Cover: Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture, from Harvard University PressCover: Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis in PAPERBACK

Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis

Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture

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Product Details


$23.50 • £18.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674023994

Publication Date: 04/30/2007


192 pages

5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches


Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis is a unique survey of the thought-world of the ancient Near East and Mediterranean. There is an insight in almost every sentence, a challenge in every paragraph, and a lifetime of study in every chapter. The author manages this without losing his sense of wonder, and this is the greatest achievement of the book.—John Ray, The Times Literary Supplement

It is a fascinating and magisterial account of just how far we have moved away from Greek exceptionalism without in any way denigrating the achievement of the Greeks… The Greek miracle lay not in a Hellenism that was exclusively Greek, but rather in its transforming embrace of Near Eastern myth and thought. No one else ever achieved what the Greeks achieved, but they did not do it alone. And Walter Burkert is the modern magus who has brought us this revelation.—G. W. Bowersock, The New Republic

In this elegantly written, meticulously argued, and honest book, Burkert not only summarizes and adds to our knowledge of the how, why, and what of cultural influences on Greece from the Near East, Egypt, and Persia, mainly during the Archaic and Classical Periods, but also demonstrates to his readers the right way to study this fascinating topic. In other words, the work provides a methodological model for all who wish to pursue its subject.—Molly M. Levine, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Mr. Burkert is something of a mage himself; not only a ‘wise man’ and astonishingly learned, but a superb initiator into mysteries gleaned from recondite sources in dozens of dead languages. By bringing these lost or forgotten texts into vivid conjunction, he summons the past to life in all its unexpected intricacy. He shows us that the Greeks, whom we thought we knew, were stranger, and more wonderful, than we could have suspected.—Eric Ormsby, The New York Sun

Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture reflects its origin as a lecture series and reads smoothly, with Burkert’s prodigious scholarship made manifest in the 30 pages of endnotes. For those unconvinced by Bernal, this wide-ranging and scholarly demonstration that Greek culture did not emerge in isolation might just be the right book.—John Bennet, The Times Higher Education Supplement

This fascinating book is full of stimulating ideas for further reading and research.—G. D. Bird, Choice

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