Chariots (was horse argument) 2/2

a.a. slaczka alxandra at STAD.DSL.NL
Mon Apr 27 18:31:50 UTC 1998

In mijn woordenboek staat dat kwartel een vogel is!!!!
En nu?

> Van: Vidhyanath Rao <vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU>
> Onderwerp: Chariots (was horse argument) 2/2
> Datum: vrijdag 5 juni 1998 22:18
> Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:
> >On Fri, 29 May 1998, Vidhyanath Rao wrote:
> >
> >> I thought that I had made it clear that I believe the true chariot to
> >> have been diffused from the Near East, not India. This has nothing to
> >> do with the spread of IE languages.
> >But the very word for "horse", horse driving, horse mythology, horse
> >rituals go *together* in IE cultures.... Diffusion from a post-common IE
> >center does not work here.
> Word for horse does not prove chariots.
> I guess I am totally ignorant. What PIE words are unquestionably
> connected to chariotry? [Let us concentrate on chariots in this
> thread.]
> >> Anyway, are you arguing that chariots had been invented before I-Irs
> >> and proto-Greeks separated?
> >We cannot know perfectly. [...] However, this is nothing unusual. We
> >cannot, I think, reconstruct the IE small finger. That does not mean
> >that IEs had only 4 fingers... (and, I think, there is a Proto-Drav.
> >peacock feather, but .... no peacock)
> The situations are different. We have independent evidence that humans
> had a little finger before PIE evolved. But there is no evidence that
> true chariots existed before 1800 BCE.
> >But, unfortunately, we have Homer's "Indian style" description of the
> >race. If you then invoke the Hittites as transmitters, we are stuck with
> >Kikkuli, the *Indo-Aryan*-inspired Mitanni.
> A minor point: Kikkuli was a Hurrian, as were the young men recruited
> into the mariannu (and according to Diakonoff, that word has a
> satifactory Near Eastern etymology.
> Anyway, there are books on Nyaya in one of our libraries. Bulk of the
> books on formal logic are in a different library. If a visitor from
> Alpha Centauri were to look only at the first and concluded that Frege
> et. al were inspired by Indians, would it be correct?
> The point is that we have fragments of other texts on horses and
> chariots from the Hittite archives. Chariots are mentioned in >military
> context<, used by both Hittites and Hurrians, during the >Old Hittite
> period<, almost 300 years before Kikkuli.
> And what is the evidence for claiming that Mitannis' methods were
> better? Bear in mind that the Hittite archives contained other texts on
> horse training. Just because, by chance, one text has come complete
> while others have not, we cannot conclude that the former is better.
> >> >the uneven number of turns
> >> >with the Mitanni, the COUNTER-clockwise turning .... : all by
> >> >diffusion?
> >> The odd number of turns is a consequence of the race, which consists
> >> returning to the starting point after reaching a preset mark. If you
> >> run n laps, you must make 2n+1 turns.
> I am sorry for yet another fence-post error. If there are n circuits,
> there would be 2n-1 turns.
> >The turn (vartana) is around the pole at the end of the track. [...]
> >Yes, but there also is 1 turn only: Thus, 1 turn: up to the post and
> >2 turns = 2x the same; 3 turns = 3x etc. Only the turn around the post
> >the "end" of the track is counted. But only *odd* numbers are used. Why?
> I did not know that only the turn at the end was counted. I will
> appreciate textual citations that prove this (for each culture
> involved).
> >> But bits were completely unknown in India, according to Arrian and
> >> others. Why was it so, if there were two different traditions?
> >Arrian? Where? In the quoted passage, he onlys says that they have a
> >management different from the Greek + Celtic one. (Indike 16).
> You are right. I should have said that bits were not in use in India
> and that the statements of Arrian and others supports this. Also,
> archaeological evidence supports the conclusions that bits were
> introduced into India only in historical times. See Leshnik AJA 1971
> pp. 141--150 as well as Sparreboom, Chariots in the Veda, p. 115-117.
> So the question remains:If there was a continuity of domesticated horses
> from bit using people to early historical India, why was there a change
> from bits to nose bands when the latter are inferior due to constriction
> of air passages?
> --------------
> >(if imported from the Near East you would use the Near Eastern
> >term,like gilgul 'wheel': see below).
> Not always. People use loan translations too.
> >Unfortunately she is not an Indo-Europeanist but a well known Russian
> >archaeologist, and, AT THAT, horse woman herself. Not an ivory tower
> >woman. (Neither do I belong to that tower myself, nor Sparreboom who has
> >driven chariots a lot, *before* and after his thesis).
> What matters is experience with reconstructed harness + vehicles.
> I have written to Sparreboom concerning this, among other questions
> about chariot construction and use that come from what he says in his
> book. It would be proper for me wait for his reply before discussing
> them here.
> Modern harnessing is far removed from ancient practices. Even minor
> changes can make adjustment tricky. There were a lot of experienced
> drivers who were tripped by rear mounted engines which affect the
> handling characteristics. And few of them are able to explain the
> physics behind it.
> That is why, till I see description of experiments with reconstructed
> harnesses, bridling and vehicles that contradict them, I will continue
> to accept the conclusions of Spruytte. No such experiments are described
> by Sparreboom or Kuzmina. So I see no reason to change my conclusions.
> >Simply, because the Hittites *imported* a Mitanni man, Kikkuli, to teach
> >them [better methods].
> A minor point: Kikkuli was a Hurrian (and the maryannu were recruited
> from among Hurrians).
> Anyway, this text was found in an archive, where fragments of other
> texts dealing with horses and chariots were found. All of us buy books
> for our collections when we already know what is in those books. Finding
> this one book does not imply that Hittites imported Kikkuli to >teach<
> them.
> >One does not import and employ people whom one does not need.
> But one does buy books one does not really need. And as a glance
> around any US university or software company will show, people
> can be imported for reasons other than total lack of knolwedge/
> inferior technology in the importing country.
> -Nath

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list