Our Own People

Chapter 5

Of all the epic cultures1 the three friends considered in their long book-filled discussions, the most involved and interesting were those having to do with our own ancestors. True, their records do not go back to the third and fourth millennia B.C.; yet they are closely related in race and language to people whose records do go back that far; for example, the Hittites and Hurrians seem to be most closely related to the Celts, whose truly epic civilization and heroic literature Chadwick has examined at length.

That scholar, however, is interested in giving us only the evidence found in the Celtic writings; a thousand years earlier classical writers describe the same Celtic heroic culture in far more clear and objective terms. One needs only recall the once familiar pictures from Caesar’s Gallic Wars: Here we find great nations on the move, princely messengers of great houses constantly coming and going with propositions and challenges; betrayals, plots, coalitions, and conjurations are the order of the day; vast masses of humanity with all their furniture and arms piled on lumbering wagons pour through the passes of the mountains and inundate the plains.

For the classical writers the Celts are the people who are constantly moving about in their painted wagons. In prehistoric times the Latin language borrowed from the Celts a vocabulary “drawn chiefly from the following semantic categories: riding, driving, . . . warfare, . . . clothing, . . .”and social hierarchy: common Roman words for serf, and our own word ambassador (German Amt: official office) are taken from the Celts. 2 It was strictly a heroic vocabulary. The greatest of all Celtic heroes, King Arthur, built up his body of knightly followers by gifts and grants, and “was so prodigal of his bounties . . . [that] he began to run short of things to distribute among the huge multitude of knights that came to him.”3

At least a century before Arthur, a classical writer recounts an ancient tale of how one hero rode among all the tribes of Gaul scattering gifts with such lavish hand that people followed his wagon everywhere and elected him king of all the tribes.4 Since generosity had to unite with prowess in war and noble blood to make kings, it is not surprising that the Celtic mythological cycles are full of horrible deeds of bloodshed and intrigues among the great houses. The most interesting thing about these cycles is the way each great house or nation is completely exterminated—with the exception of one survivor—by the next great house or nation, and so on. One of these lone survivors wandered through the world for fifty years, living on memories, as in a fever dream.5 These wars of extermination were carried out with ritual formality.

Thus when the Tuatha De Danaan refused to halve all Ireland with the Fir Bolg, their hero formally challenged the strongest of the Fir Bolg to meet him in single combat, while the two armies met at Mag Tured and agreed to spend one hundred days preparing for battle. For the battle “it was agreed . . . that there should be no general engagement, but that an equal number of warriors should go out and fight every day!”6 Among all the Celts we meet the story of the two brothers who fight a duel in which the winner becomes sole ruler of the land. The king-hero of the Celts is a curious mixture of cruelty and paternity.7

A good king would “do what the men of Byrgwin held best, . . . giving of food and drink to everyone who came,” while a bad king “makes a progress ’round Ireland, demanding the wives and treasures of his hosts,” who are honor bound to receive him since, like Arthur’s knights, they have all taken mighty oaths to the king.8 We have the picture from Joinville of St. Louis as king, going about from place to place in royal progress and sitting under the oak, at which time anyone could approach him as he righted wrongs and chastened the wicked.9 As in other heroic societies, the queen was independent and had her own palace, which exactly paralleled the king’s in all its appointments and arrangements.10

In numerous legends that tell how successive waves of invaders come to the islands, the invaders are always described as coming from the Great Plain to the East, the Land of the Living, and laying oppressive tribute on the inhabitants of the lands—the descendants of earlier invaders, demanding a tribute of everything including children, to be paid on the night of Samhain feast: two-thirds of all their produce had to be carried yearly to Mag Cetne, the great shrine at the exact center of the earth.11 The king gave privilege of refuge (i.e., sanctuary) to the roads . . . leading to the cities and temples, and especially to the royal person, as in Persia.12 In legend the royal establishment is described as a great and fabulous tower that has contact with the other world.13 The great Merlin describes the taking over of the land in terms that might have been taken right out of the Pyramid Texts, when he tells how under “the favor of the Thunderer . . . the seats of the blessed shall . . . be renewed throughout the lands, . . . [and] shepherds shall be set in places befitting.”14

It all seems to be right out of the Egyptian or Babylonian epics, and indeed scholars have long since and often pointed out the extremely close resemblances between the Celtic epic literature, especially the Grail saga, and the Babylonian and Egyptian legends and rituals.15

Who as a child has not stood between two mirrors and seen his image repeated with perfect accuracy but diminishing brightness into green and mysterious depths where “nothing is but what is not”? The eerie and disturbing quality of such an experience is the nearest thing to what one feels in reading the Germanic epics and the Norse sagas. Most sagas of the North must be interpreted on a number of different time levels at once. The minstrels of what the Germans call the “High” Middle Ages, themselves living in the completely heroic world of courts and camps, sang the deeds of Richard and Taillefer in romantic times gone by. But Taillefer had led the charge at Hastings as he “with a loud voice animated his countrymen with songs in praise of Charlemagne and Roland.”16 Charlemagne and Roland in turn, like the heroes of the saga time that followed them, had listened to the hero tales not of their own age but of a totally different age of migration 500 years earlier.

But the Germanic heroic tradition does not even begin with Attila and Ermanrich, for there is evidence of a still older Frankish heroic tradition, and a Gothic one before that, while the oldest of the Scandinavian sagas emphatically refers everything back to Troy!17 Every time our northern ancestors have found themselves living under heroic conditions of migration and world upheaval, they have revived an authentic heroic literature, but always they have taken as their subject not the deeds of their own age but some preceding migration-time. But the heroic songs of those earlier times went back to still other migrations, and so on. Hence the bedizening impression of duplication and repetition and the sense of being lost in a maze of time or a hall of mirrors.

Let us go back to the earliest of the old Norse texts, the prose Edda, and take a look at Othinn, the great prototype of the first kings.18 He comes with the storm, especially in a terrible wind, and whatever his spear or rod is pointed at is instantly dedicated to destruction; he is the arch-Einherja—the great destroyer; he is the Sig-fadhir, ever-victorious, who having subdued the land builds his castle, Sigtun, the victory fort, where he can sit in a high tower on his high seat, the Hlithskialf, and through a special window survey all that goes on in the earth. At the slightest sign of disaffection his arrows dart forth to overcome the most distant opposition in an instant. His rule was won by force and is maintained by force, as Loki once reminded the gods when in their cups at a great feast he challenged the lot as usurpers and invaders.19

Othinn is in legend the Wild Huntsman, who leads the terrible host through the sky. The peasantry dread him as a warrior and a wanderer in the earth; 20 sometimes he comes traveling in disguise to spy out the land, coming in a great raincoat and floppy hat with a staff and a patch over his eye—for he has literally given his right eye for knowledge and power. As the god of runes he brings writing with him, and magic, and hidden knowledge, and autocratic rule.

“There is something eery and treacherous” about him, we are told, that suggests “the autocratic daring adventurer.” The people do not love him: he is their father and their ruler, but just the same they dread him—”they are afraid of his intellectual superiority and aristocratic daring.” No popular oath or prayer of the many that have survived is ever dedicated to him: The common people dread and avoid him.21

When Othinn enters the land as an invader, he finds Thor, Frey, and Njord already in occupation: They invaded earlier, and have now settled down to become homebodies and popular gods. But a closer examination has shown that originally they too all did exactly as Othinn is doing. Tyr, for example, goes back to an Indo-European expansion time at least a thousand years before Othinn’s day. As Zio he is identical with Zeus as director of wars. His sign, like Othinn’s, was the spear, and if Getic, Scythian and Gothic traditions meet anywhere, it is in the worship of his spear, which led the prehistoric migrants as the staff of Moses once led Israel.22

The fascinating and frightening figure of Othinn, that reminds us so strongly of the prehistoric kings of Egypt and Babylonia of whom we have said so much, is no invention of scaldic fancy, however. There actually were such men, and one of them was Attila the Hun, the hero of half the Germanic epics and the villain of the other half. For the Franks, Attila is the treacherous tyrant, “pure ‘Asiatic,’ ” while “for the Bavarians and . . . Ostrogoths . . . he is the model of the benevolent protector.” 23

The earliest German epics go back to a time when Attila “collected the children of princes from the lands of all the lords and kept them as hostages at his court, from which they were always trying to escape.”24 This romantic theme was more than poets’ fancy: the Roman ambassador Priscus who visited the court of Attila had a good deal to say about these hostages.

As to the sordid and bloody affairs between the princely houses, Schneider says, “There is nothing fictitious about this wickedness; it makes the thoroughly convincing impression of having been actually experienced. . . . The Asiatic tyranny is real.” And another authority writes: “We believe that the actual experiences of the Heroic Age often enough found expression in the tragic view of life (Weltbild). Much noble blood was shed, brave nations vanished without a trace after performing mighty deeds, the foundations of great empires collapsed, the noble had to perish and the base to triumph.”

Even the fabulous story of Siegfried and Brunhilda, we are told, “could come right out of a typical Merovingian chronicle, in which the deadly hatreds among the royal ladies, the slaying of each other’s vassals, treacherous ambushes on the hunts, and so forth, are so richly attested.” It is not history, indeed, but it is “a snapshot of the real contemporary world of the Franks.” 25 And way back in Tacitus we still find it: the inherited feuds between the great houses, the riotous banquets, the fighting, gambling, and bloody vows.

Since the writer has read sagas at least once a week for thirty years, he is sorely tempted to exploit the vastness of this neglected field. But since with the progress of education the comic book has superseded all other books, we must be content to present the epic world of but one representative saga. It is the Thithriks-saga af Bern, a truly gigantic piece and “a great storehouse of Germanic legend, told in a new style imitated from French romance, but recording old tradition.”26 The great hero of this saga is not Theodoric the Goth, as we might expect, but Attila. And it is the real historical Attila. In the Thithriks-saga, Europe is described as an appendage of Asia—and that is exactly how Jordanes, a Goth who witnessed the events of the time, described it.27

Attila sets up his stath, or administration center, in Susam (Soest) and there receives a constant stream of embassies from the whole earth, while he sends his messengers abroad to proclaim and execute his will.28 Priscus, who actually visited the court of Attila on the Steppes, describes it as a wood-and-tent city, dominated by the huge palisade and buildings of the central palace—all of wood.29 Likewise our saga30 tells us that the great castles of the time were all of wood. In the royal economy the amount of stuff that changes hands in the form of gifts is enormous: it is acquired on great raids—primarily cattle raids.31 Attila is the soul of generosity, but he has his motives: “To win a man over to him he would give him clothing, weapons, and a horse.”32 “He took cattle and wealth away from his enemies and gave it to his friends”33 is a formula that might have been taken right out of the Avesta.

In return his friends were bound to him by terrible oaths.34 Before a knight could “ride,” that is, go forth alone on an adventure, he had to receive royal permission after first explaining exactly where he was going and what he was going to do; and on return his first duty was to go immediately to the royal castle and report.35 Gifts were proportionate to the value of services rendered, and could even include the classic bestowal of the hand of the king’s daughter with half the kingdom as dowry.36

In the Thithriks-saga,37 Attila’s admirers admit quite frankly that it was his intention to conquer the world38; he cultivated the myth that no one could resist him,39 and to paralyze all opposition practised a policy of deliberate Schrecklichkeit, as did his rivals.40 When he decided on an expedition, he would summon all his followers and address them from a wooden tower, exactly as the Roman emperors and the Hittite kings used to do. The Book of Mormon students will think instantly of certain Jaredite and Nephite parallels.

The conquest was not fitful but planned and systematic, closely following the procedure attributed to Othinn in the prose Edda: in every newly occupied land a stath or administration center was set up, a castle built, and a trusted relative of the king, usually a son, left in charge. The saga makes it very clear that these heroes made no distinction at all between hunting and warfare; and when they were not doing the one or the other, they could be found refreshing themselves at their endless veitzla, the reciprocal banquets they would give for each other in their castles.41 All the nobles of Europe and Asia were invited to Ermanrich’s great veitzla, where he gave out gilt and purple robes, gold, rings, and treasures, exactly as an eyewitness tells us the Emperor Justinian did when he entertained the Hunnish chiefs while striving his best to adopt their customs.42

Of kings in general the saga tells us that they must be rich in cattle, good riders, and generous givers of wealth.43 For this last a king must needs be acquisitive and shrewd (afli oc hug).44 The great chiefs themselves were skillful traders and businessmen—to that gift in no small degree they owed their power. The torg or market was under their special protection, 45 the horse fair being especially important;46 and in the saga we see the caravans of merchants moving between Europe and Asia exactly as they had done in the earliest heroic ages.47 The proper business of a king is to raid other kings’ lands, take as many borgir (castles, strong places) as possible, 48 and return with lots and lots of cattle.49 Brides were bought with cattle, as in Homer, and to refuse an offer of marrige was a fatal insult: “If you do not give Attila your daughter to wife,” says his messenger to a great king, “he will do damage to your domains.”50

When Osantrix became convinced that Attila was out to conquer the world, “he gathered together against him all the people of his realm, and no people could stand against them to whatsoever land they came.”51 As the two kings squared off for a war of extermination in the best Jaredite fashion, their affairs were regulated with great formality: the proper challenging letters were duly exchanged and the summoning of the two armies was carried out with ritual decorum.52 When such armies met, each king would set up his landtiold or royal pavilion opposite the other and challenge his rival to a duel.53

These single combats between kings were common, and formal rules of chivalry were observed, such as “no striking under the shield.” The heroes would fight all day long until evening, then retire to their tents for the night, and renew the contest next morning.54 On one occasion the kings were so worked up that they went on fighting even after dark, and kept it up until both fainted from loss of blood.55 The defeated king in such a combat was either beheaded by the victor or fell on his face before him, swearing awful oaths of submission. 56 A regular tribute of cattle was demanded by the victor.57

As in other heroic cultures, it is very important for a noble “that all men may hear his name.”58 It must be spoken of in the great houses and be known at all the places where he stopped for the night, receiving hospitality from his own class, family, and order, with a proper formal exchange of credentials and identification.59 The knight traveled with his coat of arms and badge of nobility on full display, so that it might be recognized by friend and foe at a distance.60

They wore Asiatic dress, the trousers and armor invented by the riders of the steppes.61 The castles in the saga are most interesting: they are great wooden structures62 used primarily as gisting places—overnight stations and military strong points.63 The castle was a necessity in a world of robber bands, individual outlaws, and adventurers,64 yet they as much as anything were responsible for the existence of such classes of people, for their primary purpose was to serve as headquarters for the exploitation of both farmers and merchants.65

In the Thithriks-saga the great houses, like the kings themselves, are always attempting to draw off each other’s supporters.66 The burning of each other’s castles, as in Froissart, amounts almost to a formality.67 To put a rival out of the running and yet spare his life by the expedient of mutilation was common, 68 as was the custom of rival lords keeping each other ”in strong irons” 69 after having obtained control of the rival’s person by some such neat device as a breach of hospitality.70

Occasionally some adventurer, having been dispossessed or too poor to own a castle,would seek out some wild region, some forest tract, where he would gather his followers for a series of raids to build up his power.71 In battle and when gathering or rallying his forces the chief himself would carry his banner. 72 Every retainer swore not to return from the battle until the king did: The king must be by the rules of the game the last to die.73 And by the same rules his proper opponent had to be a rival king whom, as we have seen, he would challenge to single combat.

The Thithriks-saga was first published in 1853. No English translation has appeared, and so far as we know, it has never been translated into any other language.

The Book of Ether as an Epic

“So now we come back to the Jaredites!” cried Blank one evening a year after the three friends had begun their discussions.

“It has been a most interesting trip,” F. conceded, ”but I wonder if it was really necessary to go so far. Twenty-two epics is quite a workout.”

“I think it was necessary,” Professor Schwulst said thoughtfully. “When we are dealing with nonmathematical subjects, it is hard to know at what point we can say a thing has been proved. The only way we can be sure is by overproving it.”

“And there is more to it than that,” Blank added. “Who, for example, authorized Chadwick or anyone else to decide just what things are to be taken as the true hallmarks of epic poetry? How do we know that his list is anything but his own idea? Only by reading the epics ourselves. Each one is an organic whole, and not to be broken down arbitrarily into Leitmotivs. Far more important than any statistical checking of recurrent themes is the impression each epic makes as a whole. And that impression can only be learned if you read each masterpiece from beginning to end.”

“So it looks as if your most powerful tool for proving the book of Ether is one that nobody can use!” F. observed with a smile.

“Well almost nobody,” Blank conceded. “But since we three have gone so far, may I suggest as our last undertaking that we read the book of Ether once more—not as an epic, for it has been divested of its epic form, but as a rich depository of epic materials?”

“What do you mean,” said F., ” ‘divested of its epic form’?”

“Our editor, Moroni, admits the damage,” Blank replied. “He says that the men of his day were conspicuously lacking in the peculiar literary gifts of those who wrote the original book of Ether: ‘Behold, thou hast not made us mighty in writing like unto the brother of Jared,’ he says, ‘for thou madest him that the things which he wrote were mighty even as thou art, unto the overpowering of man to read them’ (Ether 12:24). This applies not only to the case of two men, however, but also to the gifts of the two civilizations as a whole: ‘Lord thou hast made us mighty in word by faith, but thou hast not made us mighty in writing; for thou hast made all this people that they could speak much; . . . and thou hast made us that we could write but little; . . . wherefore, when we write we behold our weakness, and stumble because of the placing of our words’ ” (Ether 12:23—25).

As Matthew Arnold has shown in his wonderful essay on the translation of Homer (the greatest work of literary criticism in the English language, according to Housman), the most remarkable thing about a true epic is the way in which it surpasses all other literature in power and directness, a peculiar force and impact that renders a real epic impossible to imitate or translate. Only a real epic milieu can produce it. All other writing is pale, devious, laborious, and ineffective by comparison. Moroni in editing Ether is keenly aware of his inability to do justice to the writing before him. It just can’t be done, he says, and he is right. He plainly tells us that the original Ether is a type of composition unfamiliar to the Nephites, “who like ourselves obviously had no true epic literature.”

“Why do you say ‘true’ epic?” F. asked.

“Because there have been so many false ones,” Schwulst volunteered. “Let us remember that clever writers in every age have tried their best to produce epic poetry. Since everybody always thought such poetry was simply the product of literary genius, no one could see any good reason why a literary genius of sufficient determination could not produce an epic. So Virgil, Dante, Camoens, Longfellow, Apollonius Rhodius, Tegner, Tennyson, and Milton, to name only a few, burned barrels of midnight oil in the production of what they fondly thought was true epic poetry. And you know the answer: No matter how great the poet or how noble his verse, the artificiality of his work is instantly apparent. There is something completely lacking in every case, but until our own generation nobody knew what it was. It is simply that real epics tell the truth. We can thank Milman Parry for showing us that ‘a genuine epic can only be the product of a genuine epic milieu.’ ”

“In other words,” Blank concluded, “epic literature cannot be faked.”

“Perhaps with what is known today about the epic milieu a better job might be done. It shouldn’t be too hard now, for the great ‘literary’ epics are not merely off the track in their epic details and off-pitch in the epic idiom; they are, every one of them, incredibly misinformed, crude, and clumsy—childishly so. They are often great poetry, but as faithful pictures of the worlds they mean to depict they are commonly misinformed. The best scholar of the would-be epic writers was Sir Walter Scott; yet who does not know today that his works are monuments of inaccuracy? The reason for this fatal defect in all their works is that none of these great men was aware of the fundamental difference between a real epic and every other type of writing. A real epic describes a real world, while they insisted on describing imaginary ones.”

“Yet,” said F., “the author of the Book of Mormon seems to have been aware of that difference—he must have been, to make Moroni say the things he did.”

“And since Moroni has taken the liberty to change the language and form of the Jaredite record,” Schwulst added, “I am afraid our source can no longer be read as an epic.”

“It must have been tremendous,” said Blank with a sigh, ” ‘unto the overpowering of man’ to read it. And all we have now is Moroni’s brief summary, made from a translation and interlarded with his own notes and comments. That means that all that is left to us is the gist of the epic material.”

“Still that should be enough for a thorough testing,” said Professor Schwulst. “There are forty pages of it, and some of them are amazingly compact. So let us now go back again to Chadwick’s list, and this time see how it fits the book of Ether.”

“An excellent idea,”74 said Blank, taking his briefcase as he had done on the night of his first meeting with F. “Let us begin at the beginning.”

“Ether starts out on the keynote of all epics, the two factors which according to Kramer are ‘primarily responsible for the more characteristic features of the . . . Heroic Ages,’ namely, the scattering and wandering of the peoples and the disintegration of world civilization.75 And here we have it: ‘Jared came forth with his brother . . . at the time the Lord . . . swore in his wrath that they should be scattered upon all the face of the earth; and . . . the people were scattered’ (Ether 1:33). They went forth with their flocks and herds, friends, and families (Ether 1:41), all alike torn up by the roots and driven out of the land (Ether 1:38), but still hoping, like every heroic people, to become ‘a great nation’ and equal or surpass all others” (Ether 1:43).

“Philip de Comines gives us an interesting commentary on that last point,” F. interrupted, “when he tells us that by the laws of chivalry it is the solemn duty of every nation and monarch to become greater than all others—a rule which makes war the natural state of things. A state of chronic warfare was thus the heritage of the Middle Ages from the times of migration.” 76

“Strictly in keeping with the epic tradition,” Blank continued, ”the history of the Jaredites is presented in the form of a royal genealogy; the book of Ether is in fact simply a running commentary on a genealogy, with Moroni doing most of the commenting. The story opens with a long list of royal names, and all that follows is a continuation and expansion of that list. In dealing with its heroes, many of whom are ‘oversized’ figures either for good or for evil in the best heroic manner, the book of Ether scrupulously observes the rule that in the true epic ‘there is no character who appears uniformly in an unfavorable light.’ Who was the worst of the Jaredites—Akish? Riplakish? Coriantumr? Shiz? No matter which one you pick you will find yourself as much inclined to pity as to hate him; nor can you deny a grudging admiration for the ferocious and abandoned heroism of these terrible warriors who, though they know they are doomed, continue, like Milton’s Lucifer, to shout defiance and pursue one another with fierce and unrelenting energy to the end.”

The behavior of the heroes in the epics is “often childish and brutal,” as we have seen, and even the noblest of them is not beneath gaining an advantage by some underhanded trick. The career of Akish in the eighth to tenth chapters of Ether is a perfect illustration of this, although others are just as bad. On the other hand, in true epic “a dignified and fastidious tone” prevails in the dealings of these men with each other, and strict rules of chivalry are observed, especially in war and duels. So we are told in Ether how Shiz and Coriantumr pitch formal camps and “invite” each other’s armies forth to combat by regulated trumpet blasts (Ether 14:28), exchange letters in an attempt to avoid needless bloodshed (Ether 15:4—5, 18), and rest at night without attempting to attack each other, fighting only at the proper and agreed times (Ether 15:8, 21—26). As in all epics, including Ether, “the waging of war is not incidental but essential to the heroic way of life.” A great chief gains “power over all the land” only after he has “gained power over many cities,” and “burned many cities,” (Ether 14:17) in the best Homeric fashion.

Again, as in all true epics, every scene in the book of Ether takes place either on the battlefield (as in chapters 13 to 15), in the court (as in the tales of intrigue in chapters 7 to 12), or in the wilderness, where hunting and hiding play almost as conspicuous a part as fighting (Ether 2:6—7; 3:3; 14:4, 7; 10:21). Fighting takes the proper heroic form of the single combat between heroes, with the personal feud as its motive, the contest being conducted by the established rules of chivalry. This is well illustrated in the career of Coriantumr, who was wounded in a single combat with his rival Shared, whom he dispatched (Ether 13:27—31); then he fought hand to hand with Gilead (Ether 14:3—8), and next with Lib (Ether 14:12—16). Finally he met his bitterest rival, Shiz, in a number of face-to-face combats (Ether 14:30; 15:30). Since in heroic ages one becomes a leader by proving his prowess in open competition, personal rivalry and ambition are the ordinary and accepted motives for war and need no excuse. Throughout our Jaredite history the perennial source of strife and bloodshed is the purely personal rivalry between great leaders, and so it is in all epic literature.

Jaredite society, like every other heroic society, is a feudal organization bound together by an elaborate system of oaths. This is indispensable to the survival of the society in which the followers of a chief are a free ranging, mounted nobility, always on the loose and free to serve anyone they choose. The oath is the only possible control over such men. We are clearly told in the book of Ether that the terrible oaths and conjurations behind every ambitious project for power and gain were imported directly from the Old World (Ether 8:9, 15—18, 22—26; 9:5, 26—27; 10:33; 11:7, 15, 22; 14:8). At the same time, loyalty must be bought with a price. To attract and hold followers every great lord must be generous with his gifts and promises. In Ether loyalty is bought by “cunning words” (Ether 8:2) and by gifts (Ether 9:10—11; 10:10). By such means in heroic societies great chiefs attempt to “draw off” each other’s supporters. This is a commonplace in the book of Ether (Ether 7:14, 15; 9:11; 10:32). Gangs were quickly formed and dissolved, and each regarded itself as an independent society whose own aggrandizement was the only law, “every man with his band fighting for that which he desired.” (Ether 13:25). Even an unpopular prophet could seek and find personal safety under the protection of a great chief (Ether 11:2), and an unpopular leader could be liquidated by an uprising, no matter what his claim to the throne, “and his descendants . . . driven out of the land” (Ether 10:8).

To defray the expense of lavish and necessary gift-giving, the lords of all heroic ages engage in a systematic and perfectly honorable business of plunder and exaction. It is their prerogative to try to grab whatever does not belong to them already, and that includes the seizure and holding of one another’s persons for ransom. The Jaredite brothers, Shez and Riplakish, show us this free competitive economy in action: Shez was well on the way to taking the kingdom away from his father, thanks to his “exceeding riches,” when those same riches got him killed by a robber (Ether 10:2—3). Riplakish paid for his royal magnificence by oppressive taxation and extortion, which resulted in getting him, too, assassinated (Ether 10:5—8). Everyone grabbed what he could, and nothing was safe (Ether 14:1), with every strong man leading his own gang to plunder (Ether 13:25—26). As to the retaining of each other’s persons in honorable captivity, nothing is more characteristic of heroic ages or more familiar to the readers of Ether (Ether 7:7; 8:3—4; 10:4, 15, 30—31; 11:9, 18—19, 23).

The feudal contract on which every heroic society is based is before all else a mutual obligation of fief and overlord to avenge wrongs done to the other. The book of Ether is full of this. The sons of Omer, for example, “were exceedingly angry” against Jared for stealing their father’s throne, and “did raise an army” and forced him to give it back again (Ether 8:2—6). In the same way “the sons of Coriantumr . . . did beat Shared, and did obtain the kingdom again unto their father” (Ether 13:24), in whose interest they “fought much and bled much” (Ether 13:19). But this same Coriantumr had to reckon with equal devotion when it was directed against himself at a time when the brother of Lib “had sworn to avenge himself . . . of the blood of his brother” (Ether 14:24), whom Coriantumr had killed in single combat during a battle (Ether 14:16). Blood vengeance is obviously the rule in this as in other heroic societies, where it touches off those long tragic feuds that make up so much of the epic literature, especially of the “saga period.” The fights in Ether are nearly all family feuds, sordid quarrels between warring kings, ambitious sons, and avenging brothers (Ether 8:2—6, 9—12; 7:4, 13—16; 12; 10:3—4; 11:4), though typically Asiatic complications must have been introduced by polygamy, an institution reported quite casually by Ether (Ether 14:2) and thoroughly typical of the early heroic periods. The worst plot of all in Ether is engineered by a woman, who employs as her “do-it-yourself” guide to the art of murder certain books of the ancients brought over from the Old World (Ether 8:9—10). As we have seen, nothing is more typical of the post-heroic saga times of settling down after the migrations than these terrible women and their criminal ambitions—the Greek tragedies like the Norse sagas are full of them, and they are not lacking in any heroic literature.77 When Chadwick describes a typical epic cycle as “little more than a catalogue of the crimes committed by one member [of the ruling family] against another,” and further describes those crimes as particularly horrible in nature, we need not apologize for the book of Ether, either for neglecting or overdoing that sort of thing.

Relatively early in Jaredite history a war of extermination took place, leaving only thirty survivors “and they who fled with the house of Omer” (Ether 9:12). A general war of all against all in the Asiatic manner nearly wiped out the race again “in the days of Shiblom” (Ether 11:7), and “utter destruction” was promised by the prophets unless the people changed their ways (Ether 11:20). Finally, in the last great war, the destruction was systematic and thorough, the people laboring under what the Greeks called the spell of Ate, as if they were determined, no matter what happened, to accomplish their own annihilation (Ether 14:19—25). The whole population was cut down to fifty-nine souls (Ether 15:25), and these slew each other in the best heroic fashion, leaving the two kings as the last survivors. This is not a fantastic coincidence at all. We have seen that the common and established rule of heroic warfare demanded that the king be the last survivor in any conflict. Since the entire host had taken a solemn oath to die in defense of his person, in theory the king had to be the last to go, and in practice he sometimes actually was. The only way to get around that sometimes inconvenient rule was by another rule which dissolved the nation automatically on the death of the king, as if all had been destroyed with him. In such cases all the former subjects of a king would automatically become the subjects of his conqueror.78

“But there is one thing that puzzles me,” said F. when the friends were together for the last time. “Where is the archaeological record for all this?”

“I am glad you asked that,” Blank replied. “People are prone to expect any civilization described in the records as great and mighty to leave behind majestic ruins. The mighty piles of Egypt and Babylon have fooled us into thinking that the greatness or even the existence of a civilization is to be judged by its physical remains. Nothing could be further from the truth. The greatness of a civilization consists in its institutions, and as Professor Coon has recently observed, ‘institutions leave no easily detected archaeological remains.’79 This has led even the experts to overlook the importance and sometimes the existence of heroic or epic worlds.”

“Or rather,” Professor Schwulst amended, “it led them for many years to assume that there was no alternative in early history between complete savagery or sedentary life in farms and cities. Actually the ancients were committed to neither type of life. But because farmers and city-dwellers leave remains behind them while the nomads do not, they have always received the credit for coming first. As Professor Childe observes here: ‘The nature of the archaeological record is liable to favor [this] view unduly; herdsmen living in tents and using bone tools and leather vessels’ leave few remains behind them, and so wherever the remains of the first civilization turn up it is a hundred-to-one chance that they will have been left by townspeople or cultivators, who thus get all the credit for founding civilization.’80 Actually a little reflection will show that they cannot have come first, and today scholars are agreed in describing the first civilizations in heroic terms rather than agricultural ones. Nilsson warns his fellow archaeologists that they are wasting their time looking for remains from the genuinely heroic—that is, the migration time, of the Greeks: ‘No archaeological record is preserved,’ he says. ‘. . . Some archaeologists have tried to find the ceramics of the invading Greeks. I greatly fear that even this hope is liable to be disappointed, for migrating and nomadic tribes do not use vessels of a material which is likely to be broken, as will be proved by a survey of the vessels used by modern nomadic tribes.’ This was a period of great importance and activity, and of a really high civilization, yet it has left us no remains at all.”

“Isn’t that rather unusual?” F. asked.

“On the contrary,” Schwulst replied, “it is the rule when we are dealing with heroic ages and peoples. Like the early farmers, such people, even though their culture and their practices may be very ancient, ‘rarely remaining long enough at one site to produce a mound.’ “81

“Perhaps the greatest82 and certainly one of the longest of all heroic cultures was that of the East Iranians,” F. continued, “yet, though those people ‘had already learned to dwell in fixed habitations’ (the Avesta has a great deal to say about their magnificent castles), archaeology has not yet brought to light a single edifice built at this early period.83 One might list a hundred great and mighty nations of old, the reality of whose existence and whose deeds there cannot be the slightest doubt, since literary and historical evidence for them is abundant, yet of whose deeds and buildings not the slightest physical trace remains.

“Of course heroic peoples built much, as all their records tell us they did, but the trouble is that none of the stuff can be identified. The situation is thus stated by Chadwick: ‘Archaeological evidence is abundant, though not as a rule entirely satisfactory. Great numbers of raths or earthen fortresses, usually more or less circular, still exist, and very many of them are mentioned in the stories of the heroic age.’84 The problem is to identify them. Nowhere have these mounds and barrows been more exhaustively studied through the years than in England; yet the diggers still cannot agree on whether a given mound is Celtic, Roman, Norman, Stone-Age, Saxon, Danish, or even late Middle Ages. They have been guessing for hundreds of years, and the game still goes on.” 85

“May I be allowed to point out,” Blank interposed, “that ‘earthen fortresses, more or less circular’ are exactly what used to be found in great abundance all over the eastern United States; and there again it is the same story: a given mound might be almost anything, and every possible age and date has been attributed to some of them, from pre-human to Spanish. It may well be that Jaredite remains still exist: the problem is, as with all heroic remains, to identify them.”

“That is what Chadwick says here,” Schwulst volunteered, ” ‘Archaeological evidence can demonstrate the existence of the conditions required by a heroic story at a given place and time, though it can supply no names, unless writing is found,’86—and unless, we might add, that writing can be read. Without that, all we can hope for is a general indication of the type of thing indicated—nothing specific. The classic illustration of that is, of course, Schliemann’s discovery of Troy. Today every schoolboy knows that the city which Schliemann identified as Homer’s Troy was not Homer’s Troy; what is not often realized is that no city in the mound of Hissarlik has been identified as Troy, and that to this day the ruins of Hissarlik are still properly referred to by archaeologists as ‘the presumed site of Troy.’87 Yet Homer has described the city of Troy at far greater length and in far more detail than the Book of Mormon describes any city. In view of that, can we hope for any better luck in America?

“The main trouble seems to be that these people did not build of stone. In all the epics we have mentioned, the great castles are specifically or indirectly shown to have been built of wood. Even the few stone edifices which have survived, such as the first royal tombs of Egypt, display, as Ricke notes, the nomadic nature of their builders, every detail of their construction being in careful imitation of the wooden beams and boards and the matting walls and hangings of the original models. This is equally true of the palaces, as well as the tombs of heroic royalty, whether in Egypt, Persia, or Babylon: they are all faithful reproductions of wood and cloth originals.88 Again, the few surviving temples of Greece are naturally of stone, yet they still preserve in marble all the meticulous details of the boards, logs, pegs, and joinings of the normal Greek temple, which was of wood.89 But for a few monumental exceptions, the ancients (save in the Near East) seem almost never to have built of stone; but since those exceptions were the only buildings to survive, they have given the world the impression that the ancients never built of anything but stone! Pliny, like St. Jerome, even claims that it is immoral to build of stone, and certainly before his day there was very little stone building in Rome.90

“Of course, where there is no wood, that is another problem. In the Near East we know from many sources that the timber shortage was acute in early times: there they had to build of stone.91 But consider Europe in contrast. Scandinavian bogs have brought forth an abundance of articles in metal, leather, wool, and wood that show the presence of a high, even brilliant, civilization, while the records tell of most wonderful cities and castles, such as the fabulous Jomsborg; yet no traces of those castles and cities have been found save earthen mounds and embankments. The Welsh tales are full of mighty castles, yet long and careful search failed to reveal a single stone ruin older than the time of the invader Edward I, who brought the fashion of stone castles to Britain from the Near East, where he had been crusading.

“An official account of Roman castles from the time of Justinian enumerates five hundred imperial strongholds, and yet, while the stone temples and amphitheatres built at the same time and the same places still survive, not a scrap of one of those castles has ever been found.92 The explanation is obvious: until the end of the Middle Ages, stone building was almost entirely unknown in Europe. An ambassador of that same Justinian to the court of Attila describes the great imperial city and huge castle of that mighty conqueror as being all of wood.” 93

“But surely there were some great heroic structures of stone!” cried F. “Think of Troy and Mycenae!”

“The mighty Cyclopean works of the Mycenaean and Hittite fortress-palace complexes are the exception that proves the rule,” Schwulst replied, “for Cyclopaean masonry is decidedly not a style of construction employed by people long accustomed to working in stone. It is a skillful shift, an intelligent step in the adoption of a new medium, or else, as has recently been suggested, a deliberate attempt to build in the ‘megalithic’ style, keeping the stones deliberately irregular. But this style is exceedingly laborious, awkward, and expensive, and is never long continued. It never becomes a style.”94

“Isn’t it rather strange that wandering nomads should build cities at all?” F. asked.

“Not if they are engaged in the kind of nomadism we have been describing in these discussions. Actually the strange thing is that the building of cities should never have been attributed to farmers, who neither need nor like them, as the case of many a peasant civilization will show. Cities are primarily administrative and commercial centers, bases of operation for wide-ranging rulers, soldiers, and merchants, rather than market places for truck gardeners. There is a general and growing awareness among students today that ancient cities did not evolve from farming villages as was once thought to be the invariable rule. The names of ancient cities are in themselves evidence enough of their founding by great individuals: They are almost always the names of persons—human or divine. 95

“From prehistoric Egypt and Mesopotamia to the remotest regions of the North and the farthest stretches of Asia it is the same story: The great conquerors are the great city-builders, and the cities last no longer than their empires. Indeed there is a great deal of evidence for the custom of requiring each king to inaugurate his reign with the building of a new capital—a system which adds greatly to the complexity of early Egyptian history.

“There are a few perennial centers, such as Babylon, Thebes, and Rome, but where are the others? In the center of every great epic cycle there looms one great super-center, with its fabulous castle and its many-gated city—Camelot, Tara, Susat, Troy, Sigtun, Heliopolis, Liere, Assur, etc.; yet after generations of searching, none of these mighty centers has ever been located with certainty. We have already mentioned Troy, but no less persistent has been the search for On or Heliopolis in Egypt. The earliest written records constantly refer to Heliopolis as the religious and political center of everything through long centuries; yet generations of the most exhaustive searching failed so completely to turn up so much as a single button or bead to show where Heliopolis had stood that until the very recent discovery of a predynastic cemetery on the spot, some of the foremost investigators, such as Miss Baumgartel, insisted with fervor and conviction that there never had been such a place, though the written documents are full of it! I could give you scores of other examples just like that.”96

“Wouldn’t you say,” asked Blank, “that the most significant thing about the Jaredite cities is not that they were great, many, or mighty, but that they were built up all at once, instead of gradually evolving? Here, for example, we read that Coriantumr ‘did build many mighty cities,’ (Ether 9:23) and later Shez ‘did build up many cities upon the face of the land’ as the people moved out and ‘began again to spread over all the face of the land’ (Ether 10:4). Morianton, a descendant of Shez, not only gained power over many cities (Ether 10:9), but he also ‘built up many cities’ (Ether 10:12) in restoring land after a total collapse and revival; just so, after a great slump and revival, the people under King Lib ‘built a great city by the narrow neck of land’ (Ether 10:20), just as we have seen that the first Pharaoh did upon establishing a new order in Egypt. Also we find that cities could vanish as quickly as they arose, as when Shiz ‘did overthrow many cities . . . and he did burn the cities’ (Ether 14:17). Now granted that there may be cities on the earth which have grown up on the evolutionary pattern of hut-to-hamlet-to-village-to-town, and so forth, it must be admitted that our book of Ether cities were not of that kind. They are definitely of the ‘heroic’ variety, which are now known to have arisen and perished all over the ancient world, but which leave only a very drab and undramatic type of ruins if they leave any at all.”

“Professor Nilsson has given us a good description of the type of thing that went on,” Dr. Schwulst observed as he sought out a passage:

     For the great expeditions through which the Greeks founded colonies far away and went so far eastwards cannot have been disconnected raids of small roving bands but must needs have been backed by some power, even if it was a loose feudal organization. The seat of this power was Mycenae, at least in the beginning of the Late Mycenaen age, when a great building activity set in and a large palace, the great ring wall with the Lion Gate, the Grave Circle, and the stateliest of the tholos tombs were erected.97

“There you have it: the invaders spread into new lands and take them over, but they do it systematically, their movements being controlled and directed from a main center, where a magnificent complex of headquarters buildings, so to speak, is erected. This is what we have found everywhere in our discussions.”

“But is it safe to generalize about the ancient world as a whole?” F. asked somewhat dubiously.

“It is the thing that all the leading men are doing today,” Schwulst retorted, “and they seem to know what they are about. The best over-all picture to date is that which is at present being presented by Claude Schaeffer, the eminent excavator of Ras Shamra-Ugarit, that ancient center at which all the cultural and ethnic lines of the ancient East came together. Schaeffer carefully compared and correlated the archaeological findings at all the main centers of ancient civilization, from Asia Minor to the heart of Asia (as far as available materials would allow), and came up with most significant and consistent pictures. Six times between 2400 and 1200 B.C., he discovers, all the principal centers of the ancient world were destroyed, and each time they all went up in flames and down in earthquake ruins together! Earthquake, famine, plague, and weather were to blame for this series of world-wide catastrophes, according to Schaeffer, who puts most of the blame on earthquakes. After each of these major world-collapses, we find a sharp diminution in population, while people everywhere revert to a nomadic way of life and great invading hordes of mixed racial and linguistic stocks sweep down from the more sorely afflicted areas to the more fortunate ones—the terror they bring with them being actually less than that which they are leaving behind. Of the first of these calamity-driven waves of humanity Schaeffer writes: ‘Perhaps the vast movement of peoples which accompanied it was led by a warlike element which, thanks to the superiority of its arms and its physical vigor, was able in spite of numerical inferiority to extend its conquests over vast areas of Western Asia.’ “98

“In other words,” said Blank, “Schaeffer, using purely nonliterary evidence, begins his history with a typical heroic migration, exactly as Kramer does using ‘purely literary evidence’ while deliberately avoiding the archaeological remains.”

“—and exactly as Hrozny does using neither archaeological nor literary evidence, but purely linguistic indications!” F. added.

“It is remarkable how all the types of evidence are beginning to fuse into a single image of the past,” Dr. Schwulst observed, “and such a different image from what it used to be! Instead of a long and gradual upward evolution we find repeated regressions as well as advances, and there is no guarantee at all that the regressions even in the aggregate are less considerable than the advances! Those setbacks, as Schaeffer is at great pains to point out, are the result of forces totally beyond human control. ‘Compared with the scope of these general crises, . . .’ he says, ‘the exploits of the conqueror and the combinations of leaders of states appear quite unimportant. The philosophy of history where it concerns the Ancient East seems to us to have been singularly distorted by the too convenient adoption of dynastic patterns, however convenient they may be for chronological classification.’99 In other words, it is not man who makes ancient history; yet even in strictly human affairs there now appear to be curious ups and downs, with regression quite as normal a part of the picture as progression. Take the case of iron, for instance. Here Schaeffer writes:

     A most curious and intriguing phenomenon would seem to be the disappearance of this metal after its first utilization at the end of the Old Bronze period, and its apparently total eclipse during the entire Middle Bronze. It seems to have been rediscovered anew in the course of the Late Bronze period and, to judge by all the evidence, in the very same region—in Asia Minor.100

Here we have an important step in human history that has to happen all over again!”

“And when you have that,” said F., “how do you know that it has not happened and unhappened already dozens of times before?”

“You don’t,” answered Schwulst. “You must not suppose, for example, that the first of Schaeffer’s great world calamities with its accompanying heroic migrations was the first occurrence of such an event. Long ago the philologists were able to trace with certainty migrations of people for which there is not the slightest archaeological evidence,101 and these carry the pattern back and back to the earliest migration of all when, according to the dean of all living philologians, the forefathers of all the languages and cultures of the world scattered in all directions from a single point searching desperately after grass for their cattle.”

“We can sum it all up, then,” said Blank, “with the safe and conservative observation, that whatever the particulars may be, it is certain that we now have a totally new setting in which to study the book of Ether, a background of whose existence nobody thirty years ago would have dreamed; and the history of the Jaredites fits into that background as if it were made for it. Who can claim that this is merely a happy accident? Consider the new materials, the scope, and detail of the epic sources, now being read with a new understanding and a new sense of reality; place them beside the compact and powerful history of Ether, presenting all the salient features of heroic times of migration and the ages of feuding that follow, omitting nothing vital and including nothing conflicting or trivial—you will at once recognize that there is small room here for luck or chance. Men once denied categorically that Atreus or Arthur or Mopsus or even Moses ever lived, but now we know they were wrong: there was an Achaean host just as surely as there was a Hebrew host of the Exodus,102 and the very tests that prove it to be so can now be applied fully and rigorously to show that there were Jaredites.”

 


1.   “Our Own People,” IE 59 (November 1956): 818—19, 857—58, began at this point.

2.   L. R. Palmer, The Latin Language (London: Faber & Faber, 1954), 52—53.

3.   Geoffrey of Monmouth, Historia Regum Britanniae 9, 1; cf. 3, 7.

4.   This was Luernius, in Athenaeus, Deipnosophists 4, 152.

5.   H. D. Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology (Dublin: Hodges, Figgis, 1903), 19—21, 71—72, 76—78, 84—94, 146—55; H. Munro Chadwick, The Growth of Literature, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1932), 1:106; Henry Morris, “The Partholon Legend,” JRSAI 67 (1937): 57—71.

6.   Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology, 91—92. Geoffrey, Historia Regum Britanniae 9, 11.

7.   Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology, 147.

8.   Geoffrey, Historia Regum Britanniae 3, 7.

9.   Lord John of Joinville, Memoirs of Louis IX. King of France, in Lord John of Joinville, Chronicles of the Crusades (London: Bohn, 1848), 363—64.

10.   Geoffrey, Historia Regum Britanniae 9.

11.   John Rhys, Celtic Heathendom (London: Williams & Norgate, 1898), 608, 584, 412; Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology, 15, 57—58, 60—62.

12.   Geoffrey, Historia Regum Britanniae 3, 5; Rhys, Celtic Heathendom, 13.

13.   It is also identical with a tumulus and subterranean palace—the world of the dead to which the ancient Celts were so attached. See Jubainville, The Irish Mythological Cycle and Celtic Mythology, 146—55.

14.   Geoffrey, Historia Regum Britanniae 6, 3—4 for this and a great deal more to the same effect.

15.   Rhys, Celtic Heathendom, 155—58, 160—75, 562; Mary Williams, “An Early Ritual Poem in Welsh,” Speculum 13 (1938): 38—51; A. H. Krappe, “Who Was the Green Knight?” Speculum 13 (1938): 206—17; Richard Heinzel, “Über die französischen Gralromane,” Denkschriften der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaft 40, pt. 3 (1892), esp. 155—71; and especially Leopold von Schroeder, “Die Wurzeln der Sage vom heiligen Gral,” in vol. 166 of Sitzungsberichte der kaiserliche. Akademie der Wissenschaft in Wien. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse (Vienna: Hölder, 1910), pt. 1.

16.   Thomas Percy, “Essay on the Ancient Minstrels in England,” in Reliques of Ancient English Poetry, 3 vols. (London: Allen & Unwin, 1885), 1:354.

17.   This whole theme is treated at length by Hermann Schneider in two works which clearly illustrate the complete change of thought that has taken place on the subject of the epic milieu between the two dates of publication. They are Hermann Schneider, Germanische Heldensage, 2 vols. (Berlin: De Gruyter, 1928—33), 1—42; and Heldendichtung, Geistlichendichtung, Ritterdichtung, vol. 1 of Julius Petersen & Hermann Schneider, Geschichte der deutschen Literatur (Heidelberg: Winter, 1943), 1—37.

18.   The description is from the Formali, the original introduction to the Prose Edda.

19.   In the Lokasenna, the eighth poem of the Poetic Edda.

20.   Jacob Grimm, Teutonic Mythology, James S. Stallybrass, ed., 4 vols. (London: Bell, 1882—88), 3:918—50.

21.   This description of Othinn is from D. Nathan Sönderblom, Tiele-Söderbloms Kompendium der Religionsgeschichte, 5th ed. (Berlin-Schöneberg: Theophil Biller, 1920), 486—89, 483.

22.   Ibid., 481—86.

23.   Schneider, Heldendichtung, Geistichendichtung, Ritterdichtung, 12.

24.   Ibid., 26—32. Quote from 31—32.

25.   Ibid., 30.

26.   E. V. Gordon, Introduction to Old Norse (Oxford: Clarendon, 1927), liv.

27.   Hugh W. Nibley, “The Hierocentric State,” WPQ 4 (1951): 247—49.

28.   C. R. Unger, ed., Saga Didriks Konungs af Bern (Christiania: Feilberg & Landmarks, 1853), chs. 47, 48.

29.   Priscus Rhetor, De Legationibus Romanorum ad Gentes, in PG 113:724, 732—33, 737.

30.   Unger, Saga Didriks Konungs af Bern, ch. 282.

31.   Ibid., ch. 51.

32.   Ibid., ch. 132.

33.   Ibid., ch. 185.

34.   Ibid., ch. 268.

35.   Ibid., ch. 139.

36.   Ibid., ch. 154.

37.   “Our Own People,” IE 59 (December 1956): 906—7, began at this point.

38.   Unger, Saga Didriks Konungs af Bern, ch. 134.

39.   Ibid., ch. 249.

40.   Ibid., ch. 45.

41.   Ibid., ch. 49.

42.   Procopius, Anecdota 8, 5.

43.   Unger, Saga Didriks Konungs af Bern, ch. 39.

44.   Ibid., ch. 182.

45.   Ibid., chs. 68, 300.

46.   Ibid., ch. 83.

47.   Ibid., ch. 109.

48.   Ibid., ch. 39.

49.   Ibid., ch. 3.

50.   Ibid., ch. 44.

51.   Ibid., ch. 136.

52.   Ibid., ch. 322.

53.   Ibid., chs. 45, 204.

54.   Ibid., chs. 118, 212, 215, 219, 312.

55.   Ibid., ch. 214.

56.   Ibid., ch. 48.

57.   Ibid., ch. 278.

58.   Ibid., ch. 122.

59.   Ibid., chs. 90, 94.

60.   Ibid., chs. 172, 92.

61.   Ibid., ch. 81.

62.   Ibid., ch. 282.

63.   Ibid., chs. 54, 88, 273.

64.   Ibid., chs. 88, 102.

65.   Ibid., ch. 102.

66.   Ibid., chs. 39—40.

67.   Ibid., ch. 282.

68.   Ibid., ch. 72.

69.   Ibid., ch. 144.

70.   Ibid., ch. 54.

71.   Ibid., ch. 47.

72.   Ibid., ch. 308.

73.   Ibid., ch. 324.

74.   “Our Own People,” IE 60 (January 1957): 26—27, 41, began at this point.

75.   Samuel N. Kramer, “New Light on the Early History of the Ancient Near East,” AJA 52 (1948): 159.

76.   The highest compliment Philippe de Commynes can pay his master, Louis XI of France, is that “as for peace, he could hardly endure the thought of it.” Philippe de Commynes, Memoirs I, 10.

77.   Chadwick, Growth of Literature, 1:90—91.

78.   Albrecht Götze, Hethiter, Churriter, und Assyrer (Oslo: Aschehung, 1936), 128—32. A number of examples of this have been given in the course of these articles.

79.   Carleton S. Coon, The Story of Man (New York: Knopf, 1954), 103.

80.   V. Gordon Childe, New Light on the Most Ancient East (New York: Praeger, 1953), 24—25.

81.   Coon, The Story of Man, 142.

82.   “Our Own People,” IE 60 (February 1957): 94—95, 122—24, began at this point.

83.   William M. McGovern, The Early Empires of Central Asia (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1939), 78.

84.   Chadwick, The Growth of Literature, 1:173.

85.   Typical are O. G. S. Crawford, “Burrows,” Antiquity 1 (1927): 413—34, and E. C. Curwen, “Neolithic Camps,” Antiquity 4 (1930): 22—54.

86.   Chadwick, The Growth of Literature, 1:134.

87.   Winifred Lambe, “The Site of Troy,” Antiquity 6 (1932): 71—81.

88.   Nibley, “Hierocentric State,” 238—41.

89.   Leonard Whibley, A Companion to Greek Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1931), 261.

90.   Pliny, Natural History XXXVI, 1, 3—XXXVI, 2, 6.

91.   Robert J. Braidwood, The Near East and the Foundations for Civilization, Condon Lectures (Eugene, Oregon: Oregon State System of Higher Education, 1952), 13.

92.   These points are all made by Edward King, “Observations on Antient [sic] Castles,” Archaeologia 4 (1777): 364—413; Daines Barrington, “Observations on the Welsh Castles,” Archaeologia 1 (1774): 278—91.

93.   Priscus Rhetor, De Legationibus Romanorum ad Gentes, in PG 113:732—33, 737.

94.   For a good description of this type of architecture, see O. R. Gurney, The Hittites (Baltimore: Pelican, 1952), 145—50, 210, with interesting illustrations.

95.   A perfect example of this is the city building operations of King Azitawaddu as described in the newly discovered Karatepe Inscription: “And I builded for tresses in all the remotest borders, in the places in which there were lawless fellows, chiefs of robber bands, . . . I Azitawaddu, placed them beneath my feat, and I built fortresses in those places so that the Dananians might inhabit them. . . . And I built this city, and I determined (its) name Azitawaddiya [after himself], . . . that it might be a bulwark for the Plain of Adana and for the House of Mupshu. . . . So I have built this city, named it Azitawaddiya, . . . and instituted sacrifices.” Note that the city was founded by the great chief and given his name, as a means of control, a “bulwark,” “and this city shall possess grain and wine, and this people whose children shall dwell (here) shall possess cattle and sheep and grain and wine . . . and they shall be exceedingly mightly.” Note how exactly this system corresponds to that described in Ether! The inscription was quoted and discussed in Nibley, “There Were Jaredites: Epic Milieu in the Old Testament,” IE 59 (October 1956): 711—12; above, pp. 384—85. The text with photographs may be found in Roger T. O’Callaghan, “The Great Phoenician Portal Inscription from Karatepe,” Orientalia 18 (1949): 173—205, plates 22—25.

96.   Elise J. Baumgartel, The Cultures of Prehistoric Egypt, 2 vols. (London: Oxford University Press, 1947, 1960), 1:3—9. The eminent Lord Raglan has recently maintained that Troy never existed! The Jomsborg is a classic example. “Lyonesse” is another, for which see O. S. G. Crawford, “Lyonesse,” Antiquity 1 (1927): 5—14.

97.   Martin P. Nilsson, The Minoan-Mycenaean Religion and Its Survival in Greek Religion (Lund: Gleerup, 1950), 11—17, the quote is from 15.

98.   Claude Schaeffer, Stratigraphie comparée et chronologie de l’asie occidentale (London: Oxford University Press, 1948), 537.

99.   Ibid., 565.

100.   Ibid., 546.

101.   Werner Vycichl, “Notes sur la préhistoire de la langue égyptienne,” Orientalia 23 (1954): 218.

102.   Cyrus H. Gordon, “Notes of the Legend of Keret,” JNES 11 (1952): 213: “The Exodus is the epic of the Birth of a Nation, even though most of the text is now in prose form. Fortunately, chapter 15 of Exodus preserves a sizable poetic fragment. . . . The narrative content includes epic episodes.”