Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam

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9780691151489: Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam

From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire.


The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity.


McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization's origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire.

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From the Inside Flap:

"This innovative book tackles the fascinating subject of how and by whom culture was invented, and discusses this phenomenon by looking at the ancient, Greco-Roman, pre-Islamic Arabian, and Muslim worlds. Examining various texts that have rarely been analyzed in the same place, the book will appeal to a diversity of readers and fields."--Robert Hoyland, University of Oxford

"McCants explores culture myths over a long period--from Sumerian literature of the third millennium BCE to Arabic works of the ninth century CE--and over a wide but interconnected geographical area spanning the Mediterranean basin to the Near East as far as Persia. The breadth of this undertaking and the materials gathered together, especially from the Arabic side, are quite original."--Ian S. Moyer, University of Michigan

About the Author:

William F. McCants received his PhD from Princeton University and is currently adjunct faculty at Johns Hopkins University.

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William F. McCants
Editore: Princeton University Press (2011)
ISBN 10: 0691151482 ISBN 13: 9780691151489
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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Brand new. We distribute directly for the publisher. Clean, unmarked pages. Fine binding and cover. Hardcover and dust jacket. Description: 179 p. ; 24 cm.Contents: Gifts of the gods : the origins of civilization in ancient Near Eastern and Greek mythology --The beneficent sky god : cultural history in the Qur'an --Who was first? : protography and discovery catalogs --Inventing nations : postconquest native histories of civilization's origins --"The sciences of the ancients" : speculation on the origins of philosophy, medicine, and the exact sciences.From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, this title traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. It looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. Codice libro della libreria 1201230014

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization s origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization s origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691151489

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization s origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity.McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization s origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire. Codice libro della libreria AAH9780691151489

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. HRD. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from UK in 4 to 14 days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria WP-9780691151489

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Codice libro della libreria 97806911514890000000

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Condizione libro: Brand New. Ships from USA. FREE domestic shipping. Codice libro della libreria 0691151482

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0691151482

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations: Conquest and Culture Myths from Antiquity to Islam, William F. McCants, From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization's origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization's origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire. Codice libro della libreria B9780691151489

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, United States, 2011. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. From the dawn of writing in Sumer to the sunset of the Islamic empire, Founding Gods, Inventing Nations traces four thousand years of speculation on the origins of civilization. Investigating a vast range of primary sources, some of which are translated here for the first time, and focusing on the dynamic influence of the Greek, Roman, and Arab conquests of the Near East, William McCants looks at the ways the conquerors and those they conquered reshaped their myths of civilization s origins in response to the social and political consequences of empire. The Greek and Roman conquests brought with them a learned culture that competed with that of native elites. The conquering Arabs, in contrast, had no learned culture, which led to three hundred years of Muslim competition over the cultural orientation of Islam, a contest reflected in the culture myths of that time. What we know today as Islamic culture is the product of this contest, whose protagonists drew heavily on the lore of non-Arab and pagan antiquity. McCants argues that authors in all three periods did not write about civilization s origins solely out of pure antiquarian interest--they also sought to address the social and political tensions of the day. The strategies they employed and the postcolonial dilemmas they confronted provide invaluable context for understanding how authors today use myth and history to locate themselves in the confusing aftermath of empire. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780691151489

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Descrizione libro Princeton University Press, 2011. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0691151482

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