EALMS OF GOLD by Leonard Cottrell


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journey through the enigmas of Mycenaean civilization is swamped with scholarship and all sorts of side-show chatter, but the guide, Leonard (Bull From Minos) Cottrell, is elegant and engaging. He's also, at times, out of breath. The tour- a high and low jumping from the past to the present and the present to the past- covers Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Olympia, Delphia, Athens, Brauron, Gla, Crete and Thessaly. It follows a ""four-corridor"" footing: archaeology and the digs of Schliemann and Blegen; the perplexities of Homer; the myths behind the myths; and the linguistic puzzles of resurrected tablets. It also asks questions Did Theseus really live? Where is King Minos?); the answers, of course, are less direct. Says antiquarian Cottrell: Somewhere between the mists of fantasy and poetry lies the mountain of truth, but we can, alas, only grope towards it. He suggests that Crete was probably a matriarchy, as well as being possibly the legendary Atlantis. He wonders whether the Mycenaean Greeks were really illiterate, and what, exactly, the oft-contested relationship was between them and the omeric tradition. He cites much; he evokes enthusiastically person and place.

Publisher: New York Graphic Society