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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents an overview of this book, which examines a body of ancient Egyptian and ancient Greek proverbial material that is found in proverb collections. It offers an insight into the mechanics of proverb production in the literature of these two major Mediterranean cultures. The book concentrates on proverb collections from the Hellenistic and Roman periods, as within this time span one can observe a parallel development in the production of works involving proverbs, as well as an intensive cultural contact between the two Mediterranean civilizations in question. It presents a brief characterization of the languages in which the proverbs examined were composed, touching on their status in the Hellenistic and Roman periods, interaction, form, and morphology. Finally, the book reconsiders the similarities and differences observed between the Egyptian and Greek proverbs, and explains them in cultural terms.

Keywords: Egyptian proverb; Greek proverb; Hellenistic period; Mediterranean civilizations; Roman periods

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