Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess: A Near Eastern Koine

Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess: A Near Eastern Koine


By (author) Nanno Marinatos

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  • Publisher: University of Illinois Press
  • Format: Hardback | 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 236mm x 33mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 13 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore
  • ISBN 10: 0252033922
  • ISBN 13: 9780252033926
  • Illustrations note: 137 line drawings, 24 b&w photographs, 3 tables, 1 map
  • Sales rank: 783,947

Product description

Ancient Minoan culture has been typically viewed as an ancestor of classical Greek civilization, but this book shows that Minoan Crete was on the periphery of a powerfully dynamic cultural interchange with its neighbors. Analyzing the symbols of the Minoan theocratic system and their similarities to those of Syria, Anatolia, and Egypt, Nanno Marinatos unlocks many Minoan visual riddles and establishes what she calls a "cultural koine," or standard set of cultural assumptions, that circulated throughout the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean. With more than 150 illustrations, Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess delivers a comprehensive reading of Minoan art as a system of thought.

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Review quote

"A well-written and richly informed work, which forcefully reasserts the validity of the ways eminent scholars, going back to the early work of Sir Arthur Evans more than a century ago, thought. In many ways it is a tour de force of scholarship, embodying new insights and illuminating points of detail." Colin Renfrew Times Literary Supplement "An exhilarating book, breezily written with a hands-on approach to the material." Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections "A multifaceted, innovative work that freshly interprets many aspects of the Minoan religious symbol system. Without a doubt, this book will stimulate extensive scholarly discussion." Thomas Staubli, co-author of Body Symbolism in the Bible "A radical and provocative view of Minoan art, religion, and society. Marinatos provides new readings of numerous Minoan artifacts, offering solutions to many puzzles and placing the imagery within a semantic system of sacral kingship and cosmology." Kenneth D. S. Lapatin, author of Mysteries of the Snake Goddess: Art, Desire, and the Forging of History

Table of contents

Preface 1. Introduction; 2. The King and Queen in Art; 3. The King and Queen as High Priests; 4. Thrones of Gods--Thrones of Kings; 5. The House of God; 6. Who Sees the Gods Face to Face?; 7. Minoan Prophecy and Royal Power; 8. The Cosmic Mountain as a Frontier; 9. The Double Axe, the Ankh, and the Ox Head; 10. The Rosette, Half-Rosette, and "Incurved Altar"; 11. Minoan Afterlife Beliefs; 12. The Solar Goddess of Kingship; 13. The Storm God; 14. Translating the Gods of the Religious Koine; 15. Conclusions: A Tribute to Sir Arthur Evans Notes; Bibliography; Figures and Credits; Index