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1742[cybalist] Re: Macro-Pelasgia

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  • John Croft
    Mar 1, 2000
      Thanks Rex for your examination of the "sticking points"

      > I think consensus escapes us at the moment, but we seem to be
      narrowing the
      > field of objections to identifiable points.
      > Primary among these are:
      > 1) Linguistic associations/relationships of various named groups.
      > 2) (D.Poulter) extent of Pelasgic influence E/W of Greece.
      > 3) Pelasgic linguistic relationship/influence to/on later Greek
      > 4) Tyrrhenian influence/definition/origin relative to Pelasgic.
      > 5) Tyrrhenian relationship to Tyyra specifically, Anatolia in general.
      > 6) Etruscan/Tyyra/Tyrrhenia/Trojan relationship.
      > 7) Regional links in lang/tech/culture/time/myth
      > 8) Linguistic "label" for Pelasgic: IE, Proto, or pre?
      > I remain opposed to D.Poulter on (2), generally question (5),
      > request justification for John's and other's positions on (4,6);
      > while seeking guidance, discussion and input on (1,8). I suggest
      there is
      > much more supporting (7) than has been discussed, and am softening my
      > position on (8).

      Regarding Tyrrhenian-Pelasgoi link, I would like to take it one step
      further and look at a Tarusha(Trojan)-Peleset/Pelasgoi(Philistine)
      link. A good reference on this is the web site http://www.phoenixdatas

      I also think the references to Pelasgoi-Lemnian links and
      Etruscan-Lemnian links are important here. Lemnos was not that big a
      centre and although it could have been a cross roads for multiple
      linguistic groups it is unlikely that two unrelated linguistic groups
      were equally dominant at much the same time.

      I too find Tyyra a little remote an issue, but if we accept a
      Tarusha-Tyrsenoi link then Anatolia is a clear connection here.

      > Noting Sabine's and Mark Odegard's input on the classic writers: I
      > any single statement by an author from the c. period is a useful
      > It is not "fact", and as in Strabo fussing at Homer, can be
      contradictory to
      > another writer's position. However, when a constant implication
      appears in
      > literature across periods and cultures (Livy) that also finds support
      > scattered arch results, it is not a single indicator any longer, and
      must be
      > addressed. As Mark and Sabine suggest: ignoring it requires
      > contrary indicators. One can not "opinion" or "guess" away the
      > indicator with out proof.
      > John offers:
      > > I like Piotr's point of Tarusha-Troasja-Tyrsenoi-Tyrrhenoi-Etrusca
      > > different names for the same area/same people. Whether they >spoke
      > same language over the full transition is another matter.
      > we must be wary of identifying the
      > Tarusha->Troasja-Tyrsenoi -Tyrrhenoi-Etruscans as one (linguistic)
      > >(even though quite possibly they were!)
      > I counter that linking T's and R's in a circle around a region without
      > more..can cause problems. This would be stronger if the Etruscans had
      > labeled themselves, but Rasenna doesn't seem to fit. I may simply be
      > missing data here? I still see a problem in the
      > Italy>Balkans>Troy>(Tyrra/Lemnos)> back to Italy linking.

      Scullard in his book on Etruscan cities is a good reference here Rex.
      Personally I find Rasena a possible (Ty)Rasena=Tyrsenoi a pretty good
      fit myselt. The abandonment of the Ty element would need to be
      checked. I personally would like to check the ancient source for this
      Rasena name and see if there is not an explanation somewhere there. I
      suspect that there is an Italic gloss in there somewhere (the same that
      added the "E" to the *Trus(c)an name)

      > John again:
      > >The Thracian area 3,500 - 3,000 BCE was occupied by the Boian A
      > >culture, with the neighboring Vinca peoples, part of Gambutas' >Old
      > Not much evidence of Kuban (Indo-Etruscan) incursians >here, but
      plenty of
      > evidence of movements out of "Old" Anatolia.
      > Do you see Boian A as the mother of IE Thrace, yielding the named
      > eastern Danube tribal groups? I still don't (pick one) understand/
      > accept/acknowledge/ the necessity of the "Indo-Etruscan"
      > No question or problem with a "revolving door"
      > at the Dardanelles, however.

      Boian A is probably a bit too early for Thracian, although with a great
      number of these cultures, survival of autochthonous groups under an IE
      elite for a considerable length of time is possible. I tend to follow
      McEvedy in considering the Boian A as another one of the cultures
      steamrollered by Anatolians in their path down the Balkans and into

      > John:
      > > Moesia-Mysia-Mushki I see as a movement of Thraco-Phrygian, not >as
      > movement of Trojan-Tyrsenoi.
      > And therefore, I have no problem with the possibility of Troad
      ocupation by
      > non-Danubians, non-Anatolians. There are even indicators in the
      > there was a distinction beyond just regional overlordship between
      > itself and The Troad. (Remembering a story of "lost" Menalaian
      > off loading south of Troy and taking losses against unintended Mysian
      > combatants.) Again questioning the circular link
      > Tyrrhenian-Tyrrsenoi-Trojan-Tyrra-Etruscan, however.

      Yes I do remember the Mysian attack. Mind you there is another
      Etymology of Mushki that links it to a pre-Hittite city in North East
      Turkey, in the post on the Kurds and Halafian Tholoi that I recommended
      today. I wouldn't know but is there any possibility that Mysian =
      Armenians? It would be interesting as this is generally the period
      that it is assumed that Armenian entered the middle east... Still, one
      needs to take equivalent care of equating names with a single language.
      Just look at the Hittites, for instance - same name - two destinct
      languages (Khattic and Neshite!). I repeat again, we must be careful
      we are not dealing with similar things with the Moesia-Mysia-Mushki, or
      the Etruscan-Tyrrhenian-Tyrrsenoi-Troasja-Tarusha etc.
      > John:
      > >Professor Finlay, the Cambridge Classicist gives fairly convincing
      > >evidence that shows the "Dorian Invasion" did not bring down the
      > >Mycenaeans, and probably occurred as late as 1,000 BCE.
      > My most recent marker was a broader 1,100 to 1,000 bracket: usually
      > by me as post 1,100. I have no problem with tightening that a
      century and
      > blaming it on Finlay. Given your exception of Mycenaeans (to me means:
      > Pelasgi>Argives>Achaeans>Danaans) how do you see Greek language
      > with out significant pre-Dorian influence? What about the possibility
      > Dorians were just Northern Greeks gaining dominance (as returning
      > as is sometimes claimed) and how does this impact on the linguistic

      I suspect a Dorian-NW Greek connection is the best fit of the evidence.
      Whether the story of returning Herakleans is a posteriori myth used to
      justify occupation of the Mycenaean realm, or whether it contains some
      cernel of truth is hard to say (it maybe both! Certainly the Spartan
      kings derived their genealogies from Hercules)

      > John, re Oscans:
      > >Hmm. They still may have been Italics. Impossible at this time to
      > >say, definitively one way or the other. Too much rope here with
      >which to
      > hang ourselves.
      > Concur on the last point: My only position is they were the earliest
      > named ethnic/cultural group per Strabo, in Italy and Greece:
      > and last distinct in the region around Pompeii, Herculaneum. Haven't
      > to center them in either Greece or Italy..equal representation...unti
      l more
      > data can distinguish.

      Reading Scullard on the Italics today suggests that Oscan is Samnite
      and clearly Italic. He has fun tying in the origins with the
      appearance of the Villanovans as an IE Urnfield people who gave up
      their language to a "more cultured" element coming in over the sea.
      > John:
      > >Rex when you say Proto-Greeks are you referring ethnically (eg. >the
      > Helladic I,II and III cultures), or linguistically. I would agree
      >with the
      > former, but not with the latter.
      > Your reference was to D.Poulter's use of "proto-Greek", but I have
      used it
      > in the discussions and a response to you re Pelasgi. My meaning is
      > ethnic/cultural, allowing influence from "Strabo's" pre-Pelasgi
      > (as opposed to the east to west flowing Tyrrhenians you define). I
      > speak fluent linguistics. That said, I am curious as to how you
      > Greek linguistic origins if you limit Dorian impact, and try to
      > proto status to Pelasgians (linguistically)?

      I feel that Pelasgians were non-Greek speaking peoples underneath the
      arrival of Greek. Personally I find the Dimini culture and its
      fortification in Thessaly, with links up through the Vardar gap into
      the northern Balkans to be synonymous with the arrival of IE
      proto-Greek. Iocolos was seen by later Greeks as the source of Hellen,
      the place from which the various Hellenic dialects later diverged. As
      such they were a superstrata which diverged over a substrata of
      Pelasgians, thereafter taking some Pelasgian elements with them (eg
      Grey Minyan Ware etc?)

      Even in Mycenaean times, I find that, particularly the first part of
      the period, Greek would have been limited fairly closely to the
      distribution of the palaces. I find the idea that the Arcadian dialect,
      by late Mycenaean times was differentiating into two Arcadio-Cyprian
      and Ionian (as yet not separated between Attic and Ionian) a fairly
      convincing argument. Only in Thessaly do we find a post Mycenaean
      split between Aiolic/Thessalian, NW Greek/Doric occurring, to give the
      pattern of dialects found in classical times.

      Hope this helps in clarifying my views. Sabine, as a scholar of this
      area and period, I'd be interested in your views.

      Finally, as regards your plea for a linguistic label for Pelasgian and
      IE as "proto" or "pre". I wonder whether the facts don't make such
      neat categories very difficult. Perhaps they started as a pre, but
      with increasing IE admixtures over the course of the centuries became
      similar to proto- and even finished up, with increasing Greek admixture
      as a lower class group speaking a lower class bar-bar Greek (with a few
      other words surviving thrown in). By the time of the classical period
      this may have been the case.


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