Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2005.06.22
ALSO SEEN: Brian Feuer, Mycenaean Civilization: An Annotated Bibliography through 2002. Revised edition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2004. Pp. 352. ISBN 0-7864-1748-X. $75.00.
Reviewed by Michael Broyles, Macomb College (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Mycenaean Civilization revised edition: An Annotated Bibliography through 2002 (hereafter known as MC), is a reference work designed to assist both the specialist and generalist with this seminal era of western development. MC contains annotated references for an exhaustive 2,046 books, articles, web resources and site reports. The 1991 original version, which was an impressive tome in its own right, has been updated with more than 500 new entries that reached publication between the original version and 2002. References represent research in many languages although English is the author's admitted focal language. The work is divided into seven basic sections including an Introduction and six numbered subject headings. These subject headings in numerical order are: Mycenaean Civilization: General Works, Cultural History and Society, Material Culture, Intellectual Life, New Directions, Regional Syntheses and Site Reports. Each subject heading further subdivides into specific related topics. Overall, because of its breadth and ease of use MC is a critical book for any scholar, or any institution, involved in the study of Mycenaean civilization as either a general, or specific topic. Additionally, it offers cross cultural connections regarding Mycenaean contact with other cultures such as Egyptians and Mesopotamians.
Through both the inclusive nature of coverage and insightful commentary offered, this annotated bibliography provides a comprehensive connection to the work in the Mycenaean era. For a student working on a class report, MC offers a quick and simple list of references to begin their study along topical lines. For the researcher writing a current work involving the Mycenaean world, this publication offers a catalogue of what is going on around the world in the field. More importantly for the expert, MC offers contact and content information for all major holdings of Mycenaean artifacts, along with more than 50 internet links to courses, web sites, research and discussion groups.
There were no discernable factual errors in MC, not surprising since factual content is minimal outside of the introduction. The only questionable section of the introduction involves the origin of Mycenaean culture. Regarding its origination, the author states "Although Minoan and Cycladic influence was considerable in many areas such as administration, architecture, art, and religion, the essential character of Mycenaean civilization was formed on the Greek mainland" (p. 10). Since their government, material culture, and most basic element of culture itself were all copied from elsewhere, the author needs to explain and support this claim more fully. However, this is a small issue because the publication is intended as a reference work and not thesis driven.
This book is an impressive work of critical value to anyone who studies Mycenaean civilization. It serves all levels in the study of Mycenaean history from the introductory level student, to the advanced researcher in the field itself.