By Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan

ISBN-10: 0226067157

ISBN-13: 9780226067155

With Ancestor of the West, 3 exclusive French historians demonstrate the tale of the beginning of writing and cause, demonstrating how the logical non secular buildings of close to japanese and Mesopotamian cultures served as precursors to these of the West."Full of subject for an individual attracted to language, faith, and politics within the historic world."—R. T. Ridley, magazine of spiritual History"In this obtainable advent to the traditional international, 3 best French students discover the emergence of rationality and writing within the West, tracing its improvement and its survival in our personal traditions. . . . Jean Bottero specializes in writing and faith in historical Mesopotamia, Clarisse Herrenschmidt considers a broader historical past of historical writing, and Jean-Pierre Vernant examines classical Greek civilization within the context of close to japanese history."—Translation assessment

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Extra resources for Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece

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In other words, their religion was still intri­ cately connected to their complete worldview (like filters applied to a lens) : all of their views about themselves and the world around them were colored and conditioned by their religion (I will describe that religion as a complete system later in this essay) . " This is why what for us are now science and philosophy-fields TH E I NTELLIGENCE OF THE WORLD 35 that at that time did not yet exist-were then what we would call mythology, and it was according to the rules of mythology that the ancient Mesopotamians applied their reasoning.

It was no longer directly connected only to concrete things, but to words, to the spoken language, and in that way it became able to reproduce that language-in other words, to cease being purely an evocative mnemonic device-and became a system just as clearly and distinctly meaningful as the language itself: writing was able to fix and materialize language in all its extraordinary capabilities. Granted, given its very formation, writing remained complicated, because each sign, having first referred to several different objects, thus also referred-in addition-to several different syllables: foot, for instance, referred to du ("to walk"), to gub (lito stand"), and to tum (lito carry") .

The humans immediately got to work, and since (although they were indeed irrevocably destined by their own nature to die) their lives were still very, very long (this is a well-known trait of local imaginations)-because they never fell ill, experienced no infant mortality, and benefited largely from the fruit of their labor, even if they only ate what was left after they had abundantly served the gods-they increased quickly and extraordinarily, as did the din that arose from their large numbers.

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Ancestor of the West : Writing, Reasoning, and Religion in Mesopotamia, Elam, and Greece by Jean Bottero, Clarisse Herrenschmidt, Jean Pierre Vernant, Francois Zabbal, Teresa Lavender Fagan


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