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From Hittite to Homer

The Anatolian Background of Ancient Greek Epic

Mary R. Bachvarova



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Cambridge University Press
10 December 2020
This book provides a groundbreaking reassessment of the prehistory of Homeric epic. It argues that in the Early Iron Age bilingual poets transmitted to the Greeks a set of narrative traditions closely related to the one found at Bronze-Age Hattusa, the Hittite capital. Key drivers for Near Eastern influence on the developing Homeric tradition were the shared practices of supralocal festivals and venerating divinized ancestors, and a shared interest in creating narratives about a legendary past using a few specific storylines: theogonies, genealogies connecting local polities, long-distance travel, destruction of a famous city because it refuses to release captives, and trying to overcome death when confronted with the loss of a dear companion. Professor Bachvarova concludes by providing a fresh explanation of the origins and significance of the Greco-Anatolian legend of Troy, thereby offering a new solution to the long-debated question of the historicity of the Trojan War.
Imprint:   Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 244mm,  Width: 170mm,  Spine: 35mm
Weight:   1.082kg
ISBN:   9781108994101
ISBN 10:   1108994105
Pages:   689
Publication Date:  
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Mary R. Bachvarova is Professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Willamette University, Oregon. She was trained both in classics and in the languages and cultures of Anatolia and the Near East. She is the co-editor, with B. J. Collins and I. C. Rutherford, of Anatolian Interfaces: Hittites, Greeks and Their Neighbours (2005). She has also written a new translation of Hurro-Hittite narrative songs in the recently published Ancient Mediterranean Myths: Primary Sources from Ancient Greece, Rome, and the Near East, edited by C. Lopez-Ruiz (2013).

Reviews for From Hittite to Homer: The Anatolian Background of Ancient Greek Epic

'... very user-friendly. ... this work is highly recommended.' Journal for the Study of the Old Testament '... this volume fills a perceived gap, is appropriate for a wide scholarly audience, and will ideally stimulate deeper conversation within scholarship concerning the pre-classical traditions of Greek literature.' Scripta Classica Israelica

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