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

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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 1 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 2 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 3 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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