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Studying external stimuli to the development of the ancient Aegean The ‘Kingship in Heaven’-theme from Kumarbi to Kronos via Anatolia

van Dongen, E.W.M.; (2010) Studying external stimuli to the development of the ancient Aegean The ‘Kingship in Heaven’-theme from Kumarbi to Kronos via Anatolia. Doctoral thesis, UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

It is commonly accepted nowadays that ancient Aegean culture included many elements that were not indigenous. But scholars still question the importance of these for the development of the region. I contend that such scepticism is mistaken. Ideas about the ancient Aegean’s cultural independence are founded in the history of research in this field, and could be countered by more detailed studies of specific cultural elements. The following issues should be addressed: the likelihood of an indigenous development of elements; reasons for transmission and the process of embedment; the process of transmission. These issues I discuss in the introduction. Next, a case study follows on the connection between the appearances of the ‘Kingship in Heaven’-theme in the Hittite Song of Going Forth (‘Song of Kumarbi’) and the Hesiodic Theogony. I explain these by proposing a specific scenario. An analysis of the song shows that it focused on the storm-god more than is commonly assumed. Subsequently, the variant of the theme in the Theogony and its similarities with that of the song are described. Various elements of the theme that appear similarly in the Theogony and the song probably originated outside the Aegean. Their inclusion together implies that the composer of the Theogony knew of a version of the entire song. I suggest that he intended to create a pan-Hellenic genealogical system, and considered this text particularly fit as a framework to structure his poem with. The song was Hurrian originally, and probably connected to kingship legitimisation. This was also its use in the Hittite and Neo-Hittite kingdoms. Intra- Anatolian interaction from ca. 1200-650 BCE is surveyed. The Phrygians probably adopted the song from the Neo-Hittites, perhaps again in the context of kingship rituals. After 750 BCE, the song reached the Aegean, where, soon afterwards, it was used for the Theogony.

Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Title:Studying external stimuli to the development of the ancient Aegean The ‘Kingship in Heaven’-theme from Kumarbi to Kronos via Anatolia
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
UCL classification:UCL > School of Arts and Social Sciences > Faculty of Social and Historical Sciences > History

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