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Angry deities, prayer and the Court of Law : assuming responsibility in Greece and the Near East

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Angry deities, prayer and the Court of Law : assuming responsibility in Greece and the Near East

Mendelsohn, David (2004) Angry deities, prayer and the Court of Law : assuming responsibility in Greece and the Near East. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This dissertation examines cultural parallels as found in the literature of Greece, Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Of specific interest is the question of cultural influence exerted by these ancient civilizations on each other. One of the geographic points of intersection common to these cultures was located at Ugarit allowing it to act as a conduit into which Mesopotamian and Anatolian tradition poured, continuing on to Cyprus from where the assimilated material flowed into the rest of Greece and into Greek culture. Myths involving divine anger and punishment are examined for parallels in an effort to establish Anatolian and Ugaritic cultural influence on Greek literature. The themes of the angry goddess and the abandoning deity in Anatolia, Ugarit and Greece are examined both for the devastating consequences of their anger on mortals and mortal reaction to this punishment. The parallel paths followed by Hittite prayer and Greek literature are similarly examined for their treatment of mortal reaction to divine anger and punishment. The historical testimony of Hittite suppliants in prayer is compared with dramatized accounts of the Greek tragedians. The wresting of control by mortals from the gods in terms of their right to determine the consequences of blood guilt appears to have been the culmination of generations of resentment and perplexity over conceptions of divine punishment in both societies and is reflected in the historical Telepinu Edict and in Greek literature involving the mythic past of the Greeks.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Mendelsohn, David
Pagination:vii, 333 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:School of Graduate Studies
Date:2004
Thesis Supervisor(s):Teffeteller, Annette and Hale, Mark and Sanders, Lionel
ID Code:7957
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:18 Aug 2011 14:11
Last Modified:18 Aug 2011 14:11
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