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Between Greece and Babylonia
Hellenistic Intellectual History in Cross-Cultural Perspective


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: May 2019
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108419550

£ 110.00

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About the Authors
  • This book argues for a new approach to the intellectual history of the Hellenistic world. Despite the intense cross-cultural interactions which characterised the period after Alexander, studies of 'Hellenistic' intellectual life have tended to focus on Greek scholars and institutions. Where cross-cultural connections have been drawn, it is through borrowing: the Greek adoption of Babylonian astrology; the Egyptian scholar Manetho deploying Greek historiographical models. In this book, however, Kathryn Stevens advances a 'Hellenistic intellectual history' which is cross-cultural in scope and goes beyond borrowing and influence. Drawing on a wide range of Greek and Akkadian sources, she argues that intellectual life in the Greek world and Babylonia can be linked not just through occasional contact and influence, but also by deeper parallels in intellectual culture that reflect their integration into the same overarching imperial system. Tracing such parallels yields intellectual history which is diverse, multipolar and, therefore, truly 'Hellenistic'.

    • Adopts a new, cross-cultural approach to Hellenistic intellectual history, bringing classical and Near Eastern perspectives together
    • Introduces lesser-known contexts and bodies of material as well as those from well-known centres like Alexandria and Pergamon
    • Takes a broad and strongly contextualised view of 'intellectual activity' and 'intellectual history' which is not specific to one discipline and not confined to the history of ideas
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Genuinely innovative books are rare: Between Greece and Babylon: Hellenistic Intellectual History in Cross-Cultural Perspective is such a work, and the subtitle accurately describes the book's goal. An important work that belongs in all university libraries.' S. M. Burstein, Choice

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108419550
    • length: 454 pages
    • dimensions: 222 x 144 x 26 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • contains: 15 b/w illus. 5 maps
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. In search of Hellenistic intellectual history
    2. The study of the heavens
    3. Berossus and the Graeco-Babyloniaca
    4. Alexandria: the missing link?
    5. Kings and scholars
    6. New horizons: Hellenistic intellectual geographies
    7. From Šulgi to Seleucus: Hellenistic local histories
    8. Epilogue: towards a new Hellenistic intellectual history.

  • Author

    Kathryn Stevens, University of Durham
    Kathryn Stevens is Associate Professor in Classics and Ancient History at University of Durham. Her main research interests are in Greek and Mesopotamian cultural and intellectual history, with a particular focus on the Hellenistic period. She has published articles on Greek geography, Seleucid kingship, ancient libraries and localism in the Hellenistic world, and is currently co-editing the first collected volume on the Astronomical Diaries from Babylon, entitled Keeping Watch in Babylon: The Astronomical Diaries in Context (forthcoming, with J. Haubold and J. Steele).

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