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14528Re: SV: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy

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  • Thomas Verenna
    Oct 18, 2012
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      There is a distinct difference between 'refusing to believe' and 'just not
      convinced.' It is important to make such a distinction, though trying to
      prove your claim that Kolb, Hertel, and Kullmann are just flat-out
      denialists seems to me to be a difficult task to accomplish. Frankly, I am
      not convinced by the arguments for Troy either. I find them extremely
      maximalistic, rather conservative interpretations. For example, the fact
      that Troy VIIa has larger walls than its later settlements does not ipso
      facto mean that there was an external threat they were guarding against
      (such a concept is concocted with Homer in mind) and the fact that
      Mycenaean pottery becames scant towards later layers does not therefore
      mean that the external threat was Mycenaean. But these are the typical
      arguments <http://www.dartmouth.edu/%7Eprehistory/aegean/?page_id=630> I've
      read from those who suggest that there exists evidence for a historical
      Troy here. Also, around Troy IIb you see a decline in the Mycenaean
      civilization which probably accounts for some of that pottery vanishing
      from trade to the settlement. And earthquake/fire seems rather consistent
      with the destruction of VIIa and the resettlement makes a lot more sense
      from such a perspective (like with Pompeii, where an earthquake devastated
      the city, but was rebuilt and reinhabited continuously--a fact that is
      quite perplexing in my mind).

      So while I can understand your disliking their positions, I cannot
      understand the total dismissal of their opinions as 'nihilistic'. They
      aren't convinced; neither am I. Of course, I could be convinced, but so
      far I haven't seen any sound grounding for it. When Korfmann released his
      model of Troy years ago, and Kolb called him out on its exaggerations,
      Korfmann reduced the size of his model. That smells funny, if you ask me.
      It suggests, in my mind, that he was exaggerating the state of the evidence
      for his own agendas and when he was (rightly) called out on it, all of a
      sudden Kolb becomes the 'nihilist' and Korfmann the 'sensible scholar'. I
      just don't buy it. Sorry. This whole thing just reads 'red-flag'.

      Thanks,

      Thomas Verenna
      Rutgers, New Brunswick

      On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 7:12 AM, Jean-Fabrice Nardelli <
      jnardellis36@...> wrote:

      > Dear Thomas,
      >
      > though obviously a strong word, probably too much so, I have used
      > 'nihilist' in print before, since, in my mind, Kolb, Hertel, Kullmann
      > and so forth refuse to believe _anything_ with respect to the Troyan
      > question, whether linguistic equations, geopolitical context, or
      > archaeological probabilities. To give a not inconsequential example,
      > Hertel persists in disallowing the relatively sturdy evidence for LBA
      > trade between the Black Sea and the Agean ; /Das fr�he Ilion/ went so
      > far as to suppress the crucial O. H�ckmann, 'Zu fr�her Seefahrt in den
      > Meerengen', Studia Troica 13, 2003, pp. 133-160, so that he could
      > maintain that Troy VII(a) = VIi was not the important, international
      > emporion hypothetized by Korfmann, Latacz, Easton-Hawkins-Sherratt. Is
      > this reasonable science or partisan scholarship ? Hertel also used to
      > speculate that the unimpressive amount of arrowheads found to date
      > disproves the claim that this level of Troy was ever taken over through
      > enemy action but merely destroyed by fire, a position that found no
      > followers and which he tacitly renounced in his later book. In such
      > instances I like to quote the great Aristotle scholar Ingram Bywater : �
      > negative criticism has its limits by transgressing which it degenerates
      > into a senseless and unprofitable exercise in logic � (�On a Lost
      > Dialogue of Aristotle�, Journal of Philology 2, 1869, p. 68).
      >
      > J.-F. Nardelli
      > Universit� de Provence
      >
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
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      >


      --
      Cordially,

      Thomas S. Verenna


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