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Durham University

Department of Classics and Ancient History

Staff

Publication details for Dr Kathryn Stevens

Stevens, Kathryn (2019). Between Greece and Babylonia: Hellenistic Intellectual History in Cross-Cultural Perspective. Cambridge University Press.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

This book argues for a new approach to the intellectual history of the Hellenistic world. Despite the intense cross-cultural interactions which characterised the period after Alexander, studies of 'Hellenistic' intellectual life have tended to focus on Greek scholars and institutions. Where cross-cultural connections have been drawn, it is through borrowing: the Greek adoption of Babylonian astrology; the Egyptian scholar Manetho deploying Greek historiographical models. In this book, however, Kathryn Stevens advances a 'Hellenistic intellectual history' which is cross-cultural in scope and goes beyond borrowing and influence. Drawing on a wide range of Greek and Akkadian sources, she argues that intellectual life in the Greek world and Babylonia can be linked not just through occasional contact and influence, but also by deeper parallels in intellectual culture that reflect their integration into the same overarching imperial system. Tracing such parallels yields intellectual history which is diverse, multipolar and, therefore, truly 'Hellenistic'.