Author Topic: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War  (Read 882 times)

Dangun

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #15 on: December 18, 2018, 05:59:28 PM »
Kastly, I take the point on Shakespeare, but if we had no modern survivals of Latin literature, then it would be useful to have Julius Caesar as evidence for the end of the Republic.
Roy

No.
If there was no surviving Latin literature, there would be NO Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.
Shakespeare knew nothing about Julius Caesar, but he did read some Latin literature.

And no Patrick, we can't use this logic in reverse, because the Oedipal play shows no knowledge of Egyptian history or Egyptian histories.

aligern

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2018, 07:45:00 PM »
You mistake my point Nicholas. Let me be clear. If no Latin literature survived today, but Plutarch had been available in Shakespeare’s time, before being lost, then our knowledge of Caesar would derive from Shakespeare.
We could then argue about how accurate Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was as a portrayal of a period where the only infirnation was based upon coins, the odd inscription and statuary. We would be in much the same situation as Patrick claims for Tutankhamun, where we had detailed information that accorded with the few facts that we had, but dare we trust the level of detail.
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2018, 07:47:02 PM »
You have missed the point.  Aristophanes was a 5th century BC Athenian, so is a possible source for 5th century BC Athenian things.  You wouldn't use Shakespeare as a source for 11th century Scottish tactics but you may well use him for details of Elizabethan life.

Shakespeare wrote a number of historical plays and in some of these plays kings die quite historical deaths.  Are we to say he is unusable as a source, e.g. on Richard III's crook-back and demise?  He actually did rather better on the whole than many modern historians prior to a particular discovery under a certain car park.

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This whole discussion started when you claimed the details of the fight between Etocles and Polynices showed detailed knowledge of a duel between Tutankhamun and Smenkhare, including the use of Egyptian weapons.

That is eminently correct.  What puzzles me is where the idea of translation of a written Egyptian original emerged from.

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Again, you seem to have missed the point.  The story is one covered by other writers and playwrights - it cannot therefore be considered alien to the traditions of Greek literature.

I think we might need a more careful definition here.  If a particular story carries some oddly non-Greek cultural elements, I would class it as alien to Greek culture no matter how many playwrights adopt it.  (There are incidentally a few inconsistencies in the Greek Oedipus cycle, notably the need for one Antigone to do the work of two; one who accompanies her father into exile, and one who perishes for burying her brother.  Sophocles does his best to shuttle his single Antigone back and forth, but has something of a Schroedinger's Cat problem with her just the same.)

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However, back to where we started, does the detailed description of the duel fit the Greek tradition of heroic combat or is it notably alien?

Perhaps we can list the two most outstanding alien features.

1) Spy holes in the shields.
2) No thrown spears (duels in the Iliad, our principal source for Greek heroic combat, involve and usually begin with thrown spears).

These are clear and distinctive differences from the Greek norm.

Lastly, I take the point on Shakespeare, but if we had no modern survivals of Latin literature, then it would be useful to have Julius Caesar as evidence for the end of the Republic.
Roy

No.
If there was no surviving Latin literature, there would be NO Julius Caesar by Shakespeare.

Roy is positing Latin literature which survived up to Shakespeare's time but not ours.

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And no Patrick, we can't use this logic in reverse, because the Oedipal play shows no knowledge of Egyptian history or Egyptian histories.

It is correlation with Egyptian details which is relevant.  Whether or not Greek playwrights knew of Egyptian history is immaterial.  It is actually better that they did not, because then the details they preserve cannot have been deliberately adjusted to fit their knowledge or belief.
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Erpingham

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2018, 10:11:19 AM »
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Shakespeare wrote a number of historical plays and in some of these plays kings die quite historical deaths.  Are we to say he is unusable as a source, e.g. on Richard III's crook-back and demise?  He actually did rather better on the whole than many modern historians prior to a particular discovery under a certain car park.

It is really a different discussion but we can show easily why Shakespeare said those things - we still have the history books on which he based them.  A lot of work has been done on Shakespeare's inspiration by literary critics.  Perhaps we should do the Greek playwrights a similar honour and look at how they fit into their context rather than dreaming of disguised Egyptian originals?

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I think we might need a more careful definition here.  If a particular story carries some oddly non-Greek cultural elements, I would class it as alien to Greek culture no matter how many playwrights adopt it. 

This is indeed a problem.  When I initially wrote about alien to Greek culture, I meant it didn't fit in the legendary narrative as widely understood at the time.  It clearly did, given the number of versions of the story in existence.

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Perhaps we can list the two most outstanding alien features.

1) Spy holes in the shields.
2) No thrown spears (duels in the Iliad, our principal source for Greek heroic combat, involve and usually begin with thrown spears).

These are clear and distinctive differences from the Greek norm.

But experts on hoplite warfare seem to consider it a classic example of a classical Greek hoplite fight, albeit maybe with some antique features thrown in (like Theban shields, because they are Theban heroes).  I don't know where you are drawing your details of Egyptian dueling from.  I'm not aware of any but I admit I've not studied Egyptian warfare in any detail.  Can you quote your source?

We might also note that evidence for shields with holes is far from definitive - indeed Duncan quoted a paper recently which doubted they existed at all.

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2018, 07:27:58 PM »
It is really a different discussion but we can show easily why Shakespeare said those things - we still have the history books on which he based them.  A lot of work has been done on Shakespeare's inspiration by literary critics.  Perhaps we should do the Greek playwrights a similar honour and look at how they fit into their context rather than dreaming of disguised Egyptian originals?

Two points spring to mind here:

1) The means of information transmission would have been people.  Greeks fought in Smenkhare's army.  They saw the duel.  The survivors would not have forgotten the details when they returned home; the fall of the world's greatest kingdom tends to make an impression on those who witness it at first hand.  Centuries later, playwrights take what survives from their dusty Greek sources and put their own 'spin' on it, but some details escape their attentions.  Do we need to look any further than this as a transmission mechanism, and if so, why?

2) What can be gained by looking at how Greek playwrights 'fit into their context'?  Apologies if I am wrong, but this looks to me like sociology rather than history.

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I think we might need a more careful definition here.  If a particular story carries some oddly non-Greek cultural elements, I would class it as alien to Greek culture no matter how many playwrights adopt it. 

This is indeed a problem.  When I initially wrote about alien to Greek culture, I meant it didn't fit in the legendary narrative as widely understood at the time.  It clearly did, given the number of versions of the story in existence.

I am a bit puzzled about how this attempted classification serves any useful purpose in evaluating the veracity or usefulness of the details in the plays.  Some elucidation would be welome.

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Perhaps we can list the two most outstanding alien features.

1) Spy holes in the shields.
2) No thrown spears (duels in the Iliad, our principal source for Greek heroic combat, involve and usually begin with thrown spears).

These are clear and distinctive differences from the Greek norm.

But experts on hoplite warfare seem to consider it a classic example of a classical Greek hoplite fight, albeit maybe with some antique features thrown in (like Theban shields, because they are Theban heroes).  I don't know where you are drawing your details of Egyptian dueling from.  I'm not aware of any but I admit I've not studied Egyptian warfare in any detail.  Can you quote your source?

Are the goalposts moving? ;)  We began with the aim of identifying elements alien to Greek heroic duelling.  These I pointed out.  If this duel is considered a classic hoplite fight (how many hoplite duels do we know of?), then it is seriously anachronistic given the context of Homer's Iliad and the fighting styles therein being well known to 5th century Greeks; the events of the Oedipus story take place a short time before the Trojan War, so the default fighting style should be 'heroic'.

The idea of a source on Egyptian duelling is a new one.  Duels between contenders for the Egyptian throne were sufficiently rare that nobody would have got around to writing a book on how to conduct one.

My points are a) this is not heroic Greek duelling as we understand it and b) the wounds suffered by Eteocles in the duel are exactly those suffered by Tutankhamun, in the context of a long and consistent series of correspondences between Amarna period history and the Oedipus story.  If it were simply a coincidence in isolation I would not be bothering about it any more than I would about King Ahab and Julian the Apostate each apparently getting a death wound in the same part of the anatomy.

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We might also note that evidence for shields with holes is far from definitive - indeed Duncan quoted a paper recently which doubted they existed at all.

One paper does not make a certainty, and indeed the core subject of the paper was something completely different.  The author failed to consider that his 'bosses' two thirds of the way up the shield could easily be spy-holes with decorated borders.

It might be worth an observation on Egyptian shield spy-holes.  If one just bores a hole in a shield, one can expect an arrow or javelin-point to find its way through sooner or later.  However the designs for these 'bosses' include spoked wheels (good as a see-through arrow filter) and apparent meshes (doubtless mistaken for solid 'bosses'), which make sense as see-through arrow-stoppers.  Their positioning two thirds of the way up the shield works well for a spy-hole but appallingly for a shield 'boss', especially given the positioning of the grips as noted in Wernick's paper.
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aligern

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #20 on: December 19, 2018, 11:56:55 PM »
I am very keen on context. Its much mor likely that a Greek playwright would use an Egyptian story if Greeks habitually did that, much more likely too if they were in the habit of importing sections whole cloth so to speak, that such sections eould include material that better fitted an Egyptian context.
The context of Celtic societies is tgat they are relatively poor at copying their neighbours forms of warfare. The context of Roman society is thatt they Kit and fighting styles ( where these are successful) , frequently.  Thus when faced with a question about the likelihood of Celts changing fighting style despite defeats I would be more inclined to see them as doggedly conservative, thus Galatians are good evidence for other Celts . Their context and culture indicates that they might take on Greek equipment, but they will use it like Galatians. Romans would adopt Sarmatian cavalry equipment because they had no social barrier tobadopting kit and fighting style.
In contextual terms Heroditusbis a bit of a clincher for Patrick’s argument. It would appear that Egyptians, particularly priests, kept alive stories and that Greeks were happy to use these tales.
Of course the lack of a direct reference from the playwright to say that this is an Egyptian story means that Patrick can never compkete the linkage, only move the likelihood up the graph in terms of certainty.
The advantage of proving context furst is that the first proof is plausibility. That is easier to get agreement on because it is generalised abd requires beither side to commit to believing details are true. Beyond plausibity ( ie a context in which Greeks are visiting Egypt and bringing back stories) there is no certainty unless there are direct references to this story being an import and being based upon a particular story fromnEgypt ( say a para in Herodotus) abd tgat we will not get.
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2018, 09:31:03 AM »
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2) What can be gained by looking at how Greek playwrights 'fit into their context'?  Apologies if I am wrong, but this looks to me like sociology rather than history.

And thereby reveals a large difference in historical methodology between us.  Understanding sources in the context of the time, place and culture of where they come from is important.  It also helps to have some idea of the literary or stylistic conventions we are dealing with.  We are dealing with a play, intended to be performed according to certain rules, and to deliver a sense of tragedy and maybe some food for thought.  If we just pick random pieces out of it to construct a theory, we are heading for trouble.

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I am a bit puzzled about how this attempted classification serves any useful purpose in evaluating the veracity or usefulness of the details in the plays.  Some elucidation would be welome.
You asked for clarification of what I meant, so I told you.  I think I have explained enough how in my (orthodox historical) opinion, literature can and cannot be properly used as a source now.

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We began with the aim of identifying elements alien to Greek heroic duelling.  These I pointed out.  If this duel is considered a classic hoplite fight (how many hoplite duels do we know of?), then it is seriously anachronistic given the context of Homer's Iliad and the fighting styles therein being well known to 5th century Greeks; the events of the Oedipus story take place a short time before the Trojan War, so the default fighting style should be 'heroic'.

No, we started talking about spear fighting, using a quote by Matthews on hoplite combat.  You chose to interpret some elements of this as representing "Egyptian" elements, in particular that it preserved details of an Egyptian duel between Smenkhare and Tutankhamun.  Your argument appears to be the original story, which the details were taken from, must be Egyptian based on nobody throwing spears and the fact that Egyptian shields had holes in them.  This seems rather thin.  Whereas, if we say is this single combat that an Athenian citizen who had served as a hoplite and was familiar with Homer would recognise, it seems to fit rather better.  As to "hoplite duels", images of hoplites dueling (representing heroic originals) are found on any number of ceramics, so I expect any play-attending Athenian would have been very familiar with them.

Ultimately, this discussion is falling into the usual attritional pattern and, as is often the case, it is irresolveable because our entire approach to historical evidence is different.  So what you see as proof I see as very selective evidence collection used in a circular argument to bolster a dramatic theory.

Probably time you and Velikovsky went in one direction and me and orthodoxy went in the other.

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2018, 10:22:33 AM »
Of course the lack of a direct reference from the playwright to say that this is an Egyptian story means that Patrick can never compkete the linkage, only move the likelihood up the graph in terms of certainty.

We do of course have hints like

"... chariot-rich Thebes" - Sophocles, Antigone line 149
"... thou holy ground of Thebe, whose chariots are many" - idem line 844
"Thebes of all cities you hold foremost in honour" - idem line 1137

which point to the Egyptian rather than the Greek Thebes, despite overt references to the latter elsewhere.

Understanding sources in the context of the time, place and culture of where they come from is important.

Very much so, but this is not the whole of the story.  The content also matters. :)

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It also helps to have some idea of the literary or stylistic conventions we are dealing with.  We are dealing with a play, intended to be performed according to certain rules, and to deliver a sense of tragedy and maybe some food for thought.

But a play based on past events, not imagination.  All of the dramatic elements are readily discernible, but what is significant for the historian is what has been preserved from those past events.

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If we just pick random pieces out of it to construct a theory, we are heading for trouble.

But what we are presenting is not random.

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I am a bit puzzled about how this attempted classification serves any useful purpose in evaluating the veracity or usefulness of the details in the plays.  Some elucidation would be welome.
You asked for clarification of what I meant, so I told you.  I think I have explained enough how in my (orthodox historical) opinion, literature can and cannot be properly used as a source now.

I beg to differ.  It appears to me that the thrust of your argument is that any details noted in a play must be straitjacketed into a literary formula, one of which the original practitioners were most likely unaware.

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We began with the aim of identifying elements alien to Greek heroic duelling.  These I pointed out.  If this duel is considered a classic hoplite fight (how many hoplite duels do we know of?), then it is seriously anachronistic given the context of Homer's Iliad and the fighting styles therein being well known to 5th century Greeks; the events of the Oedipus story take place a short time before the Trojan War, so the default fighting style should be 'heroic'.

No, we started talking about spear fighting, using a quote by Matthews on hoplite combat.

Actually Paul Bardunias quoted from Euripides' Phoenissae, and my recollection of the relevant part of the resultant discussion between ourselves is this:

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    However, back to where we started, does the detailed description of the duel fit the Greek tradition of heroic combat or is it notably alien?

Perhaps we can list the two most outstanding alien features.

1) Spy holes in the shields.
2) No thrown spears (duels in the Iliad, our principal source for Greek heroic combat, involve and usually begin with thrown spears).

These are clear and distinctive differences from the Greek norm
.

But now ...

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You chose to interpret some elements of this as representing "Egyptian" elements, in particular that it preserved details of an Egyptian duel between Smenkhare and Tutankhamun.  Your argument appears to be the original story, which the details were taken from, must be Egyptian based on nobody throwing spears and the fact that Egyptian shields had holes in them.

My actual argument was that in the context of a long and consistent line of coincidences between the Oedipus story and the Amarna period, we get the character who corresponds to Tutankhamun (i.e. Eteocles) receiving wounds which exactly correspond with those suffered by Tutankhamun.  The emphasis on 'Egyptian duelling' is your own red herring; perhaps it was my fault for not steering the discussion onto the main focus of evidence for tie-ins between the story and the period.

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Whereas, if we say is this single combat that an Athenian citizen who had served as a hoplite and was familiar with Homer would recognise, it seems to fit rather better.

And why would we have any reason to say this?

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As to "hoplite duels", images of hoplites dueling (representing heroic originals) are found on any number of ceramics, so I expect any play-attending Athenian would have been very familiar with them.

I was of course referring to 'hoplite duels' in dramatic and historical literature; they seem conspicuous by their absence.  Pictorial representations of traditional legends have the usual problems of portraying past persons in contemporary clothing, as any student of mediaeval illuminated manuscripts will appreciate.

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... our entire approach to historical evidence is different.

It does seem so.

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Probably time you and Velikovsky went in one direction and me and orthodoxy went in the other.

Might it not be more constructive to examine the roots, rationale and methods of our varying approaches to history?
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Duncan Head

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2018, 10:46:40 AM »
We do of course have hints like

"... chariot-rich Thebes" - Sophocles, Antigone line 149
"... thou holy ground of Thebe, whose chariots are many" - idem line 844
"Thebes of all cities you hold foremost in honour" - idem line 1137

which point to the Egyptian rather than the Greek Thebes, despite overt references to the latter elsewhere.

Not really, since Boeotia, and Boeotian Thebes, are also associated with chariots: cf. the 300 "charioteers" and parabatai at Delium (Diodoros 12.70), usually thought to be the forerunners of the Sacred Band: the Thebans kept up the tradition of military charioteering, at least in name, very late. No reason to drag in Egypt here at all.
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2018, 11:10:40 AM »
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which point to the Egyptian rather than the Greek Thebes, despite overt references to the latter elsewhere.

Why?  Thebes will have had many chariots in heroic times.  Egyptian Thebes was distinguished by its gates, I think - 100 as opposed to 7.  How many gates are there in the tale of the Seven against Thebes?

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It appears to me that the thrust of your argument is that any details noted in a play must be straitjacketed into a literary formula, one of which the original practitioners were most likely unaware.
I didn't pay much attention to Greek tragedy at school but I'm pretty sure that playwrights were very aware of the conventions they were operating within.

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Actually Paul Bardunias quoted from Euripides' Phoenissae,


Actually, Justin quoted Matthews quoting Euripedes but it isn't that important.  The key thing is two published writers on hoplites - perhaps more- have identified this as being a hoplite fight.  In the absence of clear evidence to the contrary, the fight seems to fit comfortably within a Greek tradition.

Before I sign off on this, I would remind you of what has already been said way back.  You are being very selective in which of the multiple interpretations of Akhnaten's dynasty you call upon to support your theory.  This period in history is badly understood because of deliberate attempts to remove all reference to the key players from history.  Even the archaeology of Tutankhamun's mummy is unclear and, while there are many theories about his death, the idea of a death in a duel against his brother/sister does not appear to be one of the front runners, at least in part because most scholars believe Smenkhare had been dead for several years at the point of Tutankhamun's death.

Others may wish to take you up on your desire to debate your new paradigm for studying history if you set it out.  I must admit I would rather withdraw to the reserve trenches and let someone else take up this new challenge.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2018, 11:13:36 AM by Erpingham »
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2018, 08:07:03 PM »
We do of course have hints like

"... chariot-rich Thebes" - Sophocles, Antigone line 149
"... thou holy ground of Thebe, whose chariots are many" - idem line 844
"Thebes of all cities you hold foremost in honour" - idem line 1137

which point to the Egyptian rather than the Greek Thebes, despite overt references to the latter elsewhere.

Not really, since Boeotia, and Boeotian Thebes, are also associated with chariots: cf. the 300 "charioteers" and parabatai at Delium (Diodoros 12.70), usually thought to be the forerunners of the Sacred Band: the Thebans kept up the tradition of military charioteering, at least in name, very late. No reason to drag in Egypt here at all.

The Egyptian affiliation lies in the description of Thebes as the foremost city in timas, a term indicating renown, esteem, value, dignity.  This was clearly true of Eighteenth Dynasty Thebes, but not its seven-gated recently-founded Greek namesake, especialy given the pre-eminence of Argos and Mycenae.

Regarding chariots, the point involves quantity rather than quality: Thebes, like other Greek heroic cities, fielded chariots, but it is very questionable whether they were particularly noted for their charioteering: Homer is silent on the matter, and when the Achaean chariots are given a tactical lesson, it is by Nestor of Pylos and not some Theban.  I think it would be particularly hard to sustain any contention that the Thebans of the heroic age were renowned for the number of their chariots.

In fact, to point out the association of Boeotia with chariots seems counterproductive to the argument that Thebes in heroic age Greece was polyharmatic (there is no easy way to say 'many-charioted' in English), because the Boeotians, with whatever chariots they possessed, were invaders after the Trojan War.

Conversely, an almost stock phrase in the Amarna letters is: Pharaoh is well and his chariots are many.
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2018, 08:24:54 PM »
Before I sign off on this, I would remind you of what has already been said way back.  You are being very selective in which of the multiple interpretations of Akhnaten's dynasty you call upon to support your theory.

Well, they cannot all be correct so judgement is called for.  The Oedipus story provides a pattern which a) fits the Amarna period evidence and b) fits it a lot better than any other interpretation or explanation.  This is why I selected it.

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This period in history is badly understood because of deliberate attempts to remove all reference to the key players from history.

This is very true.  And it is not even understood just how badly understood it is.  Some day I shall demonstrate exactly who Horemheb really was, together with his actual place in Egyptian history.  (And it is not what Velikovsky thought, either.)

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Even the archaeology of Tutankhamun's mummy is unclear and, while there are many theories about his death, the idea of a death in a duel against his brother/sister does not appear to be one of the front runners, at least in part because most scholars believe Smenkhare had been dead for several years at the point of Tutankhamun's death.

Indeed.  Thankfully, the Oedipus story can cure them of this misapprehension.  On a historical philosophy point, if we are to take popularity as the primary criterion of historical validity, we can easily end up with historical demagoguery rather than history.  I prefer to look for actual solutions.

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Others may wish to take you up on your desire to debate your new paradigm for studying history if you set it out.  I must admit I would rather withdraw to the reserve trenches and let someone else take up this new challenge.

Duncan has nobly squelched up the duckboards into the front line.  Greater love than this hath no man ... :)
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2018, 08:39:09 PM »
In fact, to point out the association of Boeotia with chariots seems counterproductive to the argument that Thebes in heroic age Greece was polyharmatic (there is no easy way to say 'many-charioted' in English), because the Boeotians, with whatever chariots they possessed, were invaders after the Trojan War.

The argument, surely, is that Boeotia was renowned for chariotry, whether current, historical, or legendary does not matter, in the classical era, and that therefore references in Sophocles and the like to "chariot-rich Thebes" are simply explained without any association with Egypt.

One might add the sanctuary of Onchestos in Boeotia and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo if any more examples of Boeotian fame in chariotry are required.
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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2018, 10:34:04 PM »
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"Thebes of all cities you hold foremost in honour" - idem [Sophocles, Antigone] line 1137

The Egyptian affiliation lies in the description of Thebes as the foremost city in timas, a term indicating renown, esteem, value, dignity.  This was clearly true of Eighteenth Dynasty Thebes, but not its seven-gated recently-founded Greek namesake, especialy given the pre-eminence of Argos and Mycenae.

!!!

A bit of context helps.

"O Bacchus, denizen of Thebes, the mother-city of your Bacchants, dweller by the wet stream of Ismenus on the soil of the sowing of the savage dragon's teeth! The smoky glare of torches sees you above the cliffs of the twin peaks, where the Corycian nymphs move inspired by your godhead, and Castalia's stream sees you, too. The ivy-mantled slopes of Nysa's hills and the shore green with many-clustered vines send you, when accompanied by the cries of your divine words, you visit the avenues of Thebes. Thebes of all cities you hold foremost in honor, together with your lightning-struck mother." Sophocles, Antigone 1120-1139

It is Dionysus/Bacchus who holds Thebes foremost in honour, because his mother (Semele) lived there and his rites were first established there - it's his home town.
  • Richard Taylor

Dangun

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Re: Oedipus, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun's Civil War
« Reply #29 on: December 21, 2018, 05:09:20 AM »
You mistake my point Nicholas. Let me be clear. If no Latin literature survived today, but Plutarch had been available in Shakespeare’s time, before being lost, then our knowledge of Caesar would derive from Shakespeare.
We could then argue about how accurate Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar was as a portrayal of a period where the only infirnation was based upon coins, the odd inscription and statuary. We would be in much the same situation as Patrick claims for Tutankhamun, where we had detailed information that accorded with the few facts that we had, but dare we trust the level of detail.
Roy

Yep. I did appreciate your point, but I intentionally misconstrued it to make what I thought was a more important point.
There are clear antecedents for Shakespeare's Julius C through the Latin literary tradition, but there is not the same bridge (or series of shaky bridges) that gets us from Tutankhamon to Euripides, either directly, or by inference through context (Roy's point).

And I daresay that we have a ton more evidence for JC than Tut outside the literary tradition.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 05:13:38 AM by Dangun »
  • Nicholas Spratt