The horse argument, part 1

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Thu Apr 2 15:00:10 UTC 1998

Dominique.Thillaud <thillaud at UNICE.FR> wrote:

> Vidhyanath Rao wrote:
> >Dominique Thillaud had written a post saying that evidence of horse is
> >not found in Mycenean Greece. If I remember right, cheek pieces of the
> >type used in the Near East and Central Asia have been found in the
> >shaft graves of Mycenean times. I don't know the precise figures, but
> >from what I have read, these cheek pieces were not rare.
>         You say here more than I do. Horse's bones and chariots were found
> in Mycenian digs. But their number was fewer than expected by a simple
> reading of epics. The remains show a great importance of the horse as a
> prestige animal, but we don't have prooves of an actual use of chariots in
> the warfare.

I apologize for misinterpreting what you wrote.

My understanding is that how chariots were used is not clear.
Homer writes as if chariots were simply transportation (a classicist
friend of mine called it `glorified taxis'). It is not practical to
joust from chariots as some people assume. Chariots can serve as
mobile missile firing platforms, and vedic texts do suggest such an
use. So we might expect more evidence for horses and chariots from
sites associated to Indo-Aryans than in Mycenean sites. But it seems
that the reverse is the case.


>         Nothing else. Regards,
> Dominique
> Dominique THILLAUD
> Universite' de Nice Sophia-Antipolis, France

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