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

Add to Cart

Product Details


$50.00 • £40.95 • €45.00

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

Recent News

From Our Blog

Jacket: What Stars Are Made Of: The Life of Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin, by Donovan Moore, from Harvard University Press

The Most Famous Astronomer You’ve Never Heard Of

Despite her pioneering contributions to science, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin has not always been recognized as one of the most influential scientists of the twentieth century. In What Stars Are Made Of, Donovan Moore sets out to change this, with the first full biography of this trailblazing scientist. To celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we are pleased to highlight five

‘manifold glories of classical Greek and Latin’

The digital Loeb Classical Library ( extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature.