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14545Re: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy

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  • Thomas Verenna
    Oct 22, 2012
      This is quite profound. The question is not whether we can trace the Iliad
      back to the historical kernel. That, I believe, starts with a
      presupposition (i.e., that we have knowledge of such a kernel--which we do
      not, by the way, have; we may never have it). Instead you have to go where
      the evidence goes. I do not believe we can say, for example, that the
      flood story of Deucalion and Pyrrha is rooted in history. Like the other
      flood narratives we see, they carry with them an edifying narrative that
      was most likely more important to the ancient cultures who took from them
      and fabricated from them whole new narratives that reflected their own
      cultural situations. It is unlikely, for example, that the flood of Noah
      is history (it doesn't flood in Palestine) but it is equally unlikely that
      such a story would have any use to a culture of that region for the same
      reason we might say it didn't originate there. So there are other reasons
      why such a story is useful, and the flood is just an example of such a
      reason (in this case, god's divine judgement upon his creation, granting a
      second chance to his chosen people--those who follow the straight path,
      i.e., the Israelites according to the Biblical narratives). I believe the
      same is true of the Iliad. With literature, where certain tropes and
      motifs come from may have been from a mixture of ancient events--some from
      as far away as Mesopotamia and others more locally rooted. One may find
      some day that the origins of the Trojan war best reflect the real
      historical wars that took place locally between competing poleis rather
      than something that happened across the Aegean. But that is the crux of it
      all, isn't it? And that is why I remain skeptical about the claims made
      about this settlement in Hisarlik.


      Thomas Verenna
      Rutgers, New Brunswick

      On Mon, Oct 22, 2012 at 3:08 PM, Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...
      > wrote:

      > **
      > One of the (usually) unspoken problems with classical text like the Iliad
      > is the lack of any versions at all near the time it was supposedly composed
      > or written down or edited or� In other words using a text whose oldest copy
      > is centuries & centuries after the time it purportedly describes to date an
      > archaeological site that is even older is very, very difficult, to say the
      > least.
      > In the ANE we can trace a fair amount of how the Gilgamesh stories went
      > from the historical kernel of a king/strongman/local hero of Uruk to an
      > epic of man�s search for immortality to Star Trek. It would be a bit na�ve
      > to assume that this natural creative mutability did not apply to the
      > stories focused around the city states during the turbulent times at the
      > turn of the millennium (broadly considered).
      > Trudy S. Kawami
      > From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
      > Michael Banyai
      > Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 9:07 AM
      > To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: AW: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy (with address)
      > Dear Verenna,
      > we cannot be sure about anything concerning the bigger sites in the ANE.
      > At least not if we take an excavation of 1/5 as insufficient to make a
      > statement pertaining to the dimension of a site despite surveys completing
      > the archaeological data.
      > 1/5 of a site excavated could look as relatively little but is huge when
      > compared to the percentage of excavated areal at other big sites. The least
      > sites of comparable dimensions or even bigger have been excavated to 20%.
      > This is very much in reality. Besides, we must differentiate also
      > concerning the depth to which areals are inspected archaeologically.
      > Concerning whether this was Homers Troy � this is the wrong question. It
      > is for sure Homers Troy, if you mean the site wearing the name Troy in the
      > 8th century as Homer composed his epos. Going a bit farther with your
      > question� whether the site by the name Troy in the 8th century had the same
      > name in the 13th century � this is a little more difficult to specify.
      > I would personally answer this question affirmatively, but not on grounds
      > of the research done already on the subject, but instead on grounds of
      > research that will be published in the near future. I�m into that subject
      > and this must be regarded just as a private view till going to press. It is
      > huge work to be done with the Hittite archives of the period � many
      > documents relevant to the Ahhijawa dossier are still misunderstood and
      > misdated.
      > Best regards,
      > Michael Banyai
      > Oberursel
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


      Thomas S. Verenna

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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