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Re: [ANE-2] Re: Sikel, who live in ships? (RS34:129).

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  • Robert M Whiting
    ... Apparently, neither. The letter apparently refers to a report that the Hittite king ( The Sun, the Great King ) would like to have verified. The relevant
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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      On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Jon Smyth wrote:

      > Dear Robert, or Victor, if I could impose just one more time on this
      > question.
      > I managed to obtain a facsimile of the text in question. Would you be
      > so kind as to determine whether these Sikala actually "lived" in those
      > ships, or were simply "in their ships"?
      > http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/sikala.jpg

      Apparently, neither. The letter apparently refers to a report that the
      Hittite king ("The Sun, the Great King") would like to have verified. The
      relevant portion reads:

      a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$u $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU-$i-ka-la-iu-u2
      i$6-pu-ur2-$u-u2-ni
      $a i-na muh-hi GI$.MA2.ME$
      u$10-bu-u2-ni

      "Concerning Ibnadu$u who reported about the Sikaleans that they had taken
      to their ships"

      I said earlier that if they "lived" on their ships I would expect a
      (w)a$bu: later in the text and there is a form of (w)a$a:bu there, but it
      is not a stative as one would expect if simply "live on ships" was meant,
      but is a preterite. Since (w)a$a:bu is a stative-type verb, the finite
      tenses usually indicate an ingressive or inchoative. Basically, the
      stative implies stasis, the finite tenses, change (see Rowton, JNES 21
      [1962], 289-90). This change is further emphasized by the use of the
      ventive, associated in most instances with motion. Thus while the stative
      of (w)a$a:bu means "to sit, to dwell", the finite tenses indicate "to sit
      down, to take up residence". Hence I would translate ina muhhi eleppa:ti
      u$bu:ni as "they have taken to (their) ships", implying that they are
      preparing for whatever it is that they do when they take to their ships
      (invasion, piracy, costal raids, sightseeing cruises, etc.).

      Apparently if they have taken to their ships it is cause for concern
      because the king continues:

      u3 at-ta 1.ib-na-du-$u
      $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU.$i-ka-la-u2
      i$6-pu-ur2-$u-ni
      a-na muh-hi-ia
      $u-up-ra-$u
      a-ma-te/tu $a KUR.URU.$i-ki-li
      a-$a-al-$u
      u3 a-na ku-ta-li-$u
      a-na KUR.URU.u-ga-ri-it
      i-tu-ur-ra
      i-ta-la-ka

      "And you send Ibnadu$u, who reported about the Sikaleans, to me and I will
      interrogate him about the matter of Sikalu and afterwards he can go back
      to Ugarit."

      Bob Whiting
      whiting@...


      > --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, Robert M Whiting <whiting@...> wrote:
      > > If they live in ships there should be a (w)a$bu: in the text. I
      > > could, of course, simply wait until Monday and check the text, but
      > > perhaps some kind soul will provide a transliteration.
    • Giuseppe Del Monte
      ... I have appreciated very much the analysis by Bob Whiting of the letter RS 34.129 and found it very stimulating, mainly because it changes substantially the
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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        At 16.16 02/03/2008, you wrote:

        >On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Bob Whiting wrote:
        >
        > > Dear Robert, or Victor, if I could impose just one more time on this
        > > question.
        > > I managed to obtain a facsimile of the text in question. Would you be
        > > so kind as to determine whether these Sikala actually "lived" in those
        > > ships, or were simply "in their ships"?
        > > http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/sikala.jpg
        >
        >Apparently, neither. The letter apparently refers to a report that the
        >Hittite king ("The Sun, the Great King") would like to have verified. The
        >relevant portion reads:
        >
        > a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$u $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU-$i-ka-la-iu-u2
        > i$6-pu-ur2-$u-u2-ni
        > $a i-na muh-hi GI$.MA2.ME$
        > u$10-bu-u2-ni
        >
        >"Concerning Ibnadu$u who reported about the Sikaleans that they had taken
        >to their ships"
        ><snip>

        I have appreciated very much the analysis by Bob
        Whiting of the letter RS 34.129 and found it very
        stimulating, mainly because it changes
        substantially the historical scenario in which
        the letter is usually set. Whiting's case is
        worth to be taken further and I hope to delve
        into it sooner or later - alas, the dreadful second semester ;--(

        According to the usual picture the
        Sikalayu/Shekels "live" actually "on their
        ships", and you can easily trace the expected
        stative only changing slightly your transliteration:

        a-nu-um-ma it-tu-ka
        LUGAL EN-ka Se-hi-ir
        mi-im-ma la-a i-di
        u3 a-na-ku d.UTU-$i
        a-na muh-hi-$u u2-ta2-e-ra-$u (Assyrianism)
        a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$u $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU-$i-ka-la-iu-u2
        iS-bu-tu-$u-u2-ni (Assyrianism; see the shape of the TU-sign at lines 4 and 15)
        $a i-na muh-hi GI$.MA2.ME$
        us-bu-u2-ni (Assyrianism)

        "Now then, by you the king your lord is young and
        does not know anything, and yet I had sent to him
        about Ibnadu$u whom the Sikila people had
        captured, (the Sikila) who live on ships".

        What follows is the request to the soken to
        comply with the orders the too young king of Ugarit had failed to conform to:

        a-nu-um-ma ni-ir-ga-i-li
        it-tu-ia
        lu2.kar-tap-pu
        a-na muh-hi-ka
        u2-ta2-e-ra-ku
        u3 at-ta m.ib-na-du-$u
        $a lu2.me$ KUR URU $i-ka-la-u2
        iS-bu-tu-$u-ni
        a-na muh-hi-ia
        $u-up-ra-a$-$u
        etc.

        "Now I send back to you Nerikkaili, the groom
        hier by me, and you will send to me Ibnadu$u whom
        the Sikila people had captured", etc. The general
        impression is that at Hattusa little or nothing
        was known about this people, and Ibnadu$u,
        ransomed from his captivity, could have been an excellent eyewitness.

        A convenient (traditional) treatment of the
        letter is in: I. Singer, A Political History of
        Ugarit, in Watson and Wyatt Handbook of Ugaritic Studies, Leiden 1999, p. 722.

        Giuseppe Del Monte



        Prof. Giuseppe del Monte
        Professore Ordinario di
        Storia del Vicino Oriente antico
        Dpt. Scienze storiche del mondo antico
        Università di Pisa
        via Galvani 1 - I-56100 Pisa
        Fax 39-050-500668 - E-mail <gdelmonte@...>


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      • Robert M Whiting
        ... It is true that one sometimes encounters preterites of (w)a$a:bu that need to be translated as statives, so this is not definitive. ... The first sign of
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
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          On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Giuseppe Del Monte wrote:

          > At 16.16 02/03/2008, you wrote:
          >
          > >On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Bob Whiting wrote:
          > >
          > > > Dear Robert, or Victor, if I could impose just one more time on this
          > > > question.
          > > > I managed to obtain a facsimile of the text in question. Would you be
          > > > so kind as to determine whether these Sikala actually "lived" in those
          > > > ships, or were simply "in their ships"?
          > > > http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/sikala.jpg
          > >
          > >Apparently, neither. The letter apparently refers to a report that the
          > >Hittite king ("The Sun, the Great King") would like to have verified. The
          > >relevant portion reads:
          > >
          > > a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$u $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU-$i-ka-la-iu-u2
          > > i$6-pu-ur2-$u-u2-ni
          > > $a i-na muh-hi GI$.MA2.ME$
          > > u$10-bu-u2-ni
          > >
          > >"Concerning Ibnadu$u who reported about the Sikaleans that they had taken
          > >to their ships"
          > ><snip>
          >
          > I have appreciated very much the analysis by Bob
          > Whiting of the letter RS 34.129 and found it very
          > stimulating, mainly because it changes
          > substantially the historical scenario in which
          > the letter is usually set. Whiting's case is
          > worth to be taken further and I hope to delve
          > into it sooner or later - alas, the dreadful second semester ;--(
          >
          > According to the usual picture the
          > Sikalayu/Shekels "live" actually "on their
          > ships", and you can easily trace the expected
          > stative only changing slightly your transliteration:

          It is true that one sometimes encounters preterites of (w)a$a:bu that need
          to be translated as statives, so this is not definitive.

          > a-nu-um-ma it-tu-ka
          > LUGAL EN-ka Se-hi-ir
          > mi-im-ma la-a i-di
          > u3 a-na-ku d.UTU-$i
          > a-na muh-hi-$u u2-ta2-e-ra-$u (Assyrianism)

          The first sign of the verb is not u2-, but um-.

          > a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$u $a LU2.ME$.KUR.URU-$i-ka-la-iu-u2
          > iS-bu-tu-$u-u2-ni (Assyrianism; see the shape of the TU-sign at lines 4
          > and 15)

          A remarkably Assyrian form showing vowel harmony (iSbutu: for i$batu:),
          subjunctive in -ni, and lengthening of the vowel before -ni. The TU-sign
          is more clearly TU in this line than in line 22 where it is much closer to
          UR2. To judge from the copy, it would seem that the scribe was writing
          with a split stylus, the "shadow" wedges that resulted sometimes being
          recorded by the copyist (note the additional "shadow" wedges in the IN
          sign in line 3, in the HI sign in line 6, in the DA and RA sign in line
          and in the IA sign in line 11). These additional wedges often cause
          problems for copyists and it is conceivable that the signs could be
          either TU or UR2, the only restriction being that both signs are to be
          read the same way. On the other hand, there is a clear UR sign in line
          29. On the third hand, there is also a willingness to read the DA sign as
          ta2 despite there being clear TA signs in the text (lines 20, 30).

          I was encouraged to read the GI$ sign as i$6 because of the unequivocal
          use of US for u$10 in line 14.

          > $a i-na muh-hi GI$.MA2.ME$
          > us-bu-u2-ni (Assyrianism)

          The only thing that makes this an Assyrianism is if the -ni is taken as a
          subjunctive marker. It can equally well be considered a ventive. This is
          unlike lines 12 and 22 where the -ni can only be a subjunctive marker.

          > "Now then, by you the king your lord is young and
          > does not know anything, and yet I had sent to him
          > about Ibnadu$u whom the Sikila people had
          > captured, (the Sikila) who live on ships".

          The only real problem with this translation is that it makes "(the
          Sikilia) who live on ships" an irrelevant afterthought rather than the
          point of the entire letter. Unless, of course, there are so many
          Sikileans about that he has to specify which ones he means.

          > What follows is the request to the soken to comply with the orders the
          > too young king of Ugarit had failed to conform to:
          >
          > a-nu-um-ma ni-ir-ga-i-li
          > it-tu-ia
          > lu2.kar-tap-pu
          > a-na muh-hi-ka
          > u2-ta2-e-ra-ku

          Again, the first sign is um-, not u2-. What is clearly written in both
          lines is um-da-e-ra- followed by -$u or -ku. Reading (against the copy)
          u2-ta-e-ra- makes it possible to take the form as a D stem of târu, a
          middle weak verb that is a by-form of (w)âru "to order, command" with an
          initial t- augment rather than initial w-. Reading um-da-e-ru, this is no
          longer possible. This is why I skated around this when I was translating.

          > u3 at-ta m.ib-na-du-$u
          > $a lu2.me$ KUR URU $i-ka-la-u2
          > iS-bu-tu-$u-ni
          > a-na muh-hi-ia
          > $u-up-ra-a$-$u

          I really have to say that I don't see an a$ in the copy.

          > etc.
          >
          > "Now I send back to you Nerikkaili, the groom
          > hier by me, and you will send to me Ibnadu$u whom
          > the Sikila people had captured", etc.

          Again, there is no implication of sending "back". My interpretation would
          be: "Now then I am sending PN, the groom, for my part, and you send me
          Ibnadu$u ...". I would take the groom sent by the Hittite king to be
          meant as an escort for Ibnadu$u to ensure his speedy departure and safe
          arrival.

          > The general impression is that at Hattusa little or nothing was known
          > about this people, and Ibnadu$u, ransomed from his captivity, could have
          > been an excellent eyewitness.

          This part doesn't change; regardless of how Ibnadu$u came by his
          knowledge, it is obviously something that the Hittite king is anxious to
          question him closely about. And I'm not sure that the historical scenario
          changes all that much. It's really a question of whether the Sikilia live
          on ships as a matter of course, in which case the mention of this is just
          a throwaway line, or whether the fact that a Sikilean fleet has set out is
          important intelligence.

          As for lines 12 and 22, whether the verb is $apa:ru or Saba:tu the form
          has to be an Assyrianism as there is no other way to account for the final
          -ni. Unfortunately, the sources for Middle Assyrian are so sparse that
          I'm not sure that the vowel harmony indicated by iSbutu:$uni is attested
          that early (which, of course, doesn't mean that it couldn't be). In any
          case, I'm not sure that I would defend my interpretation very strongly as
          there are things about the letter that remain obscure. It is clearly part
          of an ongoing correspondence and both parties are aware of context that we
          lack.


          Bob Whiting
          whiting@...
        • Giuseppe Del Monte
          ... As I said in my previous post, I was attracted by a couple of unconventional readings you have advanced that in my opinion are worth to be investigated
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 4, 2008
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            At 01.38 03/03/2008, Bob Whiting wrote:
            ><snip>
            >Bob Whiting
            >whiting@...

            As I said in my previous post, I was attracted by
            a couple of unconventional readings you have
            advanced that in my opinion are worth to be
            investigated further. For lack of time at present
            I'll confine myself to the two points in lines
            12/22 and the crucial 14, only trying for the
            moment to justify the communis opinio.

            1) As a general statement: the letter was sent by
            the Hittite king and written down by his staff of
            scribes trained at the scribal school of Hattusa
            - I see no trace of the hand of a foreign scribe,
            though such specialists were occasionally
            employed. But for an assessment of this question
            a photo would be indispensable.

            2) iS-bu-tu versus i$6-pu-ur2: as far as I know
            this is the first time a reading i$6-pu-ur2 is
            advanced; even von Soden red without problems
            iS-bu-tu and included it in his list of
            Assyrianisms at Ugarit (UF 11 p. 747), together
            with i-Sa-bu-tu and i-$a-aT-Tù-ru from other
            texts. Regarding your note: "Unfortunately, the
            sources for Middle Assyrian are so sparse that
            I'm not sure that the vowel harmony indicated by
            iSbutu:$uni is attested that early (which, of
            course, doesn't mean that it couldn't be)", I can
            add the occurrence of iS-bu-tu in two letters
            from Assyria to the Hittite king, now
            conveniently edited by C. Mora and M. Giorgieri
            (Padova 2004), KBo 28 61 Ro 22' (p. 119), in all
            probability from Tukulti-Ninurta I, and KBo 1 20
            Ro 14' (p. 19: iS-bu-[ ), date uncertain, between
            Adad-nerari and Tukulti-Ninurta. As for the sign
            UR2, I'm not really able to pick it out. At least
            at Boghazköy the sign has as a rule two verticals.

            3) us-bu versus u$10-bu: again as a rule
            Boghazköy scribes can use the sign U$ (and $A
            etc.) for /u$/ and /us/, but not the other way
            round: the sign UZ only exceptionally is used
            with the value /u$/. The current reading is usbu:
            as far as I know, no one has ever doubted that
            the Sikalaju "lived on their ships", were a
            seafaring people. But this is just the crucial
            point raised by Jon Smith: how much knowledge had
            the Hittites of this people? where are they
            coming from? were they "Myceneans" coming from
            afar, say from South Italy? and their connection
            with Dor? and with Dan: "and Dan, why does he
            live on ships?" (as per I. Singer). And this will suffice.

            Giuseppe Del Monte



            Prof. Giuseppe del Monte
            Professore Ordinario di
            Storia del Vicino Oriente antico
            Dpt. Scienze storiche del mondo antico
            Università di Pisa
            via Galvani 1 - I-56100 Pisa
            Fax 39-050-500668 - E-mail <gdelmonte@...>


            --
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          • Christian de Vartavan
            [sent on behalf of Isis Pharia Association] Dear Sirs, Volume 2 of the Bulletin of Parthian and Mixed Oriental Studies (BP&MOS) is now available for ordering.
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 4, 2008
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              [sent on behalf of Isis Pharia Association]

              Dear Sirs,

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              Oriental Studies
              (BP&MOS) is now available for ordering.

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              Sincerely,

              Suzanne Garabedian
              Secretary
              ISIS-PHARIA (Association)
              Fribourg - Switzerland



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