Re: [ANE-2] Re: Sikel, who live in ships? (RS34:129).
- On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Giuseppe Del Monte wrote:
> At 16.16 02/03/2008, you wrote:It is true that one sometimes encounters preterites of (w)a$a:bu that need
> >On Sun, 2 Mar 2008, Bob Whiting wrote:
> > > Dear Robert, or Victor, if I could impose just one more time on this
> > > question.
> > > I managed to obtain a facsimile of the text in question. Would you be
> > > so kind as to determine whether these Sikala actually "lived" in those
> > > ships, or were simply "in their ships"?
> > > http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/sikala.jpg
> >Apparently, neither. The letter apparently refers to a report that the
> >Hittite king ("The Sun, the Great King") would like to have verified. The
> >relevant portion reads:
> > a$-$um 1.ib-na-du-$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"
> 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:
to be translated as statives, so this is not definitive.
> a-nu-um-ma it-tu-kaThe first sign of the verb is not u2-, but um-.
> 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-$i-ka-la-iu-u2A remarkably Assyrian form showing vowel harmony (iSbutu: for i$batu:),
> iS-bu-tu-$u-u2-ni (Assyrianism; see the shape of the TU-sign at lines 4
> and 15)
subjunctive in -ni, and lengthening of the vowel before -ni. The TU-sign
is more clearly TU in this line than in line 22 where it is much closer to
UR2. To judge from the copy, it would seem that the scribe was writing
with a split stylus, the "shadow" wedges that resulted sometimes being
recorded by the copyist (note the additional "shadow" wedges in the IN
sign in line 3, in the HI sign in line 6, in the DA and RA sign in line
and in the IA sign in line 11). These additional wedges often cause
problems for copyists and it is conceivable that the signs could be
either TU or UR2, the only restriction being that both signs are to be
read the same way. On the other hand, there is a clear UR sign in line
29. On the third hand, there is also a willingness to read the DA sign as
ta2 despite there being clear TA signs in the text (lines 20, 30).
I was encouraged to read the GI$ 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$The only thing that makes this an Assyrianism is if the -ni is taken as a
> us-bu-u2-ni (Assyrianism)
subjunctive marker. It can equally well be considered a ventive. This is
unlike lines 12 and 22 where the -ni can only be a subjunctive marker.
> "Now then, by you the king your lord is young andThe only real problem with this translation is that it makes "(the
> does not know anything, and yet I had sent to him
> about Ibnadu$u whom the Sikila people had
> captured, (the Sikila) who live on ships".
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 theAgain, the first sign is um-, not u2-. What is clearly written in both
> too young king of Ugarit had failed to conform to:
> a-nu-um-ma ni-ir-ga-i-li
> a-na muh-hi-ka
lines is um-da-e-ra- followed by -$u or -ku. Reading (against the copy)
u2-ta-e-ra- makes it possible to take the form as a D stem of târu, a
middle weak verb that is a by-form of (w)âru "to order, command" with an
initial t- augment rather than initial w-. Reading um-da-e-ru, this is no
longer possible. This is why I skated around this when I was translating.
> u3 at-ta m.ib-na-du-$uI really have to say that I don't see an a$ in the copy.
> $a lu2.me$ KUR URU $i-ka-la-u2
> a-na muh-hi-ia
> etc.Again, there is no implication of sending "back". My interpretation would
> "Now I send back to you Nerikkaili, the groom
> hier by me, and you will send to me Ibnadu$u whom
> the Sikila people had captured", etc.
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
> The general impression is that at Hattusa little or nothing was knownThis part doesn't change; regardless of how Ibnadu$u came by his
> about this people, and Ibnadu$u, ransomed from his captivity, could have
> been an excellent eyewitness.
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
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
- At 01.38 03/03/2008, Bob Whiting wrote:
><snip>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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