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I usually use the phrase “World War Zero” to refer to the Seven Years War (a.k.a., French & Indian War) that George Washington more or less started at Pittsburgh in 1754.

But lately I’ve been reading up on the Late Bronze Age Collapse of 3200 years ago. From The Smithsonian:

Geoarchaeologist Proposes There Was a “World War Zero”

Could an alliance among the “Luwians” have helped caused the collapse of eastern Mediterranean civilizations 3,200 years ago?

By Jason Daley
SMITHSONIAN.COM
MAY 20, 2016

During the late Bronze Age, the eastern Mediterranean was dominated by the “Group of 8,” the Egyptians, Hittites, Canaanites, Cypriots, Minoans, Mycenaeans, Assyrians and Babylonians. But around 3,200 years ago all of these civilizations went into steep decline—besieged by war, famine, corruption and bickering.

Archaeologists still debate why the disruption happened and whether it was a caused by an external event like an earthquake or climate change or the result of civil unrest.

Now, as Colin Barras at New Scientist reports, a geoarchaeologist named Eberhard Zangger is proposing a much grander cause for the collapse: an extended series of ancient conflicts that he dubs “World War Zero.”

I’d call it World War Negative One, but that’s just me.

Last week, Zangger, head of the Luwian Studies foundation, which is based in Zurich, Switzerland, launched a book, as well as an extensive website, arguing that another culture he calls the Luwians began a series of invasions that eventually collapsed the other Bronze Age powers.

He argues that the peoples of western Asia Minor, who mostly spoke variations of a common tongue known as Luwian, formed another important source of power in the region. “For thousands of years the majority of western Asia Minor was politically fragmented into many petty kingdoms and principalities,” writes Zangger. “This certainly weakened the region in its economic and political significance, but it also delayed the recognition of a more or less consistent Luwian culture.”

He contends that the Luwians did eventually form a coalition strong enough to take on and destroy the Hittite empire. After that, he believes the Luwians were the “Sea Peoples” mentioned in Egyptian documents who raided that empire and helped destabilize the New Kingdom.

According to Zanngger, the Greeks, in anticipation that the Luwians would turn their coalition against them, then launched a series of attacks on Luwians’ port cities.

In other words, an event you might have heard of: the Trojan War.

In recent decades, the theory has been developing that the Trojans spoke (or wrote) in Luwian.

After those triumphs, Zangger argues, the Mycenean Greeks returned home to find their deputies unwilling to relinquish power, leading to civil war and decline into the Greek Dark Ages.

Aeschylus had something to say about how these homecomings didn’t always go so smoothly. Homer did too.

… But not everyone is convinced the Luwians were ever a powerful force, and many aren’t impressed by the idea of “World War Zero.”

So, who really knows?

Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.

Maybe. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

And, who knows, they may have even been connected in some fashion unknown to the authors.

 
131 Comments to "World War Zero"
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  1. Thirdtwin says:

    “Luwians”, or “Aluwians”? Giorgio Tsoukalos’ ears just perked up to rival his hair.

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  2. Maybe. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    That’s where the smart money would be.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    Wouldn't you have to start by working out when the Exodus story was invented? WKPD says:

    Although mythical elements are not so prominent in Exodus as in Genesis, ancient legends have an influence on the book's content: for example, the story of the infant Moses's salvation from the Nile is based on an earlier legend of king Sargon of Akkad, while the story of the parting of the Red Sea trades on Mesopotamian creation mythology. Similarly, the Covenant Code (the law code in Exodus 20:22–23:33) has some similarities in both content and structure with the Laws of Hammurabi. These influences serve to reinforce the conclusion that the Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BCE Babylon, but not all the sources are Mesopotamian: the story of Moses's flight to Midian following the murder of the Egyptian overseer may draw on the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe.

    Anyway, the archaeology says the tale is bogus. As far as anyone can see the Hebrews were just a bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adopting a cult with the usual paraphernalia of foundation myths, pseudo history, taboos, rituals, and so on.
  3. And, who knows, they may have even been connected in some fashion unknown to the authors.

    Steve,

    You’re a bad Catholic

    Read More
  4. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    My instinct nowadays is to agree with such interpretations.

    The drive to be a killjoy is perhaps an even more finely honed instinct amongst modern historians and anthropologists than the political correctness self-preservation instinct.

    Read More
  5. Didn’t Razib Khan have something on this a while ago?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Rotten
    Is this the article you were thinking about?

    http://www.unz.com/article/exodus-redux-jewish-identity-and-the-shaping-of-history/

    Pointing out the Egyptian scholar Manetho's version of the events of Exodus, which is both lauded and harshly criticized by Jewish historians.

  6. Chase says:

    Of course they happened. Are the details accurate? No. But catastrophic events happen with a fair amount of regularity.

    If we go through some sort of 500-year dark age, what will a description of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sound like? Probably a lot like a tall tale.

    Read More
    • Replies: @anonguy

    If we go through some sort of 500-year dark age, what will a description of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sound like? Probably a lot like a tall tale.
     
    If it is our guys perpetuating the tale, probably how the Hiroshimanites and Nagasakitites were idolators/fornicators/sodomites and were smote by the winged goddess Enola.

    If it is their guys, probably something like the Flood, we were bad, had it coming, but it was redemptive in the end. It was supposed to be the fire next time, wasn't it?
  7. Young George Washington decided to blast the French at the 1754 Battle of Jumonville Glen in Western Pennsylvania. As I remember it from a book, the French were in some kind of rocky low area and Washington, being young and full of beans, attacked the French. The leader of the French, Jumonville, was killed. Later, Washington surrendered to French troops sent out from Fort Duquesne.

    All about the trans-Appalachian rivers and their strategic value to the British Empire and the French Empire.

    Now the American Empire is all about a debt-based fiat currency system electronically conjured up out of thin air. The American Empire’s military and intelligence wings operate globally as muscle to maintain the dollar as the world’s reserve currency. A new young Washington is going to set things in motion that causes a disruption to the global financial system.

    GET RID OF RYAN NOW, DAMMIT!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    According to Fred Anderson (no relation) the French commander at Jumonville Glen was killed during a parley by an Iroquois Half-King. This added a new meaning to the term "bury the hatchet" as the Tangrisson the Half King sunk his hatchet into the prior Frency's skull.

    And: Ryan delenda est!
    , @Jus' Sayin'...
    The story of how George Washington started the Seven Years War is even uglier than you suggest. One of Washington's Indians had a long-standing beef with the French commander and killed him after the French surrendered. The Indian is supposed to have done this by braining the poor man and washing his hands in his brains. To compound things, when a superior French force arrived, Washington was forced to surrender because he'd built his defensive works - Fort Necessity - on ground lacking a water supply and surrounded by higher terrain. Not a good start for a guy who'd set his heart on a commission in the Royal Army.
  8. empty says:

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    In his book “Moses and Monotheism” Freud laments that the contemporary science does not acknowledge the existence of racial, or inherited memories of ancient massive traumatic catastrophes … it’s a totally fascinating book combining genius and madness …

    another crazy one relating to the Bronze Age collapse is Jaynes’ “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind ” …

    ” On first reading, Breakdown seemed one of the craziest books ever written, but Jaynes may have been on to something.”

    -Gregory Cochran

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything -- or forgot almost everything -- about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That's thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn't exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes' linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that's too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there's no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.
    , @Anonymouse
    My local public library has a copy of Jaynes’ “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind” on which I have placed a hold. I can't wait to read about the left brain and the right brain moving in together in one big room and thinking/acting in concert. An analogous silly theory argues that the ancient Greeks, as in Homer, saw man as a bunch of disunited facilities - guts, diaphragms, head, hands, etc. - and only later on realized that a living thinking man might unify the facilities and recognize himself as a one. This is silly because a glance at Homer easily comes up with such remarks as "I intend" (ego boulomai) or "you wish" (su theleis), indicating that as early as Homer or, likely, among the wall painters of the Pleistocene, unitary self-consciousness, and the recognition of the other's unitary self-consciousness, existed then as nowadays.
    , @guest
    Freud, as usual, failed to understand the human mind. There is no such things as inherited memory. There is instinct, which you may call "memory" metaphorically. Freud dealt in metaphors, like a poet, dramatist, or mythologist. Why didn't he write fiction, instead of pretend-science? Maybe it was for the best, considering how badly art based on Freudian psychology sucks.

    Probably everyone who's read the Bicameral Mind book has questioned the author's sanity. David Stove did in a review, as I recall. I questioned my own sanity, reading it.

  9. Spmoore8 says:

    There’s a minor Greek tradition that says Helen was in Egypt during the Trojan War, so that’s one possible link (this inspired the Strauss opera.)

    Probably both stories are related to some actual historical events, distorted by time. Macaulay wrote an essay describing Waterloo in Homeric terms as it might be written by a Nigerian many centuries hence. It’s on this site somewhere.

    The Exodus involves two elements; a migration and a monotheistic monarch. In terms of fact if not of faith the latter must have involved the reigns around Akhenaten somehow, which BTW includes Tut. And we know those Egyptians were in contact with the Hittites.

    This gets us back to Iron Age weaponry. We had this discussion two weeks ago.

    Read More
    • Replies: @David
    At some point in Patroclus's funeral games a big piece of iron is at stake. In playing up the prize, Achilles says whoever wins it won't have to go to town to get iron to make plows for quite a while. Interestingly, he doesn't say that it'll make the toughest sward.

    Maybe a new ability to plow harder soils was one of the disruptions caused by iron.

  10. There’s an interesting theory that all phenomena mentioned as spurring Exodus – flies, frogs, water turning bloodlike, even deaths of first-born – were expected aftereffects of eruption/tsunami of Thera in about 1500 BC. Those memories were woven together into Jews’ defining fairy tale, Mesopotamian tales of The Beginning, etc.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    I think Gilgamesh and other earlier tales (Enuma Elish) go back to ca 2300 BC.
  11. OT: It’s amazing how easily people discuss genetics in other arenas.

    A couple of finance professors – U of Miami and U of Washington – have a paper stating that about half of people’s investment behaviors can be explained by genetics. The paper came out in 2012, yet there was no outrage.

    “For a long list of investment “biases,” e.g., home bias, loss aversion, and performance chasing, we find that genetic differences explain up to 45% of the variation across individual investors. The genetic factors that influence investment biases are also found to affect behaviors in other, non-investment, domains. This evidence is consistent with a view that investment biases are manifestations of innate and evolutionary ancient features of human behavior. The environment an investor experiences also affects investment biases, either directly or as a moderator of genetic predispositions.”

    https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228293332_Why_Do_Individuals_Exhibit_Investment_Biases

    Read More
  12. syonredux says:

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.

    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen……

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    One man's Exodus is another man's migration. We won't live to read the triumphalist narrative of how North America was liberated from the clutches of King Trump and the Honkies.
    , @Chet
    Exodus didn't happen and couldn't have happened. When I reviewed the archaeological research related to it a year or two ago, that was the was consensus I found.
    , @Buffalo Joe
    Syon, I am going to agree with you, who ever heard of Helen of Leuwian?
    , @Desiderius

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..
     
    No one who's anyone?

    Historians?

    It's not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today's crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.
    , @Charles Erwin Wilson

    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen
     
    Yes, well if you want to genuflect before that august body then feel free to abase yourself. Our Leftist 'friends' will be kneeling next to you.

    The rest of us will keep our self-respect and constrain our assertions to demonstrated theories, confirmed facts and genuine knowledge, while bearing in mind the cautions that logically follow from Thomas Kuhn's seminal work.

    If you cannot cite an academic that has made predictions that we are able to independently confirm, (and confirm in a time-bound succession - 20/20 hindsight, and Nostradamus, need not apply) then you are an acolyte of blind faith pretending to be science. And that is a thin reed to use as your guide.

    Do feel free to worship in that temple, but don't be surprised when the rest of us look for valid and sound footings to ground us in our beliefs.

    Oh, and be sure to begin your response with some variant of 'my dear fellow'. I'll look for it.
  13. Luke Lea says:

    “The end of the period is marked by the abandonment of the cities and a return to lifestyles based on farming villages and semi-nomadic herding, although specialised craft production continued and trade routes remained open.”

    This is when the Patriarcah Narratives would have been set, except that this refers to Palestine not at the end of the Bronze Age but circa 2000 BC: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canaan

    Read More
  14. Spmoore8 says:
    @empty

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    In his book "Moses and Monotheism" Freud laments that the contemporary science does not acknowledge the existence of racial, or inherited memories of ancient massive traumatic catastrophes ... it's a totally fascinating book combining genius and madness ...

    another crazy one relating to the Bronze Age collapse is Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind " ...

    " On first reading, Breakdown seemed one of the craziest books ever written, but Jaynes may have been on to something."
     
    -Gregory Cochran

    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything — or forgot almost everything — about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That’s thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn’t exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes’ linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that’s too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there’s no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Achilles

    I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns
     
    Phylogenetic analyses suggest that some of these, such as the tale of the Smith and the Devil, go back thousands of years, perhaps 6,000 years, with variations of this tale found throughout the Indo-European speaking world. Another Grimm folk tale, Rumpelstiltskin, is thought to be around 4,000 years old.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smith_and_the_Devil
    , @Desiderius

    Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing
     
    Animals, not even just higher mammals, already have fear and loathing.

    What's your point?
    , @Sunbeam
    "And then there is the issue of Flood narratives."

    This is practically a cottage industry to the usual... people.

    But something is going on with that. You might say that proto-Indo Europeans or something were in the Black Sea valley when it started flooding. And the story lived on.

    But you get Flood stories in places that had absolutely no link to these hypothetical people, nor to any of the other disconnected areas and peoples that also have Flood stories.

    Dunno maybe some of the first wave out of Africa saw something dramatic in the Middle East (I vaguely remember one explanation was an incident where almost everything between the Tigris and Euphrates was covered in standing water.

    If it happened in the past 5000 years or so, heck maybe it happened 125,000 years ago. But come on, that just strains my personal credulity that an event could be remembered that long in any fashion.

    Or maybe Floods happen everywhere, and a big one always comes along to tell the grandkids about.
    , @guest
    I think you mean fear and trembling. Fear and loathing is Hunter Thompson's thing, and he was very I, me, mine.
  15. Spmoore8 says:
    @San Fernando Curt
    There's an interesting theory that all phenomena mentioned as spurring Exodus - flies, frogs, water turning bloodlike, even deaths of first-born - were expected aftereffects of eruption/tsunami of Thera in about 1500 BC. Those memories were woven together into Jews' defining fairy tale, Mesopotamian tales of The Beginning, etc.

    I think Gilgamesh and other earlier tales (Enuma Elish) go back to ca 2300 BC.

    Read More
  16. Pat Boyle says:

    I read a book years ago about the end of the Bronze Age. It was a serious book of scholarship not a – at least on the face of it a crank theory. As I remember the principal claim was that the javelin brought down the Mycenaean’s. Before the big change the military of the late Bronze Age city-states was dominated by chariots. So a wealthy and powerful city would have a large infrastructure of chariots and charioteers.

    Chariots were invincible on the battle field as a mobile platform for archery. But then all of a sudden it occurred to young men that they could lie down on the field with nothing but a a handful of javelins. They could then spring up and send a cheap javelin into one of the oncoming chariots. It would be relatively easy to hit a target as large as a pair of horses.

    According to this author the sudden switch to the javelin brought about a military revolution. Mighty states based on the invincibility of the chariot archer were overnight made obsolete and the great civilization of antiquity all collapsed.

    I never knew what to make of this theory. The author was serious and his narrative was convincing but how do you judge such notions?

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    Greece is a hilly place; doesn't look too suitable for chariots. Mesopotamia would suit, no doubt, and Egypt too.
    , @anonguy

    Chariots were invincible on the battle field as a mobile platform for archery. But then all of a sudden it occurred to young men that they could lie down on the field with nothing but a a handful of javelins. They could then spring up and send a cheap javelin into one of the oncoming chariots. It would be relatively easy to hit a target as large as a pair of horses.
     
    Asymmetrical warfare can be hell on empires.
  17. Spmoore8 says:
    @syonredux

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.
     
    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen......

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred.....

    One man’s Exodus is another man’s migration. We won’t live to read the triumphalist narrative of how North America was liberated from the clutches of King Trump and the Honkies.

    Read More
  18. Exodus real? You mean a country had a whole bunch of Jews and one day they all decided to up and leave VOLUNTARILY?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Romanian
    Happened in Europe a lot during the 20th century. Bad conditions at home coupled with better conditions abroad and an ideological drive for settlement can do wonders. The Zionists tried their best and it worked, to a certain extent. The Israelis even bribed the Soviets with Pollard's stolen data to let the Russian Jews and Russians pretending to be Jewish emigrate to Israel. Communist Romania, despite being closed for emigration, allowed the Germans to go to West Germany and the Jews to go to Israel.

    This is an interesting speech http://www.unz.com/article/terrorism-how-the-israeli-state-was-won/
  19. OT – WWT recent battle: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4312594/Fell-runner-jailed-trying-murder-athletics-official.html

    I’m going to guess that Trans people are more violent than others. Perhaps they have a hormone imbalance.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jus' Sayin'...
    Even by tranny standards this train-wreck is an amazingly weird looking creature. It seems to take after its father.
    , @JohnnyGeo
    the first pic looks like a famous rock album cover, but i can't place it.
  20. David says:

    In this pdf is a chart showing pollen count per unit volume by depth of mud in the Sea of Galilee. (Page 156, 8th page of the pdf.) The depth of mud is aligned with distance in time. Just picking numbers off the graph, it shows a large drop around 1200 until about 800 BC. The papers says the results indicate a prolonged drought. Seems compelling.

    http://archaeology.tau.ac.il/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Langgut_et_al_LB_Collapse_2013.pdf

    Read More
  21. dearieme says:
    @Desiderius

    Maybe. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    That's where the smart money would be.

    Wouldn’t you have to start by working out when the Exodus story was invented? WKPD says:

    Although mythical elements are not so prominent in Exodus as in Genesis, ancient legends have an influence on the book’s content: for example, the story of the infant Moses’s salvation from the Nile is based on an earlier legend of king Sargon of Akkad, while the story of the parting of the Red Sea trades on Mesopotamian creation mythology. Similarly, the Covenant Code (the law code in Exodus 20:22–23:33) has some similarities in both content and structure with the Laws of Hammurabi. These influences serve to reinforce the conclusion that the Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BCE Babylon, but not all the sources are Mesopotamian: the story of Moses’s flight to Midian following the murder of the Egyptian overseer may draw on the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe.

    Anyway, the archaeology says the tale is bogus. As far as anyone can see the Hebrews were just a bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adopting a cult with the usual paraphernalia of foundation myths, pseudo history, taboos, rituals, and so on.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    This is the same sort of analysis used by Evan McMullin-class geniuses in the CIA to link Trump supporters to Putin.
    , @Anon
    So the Old Testament is just Jewish fanfiction about older Gentile myths.
  22. dearieme says:
    @Pat Boyle
    I read a book years ago about the end of the Bronze Age. It was a serious book of scholarship not a - at least on the face of it a crank theory. As I remember the principal claim was that the javelin brought down the Mycenaean's. Before the big change the military of the late Bronze Age city-states was dominated by chariots. So a wealthy and powerful city would have a large infrastructure of chariots and charioteers.

    Chariots were invincible on the battle field as a mobile platform for archery. But then all of a sudden it occurred to young men that they could lie down on the field with nothing but a a handful of javelins. They could then spring up and send a cheap javelin into one of the oncoming chariots. It would be relatively easy to hit a target as large as a pair of horses.

    According to this author the sudden switch to the javelin brought about a military revolution. Mighty states based on the invincibility of the chariot archer were overnight made obsolete and the great civilization of antiquity all collapsed.

    I never knew what to make of this theory. The author was serious and his narrative was convincing but how do you judge such notions?

    Greece is a hilly place; doesn’t look too suitable for chariots. Mesopotamia would suit, no doubt, and Egypt too.

    Read More
  23. David says:
    @Spmoore8
    There's a minor Greek tradition that says Helen was in Egypt during the Trojan War, so that's one possible link (this inspired the Strauss opera.)

    Probably both stories are related to some actual historical events, distorted by time. Macaulay wrote an essay describing Waterloo in Homeric terms as it might be written by a Nigerian many centuries hence. It's on this site somewhere.

    The Exodus involves two elements; a migration and a monotheistic monarch. In terms of fact if not of faith the latter must have involved the reigns around Akhenaten somehow, which BTW includes Tut. And we know those Egyptians were in contact with the Hittites.

    This gets us back to Iron Age weaponry. We had this discussion two weeks ago.

    At some point in Patroclus’s funeral games a big piece of iron is at stake. In playing up the prize, Achilles says whoever wins it won’t have to go to town to get iron to make plows for quite a while. Interestingly, he doesn’t say that it’ll make the toughest sward.

    Maybe a new ability to plow harder soils was one of the disruptions caused by iron.

    Read More
    • Replies: @El Dato
    I like these stories, they are basically from a galaxy long ago and far away when people didn't even have maps and knowledge slowly started to accumulate like silt.

    But

    Now, as Colin Barras at New Scientist reports
     
    Since when is New Scientist used as a reference. It was pretty good in the 80s (as I remember, I even remember reading about Julian Jaynes first in that very mag) but during the 90s decline set in as they started to chase after the readership. I left when stories became weird and far-out (in particular, the never-ending unintelligible gibberish about "quantum weirdness" pissed me off - QM ain't that weird, really).

    Where are my pills.
  24. Achilles says:

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    Both. One needs to realize the dating system of the ancient world used by those historians and archaeologists who have dominated the key academic positions is constructed like a house of cards, resting on just a few claimed bits of evidence with the rest elaborately deduced from there.

    The Egyptian chronology is the foundation from which the other Near Eastern chronologies are calculated, and the soundness or lack thereof with respect to the conventional Egyptian chronology has implications for the Greek, Hittite and other chronologies.

    The establishment academics are beginning to surrender in the face of criticism of the conventional Egyptian chronology by David Rohl and others. Computer simulations of astronomical calendar events recorded in ancient Egypt match up far better with Rohl’s proposed new chronology. The new chronology resolves an error in the dating of ancient Jericho and matches much better with common events recorded by both Israelite scribes and Egyptian monuments.

    Similarly, there has been a suggestion recently that there may have been no “Greek dark age.” The existence of the Greek dark age was deduced from reconciling pottery found in archaeological excavations with the conventional dating system. It may be that the Greek dark age is an artifact of mistakes made by scholars in reconstructing the chronology of the ancient world.

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    Rohl's "New Chronology" is not taken seriously:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Chronology_(Rohl)#Reception
    , @ChrisZ
    Achilles, looks like we're on the same page (judging from this and other comments you've made); see my own description of the chronology question below yours. Glad to make your acquaintance.
  25. Achilles says:
    @Spmoore8
    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything -- or forgot almost everything -- about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That's thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn't exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes' linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that's too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there's no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.

    I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns

    Phylogenetic analyses suggest that some of these, such as the tale of the Smith and the Devil, go back thousands of years, perhaps 6,000 years, with variations of this tale found throughout the Indo-European speaking world. Another Grimm folk tale, Rumpelstiltskin, is thought to be around 4,000 years old.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Smith_and_the_Devil

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  26. Romanian says: • Website
    @Father O'Hara
    Exodus real? You mean a country had a whole bunch of Jews and one day they all decided to up and leave VOLUNTARILY?

    Happened in Europe a lot during the 20th century. Bad conditions at home coupled with better conditions abroad and an ideological drive for settlement can do wonders. The Zionists tried their best and it worked, to a certain extent. The Israelis even bribed the Soviets with Pollard’s stolen data to let the Russian Jews and Russians pretending to be Jewish emigrate to Israel. Communist Romania, despite being closed for emigration, allowed the Germans to go to West Germany and the Jews to go to Israel.

    This is an interesting speech http://www.unz.com/article/terrorism-how-the-israeli-state-was-won/

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  27. ChrisZ says:

    I appreciate the attention given here to the Bronze Age collapse–an endlessly fascinating topic.

    Is anyone here familiar with the theory that the chronology of the Bronze-Age ancient world, built up by scholars since the 19th century, is distorted due to errors of interpretation and methodology used in archaeology’s early days?

    According to the theory, called the New Chronology, the dating of ancient world events is firm and secure going backward to around 800 B.C.; but the dates assigned to events older than that are matters of controversy, which the theory seeks to resolve.

    The theory states that the chronology of ancient Egypt, as calculated from meagre recorded evidence, is about 300 years too long (the reason for this is that a set of parallel royal dynasties was mistakenly interpreted as occurring in a single sequence). Since other ancient world chronologies were built around convergences with the Egyptians, this extension has wreaked havoc on the study of antiquity. One result of the purported error is a substantial elongation of the Greek Dark Age following the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. Another is that great events from antiquity (like the Exodus, Trojan War, or the rise of the Indo-Europeans) are “hidden” from view: archaeologists seeking material evidence for them are literally looking in the wrong strata.

    Once the chronology is corrected–by contracting the timeline by around 300 years–all sorts of interesting convergences start to emerge between the material record and the received traditions of ancient literature like the Bible or epic poetry.

    The principle architect of the New Chronology is an English Egyptologist (and erstwhile musician), David Rohl. Since the 1990s he’s written a series of books on the subject, and made some films explaining his theory and even soliciting rebuttals from skeptical distinguished scholars like Kenneth Kitchen. His television film “Pharaohs and Kings,” available on YouTube, makes a plausible case–although it’s really not possible for a layman to adjudicate the matter. I recall Rohl’s personal website made the promotion of his theory look a bit like a racket–but that’s the way it is with a lot of things these days.

    The current academic consensus definitely does not give much respect to the theory. But a common observation on this site is that consensus–even historical/scientific consensus–can sometimes be wrong, either honestly or willfully. So if there’s a group among whom such a theory might receive a hearing, it would be the readers of iSteve. It’s a complex subject, to which I have surely not done justice; but I’m confident a number of commenters here would find it interesting, even if not persuasive.

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  28. RickinJax says:

    Re The Seven Years War. The entire period from Queen Anne’s War ( 1705 ?)to Waterloo, used to be refereed to by some British and French historians as The Great War for Empire.
    Maybe a better claim Wold War Zero?

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  29. @empty

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    In his book "Moses and Monotheism" Freud laments that the contemporary science does not acknowledge the existence of racial, or inherited memories of ancient massive traumatic catastrophes ... it's a totally fascinating book combining genius and madness ...

    another crazy one relating to the Bronze Age collapse is Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind " ...

    " On first reading, Breakdown seemed one of the craziest books ever written, but Jaynes may have been on to something."
     
    -Gregory Cochran

    My local public library has a copy of Jaynes’ “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind” on which I have placed a hold. I can’t wait to read about the left brain and the right brain moving in together in one big room and thinking/acting in concert. An analogous silly theory argues that the ancient Greeks, as in Homer, saw man as a bunch of disunited facilities – guts, diaphragms, head, hands, etc. – and only later on realized that a living thinking man might unify the facilities and recognize himself as a one. This is silly because a glance at Homer easily comes up with such remarks as “I intend” (ego boulomai) or “you wish” (su theleis), indicating that as early as Homer or, likely, among the wall painters of the Pleistocene, unitary self-consciousness, and the recognition of the other’s unitary self-consciousness, existed then as nowadays.

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    • Replies: @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Oh no!

    You are marshalling reason, commonsense, critical thinking and arriving at conclusions not handed down to you from our betters! And then the impudence of you when you are using Greek! Who are you to use Greek? Please show the credentials allowing you to access the arcane and even occult knowledge of the ancient world? What is next? Disputing the latest Chicken Licken story from the herd of independent minds? Going off into a bureaucratically unapproved direction? Telling our overlords "no?"

    Perish the thought.
  30. @TelfoedJohn
    OT - WWT recent battle: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4312594/Fell-runner-jailed-trying-murder-athletics-official.html

    I'm going to guess that Trans people are more violent than others. Perhaps they have a hormone imbalance.

    Even by tranny standards this train-wreck is an amazingly weird looking creature. It seems to take after its father.

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  31. Moshe says:

    Early in Genesis the Bible speaks about Abraham having been involved in what might have been an aspect of this war.

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  32. Rapparee says:

    Ancient legends are like John Wanamaker’s advertising budget- half of them are true and half are nonsense, but without corroborating evidence from other sources, we can’t know which half is which. The general trend in scholarship is for more and more “legends” to be confirmed as at least partially historical over time, as new evidence emerges, rather than the reverse. The trendiest scholars assumed Troy was totally fictional until Schilemann excavated Troy VII. A handful of extreme skeptics still doubted the existence of Pontius Pilate until the Pilate Stone turned up in 1961. And modern DNA analysis was apparently able to more-or-less confirm the existence of Niall of the Nine Hostages, otherwise known only from legendary pseudo-history. Most ancient authors drew on much older sources which are now irretrievably lost, like the Book of the Wars of the Lord, or the Book of Jasher, but modern archaeologists often treat absence of evidence as evidence of absence. I expect that a lot of legendary pseudohistory will be confirmed when somebody finally cracks Linear A.

    The origin of the Exodus story most likely has something to do with the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt (a theory that has been discussed and debated since at least the time of Josephus). Canaanite tribes who entered Egypt under the protection of the “Shepherd Kings” might have found their status much reduced after the defeat of their patrons.

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  33. Ganderson says:
    @Charles Pewitt
    Young George Washington decided to blast the French at the 1754 Battle of Jumonville Glen in Western Pennsylvania. As I remember it from a book, the French were in some kind of rocky low area and Washington, being young and full of beans, attacked the French. The leader of the French, Jumonville, was killed. Later, Washington surrendered to French troops sent out from Fort Duquesne.

    All about the trans-Appalachian rivers and their strategic value to the British Empire and the French Empire.

    Now the American Empire is all about a debt-based fiat currency system electronically conjured up out of thin air. The American Empire's military and intelligence wings operate globally as muscle to maintain the dollar as the world's reserve currency. A new young Washington is going to set things in motion that causes a disruption to the global financial system.

    GET RID OF RYAN NOW, DAMMIT!

    According to Fred Anderson (no relation) the French commander at Jumonville Glen was killed during a parley by an Iroquois Half-King. This added a new meaning to the term “bury the hatchet” as the Tangrisson the Half King sunk his hatchet into the prior Frency’s skull.

    And: Ryan delenda est!

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  34. @Charles Pewitt
    Young George Washington decided to blast the French at the 1754 Battle of Jumonville Glen in Western Pennsylvania. As I remember it from a book, the French were in some kind of rocky low area and Washington, being young and full of beans, attacked the French. The leader of the French, Jumonville, was killed. Later, Washington surrendered to French troops sent out from Fort Duquesne.

    All about the trans-Appalachian rivers and their strategic value to the British Empire and the French Empire.

    Now the American Empire is all about a debt-based fiat currency system electronically conjured up out of thin air. The American Empire's military and intelligence wings operate globally as muscle to maintain the dollar as the world's reserve currency. A new young Washington is going to set things in motion that causes a disruption to the global financial system.

    GET RID OF RYAN NOW, DAMMIT!

    The story of how George Washington started the Seven Years War is even uglier than you suggest. One of Washington’s Indians had a long-standing beef with the French commander and killed him after the French surrendered. The Indian is supposed to have done this by braining the poor man and washing his hands in his brains. To compound things, when a superior French force arrived, Washington was forced to surrender because he’d built his defensive works – Fort Necessity – on ground lacking a water supply and surrounded by higher terrain. Not a good start for a guy who’d set his heart on a commission in the Royal Army.

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  35. guest says:
    @empty

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    In his book "Moses and Monotheism" Freud laments that the contemporary science does not acknowledge the existence of racial, or inherited memories of ancient massive traumatic catastrophes ... it's a totally fascinating book combining genius and madness ...

    another crazy one relating to the Bronze Age collapse is Jaynes' "The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind " ...

    " On first reading, Breakdown seemed one of the craziest books ever written, but Jaynes may have been on to something."
     
    -Gregory Cochran

    Freud, as usual, failed to understand the human mind. There is no such things as inherited memory. There is instinct, which you may call “memory” metaphorically. Freud dealt in metaphors, like a poet, dramatist, or mythologist. Why didn’t he write fiction, instead of pretend-science? Maybe it was for the best, considering how badly art based on Freudian psychology sucks.

    Probably everyone who’s read the Bicameral Mind book has questioned the author’s sanity. David Stove did in a review, as I recall. I questioned my own sanity, reading it.

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    • Replies: @Opinionator
    Why didn’t he write fiction, instead of pretend-science?

    Is there a difference?
  36. Rotten says:
    @Roger Sweeny
    Didn't Razib Khan have something on this a while ago?

    Is this the article you were thinking about?

    http://www.unz.com/article/exodus-redux-jewish-identity-and-the-shaping-of-history/

    Pointing out the Egyptian scholar Manetho’s version of the events of Exodus, which is both lauded and harshly criticized by Jewish historians.

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    • Replies: @ogunsiron
    razib is in enough trouble as it is.
    No need to attribute to him an article critical of jewish tales, seriously :)
    , @Roger Sweeny
    Thanks, but that's not what I was thinking of.
  37. I think Steve is correct to call the Seven Year’s War (French and Indian War in North America), the first world war. It extended from the Ohio River Valley, through Europe and into India. The invasion of the sea peoples, however, dramatic, was basically an eastern Mediterranean event.

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  38. But how does any of this tie into completing the system of German Romanticism?

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  39. @Spmoore8
    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything -- or forgot almost everything -- about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That's thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn't exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes' linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that's too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there's no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.

    Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing

    Animals, not even just higher mammals, already have fear and loathing.

    What’s your point?

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    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    The point is that the idea of a unique *I* whose annihilation is a foregone conclusion seems to be a problem with humans but not with animals who we might otherwise consider "conscious" by other criteria. And, I am contending that when people talk about the "mystery of consciousness" that is at least part of what they are talking about, if it is not the main thing they are concerned with.

    And, BTW, I think that is clearly a prime motivator in the evolution of most religions. Usually, the consolations offered include arguments that the *I* or self doesn't really exist, or that the *I* is subsumed into something greater, or that the *I* continues to exist in some other form.

    I seriously doubt any higher mammal even entertains such thoughts.

    There's a philosophical argument that this notion of self, ego, I, etc. is due to language, as well as specific languages. There's also an argument that it is due to specific teachings (which by necessity are purveyed by language.) I don't think either of these explanations are correct.
    , @guest
    I think he's referring to fear and trembling, as popularized by Kierkegaard. It comes from a Bible verse, something like, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." So there's your traditional association of fear and trembling with individual salvation.

    Of course, anxiety existed prior to religion, and prior to mankind.
  40. snorlax says:

    Other candidates for early “world wars” include the Thirty Years’ War, the War of the Spanish Succession, and the Napoleonic Wars (incl. the War of 1812).

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    • Replies: @Josh
    War of the league of Cambrai is a forgotten one.
  41. SPMoore8 says:
    @Desiderius

    Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing
     
    Animals, not even just higher mammals, already have fear and loathing.

    What's your point?

    The point is that the idea of a unique *I* whose annihilation is a foregone conclusion seems to be a problem with humans but not with animals who we might otherwise consider “conscious” by other criteria. And, I am contending that when people talk about the “mystery of consciousness” that is at least part of what they are talking about, if it is not the main thing they are concerned with.

    And, BTW, I think that is clearly a prime motivator in the evolution of most religions. Usually, the consolations offered include arguments that the *I* or self doesn’t really exist, or that the *I* is subsumed into something greater, or that the *I* continues to exist in some other form.

    I seriously doubt any higher mammal even entertains such thoughts.

    There’s a philosophical argument that this notion of self, ego, I, etc. is due to language, as well as specific languages. There’s also an argument that it is due to specific teachings (which by necessity are purveyed by language.) I don’t think either of these explanations are correct.

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    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Of course.

    My question was how exactly does a teaching of individual salvation produce fear and loathing?

    Note: I'm unconvinced that there is such a thing as individual salvation, it's just that it seems that fear and loathing were already there before such a concept arose.
  42. anonguy says:
    @Chase
    Of course they happened. Are the details accurate? No. But catastrophic events happen with a fair amount of regularity.

    If we go through some sort of 500-year dark age, what will a description of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sound like? Probably a lot like a tall tale.

    If we go through some sort of 500-year dark age, what will a description of Hiroshima and Nagasaki sound like? Probably a lot like a tall tale.

    If it is our guys perpetuating the tale, probably how the Hiroshimanites and Nagasakitites were idolators/fornicators/sodomites and were smote by the winged goddess Enola.

    If it is their guys, probably something like the Flood, we were bad, had it coming, but it was redemptive in the end. It was supposed to be the fire next time, wasn’t it?

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  43. Sunbeam says:
    @Spmoore8
    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything -- or forgot almost everything -- about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That's thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn't exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes' linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that's too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there's no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.

    “And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.”

    This is practically a cottage industry to the usual… people.

    But something is going on with that. You might say that proto-Indo Europeans or something were in the Black Sea valley when it started flooding. And the story lived on.

    But you get Flood stories in places that had absolutely no link to these hypothetical people, nor to any of the other disconnected areas and peoples that also have Flood stories.

    Dunno maybe some of the first wave out of Africa saw something dramatic in the Middle East (I vaguely remember one explanation was an incident where almost everything between the Tigris and Euphrates was covered in standing water.

    If it happened in the past 5000 years or so, heck maybe it happened 125,000 years ago. But come on, that just strains my personal credulity that an event could be remembered that long in any fashion.

    Or maybe Floods happen everywhere, and a big one always comes along to tell the grandkids about.

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    • Replies: @anon

    Or maybe Floods happen everywhere
     
    Floods happened everywhere when the sea levels rose - or maybe more accurately they happened in all the low lying wetlands that had been refuges during the Ice Age - so not a single event but an event that happened in multiple places at the same time.
  44. anonguy says:
    @Pat Boyle
    I read a book years ago about the end of the Bronze Age. It was a serious book of scholarship not a - at least on the face of it a crank theory. As I remember the principal claim was that the javelin brought down the Mycenaean's. Before the big change the military of the late Bronze Age city-states was dominated by chariots. So a wealthy and powerful city would have a large infrastructure of chariots and charioteers.

    Chariots were invincible on the battle field as a mobile platform for archery. But then all of a sudden it occurred to young men that they could lie down on the field with nothing but a a handful of javelins. They could then spring up and send a cheap javelin into one of the oncoming chariots. It would be relatively easy to hit a target as large as a pair of horses.

    According to this author the sudden switch to the javelin brought about a military revolution. Mighty states based on the invincibility of the chariot archer were overnight made obsolete and the great civilization of antiquity all collapsed.

    I never knew what to make of this theory. The author was serious and his narrative was convincing but how do you judge such notions?

    Chariots were invincible on the battle field as a mobile platform for archery. But then all of a sudden it occurred to young men that they could lie down on the field with nothing but a a handful of javelins. They could then spring up and send a cheap javelin into one of the oncoming chariots. It would be relatively easy to hit a target as large as a pair of horses.

    Asymmetrical warfare can be hell on empires.

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  45. anonguy says:

    Maybe. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    Invert that, maybe the culture/society had an important need for such stories and that is why such tales were cultivated/preserved/burnished.

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  46. Whoever says:

    I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    I know, right? But Christopher Jones quotes Thucydides as saying about the Trojan war that, “we shall find that if we look at the evidence of what was actually done, that it was not so important as it was made out to be, and as it is still, through the influence of the poets, believed to have been.”
    The cite is in his monograph, The Trojan War in Greek Historical Sources, published in the blog, The Gates of Nineveh.
    However, Jones himself says, “It is a great puzzle as to why the destruction of one city in Asia Minor warranted the prime place in ancient Greek culture while numerous other cities were destroyed in the same time period without being recorded in anyone’s history.” He suggests the reason was that a Greek identity was created as a result of the war, but who knows? There probably is–as you suggest–something important that we are missing.

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  47. Alexa says:

    Wells observes:

    Certainly it seems now that nothing could have been more obvious to the people of the earlier twentieth century than the rapidity with which war was becoming impossible. And as certainly they did not see it. They did not see it until the atomic bombs burst in their fumbling hands [...] All through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the amount of energy that men were able to command was continually increasing. Applied to warfare that meant that the power to inflict a blow, the power to destroy, was continually increasing [...]There was no increase whatever in the ability to escape [...]Destruction was becoming so facile that any little body of malcontents could use it [...]Before the last war began it was a matter of common knowledge that a man could carry about in a handbag an amount of latent energy sufficient to wreck half a city.[12]

    Wells viewed war as the inevitable result of the Modern State; the introduction of atomic energy in a world divided resulted in the collapse of society. The only possibilities remaining were “either the relapse of mankind to agricultural barbarism from which it had emerged so painfully or the acceptance of achieved science as the basis of a new social order.” Wells’s theme of world government is presented as a solution to the threat of nuclear weapons.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_World_Set_Free

    National governments are headed for the scrap pile.

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  48. Chet says:
    @syonredux

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.
     
    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen......

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred.....

    Exodus didn’t happen and couldn’t have happened. When I reviewed the archaeological research related to it a year or two ago, that was the was consensus I found.

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  49. @syonredux

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.
     
    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen......

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred.....

    Syon, I am going to agree with you, who ever heard of Helen of Leuwian?

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    • Replies: @syonredux
    If I had to bet on which character in The Iliad was more-or-less based on a real person, I would go with Agamemnon.

    Personage least likely to be real: Toss-up between Achilles and Odysseus.
  50. Maybe. But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    I don’t know Steve. Is the importance of a story in a culture indicative of its truth? Is there any correlation?

    And how true are the “facts” or lessons taken from a particular general event? Wouldn’t there need to be some objective truth to or even consensus regarding what is remembered for it to be said that the actual facts of the event are powering the memory?

    What is the lesson of Trayvon Martin?

    What is the lesson of US involvement in WW2? Is it an anti-interventionist one or a pro-interventionist one?

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  51. Anonymous says:

    Apparently, the Black Sea is a geologically ‘recent’ artifact caused by post Ice Age sea-level raising and the ensuing inundation of a low lying plateau.
    Happened before recorded history, of course, but within the time frame of ‘cultured’ sapiens.
    The fascinating possibility is that the biblical deluge story of Noah and the Ark might possibly be a long long held distant semi-legendary folk-memory finally put down in writing in ancient times.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    Atlantis?
    , @David
    E O Wilson thinks that humans' instinctual fear of things like snakes and drowning is what causes them to appear in so many myths.
    , @Marat Said
    The Persian Gulf was also formed by the rise of the sea level; its flooding was complete around 8,000 years ago.

    The Sumerian flood story most likely reflects the inundation of the gulf, which after all was right there in plain view, rather than the Black Sea, but I suppose one could make arguments for either as the source of Biblical version.
  52. @SPMoore8
    The point is that the idea of a unique *I* whose annihilation is a foregone conclusion seems to be a problem with humans but not with animals who we might otherwise consider "conscious" by other criteria. And, I am contending that when people talk about the "mystery of consciousness" that is at least part of what they are talking about, if it is not the main thing they are concerned with.

    And, BTW, I think that is clearly a prime motivator in the evolution of most religions. Usually, the consolations offered include arguments that the *I* or self doesn't really exist, or that the *I* is subsumed into something greater, or that the *I* continues to exist in some other form.

    I seriously doubt any higher mammal even entertains such thoughts.

    There's a philosophical argument that this notion of self, ego, I, etc. is due to language, as well as specific languages. There's also an argument that it is due to specific teachings (which by necessity are purveyed by language.) I don't think either of these explanations are correct.

    Of course.

    My question was how exactly does a teaching of individual salvation produce fear and loathing?

    Note: I’m unconvinced that there is such a thing as individual salvation, it’s just that it seems that fear and loathing were already there before such a concept arose.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    I don't know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith. But I cannot rationally defend it. So if I am going to defend it I would have to use metaphor.

    The argument that a teaching of individual salvation inspires fear and loathing is because it emphasizes the *I* (as all Christian faith does). You cannot experience existential angst (I meant to cross reference Kierkegaard, not Burroughs, LOL) if there isn't an ego experiencing it.

    Of course you could take a higher wisdom approach and argue that the Christian emphasis on *I*, ego, soul, etc. is directly counter to the meaning of living in Christ.

    And you could also argue that the early Christian fathers would not have emphasized an *I* that has to make a choice about individual salvation if the notion did not already have common currency.

    I'm not sure how this notion of self emerged but it must have been fairly early on (compare Egyptian funereal monuments, or even prehistoric burials with keepsakes). What I do not think is that it was due to some kind of change in our biological wiring (Jaynes). I think it was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium.
  53. @syonredux

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.
     
    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen......

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred.....

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..

    No one who’s anyone?

    Historians?

    It’s not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today’s crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..

    No one who’s anyone?

    Historians?

    It’s not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today’s crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.
     
    Yeah, but archaeological evidence argues against the historicity of The Pentateuch. If you want to get up to speed:

    The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
    by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein

    In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.
     
    https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136
  54. SPMoore8 says:
    @Desiderius
    Of course.

    My question was how exactly does a teaching of individual salvation produce fear and loathing?

    Note: I'm unconvinced that there is such a thing as individual salvation, it's just that it seems that fear and loathing were already there before such a concept arose.

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith. But I cannot rationally defend it. So if I am going to defend it I would have to use metaphor.

    The argument that a teaching of individual salvation inspires fear and loathing is because it emphasizes the *I* (as all Christian faith does). You cannot experience existential angst (I meant to cross reference Kierkegaard, not Burroughs, LOL) if there isn’t an ego experiencing it.

    Of course you could take a higher wisdom approach and argue that the Christian emphasis on *I*, ego, soul, etc. is directly counter to the meaning of living in Christ.

    And you could also argue that the early Christian fathers would not have emphasized an *I* that has to make a choice about individual salvation if the notion did not already have common currency.

    I’m not sure how this notion of self emerged but it must have been fairly early on (compare Egyptian funereal monuments, or even prehistoric burials with keepsakes). What I do not think is that it was due to some kind of change in our biological wiring (Jaynes). I think it was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith
     
    I'm curious what part of your creed specifies it as individual.
  55. syonredux says:
    @Desiderius

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..
     
    No one who's anyone?

    Historians?

    It's not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today's crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..

    No one who’s anyone?

    Historians?

    It’s not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today’s crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.

    Yeah, but archaeological evidence argues against the historicity of The Pentateuch. If you want to get up to speed:

    The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology’s New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
    by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein

    In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.

    https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    I'm (vaguely) up-to-date and am a child of the Enlightenment enough to attempt to take such work seriously. Seriously though is not gullibly, and the rule of faith acts as a significant counterweight, nor is it one I begrudge.

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.
  56. guest says:
    @Desiderius

    Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing
     
    Animals, not even just higher mammals, already have fear and loathing.

    What's your point?

    I think he’s referring to fear and trembling, as popularized by Kierkegaard. It comes from a Bible verse, something like, “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” So there’s your traditional association of fear and trembling with individual salvation.

    Of course, anxiety existed prior to religion, and prior to mankind.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Yeah, that's was what I was driving at.

    Salvation, individual or otherwise, acts as a patch whose purpose, among other things, is to address inordinate fear. To say it creates it is along the lines of wet streets causing rain.

    "Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. "

    - Job 42
    , @Desiderius
    Philippians 2:12
  57. guest says:
    @Spmoore8
    Folklore and legend suggest that there is some deep continuity to cultural memory: sometimes. I recall reading that some Grimm tales go back to the Huns. And then there is the issue of Flood narratives.

    Its worth keeping in mind that no one knew hardly anything -- or forgot almost everything -- about the ancient world until Rosetta Stone, Behistun inscriptions were deciphered, and until Schliemann and others started digging stuff up. That's thousands of years and a long time for legends to develop. So Freud was actually doing the normal thing, reconciling Bible lore with archaeology. The Finnish novelist Waltari did the same thing.

    Everyone wants to know where *I* comes from, even when they want to say that *I* doesn't exist (Dennett). Hence Jaynes. But Jaynes' linguistic argument already goes right up to the lip of classical Greece (Heraclitus), so that's too late.

    I think Jaynes confuses linguistic change for biological change. The equipment for consciousness probably came much earlier and probably also exists among numerous higher mammals but there's no words for it. Add a teaching of individual salvation and you have fear and loathing on one hand and I me mine on the other.

    I think you mean fear and trembling. Fear and loathing is Hunter Thompson’s thing, and he was very I, me, mine.

    Read More
  58. syonredux says:
    @Buffalo Joe
    Syon, I am going to agree with you, who ever heard of Helen of Leuwian?

    If I had to bet on which character in The Iliad was more-or-less based on a real person, I would go with Agamemnon.

    Personage least likely to be real: Toss-up between Achilles and Odysseus.

    Read More
  59. Josh says:
    @snorlax
    Other candidates for early "world wars" include the Thirty Years' War, the War of the Spanish Succession, and the Napoleonic Wars (incl. the War of 1812).

    War of the league of Cambrai is a forgotten one.

    Read More
    • Replies: @snorlax
    Well, I'm defining "world war" to mean one that spanned several continents across great distances, not just one that involved several major powers.
  60. @Anonymous
    Apparently, the Black Sea is a geologically 'recent' artifact caused by post Ice Age sea-level raising and the ensuing inundation of a low lying plateau.
    Happened before recorded history, of course, but within the time frame of 'cultured' sapiens.
    The fascinating possibility is that the biblical deluge story of Noah and the Ark might possibly be a long long held distant semi-legendary folk-memory finally put down in writing in ancient times.

    Atlantis?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Atlantis?
     
    Probably not.Atlantis was a literary fiction invented by Plato. Its enduring power is testimony to Plato's great skill as a writer.


    For a debunking account, I recommend de Camp's still useful Lost Continents:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Continents-Dover-Occult-Sprague/dp/0486226689

    , @anon
    A lot of land flooded after the ice age as shown by this map.

    http://www.apparentlyapparel.com/uploads/5/3/5/6/5356442/1396726823.jpg

    Given Plato saying it was beyond the pillars of Hercules (straits of Gibraltar) i'd guess Atlantis was probably one of the many now sunken bits along the Atlantic coast marked in red on that map.

    And his mention (iirc) they had lots of precious metals I'd say either
    - southern Portugal, epicenter of the Atlantic Megalith culture
    - around SW Britain - with maybe the Scilly Isles as the last remnant
    - around Brittany

    again iirc i think he mentions a good climate which might fir the first two better (Scilly Isles gets the full benefit of the Gulf Stream as well as being very close to the copper, tin, silver and gold mines of Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isles_of_Scilly

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyonesse

    Atlantis = Lyonesse?

    #

    As an aside you can see from that map how flood myths could have started in multiple places all over the world.
  61. snorlax says:
    @Josh
    War of the league of Cambrai is a forgotten one.

    Well, I’m defining “world war” to mean one that spanned several continents across great distances, not just one that involved several major powers.

    Read More
  62. World War Zero might have stretched far into northern Europe! It might be safe to say that the most interesting archeological news of 2016 was the coverage of the Tollense River battlefield excavation in Germany. They’ve been digging it up for a number of years this century, but only recently has it dawned on the excavators that this was no mere barbarian skirmish: right around the Trojan War/Exodus timeframe, many thousands of (possibly professional) warriors clashed perhaps on a single day near the Baltic Sea, using weapons made of wood, flint, and bronze, and had a hand-to-hand killathon on a scale that no one has ever suspected was even possible in that age and in that part of the world. Some people have wasted little time suggesting that maybe whatever happened at Tollense has a connection to the same Late Bronze Age collapse–Tollense seems a long ways from the Aegean, but consider—scholars have recently been reviewing Hittite and Egyptian texts from the time that suggest that those societies were well aware of what was going on in both the kingdom of _Ahhiyawa_ (Achaea) and of the city of _Wilusa_ (Ilios or Ilium). So maybe it isn’t a stretch to suggest that maybe the geopolitical events of the Baltic weren’t totally disconnected from those in SE Europe and SW Asia—the trade links (amber from the Baltic, tin from Britain, etc.) from north to south may have been a lot more complex than we have suspected.

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle

    Read More
    • Replies: @Brutusale
    Given the new archeological findings, Pheidippides may have had to have been a ultra marathoner!
  63. David says:
    @Anonymous
    Apparently, the Black Sea is a geologically 'recent' artifact caused by post Ice Age sea-level raising and the ensuing inundation of a low lying plateau.
    Happened before recorded history, of course, but within the time frame of 'cultured' sapiens.
    The fascinating possibility is that the biblical deluge story of Noah and the Ark might possibly be a long long held distant semi-legendary folk-memory finally put down in writing in ancient times.

    E O Wilson thinks that humans’ instinctual fear of things like snakes and drowning is what causes them to appear in so many myths.

    Read More
  64. Jake says:

    “But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.”

    Precisely. Both were. And each one is indispensable to Western Civilization.

    Read More
  65. @guest
    I think he's referring to fear and trembling, as popularized by Kierkegaard. It comes from a Bible verse, something like, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." So there's your traditional association of fear and trembling with individual salvation.

    Of course, anxiety existed prior to religion, and prior to mankind.

    Yeah, that’s was what I was driving at.

    Salvation, individual or otherwise, acts as a patch whose purpose, among other things, is to address inordinate fear. To say it creates it is along the lines of wet streets causing rain.

    “Then Job answered the LORD, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee. Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not. Hear, I beseech thee, and I will speak: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me. I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. ”

    - Job 42

    Read More
  66. @guest
    Freud, as usual, failed to understand the human mind. There is no such things as inherited memory. There is instinct, which you may call "memory" metaphorically. Freud dealt in metaphors, like a poet, dramatist, or mythologist. Why didn't he write fiction, instead of pretend-science? Maybe it was for the best, considering how badly art based on Freudian psychology sucks.

    Probably everyone who's read the Bicameral Mind book has questioned the author's sanity. David Stove did in a review, as I recall. I questioned my own sanity, reading it.

    Why didn’t he write fiction, instead of pretend-science?

    Is there a difference?

    Read More
    • Replies: @guest
    Well, pretend-science is fictitious. But I meant straight fiction, not fiction masquerading as something else.
  67. @syonredux

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred…..

    No one who’s anyone?

    Historians?

    It’s not exactly a mark of savvy sophistication to consider today’s crop of historians to be disinterested adjudicators of that particular question.
     
    Yeah, but archaeological evidence argues against the historicity of The Pentateuch. If you want to get up to speed:

    The Bible Unearthed: Archaeology's New Vision of Ancient Israel and the Origin of Its Sacred Texts
    by Neil Asher Silberman and Israel Finkelstein

    In this iconoclastic and provocative work, leading scholars Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman draw on recent archaeological research to present a dramatically revised portrait of ancient Israel and its neighbors. They argue that crucial evidence (or a telling lack of evidence) at digs in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon suggests that many of the most famous stories in the Bible—the wanderings of the patriarchs, the Exodus from Egypt, Joshua’s conquest of Canaan, and David and Solomon’s vast empire—reflect the world of the later authors rather than actual historical facts.
     
    https://www.amazon.com/Bible-Unearthed-Archaeologys-Vision-Ancient/dp/0684869136

    I’m (vaguely) up-to-date and am a child of the Enlightenment enough to attempt to take such work seriously. Seriously though is not gullibly, and the rule of faith acts as a significant counterweight, nor is it one I begrudge.

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.
     
    Oh, by "no one," I mean people that I take seriously. So, cranks, fundamentalists, and Jewish nationalists need not apply.
    , @benjaminl
    point:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): "neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama... incorporated and reflected an original historical reality... fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms" (64).
  68. Anon7 says:

    Are you sure you didn’t get this from Edgar Cayce? Because it sounds a little like Edgar Cayce.

    Read More
  69. syonredux says:
    @Achilles

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    Both. One needs to realize the dating system of the ancient world used by those historians and archaeologists who have dominated the key academic positions is constructed like a house of cards, resting on just a few claimed bits of evidence with the rest elaborately deduced from there.

    The Egyptian chronology is the foundation from which the other Near Eastern chronologies are calculated, and the soundness or lack thereof with respect to the conventional Egyptian chronology has implications for the Greek, Hittite and other chronologies.

    The establishment academics are beginning to surrender in the face of criticism of the conventional Egyptian chronology by David Rohl and others. Computer simulations of astronomical calendar events recorded in ancient Egypt match up far better with Rohl's proposed new chronology. The new chronology resolves an error in the dating of ancient Jericho and matches much better with common events recorded by both Israelite scribes and Egyptian monuments.

    Similarly, there has been a suggestion recently that there may have been no "Greek dark age." The existence of the Greek dark age was deduced from reconciling pottery found in archaeological excavations with the conventional dating system. It may be that the Greek dark age is an artifact of mistakes made by scholars in reconstructing the chronology of the ancient world.

    Rohl’s “New Chronology” is not taken seriously:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Chronology_(Rohl)#Reception

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  70. “Know, oh prince, that between the years when the oceans drank Atlantis and the gleaming cities, and the years of the rise of the Sons of Aryas, there was an Age undreamed of, when shining kingdoms lay spread across the world like blue mantles beneath the stars — Nemedia, Ophir, Brythunia, Hyperborea, Zamora with its dark-haired women and towers of spider-haunted mystery, Zingara with its chivalry, Koth that bordered on the pastoral lands of Shem, Stygia with its shadow-guarded tombs, Hyrkania whose riders wore steel and silk and gold. But the proudest kingdom of the world was Aquilonia, reigning supreme in the dreaming west. Hither came Conan, the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.”

    — The Nemedian Chronicles.

    Read More
  71. syonredux says:
    @Desiderius
    I'm (vaguely) up-to-date and am a child of the Enlightenment enough to attempt to take such work seriously. Seriously though is not gullibly, and the rule of faith acts as a significant counterweight, nor is it one I begrudge.

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.

    Oh, by “no one,” I mean people that I take seriously. So, cranks, fundamentalists, and Jewish nationalists need not apply.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.
  72. The first modern world war was the War of The Spanish Succession ( 1701-14 ), Mr Steve. Forget that parochial stuff about George Washington.
    Theatres of conflict were in Europe, North and South America. Britain emerged as the Greatest Protestant Power.
    The Royal Navy emerged dominant, as it was to be for another 200 years. The British Empire expanded considerably. It secured Eastern North America as a result.
    In an alternate universe, America is Etats-Unis or Verenigde Staten, Stefan von Sailer ( Doctor nauk ) is an obscure Swiss blogger with an unhealthy interest in skiing and ice hockey stats.
    On the up side, Dr Sailer is earning far more from his day job as a Bank Analyst than his alter ego Steve is earning in LA in 2017

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Verenigde Staten
     
    Nitpick time: "Vereinigte Staaten."
  73. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Atlantis?

    Atlantis?

    Probably not.Atlantis was a literary fiction invented by Plato. Its enduring power is testimony to Plato’s great skill as a writer.

    For a debunking account, I recommend de Camp’s still useful Lost Continents:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Continents-Dover-Occult-Sprague/dp/0486226689

    Read More
    • Replies: @Maj
    I think the Atlantis tale likely arose from the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Minoan civilation, also around the time of the Bronze Age collapse.
  74. @dearieme
    Wouldn't you have to start by working out when the Exodus story was invented? WKPD says:

    Although mythical elements are not so prominent in Exodus as in Genesis, ancient legends have an influence on the book's content: for example, the story of the infant Moses's salvation from the Nile is based on an earlier legend of king Sargon of Akkad, while the story of the parting of the Red Sea trades on Mesopotamian creation mythology. Similarly, the Covenant Code (the law code in Exodus 20:22–23:33) has some similarities in both content and structure with the Laws of Hammurabi. These influences serve to reinforce the conclusion that the Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BCE Babylon, but not all the sources are Mesopotamian: the story of Moses's flight to Midian following the murder of the Egyptian overseer may draw on the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe.

    Anyway, the archaeology says the tale is bogus. As far as anyone can see the Hebrews were just a bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adopting a cult with the usual paraphernalia of foundation myths, pseudo history, taboos, rituals, and so on.

    This is the same sort of analysis used by Evan McMullin-class geniuses in the CIA to link Trump supporters to Putin.

    Read More
  75. @syonredux

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.
     
    Oh, by "no one," I mean people that I take seriously. So, cranks, fundamentalists, and Jewish nationalists need not apply.

    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.
     
    Hey, I also don't take Ancient Astronaut "theorists" seriously.
  76. @SPMoore8
    I don't know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith. But I cannot rationally defend it. So if I am going to defend it I would have to use metaphor.

    The argument that a teaching of individual salvation inspires fear and loathing is because it emphasizes the *I* (as all Christian faith does). You cannot experience existential angst (I meant to cross reference Kierkegaard, not Burroughs, LOL) if there isn't an ego experiencing it.

    Of course you could take a higher wisdom approach and argue that the Christian emphasis on *I*, ego, soul, etc. is directly counter to the meaning of living in Christ.

    And you could also argue that the early Christian fathers would not have emphasized an *I* that has to make a choice about individual salvation if the notion did not already have common currency.

    I'm not sure how this notion of self emerged but it must have been fairly early on (compare Egyptian funereal monuments, or even prehistoric burials with keepsakes). What I do not think is that it was due to some kind of change in our biological wiring (Jaynes). I think it was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium.

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith

    I’m curious what part of your creed specifies it as individual.

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    It is strongly implied by both creeds of the Catholic church not only in terms of the Last Judgment but also the Resurrection, just as it is definitely functional in any Catholic definition of individual grace, sin, penance and punishment. Moreover it is accepted as a matter of course by most of the Christians I have known, including priests.

    Of course there's plenty of room to articulate these things metaphorically, and non-individually, but to do so is in part to undercut the purpose of the faith, in my opinion.
  77. syonredux says:

    RE: the historicity of the Bible,

    The Pentateuch (patriarchal narratives, Exodus, etc) is pure myth. Ditto for Joshua. Judges and the United Monarchy narrative (Saul, David, Solomon) are, at best, King Arthur-type accounts. Probably some factual kernels here and there (David as a bandit-chief?), though. Quasi-reliable history only really begins in about the Ninth Century BC.

    Read More
  78. @guest
    I think he's referring to fear and trembling, as popularized by Kierkegaard. It comes from a Bible verse, something like, "work out your salvation with fear and trembling." So there's your traditional association of fear and trembling with individual salvation.

    Of course, anxiety existed prior to religion, and prior to mankind.

    Philippians 2:12

    Read More
  79. Achilles says:

    For anyone interested in hearing David Rohl’s presentation on Egyptian chronology:

    Read More
  80. syonredux says:
    @Desiderius
    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.

    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.

    Hey, I also don’t take Ancient Astronaut “theorists” seriously.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    Whatever dude.

    I haven't had much luck with Ockham's chainsaw.

    I'm going with Steve's suggestion.
  81. guest says:
    @Opinionator
    Why didn’t he write fiction, instead of pretend-science?

    Is there a difference?

    Well, pretend-science is fictitious. But I meant straight fiction, not fiction masquerading as something else.

    Read More
  82. El Dato says:
    @David
    At some point in Patroclus's funeral games a big piece of iron is at stake. In playing up the prize, Achilles says whoever wins it won't have to go to town to get iron to make plows for quite a while. Interestingly, he doesn't say that it'll make the toughest sward.

    Maybe a new ability to plow harder soils was one of the disruptions caused by iron.

    I like these stories, they are basically from a galaxy long ago and far away when people didn’t even have maps and knowledge slowly started to accumulate like silt.

    But

    Now, as Colin Barras at New Scientist reports

    Since when is New Scientist used as a reference. It was pretty good in the 80s (as I remember, I even remember reading about Julian Jaynes first in that very mag) but during the 90s decline set in as they started to chase after the readership. I left when stories became weird and far-out (in particular, the never-ending unintelligible gibberish about “quantum weirdness” pissed me off – QM ain’t that weird, really).

    Where are my pills.

    Read More
  83. ogunsiron says:
    @Rotten
    Is this the article you were thinking about?

    http://www.unz.com/article/exodus-redux-jewish-identity-and-the-shaping-of-history/

    Pointing out the Egyptian scholar Manetho's version of the events of Exodus, which is both lauded and harshly criticized by Jewish historians.

    razib is in enough trouble as it is.
    No need to attribute to him an article critical of jewish tales, seriously :)

    Read More
  84. Achilles says:

    By the way Zangger has a video lecture up on the Luwians and the Trojan War. I’m linking to the interesting discussion at the end about the Sea Peoples, the Hittites, the Luwians, Troy and the war. But the whole lecture is of interest.

    Read More
  85. OT (but, speaking of wars…): How about that shrill harridan Kirsten Gillibrand excoriating the commandant of the marine corps as he meekly squirmed for not having prevented sluts from allowing photographs of themselves naked into circulation (which is totes what he should focus on)?

    And the continuing craziness of the navy’s top brass misappropriating some twenty million dollars for hookers and champagne? (Maybe the CNO didn’t catch these shenanigans because he was laser focused on finding women who could complete BUD/S training and minimising incidents of fellatio on integrated submarines….)

    Folks, I think it’s becoming clear why we don’t win wars anymore: We have met the enemy, and he is us.

    Read More
  86. SPMoore8 says:
    @Desiderius

    I don’t know if there is such a thing as individual salvation either, except that it is part of my faith
     
    I'm curious what part of your creed specifies it as individual.

    It is strongly implied by both creeds of the Catholic church not only in terms of the Last Judgment but also the Resurrection, just as it is definitely functional in any Catholic definition of individual grace, sin, penance and punishment. Moreover it is accepted as a matter of course by most of the Christians I have known, including priests.

    Of course there’s plenty of room to articulate these things metaphorically, and non-individually, but to do so is in part to undercut the purpose of the faith, in my opinion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    I can see where sin is individual. But doesn't salvation only take place in the context of the church, especially for a Catholic?

    See also "two or three gather in my name."
  87. @SPMoore8
    It is strongly implied by both creeds of the Catholic church not only in terms of the Last Judgment but also the Resurrection, just as it is definitely functional in any Catholic definition of individual grace, sin, penance and punishment. Moreover it is accepted as a matter of course by most of the Christians I have known, including priests.

    Of course there's plenty of room to articulate these things metaphorically, and non-individually, but to do so is in part to undercut the purpose of the faith, in my opinion.

    I can see where sin is individual. But doesn’t salvation only take place in the context of the church, especially for a Catholic?

    See also “two or three gather in my name.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @SPMoore8
    Okay, you are talking about the communal process of faith and salvation, but I am talking about the individual's salvation as an individual after death.
  88. @syonredux

    Again, that was understood, and speaks more to your narrow-mindedness and parochialism than to a pertinent feature of reality.
     
    Hey, I also don't take Ancient Astronaut "theorists" seriously.

    Whatever dude.

    I haven’t had much luck with Ockham’s chainsaw.

    I’m going with Steve’s suggestion.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    Whatever dude.

    I haven’t had much luck with Ockham’s chainsaw.

    I’m going with Steve’s suggestion.
     
    I also don't believe in Mu.....
  89. SPMoore8 says:
    @Desiderius
    I can see where sin is individual. But doesn't salvation only take place in the context of the church, especially for a Catholic?

    See also "two or three gather in my name."

    Okay, you are talking about the communal process of faith and salvation, but I am talking about the individual’s salvation as an individual after death.

    Read More
  90. ChrisZ says:
    @Achilles

    But I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.
     
    Both. One needs to realize the dating system of the ancient world used by those historians and archaeologists who have dominated the key academic positions is constructed like a house of cards, resting on just a few claimed bits of evidence with the rest elaborately deduced from there.

    The Egyptian chronology is the foundation from which the other Near Eastern chronologies are calculated, and the soundness or lack thereof with respect to the conventional Egyptian chronology has implications for the Greek, Hittite and other chronologies.

    The establishment academics are beginning to surrender in the face of criticism of the conventional Egyptian chronology by David Rohl and others. Computer simulations of astronomical calendar events recorded in ancient Egypt match up far better with Rohl's proposed new chronology. The new chronology resolves an error in the dating of ancient Jericho and matches much better with common events recorded by both Israelite scribes and Egyptian monuments.

    Similarly, there has been a suggestion recently that there may have been no "Greek dark age." The existence of the Greek dark age was deduced from reconciling pottery found in archaeological excavations with the conventional dating system. It may be that the Greek dark age is an artifact of mistakes made by scholars in reconstructing the chronology of the ancient world.

    Achilles, looks like we’re on the same page (judging from this and other comments you’ve made); see my own description of the chronology question below yours. Glad to make your acquaintance.

    Read More
  91. I am talking about the individual’s salvation as an individual after death

    So one lives in fear and trembling of losing this hypothetical individual salvation after death?

    Somehow I don’t think this is what Jesus has in mind.

    http://calvin2catholic.com/?p=352

    I don’t mean to be argumentative or hard on you. You teach me a lot and I’ve incorporated a great deal of your thinking into my own. It’s where it doesn’t fit that objections surface, not always tactfully.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    I enjoy the exchange to the extent that I have the time. I also learn from challenges. Clearly you know Scripture far better than I.

    I don't dispute your quote or interpretation but on this particular issue I don't want to disabuse anyone's ideas -- which vary considerably. Just my choice.
    , @Spmoore8
    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation. People handle this in various ways. But I think the root of the problem is one's consciousness and awareness of self. This is why the sense and source of self is a matter of moment and why people want to know "what it is." Thus Jaynes is more about theology than psychology.

    I don't think consciousness is a curse or an illusion. Such teaching exists. How to properly describe that, I'm not yet sure.
  92. @Anonymous
    Apparently, the Black Sea is a geologically 'recent' artifact caused by post Ice Age sea-level raising and the ensuing inundation of a low lying plateau.
    Happened before recorded history, of course, but within the time frame of 'cultured' sapiens.
    The fascinating possibility is that the biblical deluge story of Noah and the Ark might possibly be a long long held distant semi-legendary folk-memory finally put down in writing in ancient times.

    The Persian Gulf was also formed by the rise of the sea level; its flooding was complete around 8,000 years ago.

    The Sumerian flood story most likely reflects the inundation of the gulf, which after all was right there in plain view, rather than the Black Sea, but I suppose one could make arguments for either as the source of Biblical version.

    Read More
  93. Anon says:
    @dearieme
    Wouldn't you have to start by working out when the Exodus story was invented? WKPD says:

    Although mythical elements are not so prominent in Exodus as in Genesis, ancient legends have an influence on the book's content: for example, the story of the infant Moses's salvation from the Nile is based on an earlier legend of king Sargon of Akkad, while the story of the parting of the Red Sea trades on Mesopotamian creation mythology. Similarly, the Covenant Code (the law code in Exodus 20:22–23:33) has some similarities in both content and structure with the Laws of Hammurabi. These influences serve to reinforce the conclusion that the Book of Exodus originated in the exiled Jewish community of 6th-century BCE Babylon, but not all the sources are Mesopotamian: the story of Moses's flight to Midian following the murder of the Egyptian overseer may draw on the Egyptian Story of Sinuhe.

    Anyway, the archaeology says the tale is bogus. As far as anyone can see the Hebrews were just a bunch of Canaanites who distinguished themselves from the others by adopting a cult with the usual paraphernalia of foundation myths, pseudo history, taboos, rituals, and so on.

    So the Old Testament is just Jewish fanfiction about older Gentile myths.

    Read More
  94. JohnnyGeo says:
    @TelfoedJohn
    OT - WWT recent battle: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4312594/Fell-runner-jailed-trying-murder-athletics-official.html

    I'm going to guess that Trans people are more violent than others. Perhaps they have a hormone imbalance.

    the first pic looks like a famous rock album cover, but i can’t place it.

    Read More
  95. benjaminl says:
    @Desiderius
    I'm (vaguely) up-to-date and am a child of the Enlightenment enough to attempt to take such work seriously. Seriously though is not gullibly, and the rule of faith acts as a significant counterweight, nor is it one I begrudge.

    To say that no one believes the Exodus happened roughly according to the biblical account is itself a statement that flies fairly energetically into the face of realty.

    point:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): “neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama… incorporated and reflected an original historical reality… fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms” (64).

    Read More
    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    The Moses story has more awesome mythical-sounding stuff than the Abraham story, which is considerably older. That seems a little backward. Some of the Abraham story is fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions, but a lot of it is real estate deals and family squabble gossip that sounds mundanely plausible.
    , @Desiderius

    few other scholars seem to be following them these days
     
    Don't let what few scholars are doing, or not doing, get you down.

    This isn't exactly a golden age for scholars.
    , @bored identity



    "... sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days."

     

    Why being so emotional 'bout ancient fake history?

    At least you still have academic consensus over Uris/Preminger interpretation of The Events.
    , @syonredux

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.
     
    Doggedly or foolishly? Belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary....
  96. @benjaminl
    point:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): "neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama... incorporated and reflected an original historical reality... fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms" (64).

    The Moses story has more awesome mythical-sounding stuff than the Abraham story, which is considerably older. That seems a little backward. Some of the Abraham story is fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions, but a lot of it is real estate deals and family squabble gossip that sounds mundanely plausible.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    The Moses story has more awesome mythical-sounding stuff than the Abraham story, which is considerably older. That seems a little backward. Some of the Abraham story is fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions, but a lot of it is real estate deals and family squabble gossip that sounds mundanely plausible.
     
    Abraham is a standard bit of aetiological myth-making. It's pretty clear that some clever clogs got the idea to stitch together two independent myth-cycles (Abraham and Jacob) as a way to unify various tribes.
  97. Spmoore8 says:
    @Desiderius

    I am talking about the individual’s salvation as an individual after death
     
    So one lives in fear and trembling of losing this hypothetical individual salvation after death?

    Somehow I don't think this is what Jesus has in mind.

    http://calvin2catholic.com/?p=352

    I don't mean to be argumentative or hard on you. You teach me a lot and I've incorporated a great deal of your thinking into my own. It's where it doesn't fit that objections surface, not always tactfully.

    I enjoy the exchange to the extent that I have the time. I also learn from challenges. Clearly you know Scripture far better than I.

    I don’t dispute your quote or interpretation but on this particular issue I don’t want to disabuse anyone’s ideas — which vary considerably. Just my choice.

    Read More
  98. Maj says:
    @syonredux

    Atlantis?
     
    Probably not.Atlantis was a literary fiction invented by Plato. Its enduring power is testimony to Plato's great skill as a writer.


    For a debunking account, I recommend de Camp's still useful Lost Continents:

    https://www.amazon.com/Lost-Continents-Dover-Occult-Sprague/dp/0486226689

    I think the Atlantis tale likely arose from the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Minoan civilation, also around the time of the Bronze Age collapse.

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    I think the Atlantis tale likely arose from the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Minoan civilation, also around the time of the Bronze Age collapse.
     
    There's no evidence for an Atlantis legend before Plato wrote about it in Timaeus and Critias. In other words, he made it up.
  99. Spmoore8 says:
    @Desiderius

    I am talking about the individual’s salvation as an individual after death
     
    So one lives in fear and trembling of losing this hypothetical individual salvation after death?

    Somehow I don't think this is what Jesus has in mind.

    http://calvin2catholic.com/?p=352

    I don't mean to be argumentative or hard on you. You teach me a lot and I've incorporated a great deal of your thinking into my own. It's where it doesn't fit that objections surface, not always tactfully.

    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation. People handle this in various ways. But I think the root of the problem is one’s consciousness and awareness of self. This is why the sense and source of self is a matter of moment and why people want to know “what it is.” Thus Jaynes is more about theology than psychology.

    I don’t think consciousness is a curse or an illusion. Such teaching exists. How to properly describe that, I’m not yet sure.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Desiderius
    There is nothing here with which I would disagree.

    I would add that recognizing* that this putative individual self is irreducibly a link in an unbroken genetic chain that stretches to time immemorial and that will now continue, God willing, in a few months to two new links has an effect on one's mental state not unlike that often associated with the experience of salvation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2O5540WjuE

    A less powerful but similar one can be experienced during the liturgy of communion taken in faith.

    * - literally re-cognizing, thinking differently about what constitutes the self. Again, the bell tolls for thee.


    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation.
     
    I'm unconvinced that doing/being so is in line with orthodox doctrine. I.e. they may be doing it wrong.
  100. @Spmoore8
    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation. People handle this in various ways. But I think the root of the problem is one's consciousness and awareness of self. This is why the sense and source of self is a matter of moment and why people want to know "what it is." Thus Jaynes is more about theology than psychology.

    I don't think consciousness is a curse or an illusion. Such teaching exists. How to properly describe that, I'm not yet sure.

    There is nothing here with which I would disagree.

    I would add that recognizing* that this putative individual self is irreducibly a link in an unbroken genetic chain that stretches to time immemorial and that will now continue, God willing, in a few months to two new links has an effect on one’s mental state not unlike that often associated with the experience of salvation.

    A less powerful but similar one can be experienced during the liturgy of communion taken in faith.

    * – literally re-cognizing, thinking differently about what constitutes the self. Again, the bell tolls for thee.

    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation.

    I’m unconvinced that doing/being so is in line with orthodox doctrine. I.e. they may be doing it wrong.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    I think you might be right about that. Philip Larkin's "Aubade" is a classic expression of that state, which may simply describe the physiological state that inspires nightmares, dissociation, and other things. Except nobody wants their individuality reduced in so many words.

    To recap, someone mentioned Jaynes in the context a Greek Collapse, the idea that consciousness and thus self and thus fear of death emerged by biological mutation. I don't think that is correct.

    I think our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language. I'm not being original here.

    No question religion -- not just Christianity -- is to provide consolation for that -- along with many other things, but the sense of self is durable, the notion of choice reinforces it, so the problem remains.

    I'm sure we'll revisit this over time.
  101. @benjaminl
    point:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): "neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama... incorporated and reflected an original historical reality... fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms" (64).

    few other scholars seem to be following them these days

    Don’t let what few scholars are doing, or not doing, get you down.

    This isn’t exactly a golden age for scholars.

    Read More
  102. anonymous says:

    Another theory about the Sea Peoples that currently seems to get some support is that they were related to, or where, the Nuragic civilization on Sardinia:

    Nuragic civilization:

    “…The Nuragic civilization, born and developed in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, lasted from the Bronze Age (18th century BC) to the 2nd century AD. The civilization’s name derives from its most characteristic monument, the nuraghe, a tower-fortress type of construction built in numerous exemplars starting from about 1800 BC. Today some 7,000 nuraghes dot the Sardinian landscape

    …The late Bronze Age (14th-13th-12th centuries BC) saw a vast migration of the so-called Sea Peoples…

    …According to Giovanni Ugas the Sherden, one of the most important tribes of the sea peoples, are to be identified with the Nuragic Sardinians …these theories remain controversial…

    …13th-century Nuragic ceramics found at Tiryns, Kommos, Kokkinokremnos and in Sicily, at Lipari and the Agrigento area, along the sea route linking western to eastern Mediterranean…

    …The Carthaginians, after a number of military campaigns… overcame the Sardinians and conquered coastal Sardinia… The Nuragic civilization survived in the mountainous mainland of the island…

    …In 238 BC the Carthaginians, as a result of their defeat by the Romans in the first Punic War, surrendered Sardinia to Rome…

    …Greek geographer Strabo confirms the survival, in the interior of the island, of the Nuragic civilization even in Imperial times.”

    Read More
    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Another theory about the Sea Peoples that currently seems to get some support is that they were related to, or where, the Nuragic civilization on Sardinia
     
    1. The general scholarly consensus today (to the extent there is consensus) is against that theory and supports the idea that the north Aegean was either the origin or the mid-point of the Sea Peoples movement.

    2. Many of the cities that suffered destruction during the so-called Late Bronze Age Collapse did so LONG after the incursions of the Sea Peoples.
  103. Zan*gger

    I thought Unz said was going to remove posts containing slurs.

    You would think as a cucked Euro he would have changed his name to Chokladboll (aka negerboll) by now.

    Read More
  104. anonymous says:

    Nuragic Sardinians” as weapons dealers and world war -something:

    “…commercial links with the Mycenaean civilization (attested by the common tholos tomb shape, and the adoration of bulls), Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Lebanon. Items such as Cyprus-type copper ingots have been found in Sardinia, while bronze and early Iron Age Nuragic ceramics have been found in the Aegean region, in Spain (Huelva, Tarragona, Málaga, Teruel and Cádiz)[40] up to the Gibraltar strait, and in Etruscan centers…

    …Sardinia was rich in metals such as lead and copper. Archaeological findings have proven the good quality of Nuragic metallurgy, including numerous bronze weapons. The so-called “golden age” of the Nuragic civilization (late 2nd millennium BC, early 1st millennium BC) coincided perhaps with the apex of the mining of metals in the island…

    …A recent study (2013) of 71 ancient Swedish bronze objects dated to Nordic Bronze Age, revealed that most of copper utilized at that time in Scandinavia came from Sardinia and the Iberian peninsula.”

    Read More
  105. Twinkie says:
    @Verymuchalive
    The first modern world war was the War of The Spanish Succession ( 1701-14 ), Mr Steve. Forget that parochial stuff about George Washington.
    Theatres of conflict were in Europe, North and South America. Britain emerged as the Greatest Protestant Power.
    The Royal Navy emerged dominant, as it was to be for another 200 years. The British Empire expanded considerably. It secured Eastern North America as a result.
    In an alternate universe, America is Etats-Unis or Verenigde Staten, Stefan von Sailer ( Doctor nauk ) is an obscure Swiss blogger with an unhealthy interest in skiing and ice hockey stats.
    On the up side, Dr Sailer is earning far more from his day job as a Bank Analyst than his alter ego Steve is earning in LA in 2017

    Verenigde Staten

    Nitpick time: “Vereinigte Staaten.”

    Read More
  106. Spmoore8 says:
    @Desiderius
    There is nothing here with which I would disagree.

    I would add that recognizing* that this putative individual self is irreducibly a link in an unbroken genetic chain that stretches to time immemorial and that will now continue, God willing, in a few months to two new links has an effect on one's mental state not unlike that often associated with the experience of salvation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2O5540WjuE

    A less powerful but similar one can be experienced during the liturgy of communion taken in faith.

    * - literally re-cognizing, thinking differently about what constitutes the self. Again, the bell tolls for thee.


    What I am saying is that as a practical matter many Christians construe the creeds as involving their individual immortality. More, that many people Christian or not are in a state of dread involving their own finitude and annihilation.
     
    I'm unconvinced that doing/being so is in line with orthodox doctrine. I.e. they may be doing it wrong.

    I think you might be right about that. Philip Larkin’s “Aubade” is a classic expression of that state, which may simply describe the physiological state that inspires nightmares, dissociation, and other things. Except nobody wants their individuality reduced in so many words.

    To recap, someone mentioned Jaynes in the context a Greek Collapse, the idea that consciousness and thus self and thus fear of death emerged by biological mutation. I don’t think that is correct.

    I think our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language. I’m not being original here.

    No question religion — not just Christianity — is to provide consolation for that — along with many other things, but the sense of self is durable, the notion of choice reinforces it, so the problem remains.

    I’m sure we’ll revisit this over time.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Marat Said
    At #55 you assert that a particular notion of the self "was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium." And here, that "our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language."

    I'm really curious as to what linguistic changes and evolution you're alluding to --- can you provide a couple of examples?
    Thanks.
  107. Twinkie says:
    @anonymous
    Another theory about the Sea Peoples that currently seems to get some support is that they were related to, or where, the Nuragic civilization on Sardinia:

    Nuragic civilization:


    "...The Nuragic civilization, born and developed in Sardinia, the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, lasted from the Bronze Age (18th century BC) to the 2nd century AD. The civilization's name derives from its most characteristic monument, the nuraghe, a tower-fortress type of construction built in numerous exemplars starting from about 1800 BC. Today some 7,000 nuraghes dot the Sardinian landscape...

    ...The late Bronze Age (14th-13th-12th centuries BC) saw a vast migration of the so-called Sea Peoples...

    ...According to Giovanni Ugas the Sherden, one of the most important tribes of the sea peoples, are to be identified with the Nuragic Sardinians ...these theories remain controversial...

    ...13th-century Nuragic ceramics found at Tiryns, Kommos, Kokkinokremnos and in Sicily, at Lipari and the Agrigento area, along the sea route linking western to eastern Mediterranean...

    ...The Carthaginians, after a number of military campaigns... overcame the Sardinians and conquered coastal Sardinia... The Nuragic civilization survived in the mountainous mainland of the island...

    ...In 238 BC the Carthaginians, as a result of their defeat by the Romans in the first Punic War, surrendered Sardinia to Rome...

    ...Greek geographer Strabo confirms the survival, in the interior of the island, of the Nuragic civilization even in Imperial times."

     

    Another theory about the Sea Peoples that currently seems to get some support is that they were related to, or where, the Nuragic civilization on Sardinia

    1. The general scholarly consensus today (to the extent there is consensus) is against that theory and supports the idea that the north Aegean was either the origin or the mid-point of the Sea Peoples movement.

    2. Many of the cities that suffered destruction during the so-called Late Bronze Age Collapse did so LONG after the incursions of the Sea Peoples.

    Read More
  108. @benjaminl
    point:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): "neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama... incorporated and reflected an original historical reality... fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms" (64).

    “… sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.”

    Why being so emotional ’bout ancient fake history?

    At least you still have academic consensus over Uris/Preminger interpretation of The Events.

    Read More
  109. @Rotten
    Is this the article you were thinking about?

    http://www.unz.com/article/exodus-redux-jewish-identity-and-the-shaping-of-history/

    Pointing out the Egyptian scholar Manetho's version of the events of Exodus, which is both lauded and harshly criticized by Jewish historians.

    Thanks, but that’s not what I was thinking of.

    Read More
  110. To recap, someone mentioned Jaynes in the context a Greek Collapse, the idea that consciousness and thus self and thus fear of death emerged by biological mutation. I don’t think that is correct.

    Yeah, fear of death is much earlier, and broader, than that. It’s in the hardware of every organism. It is why there is cognition at all.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    All life forms have mechanisms to stay alive and most animals have instinctive fears of things that can attack and harm them. I don't think any but humans have any concept of their personal not being. That's what I am driving at, and I think that is linguistic, not biological.
  111. @Spmoore8
    I think you might be right about that. Philip Larkin's "Aubade" is a classic expression of that state, which may simply describe the physiological state that inspires nightmares, dissociation, and other things. Except nobody wants their individuality reduced in so many words.

    To recap, someone mentioned Jaynes in the context a Greek Collapse, the idea that consciousness and thus self and thus fear of death emerged by biological mutation. I don't think that is correct.

    I think our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language. I'm not being original here.

    No question religion -- not just Christianity -- is to provide consolation for that -- along with many other things, but the sense of self is durable, the notion of choice reinforces it, so the problem remains.

    I'm sure we'll revisit this over time.

    At #55 you assert that a particular notion of the self “was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium.” And here, that “our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language.”

    I’m really curious as to what linguistic changes and evolution you’re alluding to — can you provide a couple of examples?
    Thanks.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Spmoore8
    Check the evidence Jaynes alleges, having mostly to do with known changes in the meaning of Greek words in the first millennium. He got the idea from Bruno Snell. That's the best I can do on that right now.

    There's also the clear change in how ideas are presented, formerly they were described as being voiced by Gods (which Jaynes takes very literally), starting around the Odyssey the verbiage changes.

    Finally, I suggested that Jaynes' ideas about self had a theological impulse; but I neglected to point out that one of the reasons for his popularity is that his theory accounts for the existence of supernatural beings, which he assigns to a pre consciousness pre rational era, i.e., we don't need them anymore.
  112. @Twinkie

    Verenigde Staten
     
    Nitpick time: "Vereinigte Staaten."

    New Netherland

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    New Netherland
     
    Then it should be "Stefan van Sailer," not "Stefan von Sailer."
  113. syonredux says:
    @Desiderius
    Whatever dude.

    I haven't had much luck with Ockham's chainsaw.

    I'm going with Steve's suggestion.

    Whatever dude.

    I haven’t had much luck with Ockham’s chainsaw.

    I’m going with Steve’s suggestion.

    I also don’t believe in Mu…..

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  114. syonredux says:
    @Maj
    I think the Atlantis tale likely arose from the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Minoan civilation, also around the time of the Bronze Age collapse.

    I think the Atlantis tale likely arose from the volcanic eruption that destroyed the ancient Minoan civilation, also around the time of the Bronze Age collapse.

    There’s no evidence for an Atlantis legend before Plato wrote about it in Timaeus and Critias. In other words, he made it up.

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  115. syonredux says:
    @Steve Sailer
    The Moses story has more awesome mythical-sounding stuff than the Abraham story, which is considerably older. That seems a little backward. Some of the Abraham story is fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions, but a lot of it is real estate deals and family squabble gossip that sounds mundanely plausible.

    The Moses story has more awesome mythical-sounding stuff than the Abraham story, which is considerably older. That seems a little backward. Some of the Abraham story is fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions, but a lot of it is real estate deals and family squabble gossip that sounds mundanely plausible.

    Abraham is a standard bit of aetiological myth-making. It’s pretty clear that some clever clogs got the idea to stitch together two independent myth-cycles (Abraham and Jacob) as a way to unify various tribes.

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  116. syonredux says:
    @benjaminl
    point:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=dmI4eW8qvOYC&lpg=PA129&pg=PA129#v=onepage&q&f=false

    counterpoint:
    https://books.google.com/books?id=Qjkz_8EMoaUC&lpg=PA88&pg=PA88#v=onepage&q&f=false

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Carol Redmount in the Oxford History of the Biblical World (quoted above): "neither pure history not pure literature, but an inseparable amalgam of both, closest in form to what we would call a docudrama... incorporated and reflected an original historical reality... fleshed out by a variety of predominantly literary and religious forms" (64).

    Kenneth Kitchen and James Hoffmeier doggedly defend the historicity of the Exodus; sadly, few other scholars seem to be following them these days.

    Doggedly or foolishly? Belief in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary….

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  117. Spmoore8 says:
    @Marat Said
    At #55 you assert that a particular notion of the self "was due to linguistic changes in how we described mental phenomena, and that emerged in the first millenium." And here, that "our (exaggerated) sense of self is partly due to linguistic evolution, and cultural and religious norms that are expressed in language."

    I'm really curious as to what linguistic changes and evolution you're alluding to --- can you provide a couple of examples?
    Thanks.

    Check the evidence Jaynes alleges, having mostly to do with known changes in the meaning of Greek words in the first millennium. He got the idea from Bruno Snell. That’s the best I can do on that right now.

    There’s also the clear change in how ideas are presented, formerly they were described as being voiced by Gods (which Jaynes takes very literally), starting around the Odyssey the verbiage changes.

    Finally, I suggested that Jaynes’ ideas about self had a theological impulse; but I neglected to point out that one of the reasons for his popularity is that his theory accounts for the existence of supernatural beings, which he assigns to a pre consciousness pre rational era, i.e., we don’t need them anymore.

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  118. Twinkie says:
    @Difference Maker
    New Netherland

    New Netherland

    Then it should be “Stefan van Sailer,” not “Stefan von Sailer.”

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  119. Spmoore8 says:
    @Desiderius

    To recap, someone mentioned Jaynes in the context a Greek Collapse, the idea that consciousness and thus self and thus fear of death emerged by biological mutation. I don’t think that is correct.
     
    Yeah, fear of death is much earlier, and broader, than that. It's in the hardware of every organism. It is why there is cognition at all.

    All life forms have mechanisms to stay alive and most animals have instinctive fears of things that can attack and harm them. I don’t think any but humans have any concept of their personal not being. That’s what I am driving at, and I think that is linguistic, not biological.

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  120. anon says:
    @Sunbeam
    "And then there is the issue of Flood narratives."

    This is practically a cottage industry to the usual... people.

    But something is going on with that. You might say that proto-Indo Europeans or something were in the Black Sea valley when it started flooding. And the story lived on.

    But you get Flood stories in places that had absolutely no link to these hypothetical people, nor to any of the other disconnected areas and peoples that also have Flood stories.

    Dunno maybe some of the first wave out of Africa saw something dramatic in the Middle East (I vaguely remember one explanation was an incident where almost everything between the Tigris and Euphrates was covered in standing water.

    If it happened in the past 5000 years or so, heck maybe it happened 125,000 years ago. But come on, that just strains my personal credulity that an event could be remembered that long in any fashion.

    Or maybe Floods happen everywhere, and a big one always comes along to tell the grandkids about.

    Or maybe Floods happen everywhere

    Floods happened everywhere when the sea levels rose – or maybe more accurately they happened in all the low lying wetlands that had been refuges during the Ice Age – so not a single event but an event that happened in multiple places at the same time.

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  121. anon says:
    @Steve Sailer
    Atlantis?

    A lot of land flooded after the ice age as shown by this map.

    Given Plato saying it was beyond the pillars of Hercules (straits of Gibraltar) i’d guess Atlantis was probably one of the many now sunken bits along the Atlantic coast marked in red on that map.

    And his mention (iirc) they had lots of precious metals I’d say either
    - southern Portugal, epicenter of the Atlantic Megalith culture
    - around SW Britain – with maybe the Scilly Isles as the last remnant
    - around Brittany

    again iirc i think he mentions a good climate which might fir the first two better (Scilly Isles gets the full benefit of the Gulf Stream as well as being very close to the copper, tin, silver and gold mines of Ireland, Wales and Cornwall.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isles_of_Scilly

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyonesse

    Atlantis = Lyonesse?

    #

    As an aside you can see from that map how flood myths could have started in multiple places all over the world.

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  122. @Anonymouse
    My local public library has a copy of Jaynes’ “The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of The Bicameral Mind” on which I have placed a hold. I can't wait to read about the left brain and the right brain moving in together in one big room and thinking/acting in concert. An analogous silly theory argues that the ancient Greeks, as in Homer, saw man as a bunch of disunited facilities - guts, diaphragms, head, hands, etc. - and only later on realized that a living thinking man might unify the facilities and recognize himself as a one. This is silly because a glance at Homer easily comes up with such remarks as "I intend" (ego boulomai) or "you wish" (su theleis), indicating that as early as Homer or, likely, among the wall painters of the Pleistocene, unitary self-consciousness, and the recognition of the other's unitary self-consciousness, existed then as nowadays.

    Oh no!

    You are marshalling reason, commonsense, critical thinking and arriving at conclusions not handed down to you from our betters! And then the impudence of you when you are using Greek! Who are you to use Greek? Please show the credentials allowing you to access the arcane and even occult knowledge of the ancient world? What is next? Disputing the latest Chicken Licken story from the herd of independent minds? Going off into a bureaucratically unapproved direction? Telling our overlords “no?”

    Perish the thought.

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  123. @Charles Erwin Wilson
    Oh no!

    You are marshalling reason, commonsense, critical thinking and arriving at conclusions not handed down to you from our betters! And then the impudence of you when you are using Greek! Who are you to use Greek? Please show the credentials allowing you to access the arcane and even occult knowledge of the ancient world? What is next? Disputing the latest Chicken Licken story from the herd of independent minds? Going off into a bureaucratically unapproved direction? Telling our overlords "no?"

    Perish the thought.

    I am sorry, I forgot to add this:
    :-)

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  124. anon says:

    I’m starting to think that so much cultural effort was put into remembering these stories because one or both really were important.

    Agree.

    Exodus is so obviously a “we dindu nuffin” retcon it had to have happened – although when it happened is another question.

    (Most societies in history had an hereditary aristocracy – hence ambitious minorities and recurring conflict going together and Pharoah = Tsar = Pharoah.)

    The most likely answers would be either the Hyksos and their eventual expulsion or something to do with Akenathen trying to make the Egyptian religion monotheistic.

    (With Manetho’s version mentioning some kind of skin disease / plague and the Hyksos maybe being herders it might even have something to do with an animal disease?)

    #

    In recent decades, the theory has been developing that the Trojans spoke (or wrote) in Luwian.

    Luwians are an alternative to people breaking out of the Black Sea area – maybe needing to take out Troy as the cork in the bottle – maybe to get away from someone else.

    And, who knows, they may have even been connected in some fashion unknown to the authors.

    I think the link is PIE from the steppe drove neighboring populations south.

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  125. @syonredux

    Generally speaking, the academic consensus has tended toward the two most legendary events of roughly this era — the Trojan War and Exodus — either never ever happened or were minor occurrences of small importance with just random connections to larger events.
     
    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen......

    On the other hand, pretty much no one nowadays thinks that the Exodus occurred.....

    I was under the general impression that the academic consensus holds that the Trojan War basically did happen

    Yes, well if you want to genuflect before that august body then feel free to abase yourself. Our Leftist ‘friends’ will be kneeling next to you.

    The rest of us will keep our self-respect and constrain our assertions to demonstrated theories, confirmed facts and genuine knowledge, while bearing in mind the cautions that logically follow from Thomas Kuhn’s seminal work.

    If you cannot cite an academic that has made predictions that we are able to independently confirm, (and confirm in a time-bound succession – 20/20 hindsight, and Nostradamus, need not apply) then you are an acolyte of blind faith pretending to be science. And that is a thin reed to use as your guide.

    Do feel free to worship in that temple, but don’t be surprised when the rest of us look for valid and sound footings to ground us in our beliefs.

    Oh, and be sure to begin your response with some variant of ‘my dear fellow’. I’ll look for it.

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  126. @JohnnyGeo
    the first pic looks like a famous rock album cover, but i can't place it.

    Possibly Patti Smith or Roger Waters

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  127. Brutusale says:
    @The Man From K Street
    World War Zero might have stretched far into northern Europe! It might be safe to say that the most interesting archeological news of 2016 was the coverage of the Tollense River battlefield excavation in Germany. They’ve been digging it up for a number of years this century, but only recently has it dawned on the excavators that this was no mere barbarian skirmish: right around the Trojan War/Exodus timeframe, many thousands of (possibly professional) warriors clashed perhaps on a single day near the Baltic Sea, using weapons made of wood, flint, and bronze, and had a hand-to-hand killathon on a scale that no one has ever suspected was even possible in that age and in that part of the world. Some people have wasted little time suggesting that maybe whatever happened at Tollense has a connection to the same Late Bronze Age collapse--Tollense seems a long ways from the Aegean, but consider—scholars have recently been reviewing Hittite and Egyptian texts from the time that suggest that those societies were well aware of what was going on in both the kingdom of _Ahhiyawa_ (Achaea) and of the city of _Wilusa_ (Ilios or Ilium). So maybe it isn’t a stretch to suggest that maybe the geopolitical events of the Baltic weren’t totally disconnected from those in SE Europe and SW Asia—the trade links (amber from the Baltic, tin from Britain, etc.) from north to south may have been a lot more complex than we have suspected.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/03/slaughter-bridge-uncovering-colossal-bronze-age-battle

    Given the new archeological findings, Pheidippides may have had to have been a ultra marathoner!

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  128. @Twinkie

    New Netherland
     
    Then it should be "Stefan van Sailer," not "Stefan von Sailer."

    Sailer thinks he may be Swiss

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