The idea of the “first globalization
It was the Persian period which was chosen as the key period, since the mid-first millennium BCE witnessed both unification under a single hegemony (Persia
We begin with Mesopotamia, from whence we have the richest documentation of economic and administrative texts from the sixth century BCE, covering the Neo-Babylonian
Nevertheless, on other levels the Persian Empire did bring large-scale changes to the Near East, occasioned by the extent of the new political unity. The Persian state demanded heavy tribute
Since we are unlikely to find much evidence of economic globalization
The relatively haphazard spread of Greek colonies also offers many important models for globalization
The significant point about Greek colonies is that prior to the establishment of Alexander’s vast empire, they did not reflect any central planning or scheme promulgated by older cities on the Greek mainland. As Irad Malkin explains, the numerous Greek cities that we call, for lack of a better term, “colonies” were founded during the Archaic period as independent entities along the shores of the Mediterranean
The processes of Hellenization in Ptolemaic Egypt
Although narratives and religious motifs can cross borders quite easily, they do not often tell us a great deal about the nature of these exchanges, since religious beliefs and practices and literary tropes can easily reflect shared ideas which can obscure the exact nature of any borrowings. The pioneering works of Cyrus Gordon (1962) and Walter Burkert (1998) made important contributions to the awareness of contacts between societies in the Near East, including Greece
To begin with the most exact of sciences, mathematics, K.Ṁuroi has recently concluded that the so-called “Pythagorean triples”
As for divination
Finally, Gebhard Selz argues further that Mesopotamian science was globalized precisely because of its empirical approach to knowledge, based upon observation and hermeneutics, and introduced the notion of divinely-inspired higher order of knowledge which lead to revelation and Holy Scripture
The idea of Melammu was conceived by Simo Parpola of Helsinki and it continues to influence interdisciplinary approaches to antiquity. Details of previous Melammu volumes is to be found on http://www.aakkl.helsinki.fi/melammu.
The conference theme was originally the suggestion of Florentina Badalanova Geller.
See (Renn 2012).
Examples of such documents are discussed in the present volume by Kabalan Moukarzel.
The Septuagint itself is a good example of literary globalization, since Bible stories were suddenly able to circulate throughout the Mediterranean region in Greek translation, and many narratives became popular (Barclay 1996); Moses, for instance, gained a reputation in this period as a wonder-worker and magician, and reactions to biblical narratives in Egypt (although preserved in Greek), such as Manetho, attest to proliferation of biblical accounts; Josephus records the debates in great detail in Contra Apionem.
Demographic changes that we see in Greece began taking place in the seventh century BCE, which classical scholars refer to as the “archaic period,” despite corresponding to the Neo-Assyrian empire period in Mesopotamia, which is far from being archaic.
It is then interesting to note that Greek art later inspired the art and architecture of Persepolis, see the work of Margaret Cool Root (1985).
In the 1980s a series of seminars and conference was held at University College London on Hellenistic Law, with the idea of comparing legal contracts from Mesopotamia, Palestine, and Egypt, to chart any innovations introduced through Hellenization. The results were published (Geller and Maehler 1995), providing many examples of legal contracts in Akkadian, Greek, and Demotic, although the volume did not include any summary of results, since the idea was that the collection of discussed materials would stimulate further comparative studies which could point to general conclusions. This hope has not yet been realized.
The Zenon Papyri clearly shows how Egyptians conducted business in Greek with its colony in Judea, with Greek having replaced Aramaic as the language of commerce, and the widespread use of Greek in ancient Palestine was probably the result of being colonized by Egypt in the third century BCE.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Melammu: Early Globalization
M. J. Geller
2 Global Monotheism:
The Contribution of the Israelite Prophets
Baruch A. Levine
6 Gilgamesh’s Plant of Rejuvenation and Qāṭīne’s Sīsīsāmbur
7 Some Observations about “Foreigners” in Babylonia
during the VI Century BCE
8 The Religious Reform of Nabonidus: A Sceptical View
9 New Light on George Smith’s Purchase of the
Egibi Archive in 1876 from the Nachlass Mathewson
Strahil V. Panayotov, Cornelia Wunsch
10 Phrygian Bronzes in the Greek World:
Globalization through Cult?
11 Power and Ritual in the Achaemenian Royalty
12 Religious Ontology and Taxonomic Structures in Indo-Iranian Oral Poetry
13 Elements of “Globalization” in Ancient Iranian Numismatics
15 India and World Trade: From the Beginnings to the
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