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Re: [cybalist] Pelasgians - Consensus

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  • Dennis Poulter
    Rex, I have snipped out a couple of things you said in your last posting, which I think are very important to this whole Pelasgian question : By any
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 2, 2000
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      I have snipped out a couple of things you said in your last posting, which I think are very important to this whole Pelasgian question :
      By any definition, Pelasgians were autochthonous to classical era Greeks.
      They were the forebares, but not all the people in native or autochthonous status were forebares (or more pointedly, claimed as such); only the Sons of Zeus are claimed.  A specific people, and referred to as such and as intrusive.  There is never any reference to all peoples in Greece as Pelasgic, before some plateau in time, which would have to be the case if Dennis were correct.  They are always opposed to, in conflict with, intrusive upon, loosing to, or taking from: specifically named  "others"; or proudly and boldly referenced with honor, as the distinguishing and distinct source of a man or group in power. 

      Yes. Were both IE or PIE?.  Certainly they (Tyrrhenians) are included among the autochthons as distinct from Pelasgi.  Certainly, no classical writer or tale spinner is spouting honorifics to Hellenic leaders as: "Kinglyprince, Son of the Tyrrhennoi\Tyrsenoi", (while acknowledging they were there).  Whether accurate or not, they are nodding to a preferred lineage from among a group of potential forebares. Nowhere is "Son of Zeus" associated with Tyrrhenians, but always "Son of Zeus" (Dodonean) is used to reinforce the specific identity/lineage from  Thessaly/Larisa/Pelasgia/Dodona: usually via  Argos (mirrored from Thessalian Argusa).  Therefore either all the classic writers are wrong, OR Pelasgi were specific (even preferred) autochthons among others.  They were autochthons, but not all autochthons were they:-)
      All the classical authors are considered to be wrong when it comes to Egyptian/Phoenician colonisations and influence upon the Greeks. Why is this so? Their stories were discredited early in the 19th century by a method known as "source criticism". Briefly stated, it said that since Herodotos and other Athenian writers had a contemporary motive for creating Greek-Egyptian connections (i.e. the Athenian-Saite alliance), that their testimony was flawed and could not be relied upon.
      Well, this method can be applied in spades to the Pelasgians. John has already touched upon possible internal Athenian political motives for glorifying the Pelasgian ancestors. To this I would add, the need to accentuate the differences between Hellenic, but non-Pelasgic, Sparta and Hellenic and Pelasgic Athens, and to extend Athens' allies by claiming for them a Pelasgian ancestry wherever possible. Later, after the conquests of Alexander, this glorified and extended Pelasgic past gave the Greeks a history to compare with those of the ancient empires they had conquered.
      So, in short, I am saying - yes, the classical Greeks' testimony is flawed, and is not to be taken at face value. Is there any genuinely independant corroborative evidence for these widespread, sea-faring, dynamic, trading Pelasgians? Are they mentioned by the Hittites, Ebla, Ugarit, Byblos, Tyre, Egypt, Akkad, Linear B, Doric Greeks? (You can't count Livy, Paeligni are not Pelasgi.)
      Since you find it impossible to define exactly who these Pelasgians were, it is impossible to cite archaeology or linguistics to support your claim. I would say that the history of the Bronze Age Aegean can be seen as an internally consistent whole without the Pelasgians, provided the Egyptians and Phoenicians are included in the mix. At least for these two groups, there is archaeological and linguistic evidence to support (or refute) the idea, together with citations from all the ancient authorities as well as cultic and mythological parallels. 
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