Indo-European Poetry and Myth

The Indo Europeans, speakers of the prehistoric parent language from which most European and some Asiatic languages are descended, most probably lived on the Eurasian steppes some five or six thousand years ago Martin West investigates their traditional mythologies, religions, and poetries, and points to elements of common heritage In The East Face of Helicon 1997 , WesThe Indo Europeans, speakers of the prehistoric parent language from which most European and some Asiatic languages are descended, most probably lived on the Eurasian steppes some five or six thousand years ago Martin West investigates their traditional mythologies, religions, and poetries, and points to elements of common heritage In The East Face of Helicon 1997 , West showed the extent to which Homeric and other early Greek poetry was influenced by Near Eastern traditions, mainly non Indo European His new book presents a foil to that work by identifying elements of ancient, Indo European heritage in the Greek material Topics covered include the status of poets and poetry in Indo European societies metre, style, and diction gods and other supernatural beings, from Father Sky and Mother Earth to the Sun god and his beautiful daughter, the Thunder god and other elemental deities, and earthly orders such as Nymphs and Elves the forms of hymns, prayers, and incantations conceptions about the world, its origin, mankind, death, and fate the ideology of fame and of immortalization through poetry the typology of the king and the hero the hero as warrior, and the conventions of battle narrative.
Indo European Poetry and Myth The Indo Europeans speakers of the prehistoric parent language from which most European and some Asiatic languages are descended most probably lived on the Eurasian steppes some five or six thousand

  • Title: Indo-European Poetry and Myth
  • Author: M.L. West
  • ISBN: 9780199280759
  • Page: 181
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Indo-European Poetry and Myth”

    1. Good heavens, is this a superb and invaluable book. Following a comparative philological method, classicist M. L. West examines parallel mythological motifs in far-flung Indo-European cultures and languages and carefully suggests various reconstructions of a prototypical Indo-European mythology from which these common motifs derived. Even viewed solely as a compendium of motifs in the vast Indo-European culturo-linguistic zone, this book is a contribution of the highest order. Coupled with this [...]

    2. M.L. West has always been interested in how myths were shared across the Classical world. In the 1990s, he wrote a monograph titled The East Face of Helicon on how Greek epic drew heavily from the Near East. Thinking about what the Greek tradition kept from the Indo-European heritage common to many cultures of Europe and Asia led him to this much vaster project. Indo-European Poetry and Myth aims to synthesize and extend research on what aspects of the literature of antiquity – and even the Li [...]

    3. Breathtaking erudition, delivered in a readable style. West has set himself to trace out the features of Indo-European poetry and myth from the preliterate period, using a method akin to stemmatics in textual criticism or to historical linguistic reconstructions. As a classicist, I particularly enjoyed the connections with literatures of cultures other than Greece and Rome: Ireland, Germany, Armenia, India, Old English, etc It is rather staggering to think of someone knowing all these languages, [...]

    4. Author describes himself as "a stranger in Paradise with a clipboard". Aye, and for 100 bucks, I wish this read better than a well-ordered file cabinet. Anyway, someone had to venture forth to try and make sense of it all. [LIST of parallels at end of back DJ blurb:]

    5. It wasn't what I was hoping for by the title. I was hoping for a book that would gather together what little science, anthropology and archaeology knows about the Indo-Europeans and their stories. The myths and legends and things they believed. Instead, it's a very academically wordy book with much guessing as to what these people believed by taking root words and trying to make them match up with things the author believes makes sense using Greek and Roman and Slavic texts. Phrases like "it has [...]

    6. An extremely useful, philological, language-based approach to its subject matter. ("Archaeology through words," as another reviewer aptly puts it.) Absolutely fascinating; but there is cause to be skeptical over certain more speculative interpretations (especially where underlying assumptions which are not foregone conclusions underlie the argument). Some conclusions are more sound than others. Extremely valuable book, however.

    7. Other than a decent dictionary, this is possibly the most valuable book I have on my shelf in terms of being a writer.Archaeology by means of words.

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