Eastern Myths for Western Lies

Allusions to Near Eastern Mythology in Homer’s Iliad

in Mnemosyne
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Abstract

That the great cultures of the Near East influenced Mycenaean and Archaic Greek culture has been amply demonstrated by the archaeological record. But did this influence extend to Greek literature? And was it recognized by the ancient Greeks themselves? In this paper I answer these two questions in the affirmative after examining two passages from Homer’s Iliad: Hera’s identification of Oceanus and Tethys as the parents of the gods (14.201) and Poseidon’s account of the division of the world through lot (15.189-193).The analysis of these passages is preceded by a methodological section on how literary parallels between these cultures can be evaluated.

Eastern Myths for Western Lies

Allusions to Near Eastern Mythology in Homer’s Iliad

in Mnemosyne

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