Cover: When the Gods Were Born: Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East, from Harvard University PressCover: When the Gods Were Born in HARDCOVER

When the Gods Were Born

Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East

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Product Details


$48.50 • £38.95 • €43.50

ISBN 9780674049468

Publication Date: 06/15/2010


320 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

4 tables


  • List of Tables*
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
    • Framing the Question
    • Greece and the Near East: A Discipline and Its Discontents
    • Competing Models
  • 1. Greeks and Phoenicians
    • Who Are the Phoenicians?
    • The Phoenicians in Greek Sources
    • The Phoenician Legacy
    • Ex Oriente Lux?
    • Rethinking the “Orientalizing” Paradigm
  • 2. Hesiod’s Theogony in Context
    • Why the Muses?
    • The Enigma of “the Tree and the Stone” in Hesiod and the Levant
    • Hesiod’s Truth
  • 3. Greek and Near Eastern Succession Myths
    • Introduction
    • The Near Eastern and Hesiodic Succession Myths
    • From Ugarit to Hesiod and Philon of Byblos
    • Final Thoughts on Hesiod’s Succession Myth
  • 4. Orphic and Phoenician Theogonies
    • Introduction to the Orphic Sources
    • Classification of the Orphic Cosmogonies
    • Oriental Motifs in the Derveni Papyrus
    • Kronos and Chronos: The Deposed Father Survives
    • Final Thoughts on the Near Eastern Motifs in the Orphic Cosmogonies
  • 5. Cosmogonies, Poets, and Cultural Exchange
    • Singing about the Gods in a Changing World
    • Cosmogonic Poets as Cultural Mediators
    • Final Thoughts on Cosmogonies and Cultural Interaction
  • Appendix: The Sacred Tree and Sacred Stone from the Levant to Greece
  • Abbreviations
  • Notes
  • References
  • Index of Passages Cited
  • General Index
  • * Tables:
    • 1. Generations of gods in the Greek and Near Eastern sources
    • 2. Hierarchy of first divinities in the Ugaritic deity lists
    • 3. Kronos and Chronos (Time) in the Orphic and Phoenician cosmogonies
    • 4. Epithets of El and Kronos

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