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

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  • Thomas Verenna
    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
    Message 1 of 19 , 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]
      >
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Yahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >
      >


      --
      Cordially,

      Thomas S. Verenna


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
      Dear T. Verenna, the difference you point out would impress me more had Hertel not conveniently deleted important contributions that weaken his own case : this
      Message 2 of 19 , Oct 18, 2012
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        Dear T. Verenna,

        the difference you point out would impress me more had Hertel not
        conveniently deleted important contributions that weaken his own case :
        this is what I call 'partisan scholarship'. Nothing more, nothing less.
        As for the remainder of your message, I am basically in agreement with
        its arguments, though you appear to be somewhat more strident than a
        layman who cites only derivative scholarship has any right to be and
        though the way you phrase things smacks of old-style skepticism à la
        Finley, a man who was ridiculed by philologists in Germany for his shaky
        grasp of the Homeric tradition and one who denied that the /Odyssey/ had
        anything to tell us about the Mediterranean : suffice it to mention here
        Carol Dougherty (/The Raft of Odysseus/ [Oxford, 2001], pp. 12-13,
        95-101) or M. Gras, P. Rouillard and J. Teixidor (/L'univers phénicien/
        [Paris, 1989], pp. 106-107) as to the contrary, viz. for the view that
        the poem takes us back to the late 8th century and the competition
        between Greek colonists and Phoenician merchants/pirats.

        Sorry if it hurts.

        J.-F. Nardelli,
        Université de Provence



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Richard Seager
        I tend to agree Thomas, the idea that ancient Hisarlik was able to withstand the combined efforts of the Mycenaeans and their friends for ten years is hard to
        Message 3 of 19 , Oct 18, 2012
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          I tend to agree Thomas, the idea that ancient Hisarlik was able to withstand the combined efforts of the Mycenaeans and their friends for ten years is hard to believe.

          Richard Seager
          Australia

          On 18/10/2012, at 11:35 PM, Thomas Verenna <tsverenna@...> wrote:

          > 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]
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >> ------------------------------------
          >>
          >> Yahoo! Groups Links
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >>
          >
          >
          > --
          > Cordially,
          >
          > Thomas S. Verenna
          >
          >
          > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          >
          >
          >
          > ------------------------------------
          >
          > Yahoo! Groups Links
          >
          >
          >



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Thomas L. Thompson
          Dear Professor Nardeli, I do not disagree at all with your academic judgment. Perhaps an expression like dismissive , but nihilist demonizes and refuse to
          Message 4 of 19 , 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


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



            ------------------------------------

            Yahoo! Groups Links
          • Thomas Verenna
            Good morning, Thanks for your note. There is no need to get defensive, I am again just asking questions to get a better understanding of how one draws
            Message 5 of 19 , Oct 22, 2012
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              Good morning,

              Thanks for your note. There is no need to get defensive, I am again just
              asking questions to get a better understanding of how one draws historical
              conclusions from cultural memory. It makes little sense to me to claim
              that someone has ignored or neglected evidence when only 1/5 of a site has
              been excavated. I am not giving anyone a free pass here--if Hertel has
              purposefully left out evidence of something, then by all means provide us
              evidence of such a misstep. So far I have seen you make a lot of personal
              claims about motive, but I haven't seen it demonstrated--which concerns me
              greatly (even though I am only an amateur, so I imagine this may concern
              the more learned amongst us even more than it bothers me).

              Thanks for responding.

              Thomas Verenna
              Rutgers, New Brunswick


              On Thu, Oct 18, 2012 at 9:07 AM, Jean-Fabrice Nardelli <
              jnardellis36@...> wrote:

              > **
              >
              >
              > Dear T. Verenna,
              >
              > the difference you point out would impress me more had Hertel not
              > conveniently deleted important contributions that weaken his own case :
              > this is what I call 'partisan scholarship'. Nothing more, nothing less.
              > As for the remainder of your message, I am basically in agreement with
              > its arguments, though you appear to be somewhat more strident than a
              > layman who cites only derivative scholarship has any right to be and
              > though the way you phrase things smacks of old-style skepticism � la
              > Finley, a man who was ridiculed by philologists in Germany for his shaky
              > grasp of the Homeric tradition and one who denied that the /Odyssey/ had
              > anything to tell us about the Mediterranean : suffice it to mention here
              > Carol Dougherty (/The Raft of Odysseus/ [Oxford, 2001], pp. 12-13,
              > 95-101) or M. Gras, P. Rouillard and J. Teixidor (/L'univers ph�nicien/
              > [Paris, 1989], pp. 106-107) as to the contrary, viz. for the view that
              > the poem takes us back to the late 8th century and the competition
              > between Greek colonists and Phoenician merchants/pirats.
              >
              > Sorry if it hurts.
              >
              > J.-F. Nardelli,
              >
              > Universit� de Provence
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              >



              --
              Cordially,

              Thomas S. Verenna


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Trudy Kawami
              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
              Message 6 of 19 , Oct 22, 2012
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                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 naïve 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]
              • Michael Banyai
                Sorry Trudy, there are problems also with primary sources even if they are not outspoken. It is generally a bit naïve to disengage from solving problems
                Message 7 of 19 , Oct 22, 2012
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                  Sorry Trudy,



                  there are problems also with primary sources even if they are not outspoken.



                  It is generally a bit naïve to disengage from solving problems because they exist. Most of us are working simply because problems exist.



                  Michael Banyai

                  Oberursel



                  Von: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] Im Auftrag von Trudy Kawami
                  Gesendet: Montag, 22. Oktober 2012 21:08
                  An: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                  Betreff: RE: [ANE-2] On the Historicity of Troy





                  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 naïve 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%40yahoogroups.com> [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.com> ] On Behalf Of Michael Banyai
                  Sent: Monday, October 22, 2012 9:07 AM
                  To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com <mailto:ANE-2%40yahoogroups.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]





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Thomas Verenna
                  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
                  Message 8 of 19 , Oct 22, 2012
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                    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.

                    Thanks,

                    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]
                    >
                    >
                    >



                    --
                    Cordially,

                    Thomas S. Verenna


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
                    Trudy, what about the process of textual canonization of the main lines of the /Iliad/ (both at the microcultural and macrostructural levels : number and
                    Message 9 of 19 , Oct 22, 2012
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Trudy,

                      what about the process of textual canonization of the main lines of
                      the /Iliad/ (both at the microcultural and macrostructural levels :
                      number and succession of the episodes as well as conventions of
                      storytelling, adherence to one main plot and shaping of the characters
                      as well of the finer points of epic diction and dialect) that begun at a
                      time preceding our earliest Iliadic testimonies ? The number of the
                      lines may have varied somewhat with a few accretions before the time of
                      the Alexandrine editors, but no wholesale books of the Iliad ever crept
                      in nor were there ever transpositions of episodes or entire books,
                      unlike what happens in the textual tradition of the Mahâbhârata (even if
                      you take into account the Doloneia). See M. W. Haslam, in a synthesis
                      which remains the best survey of the Textüberlieferung to date ('Homeric
                      Papyri and the Transmission of the Text', in I. Morris and B. Powell
                      (edd.), A New Companion to Homer [Leiden, New York & Cologne, 1997], pp.
                      55-100) at 79-84 ; such 'crystallization', or 'linguistic arrest',
                      cannot be put later than 560 B.C. when the Athenians used Iliad 2.
                      257-258 as evidence against the Megarians, see A. C. Cassio, 'Early
                      Editions of the Greek Epics and Homeric Textual Criticism in the Sixth
                      and FIfth Centuries BC', in F. Montanari and P. Ascheri (edd.), Omero
                      tremila anni dopo. Atti del Congresso di Genova, 6-8 luglio 2000 (Rome,
                      2002), pp. 105-136 at 114-119, and is likely to be considerably older,
                      especially if one puts credance in the demonstrations that the Iliad and
                      Odyssy are orally-derived compositions (L. E. Rossi, 'I poemi omerici
                      como testimonianza di poesia orale', in R. Bianchi Bandinelli (ed.),
                      Storia e Civiltà dei Greci, I. 1 [Milano, 1978], pp. 73-147 ; R. Janko,
                      'The Homeric Poems as Oral Dictated Texts', Classical Quarterly 48,
                      1998, pp. 1-13 ; etc). As for "using a text whose oldest copy is
                      centuries & centuries after the time it purportedly describe", may I
                      remind the list that while the oldest complete copies of the Iliad are
                      two mid-tenth century AD manuscripts, the Laurentianus D and the Venetus
                      A, some seventeen or eighteen centuries later than Homer, we own over
                      1500 papyri of the poem, the oldest of which approach the third century
                      BC ? I trust that Bible scholars would be happy to have even a tiny
                      fraction of such harvest instead of relying on the Septuagint, the
                      Targumim, etc, to supply the Leningrad codex. See further my papers
                      'Editer l'Iliade" : "I La transmission et ses débats : Perspectives
                      critiques", /Gaia. Revue interdisciplinaire sur la Grèce archaïque /5,
                      2001, pp.41-118 ; 'II Manuscrits et affiliations manuscrites dans
                      l'Iliade XIII-XV', ibid. 6, 2002, pp. 47-144 (stemma p. 130).

                      J.-F. Nardelli
                      Université de Provence



                      Le 22/10/2012 21:08, Trudy Kawami a écrit :
                      >
                      > 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 naïve 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
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Graham Hagens
                          ....what about the process of textual canonization ....succession of the episodes as well as conventions of storytelling, adherence to one main plot and
                      Message 10 of 19 , Oct 24, 2012
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                        "....what about the process of textual canonization ....succession of the episodes as well as conventions of
                        storytelling, adherence to one main plot and shaping of the characters
                        as well of the finer points of epic diction and dialect  that begun at a
                        time preceding our earliest Iliadic testimonies ? The number of the
                        lines may have varied somewhat with a few accretions before the time of
                        the Alexandrine editors, but no wholesale books of the Iliad ever crept
                        in nor were there ever transpositions of episodes or entire books,
                        unlike what happens in the textual tradition of the Mahâbhârata ...... 'crystallization', or 'linguistic arrest',
                        cannot be put later than 560 B.C. when the Athenians used Iliad 2.
                        257-258 as evidence against the Megarians,....and is likely to be considerably older,
                        especially if one puts credance in the demonstrations that the Iliad and
                        Odyssy are orally-derived compositions ....As for "using a text whose oldest copy is
                        centuries & centuries after the time it purportedly describe", .... own over
                        1500 papyri of the poem, the oldest of which approach the third century"

                        While this reply is interesting, surely it does no more than reduce Trudy's "centuries & centuries" to just "centuries" 
                        A   ~560 BC testimony of   utilization of  text from the Iliad, says nothing about the state of textual canonisation at that time
                        Snodgrass (Archaic Greece 1980: 72) wrote of the "great web of unsystematic oral mythology which existed throughout Greek history without being enshrined in verse form," and of the evidence that mythical scenes during the Archaic period  departed from the ‘official version’ of  the epic.   Also (Dark Age Greece  2001: 429, 431), with respect to diffusion of epic and the Homeric poems.  "in Ionia it is certain that an unbroken tradition ran from the time of the Ionian migration down to Homer" and that "before the Homeric poems can have been diffused we should infer that there was first an era of general interest and pride in the heroic age"  
                         
                         
                        > 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 naïve 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
                        >

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


                         Isn't  this ~half millennium of undocumented activity more to Trudy's point?
                         
                        Graham Hagens
                        Hamilton, ON
                         In response to Trudy Kawami, Jean-Fabrice Nardelli wrote October 22, 2012 6:11 PM:


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                      • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
                        Graham, you do not understand what the Athenian use of these two Iliadic lines from the Catalogue of the Ships (sorry for the wrong reference ; my only excuse
                        Message 11 of 19 , Oct 24, 2012
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                          Graham,

                          you do not understand what the Athenian use of these two Iliadic
                          lines from the Catalogue of the Ships (sorry for the wrong reference ;
                          my only excuse was the very late hour in Frence) demonstrates as to the
                          textual canonization of the poem. Aristotle, Rhetoric, I, 1375 b 28-30
                          (p. 69 Kassel [1976]) tells us that "by ancient witnesses I mean the
                          poets and all famous figures whose decisions [KRISEIS] are notorious,
                          like the Athenians who invoked Homer as witness with respect to Salamis"
                          in 560 BC, which is confirmed by Plutarch (Life of Solon, 10) and
                          Diogenes Laertius (I, 48), both of whom declare that the Attic
                          leader-poet Solon cited Iliad 2. 557 with verse 558 of his own invention
                          to bolster the claims of Athens on the great island against the rival
                          ones of the Megarians. Though that story has been shown to lack
                          credibility, the spuriousness of 558 was unquestioned in later times and
                          is nearly universally admitted by modern scholars (contra, R. Hope
                          Simpson and J. F. Lazenby, The Catalogue of Ships in Homer's Iliad
                          [Oxford, 1970], pp. 59-61, see E. Visser, Homers Katalog der Schiffe
                          [Stuttgart & Leipzig, 1997], pp. 449-452, who concludes that "fasst man
                          alle Gesichtpunkte zusammen, so spricht doch mehr dafür, in B 558 einen
                          Vers zu sehen, der nicht vom Iliasdichter stammt" ; the same Visser
                          wrote the commentary on the Catalogue in Latacz's Basler
                          Gesamtkommentar, vol. II [Munich & Leipzig, 2003], here at pp. 179-180,
                          which replaces the badly defective G. S. Kirk, The Iliad. A Commentary,
                          I [Cambridge, 1985], pp. 208-209). The line was omitted by Aristarchus
                          in his epoch-making editions, in all probability because he only found
                          it in a few of his chosen manuscripts (a point demonstrated beyond
                          reasonable doubt by M. J. Apthorp, The Manuscript Evidence for
                          Interpolation in Homer [Heidelberg, 1980], pp. 165-177 [text], 188-194
                          [notes]), and it re-entered the textual tradition later on an unsecure
                          footing (as it is omitted by six papyri and roughly one half of the
                          best-known mediaeval manuscripts ; an instructive tale is told by the
                          comparison of the apparatuses of G. M. Bolling's Ilias Atheniensium
                          [Lancaster, 1950] , p. 39, and West's Teubner eddition, I [1998], p.
                          71). The problem is highly complex and cannot be sketched in a few
                          sentences - see Apthorp for a complete, if heavy-going, unravelling of
                          it -, but, unless the interpolation was well-known by Solon's time, viz.
                          textually fixed orally and in some exemplars of the poem, it is
                          inconveivable that the Athenians could ever have invoked it and the
                          judges of the quarrel with the Megarians accepted it. Homeric scholars
                          were thus lead to posit an updating of the geographic-mythical map of
                          heroic Greece as preserved by the Catalogue and some interpolations in
                          Hesiod with a view to the interests of Athens and other regional powers
                          of the middle of the 6th century (M. Finkelberg, 'Ajax's Entry in the
                          Hesiodic Catalogue of Women', Classical Quarterly 38, 1988, pp. 31-41 at
                          35-38) - if this is not an airtight sign of canonized textualization,
                          then what can it be ?

                          I can only hope that, tonight, I suceeded in making my point
                          crystal-clear.
                          Yours,
                          J.-F. Nardelli
                          Université de Provence
                        • Jean-Fabrice Nardelli
                          As my last words on the topic, unless the debate bounces back with new arguments going beyond mere generalities, I would like to commend the view that the text
                          Message 12 of 19 , Oct 25, 2012
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                            As my last words on the topic, unless the debate bounces back with new
                            arguments going beyond mere generalities, I would like to commend the
                            view that the text of the Homeric epics was submitted to a gradual
                            process of textualization from the archaic period until the the middle
                            of the sixth century, not my own creed, for I am rather convinced that
                            we have in all essentials a ca. 750 BC Iliad, not the poem of some
                            anonymous sixth century oral singers / arrangers (reasons in S. T.
                            Teodorsson, 'Eastern Literacy, Greek Alphabet, and Homer', Mnemosyne
                            LIX, 2006, pp. 161-187, and my Motif de la paire d'amis héroïque à
                            prolongements homophiles. Perspectives odysséennes et proches-orientales
                            [Amsterdam, 2004], pp. 170-180), yet a model that I find impossible to
                            confine to silence (an interesting account of that progressive
                            textualization can be found in L. E. Rossi, 'Dividing Homer. When and
                            How Were the Iliad and the Odyssey Divided into Songs ? (Continued)',
                            Symbolae Osloenses 76, 2001, pp. 103-112). Of course, the implications
                            of the oral-traditional mechanisms on the textual criticism of the poem
                            are far from assessed, witness, e.g., N. Kelly, A Referential Commentary
                            and Lexicon to Homer, Iliad VIII (Oxford, 2007), pp. 378-384, who "is
                            concerned to find out whether the feature under discussion is the kind
                            of thing a traditionally trained poet would have produced" (p. 385),
                            beyond the conspicuous fact that "von Anfang an hatten die Rhapsoden
                            zweifellos dazu tendiert, den Text euphonischer und geschmeidiger zu
                            machen, indem sie logisch überflüssige Partikeln zufügten, um Hiat oder
                            andere metrische Anomalien auszuschalten (die häufig als Ergebnis des
                            Digamma-Verlusts entstanden waren), und indem sie ungewöhnliche
                            archaische Formen durch modernere ersetzten. Das war ohne Zweifel ein
                            Grundzug der mündlichen Tradition schon lange bevor die Ilias geschaffen
                            wurde" (West, in the Basler Gesamtkommentar, Prolegomena [Munich &
                            Leipzig, 2003 ; 3rd ed., Berlin & New York, 2009], p. 31). The genious
                            of the poet should not be downgraded or lost sight of in the
                            appreciation of this process, if only because Homer may very well have
                            brought out crucial modifications to the meter and dialect he inherited
                            (N. Berg and D. Haug, 'Dividing Homer (continued). Innovation vs.
                            Tradition in Homer - An Overlooked Piece of Evidence', Symbolae
                            Osloenses 75, 2000, pp. 5-23, cf. p. 21 : "it is hard to see how a
                            metrical change like the introduction of the equivalence between one
                            long and two short syllables in thesi can have evolved gradually. For
                            reasons shown above, these changes cannot have happened during the
                            Aeolic phase and we see no way that they can be connected with an Ionian
                            tradition which is but poorly supported by facts and contradicted by
                            analyses of the epic diction like that of Hoekstra. That is why we would
                            like to ascribe them to the monumental composer himself, or in Latacz’s
                            words 1989, 26) : the “Begründer der abendländischen Textualität”) ; now
                            the very existence of an Aeolic slice of the Greek dialectal continuum
                            has been demolished by H. N. Parker, 'The Linguistic Case for the
                            Aiolian Migration Reconsidered', Hesperia 77, 2008, pp. 431-464 at
                            443-459, cf. 460 "the idea of an Aiolic dialect group itself falls
                            apart. Boiotian is an archaic dialect, most closely related to West
                            Greek, which underwent the First Compensatory Lengthening but retained
                            *r° (with later independent change of *r° > ρο) and the labiovelars
                            (with the default change to labials), and which underwent various later
                            minor changes of its own. Lesbian and Thessalian are both archaic
                            branches of Greek that did not undergo the First Compensatory
                            Lengthening. They share no demonstrable common innovations, and nothing
                            argues for a relationship between them. They are best viewed as two
                            relic areas of a relatively unaltered early Greek" (I shall only declare
                            here that I, like most Homerists with enough philological and linguistic
                            expertise, remain unconvinced ; it has been trendy, for the past five
                            decades, to minimize, or even rule out, the impact of Aeolic on both
                            Homer and the dialectal map of Greece, with disastrous consequences ;
                            cf. rather Finkelberg, 'The Dialect Continuum of Ancient Greek', Harvard
                            Studies in Classical Philology 96, 1994,, pp. 1-36). Nor should the
                            relevant technicalities in Homeric textual poetics and narratology, of
                            which list members hardly suspect the level of intricacy and
                            sophistication - sometimes oppressive, if not counterproductive : see
                            further my Aristarchus Antibarbarus, pp. LXI-LXII note ************ - be
                            ignored by all those who invoke Homer or the Iliad around Troy, lest
                            what they say be heavily naive ; see C. Tsagalis, 'Towards an Oral,
                            Intertextual Neoanalysis', Trends in Classics 3, 2011, pp. 209-244 at
                            211-228, paper of which I must remark : es ist auf einem
                            Spekulationsgebäude erbaut, ein neues schönes Beispiel dafür, wie
                            produktiv unsere Irrtümer und fixen Ideen sein können.

                            J.-F. Nardelli
                            Université de Provence
                            > _,_._,___




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