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Receptions of the Ancient Near East in Popular Culture and Beyond

Edited by Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Lorenzo Verderame


This book is an enthusiastic celebration of the ways in which popular culture has consumed aspects of the ancient Near East to construct new realities. The editors have brought together an impressive line-up of scholars—archaeologists, philologists, historians, and art historians—to reflect on how objects, ideas, and interpretations of the ancient Near East have been remembered, constructed, reimagined, mythologized, or indeed forgotten within our shared cultural memories. The exploration of cultural memories has revealed how they inform the values, structures, and daily life of societies over time. This is therefore not a collection of essays about the deep past but rather about the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. 



"Em suma, estamos perante um volume muito bem conseguido, que lança uma nova luz sobre os estudos da recepção do Próximo Oriente antigo, apresentando importantes estudos de caso de áreas tão diversas quanto a música, a literatura, a arte, ou o cinema.… Receptions of the Ancient Near East in Popular Culture and Beyond continua assim, na senda de Frederick N.Bohrer e Shawn Malley, o imprescindível estudo das percepções, transmissões e apro- priações do Oriente antigo, alargando o escopo a outras áreas que não meramente a imprensa e a arte."—Maria de Fátima Rosa Centro de História, Faculdade de Letras, Universidade de Lisboa, in CADMO 30 (2021): 271–273

Receptions of the Ancient Near East in Popular Culture and Beyond

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    332 pages

    6 x 9 inches

    978-1-948488-24-2 (paperback)

    978-1-948488-25-9 (PDF)

    March 2020

  • Table of Contents

 Paul Collins

    Preliminary Considerations
 Agnès Garcia-Ventura and Lorenzo Verderame


    Visual Arts


    Mesopotamia in Miró. Miró in Mesopotamia Pedro Azara and Marc Marín

    Case Studies in the Popular Reception of the Tell Asmar Sculpture Hoard Jean M. Evans

    Images of Ruins as Metaphorical Places of Transformation: The Case of Persepolis Silvana Di Paolo


    Performing Arts


Artaserse: An Ancient Oriental Ruler on Modern Opera Stages? Kerstin Dross-Krüpe

    When Imitation Became Reality: The Historical Pantomime Sardanapal (1908) at the Royal Opera of Berlin Valeska Hartmann

Ye Go to Thy Abzu: How Norwegian Black Metal Used Mesopotamian References, Where It Took Them from, and How It Usually Got Them
Wrong Daniele Federico Rosa


    Film and Television


“Babylon’s Last Bacchanal”: Mesopotamia and the Near East in Epic Biblical Cinema Kevin McGeough

He Who Saw the Stars: Retelling Gilgamesh in Star Trek: The Next Generation Eva Miller

Evil from an Ancient Past and the Archaeology of the Beyond: An Analysis of the Movies The Exorcist (1973) and The Evil Dead (1981) Lorenzo Verderame


    Novels and Comics


    The Ancient Near East in Czech Comics and Popular Culture: The Case of Jáchym and the Printer’s Devil Jana Mynářová and Pavel Kořínek

Gilgamesh, The (Super)Hero Luigi Turri

Mystery Literature and Assyriology Francesco Pomponio

Ancient Aliens, Modern Cosmologies: Zecharia Sitchin and the Transformation of Mesopotamian Myth Ryan Winters


    Archaeologist in the Middle


    The (In)visibility of Archaeology Davide Nadali

Imagining the Tower of Babel in the Twenty-First Century: Is a New Interpretation of the Ziggurat of Babylon Possible? Juan-Luis Montero Fenollós

Athletic Disciplines in the Ancient Near East: Representation and Reconstruction Silvia Festuccia

    Afterword. Memory and Memories: From the Ancient Near East to the Modern West Frances Pinnock



    Subject Index

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