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Richard Steiner and the London Medical Papyrus

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  • MiguelValério
    Dear all, Since Richard Steiner and Semitic texts in Egyptian contexts are the topic of the hour, I would like to recall his Northwest Semitic Incantations in
    Message 1 of 18 , Jan 25, 2007
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      Dear all,

      Since Richard Steiner and Semitic texts in Egyptian contexts are the topic
      of the hour, I would like to recall his "Northwest Semitic Incantations in
      an Egyptian Medical Papyrus of the Fourteenth Century B. C. E." Journal of
      Near Eastern Studies, vol. 51, 3, (1992) pp. 191-200, in which this
      scholar analyzes and interprets several healing spells in the London
      Medical Papyrus, including spell no. 33, which other scholars have dubbed
      “Keftiu” (cf. Haider, Peter, 2001. "Minoan Deities in an Egyptian Medical
      Text," in Robert Laffineur and Robin Hägg [eds.], Aegaeum 22 - POTNIA:
      Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age, 479-482. Liège/Austin; and
      Kyriakidis, Evangelos, 1999. "Indications on the Nature of the Language of
      the Keftiw from Egyptian Sources." Ägypten und Levante XII, 211-219).

      Best regards,


      Miguel F. G. Valério
      Undergraduate student of Archaeology

      Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
      Universidade Nova de Lisboa
      Dept. História




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    • Andrew Fincke
      Thanks, Miguel. Sounds like Steiner s got his own agenda that no-one understands. I wondered how three birds are all of a sudden Spittle! Spittle! in
      Message 2 of 18 , Jan 25, 2007
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        Thanks, Miguel. Sounds like Steiner's got his own agenda that no-one understands. I wondered how three birds are all of a sudden "Spittle! Spittle!" in Hebrew (Canaanite)!?
        Andrew Fincke
        Miguel Val�rio <mfg_valerio@...> wrote:

        Dear all,
        Since Richard Steiner and Semitic texts in Egyptian contexts are the topic of the hour, I would like to recall his "Northwest Semitic Incantations in an Egyptian Medical Papyrus of the Fourteenth Century B. C. E." Journal of Near Eastern Studies, vol. 51, 3, (1992) pp. 191-200, in which this scholar analyzes and interprets several healing spells in the London Medical Papyrus, including spell no. 33, which other scholars have dubbed �Keftiu� (cf. Haider, Peter, 2001. "Minoan Deities in an Egyptian Medical Text," in Robert Laffineur and Robin H�gg [eds.], Aegaeum 22 - POTNIA: Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age, 479-482. Li�ge/Austin; and Kyriakidis, Evangelos, 1999. "Indications on the Nature of the Language of the Keftiw from Egyptian Sources." �gypten und Levante XII, 211-219).

        Best regards,

        Miguel F. G. Val�rio
        Undergraduate student of Archaeology

        Faculdade de Ci�ncias Sociais e Humanas
        Universidade Nova de Lisboa
        Dept. Hist�ria
      • MiguelValério
        Dear Andrew, I do not know details about his latest work, and it is not up to me to question his motives. But I do think his analysis of spell no. 33 in the
        Message 3 of 18 , Jan 27, 2007
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          Dear Andrew,

          I do not know details about his latest work, and it is not up to me to
          question his motives. But I do think his analysis of spell no. 33 in the
          LMP as Canaanite is correct. And, in fact, unlike spell. no 32, this one
          has not an introduction explicitly saying "Spell (...) in the Keftiu
          language". For the rest – which concerns linguistic interpretation and
          knowledge of Semitic languages I do not possess - I recommend people read
          the article itself.

          Best regards,

          Miguel Valério




          Miguel F. G. Valério
          Undergraduate student of Archaeology

          Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas
          Universidade Nova de Lisboa
          Dept. História



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        • Yigal Bloch
          Dear Andrew, Since when are attempts at decipherment of xenographic texts (i.e., texts using the writing system of language A to write language B) one s own
          Message 4 of 18 , Jan 27, 2007
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            Dear Andrew,

            Since when are attempts at decipherment of xenographic texts (i.e., texts
            using the writing system of language A to write language B) one's "own
            agenda that no-one understands"? I mean, Steiner has provided arguments in
            support of his decipherments in all his publications; one is free to agree
            or disagree (e.g., there was disagreement on the reading of some words in
            the demotic Pap. Amherst 63 when parts of it were published back in the
            1980s), but his decipherments cannot be simply dismissed.
            As for your question, the Egyptian vulture-sign (transliterated as 3) and
            bi- and tri-consonantal signs including notation of the same consonant were
            commonly used in Egyptian spellings of the consonant r/l in Semitic words
            during the Middle Kingdom (e.g., in 3w$3mm = yr$lmm = Jerusalem). According
            to Steiner's decipherment of the Unas pyramid spells, 333 = rrr = rir-(r)ir.
            There is a problem with the case ending, of course -- i.e., at such an early
            date one would expect *riru-riru, hence no geminated r that could be
            expressed by one 3 sign -- but Steiner claims rir-rir is a deity, and it is
            possible to suppose that in the 3rd-millennium Canaanite, as in Akkadian and
            Eblaite, divine names appeared without case endings. I have no idea to what
            degree this claim is sustainable, and I suppose there should be people more
            informed on these matters on this list.
            There may also be some other questionable points in Steiner's decipherment,
            but I suppose that they will be duly addressed in the final publication (may
            we see it soon).

            Yigal Bloch,
            3w$3mm


            *************Original message***************

            Re: Richard Steiner and the London Medical Papyrus
            Posted by: "Andrew Fincke" finckean@... finckean
            Date: Fri Jan 26, 2007 3:52 pm ((PST))

            Thanks, Miguel. Sounds like Steiner's got his own agenda that no-one
            understands. I wondered how three birds are all of a sudden "Spittle!
            Spittle!" in Hebrew (Canaanite)!?
            Andrew Fincke
            Miguel Valן¿½rio <mfg_valerio@...> wrote:

            Dear all,
            Since Richard Steiner and Semitic texts in Egyptian contexts are the topic
            of the hour, I would like to recall his "Northwest Semitic Incantations in
            an Egyptian Medical Papyrus of the Fourteenth Century B. C. E." Journal of
            Near Eastern Studies, vol. 51, 3, (1992) pp. 191-200, in which this scholar
            analyzes and interprets several healing spells in the London Medical
            Papyrus, including spell no. 33, which other scholars have dubbed
            ן¿½Keftiuן¿½ (cf. Haider, Peter, 2001. "Minoan Deities in an Egyptian
            Medical Text," in Robert Laffineur and Robin Hן¿½gg [eds.], Aegaeum 22 -
            POTNIA: Deities and Religion in the Aegean Bronze Age, 479-482.
            Liן¿½ge/Austin; and Kyriakidis, Evangelos, 1999. "Indications on the Nature
            of the Language of the Keftiw from Egyptian Sources." ן¿½gypten und Levante
            XII, 211-219).

            Best regards,

            Miguel F. G. Valן¿½rio
            Undergraduate student of Archaeology

            Faculdade de Ciן¿½ncias Sociais e Humanas
            Universidade Nova de Lisboa
            Dept. Histן¿½ria



            Messages in this topic (2)
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            5. New JSAS 22 (2006) volume
            Posted by: "B. Andelkovic" B.Andelkovic@... b.andelkovic
            Date: Fri Jan 26, 2007 4:02 pm ((PST))

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            CORPUS OF EGYPTIAN ANTIQUITIES IN SERBIA: ADDITIONS AND CORRECTIONS by
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            ***
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            Cika Ljubina 18-20, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
            E-mail: B.Andelkovic@...
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            ___________________________________________
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            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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          • Andrew Fincke
            For those who printed out the speech from the link provided by Yithak, pages 3-4 containing the transcriptions works thus: At left is the Demotic or the
            Message 5 of 18 , Jan 27, 2007
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              For those who printed out the speech from the link provided by Yithak, pages 3-4 containing the transcriptions works thus:
              At left is the Demotic or the proto-Semitic; if proto-Semitic it is in bold script.
              At right is the translation of the Demotic into modern Hebrew. If at the left is proto-Semitic, at the right is its transcription into Hebrew letters followed (reading right to left) by "=" followed by the translation into modern Hebrew. The modern Hebrew translations are:
              1. "Come (plural)! Venom! Come! Venom! See! Venom! See! Venom!"
              2. "Spittle, Spittle, his mother, his mother! See! Venom! See! Venom!"
              3. Countenance on you, you who are on your belly.
              4. Will he retreat from the enchanter with her two countenances?
              5. Speech of Spittle, Spittle, mother of snake, mother of snake.
              6. You had intercourse with the two guardians of the threshold.
              7. Move, my love, my lion!
              8. Recite the chant! (plural): "Come, come to the house!"
              9. The spittle is gone, what is in the bags. He hurried to the house of his mother.
              10. You have your father's bread, you, whose attack missed its mark.
              11. Gold of the enchantment - Chetwo(?) - he, he is your ox. The despot against whom this was done.
              12. His enchantment, word of his chant: "Spittle, Spittle (is) in me!
              13-14. Please see my face! Please see my face! My face, my face!
              15-16. Who am I? Spittle, Spittle. Surety of the smell (is) in my nostrils. I am here."
              17. Gold of the enchantment, Che-two(?)... He is your ox. The despot against whom this was done.
              18-19. Hurry away from Spittle, Spittle! This one her hand(?) kills(?).
              20. Those from Byblos slunk away.
              21. You, whom your mother kicked out! You, whom your mother kicked out!
              22. Are you really here? Are your really here? My lion, get out!
              The key to using the numbers at page 7 is: The titles in the middle are determinative - e.g. "Spruch 234 Schluss" is transcribed at the left at line 4 on page 3.
              Andrew Fincke


              Yigal Bloch <yigal9@...> wrote:

              Dear Andrew,

              Since when are attempts at decipherment of xenographic texts (i.e., texts using the writing system of language A to write language B) one's "own agenda that no-one understands"? I mean, Steiner has provided arguments in support of his decipherments in all his publications; one is free to agree or disagree (e.g., there was disagreement on the reading of some words in the demotic Pap. Amherst 63 when parts of it were published back in the 1980s), but his decipherments cannot be simply dismissed.
              As for your question, the Egyptian vulture-sign (transliterated as 3) and bi- and tri-consonantal signs including notation of the same consonant were commonly used in Egyptian spellings of the consonant r/l in Semitic words during the Middle Kingdom (e.g., in 3w$3mm = yr$lmm = Jerusalem). According to Steiner's decipherment of the Unas pyramid spells, 333 = rrr = rir-(r)ir.
              There is a problem with the case ending, of course -- i.e., at such an early date one would expect *riru-riru, hence no geminated r that could be expressed by one 3 sign -- but Steiner claims rir-rir is a deity, and it is possible to suppose that in the 3rd-millennium Canaanite, as in Akkadian and Eblaite, divine names appeared without case endings. I have no idea to what degree this claim is sustainable, and I suppose there should be people more informed on these matters on this list.
              There may also be some other questionable points in Steiner's decipherment, but I suppose that they will be duly addressed in the final publication (may we see it soon).

              Yigal Bloch,
              3w$3mm
            • Ariel L. Szczupak
              ... ... may find the following URLs also interesting: Translations (from Faulkner, Piankoff and Speleer) of utterances 226-243:
              Message 6 of 18 , Jan 28, 2007
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                At 07:45 PM 1/27/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:
                >... those who printed out the speech ...

                ... may find the following URLs also interesting:


                Translations (from Faulkner, Piankoff and Speleer) of utterances 226-243:

                http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/SarcwestG.htm

                Picture of hieroglyphs of utterances 226-243:

                http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/SarcwestGH.htm

                Mercer translations of utterances 226-243:

                http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt09.htm


                Translations (from Faulkner, Piankoff and Speleer) of utterances 277-301:

                http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/Anteeast.htm

                Picture of hieroglyphs of utterances 277-301:

                http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/AnteeastH.htm

                Mercer translations of utterances 275-299:

                http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt14.htm


                Hieroglyph facsimiles (too many URLs to list individually):

                http://efts.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/eos/eos_title.pl?callnum=PJ1553.A1_1908



                Ariel.

                [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                ---
                Ariel L. Szczupak
                AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                ane.als@...
              • Andrew Fincke
                Thanks, Ariel, Steiner, page 2: Robert Ritner, tenured professor at U Chicago, brought to my attention the texts before you, including pieces that most of the
                Message 7 of 18 , Jan 28, 2007
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                  Thanks, Ariel,
                  Steiner, page 2:
                  "Robert Ritner, tenured professor at U Chicago, brought to my attention the texts before you, including pieces that most of the experts didn't dare translate since their discovery more than a century ago. Even Ritner, a world class expert in Egyptian magic, didn't understand all of them. Therefore he asked me, 'Can any of this be Semitic?'"
                  gives the wrong impression. I don't recall any engagement in his speech with Mercer or Faulker et al.
                  Andrew Fincke

                  "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                  At 07:45 PM 1/27/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:
                  >... those who printed out the speech ...

                  ... may find the following URLs also interesting:

                  Translations (from Faulkner, Piankoff and Speleer) of utterances 226-243:

                  http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/SarcwestG.htm

                  Picture of hieroglyphs of utterances 226-243:

                  http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/SarcwestGH.htm

                  Mercer translations of utterances 226-243:

                  http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt09.htm

                  Translations (from Faulkner, Piankoff and Speleer) of utterances 277-301:

                  http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/Anteeast.htm

                  Picture of hieroglyphs of utterances 277-301:

                  http://www.pyramidtextsonline.com/AnteeastH.htm

                  Mercer translations of utterances 275-299:

                  http://www.sacred-texts.com/egy/pyt/pyt14.htm

                  Hieroglyph facsimiles (too many URLs to list individually):

                  http://efts.lib.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/eos/eos_title.pl?callnum=PJ1553.A1_1908

                  Ariel.

                  [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                  ---
                  Ariel L. Szczupak
                  AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                  POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                  Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                  ane.als@...
                • Ariel L. Szczupak
                  ... Oh, in case it wasn t clear - these are the *online* resources I found, not necessarily the exact references used by Steiner. Online resources are what
                  Message 8 of 18 , Jan 28, 2007
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                    At 02:21 AM 1/29/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                    >Thanks, Ariel,
                    >Steiner, page 2:
                    >"Robert Ritner, tenured professor at U Chicago, brought to my
                    >attention the texts before you, including pieces that most of the
                    >experts didn't dare translate since their discovery more than a
                    >century ago. Even Ritner, a world class expert in Egyptian magic,
                    >didn't understand all of them. Therefore he asked me, 'Can any of
                    >this be Semitic?'"
                    >gives the wrong impression. I don't recall any engagement in his
                    >speech with Mercer or Faulker et al.

                    Oh, in case it wasn't clear - these are the *online* resources I
                    found, not necessarily the exact references used by Steiner. Online
                    resources are what they are - e.g. the full Mercer translation of the
                    pyramid texts is online because it's old and its copyright has expired.

                    But both versions leave certain parts of these passages
                    transliterated and not translated, as Ritner said. And while the
                    versions differ in the translation of specific Egyptian words, they
                    agree on the general subject and tone of these passages and their
                    interpretation is consistent with what Steiner says about these
                    passages. For me these translations were helpful. I don't have access
                    to Steiner's exact references and the "meshing in" of the Egyptian
                    and Semitic parts in content and style is an important part of
                    Steiner argument. So even though these are not the exact translations
                    that Steiner used, they were enough for me to quicly check on this
                    part of his argument.



                    Ariel.

                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                    ---
                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                    ane.als@...
                  • Andrew Fincke
                    Ariel, Let s compare Steiner with Mercer and Faulkner at Utterance 232, the first one of Steiner s. Steiner transcription: m mti m mti mi mti mi mti 333 mwt.f
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jan 29, 2007
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                      Ariel,
                      Let's compare Steiner with Mercer and Faulkner at Utterance 232, the first one of Steiner's.

                      Steiner transcription: m mti m mti mi mti mi mti 333 mwt.f sp-2 mi mti mi mti

                      Steiner translation (imperatives are plural): "Come! Venom! Come! Venom! See! Venom! Ho, Spittle, Spittle! His mother! His mother! See! Venom! See! Venom!"

                      Faulkner: To say the words: 'mtj mtj mtj ! tjw his mother, tjw his mother! mjtj mjtj
                      You are washed, o desert. (Let there be) water, there is no dust!'

                      Mercer: To say: Mti, Mti, Mti, Mtyi,
                      Tiw, his mother, Tiw, his mother, Miti, Miti.
                      Be thou watered (washed), o desert; (let there be) water, not sand.

                      Let's compare the first alleged Semitic line, 5 = utterance 235 begin:

                      Steiner: k-w 3-3-3 i-im-im h-w i-m-im h-w (both h's with dot underneath)
                      Steiner translation: Utterance of Spittle, Spittle, mother of snake, mother of snake

                      Faulker: To say the words: 'You Ah ah ah! Filler!

                      Mercer: To say: Kwtiw, 'Imhw, 'Imhw (both h's with dot underneath)

                      The end of 235 (Steiner line 7) is also allegedly semitic:

                      Steiner: n-t i t-ti-i i-3-i "Leave, my lover, lion!"

                      Faulker: The two which are! I, ia, i!

                      (Mercer leaves it blank)

                      236 (Steiner line 8) has what Steiner says is "house" beyt in transcription
                      k-b-b-h i-ti-i-ti-i bi-i-ti-i "Come, come to my house!"

                      Faulker: To say the words: 'Kebebhititi-biti-shes, son of Hifget, that is your name!'
                      Mercer: To say: Kbbhititibiti Ss, son of Hifg.t, that is thy name. (large s with hatchek, small s with overslant, H with underdot)

                      At 232 Steiner's Demotic translation deviates sufficiently from Mercer-Faulkner to make one wonder if they had the same text. At 235 crux is Im-hw, which Steiner reads "mother of snake" with im for "mother" as iin Hebrew and hw for "snake" since Eve (hwa) and snake both tempted Adam. Seems a bit circuitous. The strongest case is 236: iti biti "Come to the house!" but where is the bit about "Hifget, that is your name" that Faulker-Mercer have? At line 7 Steiner has "lion" (semitic ari) for i-3-i against Faulker-Mercer, both of whonm have "lion" with Steiner at line 22 for m3.
                      Andrew Fincke

                      "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                      At 02:21 AM 1/29/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                      >Thanks, Ariel,
                      >Steiner, page 2:
                      >"Robert Ritner, tenured professor at U Chicago, brought to my
                      >attention the texts before you, including pieces that most of the
                      >experts didn't dare translate since their discovery more than a
                      >century ago. Even Ritner, a world class expert in Egyptian magic,
                      >didn't understand all of them. Therefore he asked me, 'Can any of
                      >this be Semitic?'"
                      >gives the wrong impression. I don't recall any engagement in his
                      >speech with Mercer or Faulker et al.

                      Oh, in case it wasn't clear - these are the *online* resources I
                      found, not necessarily the exact references used by Steiner. Online
                      resources are what they are - e.g. the full Mercer translation of the
                      pyramid texts is online because it's old and its copyright has expired.

                      But both versions leave certain parts of these passages
                      transliterated and not translated, as Ritner said. And while the
                      versions differ in the translation of specific Egyptian words, they
                      agree on the general subject and tone of these passages and their
                      interpretation is consistent with what Steiner says about these
                      passages. For me these translations were helpful. I don't have access
                      to Steiner's exact references and the "meshing in" of the Egyptian
                      and Semitic parts in content and style is an important part of
                      Steiner argument. So even though these are not the exact translations
                      that Steiner used, they were enough for me to quicly check on this
                      part of his argument.

                      Ariel.

                      [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                      ---
                      Ariel L. Szczupak
                      AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                      POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                      Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                      ane.als@...
                    • Ariel L. Szczupak
                      ... No, let s not. Sorry. Two reasons. In order to verify Steiner s work at the specific sign level, you need the source he used. He says he used mostly Allen,
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jan 29, 2007
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                        At 10:29 PM 1/29/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                        >Ariel,
                        >Let's compare Steiner with Mercer and Faulkner at Utterance 232, the
                        >first one of Steiner's.

                        No, let's not. Sorry. Two reasons.

                        In order to verify Steiner's work at the specific sign level, you
                        need the source he used. He says he used mostly Allen, "The Ancient
                        Egyptian Pyramid Texts", 2005. And he says that in some cases he
                        preferred other translations, but these cases are not specified
                        explicitly in the lecture. For those cases you'd need a "regular"
                        paper with bibliographical references and footnotes explaining why
                        Steiner chose a specific translation over Allen's recent one.

                        The second reason is personal. I have basic knowledge in Egyptian but
                        I haven't worked on Egyptian texts in many years, I'm not up to date
                        on recent developments (which are not trivial) and I don't have the
                        necessary reference books on Egyptian. I'm not in a position to
                        criticize Egyptian translation choices.

                        [...]

                        >At 232 Steiner's Demotic translation ...

                        "Demotic"?



                        Ariel.

                        [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                        ---
                        Ariel L. Szczupak
                        AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                        POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                        Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                        ane.als@...
                      • Andrew Fincke
                        Ariel, 1) Sorry I omitted the n is Faulkner several times. I have a cut under the fingernail of my right index finger, and hitting n is painful. 2)
                        Message 11 of 18 , Jan 30, 2007
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                          Ariel,
                          1) Sorry I omitted the n is "Faulkner" several times. I have a cut under the fingernail of my right index finger, and hitting "n" is painful.
                          2) Steiner says there are 20 Biblical words in the texts and makes a big deal out of "Eve" and the snake. That's where the ball leaves the court of the experts in Egyptology and bounces in the area of the parishioners, who have lived and breathed the Bible all their lives.
                          3) Utterance 232 is Demotic. That's why I said "Demotic translation". It's a good test case to compare the modi-operandi of the scholars involved. I didn't know there were a number of different Vorlages floating around.
                          4) I'm waiting for the JNES article "Northwest Semitic Incantations in an Egyptian Medical Papyrus" (JNES 51,3 1992, 191-200) to arrive.

                          Andrew Fincke
                          PS Aren't there Egyptologists who can offer their 2 cents?

                          "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote:
                          At 10:29 PM 1/29/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                          >Ariel,
                          >Let's compare Steiner with Mercer and Faulkner at Utterance 232, the
                          >first one of Steiner's.

                          No, let's not. Sorry. Two reasons.

                          In order to verify Steiner's work at the specific sign level, you
                          need the source he used. He says he used mostly Allen, "The Ancient
                          Egyptian Pyramid Texts", 2005. And he says that in some cases he
                          preferred other translations, but these cases are not specified
                          explicitly in the lecture. For those cases you'd need a "regular"
                          paper with bibliographical references and footnotes explaining why
                          Steiner chose a specific translation over Allen's recent one.

                          The second reason is personal. I have basic knowledge in Egyptian but
                          I haven't worked on Egyptian texts in many years, I'm not up to date
                          on recent developments (which are not trivial) and I don't have the
                          necessary reference books on Egyptian. I'm not in a position to
                          criticize Egyptian translation choices.

                          [...]

                          >At 232 Steiner's Demotic translation ...

                          "Demotic"?

                          Ariel.

                          [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                          ---
                          Ariel L. Szczupak
                          AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                          POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                          Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                          ane.als@...
                        • Ariel L. Szczupak
                          ... Demotic denotes a language/script that appears in the middle of the 1st mbc. If there are Demotic inscriptions in 5th dynasty pyramids they are graffiti :)
                          Message 12 of 18 , Jan 30, 2007
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                            At 05:54 PM 1/30/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                            >Ariel,
                            >1) Sorry I omitted the n is "Faulkner" several times. I have a cut
                            >under the fingernail of my right index finger, and hitting "n" is painful.
                            >2) Steiner says there are 20 Biblical words in the texts and makes a
                            >big deal out of "Eve" and the snake. That's where the ball leaves
                            >the court of the experts in Egyptology and bounces in the area of
                            >the parishioners, who have lived and breathed the Bible all their lives.
                            >3) Utterance 232 is Demotic. That's why I said "Demotic
                            >translation". It's a good test case to compare the modi-operandi of
                            >the scholars involved. I didn't know there were a number of
                            >different Vorlages floating around.

                            Demotic denotes a language/script that appears in the middle of the
                            1st mbc. If there are Demotic inscriptions in 5th dynasty pyramids
                            they are graffiti :)

                            [Thinking of one term and using another, somewhat associated to what
                            I thought about, is something that happens to me too often because of
                            my dysnomia ...]

                            >4) I'm waiting for the JNES article "Northwest Semitic Incantations
                            >in an Egyptian Medical Papyrus" (JNES 51,3 1992, 191-200) to arrive.
                            >
                            >Andrew Fincke
                            >PS Aren't there Egyptologists who can offer their 2 cents?
                            >
                            >"Ariel L. Szczupak" <<mailto:ane.als%40gmail.com>ane.als@...> wrote:
                            >At 10:29 PM 1/29/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:
                            >
                            > >Ariel,
                            > >Let's compare Steiner with Mercer and Faulkner at Utterance 232, the
                            > >first one of Steiner's.
                            >
                            >No, let's not. Sorry. Two reasons.
                            >
                            >In order to verify Steiner's work at the specific sign level, you
                            >need the source he used. He says he used mostly Allen, "The Ancient
                            >Egyptian Pyramid Texts", 2005. And he says that in some cases he
                            >preferred other translations, but these cases are not specified
                            >explicitly in the lecture. For those cases you'd need a "regular"
                            >paper with bibliographical references and footnotes explaining why
                            >Steiner chose a specific translation over Allen's recent one.
                            >
                            >The second reason is personal. I have basic knowledge in Egyptian but
                            >I haven't worked on Egyptian texts in many years, I'm not up to date
                            >on recent developments (which are not trivial) and I don't have the
                            >necessary reference books on Egyptian. I'm not in a position to
                            >criticize Egyptian translation choices.
                            >
                            >[...]
                            >
                            > >At 232 Steiner's Demotic translation ...
                            >
                            >"Demotic"?
                            >
                            >Ariel.
                            >
                            >[100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]
                            >
                            >---
                            >Ariel L. Szczupak
                            >AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                            >POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                            >Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                            ><mailto:ane.als%40gmail.com>ane.als@...
                            >
                            >

                            Ariel.

                            [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                            ---
                            Ariel L. Szczupak
                            AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                            POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                            Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                            ane.als@...
                          • Andrew Fincke
                            Sorry, Ariel, I guess I meant hieratic instead of Demotic . I got confused when Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in Hebrew - gave an account of
                            Message 13 of 18 , Jan 31, 2007
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                              Sorry, Ariel,
                              I guess I meant "hieratic" instead of "Demotic". I got confused when Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in Hebrew - gave an account of his work with an "Aramaic text written on a long papyrus in Demotic script, 4 lines of which which were published in 1944 by a team of researchers from the University of Chicago" If half of what he said in the speech is correct, he's gone a lot farther than he was in 1992 with JNES 51/3, 191-200 "Northwest Semitic Incantations etc.",which is pretty much groping in the dark.
                              Andrew Fincke



                              "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@...> wrote: At 05:54 PM 1/30/2007,
                              >
                              Demotic denotes a language/script that appears in the middle of the
                              1st mbc. If there are Demotic inscriptions in 5th dynasty pyramids
                              they are graffiti :)


                              Ariel.

                              [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]
                            • Peter T. Daniels
                              He continued to publish in various venues for years, and a German team published similar interpretations independently shortly thereafter. In the early 1980s
                              Message 14 of 18 , Jan 31, 2007
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                                He continued to publish in various venues for years, and a German team published similar interpretations independently shortly thereafter.

                                In the early 1980s Robert Ritner brought me a stack of old photographs of the papyrus that he had discovered in the files of the Demotic Dictionary Project, and C. F. Nims found the work that he (transliteration) and the late Raymond Bowman (Aramaic interpretation) had done on the texts. About that time, Richard Steiner was commuting weekly from New York to Chicago to teach Dennis Pardee's Hebrew classes, I showed them to him, he got excited, and started working with Nims. This initial JNES publication eventuated years later. (The whereabouts of the papyrus itself were not clear then.)
                                --
                                Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...



                                ----- Original Message ----
                                From: Andrew Fincke <finckean@...>
                                To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                                Sent: Wednesday, January 31, 2007 1:04:28 PM
                                Subject: Re: [ANE-2] Re: Richard Steiner and the London Medical Papyrus

                                Sorry, Ariel,
                                I guess I meant "hieratic" instead of "Demotic". I got confused when Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in Hebrew - gave an account of his work with an "Aramaic text written on a long papyrus in Demotic script, 4 lines of which which were published in 1944 by a team of researchers from the University of Chicago" If half of what he said in the speech is correct, he's gone a lot farther than he was in 1992 with JNES 51/3, 191-200 "Northwest Semitic Incantations etc.",which is pretty much groping in the dark.
                                Andrew Fincke


                                "Ariel L. Szczupak" <ane.als@gmail. com> wrote: At 05:54 PM 1/30/2007,
                                >
                                Demotic denotes a language/script that appears in the middle of the
                                1st mbc. If there are Demotic inscriptions in 5th dynasty pyramids
                                they are graffiti :)

                                Ariel.

                                [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]




                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Yitzhak Sapir
                                ... On page 2, Prof. Steiner describes the Pyramid Texts, written in hieroglyphs (next to last paragraph on that page). It s easy to miss, especially if you
                                Message 15 of 18 , Jan 31, 2007
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                                  On 1/31/07, Andrew Fincke wrote:
                                  > Sorry, Ariel,
                                  > I guess I meant "hieratic" instead of "Demotic". I got confused when
                                  > Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in Hebrew - gave an account of
                                  > his work

                                  On page 2, Prof. Steiner describes the Pyramid Texts, written in hieroglyphs
                                  (next to last paragraph on that page). It's easy to miss, especially
                                  if you want
                                  to do away with the introduction and get on to the substance of the speech.

                                  Yitzhak Sapir
                                • Ariel L. Szczupak
                                  ... [Already corrected by YS] ... I don t know what s in that JNES paper, but in the present case, despite the example set by some Israeli politicians, he is
                                  Message 16 of 18 , Jan 31, 2007
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                                    At 08:04 PM 1/31/2007, Andrew Fincke wrote:

                                    >Sorry, Ariel,
                                    >I guess I meant "hieratic" instead of "Demotic".

                                    [Already corrected by YS]

                                    >I got confused when Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in
                                    >Hebrew - gave an account of his work with an "Aramaic text written
                                    >on a long papyrus in Demotic script, 4 lines of which which were
                                    >published in 1944 by a team of researchers from the University of
                                    >Chicago" If half of what he said in the speech is correct, he's gone
                                    >a lot farther than he was in 1992 with JNES 51/3, 191-200 "Northwest
                                    >Semitic Incantations etc.",which is pretty much groping in the dark.

                                    I don't know what's in that JNES paper, but in the present case,
                                    despite the example set by some Israeli politicians, he is not groping.

                                    His argumentative structure has 3 parts:


                                    1. Translation of the Egyptian parts.


                                    2. Translation of the non-Egyptian parts.

                                    Here it's not clear from the lecture how he wants to structure his
                                    argument. There are two possibilities:

                                    2.1.1 A set of words is fished out of the primordial Semitic soup so
                                    that the phonetics will match a possible phonetic interpretation of
                                    the hieroglyphic signs and the meanings will have a coherent semantic
                                    meaning. This set of words is then assumed (postulated, posited) to
                                    be the translation.

                                    2.1.2 Given the assumed set of words, is there a language, one
                                    language, they could belong to? Steiner then answers (assuming he's
                                    using this structure variant) with "proto-Canaanite already separated
                                    from Aramaic".

                                    And the other possibility ...

                                    2.2.1 Steiner assumes a "proto-Canaanite already separated from
                                    Aramaic" language with certain characteristics, like in 2.1.2.

                                    2.2.2 From the characteristics of this assumed language, a
                                    reconstructed language, he generates the 2.1.1 set of words.

                                    Both argumentative structures lead to the same suggested translation
                                    of the signs as representing Semitic words, and in that they are
                                    equivalent (hand in glove vs. glove on hand). Both start with an
                                    assumption that is not derived from a non-speculative theory (it's
                                    not something we "know" already). That means that the entire
                                    argument, 1 through 3, will remain a speculation.


                                    3. He shows that the translations of steps 1 & 2 form unified
                                    multilingual semantic units, and that in at least 4 cases (p.11) the
                                    meanings of parts in one language depend on the meanings of parts in
                                    the other language.


                                    I used "multilingual" and not "bilingual" because "bilingual" is
                                    usually used for Rosetta stone types of texts in which the same
                                    meaning is expressed twice (or more) in different languages. Here the
                                    two languages are meshed up together.

                                    A "bilingual" provides an anchor to reality, turning speculative
                                    statements about reality ("it could be so") into assertive ones ("it
                                    is so"). A multilingual text like in this case can't provide such an
                                    anchor because the meanings of the translations are dependent on each other

                                    So on one hand proto-Canaanite on its own linguistic branch in the
                                    3rd mbc remains a speculative idea. There is no link to independent
                                    statements about reality (i.e. to established, non-speculative
                                    theories). But on the other hand step 3, in showing inter-dependency
                                    between the phrases in the two languages when it comes to the
                                    semantics of the text, brings that speculation very near to being a
                                    non-speculative theory.

                                    Or from a more practical aspect. It is very easy (because of the
                                    characteristics of Semitic languages and scripts) to take a series of
                                    consonants and find some possible Semitic words that will fit those
                                    consonants and generate short meaningful phrases. The more phrases
                                    there are, the harder it gets to find such words that will generate
                                    not only independently meaningful phrases, but a meaningful text made
                                    of these phrases. This is the situation at step 2 - not so easy, but
                                    doable. Finding such words for phrases that are interweaved with
                                    phrases in another language and form a meaningful text with the
                                    phrases of that other language (step 3) - that's tough, really tough ...

                                    There will almost certainly be counter arguments about specific
                                    Semitic words, and those might change the characteristics of the
                                    language (and e.g. its relation to Aramaic). But I think it's very
                                    unlikely that a competing comprehensive translation in a non-Semitic
                                    3rd mbc language is forthcoming. Given the state of the evidence on
                                    3rd mbc languages Steiner's speculation is as good as it gets. Chapeau.



                                    Ariel.

                                    [100% bona fide dilettante ... delecto ergo sum!]

                                    ---
                                    Ariel L. Szczupak
                                    AMIS-JLM (Ricercar Ltd.)
                                    POB 4707, Jerusalem, Israel 91401
                                    Phone: +972-2-5619660 Fax: +972-2-5634203
                                    ane.als@...
                                  • Andrew Fincke
                                    We will pass over to the pyramid inscriptions. These inscriptions, written in the picture-script (that is hieroglyphics) represent the the earliest
                                    Message 17 of 18 , Jan 31, 2007
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                                      "We will pass over to the pyramid inscriptions. These inscriptions, written in the picture-script (that is hieroglyphics) represent the the earliest collection of religious Egyptian texts we have. They are etched on the inner walls of a number of pyramids, one of which is the pyramid of King Unas in Skara(?). Unas reigned in the 24th century B.C., but scholars think the texts were composed before his time."
                                      Andrew Fincke

                                      Yitzhak Sapir <yitzhaksapir@...> wrote:
                                      On 1/31/07, Andrew Fincke wrote:
                                      > Sorry, Ariel,
                                      > I guess I meant "hieratic" instead of "Demotic". I got confused when
                                      > Steiner - in the intro to his lengthy speech in Hebrew - gave an account of
                                      > his work

                                      On page 2, Prof. Steiner describes the Pyramid Texts, written in hieroglyphs
                                      (next to last paragraph on that page). It's easy to miss, especially
                                      if you want
                                      to do away with the introduction and get on to the substance of the speech.

                                      Yitzhak Sapir
                                    • Andrew Fincke
                                      Dear Peter, Thanks for the fill-in. Here s what Steiner said (pages 1-2 of speech): I ve completed until now about twelve papers on the subject of semitic
                                      Message 18 of 18 , Feb 2 9:35 AM
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                                        Dear Peter,
                                        Thanks for the fill-in. Here's what Steiner said (pages 1-2 of speech):
                                        "I've completed until now about twelve papers on the subject of
                                        semitic stuff in Egyptian inscriptions, 3 of them with Nims and one
                                        with Dr. Adina Moshvi, a Hebrew lecturer in the Hebrew
                                        University... A number of Semitic incantations written in Egyptian
                                        script have come to light from a later period (than the pyramid
                                        texts). In the medical papyrus from London from the 14th century BC
                                        there are 6 semitic incantations in hieratic script. In the Wadi
                                        Chamamat(?) there's an Aramaic incantation against scorpions in
                                        demotic script. There seem to be semitic incantations in the
                                        magical poison (haris?) papyrus." Wonder where all these things appeared?
                                        Andrew Fincke

                                        "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...> wrote:
                                        He continued to publish in various venues for years, and a German team published similar interpretations independently shortly thereafter.

                                        In the early 1980s Robert Ritner brought me a stack of old photographs of the papyrus that he had discovered in the files of the Demotic Dictionary Project, and C. F. Nims found the work that he (transliteration) and the late Raymond Bowman (Aramaic interpretation) had done on the texts. About that time, Richard Steiner was commuting weekly from New York to Chicago to teach Dennis Pardee's Hebrew classes, I showed them to him, he got excited, and started working with Nims. This initial JNES publication eventuated years later. (The whereabouts of the papyrus itself were not clear then.)
                                        --
                                        Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
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