Re: [tied] Re: Religion

From: Glen Gordon
Message: 3971
Date: 2000-09-21

>What Glen? Agricultural technology, genetics, language and religion
>moving together. I thought this was an anathema to you. You are
>always preaching to me that they move independently from each other.
>It is usually me who writes

No, no, no. John, you got mixed up again. I am of the education that
technology, genetics, language and religion CAN move together in the right
circumstances. However, this is not necessarily so nor may it be more likely
so. The circumstances regarding the spread of agriculture into Europe was an
exceptional event that provided the right conditions for this to occur.

>By this I presume also archaeological artifacts. Good to see you
>coming around to my position.

Fat chance :)

>I suppose you would be interested to see then that from Ubaid times
>that population densities were highest in Southern Mesopotamia and
>declined further the greater the distance one was from this area.
>People tended to migrate out from this source, more often than they
>migrated into it.

Then... why does Sumer have agriculture? Obviously there were things moving
south INTO native Sumerian territory. If agriculture, which can be defined
as an information technology, can move southward, it's nothing different
from saying that mythological concepts can move southward as well. Yet
again, in the case of mythology, we are in a sense speaking of an
information technology (in this case a metaphysical one).

>The exception you rightly point out is Akkadian. The Akkadian
>migration does not show up archaeologically very clearly though.

Actually, I was using Akkadians in the case of my views on mythological
spread where obviously the Akkadians came to affect Sumerian belief even
though the languages are truely distinct (ie: my point: language and
mythology need not spread the same). Even so, I'm glad that you are
understanding that archaeology, even WITHOUT making tentative linguistic
correlations, is a more tricky business than you often like to portray.

>This is probably due to the fact that they (like many later Semitic
>waves) started out as nomadic herders, perhaps the tent dwellers
>mentioned in the story of Enki and Ninhursag. Nevertheless, Akkadian
>only began to have any involvement in the Sumerian corpus as the
>Sumerian culture area moved north. In the Sumerian kinglist, Semitic
>names only appear in the first Dynasty of Kish (after the movement of
>hegemony from Eridu to Bad Tibira and then Larak). By then the
>essential features of the Sumerian mythos were firmly established.
>It would seem that, based on religious forms and etymology the
>Akkadians borrowed most heavily from the Sumerians, not the other way

Surely the Akkadians had a Semitic belief system of some kind. Yes, the
names tend to be Sumerian, but whose to say the structure of the belief
system hasn't been imported into Sumer.

>Thus when Glen writes
> > Further, eventually we see Akkadian-speaking people migrating into
> > Sumerian-speaking territory and putting a new spin on Sumerian
>beliefs with
> > a SemitoEuropoid flavour. Again, independent of language spread.
>It was rather the Sumerians who put a new spin on Akkadian beliefs
>(eg. Ishtar changing gender from proto-Semitic male to Akkadian
>female, to allow the incorporation of the Sumerian Inanna mythic-
>cycle into Sargonic Akkadian.

Certainly, he/she is eventually associated with Sumerian Inanna. How do you
support the notion that Ishtar was originally male in Semitic belief? There
are both male and female versions of this deity in Semitic belief.

>Glen, your hypothesis is driving your analysis of te facts, instead
>of the facts creating your hypothesis.

I'm attempting to unweave the mythological sources from each other. In order
to do so, I must identify what those main sources are. It would seem logical
that if IE and MiddleEastern myth are related, there should have originally
been seperate Semitoid, Europoid and Sumerian core mythologies as well as
Steppe mythology amongst the IE that have each played a part in defining
this standard mythology by the time of writing.

If this is a proper assessment, there should be basic structures for each
one. I have attempted to supply those structures based on the evidence. Can
you suggest something better?

- gLeN
Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at

Share information about yourself, create your own public profile at