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Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
May 2023
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Book description

Theorizing about language and its place in the world began long before Plato and Aristotle. In this book, Jacobo Myerston traces the trajectories of various proto-linguistic traditions that circulated between Greece and Mesopotamia before the institutionalization of Greek philosophy. By following the threads of transcultural conversations, the author shows the impact of Mesopotamian semantics and hermeneutics on early Greek thinkers. He reconstructs the Greek appropriation of Mesopotamian semantics while arguing that, despite geographical distance and cultural constraints, the Greeks adopted and transformed Babylonian cosmological and linguistic concepts in a process leading to new discoveries. This book covers conceptions of signification present in cuneiform word lists, esoteric syllabaries, commentaries, literary texts like Enuma elish, Gilgamesh, Hesiod's Theogony, and the Homeric Hymns as well as the philosophical commentary preserved in the Derveni papyrus.

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