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

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  • 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 1 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
      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 2 of 9 , Mar 2, 2008
        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 3 of 9 , Mar 4, 2008
          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@...>


          --
          Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
          Checked by AVG Free Edition.
          Version: 7.5.516 / Virus Database: 269.20.9/1294 - Release Date: 22/02/2008 18.39
        • 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 4 of 9 , Mar 4, 2008
            [sent on behalf of Isis Pharia Association]

            Dear Sirs,

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



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