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Homer And The Near East: The Rise Of The Greek Genius

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Chapter Summary

What has revolutionized the subject of East Mediterranean influence upon Greece are four hypotheses that are increasingly gaining the day. One is the thesis that the eighth century b.c.e. marked a Greek renaissance and the speculation as to the role played by the Near East in that renaissance. Second is the thesis that the Greeks acquired the alphabet from the Phoenicians not in the eighth century b.c.e. but as early as 1100 b.c.e. Third is the challenge to Milman Parry's theory of Homer as an oral poet and the impact of a Near Eastern written tradition of epic upon Homer. Fourth is the increasing recognition that Hesiod, Homer's alleged younger contemporary, was influenced by Near Eastern motifs. This chapter comments on recent scholarship pertaining to the four theories that have challenged the communis sensus with regard to the connection of the Near East with the rise of the Greek genius.

Keywords: Greek genius; Hesiod; Homer; Milman Parry; near east; Phoenicians; renaissance; scholarship

10.1163/ej.9789004149069.i-930.16
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004149069.i-930.16
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