By Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan

ISBN-10: 0226067157

ISBN-13: 9780226067155

With Ancestor of the West, 3 unusual French historians display the tale of the start of writing and cause, demonstrating how the logical non secular buildings of close to japanese and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to these of the West."Full of subject for an individual drawn to language, faith, and politics within the historical world."—R. T. Ridley, magazine of spiritual History"In this obtainable creation to the traditional international, 3 prime French students discover the emergence of rationality and writing within the West, tracing its improvement and its survival in our personal traditions. . . . Jean Bottero specializes in writing and faith in old Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader background of historical writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization within the context of close to jap history."—Translation evaluate

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Additional info for Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece

Sample text

They represent not only scholarly exer­ cises-a sign marked by the firm hand of the master reproduced more or less clumsily by the pupil on a single tablet; more or less awkward and error-filled copies of a few lines of various known, pri­ marily literary works-but also reference works: catalogs of grouped signs, sometimes in two columns, one with the Sumerian sign and 26 JEAN BOTIERO the other with its Akkadian equivalent; lists of synonyms, an­ tonyms, related words; specialized expressions, for example, legal or business terminology; grammatical treatises in the form of various formulas in Sumerian alongside their Akkadian counterparts, and so on.

Per­ haps we must see in this the effect of their perspicacity and their intelligence: What was the use of losing oneself in the meanderings of complicated myths and of multiplying the most confused imagi­ nations in the single goal of providing specifics, judged to be futile and supererogatory, especially given the difficulty of imagining ev­ erything? There is every chance that the very urgent question of the origins of mankind was not only debated on the mythological level, but could have given rise, like the question of the beginnings of the universe, to divergent speculations.

Courtesy of Musee du Louvre. Departement des Antiquites orientales. Reproduction interdite sans autorisation. Copyright © Pierre et Maurice Chuseville. would have otherwise disappeared and been long forgotten. It is thanks to the writing professionals and to their hard work that we possess such notable segments of that long road traveled close to three thousand years ago by the ancient Mesopota­ mians, whose history, life, progress, and downfalls, good fortune and bad we are thus in a position to reconstruct, sometimes with the most significant, the most unexpected, or the most trivial of details.

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Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece by Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan


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