UGARIT AND MINOAN CRETE by Cyrus H. Gordon

UGARIT AND MINOAN CRETE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Dr. Gordon is the Joseph Foster Professor of Near Eastern Studies and Chairman of the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Brandeis University. An authority on the Ugaritic tablets unearthed following the discovery of an ancient tomb near the northern coast of Syria in 1928, he presents evidence that links the pre-prophetic Jews and the prephilosophical Greeks. Ugarit is the capital of a small but important kingdom in north Canaan; the Ugaritic mythology is replete with references to Baal. Ugaritic literature, Dr. Gordon says, bridges the gap between Homer and the Bible. A major part of his book is devoted to a translation of Ugaritic myths and epics revealing this relationship. Dr. Gordon also turns to Minoan Crete to point out a close linkage to Canaan. His conclusion: there is no longer any barrier between the earliest cultures of Europe and those of the Near East; each is part of the same Mediterranean synthesis, whose written history begins in the Early Bronze Age (third millennium B.C.) and whose prehistory is attested by artifacts in the fourth millennium B.C. Documenting every point that marks a departure from common knowledge, his approach is impeccable, his findings important. Essentially of scholarly interest.

Publisher: Norton