles the fascinating subject of how and by whom culture was invented, and discusses this phenomenon by looking at the ancient, Greco-Roman, pre-Islamic Arabian, and Muslim worlds. Examining various texts that have rarely been analyzed in the same place, the book will appeal to a diversity of readers and fields."--Robert Hoyland, University of Oxford"McCants explores culture myths over a long period--from Sumerian literature of the third millennium BCE to Arabic works of the ninth century CE--and over a wide but interconnected geographical area spanning the Mediterranean basin to the Near East as far as Persia. The breadth of this undertaking and the materials gathered together, especially from the Arabic side, are quite original."--Ian S. Moyer, University of Michigan
    Table of contents
    Acknowledgments ix Introduction 1 Chapter One: Gifts of the Gods: The Origins of Civilization in Ancient Near Eastern and Greek Mythology 10 Chapter Two: The Beneficent Sky God: Cultural History in the Qur'an 29 Chapter Three: Who Was First? Protography and Discovery Catalogs 57 Chapter Four: Inventing Nations: Postconquest Native Histories of Civilization's Origins 85 Chapter Five: "The Sciences of the Ancients": Speculation on the Origins of Philosophy, Medicine, and the Exact Sciences 120 Conclusion 145 Bibliography 149 Index 167