The Graven Image. Representation in Babylon and Assyria

Bahrani, Zainab: The Graven Image. Representation in Babylon and Assyria. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press 2003. 242 pp. ISBN 9780812236484

Mesopotamia, the world's earliest literate culture, developed a rich philosophical conception of representation in which the world was saturated with signs. Instead of imitating the natural world, representation—both in writing and in visual images—was thought to participate in the world and to have an effect upon it in natural, magical, and supernatural ways. The Graven Image is the first book to explore this tradition, which developed prior to, and apart from, the Greek understanding of representation.

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