The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology

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University of California Press, 1972 - Civilization, Mycenaean - 258 pages
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"Nilsson studied the geographical aspects of the Greek myths. He proved that almost without exception, the places in the myths, especially those in the great cycle of stories, are the very same places as those now known from archaeology to have been important Bronze-Age sites ... Nilsson made it amply clear, in a host of interesting details which he worked out with ingenuity and almost always good sense, that the memory of the great Bronze-Age centres survived, and that the stories told of them ... truly reflected, in Classical times, the Mykenaian Age. To have discovered this great bridge was the triumphant achievement of Nilsson." [Back cover].
 

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Great book to help me out in my research report!

Contents

How Old is Greek Mythology?
1
Mycenaean Centers
35
LACONIA
68
THE DOMINION OF PYLOS
79
THE REST OF THE PELOPONNESE
90
SOUTHERN BOEOTIA
100
NORTHERN BOEOTIA
127
ATTICA
159
CONCLUSION
181
Heracles
187
Olympus
221
Index
252
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About the author (1972)

A Swedish scholar who studied, then taught at the University of Lund for many years, Nilsson exercised a profound influence on the study of the religions of ancient Greece. In many respects he appears the archetypal historian, who carefully threshes the theories of other writers, sharply rejecting what he finds to be unsubstantiated and unsound. But Nilsson's work is not without positions of its own that others would find dubious. He was a staunch adherent of evolutionary theory, which states that religions have evolved from a primitive substrate, leaving detectable survivals in historical data. He also adopted a "dynamistic" conception of "primitive religion"; that is, he believed that religion was originally a husbanding of mana, or supernatural power, although that power was not likely conceived of as such. This belief led Nilsson to take the Greek daimon to be impersonal power, a view that is certainly wrong.

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