Bob Carlton lives and works in Leander, Texas, USA.
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The story of my people is the story of the sea and of very dry places. Water and wind and the search for bounty.
The King of Assuwa […] Kagamuna, [his] great-grandfather […] married before
The King of Assuwa […] Kagamuna, [my] great-grandfather […] married before
One’s understanding of the political situation depends on the decision whether to restore A-BA A-BA A-B[…] as A-BA A-BA A-B[I-SU], “his great-grandfather”, or as A-BA A-BA A-B[I-YA], “my great-grandfather”.
These islands, dowry from the King of Asia, provide a favorable position from which to reach the mainland. Who sacrifices a princess to appease the hostile seas? Whose royal blood can shift the course of winds? I march on the winds and step across the seas. The name of Kagamuna will resound down all the Ages of Man.
“When the expedition had mustered a second time at Aulis, Agamemnon, while at the chase, shot a stag and boasted that he surpassed even Artemis. At this the goddess was so angry that she sent stormy winds and prevented them from sailing. Calchas then told them of the anger of the goddess and bade them sacrifice Iphigeneia to Artemis.”
Homerica: The Cypria
from Proclus, Chrestomathia
trans. Hugh G. Evelyn-White
As my father did in former times, I strike inland against the allies of the Great King of Hatti. With 100 chariots and a thousand infantry, I drove Maduwatta before me, killed Zidanza in single combat…
“And with her spilt blood make
An offering, to speed their ships upon the way!”
trans. E.D.A. Morshead
My Majesty, Great King, King of Hatti, Tudhaliya, dispatched Kisnapili to rescue Maduwatta from the infantry and chariots of Attarsiya, the man from Ahhiya. A curse on the House of Attarsiya for his interference in the affairs of Hatti, for joining with the lands of Taruisa and Wilusa in rebellion against My Majesty.
“Since Tudhaliya, Great King, conquered Assuwa of the twenty-two lands, he dedicates me to the Storm-God, his Lord.” Thus says the sword of Attarsiya from the Great Temple in Hattusa, capital of Hatti, Land of a Thousand Gods.
Stones speak a language older than time. Not so these piles of broken tablets, clay becoming dust, stories jumbled, tumbled down hillsides, a confusion of:
- who attacked whom, and when;
- who was allied with whom, and when;
- who fortified which town;
- who burned which town;
- which petty king gave a daughter and dowry to which petty king
(a-ki-re-u and e-ko-to, two shepherds on a hillside in pu-ro (Pylos), become heroes locked in eternal combat on a plain outside the walls of a coastal Anatolian city).
“Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris”
(Arms and the man I sing, who first from the coast of Troy),
“Menin aeida thea”
(Of the anger, sing, Goddess),
(They came from steep Wilusa).
Poetry in this post: © Bob Carlton
Published with the permission of Bob Carlton