The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age
The rich and splendid culture of the ancient Greeks has often been described as emerging like a miracle from a genius of its own, owing practically nothing to its neighbors. Walter Burkert offers a decisive argument against that distorted view, replacing it with a balanced picture of the archaic period "in which, under the influence of the Semitic East, Greek culture began its unique flowering, soon to assume cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean". Burkert focuses on the "orientalizing" century 750-650 B.C., the period of Assyrian conquest, Phoenician commerce, and Greek exploration of both East and West, when not only eastern skills and images but also the Semitic art of writing were transmitted to Greece. He tracks the migrant craftsmen who brought the Greeks new techniques and designs, the wandering seers and healers teaching magic and medicine, and the important Greek borrowings from Near Eastern poetry and myth. Drawing widely on archaeological, textual, and historical evidence, he demonstrates that eastern models significantly affected Greek literature and religion in the Homeric age.
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Aesch Akkadian Ancient ANET Aphrodite Apollo appears Aramaic archaic Asclepius Asgelatas Ashurbanipal Assyrian Athens Atrahasis Babylonian Berlin Boardman borrowing Bronze Age Burkert century B.C. Chantraine Chapter Cilicia connections context craftsmen Crete cult cultural cuneiform Cyprus Deception of Zeus demons divination earth East eastern Ebeling eighth century Enuma Elish epic Epimenides Etruscan etymology Euboea evidence evil Farnell FGrHist figurines Gilgamesh goddess gods Greece Greek alphabet griechischen heaven Helck hepatoscopy Hera Hesiod Heubeck Hittite Homer Humbaba idem Iliad incantation inscription Ishtar Kadmos king Lamashtu leather scrolls literature liver loan-words magic Mesopotamian migrant Mopsos motifs Mycenaean myth mythology numbers Odyssey Olympia Oriental Products orientalizing period Oxford parallel Phoenician practice Products in Greece purification ritual sacred sacrifice Samos scene Schol script seer Semitic Seven sick snake Syria tablets Tarsos Thebes Thulin tion tradition Ugarit West word writing