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Ancient History - Greece; Ancient Greek Civilisation

Athens; Sparta; Persia; Minoan Crete; Megara

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Ancient History - Ancient Greece
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Titles to Look Out For:
[in alphabetical order. Each entry includes later editions]
1987. Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation. Volume 1: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985
1985. Greek Religion by Walter Burkert
1981. The Legacy of Greece: A New Appraisal. Edited by M. I Finley (also a contributor)



Bernal, Martin. 'Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation. Volume 1: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985', published in 1988 in Great Britain (reprint of 1987 edition) by Free Association Books, 575pp, ISBN 0946960569. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon UK
1988, Free Association Books, pbk
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About this book/synopsis: What do we mean by 'Classical' when we describe ancient civilisation as 'Classical Civilisation'? In this audacious work, the author challenges the basis of the whole of 'current' thinking about this question.

He argues that classical civilisation had deep roots into Afroasiatic cultures, but that these very fundamental influences on 'Classical Civilisation' have been ignored, glossed over, or denied since the 18th Century; and that this is for largely racist reasons

Most of us, he argues, have been taught that Greek civilisation was the result of a conquest of a weak, but sophisticated native population by vigorous Indo-Europeans (Aryans) from the North. Yet, the Greeks of classical times would not have recognised the way their lives, culture and society are portrayed in modern times, which is within an 'Aryan' model.

They would not have described themselves as being original in their political institutions, science, philosophy or religion, although they would of course have been proud of themselves and recent accomplishments. The Greeks' institutions were derived in general from the East and Egypt in particular.

Black Athena is a 3 volume work. Volume 1, this volume, looks at the rise and fall of the two descriptive models used to look at Ancient Greece. It takes as its crucial focal period, the years between 1785 and 1850, where the Romantic and racist reaction to the Enlightenment and the French revolution took place. This time was also period of consolidation of Northern European expansion into other continents. In these decades was also witnessed the birth of progress and scientific positivism allowing 19th Century academics to dismiss part or all of their predecessors.

The author makes a strong argument out of meaningful links between a wide range of areas and disciplines such as drama, poetry, biography, language, philosophy and the emergence of modern scholarship. But as for a mathematician, the working out of the solution is all-important and the author demonstrates some of the journey he made in accomplishing this work.

Chapters:
Preface and Acknowledgements
Transcription and Phonetics
Maps and Charts
Chronological Table

INTRODUCTION
Background
Proposed historical outline
Black Athena, Volume 1: a summary of the argument
Greece European or Levantine? The Egyptian and West Semitic Components of Greek Civilisation/ a summary of Volume 2
Solving the Riddle of the Sphinx and Other Studies in Egypto-Greek Mythology/ a summary of volume 3

Chapter 1. The Ancient Model in Antiquity
Pelasgians; Ionians;Colonization; The Colonizations in Greek Tragedy; Herodotus; Thucydides; Isokrates and Plato; Aristotle; Theories of colonization and later borrowing in the Hellenistic world; Plutarch's attack on Herodotus; The triumph of Egyptian religion; and Alexander, Son of Ammon

Chapter 2. Egyptian Wisdom and Greek Transmission from the Dark Ages to the Renaissance
The murder of Hypatia; The collapse of Egypto-Pagan religion; Christianity, stars and fish; The relics of Egyptian religion: Hermeticism, Neo-Platonism and Gnosticism; Hermeticism-Greek, Iranian, Chaldaean or Egyptian?; Hermeticism and Neo-Platonism under early Christianity, Judaism and Islam; Hermeticism in Byzantium and Christian Western Europe; Egypt in the Renaissance; Copernicus and Hermeticism; Hermeticism and Egypt in the 16th century

Chapter 3. The Triumph of Egypt in the 17th and 18th Centuries
Hermeticism in the 17th century; Rosicrucianism: Ancient Egypt in Protestant Countries; Ancient Egypt in the 18th Century; The 18th century: China and the Physiocrats; The 18th century: England, Egypt and the Freemasons; France, Egypt and 'progress': the quarrel between Ancients and Moderns; Mythology as allegory for Egyptian science; The Expedition to Egypt

Chapter 4. Hostilities to Egypt in the 18th Century
Christian reaction; The 'triangle':Christianity and Greece against Egypt; The alliance between Greece and Christianity; 'Progress' against Egypt; Europe as the 'progressive' continent; 'Progress'; Racism; Romanticism; Ossian and Homer; Romantic Hellenism; Winckelmann and Neo-Hellenism in Germany; Gottingen

Chapter 5. Romantic Linguistics
The rise of India and the fall of Egypt, 1740-1880; The birth of Indo-European; The love affair with Sanskrit; Schlegian Romantic linguistics; The Oriental Renaissance; The fall of China; Racism in the early 19th Century; What colour were the Ancient Egyptians?; The national renaissance of modern Egypt; Dupuis, Jomard and Champollion; Egyptian monotheism or Egyptian polytheism; Popular perceptions of Ancient Egypt in the 19th and 20th centuries; Elliot Smith and 'diffusionism'; Jomard and the Mystery of the Pyramids

Chapter 6. Hellenomania, I
Friedrich August Wolf and Wilhelm von Humboldt
Humboldt's educational reforms; The Philhellenes; Dirty Greeks and the Dorians; Transitional figures, 1: Hegel and Marx; Transitional figures, 2: Heeren; Transitional figures, 3: Barthold Niebuhr; Petit-Radel and the first attack on the Ancient Model; Karl Otfried Muller and the overthrow of the Ancient Model

Chapter 7. Hellenomania, 2.
Transmission of the new scholarship to England and the rise of the Aryan Model, 1830-60; The German model and educational reform in England; George Grote; Aryans and Hellenes

Chapter 8. The Rise and Fall of the Phoenicians, 1830-1885
Phoenicians and anti-Semitism; What race were the Semites?; The linguistic and geographical inferiorities of the Semites; The Arnolds; Phoenicians and English, 1: the English view; Phoenicians and English, 2: the French view; Salammbo; Moloch; The Phoenicians in Greece: 1820-1880; Gobineau's image of Greece; Schliemann and the discovery of the 'Mycenaeans'; Babylon

Chapter 9. The Final Solution of the Phoenician Problem, 1885-1945
The Greek Renaissance; Salomon Reinach; Julius Beloch; Victor Bérard; Akhenaton and the Egyptian Renaissance; Arthur Evans and the 'Minoans'; The peak of anti-Semitism, 1920-1939; 20th-century Aryanism; Taming the alphabet: the final assault on the Phoenicians

Chapter 10. The Post-War Situation
The return to the Broad Aryan Model, 1945-1985; The post-war situation; Developments in Classics, 1945-1965; The model of autochthonous origin; East Mediterranean contacts; Mythology; Language; Ugarit; Scholarship and the rise of Israel; Cyrus Gordon; Astour and Hellenosemitica; Astour's successor? - J. C. Billigmeier; An attempt at compromise: Ruth Edwards; The return of the Iron Age Phoenicians; Naveh and the transmission of the alphabet; The return of the Egyptians?; The Revised Ancient Model

Conclusion
Appendix: Were the Philistines Greek?
Notes, Glossary, Bibliography, Index

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Burkert, Walter. 'Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical', published in 1985 in Great Britain by Basil Blackwell in hardback, 493pp, ISBN 0631112413. Sorry, sold out, but click image to access prebuilt search for this title on Amazon UK
1985, Basil Blackwell, hbk
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  • Greek Religion: Archaic and Classical [top]
    Written by Walter Burkert and Translated from the German Original by John Raffan
    Originally published in 1977 in German as 'Griechische Religion der Archaischen und Klassischen Epoche', in the series Die Religionen der Menschheit, vol 15, Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, this English translation was first published in 1985 by Basil Blackwell Ltd, 493pp, ISBN 0631112413 . Jacket illustration shows detail from an Attic vase, 450BC that shows a victory sacrifice
    Original retail price when originally sold: £29.50

About this book/synopsis: This study by Walter Burkert (translated by John Raffan) was the first major synthesis of Greek Religion to appear for a generation when it was published in 1985. It provides a clearly structured and readable survey for classical scholars and students; and is an excellent modern account of a polytheistic religious system. This volume delves back into the Minoan and Mycenaean origins and covers the archaic and classical periods in detail. Professor Burkert describes the various rituals of sacrifice and libation and explains Greek beliefs about purification. He investigates the inspiration behind the great temples - the Acropolis and Olympia, Delphi and Delos - discussing the priesthood, sanctuary, divination and oracles. A major portion of the book is devoted to the origins and importance of individual gods, the position of the heroes, and beliefs about the afterlife. The different festivals are used to illuminate the place of religion in the society of the city state. The mystery cults - at Eleusis and among the followers of Bacchus and Orpheus - are also set in their context. Finally the author turns his attention to the great classical philosophers' attitudes to religion. Drawing upon literature and myth, vase paintings and archaeology, Professor Burkert lets the evidence speak for itself as far as possible. He elucidates the controversies surrounding its interpretation without glossing over the enigmas that remain. While the notes afford the scholar a wealth of further references, the text builds up an impressive and coherent picture of the current state of knowledge about the religion of the ancient Greeks

Chapters:
Preface to the English Edition
Introduction
1. A Survey of Scholarship
2. The Sources
3. The Scope of the Study

ONE. Prehistory and the Minoan-Mycenaean Age
1. The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age
2. Indo-European
3. The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion
3.1 A Historical Survey
3.2 The State of the Sources
3.3 The Cult Places: Caves; Peak Sanctuaries; Tree Sanctuaries; House Sanctuaries; Temples; Graves
3.4 Rituals and Symbols
3.5 The Minoan Deities
3.6 The Mycenaean Gods and Linear B
4. The 'Dark Age' and the Problem of Continuity

TWO. Ritual and Sanctuary
1. 'Working Sacred Things': Animal Sacrifice
1.1 Description and Interpretation
1.2 Blood Rituals
1.3 Fire Rituals
1.4 Animal and God
2. Gift Offerings and Libation
2.1 First Fruit Offerings
2.2 Votive Offerings
2.3 Libation
3 Prayer
4 Purification
4.1 Function and Methods
4.2 The Sacred and the Pure
4.3 Death, Illness and Madness
4.4 Purification by Blood
4.5 Pharmakos
5. The Sanctuary
5.1 Temenos
5.2 Altar
5.3 Temple and Cult Image
5.4 Anathemata
6 Priests
7 The Festival
7.1 Pompe
7.2 Agermos
7.3 Dancing and Hymns
7.4 Masks, Phalloi, Aischrologia
7.5 Agon
7.6 The Banquet of the Gods
7.7 Sacred Marriage
8 Ecstasy and Divination
8.1 Enthousiasmos
8.2 The Art of the Seer
8.3 Oracles

THREE. The Gods
1. The Spell of Homer
2. Individual Gods
2.1 Zeus
2.2 Hera
2.3 Poseidon
2.4 Athena
2.5 Apollo
2.6 Artemis
2.7 Aphrodite
2.8 Hermes
2.9 Demeter
2.10 Dionysos
2.11 Hephaistos
2.12 Ares
3 The Remainder of the Pantheon

FOUR. The Dead, Heroes, and Chthonic Gods
1. Burial and the Cult of the Dead
2. Afterlife Mythology
3. Olympian and Chthonic
4. The Heroes
5. Figures who cross the Chthonic-Olympian Boundary
5.1 Heracles
5.2 The Dioskouroi
5.3 Asklepios

FIVE. Polis and Polytheism
1. Thought Patterns in Greek Polytheism: General Considerations; The Family of the Gods; Pairs of Gods; Old and Young; Dionysos
2. The Rhythm of the Festivals
2.1 Festival Calendars
2.2 Year Ending and New Year
2.3 Karneia
2.4 Anthesteria
2.5 Thesmophoria
3 Social Functions of Cult
3.1 Gods Between Amorality and Law
3.2 The Oath
3.3 The Creation of Solidarity in the Playing and the Interplay of Roles
3.4 Initiation
3.5 Crisis Management
4 Piety in the Mirror of Greek Language
4.1 'Sacred'
4.2 Theos
4.3 Eusebia

SIX. Mysteries and Asceticism
1. Mystery Sanctuaries
1.1 General Considerations
1.2 Clan and Family Mysteries
1.3 The Kabeiroi and Samothrace
1.4 Eleusis
2 Bacchica and Orphica
2.1 Bacchic Mysteries
2.2 Bacchic Hopes for an Afterlife
2.3 Orpheus and Pythagoras
3 Bios

SEVEN. Philosophical Religion
1 The New Foundation: Being and the Divine
2 The Crisis: Sophists and Atheists
3 The Deliverance: Cosmic Religion and Metaphysics
3.1 Pre-Socratic Outlines
3.2 Plato: The Good and the Soul
3.3 Plato: Cosmos and the Visible Gods
3.4 Aristotle and Xenocrates: Spirit, God and Demons
4 Philosophical Religion and Polis Religion: Plato's Laws

Notes; Bibliography; Index of Greek Words; Index

Other Books on Greek Religion:

Books on Greek Temples

Books on Greek Gods
Finley, M. I. 'The Legacy of Greece: A New Appraisal', published in 1981 by Clarendon Press, Oxford, in hardback with dustjacket, 479pp, ISBN 0198119156. Condition: Has a slightly tatty price-clipped dustjacket, which has some rips, crinkling, wear, rubbing and surface separation to the edges (plastic film surface separated from paper layer). Dustjacket has a noticeable, but small scuff to the back and a small piece of sellotape reinforcing a rip from the back bottom edge upwards (about 3cm long). Internally, this is a nice, clean copy. Price:£6.99, not including post and packing which is Amazon's standard charge of £2.75 for UK buyers; more for overseas customers)1981, Clarendon [OUP], hbk
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About this book/synopsis: This entirely new book replaces the Legacy of Greece edited by Sir Richard Livingstone and published in 1921. This new appraisal, which brings all the information up to date, offers a different approach. Each contributor has had a free hand in selecting his emphases and in determining the structure of his chapter. Sir Richard and his ten distinguished colleagues took 'legacy' in its root sense, a bequest, and after an initial paean by Gilbert Murray to the glory that was Greece, they portrayed ancient Greek culture, field by field, beginning with religion and philosophy and ending with art and architecture. This volume retains that element, on a much-reduced scale, and then proceeds, in each chapter, to examine what later ages, down to our own, have made of the inheritance from the Greeks. the original Legacy was about Greek culture whereas this version is about its meaning in the history of European culture.

CHAPTERS:
Introduction - M.I. Finley, Darwin College, Cambridge
2i. Politics - M.I. Finley, Darwin College, Cambridge
2ii. Political Theory by R. I. Winton, University of Sheffield and Peter Garnsey, Jesus College, Cambridge
3. Homer and the Epic -K.W. Gransden, University of Warwick
4. Lyric and Other Poetry - A. M. Davies, Bedford College, London
5. Drama - T. G. Rosenmeyer, University of California, Berkeley
6. History and Biography - Arnaldo Momigliano, University of Chicago
7. Education and Rhetoric - H.I. Marrou, Sorbonne
8. Philosophy - Bernard Williams, King's College, Cambridge
9. Science and Mathematics - G.E.R. Lloyd, King's College, Cambridge
10. Myth - S. G. Pembroke, Bedford College, London
11. Greek Culture and the Jews - Arnaldo Momigliano
12. Greek Philosophy and Christianity by A. H. Armstrong, Dalhousie University
13. Architecture and City Planning by Peter Kidson, Courtauld Institute of Art
-includes the following plates (black & white):
i. The Hephaestion, Athens (photo)
ii. Reconstruction of Priene by A. Zippelius (illustration)
iii. Restored model of the Acropolis at Athens
iv. The Agora at Athens in the late 5th Century B.C. (plan)
v. The Agora at Athens in the 2nd Century B.C. (plan)
vi. The Maidens' Porch, Erechtheion, Athens (photo)
vii. Parthenon Sculpture at the British Museum, London (photo)
viii. Metope No. 29. From the Parthenon, British Museum, London (photo)
ix. Part of the Parthenon Frieze, British Museum, London (photo)
x. Group from the West Gable of the Parthenon, British Museum, London (photo)
xi. Part of the Parthenon Frieze, British Museum, London
xii. Cleobis, Delphi Museum
xiii. Standing Girl, Acropolis Museum, Athens
xiv. Head of Aphrodite, Petworth House
xv. Head of Athena Lemnia (Roman Copy, after Pheidias), Museo Civico, Bologna
xvi. Aphrodite Anadyomene, National Museum, Syracuse

14. The Figural Arts by Peter Kidson
15. The Greek Legacy by R. R. Bolgar, King's College, Cambridge
Index

 

 



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