Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2000.05.08 M. L. West, The East Face of Helicon.

West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1997. Pp. 662. ISB !"19"#1$221"% &p'(. )$$.!!.

*evie+ed 'y B,rry Po+e--, University of Wis.onsin"M,dison &''po+e--/f,.st,ff.+is..ed0(
Word count: 5203 words

In M. L. West's exemplary edition of Hesiod's Theogony pu!lis"ed in #$%% W. claimed t"at &'reece is part of (sia) 'ree* literature is a +ear ,astern literature& -p. 3#. a remar*a!le claim w"en e/eryone *new t"at 'reece is part of ,urope and its literature unli*e anyt"in0 t"at appeared in t"e +ear ,ast. 1et in t"e last t"irty years ot"ers "a/e made similar claims. W. 2ur*ert especially ar0ued t"at &(**adian cuneiform side !y side wit" (ramaic 3"oenician and 'ree* alp"a!etic script produces a continuum of written culture in t"e ei0"t" century w"ic" stretc"es from t"e ,up"rates to Italy& -The Orientalizing Revolution 4am!rid0e Mass. #$$2 p. 3#.. Here W. sets out to pro/e "is t"esis now a 0eneration old and we mi0"t !e distur!ed t"at "e "as succeeded so well. 5"ere are twel/e c"apters w"ic" I will !riefly re/iew in order. In t"e first c"apter &(e0ean and 6rient & W. ta*es a !ird's7eye /iew of salient features of +ear ,astern and (e0ean cultures t"at for explanation cry out for direct transmission or a common ori0in. He does not say t"is !ut if one were to compare 2ron8e (0e 'reece wit" 2ron8e (0e 4"ina or t"e Hopi Indians of (ri8ona one would not expect to find suc" common elements "ere tracea!le to ancient routes of trade and communication o/er nort" 9yria t"rou0" 4yprus and :"odes to 4rete and t"e (e0ean. 5"ese are cultural artifacts and not t"e result of parallel e/olution. 9uc" common elements include a su!stantial list of loan words often desi0natin0 commodities !ut also social institutions suc" as *in0s"ip wit" its complex functions and trappin0s of ritual. 5"e treaties cast !y (e0ean and +ear ,astern *in0s contain similar formulas. Means of accountin0 countin0 and wei0"in0 are similar or identical. +o one disputes t"e +ear ,astern ori0in of writin0 on clay ta!lets or of t"e 'ree* alp"a!et. Musical instruments and no dou!t "ow t"ey were played and for w"at reasons are t"e same in ,ast and West as are styles of luxurious !e"a/ior. ;eus is a 0od of storm and "i0" places and so was 2aal of t"e Le/ant) eac" recei/ed t"e same *inds of sacrifices performed in t"e same way. <inally W. emp"asi8es "ow t"e transmission of cultural artifacts did not ta*e place at one time !ut was an on0oin0 process demonstra!le from t"e ,arly Mycenaean period down to t"e sixt" century

Its nearly complete loss must depend on its "a/in0 !een preser/ed on papyrus or leat"er on t"e lac* of a tradition of writin0 on clay. also descri!es 9umero7(**adian wisdom literature "ymns disputations and royal inscriptions.ast and West t"e world is di/ided into pro/inces o/er w"ic" certain 0ods exercise priority. . In !ot" . <inally t"e ill7defended Hurrians of nort" 9yria called t"e Mitanni prominent internationally in t"e Late 2ron8e (0e too* o/er 9umero7(**adian traditions and "anded t"em to t"e Indo7. It is "ard to restrain ent"usiasm or measure praise for 4"apter 2 &(ncient Literatures of Western (sia & w"ic" tells us in s"ort compass t"e t"in0s we want to *now a!out t"ese opa=ue literatures !ut could not find t"e time to disco/er. <irst a !ilin0ual cultural continuum of t"e 9umero7(**adians !e0innin0 in t"e t"ird millennium "as left myt"ical narrati/e poems a!out a man w"o escaped t"e flood a!out a "ero 'il0ames" w"o *illed a 0reat monster and sou0"t to escape mortality and a!out t"e emer0ence of t"e world order t"rou0" t"e a0ency of watery !ein0s. <rom t"is tradition must come t"e Hurro7Hittite stories a!out t"e storm 0od 5es"u!'s conflict wit" t"e older 0od Aumar!i e/idently t"e model for Hesiod's Theogony. +ext He!rew literature !y w"ic" is meant of course t"e 2i!le a topic of 0ar0antuan proportions t"at W. W. W. (s W. 4"apter # is an o/er/iew of t"e w"ole ar0ument de/eloped in t"e rest of t"e !oo*. 6ur most re0retted loss is t"e closely related 3"oenician literature !ecause t"e in/entor of t"e 'ree* alp"a!et *new t"is form of t"e West 9emitic writin0 or was e/en "imself a 3"oenician. some"ow summari8es in ei0"t pa0es: son0s psalms prop"ets wisdom t"e 9on0 of 9on0s "istory.4.4. 4"apter 3 &6f Hea/en and .art" & explores t"e world of t"e 0ods ar0uin0 t"at t"e features of di/ine apparatus so familiar to us from 'ree* poetry are not 'ree* at all !ut raw imports from t"e . ?0aritic literature was written in a writin0 structurally identical to t"e later West 9emitic 3"oenician (ramaic and He!rew scripts w"ence spran0 t"e 'ree* alp"a!et) so7called ?0aritic cuneiform is t"e earliest clear "istorical attestation to t"is family of scripts.& 9ome poems are a!out men "owe/er and we "a/e some "ymns.uropean Hittites of (natolia w"o occupied t"e lands of Mitanni in t"e nint" to se/ent" centuries 2. 5"e or0ani8ation of "ea/en presided o/er !y a company of 0ods at w"ic" stands a powerful patriarc" appears to !e 9umerian in ori0in copied !y (**adians Hurrians Hittites West 9emites and finally t"e 'ree*s. ?0arit t"erefore offers "ope for a tradition in w"ic" Homer appears in a direct line of descent. <rom time to time t"ey appear amon0 mortals t"eir presence .xtant ?0aritic poetry preser/es accounts of war amon0 t"e 0ods especially t"e storm70od 2aal's war a0ainst 1ammu &9ea & and Mot &@eat".2. turns next to t"e extremely important 2ron8e (0e literature from ?0arit t"e nort" 9yrian port and /irtual 0ateway to t"e West. :emar*a!ly t"ere is no epic in He!rew literature. proceeds "e illuminates wit" consistent clarity t"e meanin0 of "is terms t"e relations of lan0ua0e to lan0ua0e and script to script and in "is !i!lio0rap"y alerts t"e reader to t"e ma>or pu!lications. 5"ese myt"s w"ic" tell of t"e exploits of 0ods are now fairly well *nown amon0 classicists !ut little *nown is t"e e/idence for &"istorical epic & narrati/es flatterin0 t"e con=uests of *in0s.ast.

uropean in ori0in "is office epit"ets and forms of !e"a/ior are ta*en from . '"osts too !e"a/e in similar ways in 'reece and t"e ancient ./en so in .astern narrati/ is Indo7. recurrin0 p"rases and otiose means of expression are as common t"ere as t"ey are in Homeric !y an aura of !rilliance. 5"e *in0 addresses "is army. 5"ey smas" t"e weapons of "eroes. In 4"apter B &Ars Poetica & West examines specific forms of style and expression t"in0s we ordinarily ta*e to !e culturally specific. 9uc" /ery odd expressions as &t"e na/el of t"e eart"& turn out to "a/e 9emitic models. In descriptions of war focus falls on t"e last year or t"e final sta0es of t"e war. 5"reats are made for example t"at t"e enemy will !e eaten !y do0s. (lt"ou0" . 9in0le com!at is wa0ed as !etween Hector and (>ax or @a/id and 'oliat". 'ideon li*e (0amemnon &tested& "is troops only to disco/er t"ey all wanted to 0o "ome. @ust en/elops t"e warriors. . +arrati/e strate0ies are stri*in0ly similar too for example t"e initiation of action !y descri!in0 an unsatisfactory situation followed !y complaint to t"e 0ods t"eir deli!eration and finally measures ta*en.astern literary arc"etypes. 5"e di/ision of t"e uni/erse into "ea/en eart" sea and underworld is . In >ust t"is way Homer initiates t"e action of t"e Iliad and it recurs repeatedly in +ear . Ain0s"ip comes from "ea/en or "as its !lessin0 and "uman *in0s can e/en !ecome 0ods. We 0et a catalo0ue of forces.astern as is t"e notion t"at a 0ate opens into "ea/en and t"at water !ounds t"e cosmos. Water separates t"is world from t"e next w"ic" li*e "ea/en is entered t"rou0" 0ates. 'enre scenes t"at punctuate t"e narrati/e are similar in 'reece and in t"e .ast: scenes of feastin0 w"ere sin0ers entertain and /isitors arri/e sometimes refusin0 to ta*e t"eir seats and scenes of dressin0 and >ourneys !y c"ariot. .ast -on t"e ot"er "and t"ey could not "a/e !een notated in prealp"a!etic writin0s. W"ereas /erse forms so complex as t"e "exameter cannot !e found in t"e . ( plea for mercy is refused.ast: t"ey &0o down& to t"eir a!ode !ut ne/er return. 5"e &@i/ine 4omedy& of 0ods familiar from 'ree* arc"aic poetry can !e paralleled in most particulars: t"e assem!ly to determine action often on a mountain top !ut often too wit" dissension of certain 0ods a0ainst t"e c"ief 0od) t"e 0ods' inter/ention on eart" amon0 t"e affairs of men) t"e dream eit"er as messa0e or sym!ol) t"e messen0er as a0ent of narrati/e action) t"e use of direct speec" introduced !y stereotyped formulas and suc" responses a speec" can elicit as downcast eyes !itin0 one's lip or smac*in0 one's t"i0"s.ast as in West does "uman sufferin0 come from t"e 0ods' an0er as do "uman !lessin0s and di/ine fa/or 0ranted to certain indi/iduals. 5"ere t"e stren0t"less dead a!ide !loodless and wea*./en so are t"e relations of "umans to t"e di/ine realm similar in t"e . 9imiles lon0 or s"ort en"ance /i/idness. In ?0aritic &"e was 0roanin0 li*e a lion&) in Homer "e was . In !attle first comes a *ill t"en a !rea*in07up into indi/idual encounters. 4ity7sac*ers *ill e/eryt"in0 in si0"t men women c"ildren. ( 0reat man 0oes !erser* and *ills many. 'ods lead armies in !attle.ast and West and suc" specific myt"s as t"e destruction of man*ind and suc" t"emes as t"e loss of perpetual yout" t"e *nowled0e of 0ood and e/il and t"e necessity for toil to sur/i/e in a fallen world t"at is distant from a "ea/en to w"ic" men once "ad admittance. 5"e land of no return is also a "ouse ruled o/er !y a *in0 or =ueen a place of 0loom and filt".

& 4lot" &s"ines li*e a star.& Missiles &rain from t"e s*y.& 2attles are &mixed & t"e slain &!ite t"e dust.& 5"e wounded 0roan &li*e women in c"ild!irt". summari8es Hesiod's account t"en t"ose of t"e Hurro7 Hittite story of Aumar!i and draws astute points of comparison.& 5ears are common in moments of tension. :e=uests of certain *inds follow a certain order. ( story may !e0in &5"ere is a city called.& 5"e "ands of 'od or t"e 0ods lie upon t"e people. Iapetos loo*s li*e Cap"et" !ut t"ere t"e similarity ends.. 5"ou0"ts are formed &in t"e "eart& or come from outside fallin0 upon one. He does t"e same wit" t"e 2a!ylonian Enuma elish and t"e so7called Phoenician History of 9anc"uniat"ion a Hadrianic wor* t"at preser/es 0enuine 3"oenician tradition. 4ollections of deities are &sons of 0ods. 5"e 0ods &"ear t"e /oice& of suppliants. 9o t"e eart" is &!road& and &dar*& in !ot" traditions.& Hymns and prayers present similar ima0ery. 4"apter % &Hesiod & ta*es up an aut"or a!out w"ic" W." !ut t"is nearly uni/ersal motif could come from anyw"ere W. ( 0od increases or decreases &as "e wis"es.astern poetry and 'ree* poetry t"at we cannot dou!t a "istorical connection. W.ast.& Ini=uity &reac"es to "ea/en& and warriors &trust in t"eir stren0t". 9ome prayers issue !lan* c"ec*s for anyt"in0 desira!le. 5"e *in0 of t"e 0ods assi0ns powers to lesser 0ods. 3ast !enefits are recorded. 9*y mates wit" . (p"rodite sprun0 from t"e 0enitals of 6uranos loo*s li*e t"e 3"oenician (starte called Dueen .& Warriors pour fort" li*e &wasps from a nest. Hesiod recei/es "is 0ift of son0 from t"e Muses) e/en so do .& In speec"es words flow &li*e "oney& and if false are &twisted.& +umerals in t"e first class are increased !y one in t"e second -&se/en years were completed ei0"t re/olutions of time&.& Hearts are &of stone & words are &windy & and t"e same word desi0nates &0rain& and &life. 0oes t"rou0" t"e Theogony systematically.astern . . 9oil is &fat. 5"e 9uccession Myt" of t"e Theogony w"ere!y one 0eneration of 0ods replaces anot"er appears to "a/e ori0inated in t"e +ear .&0roanin0 li*e a !earded lion. <or Hesiod t"e castration of 6uranos is t"e separation of "ea/en and eart" !ut castration in t"e Hurro7Hittite myt" of Aumar!i does not seem to "a/e t"e same meanin0..a and 'ree* Aronos eac" ta*e t"e initiati/e w"en t"e ot"er 0ods cower in fear.& 2attalions ad/ance &li*e storm7 clouds & as num!erless &as sand& or &as t"e stars. Hencefort" W.astern scri!es recei/e messa0es in dreams. 3eoples say &6o"& and &("..& Important structures 0leam &li*e t"e sun or t"e moon.& 9o per/asi/e and detailed are t"e similarities !etween suc" elements in +ear . 5"e 0od is as*ed to come to t"e suppliant's side.astern !ac*0round to Hesiod t"ere "as !een lon0 a0reement. @ecisions are made &!y t"e will of t"e 0ods& and t"e outcome &lies on t"e *nees of t"e 0ods. 5"e power of di/inities is cosmic in extent.& Heroes 0roan for fallen comrades li*e &a lion w"ose cu!s are stolen. 5"e fearful enemy flee &li*e deer.& 2eautiful women are &e=ual to a 0oddess. (!out t"e .& &<ore/er& is &all days. 4"apter 5 &( <orm of Words & loo*s more closely at resem!lances !etween actual /er!al formulations.& 3rayers !e0in wit" t"e 0od's name in t"e /ocati/e. Ain0s are &ser/ants & of 0ods. can !e said to !e t"e world's leadin0 expert -alt"ou0" "e still insists t"at Hesiod is older t"an Homer.& 9peec" is fi0ured in similar ways ma*in0 use of anap"ora epanalepsis and r"etorical =uestions.& Ain0s are &!ulls..& 5"e !ird of prey destroyin0 t"e wea* is a common ima0e.& Heroes are &lions& or &wol/es..

3riam's meetin0 wit" (c"illes is in some ways similar to 'il0ames"'s meetin0 wit" ?tnapis"tim. 3romet"eus and . Many of Hesiod's apot"e0ms "a/e stron0 .of Hea/en. 5"e odd 'ree* 0od 6at" "as a close (ssyrian parallel. and 5"etis) similarities to 3atroclus' sortie t"e *inds of lamentations "eld o/er 3atroclus' !ody and especially details of t"e 0"ostly appearance to 3atroclus so li*e t"at of .eus assi0ned t"e 0ods t"eir offices >ust as in . (tlas !ears resem!lance to t"e Hurro7 Hittite monster ?!elluri and to ?lli*ummi a stone monster t"at 0rows from ?!elluri's s"oulder.a crafty 0ods eac" "elp man*ind a0ainst a persecutin0 senior 0od. Many deities as often in t"e . (fter "is /ictory . 5"e promise of 0ood times to follow on ri0"teous !e"a/ior is paralleled closely !y 1a"we"'s instructions to Moses on Mount 9inai as are similar Hesiodic moral precepts !y ot"er .'s 0leeful prediction of disaster w"en decei/ed. 5itans are li*e t"e Hittite &<ormer 'ods & w"o too were imprisoned in t"e underworld sometimes li*e t"e 5itans twel/e in num!er.astern defeated on Mount 4asius. 6f course Works and Days !elon0s to t"e ancient . (t @elp"i could !e seen t"e stone t"at Aronos swallowed) it was called baidylos from t"e 9emitic &"ouse of 'od& li*e t"e stone on w"ic" Caco! slept. 4ertainly an ancient . Hesiod's "ymn to Hecate "as close parallels in 2a!ylonian "ymns. 5"e rest of t"e lon0 c"apter is de/oted to a detailed and manifold catalo0ue of incidents motifs and expressions in t"e Iliad t"at appear to "a/e +ear .astern 0enre of wisdom literature w"erein a wise or prop"etic teac"er admonis"es errant rulers or a relati/e. t"en 0at"ers interestin0 detailed comparanda !etween +insun -'il0ames"' di/ine mot"er. 5"e fol*tale of t"e "aw* and ni0"tin0ale is not attested specifically in t"e . . 5yp"on seems to !e deri/ed from t"e ?0aritic 9apon 0od of Mount 4asius nort" of ?0arit) 9apon was e=ui/alent to t"e storm 0od 2aal !ut an early story may "a/e told "ow 2aal imprisoned 9apon in t"e mountain.ast !ut animal fa!le is part of t"e 0enre of wisdom literature from t"e earliest times.astern sources as well as Hesiod's "emerolo0y and !ird7omens. 5"e 3romet"eus myt"'s explanation of sacrificial practice "as . 3arallels to t"e certainly non7'ree* myt"s of t"e fi/e races "a/e lon0 !een noticed in Iran and Cudea includin0 specific features: lon07 life 0ood weat"er and a sin0le lan0ua0e for t"e 'olden (0e followed !y s"ort7life and a !rea*down of family and /irtue in t"e last a0e. !e0ins 4"apter E &The Iliad& wit" a comparison !etween t"e 'ree* "ero (c"illes anomalous in many ways wit" 'il0ames". W.n*idu to 'il0ames".astern parallels. <or example t"e 0ods leapin0 to t"eir feet at an assem!ly ad/ice to yield .astern parallels for example t"e admonis"ment to la!or and t"e need to a/oid" "as a di/ine mot"er important to t"e action w"o intercedes wit" t"e ot"er 0ods on "er son's !e"alf) eac" "ero is impulsi/e and emotional) eac" "as a close friend w"o dies promptin0 a railin0 a0ainst mortality followed !y an acceptance of it. In t"e 'ree* t"eomac"y descriptions of !attle parallel .astern story told of a 0od's war a0ainst a many7"eaded serpent) 5yp"oeus was t"e monster wit" t"e "undred "eads w"om in one /ersion . In t"e ?0aritic 2aal epic and in Hesiod a di/ine craftsman ma*es weapons for t"e storm 0od.astern ones includin0 t"e ima0e of a "orde of weapons !loc*in0 t"e s*y.astern precedents as does .ast wor* to ma*e a creature 3andora) "er >ar may reflect Hittite incantation ritual.

4"apter F &The Odyssey & follows t"e same met"od. +umerous similarities tie t"e 6dyssean +e*uia wit" t"e poem ilgamesh! Enkidu! and the "nder#orld includin0 t"e man w"o died !y fallin0 off a roof.n*idu !y t"e water"ole.) 6dysseus' necromancy on t"e s"ores of 6cean) t"e name of . In t"e remainder of t"e c"apter W. 4alypso &t"e /eiled one & reminds us t"at 9iduri too is /eiled and !ot" 0oddesses send "eroes into t"e woods to cut tim!er for a sea >ourney. Her offer of immortality to 6dysseus reminds us t"at 'il0ames" in "is >ourney across t"e waters sou0"t >ust t"at. 4alypso's list of men punis"ed t"rou0" a 0oddess's lo/e sounds li*e Is"tar's complaint w"en 'il0ames" spurns "er. 4irce's /ery name &"aw* & may !e connected wit" t"e "aw*7"eaded sun70od of . 4irce ot"erwise resem!les Is"tar wit" "er competence o/er transformin0 dru0s and wild animals. 5"e 'ree* island of (iaia w"ere 4irce dau0"ter of Helios li/es is e/idently tracea!le to t"e 2a!ylonian 0oddess (ya wife of t"e sun70od and 0oddess of sexual lo/e. 5"e Mesopotamian poem a!out +er0al and .res"*i0al as 6dysseus does 4irce wit" similar results. 5"e t"eme of t"e na*ed un*empt man w"o is clot"ed and ta*en to t"e city as +ausicaa ta*es 6dysseus to town parallels t"e "arlot's tamin0 of . presents a catalo0ue of incidents and passa0es wit" possi!le +ear .n*idu die after "e and 'il0ames" *ill t"e !ull of "ea/en and in !ot" cases a 0od t"reatens to in/ert t"e upper and lower worlds unless t"e 0od's will pre/ails. 5"e stran0e 4irce and 4alypso friendly 0oddesses in remote parts are li*e t"e ale7wife 9iduri w"o meets 'il0ames" at t"e ed0e of t"e waters. :eturnin0 from (eolus' island 6dysseus falls asleep and loses It"aca >ust as 'il0ames" cannot remain awa*e outside t"e "ouse of ?tnapis"tim. .0ypt exported to 3"oenicia. 2ot" "eroes are said in a prolo0ue to "a/e tra/eled widely and to "a/e 0ained *nowled0e t"ere!y. 6dysseus w"o prefers cunnin0 to !rute face7off is no 'il0ames" !ut in "is ad/entures sometimes "as similar experiences. 5"e ne/er7ne/er land of t"e 3"aeacians "as muc" in common wit" t"e land of ?tnapis"tim as 6dysseus' sa/a0e appearance !efore +ausicaa ec"oes 'il0ames"'s appearance !efore 9iduri.res"*i0al s"ow +er0al !ullyin0 . (s 6dysseus' men peris" w"en t"ey *ill t"e cattle of t"e sun so does .ac" 0oddess 0i/es ad/ice a!out crossin0 t"e dan0erous waters of deat" to consult wit" a prop"et.astern antecedents: Menelaus' fat"erin0 of a c"ild on a concu!ine) t"e splendor of (lcinous' palace) Menelaus' transportation to a paradise at t"e ends of t"e eart") 3enelope's refusal to eat) t"e four streams of water on 4alypso's island) 4alypso's special food of am!rosia and nectar) t"e simile of t"e wind and t"e c"aff) +ausicaa compared to a date palm) t"e metal do0s !efore t"e palace of (lcinous) t"e disappearance of t"e island of t"e 3"aeacians) t"e spurned sacrifice) t"e use of protecti/e plants t"e storm 0od w"en "e is an0ry t"e "ouses and sleep of t"e 0ods t"e false dream !efore a !attle t"e portent of a sna*e turned to stone t"e use of messen0ers for transmittin0 instructions flies 0at"erin0 around mil* pails t"e !rea*in0 of a truce a 0od w"o 0rows s*y7"i0" a 0od's imprisonment in a >ar 0ods w"o 0i/e mi0"ty war s"outs "umans w"o come and 0o li*e lea/es on t"e trees t"e 4"imaera wise ne/er to "a/e !een !orn armor "un0 in a temple as !ooty t"e wea* isolated "ero w"o *ills a 0iant ma*in0 lo/e to one's fat"er's concu!ine pictures=ue personifications) drops of !lood from t"e s*y) a "ero7si8ed cup) a wall destroyed !y flood a ma0ic staff seduction !y t"e sex 0oddess ima0es of cows protectin0 cal/es speec" t"at is sweeter t"an "oney animals t"at prop"esy t"e scale of fate peace !etween lions and men and many more.

sau !y Caco!) "is stran0lin0 of serpents illustrated on .astern rite of exorcism in w"ic" se/en demons are expelled. pic*s up W. In conclusion W. 2ur*ert's speculati/e attac"ment of t"e myt" of t"e se/en to an . 9ome suc" features are fol*tale motifs for example t"e foundlin0) t"e ma0ic "air t"at ensures power or security) t"e twin !rot"ers w"o fi0"t in t"e wom!) t"e man w"o is t"rown from a s"ip and rescued !y a fis") t"e person w"o escapes pursuit !y prayin0 to a 0od and !ein0 c"an0ed into somet"in0 else) and t"e "asty oat" li*e t"e one Cep"t"a" made to 1a"we". and are especially reminiscent of t"e ad/entures of 9amson w"o li*e Heracles *illed a lion wit" "is !are "ands and was undone !y a woman.uropa "e deri/es from 9emitic (starte t"e male form so t"at t"e story of t"eir marria0e may deri/e from a sacred union of !ull and cow. 5"e name of Myrtilus 3elops' c"arioteer sounds li*e Mursili name of t"ree Hittite *in0s and 5antalus' name too may !e Hittite.astern t"emes as t"e celestial 0od's lo/e for a "eifer attested in (**adian Hurro7Hittite and ?0aritic myt". 5"e myt"s of Heracles seem almost entirely . 5"e /ery notion of a cycle of la!ors is .astern parallels sometimes /ery close -t"e lion com!at t"e se/en7"eaded "ydra t"e 0olden apples of t"e Hesperides. 5"e 'or0o's "ead "as lon0 !een connected wit" representations of Hum!a!a w"ose 0lance too could !rin0 deat") *i!isis 3erseus' pouc" seems to !e a 9emitic word. Most of t"e exploits find .n*idu. 9tories of t"e 5antalids s"ow tantali8in0 similarities wit" Hittite myt"s appropriate !ecause Lydia w"ence came 3elops is in t"e cultural sp"ere of t"e Hittites of central (natolia.astern too reminiscent of t"e ele/en la!ors of t"e "ero +inurta. notes "ow twice as many . (sterios w"o married . .astern seals. 5"e stran0e story of t"e fifty sons of (e0yptos and t"e fifty sons of @anaos "as a near parallel in a Hittite myt".astern poetic motifs are found in t"e Iliad as in t"e Odyssey and t"at t"ose parallels to t"e Iliad !elon0 to t"e early parts of t"e 'il0ames" story as t"ose parallel to t"e Odyssey are modeled on wanderin0s after t"e deat" of . 5"e !ac*wards course of t"e sun in t"e stru00le !etween (treus and 5"yestes for t"e t"rone of Mycenae is easily .pap"os son of Io and .astern ori0ins. In 4"apter $ &Myt"s and Le0ends of Heroes & W.astern elements in 'ree* literature of t"e arc"aic period.ast.t"e 9irens) t"e suitors' reluctance to *ill one of royal stoc*) 3enelope's !ed co/ered wit" tears) t"e punis"ment !y amputation of ears and nose) t"e radiance surroundin0 a di/inity) !irt" &from oa* or stone&) t"e !ow t"at only t"e "ero can draw) t"e arc"ery contest) a suitor's "urlin0 of a le0 of !eef at 6dysseus) Laertes' faintin0 at reunion wit" 6dysseus.0yptian !ull70od (pis w"ile 2elos (ra!os +ilos and Li!ya "a/e o!/ious .0yptian propa0anda for t"e !irt" of p"arao" in t"e +ew Ain0dom) "is !ein0 c"eated of "is !irt"ri0"t as was . <rom t"e story of Io we find suc" familiar . as comin0 from t"e 9emitic &men of eld & an iron7a0e description of t"e in"a!itants of t"e 5"e!an acropolis and e/en t"e name of Harmonia may deri/e from 9emitic for &fortress & t"e Aadmeia.'s discussion of t"e Aadmos myt" is especially stron0 and "e !uilds a co0ent model for t"e name Aadmeioi -w"ence Aadmos. discusses +ear .astern in ori0in: t"e story of "is !irt" so li*e . (mon0 (r0i/e myt"s t"e odd leprosy t"at stri*es t"e 3roetids is common in t"e +ear . 5urnin0 to t"e myt"s of 5"e!es is e/idently t"e . W.

astern 0ods w"o fell from "ea/en -includin0 Lucifer. <rom t"e 5ro>an cycle .astern and s"e is our oldest testimony to t"e . . <rom t"e Persai "e notices an odd use of &lord & /ery li*e a 9emitic idiom t"e motif of t"e royal person worried !y a dream and certain features of (ssyrian cult practice.tana t"ere.ast. Its similarities to . He finds arrestin0 parallels in t"e .4. 6dysseus' fei0ned madness to a/oid t"e draft loo*s li*e t"e madness of @a/id on t"e run from 9aul. 5"e mission of Menelaus and 6dysseus to 5roy w"ere (ntenor later spared protects t"em loo*s li*e t"at of Cos"ua's spies into Ceric"o w"ere a prostitute later spared protects t"em.astern in ori0in too as are animal fa!les and t"eir morals. (ntip"ony in 9app"o appears to !e .astern reli0ious context t"en seculari8es it and applies it to lo/e.astern wisdom literature./en t"e social tension in 5"eo0nis and t"e fear of t"e risin0 lower class is closely paralleled !y older 9emitic models.ast for t"e licentious women important to t"e poetry of (rc"iloc"us as well as fellatio performed a0ainst a temple wall compared to suc*in0 !eer t"rou0" a tu!e. ( !ird carried 'anymede to "ea/en as an ea0le cared Mesopotamian . notes ot"er similarities in 9tesic"orus I!ycus (nacreon 9imonides 3indar and 2acc"ylides..nlil's statue flas"es and mo/es of its own accord as does t"e 3alladion.astern literatures. In t"e Melic poets &dream7li*e& to mean &fine& is . 5"e flood story is un*nown to Hesiod and except in dis0uised form to Homer !ut comes to 'reece per"aps in t"e sixt" century 2.astern /ersions !ot" in 0eneral t"eme and in specific detail "a/e lon0 !een noticed and t"ere can !e no =uestion of its ori0in. In an interestin0 discussion "e s"ows "ow 9app"o consistently ta*es ima0ery 0enerated in an . 5"e raisin0 of t"e 0"ost of @arius loo*s li*e t"e witc" of . He finds /er!al ec"oes in 4allinus and Mimnermus of . W. If it does come to 'reece only in t"e arc"aic a0e t"ere is clear e/idence for t"e continuation of t"e transmission of culture from t"e late Iron (0e at least into t"e classical period: transmission did not ta*e place all at one time. 4"apter ## is 0i/en to (esc"ylus. fixes on social institutions suc" as t"at of t"e scurrilous commentator found in Mesopotamia as well as on 3aros. 9uc" pro/er!ial statements as &not"in0 surprises me any more& are .astern. . 5"e t"eft of t"e 3alladion is li*e t"at of t"e statue of Mardu* stolen and restolen o/er a period of F00 years. 3eleus' stru00le wit" 5"etis loo*s li*e Caco!'s stru00le wit" an an0el pro!a!ly in ori0in a ri/er spirit and t"e motif of t"e weddin0 w"ic" t"e 0ods attended appears also in t"e ?0aritic Aeret epic. 4"apter #0 de/oted to t"e The $yric Poets re/iews elements of all *inds in t"e poets of t"e (rc"aic period to find /arious p"rases sentiments or r"etorical postures common also in . 5"e 'olden <leece of t"e (r0onautica loo*s li*e t"e "oly fleece common in Hittite rite. 5"e extraordinary self7immolation of (>ax is paralleled !y 9aul's fallin0 on "is sword as 3"iloctetes' special !ow and narrati/e role also appear in t"e .eus' desire to alle/iate an o/erpopulated eart" appears in t"e Mesopotamian story of (tra"asis tellin0 of t"e <lood. W.paralleled from t"e rei0n of He8e*ia". 5"e wooden "orse loo*s li*e an (ssyrian sie0e en0ine !ot" in desi0n and function.astern cult of (donis. 3"aet"on loo*s a lot li*e . W.ndor and t"e series of r"etorical . 0oes t"rou0" eac" play systematically.astern poetry and 9olon's moral maxims !elon0 to .

does not re0ard t"e Prometheus as composed !y (esc"ylus !ut per"aps !y "is son.astern traditions mi0"t "a/e passed to 'reece.astern models is "owe/er deep includin0 t"e notion t"at "umans once li/ed in primiti/e conditions and t"e cosmic cataclysm t"at closes t"e play. 4ertainly t"e ?0aritic poems were meant to support oral performance in some way. In t"e . Harious p"rases and ima0es of di/ine power in t"e Agamemnon includin0 t"e net "a/e 0ood . 9o do &pane0yric metap"or7strin0s & w"ere a potentate is praised !y a list of !old metap"ors. We "ear of a professional sin0er called naru e/idently somet"in0 li*e t"e 'ree* aoidos' @ictation of poetic texts does not seem li*ely for t"e cuneiform tradition !ut far more li*ely for t"e West 9emitic one w"ence t"e 'ree* descended directly. <rom "ints "ere and t"ere we can conclude t"at .astern con/ention.astern scri!es were always !iliterate or !ilin0ual w"ereas in 'reece t"ey ne/er were. 5"e %u&&lices offers a clear imitation of di/ine titles and epit"ets for . 9till we cannot expect transmission of t"e cultural artifacts descri!ed in t"is !oo* to "a/e ta*en place t"rou0" written means. W.astern text is to !e accompanied !y t"is or t"at musical instrument. identifies two "istorical periods in w"ic" suc" transmission was li*ely to "a/e ta*en place in t"e Late 2ron8e (0e and in t"e ei0"t" and se/ent" centuries 2. 5"e scri!e of t"e 2aal epic e/en si0ned "is wor* w"ic" "e may "a/e ta*en down !y dictation ->ust as t"e Homeric poems were recorded.astern sin0ers were not in 0eneral literate !ut learned t"eir son0s from written texts read aloud !y scri!es.ast writin0 was in t"e "ands of a scri!al class w"ereas in 'reece amateurs could write. 9ometimes colop"ons indicate t"at an .astern fore!ears to fas"ion new styles of expression.astern literary texts lea/es no dou!t t"at t"ey were sometimes intended to !e "eard as son0) t"e enormously repetiti/e style only ma*es sense on t"is assumption. (t t"e "ands of t"e immi0rant !ilin0ual poet we must place responsi!ility for t"e transmission of culture from .astern metap"or t"e &ta!lets of t"e "eart. (ssyrian a00ression !e0innin0 in t"e nint" century 2. 5"e traditions t"at W.4. 5"e et"nically mixed populations of nort" 9yria 4yprus 4rete 9icily and sout"ern Italy must "a/e produced many !ilin0ual spea*ers of 9emitic and 'ree* and some of t"ese must "a/e !een sin0ers. Hictories are awarded !y di/ine >ud0ment. 5"e =uestion of transmission is of course intimately !ound up wit" writin0 and "ow writin0 was used and !y w"om.& 9o are scepter and t"rone coupled and t"e @anaids as in (**adian prayers wis" to turn into smo*e and escape. Its de!t to .& W. surely dro/e t"e 3"oenician expansion in t"e Western Mediterranean and into /arious 'ree* lands. .4. (lso "ere we find t"e . We *now of t"e presence of interpreters at all times to ser/e t"e international community of traders and tra/elers and muc" ot"er intermin0lin0 was !rou0"t a!out t"rou0" war mercenary ser/ice and coloni8ation..=uestions meanin0 &W"ere are t"ey nowG& reflect . <rom ot"er plays "e 0at"ers suc" parallels as callin0 t"e sun &t"e lamp of t"e earlier applied to 2aal. 5"e relation !etween oral performance and transmission is especially tan0led. 4"apter #2 &5"e Duestion of 5ransmission & addresses t"e extremely complex =uestion of >ust "ow .ast to West. "as !een tracin0 appear to dry up after (esc"ylus w"en 'ree* writers 0row away from "a!its of t"eir .astern parallels. 5"e style of . .

. ma*es "is ar0ument. I was "appy to !e persuaded !ecause I "a/e lon0 felt t"at somet"in0 li*e t"is must "a/e "appened) !ut we can only admire t"e t"orou0"ness and so!riety !y w"ic" W.5"is is an extraordinary !oo* ric" in deep learnin0 astute insi0"t and pellucid ar0ument to support a radical t"esis. :ead Latest Index for 2000 4"an0e 'ree* @isplay 2oo*s (/aila!le for :e/iew 2M4: Home (rc"i/es H5ML 0enerated at #3:2%:BF <riday 03 (pril 200$ ./ery classicist s"ould read t"is !oo* one of t"e most important in t"e last 0eneration.

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