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Caria and Crete in Antiquity
Cultural Interaction between Anatolia and the Aegean


  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316645420

£ 24.99

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About the Authors
  • A persistent tradition existed in antiquity linking Caria with the island of Crete. This central theme of regional history is mirrored in the civic mythologies, cults and toponyms of southwestern Anatolia. This book explains why by approaching this diverse body of material with a broad chronological view, taking into account both the origins of this regional narrative and its endurance. It considers the mythologies in the light of archaeologically attested contacts during the Bronze Age, exploring whether such interaction could have left a residuum in later traditions. The continued relevance of this aspect of Carian history is then considered in the light of contacts during the Classical and Hellenistic periods, with analysis of how, and in which contexts, traditions survived. The Carians were an Anatolian people; however, their integration into the mythological framework of the Greek world reveals that interaction with the Aegean was a fundamental aspect of their history.

    • Undertakes a comprehensive examination of the relationship between Caria and the Aegean, challenging the theoretical divide between Anatolian and Aegean cultures
    • Adopts a methodological approach to the study of mythology which considers both the origins and social functions of myths
    • Breaks down the mechanisms of cultural interaction, with an emphasis on individual agency for the transmission of cultural forms
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316645420
    • length: 286 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 168 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.502kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction. Approaching the topic of Carian–Cretan interaction
    The Carian-Cretan connection
    Caria and Crete in the maritime itineraries of the Mediterranean
    The Labrys and the labyrinth
    Network formation and cultural exchange
    Approaching Carian–Cretan interaction
    1. Articulating a 'Carian' identity
    'The Carians of barbarian speech'
    Language and identity
    Delimiting 'Caria' and the 'Carians'
    2. The role of Crete in the mythologies, local histories and cults of Caria
    Ancient engagement with the past
    Sarpedon, Miletos and Kaunos
    The 'Minoan' ports of Anatolia
    The Krētinaion of Magnesia-on-the-Maeander
    The Carian Kouretes
    Reading mythological traditions
    3. The case of Miletos: archaeology and mythology
    The processes of transmission and the question of origins
    Late Bronze Age Miletos
    Minoan and Mycenaean contacts with Southwestern Anatolia
    Western Anatolia in the Hittite sources
    Caria on the interface
    Miletos: continuities and innovation
    4. Interaction and the reception of the Cretan connection during the hellenistic period
    Tracing interaction between Caria and Crete
    The Cretan decrees from Mylasa
    Cretan diplomacy and Cretan piracy
    Contextualising the Mylasan inscriptions
    The role of the past in diplomatic discourse
    5. Inscribing history at Magnesia- on- the- Maeander: Civic engagement with the past
    Inscribing history
    The civic context of the 'origin myth'
    Shaping the past
    6. A 'Cretan- Born' Zeus in Caria: Religious mobility between Caria and Crete
    The evidence
    Dynastic influence vs. local dynamics
    The constitutional reforms at Euromos
    Interaction and religious mobility
    Interpreting the Carian cults of Zeus Kretagenes/ Kretagenetas
    Concluding remarks
    Appendix 1. I. Magnesia 17
    Appendix 2. The 'Cretan Dossier' of Mylasa

  • Author

    Naomi Carless Unwin, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Naomi Carless Unwin is a Research Fellow at the Center for Hellenic Studies at Harvard University. She has been involved for many years in the archaeological excavations at the sanctuary of Labraunda in Caria, focusing particularly on the epigraphy of the site.

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