Roots of Ancient Greek Civilization

The Influence of Old Europe

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About the Book

Contrary to a prevalent belief of the Western world, that democracy, agriculture, theater and the arts were the attainments of Classical Greek civilization, these were actually a Bronze Age fusion of earlier European concepts and Hellenic ingenuity. This work considers both the multicultural wellspring from which these ideas flowed and their ready assimilation by the Greeks, who embraced these hallmarks of civilization, and refined them to the level of sophistication that defines classical antiquity.

About the Author(s)

German linguist and cultural scientist Harald Haarmann is vice-president of the Institute of Archaeomythology and director of its European branch. He has written more than 50 books in various languages, including numerous studies on cultures and languages. He lives in Finland.

Bibliographic Details

Harald Haarmann
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 248
Bibliographic Info: 28 photos, 8 tables, 17 maps, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7827-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1589-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Introduction. Athens: Cradle of Democracy? 1

1. European Tradition Versus Afrocentrism: The Reality Behind the Myth of “Black Athena” 9

2. What the Greeks Learned from Their Predecessors: Wine and Olive Cultivation, Pottery and Metallurgy 40

3. Greek Immigrants and Native Europeans in Southeastern Europe: Contact of Cultures, Fusion of Languages and Ways to Remember the Past 73

4. Seafaring, Trade and Commerce: Trade Networks in the Early Greek World 111

5. Ingredients of ­Pan-Hellenic Identity: Sacred Places, Rituals and Festivities 127

6. Pre-Greek Origins of the Arts: The Muses and Their Doings from Old Europe to Classical Antiquity 162

7. Old European Bases of Social Egalitarianism in Greek Society: Social Networking and the Making of Democratic Governance 183

Epilogue. The Long Trail of Old Europe and Its Aftermath in Western Civilization 221

Bibliography 225

Index 237