Loom of History

Loom of History

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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 358.34g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • Ill.M.
  • 0195004329
  • 9780195004328

Review Text

This enchanting title will lure readers who may not be wholly prepared for a serious study of Asia Minor and its contribution to world civilization. His Uses of the Past (Oxford & New American Library) will have briefed alert students of the area on the profiles of former societies which are further expanded in the new study. Fragments of vanished civilizations are available to today's scholars - and Professor Muller has gone back to the Bronze Age in his extensive exploration of the sources. Asia Minor is viewed as bridge and battleground, and the successive influences and contributions weighed as East and West came into conflict. He concentrates on the cities, but not to the exclusion of the countryside - using them perhaps as symbols of periods and cultures. Where archaeology has revealed the historic bases of myths and legends, he has made them part of his historical survey. The Hittites - only newly reassessed as to the scope of their influence; the Phrygians, the Lydians, the Persians, the Greeks- and the contribution made by each, take their place in the march of history. Muller's recurrent theme seems to be that the Greeks, as the first to embark on the adventure in freedom, launched the greatest world drama in history and were a far greater factor than Christianity (here and at various other points he differs sharply from Toynbee). The triumph of Mohammedanism comes as a relatively late phase and provides the last sections of the study, as he traces the establishment of Islam in Anatolia, where the Seljuk Turks prepared the way for the Ottoman Turks who brought all Asia Minor under the Moslems. In Mohammed he finds a stronger historical foundation than Christianity can claim. He analyzes throughout the interdependence of Christianity on Judaism, on paganism, on the classical world; he feels that it might-after 300 years-have fallen into desuetude had not Constantine imposed it as a state religion and established the Byzantine Empire, with its positive and negative contributions to history. In a brief paragraph it is impossible to compass the scope of the material, the challenge of the argument, the interpretation of events and personalities. It is a rich tapestry, and with the vital importance of Asia Minor in the current scene, it fills the gaps in our knowledge of vanished glories, and closely interwoven strands of influences drawn from both East and West. (Kirkus Reviews)show more