Skip to main content

Black History Month: Select Books 30% Off

Harvard University Press - home
The Orientalizing Revolution

The Orientalizing Revolution

Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age

Walter Burkert

Translated by Margaret E. Pinder

ISBN 9780674643642

Publication date: 08/11/1998

The 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, pointing toward a balanced picture of the archaic period “in which, under the influence of the Semitic East—from writers, craftsmen, merchants, healers—Greek culture began its unique flowering, soon to assume cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean.”


  • Brilliant...[Burkert] is consistently thorough and challenging...Without denying the role of innate talent, he shows that much of the Greek miracle grew from an openness to influences from other cultures...[His] careful scholarship...has constructed the bridge that he set out to build.

    —Carol G. Thomas, American Historical Review


  • Walter Burkert was Professor Emeritus of Classics, University of Zurich.

Book Details

  • 238 pages
  • 5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

From this author