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From Hittite to Homer : the Anatolian background of ancient Greek epic

By: Bachvarova, Mary R. (Willamette University, Oregon)

1108749925 / 9781108749923
Published 28/05/2020
689 pages : illustrations (black and white), maps (black and white)
Professional & Vocational  Learn More
Reprint. Originally published: 2016.

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.


2AHA Ancient (Classical) Greek, DSBB Literary studies: classical, early & medieval, DSC Literary studies: poetry & poets

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RRP £39.99
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