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14530SV: SV: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy

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  • Thomas L. Thompson
    Oct 19, 2012
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      Dear Professor Nardeli,
      I do not disagree at all with your academic judgment. Perhaps an expression like 'dismissive', but 'nihilist' demonizes and 'refuse to believe' questions their
      integrity rather than their conclusions. Just such personal attacks in regard to disagreements about
      the historicity of ancient figures of narrative once threatened to destroy the liist as such. Perhaps we should
      submit our disagreement to the moderators for a judgment on whether such rhetorical
      strategies are permissable.

      Sincerely,
      Thomas

      Thomas L. Thompson
      Professor emeritus, University of Copenhagen


      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 frühe Ilion/ went so
      far as to suppress the crucial O. Höckmann, 'Zu früher 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
      Université de Provence


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