Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2010

15 October 2010

Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess. A Near Eastern Koine

Nanno Marinatos

Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess. A Near Eastern Koine

City: Urbana

Year: 2010

Publisher: University of Illinois Press

Description: Hardback, 263 p., 24 b/w photographs, 137 line drawings, 1 map, 3 tables, 16x24,5 cm


Ancient Minoan culture has been typically viewed as an ancestor of classical Greek civilization, but this book shows that Minoan Crete was on the periphery of a powerfully dynamic cultural interchange with its neighbors. Rather than viewing Crete as the autochthonous ancestor of Greece’s glory, Nanno Marinatos considers ancient Crete in the context of its powerful competitors to the east and south.

Analyzing the symbols of the Minoan theocratic system and their similarities to those of Syria, Anatolia, and Egypt, Marinatos unlocks many Minoan visual riddles and establishes what she calls a ‘cultural koine’, or standard set of cultural assumptions, that circulated throughout the Near East and the eastern Mediterranean at the time Minoan civilization reached its peak. She pays special attention to the similarities found in religion and political leadership, which were everywhere entwined. With more than two hundred illustrations, Minoan Kingship and the Solar Goddess delivers a comprehensive reading of Minoan art as a system of thought.


Preface [ix]

1. Introduction [1]

2. The King and Queen in Art [12]

3. The King and Queen as High Priests [32]

4. Thrones of Gods—Thrones of Kings [50]

5. The House of God [66]

6. Who Sees the Gods Face to Face? [78]

7. Minoan Prophecy and Royal Power [86]

8. The Cosmic Mountain as a Frontier [103]

9. The Double Axe, the Ankh, and the Ox Head [114]

10. The Rosette, Half-Rosette, and “Incurved Altar” [131]

11. Minoan Afterlife Beliefs [140]

12. The Solar Goddess of Kingship [151]

13. The Storm God [167]

14. Translating the Gods of the Religious Koine [186]

15. Conclusions: A Tribute to Sir Arthur Evans [193]

Notes [197]

Bibliography [225]

Figures and Credits [247]

Index [255]


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