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Greeks and Pre-Greeks: Aegean Prehistory and Greek Heroic Tradition 1st Edition

3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0521107990
ISBN-10: 0521107997
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Editorial Reviews

Review

'... fascinating and rewarding ... This is a very informative, carefully up to date, and stimulating book, clearly written, helpful with difficult concepts, and provided with supporting maps, plans, and diagrams.' Cosmos

'This book is a work of substantial scholarly attainment. The argument ranges widely, but without superficiality, into ethnography, comparative philology, archaeology, myth and into other domains. We have here an original study of the kind that compels critical thinking without, however, provoking protest. ... This is a praiseworthy study, and it deserves many attentive readers who should be capable not only of leaping over barriers between subjects but also of thinking laterally.' G. L. Huxley, Trinity College Dublin

Book Description

Most current reconstructions of Aegean prehistory are predominantly based on archaeology. This book, however, approaches the subject from the vantage point of linguistics and Greek heroic tradition. Its main thesis is that the ancient Greeks started their history as a mixed population group consisting of both Greek-speaking newcomers and the indigenous population of the land. Issues such as intermarriage and cultural and linguistic fusion are discussed as well as the eventual collapse of Mycenaean Greece and the creation of the myth of the Trojan War.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (January 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521107997
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521107990
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,827,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 23 people found the following review helpful By parmenides on February 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author of this book treats an important and yet relatively
unexplored topic of the prehistory of Europe: Bronze age Greece.

The book has a number of attractive features making good points
about kingship and power structures at this time using
all information available including Greek oral tradition.

Unfortunately, although somewhat useful to the well-informed reader the book
is certainly not suitable for those seeking an introduction since:

1) the author appears to have a good grasp of special topics she
treats thoroughly but she does not seem qualified for providing a
global and complete point of view
putting all evidence and discussions in their right place. As
such the texts appears very much like disconnected long
academic papers rather than global views of the topic.

2)some hillarious statements have put me off a number of times:
for example in the first chapters the author states the Greek
genealogy (according to tradition) mentioning that Hellen's sons,
Macedon, graikos and Aithlios were cousins. Then in latter chapters
she speaks of the Slav language group "Slovenian,
Croatian, Serb, Macedonian....". In this way it is suggested to
the reader that the Slavs arrived in Greece before 2000 BCE
and not in the 6th century CE that is the truth; the author
manages so to boost the time period of Slav studies
by a total of 2500 years! Of course any serious Scholar will tell
you that the Macedonian language was a NW greek
dialect; indeed, as far as I know, Alexander, Philipp, Perdikas,
Ptolemy, Olympias, Kleitos... (in fact
ALL macedonian names) are Greek names not Slav.
Read more ›
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on August 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
At first I didn't think that this book would answer many of my questions but as I read it, I found it to be more thorough than I at first thought. It is now one of my go to books for checking my understanding of the Bronze Age Aegean.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Cheryl A. Bullock on June 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book is totally inappropriate for the lay reader and even the informed lay reader. It pre-supposes considerable knowledge of the subject and arguments are obscured throughout the book by excessive use of quotes and references to other authors. The main theme appears to be that the Greeks started as a multi-ethnic population and later created a common Greek tradition by the use of myth including the reasons for the fall of Mycenaean Greece around 1200BC. The problems with this idea include that the main epic tradition, The Iliad and the Odyssey, are obviously designed for entertainment and do not deal with the fall of the Mycenaeans.

The book shows considerable knowledge and research and no doubt has great value as an academic paper, but I have given it three stars because it is inappropriate for the majority of readers.
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