History Forums

Standard

I thought about a new way of building a platform. Many history fans are gathered at various forums, and while entering this field, I can promote my own ideas. At first, I took part in several discussions and realized that it is much more useful to lead them. So I started launching my own threads.

On Historum, http://historum.com/, I opened two threads. In Ancient History, a thread called Civilization, on p. 2. In Medieval and Byzantine History, a thread named Geography During the Middle Ages, on p. 1. In all, I have more than 1,000 views and almost 50 replies.

On World Historia, http://www.worldhistoria.com/, I also opened two threads. In Europe, a thread dubbed Medieval Geographical Development, on p. 1; in West Asia and North Africa, a thread called The Origin of Israel, on p. 1. Overall views are approaching 200, with 20 replies.

I assume, my efforts are going to be a success, even greater than the number of my followers on http://www.ibuzzle.com/authors/56614/

This is my additional plus in building the author’s platform.

 

Advertisements

Geography during the Middle Ages: Launching a Thread

Standard

I recently started participation in the history forum Historum where I launched a new thread “Geography during the Middle Ages”. Here I present some ideas from my published articles, for example https://www.academia.edu/11252943/What_if_the_Earth_is_the_Sphere and https://www.academia.edu/11648843/How_to_Measure_the_Earths_Circumference

I already received some comments and more than 150 views. Of course, I am going to continue. I see that the interest for my research is growing and we can speak about the emergence of the community of the readers. I will do my best not to disappoint you.

Superpowers of the Ancient World (continued)

Standard

I finished my first historical course “Superpowers of the Ancient World” about the political struggle between Egypt, Mitanni, and Hatti over the Land of Canaan in the Late Bronze Age (1500-1200 BCE). A very comprehensive course of the lecturer of Liverpool University which included his mini-lectures, interviews with experts, scientific articles, and much more. The participants were supposed to leave comments, ask questions, and sometimes provided with the answers. We had to do an assignment evaluating Bob Brier’s theory about the murder of Tutankhamun. This is what I submitted:

“Bob Brier adheres to the theory of King Tutankhamun’s murder, linking the evidence to the broken bone at the head of the deceased monarch. His statement is based on the analysis of the 1968 x-ray of the pharaoh’s head. Though the writer refers to the reports of the poor condition of the mummy, he does not take into consideration other possibilities: the errors made during the embalming process conducted in haste and/ or the blunders committed by Howard Carter’s team which had to take off the gold mask from the king’s face. Nevertheless, the 2005 CT scan of the whole body revealed no skull fractures inflicted during King Tut’s lifetime. The thriller about the murder of the adolescent monarch bludgeoned during his sleep by a hired killer should, therefore, be classified as pure fiction.

At first glance, the letter sent by a widow queen to the king of Hatti looks suspicious. It is found only in a single source, King Suppiluliuma’s biography penned by his son King Mursili. The sender is referred merely as the pharaoh’s widow, but her ex-husband’s throne name gives a close match to Tutankhamon. The bereaved queen describes her desparate situation as King Tut left no heirs to the throne, and the widow loathes the idea of marrying someone who has no royal blood in his veins. As a daughter of King Akhenaten, she is the legimate successor but cannot rule alone. She offers not only the marriage deal but the kingship of Egypt. The king of the Hitties could not believe his eyes (or maybe ears). The proposal was too good to be true. The anxious king lingered hoping to buy time and check all the details. When he finally sent his son, it was too late: the Egyptian opposition staged a plot to destroy this marriage. The situation is psychologically understandable: the queen is desperate, the king of the Hitties is cautious especially after the relations between the empires deteriorated after the unsuccessful attempt of the Egyptians to assault Kadesh. The Egyptian copy of the letter was deliberately destroyed but as a result of this tragic “enterprese”, a full-scale conflict between the two superpowers broke out.

The treatment of the adviser Aye is biased by the writer’s murder theory. Aye, who succeeded King Tut on the throne, becomes the ringleader of the plot because he seems to covet the pharaoh’s power. However, Bob Brier does not consider the fact that in his old age Aye realized that he could not produce a heir and that the years of his reign would be obstructed by the opposition on behalf of his rival, general Horemheb. If the elderly politician set his eyes on seizing the throne, why didn’t he interfere to block the official correspondence between his fiance and the foreign ruler? Why didn’t he discuss his rights with the Hittite ambassador stopping preparations for the unusual royal marriage? It seems much more plausible that he gave his assent to the exchange of letters, probably introduced this idea. We can assume the rivalry between him and Horemheb. Only when the marriage proposal failed, he decided to pick up the abandoned reins of power.

I think that Bob Brier is trapped by a popular theory and does his best to prove it by all possible means. He ignores alternative explanations and makes no effort to confront his evidence with other facts not necessarily supporting his theory. These “stubborn” facts play a crucial role in the real story. The embalment process was delayed over mandatory seventy days after the death to give a chance for a weird royal marriage proposal. Aye rose to the throne only after the death of the Hittite prince who was murdered by a rival party. For more details of this story see T. Bryce. “Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East”, unit 11, An Extraordinary Request.”

Our host, Professor Glenn Godenho, launched a Facebook group and I will follow him and other participants there. I strongly recommend the futurelearn platform for individual studies. It gives you wide horizon and a good chance to check your ideas on the general public.

Superpowers of the Ancient World (1)

Standard

This week we studied Mitanni and its role as the superpower. We had to write an essay about Bob Brier’s article about the death of Tutankhamun.

Bob Brier is a philosopher who is very keen on the theory of King Tutankhamun’s death. I denounce his version. This is what I wrote:

The Eternal Life of Tutankhamun

Bob Brier adheres to the theory of King Tutankhamun’s murder, linking the evidence to the broken bone at the head of the deceased monarch. His statement is based on the analysis of the 1968 cranial x-ray. Though the writer refers to the reports of the poor condition of the mummy, he does not take into consideration other possibilities: the errors made during the embalming process conducted in haste and/ or the blunders committed by Howard Carter’s team (1) which had to take off the gold mask from the king’s face.

Nevertheless, the 2005 CT scan of the whole body revealed no skull fractures inflicted during King Tut’s lifetime. The thriller about the murder of the adolescent monarch bludgeoned during his sleep by a hired killer should, therefore, be classified as pure fiction.

At first glance, the letter sent by a widow queen to the king of Hatti looks suspicious. (2) It is found only in a single source, King Suppiluliuma’s biography penned by his son King Mursili.   The sender is referred merely as the pharaoh’s widow, but her ex-husband’s throne name gives a close match to Tutankhamun. The bereaved queen describes her desperate situation as King Tut left no heirs to the throne, and the widow loathes the idea of marrying someone who has no royal blood in his veins.

As a daughter of King Akhenaten, she is the legitimate successor but cannot rule alone. She offers not only the marriage deal but the kingship of Egypt. The king of the Hitties could not believe his eyes (or maybe ears). The proposal was too good to be true. The anxious king lingered hoping to buy time and check all the details. When he finally sent his son, it was too late: the Egyptian opposition staged a plot to destroy this marriage.

The situation is psychologically understandable: the queen is desperate, the king of the Hitties is cautious especially after the relations between the empires deteriorated following the unsuccessful attempt of the Egyptians to assault Kadesh. The Egyptian copy of the letter was deliberately destroyed but as a result of this tragic “enterprise”, a full-scale conflict between the two superpowers broke out.

The treatment of the adviser Aye is biased by the writer’s murder theory. Aye, who succeeded King Tut on the throne, becomes the ringleader of the plot because he seems to covet the pharaoh’s power. However, Bob Brier does not consider the fact that in his old age Aye (3) realized that he could not produce an heir and that the years of his reign would be obstructed by the opposition on behalf of his rival, general Horemheb. If the elderly politician set his eyes on seizing the throne, why didn’t he interfere to block the official correspondence between his fiancé and the foreign ruler? Why didn’t he put forth his rights in the discussions with the Hittite ambassador stopping preparations for the unusual royal marriage?

It seems much more plausible that he gave his assent to the exchange of letters, probably introduced this idea. We can assume the rivalry between him and Horemheb. Only when the marriage proposal failed, he decided to pick up the abandoned reins of power.

I think that Bob Brier is trapped by a popular theory and does his best to prove it by all possible means. He ignores alternative explanations and makes no effort to confront his evidence with other facts not necessarily supporting his theory. These “stubborn” facts play a crucial role in the real story. The embalmment process was delayed over mandatory seventy days after the death to give a chance for a weird royal marriage proposal. Aye rose to the throne only after the death of the Hittite prince who was murdered by a rival party. (3)

Endnotes:

(1) Howard Carter is a British archaelogists who discovered the intact tomb of King Tut.

(2) Tutankhamun’s widow proposed marriage to a Hittite prince, the most unusual incentive.

(3) Aye was about seventy when he ascended the throne.

(4) For more details of this story see T. Bryce. “Letters of the Great Kings of the Ancient Near East”, unit 11, An Extraordinary Request.

Superpowers of the Ancient World

Standard

For the past two weeks I have been attending a free online course which focuses on the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1500-1200 BCE). The coordinator of the course, Glenn Godenho from the University of Liverpool, introduces various materials: artifacts from the museum, graphic aids, article, interviews with leading specialist. Participants who range from professionals to amateurs take part in discussions, do quizzes and tasks. We studied about Egypt which had just liberated from the Hyxos and kicked off its expansion. We learned about the Land of Canaan with its city-states and petty politics. The discussions are friendly and constructive. When we mentioned the emergence of Israel, I cited my paper https://www.academia.edu/4059657/_The_Generation_of_Exodus_

When we discussed cuneiform, I referred to another paper, https://www.academia.edu/6658511/The_Marvels_of_Sumerian_Script

This is a unit in my book “Dawn and Sunset” (see the site http://www.michaelbaizerman.com/

where I write a blog with a unit-by-unit synopsis). You can also view an excerpt, read the reviews and my Bio.

Jerusalem as the center of the world-2

Standard

My recently uploaded article on Jerusalem has already received its first readers. I published it twice: on a popular site at http://www.ibuzzle.com/articles/where-is-the-heart-of-the-world.html

and as an academic article at https://www.academia.edu/16417296/Where_is_the_Heart_of_the_World_The_Place_of_Jerusalem_in_Medieval_Europe

You may view both of them at your ease. I would appreciate a discussion.

My next topic will be the racial relations in the Middle Ages or how western Europeans interpreted the roles of the three sons of Noah and applied their names to the three known continents of the habitable earth.