168th Bardot Blog: Medea & the PreClassical Tradition of Mythic Literature & Interpretation

A Young Irene Pappas in the dramatic role of Medeia

Most regular readers of these Bardot Blog postings can’t readily appreciate the prehistoric syntheses that alienate the Bardot Group from the subject tradition of scholarship and literary interpretation. Long offered by Classic Studies Academia, prior ages of the derivative literature, we find, renders it at least obsolescent, and best deemed now obsolete.

From time to time we assert anew that alienation, most vociferously so with respect to subject mythic personages that have a truly special luster, fame and notoriety from our farthest pasts. For we consider them to have been real persons by Early Greek Mythology. Such opera had them right biographically, howsoever sparely, and they are still our best sources of the historicity inherent the origination of Greece’s most famous mythic sagas and the robust offshoots of brilliant interpretation that they have induced.

Medea, whom we insistently spell Medeia [Meh-DAY-ah] after the Ancient Greek manner — by contrast, that is to her Latinized Greek by the Erasmian spelling — is just such a famous personage who lived to great glory during her early lifetime, but also to greatest condemnation before she had a chance to prove as famous as a leading governess over Ephyrea, the precursor region to Corinth/Korinthos and Megara/Megaris. What amazed all Greeks living from the 1st millennium BC onward, considering her truly hideous blood crimes against sovereign men, was how her blood crimes wrought her neither ire nor harsh redress from the Gods and Goddesses of any paramountcy in her lifetime. Even her mortal contemporaries, who adjudicated those capital crimes, reasoned properly that she should be exonerated after weighing the causes and benefits to her fellow humankind in performing singularly for their benefit. Those who perceived her a savior from tyranny, or worst oppression, saw her as a font of severest redress against the vile machinations of cruel and wicked men. Her blooded victims were proven mostly upstart, vaunting and presumptuous. They reckoned that they would never be punished – not ever ! — by their fellow mortals. Those who were saved from such miscreants also learned to admire the manner and method by which she dealt out a proper and yet severest justice whether approved or disapproved by “the Deities.”

The motive for this and a next series of postings is another artsy-fartsy book in the PreClassical Tradition of Greek Mythography. It’s a stupid and silly work that has earned an important book review from Mary Beard, a most respected classicist and most greatly praised contemporary Latinist. Being well versed in Roman Classical Mythology and its own mythography (by Ovid, Vergil and others nearly as famous), the Bardot Group takes no umbrage that she saw fit to afford her own sense of Medeia to prospective readers of inept makers of legend out of earliest historical period Greek Literature & Culture.

An Offensive Book in the PreClassical Tradition

        The cover nearby of the book by David Vann is as dark as its portrayal of Medeia within its covers. This makes it typical of the mythography by the Ancient Greeks and Romans,  wherein Medeia is a demi-goddess and high priestess of Hekate, “the Dark Sorceress at the Darkest Arts.” An imitator, he points up just how bad those Greeks were at writing about their illustrious forbears during the Bronze Age centuries of early Greece. We wonder that Vann appraises the mythographers that lived over four centuries later competent at their mythic subjects, even as he himself effaces them as real, even minimally plausible persons.

Vann begins his book with the flight of Jason and Medeia from Colchis, a region rich in gold at the far end of the Black (a/o Euxine) Sea. First in appearance in the stern of the Argo, Medeia crouches terrified, mean and nasty over her father Aietes, to whom she has several times amputated the corpse of her brother Prince Apsyrtus, as a means of halting a dreaded pursuit by superior ships.  That vanguard of chasing ships launched by her father Aietes halts to pick up the floating amputations — just the first of the many irrationalities that Vann respects from his source mythographer, Apollonius of Rhodes, and his Argonautica. Thus we must first discover of the imagined far east of the oldest Greeks the stupid and tactically inept denizens whom they regard barbarian. For wouldn’t any ship that found a floating hunk of the butchered Prince wave past his companion ships, ever forward and ahead in continuance of a chase, all awhile the directions from Aietes, presumably from far astern of a whole pursuit fleet? That way, Medeia’s ship, the Argo, would be under a relentless press of pursuit, to exhaust the fabulous crew that manned her.

Alas, most readers of this polemic book review must be made aware of the source of all that Vann has about Medeia and Jason, with respect to a most implausible feat of literature at its very best, that being the Argonautica, by Apollonius of Rhodes, written in the 3rd century AD. Very poorly received in its own time, that epic poet’s critics “laughed him out of the School of Alexandria,” the once intellectual center of the Hellenistic Period’s literati.

His epic work aside, Apollonius pioneered a literary motif in much use by the School, perhaps even at over-use ever since, especially by English novelists of our most recent eras of high literature. Called the “interior monologue,” Vann makes enormous his own utilization of the motif while quite ignoring altogether the historicity or prehistoric content that once was inherent  Apollonius’ own authoritative sources by which could be known, thus well remembered, about Jason and Medeia. The Bardot Group, moreover, has always taken greatest distress over books based upon classical mythological content that ignore entirely the great reform that Robert Graves brought to those subject persons by the Classical Greek Mythology. For his classical dictionary of myths and their sources led him and other mythographers since WWII to an alternative interpretation from Vann’s. Too obviously a trained adherent of the PreClassical School and Tradition, he ignores that Aietes and Medeia were denizens of the delta formed by the Eridanus (Po) River of Italy. He was Greek, albeit a Sun Worshipper and putatively a demigod as born to his sire Helios Hyperion off the lap of the comely Oceanidae Perseis, a Titaness out of the Oldest Greek Beliefs in Ocean and Tethys. Medeia was also the niece of her father’s sisters, one of whom, Pasiphae, became the Wanassa of the imperial Cretans and wife of the Last Minos by the House of Minos, whereas the other was one of several illustrious Cirkes, a luminary sorceress out of the cult tradition of the Goddess Hekate, a goddess popular among the earliest known Ionic Greeks (by Kadmeis/Thebes, the Isthmus and Attica).

The book makes clear that Vann has no knowledge of this necessary homework. Or he commits a greatest crime of intellectual dishonesty to have ignored what he must have learned. It makes him an incredulous poseur.

Just what does the PreClassical Tradition entail? There are no cardinal rules of reckoning, but the rules attached to the preclassic credo creates such dishonesty even today. It thrives amidst our ahistorical novelists, blinders-on humanities adherents and pseudo social scientists who presume that they’re somehow prehistorians.

The Tenets

(1) That Greek mythographers of the oldest historical periods are the most reliable sources upon which to rely, for having lived closest to the imputed times, all dates uncertain, of the mythical and prehistorical settings wherein the greatest personages that once populated them.

(2) That Greek sources of mythography are also the best upon which to rely because only the surviving works of greatest literature met all the contemporary tests of censorship and highly promoted revisionism that made fools of Renaissance and later classical studies periods of Scholars of Antiquity.

(3) That a fusion of recitative opera by Early, Classical and Roman Classical Mythologies, each of them with respect to their greatest works of mythic interpretation, allow whole anthologies  of mythic opera that conform to the rules of naming by Erasmus, whereby all place settings and names of personages take his orthography a/o spellings. That allows erasure of the Greek orthography for all the constituent opera. Thus Medea, a Latinized Greek name, must always be written instead of Medeia, the only accurate orthography awhile reciting the heroine’s name correctly.

(4)That the Ancient Greeks and the Roman Literati had no sure reckoning of dating does not militate against them as sources, even when using dates haphazardly from any periods of prehistory that they wished to conjure. In no way, that is, does that dating illiteracy besmirch the addiced authentic accounts of the oldest mythic sagas or the renditions at epic length as drawn earliest from Homer and Hesiod.

(5) That Greek history, accordingly, began with Homer’s two masterpiece epics of the 8th century BC, to which Hesiod’s Theogony and Works and Days were added as authoritative history of Greek religion sometime within the middle of the 7th century. Greek acculturation began with both those Masters, despite the allusions, by Homer in particular, that he was greatly owing to a Great Oral Tradition that long preceded his lifetime, (now estimated as middle 8th century to the first quarter, perhaps beyond, of the 7th century BC).

A Good Start by Shanower

(6)That the Trojan Saga, a composite of eight epic recitations, is the only true account of a great conflict that might be fictitious or not. The best way to know this particular Traditionalist creed is to buy Eric Shanower’s illustrated series of the Saga, Age of Bronze, from its beginning to its end of all major personages illustrated. Nonetheless, the Bardot Group stands in proof opposite that the war was a real war of Greek prehistory, because fought between philHellenic Troias, a feudatory of imperial Hattic Anatolia, and two major coalitions of Greeks, Danaans and Argives, who fought for contradictory ends and ambitions, some wholly besides the ultimate recapture of Helen.

(7) That the only relevant religion of the Greece was that finally shaped into the Olympian Pantheon, to which the Roman Pantheon stood in parallel. The former, by long evolution, became an orthodox polytheism in the late Lyric Age, 6th century BC, as reinforced through dramatic enactments, all carefully judged, that became the masterpiece Classical Greek Dramas of the 5th century BC.

(8)That the oldest names by their pronunciations, once transliterated into alphabetic script since the 8th century BC, cannot prove a correct orthography that’s anyway definitive of how their persons were actually called or addressed. So, too, for place names, howsoever large or small of geography, even those brought to most frequent mention by the earliest alphabetic writ. So, accordingly, the names of personages, and any toponym of ancient places, are a cardinal orthography of the PreClassical Tradition whether drawn from oldest Greek epic, or from Latin take-offs utilizing Erasmian or Latinized Greek.

Allow here, that the Bardot Group for whom I write is agreeable solely to that Eighth Rule aforementioned. It remains cardinal in absence of plausible philological alternatives. All the other seven rules, alas, have different degrees of absurdity, because there have always been extremely well-educated Greeks and Romans who really knew the earliest and  original mythology, all of which was recitative, even if there contemporary bards and.or mythographers fell well short of preserving the accuracy and prehistoric authenticity of accurately reiterated, original sources, taught by pedagogues.

So listed and briefly remarked, we return to Vann’s “interior monologues” by Medeia and what they bring forth to us about what her world composed or was “felt” by her to have been at  a precocious age of fifteen years old.

A Woman Obsessed with Introspection

It takes very few pages for Medeia to emerge as hideously a father hater, while also become self-centered, a conceited sorceress, and a gross manipulator of her overly superstitious contemporaries. She has early notions that she’s well-fated to become a King-Killer, especially of kings who have no graced ancestry or high pedigree by royal succession, and who fail, therefore, stature as the first of their patriarchy dynasty. There is no room for dynastic or sacral matriarchy in Medeia’s youthful mind, even though we know her mother Idyia was by that tradition of oligarchic governance. Medeia has no aspirations, therefore, to become a matriarch of any greatest possibility, or as she would well-fated to become over her mother’s Ephyreans. This kind of innate repudiation, too, is propensity of the PreClassical Tradition, to deny, and thus to obliterate, the Silver Age of Humankind that Hesiod recited and attributed to a long lost era of Matriarchy. The Tradition also disdains the classic observation of the historian Diodoros, who says, “Once we were all named after our mothers and often knew not our fathers’.” Accordingly, the tradition has never admitted of royal and sacral born bastards who were deemed entirely licit by their mothers and their loyal subjects.

The first half of the book has Medeia constantly introspective about where she stands in any world hierarchy of ranked personages, to whom she naturally belongs. She’s mostly highly introverted otherwise at beholding what the future betides for herself and her chosen closest associates — Jason performing as one solely for her convenience to get way from Colchis forever.. Vann has Medeia right in one respect, though, and at that I gladly grant him, that his Medeia has not a whit of prescience, reasoned anticipation of where developments lead or mantic gifts and capacities. Her world is opaque, insusceptible to readings of omens and signs. None of the Argonauts have those gifts of foresight either, Her mind doesn’t regulate her thoughts allegorically; that left me wondering whether and how Vann can produce a heroine who was famous as most capable of eavesdropping, for gathering highly secret intelligence or for sleuthing out plots brilliantly before they could be hatched. Those are gifts of the utterly unprescient. That omission, which I thought would be fulfilled, proved my only fall back upon any suspense that I might have gained from the book.

It had not been satisfied by Vann after he has taken Jason, Medeia and the Argonauts down the Hellespont and thus finally fully escaped from Aietes. I only realized that many pages at accomplishment by intuiting that the butchered corpse of Apsyrtus could no longer be stinking on the poop deck of the Argo. I guess there finally was some thoughtful soul of an Argonaut who dispensed with the bodily remains, because, it seemed, the torso and hips proved no longer useful or needed as some juncture.

The Return to Iolkos

Some suspense finally instilled the book by this famous phase of the epic story. Beginning at Page 283 out of the 416   that compose the whole book. By then we have earned some inklings of the more robust legacies bequeathed Medeia from her mostly unknown and yet knowable mother Idyia, and by her pedigree to have been directly descended from Helios/Hyperion on her father’s side. Next she confronts Jason’s pedigree by a late weakling father, Aeson, and discerns that his uncle, Pelias, is a usurper over an undistinguished patron clan that holds easy tyranny over Jason’s would-be subjects, the Iolkans. Grant Vann at last some intellectual curiosity to have found that the Iolkans were utterly lacking in maritime commerce and tradition, and that it was preposterous that Jason would have ever given it to them by the voyage of the Argo.

As he conveys that honesty, Pelias has no interest in advancing his realm among humankind for any posterity that could prove him legitimate as a usurper. Having sent Jason away on a major and perilous errand, he makes no fame for Iolkos by subjecting Jason and Medeia to slavery for six years. A proper book reviewer would not mention that fact. But I have to, because Vann is in a very big hurry to have Medeia gain full vengeance upon her enslaver Pelias. The rest of the book is about how she does so, and yet his is hardly the best mythography that can be written about how she won herself the exquisite delight of a perfect crime, just the first of many that know about Medeia at her still early age of 21 years old. For her second perfect murder ends the book, and shouldn’t count as such because Vann has it occurring at Corinth where Kreon is king over the Isthmians. In Early Greek Mythology, we explain. Kreon was the force retired regent over the High Kingdom of Kadmeis, as deposed by the remarriage of his preeminent sister Iocasta to Oedipus, the son of her late husband Laius, who was her new husband’s sire.

The machinations by aftermath to a flight from Iolkos, which soon has Medeia shunned as a cause of Jason “won abdication,” result from her reasonable compulsion to overcome the weak bully Jason, who so immediately begins to tryst with Kreon’s daughter Gaulke amidst the high city AcroKorinth of the Isthmus. No mention or realization of Vann, therefore, that her saga has Medeia earning supremacy over the theocratic matriarchy that Ephyrea once was in the 14th century BC, as a realm in whom her mother had an illustrious pedigree. No matter, the author wants us to know why Medeia found it quite easy to murder her two puling children, especially the youngest, while dispatching Kreon and Glauke to oblivion and Jason to ignominy. Believe me, he makes a mess of it all, to my wonderment that Mary Beard, who seems to appreciate his writing style (at least) volunteered her important review of Vann’s opus.

I can only guess that she found a book about Medeia too tempting a heroine of Antiquity to overlook, and once she had read it and found it’s grievous faults, found it easy enough to claim the book for some kind of recognition of the rehash its purports to be.

My Admitted Biases

I admit to have given Medeia considerable study. I know a lot about her saga with respect to what Vann has covered in his book. My published mythography about Medeia, however, concerns the period of her youth and lifetime as a refugee from Ephyrea at an age about 28 or 29 years old, or just upon the impending lapse of her marriage to Jason. For they formally married at last, after “running on the lamb,” but not in any manner that Vann describes. The marriage contracted was a sacramental wedlock of term, for a Great Year of 100 solar months, which spanned from her age 21 to 28, possibly into 29 years old. Accordingly, at that last age she became a suppliant to King Aegeus over Attica. Without any seduction on her part, she soon became his beloved consort mistress. She bore him a son Medeios circa 1370 BC, for which most wanted and blessed conception he made her his wife and queen consort over the Atticans.

Those storied years are my means to explain the greater complexity of her flight from Jason and Ephyrea with considerable assistance, with gratitude for a great deed, which Medeia performed singularly, by foiling a plot of invasion of the Isthmus. Despite the bloody trail of her causation, my book in which this story is featured early explain why and how she was exonerated and absolved for her blood crimes from capital redress.

I shall have more to say about my book as it draws close to its impending release this year. Or, better yet, I shall emend this posting’s ending by expanding on what I’ve said so briefly of its early contents.

for the Bardot Group

 

167th Bardot Blog: Helen’s Anatolian Epoch: Third Phase — A High Queen Debased

In our last posting we established the thread of plot that’s alternative to that which has become canonical by Homer’s The Iliad. So we’ll describe how the Trojan War virtually ended with a 9th campaign year and almost a 10th. But we have a caveat: Homeric Scholars always take the 8th campaign year that we featured in the last Bardot Blog posting as the ninth year of the Trojan War. That it most certainly was not.

Here below is a listing of the campaign years of the Trojan War, by the numbers, and how they infer that the Trojan War had almost an eleven year duration, or was, as most think, a ten year duration of hostilities as the so-called “Eastern Conflicts” were contemporaneously known……

First Aulis, 1230, and First Blockade: An aborted mobilization and failed invasion of Troias by Agamemnon & Palamedes. A successful naval sweep of the western Anatolian coast.

Second Aulis, 1231: Encirclement Blockade of Troias became almost complete as far as MesoPontos a/o the Sea of Marmara. Stalled mobilization of all other expeditionary forces at Aulis except for the Cephallenes, first blockade Highlanders, Lakonians and Minyans under Achilles. Invasion in late summer, complete to all expeditionary forces and reserves as settled along and behind Scamander and Bezikos Bays.

First Full Campaign Year: Blockade of Troias complete. Fortress Ilion has been abandoned by the royal House of Laomedon. Settlements upon Scamander Bay are for extensive naval forays of depredation to thwart cohesion of Trojan alliances. City Troy’s outskirts are destroyed or occupied; and all inhabitants take refuge behind Ilion’s fortress ramparts. They are not besieged until the end of the Eighth Eastern Campaign.

Second Full Campaign Year: A year mostly away from Fortress Ilion and spent upon depredations of Troias’ foremost Allies.

Third Full Campaign Year: Successful reliefs occur rarely but amply, and usually brilliantly by penetrations of Hektor and Polydamas as Trojan commanders in chief. The Dardanians under Aeneas and the House of Asarakos finally join the war to prevent Greek invasion of the Seha River Lands (Mysia and Lydia as later known). Despoliations by the Argives are consistently unrewarding of hireling followings, and even costly to the Argives themselves. Aeneas reverses them constantly. Truly successful Greek depredations occur for Odysseus’ Cephallenes, for the Minyans under Achilles and other north mainlanders, and for the Coalition of Danaan expeditionary forces in particular. Menelaos pacifies and commingles his Highlanders with the western Anatolians, while converting earliest concentration compounding (of all surrendered males) to domestic service cooperatives of indenture captives. By these liberties the captives support whole families of fellow refugees everywhere at their self-sustenance. A most successful martial occupation ensues over all subsequent campaign years.

Fourth Full Campaign Year: Menelaos, Ajax and Teukros subdue the Seha River Lands and offer themselves in liege to the imperial Hatti for the purposes of a martial occupation governed from Karia, or Milliwanda. Despite successful depredations by the Danaan Coalition of expeditionary forces, the Argives and their Peloponnesians fail for the incompetency of Palamedes at logistical support. They have to resort to piracy to support themselves off the Greek Archipelago and few neutral coastal High Kingdoms along the Anatol. That proves costly, because all other Greek refuse to abet them at scourge. The year ends with Agamemnon fully retreated to Scamander Bay, where he demands an unearned and disproportionate share of the Danaan winnings. That causes a rupture of the entire Order of Helen in so far as the supreme command is concerned. Menelaos, apart that imbroglio, remains totally successful at his blockade. But he loses his foremost adjutant Highlander at command – Mentor son-of-Alkimos – to an ambush and relief effort by Alexander and his Wilusans. Direly wounded, he has to retire his major assistance of Menelaos and the Highlanders.

Fifth Full Campaign Year: Forays at search and discovery of the royal family members and their warlord retainers of highest nobility bring off considerable attrition of both. Otherwise the war effort lacks central focus and strategy, and most initiatives are desultory. Parlay continues towards a foreshortening of the War but to no avail. The Greek supreme command is left mostly ignored and on its own while Agamemnon’s manifest greed and ineffectuality at leading offensives persist. Enormous numbers of captives taken this year and the next require their transport in mass to the homeland sponsors, for basically unwanted needs of labor, howsoever in support of their burgeoning agronomies. There is tremendous war remuneration brought home otherwise, until only the Argives of the Peloponnesus are noticeably deprived of rewards taken by others.

Sixth Full Campaign Year: Ruthless warfare at slow attrition of the Trojan royalty, its allied high peerage and general nobility continues. All fifteen of the Tröad Kingdoms are reduced or despoiled of their reserve strengths. Karia/Millawanda finally is forced to join in the warfare for the Trojans. Their merchant naval strength turns predatory upon the convoys of resupply and reinforcements of the Greeks. The year ends with a central focus upon punishing all of the Trojan support from the satellite high kingdoms of the imperial Hatti.

Seventh Full Campaign Year: Managing the enormous war economy attendant to lucrative hostilities become a full time employment of the supreme command that’s actually winning the Trojan War. Reducing the Trojan allies both new and most recent, leads to a major autumn invasion of Fortress Harbor Miletos and the Meandros River Valley. A bold and exceedingly brilliant method of penetrating the Low and High City causes a capitulation of the city fortress occupants. As soon surrendered, however, and while removing the spoils from the successfully invested city, a vast Hatti armada is espied oncoming from the south. Determined upon the Greek naval besiegers under Agamemnon, Palamedes, Idomeneos and Odysseus, the vacancy of the city aborts in order to take on that naval force. The Argive supreme commanders flee while they can, so cravenly, in fact, that they leave their greater naval force abandoned within the confines of Miletos difficult approaches by sea. Odysseus musters a defensive sea battle through a sally that causes the enemy armada to swerve off and away. Then, however, the worst possible scenario is presented Idomeneos and himself as the armada makes clear to cross the Aegean and assail the homeland coastal powers of the Greeks. Indeed, the armada reveals a strategy to plunder the Greek Peninsula, and then to winter over all ships in far western retreats apt to that recourse. The armada shall await springtime to devastate and plunder the homeland systematically upon their return by crossing to Anatolia.

Eighth Campaign Year: It began late – in early summer– as all naval forces formed into a tactical cordon of reception, full defense against the expected deployment of the Hatti naval armada. Knowing it oncoming, or even so, the armada was surprisingly unsuccessful at penetrating all gulfs along the southern Greek Peninsula. Instead, that strength converged into parallel defiles of all best warships as purposed to pierce their ways through the Mid-Sea Isles (The Cyclades). The armada meant to sweep western Anatolia of all enemy navies at blockades of maritime commerce. Agamemnon and Palamedes had been demoted from supreme command—another reason for the tardy beginning of this campaign year. The idle Argive navies and expeditionary contingents simmered with resentment along Scamander Bay, but most of their allies had deserted them in order to be into the main fighting under Achilles (over Horse and Foot), and Odysseus at navarchy over all allied battle commodores and their now concerted navies. That Wanax of the Cephallenes manages to stage a great sea battle off Amorgos Island, by awaiting there in main force during early springtime, awhile his several adjutant battle commodores served their navies as bait deployed further west, thereby to steer deployment of Enemy upon waters that Odysseus has rendered most advantageous.

The sea battle was waged at huge cost to the Cephallenes and their constituent Far Fleets, but the losses to Enemy were nigh total as far as any ability to fight on the offense ever again. No sooner than the toll of naval warfare been tallied, however, than land expeditionary forces were compelled to a major field of battle upon Scamander Plain of Ilion. The Hatti allied might had penetrated all blockades of the Highlanders under Menelaos through brilliant subterfuge that has been disputed by prehistorians ever since. The Bardot Group takes the full envelopment of the Greeks as the battle which Homer put to allegory as the wrath of Achilles against Agamemnon, whereby he refuse to fight and longer in league with the incompetent supreme commander. Incorrigibly overweening without the scolding of Achilles, Agamemnon made a grand show of his ineffectual might until confronted by imperial support of Troias from all high kingdom in concert. This is also the battle that killed Hektor before the campaign year had ended. Our position has been that the ultimate success of the embattled Greeks, because so well rallied by all the young kings and princes over the defensive expeditionary forces.

This was to mean, as well, a virtual end of the Trojan War in this campaign year, supposed the 9th year as measured from First Aulis in 1230 BC.

The Ninth Full Campaign Year: Both Troias and the Order of Helen by the Greeks were both exhausted. Covert channels used to probe the possibilities of a general armistice had been constant over all campaign years. Now they resumed most ineffectually owing to the Argives refusal to end the war without a sacking of Fortress Ramparts Ilion to avenge all the years that had so greatly shamed them (except, that is, for High King Diomedes of the Argolis and Great Prince Sthenelos over the Argive cattle lands Piedmont. The main principals to induce truce had been Odysseus under proxy for Menelaos and King Antenor of High Ida as the plenipotentiary for Priam and all of the Tröad Kingdoms that composed the High Kingdom of Troias. Now, while the fighting had swung irrevocably over to Greeks, they had to besiege Fortress Ilion while being constantly outflanked by laggard imperial allies who kept showing up to pester all efforts to breach the fortress walls. Siege per se became tantamount a stalemate, even after hector had been slain. In this campaign year, Philoktetes was able to snipe Alexander upon a parapet overlook with an perfectly aimed arrow, Odysseus covering him with a long shield while the archer’s stance to the knock of the arrow to his bow and patience at taking careful aim while exposed. Following the death of “Paris,” so too a failed rescue mission of the Amazons under their Queen Penthesileia. Achilles slaughtered her and her entire force readily, but his success was followed immediately by his own death. While scrambling over the ruined north wall of the citadel Pergamon, he was struck by a spear to his ankle and tendon, which soon festered and caused him to die of blood clots by phlebitis after many days of tortuous agony. The late autumn of this calamitous reversal allowed the Greek no more endeavor than to complete a sapping tunnel. This they defended throughout the wintertime that followed.

The Tenth & Partial Last Campaign Year: The end of the Trojan War would manifest a covert penetration into the high city Pergamon by means that the Trojans themselves couldn’t discover until too late. Odysseus and Menelaos by then had decided to save the royalty and high peerage of the Trojans. The Trojan Horse was actually an engineered bulky apparatus, a wheeled and armored “Turtle.” Caused to slip into the tunnel, ladders could be raised from its shell, when fully inside the outer north wall. Its edifice had been constructed as entirely new masonry braced against the old north wall that had been overly weaken by earthquake circa1300 BC, during the times, that is, of Laomedon’s reign. The sappers in elite force were allowed to climb the ladders and up the interstices between the two parapet walls, oldest and newest since 1300. The saved, however, such Trojan men as had always stood against the hostilities from the very beginning, along with young and old women such as Theano, Kassandra, Kreousa and Polyxena. Aeneas and Antenor were foremost among those men, but neither of them could save the royal women mentioned. They fell to rapine and capture, although a few sought refuge under the fortress ramparts, which were caused to collapse in their entirety under a sapping in the form of immolation. Accordingly, the High City, the Pergamon, was never ruined or leveled, whereas the entire fortress perimeter was fired to utter collapse and destruction. The cost in human life was owing to the panic and haste of so many Trojans at seeking the ramparts as their last recourse, which it veritably was, because no effective recourse to any safety whatsoever.

Helen under Siege

While it’s a matter of speculation how long Helen acted as the High Queen over the Wilusans, the Bardot Group adjudges the duration from the Fourth Campaign Year through the autumn of the Eighth. Contrary to Homer’s epic assertions, we believe it highly unlikely that Helen stood witness upon the ramparts of fortress Ilion over the slaying of Hektor by Achilles. She most definitely was resident within the High City and citadel Pergamon by the Ninth Campaign Year, when she lost Alexander to an arrow sent through his gorge by Philoktetes, the famous Oechalian archer.

There remains as well as utterly speculative whether (1) Helen bore him any children, or (2) having conceived them, whether all of them died, as alleged by other Greek mythographers, as crushed under an earthquake—while still in residence of the capital seat over Wilusas. What seems certain, nevertheless, is the complete downfall of her regal status as Alexander’s widow. So greatly was she reduced that she was compelled to become a consort mistress, or remarried to the Trojan High Prince Deiphobos. While he survived briefly to become the sole heir apparent to Priam after the deaths of his brothers Hektor and Alexander, he has been sullied for his alleged debasement of Helen, or for being at cause of her debasing herself as traitorous to the Greeks so valiant at attempts to recapture her and save her from doom.

The entire atmosphere within Fortress Ilion by 1221 BC was that of a besieged and oppressed city populace. However, it also is our confident reckoning that several rescue plans to save the Trojans, while either aborted or rendered futile at repulsing the Greek expeditionary forces, forced an oppressive stalemate upon both opponent forces. The genuine incompetence of Agamemnon over all Argive forces must be blamed, especially after Phoenix over the Minyans/Myrmidons could not replace the war genius and tactics of the dead Great Prince Achilles. The youthful supreme command under the popular and respected Minos of Crete Idomeneos continued to dominate all sea girting Ilion and everywhere else of Troias, Menelaos’ successful blockading and rearguard command over Helen’s Highlanders, the Lakonians and expeditionary forces of her former suitors were despondent over a war that was capturing them within a foreign land a war objective.

Meanwhile Helen lived a life of a debased woman.

How the Trojan War Peetered Out

Our sense of the prehistory that ended the Trojan War was that of a culmination, that to award all Trojans that had always sought to prevent the hostilities in the first place and afterwards. Their abettors were the likes of Odysseus, for sure, by Diomedes, perhaps, and by Phoenix and the Minyan high command. Odysseus did not subject himself to the ruse of the Trojan Horse. He did mastermind the conversion of “a siege engine” into a sturdily designed canopy that appeared alike a squat turtle set upon wheels. This wheeled sapping device allowed penetration of the Pergamon’s refurbished north wall foundations by an undermining of sufficient depth and length inward to have the old inner wall scaled by armed infiltrators. Odysseus intended to force a capitulation of his longstanding friends, all of them earned since the failed treated peace attempted in 1232/31 BC. His hope was to remove the acknowledged favorites among the elite occupants of the Pergamon. He’d remove them to safety by bringing them down the embankment of the fortress, at above the Simöis River and marshes.

Then, once the removals of those justly deserving of mercy from any siege sacking, all commands concerted full force to scale and then have the run of the entire interior of Fortress Ilion outside the bastion walls of the Pergamon. All companies of warriors were let loose as rapidly and as expeditiously as possible afterwards. Odysseus failed at most attempts to save his personal favorites, e.g. Great Lord Antenor, Princess Kassandra, Prince & Priest Helenos, and High Princess Kreousa. Aeneas and Andromache managed to find a tunnel outlet, essentially a warehousing conduit under the walls, by which to exit the fortress beyond the ramparts. Aeneas led to safety many Trojans who would become the founding settlers of a New Dardania. They would settle around the Pergamon after the immolation and collapse perforce of all the fortress ramparts, their outbuildings and troop barracks, All such constructs were leveled to ash.

Essential to our premise of a surviving bastion, or high city, is the partial, perhaps even most part salvation of the edifice Pergamon over the core edifice, Troy Level III. Greatly rehabilitated circa 1270 BC (per Latest Dating Method), holy relics and important royal artifacts were taken away, all else despoiled mostly lesser chattels or utilitarian articles. There were sufficient preserved interiors and ceilings, moreover, to rehabilitate the Pergamon from even a minor sacking. The whole edifice would survive restored and kept intact afterwards until well into the Late Tröadic Period IIIC – and likely until much later, into the brief Tröadic Dark Age of northwest Anatolia. It finally fell to a massive earthquake during historical times, after which the Romans scraped away the immense amount of rubble to build Troy Level X along neo-classical lines of redesign.

Alexander the Great likely saw the Pergamon still standing, even as naked of any surviving rampart surrounds (with the possible exception of Great Lord Antenor’s mansion residency, in the NNE “quadrant” of the former fortress interior). The success of the surviving and former high city was that of the New Dardanians under Aeneas and his House of Assarakos and his ability to draw to himself the fealty of his many former enemies, the Highlanders, from the deep interior verges of Ilion and Old Dardania. These warriors had served at blockade around Ilion for ten years, having taken native born wives subjected to their benign martial occupation(s). They resettled Ilion under the directions of Menelaos for several months after his recapture of Helen. His supervision, at least mercy albeit, was served the citizenry that had fled wasted City Troy in 1230/29 BC. There was ample populace in 1220 for a successful, albeit subsistence level of habitation. Most certainly it wasn’t all about squatters making meager existence by hutments built over a rubble center core of a bastion.

Helen Regained and Restored

Restored to Menelaos, the war aftermath phase of Helen’s now robust lifetime in Anatolia is obfuscated by the wholly fictitious Trojan War Saga, Composed to recitals by the Greeks rhapsodists living after the 12th century BC, their complied saga posits a failed return to Lakonia by Menelaos and Helen. They were compelled by a stormy and circuitous return to land upon the Delta of the Nile River, where their supplication to a king who had no semblance or way of an Egyptian pharaonic existence. Despite the exceedingly long reign of Rameses II, 1265 to 1200 BC, our most famous Greek couple never had any access to his majestic imperial court. The more likely events of this aftermath to war was Menelaos careful measures to see her loyal subjects home, or well retired instead upon the coastal plains of Anatolia—including the vast extents of broad river valleys wending deep inland from their debouches upon the Aegean Sea. Understand, moreover, that his supporting navies under Idomeneos, Phoenix and Odysseus had swept away all pirates and marauders from their squatting grounds and coastal haunts. Fully rubbed out, even surrendered prisoners to the Greeks were liberated sufficiently during the warfare to undertake new coastal homesteads, farms and fields as rendered vacant of constant and,or periodic visitations of scourge. In evidence of this one truly benign consequence of the Trojan War, and despite that the Hatti empire fell into ruins by 1200 BC, the refugee yeomanry from the interior blockades found immense boon in building the agronomy of the several former high kingdoms along the Aegean Sea. From the devastation and depredation emerged long period of tranquility, until 1150 BC at least.

Finally Helen took ship with her husband and returned to Lakonia. Homer posits their next existence as mostly owing to a patriarchal Menelaos as a Great Wanax over Argolis, inclusive the former feudatory realms of Lakonia and Andania. They never took up the royal residency called the Heights that was built for them by the Mantinian Highlanders at somewhere nearby to Tegea of later Arkadia. That extensive royal compound was gifted to Helen’s sister Timandra and her Highlander husband, Echemos of Arkadia. They had governed well for Helen in proxy, particularly throughout the alpine Peloponnesus and its mountainous shoulders by the Pholöë and Treton Mountains. Sufficient for Helen as restored to her daughter Hermionë was the sacred palace and precincts of Amyklai. The realm vouchsafed to that temporary capital seat was the entirety of the highlanders along and above the midriff mountain range of the Peloponnesus called the Amykais. Helen and Menelaos resided there until there was built a new palace compound of considerable opulence upon display. That residency became the site of the hero cult Menelaion of Lakonia.

Leaving the southland Highlanders to the successful coregency of Timandra and Echemos (until she cuckolded him on account of his impotency to take lover of Phyleus King of Elaea & the Westlands). Helen abetted Menelaos in the subordinate capacity of queen consort, likely because the exhausting duties imposed upon him as the surviving Great Wanax over Argolis and the Argolid. For Agamemnon had been slain by Aegisthus, and Orestes was unseated for killing his natural father Aegisthus as the lover of his mother Clytemnestra, leaving Mycenae of Great Argos vacant for Menelaos by 1217 BC, when, thereupon, his delayed return with Helen. From that date onward, until we know them in epic mythography again by Homer, in The Odyssey, our famous couple led a most lavish, but also most generous existence as the paragons of the waning Mycenaean Age.

We do not know when or how they died. Helen was predeceased by Menelaos, and she lived on for many years and into a graceful old age as a most retiring beauty. We don’t allow credence of any Greek mythographers about revenge plots by wives who resented her causing the premature demise of their warrior husbands. Besides, too many later Greeks have scorned her for blatant adultery, despite a record that can only discern as a several brief reigns, all of which did honor to her subjects by all the realms involved. For certain she was not worth all the life loss and agony that she inadvertently incurred, but there was nobody who suffered from the malfeasance of her abduction by Alexander that didn’t think Helen worth the hard challenges imposed upon them.


for the Bardot Group

166th Bardot Blog: Helen’s Anatolian Epoch: Second Phase — A High Queen at Ascension

Our last posting introduced the acculturation of Helen as a High Queen presumptive of reign over and above her “husband” Alexander. His consort status, most peculiarly, had him clearly subordinate to her. The Great Queen of the Hatti, Padukhepa, was her only superior besides the then Great King, even as we cannot ascertain her status at the verybeginning of the Trojan War as either a dowager widow or most helpful co-regent with Hattushilish III. That Great King we adjudge to have been incapacitated by his dotage. By either circumstance, though, that imperial transition now means a great unlearning of modern scholars has to be underway. Just who was who as hostilities began in the northwest Anatol, seems more separate and isolated than ever from the imperial New Kingdom of the Hatti.

This posting brings those hostilities, no longer at any prospect of Helen’s restoration, into events occurring across a far horizon from both Greece and central Anatolia.

We have also taken Alexander as Homer revealed him in epic, as somewhat a spoof of what a High Prince unto High King had of rank and status relative to the superior powers of his matriarchal wife — once, that is, Helen was enabled of her ascension over the hybrid matriarchate of Wilusas. We get a glimpse that her only subordination was that which Aphroditë compelled her to. Acting only as her mate, but just so abetted by Aphroditë, they together overcome any resistance from Helen to his carnal demands. Such are the appearances once the lovers were rendered no longer suppliant to the Great Court and New Kingdom of the Hatti/Hittites. Within Fortress Ilion, again most peculiarly, Alexander can be taken as fully humbled by his fellow Trojans, even as she’s exalted still as the successor – a sort of “mother prospective in waiting,” – to Queen Consort Hekabë.

Because this is such a sharp reversal of the Trojan War Saga by Classical Greek Mythology, much else has to be explained, even unlearned, about whatever cognizance Homer had of a deep past from his own times of the 8th century BC. Particularly, we ask, could the Master of Epic interpret Helen’s real royal status awhile her few years of suppliance, or again, awhile the virtual captivity of her by the House of Laomedon over Troias?

A Painful Exit from Hattusas

I shall not embroil readers of this brief serialization in the detailed Trojan War events and happenings of the 1220s BC. Suffice that treaty overtures failed to effect a ransom of Helen; that, too, a first mobilization at Aulis was aborted by Agamemnon recklessly; and that this precipitous action caused his navarch Palamedes to strategize an utter fiasco called “the Mysian Disaster.” Accordingly, strategically mobilized hostilities should have begun in 1230 by the Latest Dating Method of the Egyptologists. Instead they did not commence so early an invasion of Scamander Bay of Ilion until late 1228 BC, and then to no more purpose that to encamp for the winter and end an aborted First Campaign Year.

There ensued two important compensations, however. The reckless maneuvers of Agamemnon against Teuthrania, a small coastal plain and kingdom of Anatolia which scholars have wrongfully dubbed Mysia, had the Argive Great Wanax entrapped ashore the Bay of Smyrna (later called) and the Argive Navy blockaded by pirates amassed above Pityoussa (Chios) Island. The Cephallenes and Cretans under Odysseus and Idomeneos made riddance of the pirates, caused an effective retreat of the blockaded Argives and Thebans, and followed up smartly with a full autumn naval sweep of west coast Anatolia at fullest riddance of all rival navies. Secondly, Menelaos landed Heavy Foot and Horse of Lakonians ashore the Kaikos River with all recruited Highlanders then able-at-arms. They settled throughout 1229 in time for a well-organized winter encampment intended for all the War Wanax’ rearguard operations. Attendant a land blockade of Troias, he proved masterful at a deep interior, overland cordon. It stretched from Kyzikos upon the MesoPontos (Sea of Marmara) into deep hilly overland round and about to the Kaikos Debouch, which river outlet issued below the Adrymittion Strait (a sound that separates Lesbos Island from the Anatolian subcontinent). That’s why, and only why, the First “Eastern Campaign” was deemed a great success despite Agamemnon’s constant aggravations and compulsive actions.

The Strait of Abantis [Euboea] and the Euripos Narrow, above and below which concentrated the mobilizations of First and Second Aulis for Greeks by both mainland divisions of the earliest Greeks whom Homer called Achaeans (Achaiwoi). Aulis in somewhat non-descript as shallow tide low country between the narrow as shown and the debouch of the Asopos River at 20 miles below.

Alas, that next spring occurred Second Aulis, a grand mobilization renewed, that directly challenged the competency of the imperial Argives at supreme command absent Menelaos upon the Kaikos. Agamemnon continued his incompetence by both the ritual preparations staged for irrevocable warfare against Troias and by flagrant mismanagement of the straightforward Order of Helen—the rich and broad command rankings by the formative coalition of Menelaos toi have Helen ransomed and restored. The Great Wanax heedlessly induced conflict to avoid a restoration, gainful and greedy for spoils as he was. Rendered illegitimate until Second Aulis, the youthful former suitors and few veteran kings – all champions of matriarchs by their homeland traditions – who committed themselves to Helen and Menelaos alone. To regain the honor of supreme command, Agamemnon acquiesced to a demand from his co-supreme Achilles and his north mainland coalition of mighty princes: This was to render a most royal princess as a blood sacrifice to Artemis, whom Agamemnon had provoked to visit a plague upon the assembled encampments most densely congregated at Second Aulis. Agamemnon sacrificed his stepdaughter Iphianassa/Iphigenaia by the marriage of his wife Clytemnestra to Tantalus III (whom Agamemnon had caused to be assassinated). While this earned him supreme command as proxy for Menelaos while in absentia, but the Great Wanax thereby doomed all ensuing hostilities to the endless reverses that made the Trojan War so protracted over ten. Almost eleven years.

[The beginning, or advent, of Agamemnon’s and Palamedes’ conjoined malfeasance and sustained incompetency is addressed by the book Embassy Outbound, Bardot Books 2008, Limited Edition, New York and now an e-Book of the same title.]

Alexander and Helen were compelled to their respective royal obligations, his as the Consort Home Protector and she as High Queen ascended over the Wilusans. Our previous posting has explained why her ostensible superiority over Alexander as derivative of the always preemptive powers of his mother Hekabë, for her to pass on at least contingently to the mother of Wliusas’ high princess presumptive. Grant that Alexander had absolute War Powers to defend Wilusas. Still, the only personage of grace was Helen, whose high majesty would abide so long as she bore children to strengthen the matrilineal legacies of Wilusas.

I must speculate that Alexander must have been reluctant to lose altogether the protections of the Great Kingdom of the Hatti as exercised during the 1220s BC by Padukhepa and her son by Hattushilish III,  Tudhaliyas IV. Awhile the Trojan War’s hostilities, after they’d begun, New Assyria regularly assailed the Great Kingdom, or Hatti New Kingdom, thereby to embroil all eastern high kings in support of that Great Prince a/o Great King. The greatest threat impended as a nascent Iron Age power, New Assyria aforesaid, over Mesopotamia. It was drawing all attention far eastward. West coastal Anatolia was insignificant, even expendable by comparison to eastern war theaters. Accordingly, Troias was on its own to defend itself and its new alliance by high marriage to Wilusas. Alexander’s realm, in turn, must render its normal tributes to the Hatti via great droves of fattened cattle and all timber besides that the Wilusans could fell or mill into lumber. All we know about that dual commerce stems from the fact that High Prince Hektor was preoccupied at support of the Hatti in both 1230 and 1229 BC—the main reason that he was not ever a trade delegate, and thereby fully exculpated from the crass abduction of Helen by his brother Alexander. By 1232, we also still believe, Hektor remained the highest royal proxy of Priam in imperial military service to the Hatti. Either at that role, or else he was the defender of Troias against invasion by passing that proxy role to another martial champion for Troias, Polydamas son of Panthöos, a man soon to prove most gallant and effective in any of his surrogate roles in behalf of Troias.

[Notice the open gap where the Assuwans are the designated occupants. This open, seemingly vacant expanse below the Sea of Marmara had shallow lakes apart each other, by a water shed that flowed away from the central Halys River Basin of Anatolia. ]

Wilusas Revealed

I pause for some geographic overview of what composed Wilusas. I have chosen for such exposition an ancient map, an “:in the raw rendition” of subcontinental Anatolia. I like it because it focuses my most unfamiliar audiences of the Anatol upon the large and seemingly vacant land in the northwest corner. I depart the consensus of modern academic scholars by adducing to that vacancy the very considerable timber and grasslands resources, to which attached considerable human resourcefulness that for so long had been happily obligated to the imperial Hatti. Since 1400 BC, if not much earlier, since 1600 BC, they were one of several foremost feudatories indigenous to the subcontinent. Rich and surprisingly dense of population, most scholars by the ancient Greeks and the imperial Romans adduce Phrygia to 1st millennium BC Anatolia as the greatest antecedent region of the northwest Anatol. They disdained the Late Tröadic Period of Anatolia except for the momentary Trojan War so quickly come and gone. Modern scholars have been trenchant about a region whose invaders swept by diffusion into northeast Anatolia, with nothing antecedent to 750 BC deemed remarkable. What was before Phyrgia was too primitive, too vacant and much too much a wilderness wilds for a great civilization to have ever been extant before 1000 BC. No thought, therefore, that whatever occurred much earlier, or that Phrygia epitomized, was still a hugely blessed region by the Idyllic Age of the 2nd millennium BC. So, then, by a resurgence from a brief dark age of the Anatol, what had been formerly Wilusas was in no way so bleak or unpopulated as had pertained to the withering chill and climate over the Greek Peninsula as between 1190 to 800 BC.

We’ve stayed convinced, moreover, of a blessed wilderness that lay below the Sea of Marmara and below its weak coastal region called Bithynia.  It melded into a sprawl of vast grasslands, forsaken of horse pastures since 1190 BC, and no longer alike the richest Hatti ranchland domains. Broad and ample grassland fattened cattle herds instead. East of Bithynia lay the deep wilderness forestlands that fulfilled Wilusas as a great land of foresters and clever lumber exporters. Huge and shallow freshwater lakes lay broadly apart each other, fulfilled by a common watershed of immense forests. All streams running rills into gentle steams, these emptied into the Sea of Marmara by seepage debouches rather than deltas.

The Trojan War Saga alludes to an upbringing of Alexander as a well-trained stockman of prize livestock, especially to the husbandry of best bred cattle. There’s also implication that he led his people as a keen hunter after fierce predators, while also preventing the royal cattle herds of his mother from straying, or becoming as feral cattle, a great malfeasance of husbandry that was especial to livestock management. There’s not so much to praise of the High Prince as a forester among his mother’s ancient people called the Arzawa, who were obscurely related to the Trojans during primordial times. In fact, all that we can surmise of any forestry expertise by the latter was that of forest management of deciduous trees such a Beech, Chestnut, Hickory and other oldest hardwood species. Specimens of each were huge of grandeur but not so easily brought into transport for export. Instead, we must surmise a paradise of immense tree stands sprawled along verges of low hillside alluvium, wheras tall pinelands surmounted those verges as straight and tall evergreens.

Notwithstanding the wrongful assumption still remains that all of the Bronze Age Anatol until the Iron Age failed any significant floruit until 800 BC and onwards. That infers sparse population beforetimes. Except, that is, that the aftermath of the Hatti was actually a trend of population explosion, even if it was preliminary to any advent of amassing Phrygians from Mittel Europa. Admittedly, what arose evolved from a basis less populous that the density of persons who pervaded the several west coastal rivers and plains along the Aegean Sea. Their valleys reached deep eastward, to where their headwaters and surrounding watershed received the precipitation off all storm fronts inundating alpine Europe. Wilusas took ample and gentler watershed from the steams flowing westward into her grasslands off the rim of the Halys River Basin.

Our point  all along about Wilusas has been that she was a separate kingdom from the so-called Tröad Kingdoms in that she was a high kingdom of enormous cattle range eastward below a shallow lake district. Her separation from Troias was that of a deep coastal outback, such that Wilusas was actually more accessible by ascents from the Halys River Basin, although they retained entirely different watersheds. As a vassal state, anachronistic as the term is, her entire economy was a dependency upon the Hatti and the Hittites, to the extent that either were distinct from each other in the middle 13th century BC.

Why the marriage of Priam and Hekabë happened remains a difficult question, but likely the alliance was a reward to Troias impressed upon her father Dymas and for the satisfaction of the encroaching patriarchy. At last to bring a high king to Wilusas, whose tradition supremacy was under a matriarch with father or son in coregency as her “champions,” perhaps it was realized that Dymas and Alexander were duds. Given the goodwill towards the House of Laomedon over Troias, there’s also likelihood that Wilusas lacked a proper prospective patriarch after Dymas died while Alexander was doing his gallivanting about the Peloponnesus in 1268.

Hekabë’s matriarchate in any case was resilient. Her native subjects placed all their adoration upon her as a maiden sound in governance—until, that is she married Priam, a man of many concubines by whom many sons and daughters to take up positions within Wilusas as transplant by their mother. There is considerable speculation in all now said and more to come. Still, Alexander was not found satisfactory. In the course of the hostilities, the consort heir presumptive became the son Tröilus’ position to have and to hold. He was one of the youngest royal high princes of the Trojan blood. What’s not at all known well, Alexander and the famous younger sister Kassandra, whose grant name was Alexandra (they were the very first of their name, either gender) became, respectively, the consort heir presumptive and supreme priestess along with her male twin of divining gifts, Helenos. It wasn’t until the last campaign years, after the 7th year of hostilities, that Alexandra and Tröilus were compelled to take up a besieged residency at Fortress Ramparts Ilion.

I won’t let us get ahead of ourselves, however. Our greatest speculation of all, was the four years, no longer, that Helen served Wilusas as their High Queen. Beware, moreover, that the Trojan War Saga by Classical Greek Mythology clearly detested the slightest notion of her acceded grandeur and high majesty. Then, again, the Greek mythographers disdained her cause of the Trojan War as the Queen Holy Matriarch over the Highlanders, of both mainland divisions of the vast alpine midriffs of the Greek Peninsula. That Helen was sensational and efficacious in serving out Wilusas obligations to the Hatti overlords and liege majesties shouldn’t be wondered. Helen was well trained in culture, religion and the extensive —some would say atomistic—tribal governances over whose hierarchy she had supreme administrative controls. It does not cause us any wonder, therefore, that Helen took command from Alexandra as soon as plopped wherever the various capital seats of Wilusas that we cannot ascertain. A presence among a new people, in invitation to them to accept her and regard her worthy of their pledges of liege fealty, the Wilusans’ hearts went out to her. She was an advent in fulfillment of their lost High Princess to Troias, and after as many as eight years of rule in absentia due to Alexander’s reckless gallivanting. He may have been for his native subjects a greatest cattle baron, perhaps over a hierarchy of such able livestock keepers and breeders, but he had not the oomph and/or might to deliver his High Kingdom’s resources to the Hatti as the annual great tribute obligations.

We envision Helen arrived and soonest past her illustrious ascension to High Queen over the Wilusans. Immediately her presence as offered to the leading dignitaries of her new realm, they promptly coordinated as best they could for her and Alexander. Recall how we’ve already said that Wilusas was a very rich and easy going vastness while ruled under a peacetime regime. What they needed most from Helen was the grace to coordinate all at the cattle drives. These amassed attendently, awhile the felling and crude milling of timber into baulks or lumber. The cattle hauled the broken down lumber, piece by great piece as necessary, dragging it down the long slopes of declination into the Halys River Basin. Deliveries upon obligations meant the achievement of depots or staging places along the way of the annual war campaigns’ marches and staged musters. First deployments of whole Hatti force ensued through spring into long forward marches begun before the summer solstice. The cart ways of parading transport had existed ever since the caravan routes trekked by the Old Assyrians, whose caravansiers has existed long before the Hatti or the Hittites had ever been known. Indeed, among the indigenous a/o aboriginal Arsuwans of Anatolia, the Old Assyrians were revered as the true forces that had compelled their advanced civilization.

In fact all of Wilusas was old, traditional, solidly competent and unchanging of their developed annual fealty rendered to their overlord of great equestrian culture. Most of that annual routine was all about their dependency upon Assyrian foreign goods by novel traffics and barter for the ingenious products of their husbandry—of horse, horse equipage and accouterment, timber resources and immense resupply of foodstuffs while each new annual campaign begun in train. Old Assyria had been an oldest provisionary of considerable diversity, offering all the best upon which Wilusas was dependent, but also that which was most innovative to then modern and evolving times by newly introduced tools and technologies, howsoever crudely wrought.

Once all such obligatory provision was, literally, “in train,” the wealth of Wilusas as a thoroughfare of overland commerce was of essential great benefits to Troias. The marriage of Priam and Hekabë, therefore, was only the highest and most preeminently practical of alliances. We should not wonder that many marriages between lesser majesties had been arranged, as between Trojans and Wilusans, or that they were contracted and/or betrothed over many prior generations of both nation races. They were both lands apart, but harmonious through their great annual bounties unto each other. Chill climate change would break the Idyll and climate calamities would ensue through the 12th and 11th centuries BC. By they were not yet seriously in advent at the end of the 13th century BC.

Alas, it was even a new realization of the Idyll that briefly occurred under Helen’s majestic and graced personage. Alexander was exonerated of his formerly reckless ways simply for having found a queen deserving of every man’s covet. She was besides a most natural Holy Queen for all orders, classes and castes of humankind to cherish as their most natural superior. Or just had she been at home, as an adopted princess among the Lakonians, as cherished by all the Highlanders everywhere of the Greek Peninsula.

Why Onward to City Troy at Last?

Again, we have some cursory review required for just here, and a necessity to generalize. First to say, accordingly, Wilusas was cut off from Troias by the earliest Greeks’ naval blockade and an overland cordon that it enabled of the Highlanders and the forces under Great Prince Achilles. The cordon ringed Troias from Kyzikos upon the Sea of Marmara around to the Kaikos Delta below and across from Lesbos Island’s Adrymittion Sound. Surrounded, all northwest commerce flows were brought to surcease, despite a few breakthroughs to resupply Fortress Ilion. Priam had to change his residencies frequently because he could not appease his dogged enemies, especially since he could not ever “deliver the real goods” in the form of Helen herself. Secondly, except for one campaign year of truly amazing importance, (even to be doubted), the imperial Hatti and the other High Kingdoms around the Halys Basin could not avail at any assistance or succor. The Trojans no longer able to join the imperial campaigns in the Middle East, therefore, the Hatti were seriously undermanned and ineffective at repulsing the New Assyrians at encroachment upon the Hurrians (the much later Syrians of truly historical times). That annual campaigning became exhausting of reserves, and failing of reinforcement drawn from the northwest Anatol, the west coast of the subcontinent became defenseless against spoils takings by the Greeks. So it went through the 6th campaign year of the Eastern Conflicts.

Despite Helen’s most adequate inspiration, Alexander failed his imperial obligation of that year and the next. During the 8th campaign year, after High Prince Tröilus was slain (and allegedly sodomized) by Achilles, Wilusas was abandoned. High King Alexander, his brother Helenos and his sister Alexandra/Kassandra repaired to Fortress Ilion and took up residency in anticipation of an impending siege lay around the fortress ramparts. All of the House of Laomedon sought Ilion as the Tröad Kingdom of last resorts and measures. Settings finally became those of Homer’s The Iliad.

The 8th campaign year was most certainly a turning point for both antagonists, nonetheless. Late in the 7th year, the imperial Hatti called all feudatory High Kings to muster in relief of the House of Laomedon. They began with a deployment of a masterful war navy that struck all war navies of the Greeks by a sweep that carried the Hatti Armada up the west coast of Anatolia. It caught and destroyed all Argive Navy berthed at Fortress Harbor Miletos of Karia, or Hatti Milliwatna/Milliwanda. The supreme command of the Minos Idomeneos of Crete and of the Wanax Odysseus over the Cephallenes could not withstand the naval force or prevent its armada strength from retiring for the winter of 1223/22 BC into the far west, down the Cretan Sea, by counter offensive operations clearly prepared for the next campaign year, to be brought east, anew, for the 8th campaign year. Understand carefully: All greatest force settled and encamped disparately upon west coast of Anatolia, suddenly all the homelands of the Greek Peninsula were under threat and impossible to rescue from across the Aegean Sea. Most especially under the foreign peril was the entire Peloponnesus. So much was that peril in prospect that all Greek navies, especially those allied or part of the Cephallenes, had to prepare set blockades across the openings of the long gulfs. While Lakonia and Andania were easy to blockade, the Argolic Gulf and all the rim powers of the Saronic Gulf were far too expansive to withstand deliberate penetration by a naval armada.

In early 1222 BC the Hatti Armada opened the new naval year with a reappearance in full force defiles. The bearing was across the Cretan Sea from the Peloponnesus’ South Sea, by heading to swerve up ENE to the Greek Archipelago. It seems that the home navies in reserve, all merchant ships fulfilling them in strong parts, managed just barely to cause the Hatti Armada to swerve off the blocked gulf entries and to steer their strength instead into the Mid-Sea Archipelago (such as the Cyclades Isles and their local waters were once called. There, Odysseus, the Minos Idomeneos and Tlepolemos of Rhodes intercepted the sweep. The sea battle that ensued was devastating to both sides, but afterwards Odysseus had wrested supreme naval powers away from the inept Agamemnon and Palamedes. The Order of Helen promoted Idomeneos into that supreme capacity, and he chose as his foremost adjutant Phoenix over the north mainland navies and Odysseus over all else of naval coalitions. Palamedes had proven craven off Miletos the previous autumn, and by recourse to flight he had not joined the amassed strength to destroy the Hatti Armada. His liege Agamemnon retreated into encampment along the entire extent of Scamander Bay.

In that weakened posture the Great Wanax tried to usurp supreme command over all land forces to which the navies were beholden under duties of resupply and reinforcement from the homelands. What Homer alleges to have been a dispute over a spoils captive, Brisëis—whose real name was Hippodameia daughter-of-Briseus—, was actually allegorical of a split in the supreme command shared between Agamemnon and Achilles. While Homer asserts that Agamemnon won the dispute, the Fates were entirely on Achilles’ side. For the second great Hatti initiative, besides the naval armada that was lost, was an ensuing grand coalition or land forces brought by the High Kings of Anatolia to Ilion in succor of Priam and the Trojans. So while all the gods took sides in the 8th year campaign, as it would seem or as Homer supposed, Agamemnon proved incompetent from the very beginning of that year’s hostilities.

[An unwilling Briseis is being strong armed by delivery to Agamemnon, by his taking of her from Achilles. The incident epitomizes what little we can glimpse of the Great Wanax’ incompetence from first mobilizations against Troias and a final sacking of fortress ramparts Ilion.]

The Great Wanax asserted his supremacy by mobilizing all encampments at Scamander Bay to form up daily in parade array. He’d then conduct martial drills at chariotry and other parade exhibitions together. On one such parade day, all forces having issued forth from the encampments and marched up the ramparts of Ilion, they were suddenly confronted. A surrounding movement of many armies forced a pitch battle. Agamemnon was up and against against that enveloping offensive by imperial allies in support of Priam. Achilles stood back upon the bayside, performing there at rearguard for all the encampments while shunning Agamemnon. He refused to reinforce Agamemnon on summons to do so, as was firmly understood awhile his demotion from the supreme command into which he’d been promoted by acclaim.

So the 8th campaign year began with a schism of Greek land force strength while the Kingdom of Ilion was being reinforced in mass by all the satellite high kingdoms under the Hatti. Whether we cite Homer’s catalog of such forces or not, Priam was at last chance to preserve Troias and the dynastic House of Laomedon. Out of it all Agamemnon came to unpardonable degree of ineptness from which all his Argive might could not spare him. Whether Achilles finally came to sufficient rescue out of revenge for the wrongful death of his Master-of-Horse Patroclus, a kinsman and greatest friend, we can only speculate.

The Bardot Group remains of an alternative belief, to wit, that the Greeks suffered irremediable damages to their armed strength, even as they restored their greatest allied naval strengths through Odysseus’ ascension to Battle Commodore (albeit under the Navarchy shared by Idomeneos and Phoenix. With respect to lanbd forces and might, the Argive High King, Diomedes of Tiryns, and other young kings and heroes alike him, replaced all others of more senior years and veteran command ranks. For the rest of the Trojan War’s hostilities the young command fought as though in desertion of Agamemnon and his naval support by Palamedes. Menelaos came up from his rearguard headquarters upon the Kaikos River at last, finally to take over supreme administrative command. Even so self-promoted, however, he left all the fighting tactics and strategies to Great Prince Achilles and to Diomedes of Tiryns. In our next posting we shall establish the thread of a plot alternative to that of Homer’s The Iliad. We’ll escribe instead how the Trojan War ended with a 9th campaign year and almost a 10th. [Homeric Scholars always take the 8th campaign year cited above as the ninth year of the Trojan War – which most certainly it was not.]

When the 8th campaign year was over, so effectively was the Trojan War over, too. It still had to limp along to a poor ending on account of the incompetency of a stubbornly inept coalition of oldsters under Great Wanax Agamemnon. Neither side had the strength sufficient to finish hostilities off as either an overwhelming Greek victory or an allied Trojan repulse. Most important to this brief serialization, Alexander and Helen were compelled to take occupancy of Ilion as their last refuge, to live utterly compromised lives there through the next winter, 1222/21, all of the next year 1221 BC and most of the winter/spring of 1220 BC.

Such will be the subjects of our next posting, itself in finale of the Trojan War.


for the Bardot Group

165th Bardot Blog: Helen’s Anatolian Epoch: Its First Phase — Acculturation

Our last posting introduced the second part serialization of Bardot Blogs about Helen. We took it as far as Alexander and her reception at the Great Court of the New Kingdom Hittites. While we prefer to call them the imperial Hatti, in recognition of the long sweep across northern Anatolia by which a dominant ethnicity of immigrants eventually subdued all native and indigenous peoples of the Halys River Basin (the Hittites of the map below, by the nomenclature attached to the much later Hittites of the Bible. But let’s not quibble.

The last posting also theorized that a courtly house was continually in presence at that imperial court setting of Hattusas. They descended from a royal house begun by Trös just before the 14th century BC. That was before the introduction of Oldest Greek speakers to northwest Anatolia through the truly illustrious marriage of Trös’ son Ilus (Latin spelling of Ilos) to Eurydicë, a high princess and daughter of High King Adrastos over the Argolid Peninsula. The infusion of her entourage into the great equestrian culture of the Hatti brought two young royal Houses into an affiliation that raised the pedigree of them both almost instantly. Ilus would become, perhaps had become at the time of the troth, a formidable Martial-at-Horse through his contributions to the annual campaigns of the New Kingdom in the Near East. Eurydicë was by House of Proïtos, the lesser dynastic branch royal clan to the imperial Persëid Argives of Southland Greece. The affinity affirmed by the marriage alliance likely arose though an obscure “international” commerce in horses, whereby the diffusion of prized battle steeds and divinely bred mares that directly attended the ascendancies of all warrior people who became imperial from 1450 BC, ff.

Ilus’ brothers were Assarakos and Ganymedes. The former became the King of Dardania and a patriarch over a lesser dynasty that that by his father Trös, to whom Ilus was heir presumptive. Ganymedes became his father’s plenipotentiary, and his legend therefrom is attested in myth by his permanent stay, for the rest of his lifetime, within the heartland Hatti and their capital seat. He was by the generation of Great King Tudhaliyas III but his great impression as a foreign diplomat of a shared ethnicity was upon Tudhaliyas II, and later, upon Suppiluliumas I, with whom Ilus has boon friendship as great men of war. We further theorize a very important marriage, by which began a long succession of able plenipotentiaries acting for Troias from within the imperial capital of Hattusas. It was sustained by the great commerce on horse, about which the Trojans became legendary in their own rights and manners of breeding prize mares.

So Helen must have been surprised that she was no sooner presented to High Queen (of Dowager) Padukhepa than they were able to easily communicate through an interpreter born of the family of Ganymedes. Well she should have been surprised, for we have the following statement of hard fact and consensus about the Hatti and the earliest Greeks of respective prehistories.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly that the Hittites and the Greeks of Asia Minor never lived together anywhere. On the rare archaeological sites where they are found together, they have in fact succeeded each other: in Phrygia at the City of Midas, at Gilmar in Rough Cilicia, at Comania of Cappadocia.

And further, “The illusions that were inspired by the appearances of the Ahhiyawa [a.k.a. the Achaewoi or Achaeans] in the documents of Hattusas have been refuted by the facts.”

From Mythologie, compilations of religious synopses
under Yves Bonnefoy, by translations directed by Wendy Doniger,
University of Chicago Press

The scholars of the Bardot Group, to whom I owe my various academic apprenticeships, concede to the above assertions by observing as well the little know consistency between regnant Greeks and Hittites/Hatti. That’s to say, to wit, when one great people was up in a nigh imperial sense, the other was very down, utterly reduced in a dark age sense, or somewhere in between by the dichotomy they struck in contrast to each other. In the times of Helen’s lifetime, for instance, the Mycenaean Greeks had been very down as both the Persëid and Pelopid Argives of the 14th century BC, whereas the Anatolians were burgeoning under the New Kingdom’s imperial regime under the Hatti a/o Hittite peoples. By the approaching middle of the 13th century BC, however, the Argive dynasty descended from Great Wanax Pelops had brought the Oldest Greeks into a new martial zenith and wrought civilization, even as Troias was doomed to collapse along with her imperial liege sovereigns by the Hatti.

Helen and Padukhepa, Queens for All Ages

There’s also our own observed oddity by the gamut of prehistory and history that imperial Anatolians by all their imperial ages have been nigh hyper-religious, whereas the Greek Peninsula has been characterized by so many precursors evocative of secular humanism and false piety, or for their plain unadulterated agnostics or atheistic propensities until finally theocratic subversives within the Byzantine Empire. It must have seemed odd to Helen that most all intellectual conversation with the Great Queen Padukhepa led always into theological discussions, most often by way of comparing what Her Imperial Majesty knew of the high deities as anyway comparable to those by the inculcation of Helen.

In this posting we shall imagine conversations between them in précis by way of some expository insights into the religious tenets of both their religiosities at zenith by their respective imperial ages. For Helen knew a lot of what Greek Religion was before it came to the historicity about it that’s latent in the final, much later Early Greek Mythology. So did Padukhepa, who had to manifest an imperial tolerance for as many as five major pantheons that had come under her aegis by the late 1360s BC. To keep this ex\position in check, I will dismiss away all of them by the evolved belief before 1600 BC, after which date those pantheons had major impact upon the lives of their believers.

The Pantheons amidst Imperial Anatolia and the Levant by the Hatti

I shall address only three pantheons – (1) of the Hattusans a/o denizens of the Halys River Heartland and the adjoining Kaska Lands far north, (2) of the Hubesnans of SSW Anatolia of the Taurus Mountains Divide, and (3) of the Imperial Hatti called the Arzuwans along the south and southwest corner of the subcontinental shelf a/o peninsula. Although there are two others, both Semitic, we’ll leave them undiscussed and pursue where long established diffusions of Hatti precursors, off Azerbaijan and Armenia, became situated religiously. What the pantheons all had was a Storm God, often doubling as a supreme deity over forest and woodland wilds, whom we’ll subsume under his ecumenical name of Teshub; and equally ubiquitous thereby them was a Sun Goddess who became generalized as the Lady of Arinna. She doubled as a supreme deity, perhaps inspiring Greek Hera. Most frequently taken as a love and fertility goddess over devout commoner farmers and livestock herders, she was actually a deity of most fierce demeanors. Very general was a War God; River and Mountain Gods; and KAL gods who were theronic as winged and winged lions by allegorical depiction. We should also add to Teshub’s preeminence his most immanent aspect, as Telipinus, a name which all Tabarnases a/o Great Kings became in soul for all eternity by apotheoses after their deaths. There were thousands of minor deities, of course, or so many that even Padukhepa had to have a huge entourage of literate, escribal archivists about her imperial court to keep book on all the generous largesse apportioned out to them less they become neglected and prove really nasty to all the Queen’s cherished little people.

The Lady of Arinna is here depicted as the Sun Goddess amidst and circle of radiance.

 

 

None of this or what follows is fascinating stuff, but it was to the deeply religious Padukhepa. Still,  the paramount deities must be taken in gist or in general as a Great Earth Mother and Sun Goddess, Arinna, who was aboriginal to all of Anatolia somehow, some way iconically. After 1600 BC, nonetheless, she became clearly outranked, ubiquitously so, by Teshub, a Storm God of many invoked names (see them below my signature that closes this posting). A foreign become a fully indigenous deity, his iconic depiction is an armed Warrior God who Strides upon the back of a totemic Bull. While I don’t have an image at hand to portray him, I also offer Teshub as a god of the wilds, while Arinna is arms length from him as a Sun Goddess. Both are depicted variously upon the famous Hittite cylinder seals, all crafted during the Hatti New Kingdom Period and in counterpart to a comparable great age of the Egyptians.

I also include the KAL winged gods (above) to make the point that the Anatolians eventually equated them, perhaps because of Helen, with the winged Harpies of hideous female gender — the supposed daughters of Zephyros the West Wind, all deities invested with powers to serve dire redress and severe retribution upon greatly offending mortals of highest statures.

Helen by way of reply could not offer as yet a full-fledged pantheon by the earliest Greeks. But her deities too were myriad as titans and titanesses. The closest she could express of a counterpart hierarchy of deities relative to the Hatti was her world obtained from five distinct creations. The last two of such a syncretic holiest order were solely by the Great Mother and Earth Goddess Gaia after three prior creations before humanoid “Life” itself as both immortal Titans and Titanesses. There was also her Last Creation of mortal living things, including monsters, giants, chimeras and freakish human beings who lived for so long that they were nigh immortal. Helen would also point out that they were all anthropomorphic deities that were never depicted, even allegorically, as bestial or theronic. Her favorite goddesses enacted material and emotional constructs that fused with favorite “Man-Gods” whose composed aspects were exclusively those of raw power, inputs of energy and applied force as in numerous ways brought to a deified aspect. Accordingly, Helen could amuse Padukhepa though her description of Gaia as Earth at deliverance of geological manifestations, or at “walking around” upon the surface of her globe, happily at creating titans, for instance, as mountain cascades and floods; or at conceiving deities of like great force and kinetic power while also nurturing many daughter titanesses into becoming manners or fashions of shaped matter, emoted strong feelings and other tangible wonders of herself as Mother Nature.

Or, to plagiarize here off the Roman mythologist Ovid, in answer to what Padukhepa must have asked, say, as “Tee Hee! You mean that Gaia emerges from the Earth in human form and then finds, or found, all sorts of places in the sea or upon the land where to create habitat and spawns of mortals and immortals?”

“Oh, Yes, Your Majesty, just so and so easily, too,” replied Helen. “But also by appearing to our ancestors as the many goddesses who are her surrogates, to do the walking and appearing for herself in  Transcendence among us mortals. That way she can be the All-Holy-One but also the Many All-Holy.  You have said that you know well about our famous Eleusinian Mysteries: I can only say of them that they were introduced to humankind by Gaia as the Many All-Holy through our Mother Demeter, also our Queen Measurer & Apportioner, along with her daughter Korë Sitopotiniya, “Queen Maiden of Grains,” a goddess of seasonal renewals unto great bounties. They’ve taught us how to venerate properly the renewal from winter’s dormancy of Mother Demeter’s fecundity, through tilth of the awakened soils and by our husbandry of vastly tamed livestock brought through “the dropping season” of their young. Howsoever bred off once ferocious feral cattle, boars or great hind, my Highlanders by the Great Land of Gaia feel just as devout towards them, too, as served through her two wilderness surrogates, the Goddess Beasts Wild [The Theia Therön] and her daughter Querasiya, whom girls and maidens adore as the Huntress Maiden. Even as an eternally young, a teenager, she’s the holy midwife at care of all births of wild creatures both greatest and smallest!”

“Why not a goddess, then, who’s both of them at once?” Padukhepa likely asked with delight. “Whether a matron or a maiden, by whichever appearance might befit your Gaia’s mood to recreate herself in aspect, has she not that kind of power?”

“A very good question,” Helen replied with greatest enthusiasm. “But she simply doesn’t do that, act that way. As our Many All-Holy she seems to take aspects of great meaning by her appearances as godheads contrived as divine trinities, and thereby, I should add, they appear as crone or matron or maiden of a female rank order. Our Fates are like that: A maiden spins spools of thread off a distaff to form myriad Fates, then a matron weaves some threads with others into a skein of a person’s many Fates to know many other persons; and then, that skein complete, the twine is snipped just when a whole lifetime comes to its inalterable death day! Our Trinity of the Day is a most appealing and most feeling aspect in trinity as our cozy and reassuring Maiden Eos the Dawn, but she’s most radiant as the Midday Matron Hemera, who floats high aloft under her Mother Theia the Blue Sky and the Orb of her brother Helios until every late afternoon. Then, like the crone Fate, Crone Hespera the Dusk escorts Helios down and beyond the far western horizon of enwrapping Ocean. By her pleasant evening twilight, though, she’s become so old and feeble that she needs her daughters the Hesperides to help her finish the whole day through as its nighttime rendered luminous solely through her sister the Moon Goddess Silenë. Both of them flirtatious nymphs besides, they somehow stay always feisty maidens to take lovers for the pleasure of their manly lifetimes. All through the Night they are as though daughters of the First Creatrix, Nyx the Night, who’s also deemed the great grandmother of Gaia.”

“I could go on and on about trinities,” Helen might have said at another time. “But to understand them, they are mostly familiar as their maiden aspects, whereby most delightful and performing as aloof matrons in aspect, and yet most transcendent one, too, as wise and discerning crones—such as Gaia really is for all us mere mortals, thus a most loving aspect of humankind as her divinity taken as both one and as many all at once or as either. It’s all can make a person quite dizzy!”

“What a pretty land must be Hers – yours, Our Lovely Helen!” Great Queen Padukhepa can be imagined to have said.

“Indeed it is, my liege Holy Queen, because we are still in our Idyllic Age since Gaia’s Last Creation, although we now have so many mean persons abounding who feel compelled to invade and trespass upon us. They do so just because the Great Land is so much more delightful than their frosty withered grasslands and far wastelands of Hyperborea, from which, I suppose, they are mostly oncoming. For all our efforts to sustain our great peace, we always have some awful warriors suddenly arisen to interrupt the tranquility. And now I might cause howsoever briefly her reckoning of a proper time for the God of Violence, especially should my Highlanders come east across the sea to recapture me, the Queen Holy Matriarch who can’t help loving them all!”

I’m sure that Padukhepa always found Helen modest about herself while telling about all the accumulated beliefs of her subject Highlanders. Too obviously they included their unabashed veneration of herself for her awesome sexual appeal. But Helen’s most delightful self was always to see brightest sunshine upon everything, and all people, too, and the best of earthly aspects she recited about while exuding a most warming, radiant charisma, thus always to affect a most hopeful and optimistic attitude towards whatever next must happen to the audiences who assembled most genuinely to adore her. Helen was far better than any Love Goddess. Notwithstanding that there could only be tears upon passing mention that she’d lost her daughter Hermionë, likely forever, to the Queen of the Hatti, I must opine, Helen was as though her own Sun Goddess – the Lady of Arinna. Known best throughout the New Kingdom’s vastness, she was alternatively Astarte, or Ishtar, or Astoreth, or Ashtat, or even Aphroditë.  As the last, though, she was whom Helen’s lowland Greeks took instead to be once a Titaness invoked as the Surf Maiden of Crashing Foam. Be sure, though, that Padukhepa replied with an entirely different litany of Aphrodite’s attributes, such as her meanness of spirit, fierce demeanors, her disdain for the utterly chaste and abstinent, thus capable of perilous mood swings and a sometimes fiendish disposition to debase women such as Helen for their highly refined upbringing.

The Immanent Trojan War

As these sorts of conversations became regularly recurrent amidst Padukhepa’s imperial entourage, there passed the four years of the Trojan War Advent. About that onset Helen was kept ignorant. Yes, even as her court interpreter by descent from Ganymedes, likely a man well-disposed to her happy future, stayed entirely aware that Alexander would never give Helen back to the Greeks, that minister and courtier was well aware that treaty negotiations had taken place at City Troy of Troias. Conducted over the winter of 1262/61, the parlay had failed dismally just upon a near moment that almost affected a rich ransom and obligatory restoration. An offer was refused despite most generous terms from Menelaos. Helen knowing nothing of that, so immersed was she in the delights of an imperial reception, she made the best of the Great Court at Hattusas. She also could not know how famous she had become throughout the New Kingdom for the sensational beauty of her looks, attractiveness of personality and accommodative comportment. Padukhepa’s subjects could hardly wonder that Alexander would hazard all to keep her, by hiding her through his stealth at tactical relocations and, at last, defend her recapture at peril of utter humiliation of himself.

For she was a queen far above himself, and he a low person already failed at consortship in proof of his low level of consciousness. Because Helen was prepared for highest sovereignty over repressed and oppressed people, she was coveted as perfect to become his Wilusans “most hallowed majesty.” Frankly, we should never wonder that anyone was uncertain that she was permanently under capture. The loss of her was barely even considered.

Likely, while still halting at any speech spoken by her host royal personages, or by highest sovereign guests from other satellite high kingdoms, Helen showed command, grace and very rapid assimilation of all the most royal qualities of the Hatti great queens. Next to Padukhepa, of course, she shone solely in reflection of an exemplary demeanor as high as hers was; but there could not be any rivalry or jealousy between them. In a way they accepted how they outshone each other. Her Imperial Majesty was definitely the more transcendent grace and most unquestioned supreme person of her sex then alive. But even Padukhepa would readily concede that the young Helen was all that she should be to make a great people out of “husband” Alexander’s subjects, whether under the High Kingdom of the Wilusans or under the Trojans who would be charged with the ultimate keeping of Helen.

All she needed was to learn their languages fluently, whereupon the imperial court must impose strict duty upon her Consort Protector the High King Alexander, whereby the termination of his safety as a suppliant. He could no longer shirk his duties as a satellite head-of-state, along with all obligations and contributions made regularly and annually unto the New Kingdom. Still, for all four years of the war’s advent, and during the first two years of hostilities, Alexander shirked. And when he was admonished, even threatened for render4ing himself virtually abdicated, he took Helen in flight in every manner and way to avoid taking her into Wilusas and defending her recapture there. And just what those obligations of contribution were, even as we shall have to theorize, stemmed from Wilusas’ primary resources and comparative advantages. It was a vast grassland interwoven broad spread old growth woodlands, and likely the greatest cattle region of all the High Kingdoms in liege subjection to the imperial Hatti at mid-century of the 13th BC.

I must make an aside here, therefore, about Alexander’s “royal portfolio” that’s separate from all that he had by his rich maternal legacy off mother Hekabë. Classical Studies Buffs, by whom most all readers who know Alexander from Classical Greek Mythology and its Trojan War Saga, accept solely a mythological personage named Paris as a supposed foundling. As Alexander, the Abductor of Helen, they must unlearn the lessons of their youth out of that opera. It’s time that we know what’s little known about him, even if sparse and greatly filtered as his historicity by myth. Cardinally, nonetheless, he is always fundamentally a prehistoric High King Alexander over the Wilusans as born and exalted to the Trojans.

Insights into Alexander the Trojan Hero.

Paris was a rogue who was invented, but Alexander became a rogue out of blameworthy character. Greatly favored, supposedly, to adjudge the ranked status of the three principal goddesses inherent the Olympian Pantheon, that judicial role, of course, was exactly what he couldn’t possibly have performed – ever! None of the three goddesses were anywhere near the attributes that they’d possess as paramount tutelary goddesses by a pantheon greatly revised over the four centuries of Greek Dark Age that followed the Trojan War.

His many stories begin with a tale told while he’s Paris, when only a young teenager. A main story element was about the marriage of Great Prince Peleus to the Thetis of Magnesia & the Upper Sporades Isles. So exalted was that troth, on account of Thetis as a supposed an immortal Titaness over the Isles, that invitations had to be sent to all the deities, who must then make their excuses if unwilling to appear at witness of the troth taken. Alas, one very willing Titaness was not invited, and she was Eris Goddess of Strife a/o Violence. Otherwise a War Goddess transcendent over all hostilities between mortals, her male persona or instrument was Enyalios, the precursor to the much greater Olympian God of War who Ares became.

To be so shunned brought Eris to most nasty intrigue, whereby her invention of discord. While the marriage festivities were underway with great merriment, most all invited managing to be in attendance, an apple of pure radiant gold was cast into everybody’s midst, upon which an inscription of its gifting was read to say “For to the Fairest.” Hera, Athena and Aphroditë were brought to outrage as rivals, and then were supposed to argue unto utmost rage against each other, a huge tiff about to whom the apple should be best disposed. Hermes was appointed judge over the arbitration, but he then brought perforce upon the three goddesses the Judgment of Paris. Shirking his own divine and unassailable duty, having refused to perform it in person, Paris was found upon Mount Ida and there became the appointed judge to referee the fairest by the immanence of the three rival goddesses.

I say no more because there’s no allegorical sense whatsoever in the judgement then made, or in the allegation that Paris became subject to bribes from the three ultra-egotistical goddesses. It’s all nonsense even to a reckoning of religious beliefs long prior to the Olympian Pantheon. For “the Fairest” was all three at once, a trinity of supreme matron daughters by direct divine descent from a Gaia of Asia. That alien Great Earth Mother essentially still subsumed them transcendently as the maiden form Creatrix and Great Mother brought somehow to virgin parturition of divine progeny. She was in trinity transcendent as well, having Hera an almighty power by Supreme Female Sovereignty, Athena as a Supremely Effective Inventor of crafts, wiles and wisdoms; and finally, Aphroditë, an Omnipotence of Love and Lust, the catalytic Force Femine which only the Greeks could understand as catalytic to the First Creation (by the intercourse of Nyx the Night and Chaos). Thereby that ardor brought to climax there occurred the Big Bang of the Greeks!

What we have to know of Alexander, instead of all that’s so false about him as a wholly invented Paris, is his conception, then his birth, as the second son born to the marriage of Priam and Hekabë. He was born after many decades of his father’s prurient bachelordom, by mates fully apart the much younger Hekabë, to whom he was likely betrothed or else aspiring of future troth. Hekabë, moreover, was already longtime the High Queen over Wilusas by a long legacy of matriarchal forbears. With the arrival of the Hittites or the Hatti or both as one ethnic identity, the line of descent was compelled to an acceptance of royal sires to whom the hereditary matriarchs presumptive must afford regent custodial majesties. Hekabë had ruled Wilusas apart from Priam, becoming a maiden presence to grace a vast territory of grasslands and tall timber tracts. The grassland conjoined Dardania of Troias whereas the great forest lay most densely as a vast verge over and around the Halys River Basin.

The royal marriage had it proper time of troth and soon had conceived Hektor and Alexander as first progeny, followed by the high princess Kreousa, the future wife of the Trojan hero Aineas son-of-Anchises by the Tröad Kingdom of Dardania. The respective upbringings of the boys were separate, obligating them fully, and respectively, to high princedoms over Troias and Wilusas. Brought up apart, as severed, they were in their late twenties or early thirties of attained age before they were conjoined together as High Princes of the Blood, whereby heirs presumptive as well to their respective high kingdoms where they had been reared to manhood and rendered mature to undertake sovereign powers bestowed by New Kingdom tradition, to make major contribution together and apart to the Hatti might, by annual campaigns to police the imperial and foreign extents of Anatolia.

Upon their reunions, after all the years since tiny boys together, tradition called for cadet marriages arranged for both princes. About Hektor’s cadet marriage thereby under taken we know nothing; about Alexander’s we know of his great fortune to have Oinonë in troth, and of his even greater luck to have her fall in love with him.

A Few Early Conclusions

We are upon the time of the earliest hostilities between the Helladic Period Greeks and the New Kingdom Period Trojans. We have a few speculations about Hektor and Alexander as men arrived to full manhood and obligation to their shared parents. Having dispensed with such background, this serialization becomes to a theme of Helen’s progress through Anatolia by various tactical attempts to evade all agencies –   imperial, Greek or what else – that might capture him with Helen and compel Helen from his grasp. Throughout that progress, and during the hostilities staged at numerous venues of Anatolia, there are stories about them together. Thereby there stories about how they interrelated outside of their passionate assignations with each other.

The mapping of Anatolia and the Levant above begins Helen’s progress beginning where the regional capital Hattusas of the Hatti, at just below the coast of the Black Sea. Where the anachronistically placed Phrygia, above, we should have Wilusas as constrained by the head waters of the two lengthy rivers that coastally debouche at Ephesos and at Smyrna (modern Ismir). From there and thereabouts variously, Helen was finally taken into Ilion. That event took place either late in the 8th campaign year of the Trojan War, or by early spring of the 9th campaign.

Other maps will depict places and geographic features as properly aligned with dates that we have within the New Kingdom Period of the Hatti and the Late Tröadic Period of the Trojans.


for the Bardot Group

 

Teshub: The Hittite and Hurrian storm-god. Son of Kumarbi. Brother of Ishtar and Tasmisu. Consort of Hebat, Huwassanas, Sabasarras and Tasimis. Consort of Shoushkas, some say. Father of Inara, Sharrumas and Telipinus. When Kumarbi overthrew Anu, he spat out three new gods, Teshub, Aranzakh and Tasmisu. Teshub replaced Kumarbi as supreme god and married the daughter of the sea-god, producing the giant Ullikummi who was made of diorite. Others say that Kumarbi married the sea-god’s daughter who bore Ullikummi or that this stone giant was created by Kumarbi to avenge his dethronement by Teshub. When Ullikummi grew so large that he threatened the whole world, Teshub (or Ea, in other versions) cut off the giant’s feet and it fell into the ocean. When his son Telipinu disappeared he searched for him in vain. In one story he was defeated by the demon Illuyankas but Inara gave the dragon and his brood so much food that they got stuck in the opening to their lair. Hupasiyas then tied them up so that Teshub could kill them. Alternatively, when the dragon defeated Teshub, he took his eyes and heart. Telipinu, a son of Teshub, married a daughter of Illuyankas and received the eyes and heart as a wedding gift. He returned them to his father who then slew both his son and the dragon. At times, identified as Teshub, Tarhuis, Tarhuis, Tarhun, Tarhun, Tarhunt, Tarhunt, Tarhuntas, Tarhuntas, Tark, Tark, Tarku, Tarku, Teshup, Teshup, Tesub, Tesub, Tesup, Tesup, Atabyrius, Tushup, Tushup, Tarhun(t), Tarhun(t), Tark(u), Tark(u), Tes(h)up, Tes(h)up, Canaanite Baal, Canaanite Baal, Adad, Cronus, Set, Hattic Taru, Hattic Taru, Sumerian Ishkur, Sumerian Ishkur, Ramman, Sutekh, Sutekh, Ja-ztak, Setekh, Setes, Sut, Sutesh, Suty, Ja-stak, Setes(h), Sut(esh), Babylonian Ramman, Hittite Pappas or Egyptian Rimmon

164th Bardot Blog: Helen’s Abduction into her Anatolian Epoch: Some Necessary Mythography

Our last posting introduced the second part serialization of Bardot Blogs about Helen. It also completed the first part serialization, about6 the epoch spanning her childhood through early marriage as a fostered princess of Lakonia. Under the aegis of the House of Oebalos, notwithstanding intensive tutelage by her mother Nemesis’ nation race (genos) of Highlanders, she had become nigh imperial of stature by her great legacy of alpine territory, such as I again depict alongside this introduction.

New Lands, New Culture and Religion

High Prince Alexander, aka Paris of the Trojan Saga of Myths, had brought her to landfall upon the Levant, and soon found supplication to the higher powers and authority of the Hurrians, a feudatory people under the Hatti, whose several petty kings were like, or in parity, to the stature of the Tröad Kingdoms under his father, High King Priam over Troias & Wilusas. No sooner his recourse as a supplicant to foreign counterparts of the Levant, however, than he was brought north to “the Gateway” into Anatolia with Helen, by way of intercepting the annual campaign of the imperial Hatti issuing therefrom. For the intention was to intercept the campaigners in expectation that a prominent Martial-at-Horse would be his brother Hektor, a seasoned leader of the Trojan contingents since his early years of manhood.

The timing of Helen’s abduction into far eastern Anatolia, by the back door served by the Levant of the Hurrians, coincides with a fraught prehistory attendant the zenith of the imperial Hatti. That superior race of equestrian caste and militant might was at apogee in so far as the conduct of Bronze Age warfare was concerned. Since the rapid imperial ascendancy of Suppiluliumas I beyond three consecutively reigning Great Kings named Tudhaliyas, the Hatti had (1) pushed back pharaoh Seti I and his son, the young Rameses II, under Great King Mutwatallis II. Thereon the next 30 years, the Hatti had (2) consolidated their imperial gains over the Levant, while expanding far beyond the Hurrians, under the brother of Mutwatallis who came to accession as Great King Hattushilis III. The zenith that proved so long by that specific reign was by the Trojan War Era’s inception brought to a pause of its apogee, as the greatly aged Great King had to pass his wisdom tradition to his superb wife Padukhepa, an illustrious queen out of Kizzuwatna, along the south east buffer lands at NNW of the Hurrian Levant. She boldly and brilliantly served dowager duties to her son Tudhaliyas IV awhile is gradual accession into martial supremacy over  the entire panoply of Hatti war alliances; she also continues her collaboration with her husband, despite his dotage, at bringing to the New Kingdom over the Hatti a most robust ecumenical religiosity to all subject ethnicities.

What we mean by fraught prehistory, though, is the attendant decadence of Bronze Age warfare in the face of an advancing Iron Age warfare that the “New Assyrians” had begun to wage so effectively above and throughout Mesopotamia. Assyria was consolidating a new imperial era through a coalescence of disloyal Hurrians, the fully conquered Mitanni and their main tribes under petty kings that ruled northern territory upstream the great rivers Euphrates and Tigris. Accordingly, Hatti campaigns annually issuing forth through the Pillars or Gates of eastern Anatolia were becoming warfare to contain Assyrian threats through the allied nation races at continuing supremacy at chariot warfare upon desert terrain. There must be speculated, however, that there were also reverses at infantry warfare as superior weapons by wetted forged steel by Assyrian smithies began to prove their superior temper over the best of forged bronze swords and copper plated armor. So, as Tudhaliyas IV sought to retain imperial extent in the far east, or “orient” by the then Near East, every campaign year brought back increased concern over the Hatti staying power. As Alexander and Helen entered Anatolia via the Levant, in 1364 BC, the effect of such concerns was a peaking of imperial attentiveness to that challenge. Likely it was nothing more, though, for the Hatti still had great self-confidence in the loyalty and rewards  from spoils warfare that earned their Great Kings due regard of “a Great Father” over all the satellite high kingdoms that rimmed around the Halys River Basin and the capital fortress city of Hattusas.

We cannot say for sure that Hektor actually met his brother Alexander upon some field of war. His commanded contingents most certainly did, though, and they brought the High Prince the news that he was now the High King over Wilusas, the realm of his mother, High Queen Hekabë. In proof of that, we additionally speculate, the rearguard commands of the Hatti included Wilusan cattle drovers and other livestock supervisors in support of that 1264 campaign deployments. These rearguard elements must duly have bowed in loyal homage to their new liege majesty.

Alexander’s Newly Realized Stature

Likely Alexander shied away from any meeting with his brother Hektor. Most certainly he was sought for already as the abductor of Helen, by new relayed about Helen and him across the entire extent of the Anatol. He did not wish to trade his security as a granted imperial supplicant for membership in the martial adjutant command ranks over the Trojan Foot by reason of his abilities as a champion- and martial-at-Archery. The latter most surely would have removed Helen from him until the higher command over the campaign year could adjudge her proper disposition to imperial authority.

Let me explain here, however, the realized great stature forthcoming to Alexander. His High Kingdom of Wilusas was, in fact, a hybrid matriarchate, by a legacy and pattern of successions that laid utmost stress on the sacral matrilineage of “mothers of kings,” This is to say that the sacral majesty of queens still had preeminence over royal scions, whether they were those queens’ fathers, husbands or sons. We know this from a favorite question posed by the Roman Emperor Tiberius to his party guests: It went in gist, “Who were the kings under Hekabe, and were they presumptive as her father, husband or son.”

While that’s a dilemma, most certainly a conundrum posed, its answer as either is not ascertainable for sure. The answer to Tiberius’ question, though, was “All three!”, whether all such candidate were still living or not. For Hekabë’s father Dymas had ruled autocratically while she was a girl as her Regent Custodian, and was still sovereign over Wilusas even as he married Priam to become his High Queen Consort over the Trojans. As soon as Dymas died, however, she was outright High Queen of the Wilusans having delivered her heiress presumptive Alexandra/Kassandra and her twin brother Helenos even as she had full powers to raise her second son by Priam to Regent or “High King & Stud” to sire a future High Queen of the Wilusans by his chosen wife. For that wife would then earn stature for her deliverance of a granddaughter, Hekabë’s designated heiress presumptive by way to supplant Kassandra (as her name is best known to us from Classical Greek Mythology)*.

[Greek myths about Kassandra have her greatly diminished as a royal presence among the Trojans for having been rendered outcast as a highest sacral priestess and Hekabë’s heiress apparent as the Trojan royal princess of the formal grant name Alexandra. Her true status was by her upbringing away from Troias as High Princess Alexandra of the Wilusans, but also as a High Priestess by her mantic gifts as a prophetess. The myth about Apollo spitting upon her mouth, whereby all her prophecies would come true but be wholly disbelieved before their realizations, is by contrived variance, thus false prehistory, from the formal demotion of Kassandra as her manifest status by the Greek Trojan Saga composed to rhapsodist recitals before Homer’s The Iliad. By this revisionist lore, Alexandra never is mentioned as High Princess over the Wilusans. [refer to www.MYTH INDEX.com]

Returning to the stature of Alexander, he was the High King as “Sire Presumptive” to a future, or next High Queen over the Wilusans. Her progeny would take stature from her supreme matrilineage by Hekabë as expressed through her natural son Alexander, a direst sire of her ultimate successor. We also have, incidentally, another great love of Alexander to consider in this particular context. She is Oinönë, a princess by way of being a daughter of a river god, a royal born High Priest or a former King of Mount Ida that the Trojan Antenor supplanted. Whoever she was, we take her as the former wife of Alexander awhile a cadet marriage arranged for him before Wilusas and Troias were conjoined high kingdoms. While such wedlock served well for petty royal alliances, it was a far lesser troth than the formal betrothal and troth required of a high royal wife. Despite that caveat, we adjudge Oinönë a wife of first worth, a sacral majesty brought to any High Prince who might covet her. Accordingly, his desertion of her for Helen, by whom he became a bigamist, was cardinal sin by Anatolian marriage law. He was fortunate that Oinönë did not bear him a child, for her rights of assertion would have been equal to any progeny that he sired through Helen.

Alexander insisted, and thereby somehow managed, we think, a martial escort of Helen and himself by grant of safe passage directly to the High Court of Kizzuwatna. There minister surrogates of Great Queen Padukhepa could take them in hand and seek the imperial authority of their liege sovereign and queen  about what to do with the suppliant refugees. Here, moreover, we make an even greater supposition, entirely reasoned speculation, about what those surrogates adjudicated. That was, after deliberation, to send them on with full honor escort to the capital seat of Hattusas, and into the presence there of Queen Padukhepa herself. Whether still the Great Queen or the Queen Dowager we cannot know. The dates allow us to interpret her husband at an age when either he’s still living but late into his dotage or just recently deceased. Padukhepa, a much younger woman than Hattushulis III, would still stand highest as an imperial authority

What eased her surrogates’ decision was the continual high royal presence at the capital of a Trojan plenipotentiary descended from Ganymedes son-of-Trös. A High Prince of Troias, the brother of high Princes Assarakos and Ilus during the middle decades of the 14th century BC, he’s supposed by Classical Greek Myth as a handsome prince abducted from his father by Zeus—for which heinous and overtly homosexual act Trös was made rich by the amends afterwards. So divinely favored, Ganymedes became the Cup Bearer of the Olympians, displacing the gorgeous Goddess Hebë, wife of Herakles, in that role.

This myth is allegorical, but close by its historicity, to another myth, about the Supreme God of the Hatti whom we shall name Teshub (a/o Teșup). It goes quite simply as the envoy Ganymedes visiting the Great Court of Suppiluliumas I where he made great sensation of his handsomeness, congenial personality and honesty as an appointed plenipotentiary of his father High King Trös. Instated at the Great Court, his residency at Hattusas soon manifest his great favor among all the courtiers at active ministry for their home realms. Ganymedes made so clear that he was of conjoint loyalty to Trös and Suppiluliumas’s best self-interests that he became a leading imperial advisor on all foreign matters of the imperial state. Accordingly, all high princes after him at annual campaign marches though the Halys River Basin had a firm friend in whomever descendant from Ganymedes was then living. And by his became the steadfast loyalty of Troias to the Hatti, most certainly for greatest consideration in return.

This myth makes great sense, even if a speculation, because there was no Zeus of the 14th century BC that was so transcendent that he would have rivaled Teshub. Conversely, that the Greeks would translate a myth about Ganymedes’ paramountcy during the revered reign of Suppiluliumas as by that Great King’s apotheosis as a Tabarnas (god king) under the aegis of the All Mighty Storm God Teshub. For later Greeks equate Zeus with Teshub thereby is entirely reasonable, as we shall discuss in our next posting, the 165th Bardot Blog about the ecumenical religiosity of the New Kingdom Hatti.

Alexander the Suppliant as Married to Helen

As soon a suppliant in residence, his accession to High King even as a liege subordinate, Alexander formalized his troth to Helen despite the bigamy that we’ve aforementioned by his marriage to Oinönë. Quite likely his exculpation in that regard stemmed directly from the outstanding effect that Helen had upon the Hatti Great Court. She was instantly an object of greatest appeal, and of a special paramountcy as well. She was, after all, already an exemplary Queen of the Highlanders and commanding of vast landedness not unalike to the vastness and nature of territory by Wilusas.

So commanding of presence, she was also singularly so by assessment of the imperial Queen Padukhepa. Thus the beginning of an affinity which we will explore of Helen’s Anatolian Epoch, as it unfolds through subsequent Bardot Blogs that are next to be presented.

 
 for the Bardot Group

 

 

163rd Bardot Blog: Helen’s Abduction and her Anatolia Epoch

Why We’re Glum at Outset:

We find especially disheartening academics who misuse the legacy scholarship by the Humanities, with respect to Classical Studies in particular, whenever they render overly verbose literary analyses about everything that’s ever been written, or discussed, or screen projected, about a famous mythic personage. Helen is certainly exemplary of such a subject heroine. Now that we’ve completed the first twenty-one years of Helen’s earliest lifetime as a foster princess of Greece’s Laconia (through a series of Bardot Blogs, No. 156-161), we venture our readers into the little realized biography of her as compelled to exile from Greece from 1239 to circa 1219 BC.

We’re also moving into the advent of the Trojan War, beginning from the Abduction of Helen in 1239 BC. [That’s 1264 BC by the Middle Dating Method minus 25 years by the Latest Dating Method. Refer, Our Good Fans, to Bardot Blog No 162 to recalibrate yourself on dating of oldest Antiquity.] This posting initiates, therefore, an epoch that’s slightly longer than the Heroine’s own declaration of duration for her captive years at the very end of The Iliad. For then she says, both fey and wondrously, that she’s been away from husband, daughter and home for twenty years.

Allow me to be briefly here a pedant, by saying that those twenty years include the year just after her declaration, when Troy was finally to fall, and thereby she became liberated by her husband Menelaos from a brief period of humiliation. The last years of her epochal captivity subjected her to debasing sexual abuse by the Trojans. The Trojan War, we must also explain, was already overly protracted at beyond the time and circumstance of The Iliad’s setting within the 9th campaign year. The entire twenty years, we estimate accordingly, composed from four years of the Trojan War’s advent, ten years of the War’s Duration of hostilities, and six years of aftermath and delayed return to Lakonia. The return, moreover, was a delay during which Helen was supposedly stranded somewhere upon the delta of the Nile River, which the oldest Greeks once called Nilotis. All of this now said in brief is part of the Trojan War Saga as brought to mythic literature by the Ancient Greeks who lived seven full centuries after Helen and other legendary forbears who had lived to enact Homer’s exceeding robust prehistory.

We’re about to challenge that mythography, even to expunge ourselves of the Trojan War Saga, in order to render entirely novel mythography. For the abduction of Helen brought her into another civilization that was mutual to the High Kingdom of Troias and the imperial Great Kingdom of Hatti and Hittite Anatolia. It is our conviction that Helen was exposed at fullest immersion within the latter from 1239 to 1229, after which she became the ill-fated Queen Consort to High King Alexander over Wilusas for just short of three years. This is also to say, with strictest emphasis, that Helen and Alexander/Paris lived within the fortress ramparts of Ilion, a foremost kingdom of Troias, from the winter recess of the 8th campaign year to the fall of Troy, whose date we adhere to at 1225. It almost could be said that she barely was able to know the famous heritage site of the Iliad.

         Why we’re so disheartened  – myself in particular at authoring this venturesome posting – is because of scholars such as Ruby Blondell, the author of the pictured book just above. The Professor begins her 2012 tome about Helen with one of several assertions that shape her Helen in gender, agency and ethics, all such roles appurtenant to the Trojan War as catalytic to the hostilities. By first assertion Helen is an object of patriarchal control. Blondell says, “I should therefore make it clear from the outset that this book is not about the`real’ Helen…..Or about the real Helen, whom I take to be in her essence unreal.” Accordingly, she further asserts, and I paraphrase, anything real and prehistorical about Helen is uninteresting dreck and of no account by comparison to the constant regurgitation of literary insights into Helen’s myriad and wholly fictional characterizations awhile the evolution of Western Literature as a world literature.

Why We Differ from Eggheads by the Tortuous Humanities:

Of course, needless to say but said anyway, I’m beggared to conceive of Helen as a totally fictional personage throughout the millennia of so much said about her. That kind of dreck, the real stuff, is exactly what the Bardot Group is never about. We’re full of our own stuff and nonsense, perhaps. Howsoever it may seem, we render famous fictional characterizations more robustly, by presupposing them based upon the actual persons who actually were brilliantly captured via the Great Oral Tradition’s recitations, dating from 1525 to 1200 BC, whereby the robust historicity behind their lifetimes. Our quest is always for the real core history of the Late Aegean Bronze Age in amalgamation. That realized opera comes from oldest writ ever, by syllabaries that existed before their expressed content had achieved their alphabetic compositions. In gist, we’re about component periods and timelines. We’ve become confidant to say, and elucidate, a brief apogee of several contemporaneous, very great civilizations at a congruence of their zeniths by the mid-century of the 13th century BC.

Having ended about Helen as a Greek Heroine, we concluded with Bardot Blog No 161 about what might have been the reckoning of Helen as soon as she began her first year as a Anatolian Helen, the stolen wife who would become the queen consort to a high king, by whom over twenty-years of another unwanted preeminence that she would obtain from the greatest royalties of the Hatti Imperial Age and New Kingdom.

 

Some Introductory Mythography

So then to begin, allow that Helen has been stolen away and a reckoning must now begin about how Alexander the Abductor got away clean with the utterly delicious carnal delight he would have with the most beautiful woman in the world. I draw a somewhat lengthy passage from our book Embassy Outbound : The Trojan War Advent I, 2008, Bardot Books, Limited Edition Release, New York. All below is casted within quotes and goes as follows as declamation in italics by Helen’s husband Menelaos………….

Later, our important business done for that day, our pent up curiosity over the Trojan Delegation became so keen that Odysseus urged Menelaos to tell us about Alexander. Upon the mere suggestion, Nestor almost commanded that he do so; I [Mentör son-of-Alkimos], too, urged his recital, since I’d heard too many conflicting versions, none of which compelled full credence given the thinness of their facts.

Menelaos raised his hands and, as he so often did while conjuring, he rubbed his beard vigorously and scratched away at his jaw for some sort of inspiration about just where to start. Finally he shrugged, squared his shoulders, and sat ready to begin.

“My understanding of what happened is simple enough. We’d  had a few wonderful days of audiences and outings with the Trojan delegation. I’d liked every member; I’d trusted them all, although Alexander had flirted openly with Helen. He’d cast fond, sometimes fiendish gazes her way; he’d even made a deliberate ass of himself with his improprieties. Nothing unusual in that. Helen, because of her own effusion of frivolous compliments, fools all men who first meet her. She’s always open in her frank pleasure in our guests, and commented constantly on the youth and grace of that particular delegation. While this was hardly true of Alexander, who’s in his late thirties, he liked to hear her speak her silky praises. I must admit, too, that even to a man’s eye the Trojans made a handsome entourage. During their stay they’d become popular spectacle among the people of Amyklai and Therapnë.

“Otherwise, Alexander comported himself well. I never thought him capable of a successful seduction, nor that Helen could ever be single-minded in her attentions upon him. There wasn’t the slightest lapse in our routines of either morning or evening. We alternated at our sovereign duties to include our honored guests. I’m not even sure now that a seduction is really what happened. A mesmerization seems the more likely possibility.

“The rest, to speak truthfully, is greatly confusing to me in all its particulars. I’m of the conviction that she was drugged by a potion, perhaps even overwhelmed by some means short of actual force. I’m not a believer in spells, but I can concede that the gifts of the Goddess must take many forms. I hate to say that Alexander was somehow empowered with those gifts. I make no excuses for Helen, nor do I challenge any man here who insists she eloped. Yet I cannot believe she wasn’t stunned in some fashion. For even her crone maid Aithra says as much.”

“Why should you have suspected anything, Menelaos?” remarked Ikarios in commiseration. “My own mpressions were exactly the same as yours where Prince Alexander was concerned, although I knew him not as intimately as I did Prince Aeneas.”

To which Menelaos responded, “I might have suspected something, from what I’ve heard from the harbor scribe of Läas. We sleuthed out a lot of what must have happened. He made clear the one and only explanation of the Trojans’ motives. Only my Helen could fitly avenge the loss of their stolen princess Hesionë —”

“All that from a scribe?” interrupted Odysseus, somewhat stunned.

“Because he was made instrumental to Alexander’s plan, Odysseus! A plan for him alone, a native, to become sole witness — because most able to make bruit of her capture abroad our wide seas. Nobody else could do so well!”

“That I can scarcely believe,” intoned Odysseus.

Menelaos shrugged off that remark, and continued, “Helen never left me any word whatsoever, perhaps for my own sake. But given her opportunity to do so, I must reckon as well upon the many possessions of our matrimony that were stolen away with her —”

“So she was stolen!” Odysseus interrupted again, most irritatingly. “Your Lakonians still believe her abducted. Why don’t you!?! For had she truly eloped, she would have said something about her determination to that folly, if no more than to offer the nurse Aithra and her tiny daughter Hermione the meager consolation of an explanation for her deliberate desertion of them both!”

Menelaos waved his hand in negation. “Whether there was a plot to strike, and if so where and whom, is still in question. Likely Helen decided his final resolve, to make our innocent Lakonia suffer for the misdeeds of an Argive Confederacy when my father ruled here through his puppet Hippoköon. Back then his liege kings raided and ruptured the peace of too many lands far abroad. Once Alexander resolved to possess Helen, all that was left was to await the next moment of my inattention. Then he could work his bewitching charms.

“I was not entirely deluded throughout: There was a wolf in his eye. Nonetheless, I had not the least indication that he’d aroused Helen to recklessness. As I’ve said, her own impulses appear to have been so sudden that I have to suspect wicked agencies.”

Menelaos paused then, his expression showing the enduring struggle of any man to understand behaviors too odd, by attendant events too blurred, in their passage. As if concluding that no one explanation could ever suffice, he resumed:

“The word of Grandfather Katreos’ death was not surprising. There was already a vigil amassed and underway at Gortyna, the birthplace of his mother and the place where he’d chosen to die. Anaxabaia my sister had already traveled south to offer her honors at the vigil. I’d been in readiness for some time to hear of his passing. I left Helen quickly upon that news, the faster to bring off my return from Crete.

“I didn’t like my grandfather, the late Minos. My mother did, however, despite the fact that he made her suffer the worst humiliation — a denouncement — and that for a time he knowingly forced her into a desperation unto wantonness. He disinherited my Aunt Phratsia, and her most wrongfully. He openly accused both of them of fornicating with lowly man-servants. Then he sent them away with Nauplius the Pirate with instructions to sell them into slavery. Fortunate that his son, the Black Commodore Nauplius Son of the Wrecker, saw beyond the Minos’ reckless myopia. He took Aunt Phratsia for his own bride and married off my mother to a good, although aged man — Pleisthenes — from whom she was soon widowed.

“Still, I must grant him, Grandfather Katreos relented later. He lavished generosity upon both his daughters. He saw my mother through the worst years of her marriage to my father. He’d become a cruel, wicked man by then, especially where her own beliefs and traditions were concerned, and was so utterly incapable of love as to be unworthy of affection from anyone. Grandfather Katreos had to threaten him with dire consequences if there was any further mistreatment of my mother. He had that power, too, for all that he was determined to avoid its use end to support the amity of wedlock between the Houses of Minos and Pelops. He also befriended Uncle Thyestes, when most men at the time would not, solely because of my late mother’s abiding love and many times of happiness by him. Because of Thyestes and what my cruel father did to abet my mother’s death, Crete never made pledge to, or participated in, the War for Ephyrëa — or as I’m brought up to know it, the War of the Holy and Unholy.

“Yes, for her sake alone I owed Grandfather a formal farewell and a gift offering of the House for his funeral games. But I was determined to be damned brief about it.”

Our company listened patiently to the Wanax’ lengthy, painful excuses for leaving Helen so alone. In silence we sympathized with his inward need to justify actions that had since released such a tumult of calamitous events. Soon he managed to resume his plain tale:

“I’d  barely arrived and settled into Amnisos Harbor when word of Helen’s abduction came south. There also came word that great thefts from the House had been made. I was astounded, but hardly slow to react. Useless news, howsoever quickly sent: The winds that had raced it to us now raged upon Amnisos as steady arrays of frothing combers. Ëtesian Winds, they howled their strong protest directly against my homeward return. I could neither tack nor row into that steady blast. Prince Idomeneos, being a close cousin, launched his fastest ships, took me aboard, and decided our best recourse lay upon the easier bearings along Alexander’s possible flight. We headed east across the Karpathan Sea, rowing against the constant leeway as well as we could, spread abreast for our best vigilance over that main. We hoped thereby to cut off Alexander’s retreat toward Anatolia by anticipating his choice of the fastest winds. They held constantly and directly eastward, ever away and strong along the Levantine Corridor.

“That wind had an evil genius. Its strength allowed too many quarters of flight to the east and south, even if none whatsoever to the north towards Troias. At sea, I would discover, all opportunity falls to the thief in full flight. Rarely is any chance offered to his pursuer. So it has proved for me.

“As we were to know much later from the Cretan sea lords amain, Alexander’s fleet could not bear up to our chasing wind once it had passed by Kythera. Idomeneos and I had overestimated the Trojan’s seamanship relative to my own embassy’s. Alexander had to abandon his chosen headings. Forced to bear directly before the rolling swells, he tried to make landfall upon the Kydonian Chersonese. This was ill luck for us. The wind had become too strong, or the commander of his ships feared too greatly for the safety of his passengers, and so the wind and the high swells drove him west of Crete altogether. Beyond, we’ve come to believe, the Ëtesians forced his ships all the way down to some lee within the Nile Delta. Where exactly nobody’s guess has been worth hazarding, nor has anyone likely guessed any other place correctly since. Yet Cretan merchants are convinced of that landfall, by various reports to them of Helen’s sighting. A rumor persists that Helen has earned herself status as a protegee of the Pharaoh himself, whereby the Trojans were altogether graced as his suppliants.”

“There, too, Menelaos, you have another instance of her complicity,” Nestor said.

The Wanax shrugged the interruption off, continued: “Alexander, the Cretans believe, waited out the adverse wind for quite some time. Once he embarked again, he traveled short daytime legs eastward from the Nile until he’d skirted around the Rim of the Levant. We suspect he found port somewhere upon the Kilician coast from which to travel overland into Karia, and from there across Old Maeonia. Thence he would have arranged for a protected homecoming via the Tröad Outback.”

“You know a world,”  Nestor commented, “that few can name so well.”

Menelaos shrugged again. “Our last returned heralds have reported that Priam is well informed of Alexander’s guest transgressions against myself. Before this, he was honestly ignorant of the particulars. He continues to deny any ken of Alexander’s whereabouts. My heralds are convinced that he speaks the truth in that denial. They corroborate Talthybios, my brother’s herald.

“He’ll make his denials until someday he says instead to our heralds, ‘Why should I heed your threats when my own complaints for my sister’s abduction have always been rebuffed?’

“Yes, when he says those words, or something like them, you’ll know he’s no longer ignorant of where Alexander is, or of what he’s done himself to sanction the abduction.”

So for a strong lesson from the Bardot Group and me — Bardot Books’ author in pseudonyn — at modest contribution to the legacy scholarship that relates to our fictional Helen of the Highlanders. She was, however, real and vivid enough their  Queen Holy Matriarch. She’s in that way whom we take to have been the real Helen of prehistory, and not ever a “Helen of Sparta,” as a princess so-called by much later Ancient Greeks of the 1st millennium BC.

Whither Helen Away? Whence the Progression of her Captivity?

Helen left behind her the beginning of the Trojan War. It took four years to finally bring off an invasion of Ilion by landings upon the kingdom’s Scamander Plain. That was precede by an embassy of ransom for restoration in the autumn of 1262, and ending as soon as the new naval year of 1261. The even called First Aulis aborted with the reckless and premature invasion of Anatolia by Agamemnon and the Argives, whereupon they became trapped for failure of Palamedes to find the correct point of landing. That error led to a blockade of the transport ships so that they could not retreat. The Argive reinforcements, mostly horse troops under High Prince Diomedes, could not break the blockade and had to divert themselves to Lesbos Island. Odysseus brought off a retreat, and used the opportunity to create a land blockade around Ilion through a systematic invasion of Highlanders under Menelaos and his chief adjutant Mentör. There followed Second Aulis and the long delay of the First Campaign Year. But the armada of invasion was upon the North Rim Sea of the Aegean by the last of summer of 1261. By then Menelaos’ blockade was successful all the way from the Adrymittion Strait around Lesbos to Kyzikos upon the Sea of Marmara.

Second Aulis affirmed the Martial Order of Helen. Barely begun than Agamemnon sought to preempt everybody else of his host at command by invading anew below the Kingdom of Ilion for a war of conquest and spoils throughout the Tröadic Kingdoms’ Outback via coastal Dardania, a first attempt to reach the interior of Wilusas where Helen and Alexander were supposed at repose. The Great Wanax of the Argives proving himself once again inept at supreme command, the First War Anniversary brought only two rewards: (1) a sweep of all naval opposition from coastal Anatolia; and (2) a fully reinforced blockade of the Highlanders by the Minyan Expeditionary forces under Great Prince Achilles over the Minyans.

We shall proceed no further into the ensuing hostilities and their campaign years. Our fictional declamation of Menelaos, quoted above, may be incorrect in one respect, but only upon a very recent reconsideration. The Bardot group was originally of the conclusion that Alexander took Helen away under sufferance of a sea storm. That surge caused leeway drift as far south as the delta of the Nile River. We now think that the landfall achieved, a finally affected refuge from stormy seas, was either at Ashkelon or at Sidon of the Levant. Both of them along the Levantine Main that runs north to south, Alexander could readily assert himself the High Prince of Wilusa and of Troias. Rendering to his hosting landfall’s royal governor the temporary obeisance of a suppliant unto firm ally of the Hatti Great Kingdom, there was then the long concordat in effect through the Pharaoh Rameses II and the Tlabarnas Tudhaliyas IV. His credentials were likely vetted during the brief period under grant of suppliance, until Alexander was deemed what he said he was, a High Prince of the House of Laomedon bringing home his bride of alliance to the united high kingdoms of Troias and Wilusas. Alexander’s host offered him rights of safe passage as far as Aleppo, where he could await the arriving campaigners from the imperial center of Anatolia. Alexander dealt with mostly friendly Levantines along the way. We mostly know them as Canaanites from the Bible, but they were actually the Kinawöün people of the broad littoral coastal plain that runs along the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.  We’re now, therefore, within another imperial age and its vastness, under the once mostly unknown foreign imperium of the Hatti, or else under Egyptian governance by the greatest dynasty ever, the 19th of the New Kingdom.

Alexander could expect the important arrival of Trojan chariotry with numerous battle horses in train, both very strong compliments under his brother Hektor. For such was likely the tithe of annual contribution to his Great King, while also offering his own fealty to the new war campaign years as befit his father Priam’s pledged obligations to Tudhaliyas IV. Alexander would greet fondly, albeit with the fait accompli of his enormous misdeed in taking a stolen wife. I end this posting about the abduction still ongoing upon that expectation and point of resumption about how Helen herself was disposed to her new Fates.

[This is an excellent mapping of the many regional ethnicities, implicit to differing indigenous peoples and their belief systems. They shall allow our continuation of Helen as a vital mythic personage who had important biography within the historicity of the Imperial Hatti’s New Kingdom of the 13th century BC. The above mapping has a few incorrect toponyms and wrong spellings of the acceptable toponyms, such as Gasga Lands for Kaska Lands, Lycia for Lukka, Karia for Millawatna/Millawanda and Kizzuwatna for Kizzuwanda. These are quibbles, though. We shall repeat the map as appropriate to future contexts.]

A Last Aside: Stesichorus

We are also leaving the dominance of the Greek rhapsodists, upon whom most of the source early myth about the Trojan War Era relies. About Helen, their recitations greatly sullied, even pilloried. They laid intense disdain upon her for eloping with Alexander and heedlessly causing a protracted war that destroyed a great philhellenic power, High Kingdom Troias of the fifteen Tröadic Kingdoms. One such Ancient Greek to smear Helen heedlessly was named Stesichorus. Recent discoveries of his lyric poems off the wrappings of Egyptian corpses have us more greatly appreciating him as a Master of lyric poetry by way of bridging the transition of Homer’s hexameter epic verses to lyric epic poems that preceded the Lyric Age of Greece.

Stesichorus always has had notoriety otherwise, for having been stricken blind for castigating Helen much too vociferously. Loss of his sight made clear to him that Helen was truly the daughter of Zeus, and to blaspheme her, therefore, was sure to bear him divine retribution. He managed to propitiate Zeus by way of having his sight restored. He then composed a highly laudatory fiction of a “Helen at Troy” taking the form of her real person in the form of a living incubus, a phantom Helen. He premised the real Helen had been stolen away, and then landed upon the end of the Nile River. She was promptly taken into refuge and lived out the Trojan War Era as the happy guest of some king whose realm located the Nile Delta. Alexander was stymied from taking her as wife and eventually was compelled to return to Troias.

Stesichorus, the story continues, went blind again, and the cause attributed to this second loss of sight was his overly profuse lies woven about the phantom Helen by way of praise and exoneration of her real self as a glamorous supplicant to a royal court of lesser majesty within Nilotis. The Poet simply could not win at either calumny or effuse praise. This story, of course, was utter nonsense to most Ancient Greeks, but it became a Classical Myth by the dramatist Euripides.

We must seek Helen on a northern tract and way of her captivity by Alexander. She somehow managed to fall in love with him, or was caused to love him, awhile the bold adventure Alexander and Helen would undertake once their meeting with Hektor the war campaigner.  New places of deep refuge await them and speak more cogently for the truly impressive young woman of great majesty that she emerged to become from her abduction. For it is beyond any speculation that she became for the highest royalty under the imperial Hatti a queen and woman to daunt all for her beauty and obvious imperial stature.

The Complex Religiosity of the Imperial Hatti’s New Kingdom

Helen and Alexander have both unwittingly entered into 1229 and 1228 BC wherefrom a deep immersion in the imperial ecumenical movement that the Hatti Great Court at Huttusa(s) had been promulgating for decades. There were besides that consolidation of all faiths for harmony’s sake some five very mature belief systems that the Great Court sought assiduously to render into a coherent master religion that honored them all inclusively. This had been the wholly constructive intent of the royal couple, Hattushilish III and High Priestess Padükhepa, his inestimable queen consort.

[Image: This Hatti Kings’ List uses the Late Dating Method for the reigns tabulated. Using the Latest Dating Method, Hattushilish III reigned as either co-regent to his nephew Urhi-Teshub (1267 to 1257) or solely as Great King from to 1257 to 1225 BC. His wife Queen Padukhepa reigned onward in sacral majesty along side Tudhaliyas IV, who was the Great King to bear the news of the fall of City Troy along with the collapse of the High Kingdom of Troias. He himself would preside over the demise of the New Kingdom, as owing to the iron age dominance of New Assyria, even though it would take until 1190 BC for the Hatti to lose all their Levantine possessions and southwestern desert feudatories.]  

Looking Back from Far Centuries Ahead

For most of the centuries since the variously commingled periods of national renaissances throughout Europe, the religion of the Hatti was supposed that of the Hittites out of the Bible. By that consensus, mostly syncretic belief system was supposed a Semitic pagan religion of coastal city-states, or marinas, or fortress harbor townships of the Levant. Certainly there was a copious Early Levantine Mythology, even if it did not survive from cuneiform writ to become emended as a fulsome Phoenician Mythological Tradition out of the 8th century BC renaissance of the Levant afterwards of four full centuries of Dark Age.

During the 1920s the Hittites were rediscovered to have been a vast Hatti equestrian culture out of Bronze Age regions that would become Armenia and Azerbaijan. They came into central Anatolia via migrations from northeast to northwest of the subcontinent. We range the dates of that from the 17th through the end of the 15th century BC. Those centuries of diffusion brought in an imperial age New Kingdom until Assyria, incipient by an Early Iron Age land of plains which were reticulated by many streams that formed headwaters to Mesopotamia. Anatolia, which the New Assyrian Empire substantially absorbed after 1190 BC, has left enormous archival materials, its cuneiform writ featuring largest amidst it. Such lore revealed a prolificacy of the Hatti’s deep concern for religious peace and cultural harmony between the core highest peerage settled within the Halys River Basin and its many satellite kingdoms and high kingdoms coastally surrounding the core imperium. The western river valley floors led around to the Levantine Corridor that achieved the far dry forests and well irrigated deserts of the subcontinent. That southern rim by the corridor made up the indigenous peoples who were the true and original Hittites, speakers of a language called Luwian/Luvvian. Many scholars insist that the Hittites should be called. Instead, the Arzawans/Arzuwans.

With all the legacy scholarship of the Hatti and the Hittites being less than a century’s duration long, we must learn about the religiosity of both consolidated peoples and their feudatory populaces, or just as Helen came to know some of them – most likely very well.

[This alternative mapping of Anatolia introduces the terminology for indigenous populaces throughout Late Bronze Age Anatolia. Their component religions had evolved to considerable maturities and strongly conditioned beliefs. Even so they commingled ecumenically under the enduring aegis of the hallowed Padukhepa, long time their queen and/or dowager as the widow of Hattushilish III. The maps flaw is typical, that its place names are those at very late within the Dark Age, or beyond the Bronze Age as far beyond the Early Iron Age. We’ll find that kind of fuzziness rather easy to deal with nonetheless.]

About all that can be criticized of the famous royal couple now introduced is the copiousness of the many deities and pantheons under their much wanted ecumenical constructions were based. For our purposes they can be greatly abbreviated for what Helen herself assimilated of those belief systems. Very likely she became greatly appreciated as an empathetic soul with the ecumenical movement that made last great deed by the New Kingdom. That will be our mission to essay by a next posting, in order to elaborate the acculturation of Helen upon the venerated fundamentals that she resynthesized, whereby to serve the best ends of Alexander as the acceded High King over his mother Hekabë’s ancestral realm. Wilusa(s) by the deep interior of the northwest Anatol would become an influential precursor to later Phrygia, even as considerably smaller as a core region that was once appurtenant to Troias.

for the Bardot Group

162nd Bardot Blog: Historicity of Helen, in Series: Epilogue unto a Prelude

This posting’s title reflects our adieu to a real Helen of Greece who became for 20 years –according to her own statement in The Iliad – Helen if Imperial Anatolia. Our series of her life in Lakonia ends here, and we shall resume about what happened to her after the Myth of Helen’s Abduction. Our epilogue is by way of premise to that myth, but it also addresses the major contentious issue, “Did she elope or was she taken away perforce?” A two part answer, pro and con, will allow us to understand Helen as a real casus belli for a very real war of Greek prehistory — the legacy scholarship out of the Humanities be damned for not giving a Rat’s Ass above whether she or that war was ever real.

The Fictional Helen and the Trojan War

It’s the considered opinion of this author that the best way to enjoy Helen as a total fiction is through the books in cartoon exposition of the Trojan War Saga and Cycle by Eric Shanower. His interpretations are daring and coherent, reflective of an intellectual honesty that earns a summa cum laude.

[Image: Collage of Eric Shanower Titles. The depiction of Helen on the upper right hand cover is just one of the great illustrated layouts of Eric Shanower at his crafting of an illustrated Trojan War. Read him by all means, because all literary analysis of Helen out of the High Professoriat of the Classical Humanities is hugely verbose dreck.]

We have had centuries of Classical Studies art and book subjects, and much besides of Comparative Literature titles concerning the famous and infamous Helen of Sparta and Troy. As we leave her off at the precursor villages from before Sparta was composed, at Therapnë, I serve an epilogue to end our brief series about a delightful girl, a genuine hoyden lass and wholesome maiden beauty that was Helen, the fostered princess of Lakonia. Our last posting gave her two years of debut so that her Trials-at-Bridal could draw to her courtship the finest men of early Greece at zenith of her Heroic Age.

Already there was great fear of Helen’s beauty, as either evil or wicked, but also for herself as so awesome for the vast territorial realm that her marriage would mean – a nigh imperial ascension to Queen Holy over all the Highlanders, the Wanassa of the Wilderness Wilds. Caution was observed over the invitations to her eligible suitors, who by proxy were supposed to be men of merit but not necessarily of great royal or sovereign stature. Because the Heroic Age began with several great peacetimes – of Pelops, 1364 to 1344, of Eurystheus, 1344 to 1304, and of Thyestes, 1286 to 1265 – men of pacifist dispositions were preferred to champions-at-arms or highly bellicose sovereign warlords such as Agamemnon, the Great Prince of Great Argos. Not included was Great Prince Achilles out of the Great House of Aiakos, but only because he was too young to present himself as eligible, to the undying grief of all legacy scholars of the Humanities. No real tears ever to be shed, however: Had Achilles been invited, or been of eligible age, the Trojan War very likely would never have happened. Or if provoked by any abuse of Helen, the Great Prince would have won all for her and for himself all by himself. One other suitor of great importance who was also not eligible was Mentör son-of-Alkimos, a Highlander by Mount Erymanthos, but become by 1268 the well-trained minister plenipotentiary of Helen, her foremost “man” to advise her before and throughout the Trials-at-Bridal.

The Bardot Group summarizes those challenges and ordeals to her suitors as a culmination of variously weighted victories, from which, upon a final tally, Diomedes High Prince of Tiryns and the Argolid emerged triumphant. So daunted was he by Helen that he refused to take her by the vows, and Menelaos, through machinations performed by Mentör and his brilliant pal Odysseus, came in second as both greatly lauded but also because it was so plain how much her adored Helen, and so likely would love her selflessly and forever. That said, there is no highest mythic personage out of the Greek Heroic Age that’s been so systematically demeaned, abused and grossly underestimated by commentators upon Antiquity. He is the Cuckold of all the Ages and he deserved to lose Helen, perchance to lose her forever to a better man than he could have ever been or become.

That is entirely bogus. Menelaos had been the imperial understudy of his uncle Thyestes, who was putatively his natural father on account of the famous love affair between the Great Wanassa Aeropë and the Great Wanax Regent over Great Argos. The Great Prince Menelaos had helped subdue a cattle plague, was energetic besides at serving in many diplomatic capacities and he also had the title and capacity of Lord Home Protector over all domestic internal affairs of the House of Pelops. Completely respected by the Brothers Tyndarëid Castor and Polydeukes, as soon as the marriage they teamed up together to train all the Brotherhoods of the Highlanders into worthy men-at-arms, mostly as outstanding skirmishers and other light weaponry of Foot by the Martial Order of Helen. Castor was the principal Martial-at-Horse over the Highlanders through an elite entourage provided him by Menelaos’ most stalwart champions-at-arms out of piedmont Argos; but he also had the Lakonian Horse to command as chariot troops. Polydeukes was Menelaos’ adjutant at Light and Heavy Foot, although he comes down through myth as a devastating pugilist, to such a degree of prowess that he could not help killing his opponents.

Also necessary to note is the Myth of the Suitors Pledge. Demanded by her foster father Tyndareos, but supposedly urged upon the senior co-regent over the Lakonians by the clever Odysseus High King of the Cephallenes, the oath required irrevocable commitment to ransom or restore either Helen or Menelaos from any injury upon their marriage. The Pledge made Helen the primary sovereign, a true queen matriarch both royal and sacral, but upon her abduction or victimization by abuse Menelaos had all the powers of War Wanax in her behalf, whereby to lead a war of severest vengeance against the party at injury to her or himself. Accordingly, we have said more than sufficiently of Menelaos’ worthy capacities to earn Helen in marriage, despite that he was aged to his early fifties when he wed her, a bride of sixteen or seventeen years old.

The Abduction

The marriage produced the daughter Hermionë in 1266 BC. Two years later, mid-springtime of 1264 BC, Menelaos and Helen received a trade delegation from the House of Trös over the Trojans and Wilusans. Long under notice of its advent from High King Priam’s foremost minister of foreign affairs, Great Lord Antenor son-of-Aesyetes. The trade delegation was led by High Prince Alexander of Wilusa(s) and High Prince Aeneas of Dardania, but not by Hector, High Prince and Heir Presumptive of Troias, as Classical Greek Mythology insists. Not known while the delegation was a tour along the South Sea below the Peloponnesus, Alexander, a.k.a. Paris, had lost his maternal grandfather Dymas to his death, whereby, under the complex rules of succession he became the High King of Wilusas, even if in pledge of fealty to his mother Hekabë, by wedlock the High Queen of Troias & Wilusas. [Please note here, emphatically, that Classical Greek Mythology still will not countenance those two different high kingdoms as unified through the quasi-imperial marriage of Priam and Hekabë. Rather, the mythographers always assumed that Wilusa(s) and Troias were toponymical identities, and translated into English likewise, just as (W)Ilion was taken for Troy and, vice versa, City Troy has been taken as Fortress Ilion.

We’ll have more to say of the distinction between the high kingdoms. Suffice here to say that the tour of the Trojan trade delegation had come across the Aegean Sea via the Greek Archipelago to enter the Saronic Gulf for a first formal visit to Salamis Island. There, under the command of High King Priam the delegation must formally address King Telemon, the abductor of his sister, Hesionë, a high princess and priestess of Troy. He had purloined the princess circa 1298-96 after Telemon had courted her formally and assiduously, only to have her father Laomedon refute his courtship and bridal offerings that his wife Strymo had accepted in good faith and fullest approval. For Telemon had been contracted to rebuild Fortress Ilion at its most vulnerable quarter of ramparts, those along a western parapet with overlook of the Scamander Plain and the Dardanos Strait,

Alexander had expected to find his aunt enslaved and debased but not an exalted mother of a handsome and winsome Prince Teukros, already a man of greatest repute at archery. Hesionë had accepted station as second wife out of obvious love of Telemon, and he had brought her to highest in his affections relative to the first wife Eriboea, the mother of the son who soon would become called Great Aiax/Ajax. The trade delegation moved on from a lavish hospitality from Telemon, but vengeance burned in the heart of Alexander even though High Prince Aeneas was fully satisfied to report back to Priam than amends had been sufficient if not ample to repair injury to Hesionë.

Those two principals over the trade delegation struck the same pattern as it moved to Kythera Island where was seated the House of Nauplius and the Argive Navarchy—the admiralty or naval arm of the imperial House of Pelops under the recently acceded Great Wanax Agamemnon. Alexander continued to show a vengeful mind while High Prince Aeneas made a severe reckoning of the depredation perpetrated by Argive summertime despoilers upon the west coast of Anatolia lower down from the Island of Lesbos. Aeneas showed a peaceable mind to a cessation of such grievances, but it’s unlikely that he found Agamemnon receptive. Accordingly, both principals moved on to Lakonia with least expectations from Menelaos that the realms of the Peloponnesus were amenable to dealing in maritime commerce that would have east meeting west in so far as good minds and temperaments for fair barter exchange was concerned.

Both Helen and Menelaos disabused such least expectations and soon had enjoined the brilliant Lakonian co-regent Ikarios to their comprehensive negotiations in overture to the Trojans and Wilusans. The trade delegation out of patriarchal Anatolia must have been surprised that Helen was keen on all matters of their commerce, and both well-informed and zealous by outreach for her Highlanders. Menelaos sowed himself wholly detached from his native Argives as the newly adopted Wanax of the Wilds by his junior co-regency with his high queen and wife. Ikarios could speak to merchant maritime commerce, even to an expectation of mutual convoy escorts at crossing both ways of the Aegean Sea, by his form alliance with the House of Cephalos, the supreme sea power by its Ithacan League of strong naval allies throughout the far west Ionian Sea. Matters forthcoming from the Cephallenes especially appealed to Aeneas, because he was a warm acquaintance with its co-regent High Prince Odysseus since their shared martial art and science training by the Chiron of Magnesia when they’d both been fifteen years old.

I shall leave off this epilogue here, before what else ancient mythographers from Classical Greek Mythology have composed about Paris’ Abduction of Helen. For now we are in prelude to another mythic saga that wholly different in bases and premises of the Trojan War on account of Helen’s compliance or not with her abductor Alexander, who would have her his High Queen over the Wilusans as the successor to his mother Hekabë daughter-of-Dymas. In a next posting we will describe those bases and premises with some aptitude for the necessary understandings of the cultural anthropology of the northwest peoples who inhabited the subcontinent of Anatolia.

Here, instead, I render conclusions to out series of Bardot Blogs so far with the state of mind which possessed Helen with respect to the seduction of her by Paris/Alexander. I do so in pro and con fashion with respect to her complicity, if any, in her own abduction.

The Argument for Helen’s Willing Elopement

The Bardot Group is firm of the conviction that Menelaos was considerably older than Helen and from the beginning of their marriage their wedlock was inherently unstable. We argue that Menelaos was 10 years old in 1300 BC when he was active as a scribe and rearguard administrator for his father Atreus’ rearguard command during the great religious war of 1304 to 1286 BC. His literacy and numeracy was by the sponsored tutelage of his uncle Thyestes, whom we also argue to have been Menelaos’ natural father through his mother Aerope’s many years of adultery with that brother-in-law. That aside, Menelaos was twenty-seven years old when Helen was born circa 1284 BC. Add sixteen years to account for Helen’s age at her Trials-at-Bridal; that makes Menelaos 42 years old when they were betrothed, and 47 when they married.

Nonetheless, they had nearly three years of deep friendship, mutual respect and close companionship as thrown together after her perilous escape from the pirates who would have enslaved her at her age thirteen years old. They had “made” their marriage for purposes of its dynastic intentions when Helen delivered their conceived daughter together Hermionë. That blessing on the marriage, however, can be taken two ways:

That it was, first and plainly, a blessing to consolidate their wedlock and secure a life marriage with promise of more children. Against that, however, it can be said that Helen had accomplished her foremost, some would say her sole duty to the Highlanders of the Alpine Wilds, by providing them an heiress presumptive and future queen holy matriarch through her daughter Hermionë. Yes, that would mean a very cold-hearted elopement with Alexander that Helen, a young mother, would abandon her daughter to that pre-destiny for Menelaos and her brothers to accomplish as proxies for herself. But it also would explain why Helen, become of firm purpose to elope, made righteous démarche through her refusal to have Alexander steal away her daughter as well, along with other bride price and prizes taken from Lakonia.

 

These two Images of the vast layout of Olive Orchards places to Gulf Phokis’ Chrisa Plain, a great neutral pastureland for all herds dedicated to the Oracle of Mount Parnassos before it became the Delphic Oracle. These orchard were once subdivided in a manner to capture the deep and rich alluvium off the monadnoch mountain that Parnassos is. The above view has the pass to Doris where the epicenter of the Highlanders that Helen used for congregation  of her subjects through Meets. The view below is from modern Delfi to the Great Gulf’s costaline port of Itea.

Besides Helen’s Meets and where they located while she was early married to Menealos, there’s also a speculation attendant to her likely abdication to her sister, the princess Timandra, by which to soften her guilt over the desertion of her subjects of nation race. In the autumn of 1266 BC, a Highlander high chief made most celebrated marriage to the princess. He was Echemos of Tegea out of the Mantinian Brotherhood, and he would prove an outstanding representative of his entire nation race. For following the marriage, Helen’s foremost minister plenipotentiary, Mentör son-of-Alkimos and Echemos arranged a first Meet of all Highlanders for Helen at Triphylia, a small neutral principality associated with the Olympia Plain (long before it was annexed to modern Elis). Also hosting the Meet was Klytaimnestra and her husband Tantalos II of Pisa. Another Meet was held the next summer upon the north mainland, for congregation where today lies Amphissa, at the edge of the hallowed Chrisa Plain below the Oracle of Parnassos. [Image placed first, above]. Planned for 1268, or after the Trojan trade delegation should have moved on further  westward, was a Meet upon Tegea Heights of the Mantinian Wheatlands, where all Highlanders would assemble to view the tracery of foundations for a royal compound. Designed for Menelaos and Helen, they were to to occupy Tegea’s alpine meadowlands as their capital seat.

By 1264 Timandra was already a newly beloved archeta, or chieftainess, of her adopting subjects. There was also distress besides by then over the circumstances that would later destroy her marriage to Echemos (who’s he alleged to have been impotent). Nonetheless, Timandra early achieved the capacities to act as a surrogate for Helen once it became too plain that year of a third Meet at Tegea could never happen.

Homer makes clear from our first sense of Helen’s intimacy with Alexander/Paris in The Iliad that she has tired of him and feels stifled by him, thus no longer so easily seduced except upon divine command, or by threat of his tutelary goddess that she’ll debase Helen for disobedience as a sexual gratuity to Paris. The Anatolian Great Goddess, Paris’ true tutelary deity, Homer and the Ancient Greeks thought to be Aphroditë. She has put Helen under her thrall for some perverse and wicked delight to completely shame her, for the heroine would never feel anything ever afterward the trojan War but her utter shame that she’d been rendered so unwillingly wanton as a condemned spoils prize.

The Goddess, we opine, had Helen under the same spell that had led into her abduction. She also must have rendered Helen so overpowered of passion to commit adultery so easily after so many years of her maidenhood spent in chaste observances of her Highlanders’ foremost tutelary deities — the Goddess Beasts Wild (Theia Therön) and the Huntress Maiden, both of whom were the alpine wilderness counterparts, in duality, to Demeter and Korë (“Maiden of Grains”). She was continuously subjected thereon to seduction perforce Aphroditë’s nasty, cruel and capricious zeal to debase women of strong and abiding virtues. After her marriage, or because of it, Helen was never able to resist the natural lust inherent a new bride while betrothed and as wedded before her first child delivered to her husband. Many great mythic personages preceded Helen as victims of the Goddess of Desire, all of them incomparable women, such as Medea, Leda and Hippolyta, They all were comparably overpowered despite the devotional chastity by which they earned and also observed their special empowerment, or “magic,” by divine grant and agency of other goddesses besides Aphrodite.

But this series of postings are not about comparative mythological analysis except in so far as the historicity that’s strongly latent in Early Greek Mythology. It provides us the insights to render those women and Helen eternally robust. Take care and caution, however: The Aphroditë of Alexander is neither the Greek Goddess of Desire nor the Roman Goddess Venus the mother of Aeneas. Rather, she was for Alexander as named Paris the Great Mother Goddess of the earliest indigenous Assiyawa of western Anatolia, the earliest Asiatic aboriginals arrived from the northeast uplands beyond the Black and Caspian Seas, at early in the 2nd millennium BC. Often called the Lady or Arinna by those people who feared to name their deities, so for how the Lady was both respected and venerated by the later Hatti People who invaded Anatolia in the early 17th century BC. Their tolerance and ecumenical propensities became famous, regardless their nigh monotheistic reverence for their Storm God Teshüb, who supposedly took the Lady as his wife out of respect for her believers. We shall be going into such religious observances of Bronze Age Anatolia when we resume our series of postings about Alexander and Helen while both together were rendered as suppliants most intimate welcomes from the Hatti Great Court at Hattusa. It located far away from Troias, and was the capital city of central Anatolia, wherefrom the Hatti Empire radiated its several hegemonies from the 14th century BC, ff. As a matter of any divine propitiousness cast upon him, Alexander overpowered Helen as a divine grant of empowerment from the Anatolian pantheon of the Hatti, itself utterly distinct, and even of alien hostility towards the Old & Ancient Beliefs of the Greeks—whose divine pantheon of deities was still that of the Idyllic Age already five centuries long and strong as Titanesses and Titans.

An elopement, therefore, would be much more a properly termed consequence of Helen’s entirely deliberate abdication, thus hardly an abduction perforce upon her, although mythography by Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Classical Mythology always call her unhappy exodus from Greece’s Lakonia an abduction. Too, they blame Helen Beautiful Evil, even though she was so surely a victim of powers invested in her and yet promised solely to Alexander to have her, notwithstanding his dominance over her own free will to remain steadfastly a righteous wife and devoted mother.

Why Helen was Abducted against Her Will,
in Violation of Hallowed Guest Laws

Divine agency to the Abduction is inseparable from Helen’s ill-Fates as prophesied. There had been the Oracle to say that real possibility just after Polydeukes and she were born to Nemesis. To believe as the early Greeks of the Late Aegean Bronze Age ruthlessly believed, Helen’s only genuine folly was her modesty, or that cardinal virtue and her complete innocence as so sensational while a young bride and matriarch. The folly, therefore, lay in her failure for underestimating herself. She simply could not or would not reckon herself of such a wicked and overpowering beauty to compel the launching of a thousand ships. Within the power geography that obtained in the 1260s BC of the Greek Peninsula, however, she was queen and epicenter of a civilization at apogee, brought to its zenith by her unrealized powers to enjoin the alpine Brotherhoods of the Highlanders to the Laughlanders (lowlanders). Around her ringed and ranged powers nearly as great as her that had originally displaced Helen’s subjects from their aboriginal and indigenous homelands.

The argument for an abduction against her will begins with Menelaos also underestimating her as his own queen and only liege sovereign. That went, too, for her brothers Castor and Polydeukes, who kept themselves away and indifferent to the trade delegation and the one principal by it who was fully determined to wreak vengeance on the Greeks – The Pelasgiotës as most Anatolians called them – for the King Telemon’s abduction of the Trojan Princess Hesionë while an itinerant prince of great reputation at construction and rehabilitation of fortresses. No matter that he’d found his aunt beloved, happy and made fortunate by the Salaminians who had adopted her. Alexander had no qualms about breaking the hallowed guest laws of his Lakonian host and hostess at Therapnë of Lakonia.

But then he was stunned for knowing Helen as seen wholly in motion, action and determination to lead her subject Highlanders into an instant renaissance and fully realizable zenith in part to a great peninsula civilization. Such was Anatolia becoming and become under the Imperial Hatti over his own homeland High Kingdom of Wilusa. He had not come west to prowl after a queen consort to rule over his high princedom—as just then Wilusa was for him, a high kingdom so much lesser than Troias of the fifteen Tröad Kingdoms. Helen was a sensation experienced in an instance, the realization of his highest ambitions, and a serving to his cravings to equal his older brother Hector, High Prince of Troias and already a famous Master-at-Horse in liege fealty to the Hatti Great King Hattushilish III.

For understand her with emphasis. Hector was not part of the trade delegation on tour along the South Sea of the Peloponnesus. He was campaigning with the martial might of the Hatti at yet another annual consolidation of Hattushilish’s oriental hegemonies throughout the Near East, some of which extended as Far as the River Euphrates. He was part of the enforcement of the Great Peace negotiated between the Hatti and the Egyptian Pharaoh Rameses II the Great. Since a treaty that a Great Princess of the Hatti had sealed through marriage — in 1252 by the Latest Dating Method for such a great event. The Great Peace had meant that the northwest philhellenes of Anatolia could consolidate their own imperial contribution to what’s been called the Hittite New Kingdom Period of the House of Labarnas.

So the argument for an abducted Helen perforce begins with the perfection of her person to rank his royal status as imperial as High Prince’s Hector as a future liege subject under Hattushilish III “the Great Father.” No accident that he stole her away — no happy bower of bliss on Krania Isle by way of a lusty layover before their voyage together in escape to the Orient — as soon as he could cozen her down to the merchant harborside of Gythion for a getaway by fastest warship escort vessel on bearing straight east by the compass rose. He likely had to knock her out with drugs, have her raped before she could awaken from stupor, only then to begin the slow process of her acquiescence to his carnal needs of her for the sensational beauty she was beyond her obvious sovereign traits and potentials.

That acquiescence, of course, has her eternally blameworthy whether divinely induced as much as pharmaceutically prepared for. Upon that awakening Helen was apprised that she would become a High Queen over another High Kingdom as soon as her abductor’s grandfather had died as soonest expected. By the time she was alleged to have been stolen away to “Syria” of the Levant or to Nilotis upon the River Nile Delta, their greeters ashore would have told Alexander that he had become the High King of Wilusa because his maternal grandfather Dymas had died. His sovereign duty was to prove himself a loyal feudatory to his Hatti Great King, and to sire children off a queen suitable to become a greatest creature of the Great Hatti Court at Hattusa. There he would receive suppliance for his crime of abduction, again on account of Helen, who would not fail to impress the Great King as his sacral and royal Great Queen Padukhepa.

On such reasoning and the prospects engendered by Wilusa’s possibilities, we shall resume explanations of a Helen of Anatolia, where her further biography takes setting for twenty years as estimated by the mythic record of Homer.


for the Bardot Group

 

Postscript: This shall be the last posting where any referent dates to events discussed are enumerated by the Middle Dating Method. Hereon I will be citing dates by the Latest Dating Method which is at least 25 years later than what I’ve been accustomed to know and observe. Below is one way by which I shall keep myself honest.

161st Bardot Blog: The Legacy Scholarship of Antiquity & Irreconcilable Dating Dilemmas

A Rude Egyptologist is Introduced

Egyptologists are becoming the party poopers of Antiquity, a mostly unsociable ilk, and so rudely incommunicative as to need a kick in the derrière. Fortunately, I don’t have to steep myself in the lore of Egyptologists unless they produce a work of some influence upon the related Bronze Age civilizations to herself, such as rim the Eastern Mediterranean shoreline and Aegean Sea. Their scholarship remains the master record, essential forensic materialism, that attends all the oldest geographic heartlands of Antiquity under fervent study of the Bardot Group, the main source of writ for my any literacy about the Late Aegean Bronze Age. Buffs of Egypt as she once was, Bronze Age Nilotis of the Nile River Delta, have always been welcomed to its symposia, all by our supporting foundations from 1925 to 1986. Since the middle 1970s, however, legacy scholars of Egypt have proven lacking in reciprocal bonhomie, and become instead a chauvinistic society of imperious snots.

A particularly rude scholar of late has been the Egyptologist Professor Aidon Dodson, who has caused me greatest umbrage through his 2010 book release, Poisoned Legacy : The Fall of the Nineteenth Egyptian Dynasty. Rude he is, indeed, because he never recites dates as either BC or BCE by their numeracy, but only by the year within the span of reign for each successive Pharaoh, such as appear above in summary tabulation. He too overly assumes that anybody can readily compute how each pharaonic year corresponds to its exact counterpart year, either BC a/o BCE, although he should know that spotting any date in Anbtiquity is like shooting Woodcock of the fly within dense woodlands. His book title is also misleading, falling far short metaphorically, because I could not find anyone who was poisoned who was pharaonic. Worse still, he falls far short on plain prehistorical rendition by cluttering the book’s content with all the material monumenta by photographic record of the subject pharaohs’ self-aggrandizement. Whatever the pictures’ testimonial worth by whatever survives from the Egyptians’ imperial New Kingdom, Dodson’s many photos and remarks obfuscate clarity of substantive events and actual developments, even as he ranges from the 20th Dynasty’s many great pharaohs at common imperial ascendancy until The Fall begotten of the 19th Dynasty. It finally spawned a decadence after the long reign of Rameses II the Great.

 

Battle of Kadesh, about which more below.
Many pictures don’t make a good book

I was able to glean, though, that his proclivity to cover multiple wives, who bore him many fertile daughters and potent sons, led to an imperial dissolution through constant internal strife. The highest royal or imperial peerages suffered too many children by succeeding generations as well, and they proved adept at more internecine conflict, until Egypt was first rattled, then monumentally shaken by quarrels and a few usurpations. So for what cluttered the New Kingdom as an entire imperial age in demise, even if it doesn’t seem that any deaths were due to poisonings.

Nevertheless, the importance of Dodson’s book to us lesser legacy scholars of Antiquity can’t be objected. Egyptologists remain the scriptural physical record to which most all prehistorical legacies elsewhere are affixed and thereby dated within themselves. So what has most greatly upset me from the tabulation that I’ve presented above, previous page, requires some discussion of why that’s so. I should say authoritatively at first, however, about why the dating of Egyptian dynasties within the periods called the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms has always to prove essential to us among the academic hoi polloi. Even as we immerse our lifetimes and careers in Western Civilization’s Bronze Ages, we are mining Egyptian material dissemination for whatever of its artifacts are found in Hatti Anatolia, the Late Aegean Mainland & Archipelago, or imported from them by and to Levantine Zebubs and Cretan Minoses in imperial cartel with the successive pharoahs.

The Elusive Battle of Kadesh

I begin with a few generalities, the first of which is that Egypt has been the greatest and best preserved repository of material Antiquity ever know outside of Chinese tumuli. What has been left to posterity from all the grave robbers, moreover, has been mostly fixed in datable places, after the spoils takings and lootings by imperial museums of Great Britain and Europe, by shady art collectors and other nefarious plunderers. Egypt throughout its ages, moreover, had been a considerable importer of foreign made and originated goods of considerable value. What survives attests to the high value of maritime barter exchange through a commerce that rendered trafficked goods portable and far ranging by outreach to their consumers. Much of such goods attests as well for their material containers, which ended up as valued artifacts all by themselves, for the painterly skills expressed by their surface friezes. Everything material, moreover, has allowed any of many excellent dating methods and techniques whereby every ceramic work has a defined place in precise time as supplemented by where found in what period reckoning for collecting and conservation purposes. Of all the most valued fixed place and transportable artifacts there’s what survives of oldest writ, because only kiln fired clay artifacts can survive the hardships of the ground from which they are excavated.

Hatti Imperial Hieroglyphs

Of highest value, for example, has been the Rosetta Stone that had inscribed upon it by epigraphy Egyptian hieroglyphs, Persian cuneiform and Greek alphabetized rendition. They were arranged in columns of identically translated textual meaning in Egyptian. To historians and prehistorians a comparable find of greatest value was the hieroglyphic inscription of the mid-century 13th BC of the Great Battle of Kadesh. It described the battle between the imperial Hittites, a.k.a. the Anatolian Hatti, and the imperial Egyptians. Fighting for territorial possessions of the Levant and Euphrates Valley, that battle was supposed a bitter, humiliating defeat of the Tabarnas, or Great King, named Mutwatallis II. That’s how the prehistoric finding stood for him, the Big Loser, until the early 20th century when enormous finds of cuneiform script archives were excavated and restored to legible condition for deft translation. Most remarkably, another version of the Battle of Kadesh made clear an outright Hatti victory by Mutwatallis over the Egyptian vanguard, and that Rameses II was reckless and impetuous and easily taken in by misinformation and subterfuge. Rameses II’s encampment was what saved him from total defeat, because the Hatti mercenaries began to plunder it before their rearguard could move up and consolidate Mutwatallis’ victory. While weighting themselves down with spoils, the Egyptian rearguard fleeced the mercenrary grubbers and put them to panic flight. Even so, Egypt lost all its Levantine possessions, making Rameses II the Big Loser, at least at net by the reckoning of most legacy scholars and historians.

The original date for the Battle of Kadesh, I was taught as a college student, was in the 5th or 6th regnant year of the Pharaoh Ramesis II. That was fixed to a consensus dating of 1296/95 BC. For most of my life that date stood up, until the legacy scholars of the Anatol reached another consensus, not only within themselves but also as inclusive of much material corroboration by archaeologists of Greece, the Archipelago, Crete and Libya. They fixed a new dating for Kadesh at 1286/85, and that fix held up from after WWII to far into the 1970s. Then many new archaeological findings, primarily ceramic works by dissemination from Egypt put “the Middle Dating Method” in doubt. The legacy scholars of the Middle East came back in that decade with corroboration from Egyptologists that rendered the Battle of Kadesh at1275/74 BC, by their “Late Dating Method.”

This has greatly upset me as a strongest proponent of the Middle Dating Method.Our previous postings have ended with what Greek Mythology calls The First Abduction of Helen. It occurred in the 1270s BC and her abductor is supposed to have been Theseus, the national hero of the Atticans (Ancient Athenians) as a mythologized personage conjured up in the 6th century BC. We can dismiss him as an abductor because his putative lifetime ran from 1380 to 1334 BC. That span long precedes Helen’s as born in 1284 BC and having lived long after the Trojan War Aftermath which petered out in the 1220s BC.

The illustration below tracks the First Abduction from Helos Portside upon the Gulf of Lakonia to a haunt where she had been hidden, discovered at Aphidnai of Attica at far up the west shore of the Bay of Myrtoa. The date fixes at 1272 BC, even as a fictional episode, but it does help us to know that the Trials-at-Bridal for Helen  is fixed by that early date at 1268 BC, because that’s when The Pledge of Helen’s Suitors was taken for the lifelong protection of her and her taken husband.

[Mapping Image Above: The chase after Helen in 1272 BC began at Helos Portside, but the long sea crossing eastward came under some unlucky wind shifts and adverse water conditions. Their hazards allowed the abductors to cross north where a star pattern marks the cattle land of coastal Aphidnai. There, Prince Menestheus took the baton of chase from Kastor and friendly Highlanders who tracked Helen down before she and other small children captives could be sold to wicked slavers. While there’s no fiction about an abduction, it is falsely alleged to the misconduct of Theseus as a recidivist pedophile and serial rapist.]

Alas, we’re not finished with dating methods invented by the Egyptologists. There’s been much doubt cast upon the Late Dating Method, which has never been explained well or rigorously. So legacy scholars of classical antiquity such as I am hold fast to their admiration and respect for the Middle Dating Method. We’re by an academic junta of highly respected scholars outside of Greek Antiquity. The legacy scholars of Greek Antiquity  went further, so that by the 1286/85 BC dating fixes they could ascribe  1250 BC to the Sack of Troy. That also affixed 1200 BC as a firm beginning of the Greek Dark Age, which until 775 BC. Homer’s bardic career had already been moved many times, from 1175 BC to from 950 to from 795 and from 715, ff. The span of his lifetime by that last date of career inception has him dead at late as 670 BC. The date for The Iliad was for a longest time held to sometime within the last quarter of the 8th century and that of The Odyssey  to just before or just after the turn into the 7th century BC. Then, addressing the Greek Dark Age anew, it was at its beginning a decade after 1200 BC and ran four full centuries to early in the 8th century.

Notwithstanding the adherrence to the Middle Dating Method, the tabulations that I’ve place side by side so early in this posting firmly reference the Battle of Kadesh at 1274 BC. Since 2010, therefore, I must allow a triumph that’s well placed in scholarly adhents to the Late Dating Method, even if I’m still a desciple, as was all of the Bardot Group, including Carl Blegen, who rendered the  once canonical date for the end of the Trojan War at 1250 BC. For my selfish purposes that still implies 1286 BC for the Battle of Kadesh.  I also adhere to 1285 BC as the date of Odysseus’ birth, at just after the winter solstice of 1286, which means he was born either very late in 1286 or earliest 1285 BC.

[Image: The period chronology defines the three century apogee of  inglacial period warming to 2100 to 1800 BC. The cooling period was still highly salubrious until 1600 BC, or 1590 BC, when began the Imperial Minoan Period of Crete. Late Helladic Period I has Crete’s imperial ascendancy much longher of gestation, and Late Helladic Period IIA now ranges Imperial Minoa at the height of its riches, which remained considerable even after the eruption of the volcano Thera devastated all the Eastern Mediterranean circa 1535 to 1515 BC. Excavation of ferrous ores was produciing wrought iron ingot as early as 1400 BC. But the Iron Age Diffusion was an east to west movement from Assyria and its imperial span in the 10th century BC.]

Upon these various mentions of early Greece’s keynote dates, I’ve produced a chronology of prehistorical periods out of the Late Aegean Bronze Age. It reflects many conformities with the Late Dating Method that are convenient to scholars of the Eastern Mediterranean as well. Late Helladic Period IIIA2 now approximates the lifetime span of the legendary Theseus, but it’d also the span of final decadence of Crete that reduced it to a high kingdom after 1354 BC. The “imperial Minoa” of Sir Arthur Evans, who thought the last of Minoan Civilization was reduced to rubble by 1390 BC, I have continuing as the High Kingdom of Crete by the Middle Dating Method. It elides into the Trojan War Era begun in 1265 BC. LHP IIIB2 is now a good approximation of the Trojan War Era’s span, as taken from the date of Helen’s birth of Hermionë to Menelaos to the bitter end of the Bronze Age “floruit” everywhere the Mediterranenan Sea Basin.

The Imperial Hatti of Central Anatolia & The High Kingdom of Troias & Wilusas

For completeness, I’ve made up a chart for my own use.  Its based upon modern reflections of legacy scholars of Anatolia, whereby derivations of the Troiadic Periods and the Imperial Tlabarnases of Hatti Anatolia. I have sought to overcome the pigheadedness of Classical Studies scholars who will not abandon the now absurdly obsolete knowledge we now have of the culture and civilization of the high kingdoms that once ringed central Anatolia’s Halys River Basin. The dating mathods have made a havoc of the 14th century BC by constantly moving the Hatti imperial ascendancy to its middle, and by having most dates for Troias’ (City Troy’s) High Kings out of whack with the imperial Tlabarnases whose lifetimes equate to the Trojan floruit, from Trös to Priam. Over future postings I hope to illuminate Troais in particular while relating the Trojans and other northestern peroples of the Anatol to Hatti imperial developments. So I’ll spend no more verbage here than I have.

Dodson’s Sacking of All Our Dating Methods

Alas, there’s now, by Dodson’s book, a Latest Dating Method  by the Egyptologists. It makes too clear that the Battle of Kadesh took place in 1260 BC. Horrors! To discuss that date’s practical impacts upon other legacy scholarship, I have to produce another tabulation, below, that stands for the entire Late Aegean Bronze Age, including its Helladic (Greek Mainland), Cycladic (Greek Archipelago) and Minoan (Crete) Period subclassifications. I relate them to the prehistory of the Egyptians and the Hatti so that the regant spans can now be juxtapoised authentically, even if not yet rigorously.

There is much that is unsatisfactory by the intended juxtapositions, and most unsatisfactory of all is the acceptance per force of 1225 BC for the latest date of the Sack of Troy. We prefer its event  be called the Destruction of Fortress Ilion, because the Pergamon, the bastion within the fortress capital seat of Troias, was looted by not fired and destroyed until earthquakes in the 8th century BC.

The genealogical charting does satisfy by showing that Helen, upon her arrival to Fortress Ilion and the Pergamon in the ninth campaign year of the Trojan War has her the young contemporary of the Great Hatti King Hattushilish III and the Pharaoh Rameses II the Great. The former was the liege sovereign to whom her abductor, Alexander son-of-Hekabe & of-Priam, was in fealty pledge.

After we’ve reviewed briefly her Trials-at-Bridal, brief years of early marriage and the circumstances of her Abduction — and why — we shall essay a reasonable biography of a Helen of Anatolia. She’s good for the dub because she was taken into many opportunities to know the Great Court of Hattushilish III and his wife, Her Sacral Majesty Padukhepa. That means, of course, that we enter into an entirely different Mythic Saga of the Trojan War than what has descended down to us from Classical Greek Mythology withal the ignorance of the ancient mythographers about Imperial Anatolia.


for the Bardot Group

160th Bardot Blog: Historicity & Biography about Helen: Her Arrived Maidenhood & First Debuts

Helen vis à vis Theseus

Classical Greek Mythology includes a scurrilous inference of Helen’s rape by Theseus, a sex object among his many paramours recklessly sullied before he was finally deposed as king of Attica by Menestheus son-of-Peteos. While Plutarch includes the episode in his “Life of Theseus,” it really comes down as a hit piece by the Ancient Athenians upon the much despised Ancient Spartans of the 5th century BC. Theseus a national hero to the former is allowed thereby to demean the most illustrious heroine that Lacedaemon ever had a chance to bring to fame.

So, in this posting, we go from that fabulous and false aspersion of Helen while her earliest adolescence far further back in time to what the rhapsodists of Early Greek Mythology likely rendered about her so reverently and kindly – and truthfully — as a fostered princess of Lakonia.

Rapid First Debuts

Liberated from her capture by pirates or merchants at liberty to filch her, there began several years of her debut to the royal society of the Peloponnesus. Those years culminated in the famous Trials-at-Bridal of Helen that the Bardot Group ascribes to 1268 BC by the Middle Dating Method of Classical Studies (1243 BC by the Latest Dating Method as under enforcement since 1213 BC as accepted, by all but myself). The debut began with the composition of an entourage, starting with her older sister Klytaimnestra and near age first cousin Iphthimë, princess and daughter of her uncle-Ikarios. Shortly after those honor maidens were brought under tutelage of Leda, into a fullest understanding of the alpine or highland culture over which Helen would soon become sovereign, three second cousins were brought into the mix. They were the oldest granddaughter of the late matriarch Gorgophonë, Arsinoë daughter-of-Aphareus and the Sisters Leukippidai, Phoebë and Hilaiïra. Arsinoë became an honor maiden to Leda, in support of her tutelage and nurture, thus somewhat less than a major part of Helen’s royal suite of princesses and highest attained maidens postulant or of highest peerage from within Lakonia. The princess was also attained to holy orders and was already famous at age 24 years old as the high priestess over a hospice center that we place to the heights of the Andanian Stenechlerian Plain. This headwater vale of a headwater stream into the Pamissos River had her twain of culture amidst the Arcadian Highlanders and the lowland valley people of Andania.

Phoebë and Hilaiïra had been confined to the sanctuaries led by their late mothers, when the still baby girls were orphaned of father and mother late in the great religious war waged from 1304 to 1286 BC. To Leda’s everlasting regret, she was denied by Gorgophonë to foster the two girls as soon as she was married to Tyndareos and had undertaken the fosterhood of Helen and Polydeukes. We have said before, and emphasize here anew, that Early Greek Mythology recites to the illustriousness of Leda as a greatest mother within the recitative opera. Getting banged by Zeus disguised as a swan from long before the Olympian Pantheon became the orthodox polytheism of the Greeks was of no interest to those rhapsodists, even if the much Later Lacedaemonians were proud to display the egg-shells from which Helen and Polydeukes (or Helen and Klytaimnestra) had been hatched.

We state here succinctly what was the actual religious orientation under which Helen and Polydeukes were brought up since four year old twin adoptees in 1280 BC. The pantheon of deities of the Lakonians was by the Trilogy of Gaia, Demeter and Korë the Grain Maiden, by they paid great reverence to the Huntress Maiden, by their name for her as Orthia, within the Wilderness trilogy of Gaia, the Goddess over Beasts Wild and herself. Because this is new stuff to most readers of our postings, the name ordering conform to the typical formulaic conception of these triadic deities as crone-matron-maiden, and in accordance with a hierarchy of immanence from the transcendent Earth Mother & Creatrix of All Living Things Gaia, through the sacral and royal laws providing matron goddess, to the nigh mortal and frequently revelatory Huntress Maiden who was future displaced by the Olympian Goddess Artemis. Finally to be noted just here, importantly, is the hard discipline and insistence upon all maidens under the either faith in trilogy to remain celibate beyond the year of their nobility. For Helen and her closest relatives that at their ages sixteen years old, as demanded as well by a prophecy declaimed from the Oracle of Mount Parnassos (Delphi).

Events in Debut, 1272 to 1268 BC

An important aside to the composed suite of princesses was the ascension of Kastor and Polydeukes as formal understudies to the co-regents Tyndareos and Ikarios, in so far as their development into Lakonia’s and the Highlanders’ presumptive senior martials-at-arms. Attendant their associated roles, ranks and conducts as protectors over their distinct realms (once they’d become adults), was a differentiation of their martial leadership in accordance with their respective specialties and clearest interests at-arms. Kastor comes down for his fame as an equestrian martial leader over the Lakonian Horse. Polydeukes’ tutelage through his youth had been that at royal administration, as understudy to Ikarios, to whom he was a beloved nephew. As soon as thirteen, however, having already proved both mastery and great prowess at all weapons of the hunt—sling, spear, slung-spear, bow and short sword/flanged dirk, he became fit and of an age to prove out next as a heavy armored and accoutered champion-at-arms, Polydeukes received an appropriate tutelage from Lakonian masters- and champions-at-arms. For three intense years they came-of-age in the wield and wear of the accoutrements of Horse and Foot (Heavy and Light), so that at their ages of sixteen they began to pass beyond Lakonia as disseminating their respective tutelages among the Tegean, Mantinian, Arcadian and Aigialaian Highlanders. While still remaining princes, they both pledged fealty in liege to the appointed Ephors over these largest and most sophisticated highland phratries or Brotherhoods. Because we cannot visit them hereon in their developing capacities, or until much later in our serialization of postings, we ask our readers here and now to keep the Brothers’ constant immersion in highest prowess at arms for later in Helen’s story. But also know that their evangelism at arms was so successful that youths by both Lakonia and the Highlanders composed to the mass following of both princes together under the dub of Philadelphians, albeit in the idiomatic sense of “Friends of the Brothers.”

Of necessity, because of scant sources, we have to be subjective at characterizing the princesses undergoing their tutelages. Know that they were being brought by Leda into the royal capacities to which they were predestined, either with respect to honors by Helen and or to their future illustrious marriages wholly apart of her. The Bardot Group has passed to this writer/translator of the culture their firm conviction that Leda, an incomparable mother was entirely successful at matriculating all of her accepted royal charges over the years 1271 to 1268 BC, and afterwards at each individual princess into actualizations that would have them suffer greatly but also earn them greatest statures, derivative of their husbands, amidst a still ongoing decadence of high royal and sacral matriarchy.

Already a finely groomed queen holy, and presumptive as such since her childhood, Leda’s light touch over an effervescent, happily natured girl Helen had brought her every kind of good friendship from her siblings. While she had to suffer Klytaimnestra often as an imposing oldest princess of self-righteous and often scolding ways, Helen was always most generous in her desire to have her insecure and well-meaning oldest cousin predestined to power and happiness to exceed her own. Helen adored her two brothers who must reluctantly find themselves constantly underestimating her at competitions of hunt and athleticism between themselves. She dealt with her brothers blithely, but she had her own deeply felt humility and great awe for superior womanhood in her foster mother Leda and her first cousin Iphthimë. The oldest daughter of Ikarios seems to have been everyone favorite relative, Leda’s most of all, and became one of the most esteemed princesses of her generation. Leda called her a child grown-up, mature far beyond her years, who set high standards for everyone around her, under her, above her, and yet possessed the practical assiduousness to steer everybody easily to meet them. That gave Iphthimë fullest self-satisfaction over her selfless services to others. Somewhat by contrast, she had a sharp and cutting wit, a dry sense of humor and an easy comradery about her, especially with boys and young men greatly her senior. Lakonia went into mourning over her marriage to Eumelos of High Pherai, the future High Prince and High King of Aeoleis.

She was a good sister to Timandra but they rarely shared the same interests, especially about horses and horsemanship at which Timandra excelled at par with Kastor. Helen preferred her youngest cousin Penelopë because they could be girls together in the wilds together, and because she early knew that the future Queen of the Cephallenes was likely the brightest of all the princesses of House, and owned beside “an imperial mind.” That I quote from her aunt-Leda, who took greatest pride in a niece of ingenious ways, being her father’s daughter and most admiring thereby for his brilliance at administration and Eunomia, the ways of orderly superior governance.

These traits of mind and characters evolved to fulfillments the summer after Helen’s salvation, starting with all the young maidens placed under Leda. Completely inculcated in the customs and culture of the Highlanders, Helen and her suite were introduced the next long summer during a horse fair at Therapnë, at the head of the Eurotas Valley. Horsemanship was mostly a manhood prowess, except that the grandmother Gorgophonë had loved riding mounts in high respect to her martial first husband Pereïres. What modern equestrians call eventing and horse hunting Gorgophonë had brought Tyndareos to, until he became a superior champion-at-horse of considerable stamina and inured ruggedness. Those prowesses he inculcated to the Highlanders while his exile early and patiently endured over the great religious war. Tundareos became seedy, obese and indolent early after his marriage to Leda, and so he was fortunate that his brother co-regent Ikarios found so easy the surrogate capacities to serve for Tyndareos as himself instead. Kastor replaced his father’s acumen’s early in his teenage years and replicated the warrior mettle that was supposed exclusively reserved to the co-regency of his father Tydareos. So Ikarios got away with the incompetent years of his brother, whose capacities he himself could not replicate or have accepted by the elite high peerage of the Lakonian Horse.

The summer of 1269 was a debut of all princesses and highest peers of female First Estate to all sovereign high and great princes of the Peloponnesus. That’s to say of Argives by piedmont, plainsmen and maritime Argolis, and the Argolid Peninsula besides. During the horse fair very serious attachments developed, all of which proved exceptionally challenging to Leda on account of the headstrong princesses that she’d brought into sophistication, early mature of sovereign sensibilities and – most important —  readiness to lapse their vows of chastity. Still, they were faithful to their pledges of chastity Orthia and the Huntress Maiden, whereby the central premise of the Humanities scholarship about Helen, that her abstinence invited Aphroditë to incent lasciviousness in all the Gorgophonid granddaughters.

Most astonishing — and yet again belying the dictates of Classical Greek Mythology –, Helen and her entourage found strong platonic friendships besides physical attraction for several important princes. Foremost to fall in love with Helen was Menelaos, Great Prince of Argolis; and Menestheus the Prince of Attica (grandson of the usurper, of Theseus, and of the same name). Both had been so instrumental at finding the pirate abductors. Menelaos had won honors to escort Helen back to fortress harbor Tiryns after the long jaunt of cavalcade across the Isthmus and over the pass from the AcroKorinth to the Great Argive Plain. Their relations began with friendship, playing off his gallantry and her happy nature to delight him as the stunning maiden she was at late thirteen years old. Menestheus was to prove a bit dullard and shy, so we can’t gauge his effect upon Helen other than to return her utmost gratitude to him as an essential savior for knowing how to go to ground and discover her among the pirate retreat of Aphidnai Plantations. More impressed with the Attican prince were Kastor and Polydeukes, who tried to slant Menestheus into Helen’s best prospect as a suitor – when, that is, her time to be courted came to hand.

Over the two summers of 1270 and 1269 Leda tried to insulate Klytaimnestra from what she easily anticipated would be the utter sensation of Helen as finally realized in 1268. There was no reason for her daughter to wither under envy or by her own deep insecurities as a still ungainly and often impetuous princess at early maidenhood. Leda proved to outstanding good judgement in bringing her daughter two princes of perfect temperaments to bring Klytaimnestra to her own ascendancy. These were Aegisthus (Latin spelling) of Argolis and Tantalos of Olympia Plain and Pisa of Elaea. Both were closely related to the Pelopid dynasts Agamemnon and Menelaos while both those Great Princes were still under the Great Wanax Regent Thyestes, the real winner of the great religious war. Thyestes, it’s also likely, was the good advisor from which sprang the two most judicious choices of Leda at proper courtship of Klytaimnestra.

Aegisthus was the son of Pelopia, the only daughter of Thyestes and high priestess over Sikyon Shrine. Both Early Greek Mythology and Classical Greek Mythology are in agreement, for once, that Thyestes sired Aegisthus off that daughter after his triumph from the Battle of Four Mountains – by which the defeat Atreus’ entire occupational force upon the Isthmus of Ephyrëa. That brother and imperial opposite since the very beginning of the great religious war, the siring was the ultimate response from an oracle or a diviner, to the question from Thyestes on how he could bring his brother Atreus to a just end of self-ruin. The response stated that he’d have to sire the ultimate slayer through whom he would ultimately end the House of Atreus. Confusing at the time, we shall elucidate that prophecy through another posting, whereby some additional future context that’s essential to outcomes.

Tantalos III was by patrilineage off Pelops’ young uncle Pleisthenes. They invaded together Elaea upon the west coast of the south mainland with intent to conquer imperial Argolis arrears in 1415 BC. Their invasion was warfare in vengeance of all the depredation of the Argives upon Maionia of Anatolia. Pleisthenes was the founder of a lesser dynasty than Pelops would engender; he’s in myth, however, of the name Polyxenos, off an agnomen attached to him that means “Many Ways Foreign.” His founded House honored his youngest nephew Broteas, the youngest brother of Pelops much younger than himself. He most valiantly came over from Maionia of Anatolia around 1400 BC with massive Maionian reinforcements. The feat was enabled by a cabal of Pleisthenes with the Minos Lykastos of Crete and his Levantine allies. Crete provided all the logistical support and merchant vessels at resupply, whereas the Levantines provided the hulls for the massive foot troops sent across the Aegean – a greatest feat of seamanship most superbly abetted by Broteas.

Tantalos III, we think, stems from the genealogy of the House of Broteas that runs off Pleisthenes I and Pleisthenes II (the two are often conflated because short lived with Greece) and then through Broteas to Tantalos II to Broteas II and to finally Tantalos III. Beyond his years as he’s first introduced, he was the high prince and heir presumptive over Elaea. He became a most eligible and assiduous courtier of Klytaimnestra.

[ Note: The Classical mythography entails a Pleisthenes who was a brother of Atreus. They either were not the brother of Thyestes, or else there were the three brothers Atreus, Pleisthenes and Thyestes. We assure readers that this version and its minor variants make no sense and leads down to much genealogical confusion that’s utterly unnecessary.]

Clever yet again, both suitors of Klytaimnestra were given turns at her, Tantalos spending time until mid-summer at the summer compound of Gangania, and Aegisthus the second half of the same summer until the autumn equinox. The next summer was divided vice-versa, beginning with the courtship of Aegisthus. It says greatly about the princess that she soon had both high princes in love with her, even as she greatly enhanced and improved herself through their companionship. Both men were also highly approved by all the rest of the royal family of Gorgophonids. Until, that is, she had to make a mess of her mother’s astute planning by giving herself to both of them in the second summer, or just when Leda was so sure that her daughter would choose Aegisthus. In fact, no sooner had Tantalos found her no longer a virgin on account of her favors to his rival than he easily superseded him by bedding Klytaimnestra himself. They were affianced, married and would have three children together within the high city of Pisa over the Olympian Plain. But just preceding their royal marriage had been yet another complication, which we’ll get to in a next posting, the 162nd Bardot Blog.

Iphthimë became besotted with Diomedes, the High Prince over the Argolid Peninsula and heir presumptive to the House of Proïtos out of fortress harbor Tiryns. Already a gallant equestrian at age 18 years old, the prospective Martial-at-Horse of the Argive chariotry or Heavy Horse came directly under Agamemnon in standing. He, of course, was the Warlord and Great Prince, heir presumptive over Argolis since 1273 BC.

Iphthimë gave herself to him from almost as soon as they met — despite his modesty of comportment and own felt greatest surprise over the princess’ want of him. He swept her off her feet to the astonishment of her aunt-Leda. The incident did not go undiscovered, however. For once Leda and her brother-in-law Ikarios had to have a falling out, but it arose from their mutual charis, or selflessness, which proved, alas, confrontational with each other. Ikarios was far ahead in his planning for Helen’s best future circumstances as soon to become a bride in the offering. Greatly pleased that Klytaimnestra had found two suitors most pleasing to her choice, he designed for Iphthimë to be a foreign bride on offer to the High Kingdom of Aeoleis upon the north mainland of the Greek Peninsula. This was an act of greatest self-sacrifice on Ikarios’ part, and an almost unbearable loss to Leda’s future as soon to become a matron so blessed by the children of her nurture. But the arranged marriage was carefully counseled to Ikarios by Thyestes, who saw certain aspects of Helen’s marriage that had to be dealt with properly, and best attained through a marriage of Iphthimë to High Prince Eumelos, heir presumptive to his aged father the High King over Aeoleis. To address this very important foreign alliance properly, I must suspend discussion to finally bring to readers just why Helen in an imperial sense of territorial alignments was going to become such a very import bride. For derivative of that was the importance of Iphthimë, and ultimately of Timandra for an entirely different set of reasons.

The Wilderness Wilds as an Imperial Alpine Buffer

The Mapping provided reflects a high and yet mostly unknown degree of synchronicity that we assess as the final coming-of-age of the Late Helladic Powers and all major Islands attendant to the Late Aegean Bronze Age as a whole advancing civilization. It helps to know that the mapping above placed denotes an alpine vastness entirely interior to the Greek Peninsula which is central Greece and the Peloponnesus of today. The only fundamental we need know about the Highlanders was that they were a single and concentrated amalgamation of all peoples displaced by invaders and overland trespassers who had conquered their forebears by former times. That’s to say all forbears who went back to as much as twenty or twenty-five generations, beginning with the Pelasgians between the 20th and 18th centuries BC. Paramount of most recent interlopers were the relatively recent Argives descended from Danaos, and émigré out of Egypt during the Hyksoi dynasties of the Second Intermediate Period, and the Minyans, whose waves of conquest and diffusion had permeated the 16th and 15th centuries.

For most of the Late Helladic Period, 1590 BC ff., only the eastern divides of central mountain massifs – The Amykai range in the south, the Lower Pindus Mountains ranging north – had some population density. By the approaching middle of the 13th century BC, though, that density was considerably greater, especially in the east and beyond, or of a threshold high density along the broad bench lands that characterize the western piedmont off those same central massifs. Accordingly, the only underpopulated vastness, a true wilderness, was south to north as a tier of mountainous headwalls on the west side of the Pindus Mountains, off of which the strong Arachthos and Achelöos Rivers flowed southward by veers slanting westward. What also helped the western landmasses was the considerable sea power that the Cephallenes of the Ionian Isles had affected through strong alliances and maritime commerce with South and North Highlanders. As one concerted nation race on both sides of the Great Gulf of Corinth the once separate ethnicities had commingled to find their respective cultures compatible with each other. As importantly, both prior nation races still proved greatly underestimated by the lowland great powers.

The Ithacan League was established at about 1301 BC, when the Bond of Four Wanakes was established to fight the great religious war against Atreus and Peleus. They had placed great reliance upon neutral Highlanders who weren’t so neutral that they failed to serve as outstanding guides into back country to battle theaters amidst the lower altitudes. Founded by Arceisius, the son of the naval genius Cephalos, formerly of Attica but exiled to the west, 1299 demarcated the Ithacan League’s defeat of two naval powers, both of which were greatly overestimated circa that date. Arceisius sent most of the Argive and Allied fleets to the bottom of the sea just off Elaphonisos Isle of Lakonia.

By the end of that sixteen year long war the Ithacan League was a paramount sea power based on the strength of its great galleys and smaller warships. It had the unadulterated resources of heritage growth forest stands to rely upon, whereas Cephalos had pioneered the warship designs that had led into the Second Great Era of Oared Vessels during the 14th century BC. During the religious wat Sisyphus had relied on Laertes son-of-Arceisius for naval support of his land invasions, such as to take his force into and behind the front lines of his imperial adversaries. That had rendered Laertes a master at logistics, which he brought off after hostilities had rested to a full resurrection of the Great Grain Convoys annually navigated from the Black Sea. By 1269 BC the Cephallenes were ruled by co-regents Laertes and his son Odysseus, age 17. By then all the Cephallenes and their closest allies were conscripting their teenagers into crews, as soon as they reached their sixteenth birthdays. Both father and son had spent all their lives among the Highlanders senior male leaderships, the Ephors appointed by the Brotherhoods everywhere the alpine Greek Peninsula. The two nation races, thereby, had come together to withstand all opposition from the low country powers which surrounded the alpine center of Greece. As the following mapping denotes…..

The designated powers were going to fight the Trojan War together. The impetus, of course, would be Helen, and solely on account of her new imperial matriarchate’s borders upon all mainland powers. That had also been the geographic significance of her mother Nemesis. Leda, more than any other women of sovereign stature, knew exactly what Helen could mean to the Highlanders. Under her influence, moreover, Ikarios saw a prospect where Helen’s north mainland subjects would need lowland sovereigns capable of withstanding bully overlords and outright warlords out the coastal lowland great powers. To that succor, if necessary, the Aeolians were the most likely to undertake a protective role over all mountainous borderlands. By contrast, the Minyans of the North Plains of future Thessalia followed manhood rite-of-passage into manhood whereby they still conducted their young equestrian might into man hunts of Highlanders and rapine of their women.

All these considerations of the great power geography were going to become elemental to the choice of Helen’s suitors for her Trials-at-Bridal in 1268 BC. We shall conclude the biography of Helen youth in Greece with the amalgamation of her suitors, but also onward and through her few brief years as bride, nymph and young mother afterwards her marriage of ascension to Queen Holy Matriarch over the Wilderness Wilds. For that is how she should be known – Helen of the Wilds.

We shall also tentatively begin with a major citation, an important philological brief about later Greek Mythography, which I’ve post-scripted below my art signature. As the modern consensus goes it’s about the literary foundations of the Trojan War Era. We shall have a big point to make afterwards, before we can resume in biography of Helen as a queen also well known to the Hatti Anatolians and their many coastal High Kingdoms.


for the Bardot Group

 

160th Bardot Blog Post Script

159th Bardot Blog: Historicity of Early Greek Myth….The First Abduction of Helen

Our previous posting ended with what Greek Mythology calls The First Abduction of Helen. It occurred in 1270s BC and her abductor is supposed to have been Theseus, the national hero of the Atticans (Ancient Athenians) as mythologized in the 6th century BC. We can dismiss him because his putative lifetime from 1380 to 1334 BC long precedes Helen’s as born in 1284 BC and living long after the Trojan War Aftermath that ended in the 1220s BC.

The illustration below tracks the First Abduction from Helos Portside upon the Gulf of Lakonia until the haunt where she was hidden was discovered at Aphidnai of Attica upon the Bay of Myrtoa.

[Image: The mapping above shows the route of the pirates’ escape from Helos Portside into new avenues of evasion tending constantly eastward, then northeast and finally north up the Strait  of Abantis in the upper right hand corner. The beige arrow indicators designate the support that Kastor caused to sally forth into overland pursuit, ahead of the Lakonians in pursuit as indicated by dark arrows. The map is by way of a digest of Penelope’s version of the events, from her and the greater family’s points of view, from Penelope Princess of Lakonia, S W Bardot, Small Batch Books, 2009, now an e-Book. ]

Helen said about her abduction by pirates in the early springtime of 1271 BC, when her age was late in her thirteenth year. Our spokesman intermediary is her youngest cousin Penelopë, then nearly ten years old, in colloquy  at her age 35 years old as taken down into dictation by Mentör son-of-Alkimos, agreatest friend of her husband Odysseus.

She begins: “To be particularly accurate, Mentör, about by my recall of what Helen said to us all when crammed together in coziness with aunt-Leda at Helos Lodge, her telling happened just after she’d been returned to us. She had no idea of what had been reported about her miraculous salvation. Still, she would corroborate me and my version of what had happened to her, for your ultimate composition of both our recitals afterwards, together and apt to the entire incident.

Helen, in Colloquy:

You all seem to know already that I became pre-occupied with the little goats and lambs that were being passed up from Helos Portside’s long dock by hand. They were crowded together from a large ship at some sort of hurry to unload a herd of ibex kids, and then get off and away again with all the milling baby lambs and goats. I was helping the sailors ashore at containing the ibexes from straying away once landed. They used fence sections, about an arm’s width long. That was their way to herd the little beasts, by pressing them into each other, as though a flock. That chore wasn’t going well, though. The trailing ibex kids were all in a panic astray over their fear of those men, whom they sensed evil, utterly wicked, to themselves. They saw me, though, and even as startled my my sight they began to bleat to me their felt misery, seeming to crave my comfort of them by staring at me constantly to bestir my sympathy.

I’d jumped down from the parapet above the long dock, just after I had just waived afar to you, Timandra, as to exactly where I was. I knew you’d go fetch Penelope and bring her back to dockside. I’d became filthy as soon as I’d gained my feet on the planking, for I slipped immediately and fell on my face. But the little babies lambs and goats were so fond of me, to have me amidst them, and so instantly so, it seems, that I calmed them down rather well. I could barely squat as they nuzzled into me, all about me, making so cozy into my body so that I couldn’t easily stand up amidst them. I found a stance, though, and began to pet the little darlings, as many as I could touch with two hands apart and embracing their herd of noses.  That earned me great praise and encouragement from the sailors, that I stay with the other little beasts awaiting to be boarded until the ibexes were all flocked inland.

Soon, though, another herd of lambs was pressing us towards that ramp from further behind the long dock. Those, too, were snatched up and passed aloft and tumbled into a close aboard that ship, one at a time by most hurriedly. It was full to crowded with the little beasts, who again began bleating their woe very loudly and frantically for loss of their sight of me to calm them down as I had. So I stayed close to the ship, peering over the boat’s own side railing, making soft whistles like I do when I’m beating at the hunts, to get the hind moving forward and away from me stay at seeming tame and quiet as usual.

Oooo! Oooo! I was suddenly wrapped and blinded within a blanket – very tight! Soonest too, I was cloaked around my shoulders and head, and then, just as soon I was wrapped just as tightly again around my hips and legs, while feeling a strong grip upon both my ankles, I could barely move even from my waist even as I writhed and twisted. I was heaved still squirming as hard as I could, until arm to arm sidewise I was lifted up again, and plunked down into the bleating lambs and kids all about me again!

Not quite, though.  Some men had caught me up, holding me by my neck with one grip of hand, and my ankles by the other, until I was heaved sidewise again, arm to arm by the sailors, from within their ship. I couldn’t see anything, but knew I was captured and trussed and put aboard. I was screaming, too, but so were all those little beasts. I guess nobody could hear us with all that din and dither after I’d been dropped and plunked into the boat’s bottom. Everything sounded so shrill about me anyway!

[Penelope: Helen paused at that to gain breath, so fast had Helen been telling about herself once grabbed up and man-handled aboard the pirate ship. Aunt-Lëda took her pause to tell our cousins all that Timandra and I had done by our instant alerts: How so many above the long dock would not believe us, even the few of them earliest alerted; and how most there were too ready to dawdle, for too long, too, until too late to do anything about our distress. Finally, we screamed and shrilled, forcing all those dolts to take every good measure of pursuit after the departing ship, plain to see a coastal lugger. It still was so plainly seen on point to Cape Malea.  Then, all at once and outright much screaming by parents, who had discovered their own tiny children stolen earlier that same day from their nurses, while at strolling along the quay of docksides. But only their very sudden realization after so much screaming and alarum raised by Timandra and me for the thieves of Helen alone. If Helen was impressed by our alarm, she didn’t seem so impressed just then. She went on with her tale with fresh intensity. ]

Next thing, everywhere’s dark! I’m mantled head to foot in double blanket wrapping, and I can feel cords being tied around that entire truss until I can’t move any longer. I try to shout but I’m muffled.  Crying, I’m picked up bodily again as though light as a leaf, then bounced up or twirled around the bottom of that boat. No sooner did I smell its yeeky odors of kiddy poop than  – !Plop! – I was being rolled into some sea-closet. I could feel but not yet see all the other distressed children writhing in the same sack cloth blankets as mine. They were on all sides of me, bumping into me, lots of them squirming, too. Like lumpy, hairy caterpillars in a nest held a-palm, they kept on rolling or slithering around me, then onto me, crowding me even to suffocation! By then, though, I could just barely see them through the webbing of the homespun sacking around my head.

They, along with the unseen baby critters bleating somewhere somewhat lower than us, were squealing in their various ways. They pushed their way to me, but why I can’t say, except we would soon be comforting each other. After, that is, I tried to find some sort of support for my sprawling form within that dark hold. That was near the little critters, at last, who hemmed me in by their nuzzling to smell me…..

[Penelope: T`andra gasped audibly. She hated anything like a dark closet and thought it the meanest tease possible to lock somebody into a dark place. She also hated anything like the game of hide-and-seek. I told her to hush. Helen was making a lot of sense about what had happened to her and did not need anybody asking questions or exclaiming about a perfectly coherent rendition. I sidled over to Timandra, and took her hand to calm her. I stared at her so that she’d sense it best that she keep herself calm. We stayed cozy like that for the rest of what Helen told us.]

Those seamen had stowed us children into a sort of under-deck. I could sense ourselves at one far end of the boat, which end I could not tell. The little animals were somewhere in the middle of the ship but near me, their little lambs just below us bleating, too. I could hear slurping sounds of water at the bottom of the boat, stirred up a-wash under their hoofs. The baby animals so near, I felt worse confined than before, sharing their distress as little creatures completely stolen from their mommies and ramsters [ram leaders of herd].

I began again to holler, as shrilly as I could, especially after I just barely managed to crane my neck and shove my chin above the blankets and get my head almost clear to see anything at all. No help that, though. My next impression was a yet more sightless darkness, ever darkening, until even the chinks in the decking above us barely allowed me to see through the murk of that sea-closet. I dared to believe us near shore, though. Especially near, thee, Penelope. It was almost as though I saw you on land even if you couldn’t possibly hear me crying out to you.”

The door to the sea-closet kept being opened to pile loose stuff and keep us, children and critters, tightly crammed together. Not only did that keep me from getting used to the dark, but I also sensed ourselves utterly silenced by all that sound baffling stuff. The closed door had no light peeking in on us any longer. Around me children much smaller than me were bawling their own plights, they too become newly freed from the blankets wrapped around their heads. In the gloam, at last, I saw that they were rather well dressed little fellows and girls, many of whom must have been snatched from their nannies in plain sight of everybody that same midday!

Next, I felt the ship moving by both plunging oars upon sea and under sails ruffling above us by a wind. We all felt the steady motion. Shrill keening before then became just as soon everybody’s stuttering sobs and mostly stifled whimpering. I spoke up to say at last that we should stay silent. The quieter we were, the braver seeming, the sooner the sailors would let us out and untie us from our blanket wrappings. I could already smell pee-pee and soilings that those sailors would have to eventually clean out of that sea-closet. I didn‘t dare say that the pirates didn’t have to do anything. They could keep us as dirty as they wished, and as smelly, too. I just wanted to calm us down, to save our yelling for a time when it would work.

I remembered about then that I’d left my shawl, for packing things into, back on the dockside. It had fallen on the dockside when I was helping the ibexes. I knew that would be sign that Timandra and Penelope would easily recognize.

[Penelope: Sure enough, my hunch having been said and proven correct, T’andra exclaimed just as excitedly, to exclaim how we had indeed found her shawl. I gripped her hand as tight as I could to hurt her into silence. Except for a tiny gasp, she didn’t say anything more, and she disguised her sense of being scolded by me very well. Instead, just as we were recomposed and listening, Klytaimnestra must  prove a sentimental fool by choking forth a sneezy sob of sympathy. Kastor even had to whisper her, “Stuff the weeps, Klystrah! No sobbing ninnies here! Can’t you stay calm for knowing that our Helen’s still alive and the other children saved at last, too?”]

The seamen finally removed us from the blankets, and the sackings removed around our heads less we become choked. They yanked us out out of the closet one at a time while doing so.  But we’d have to stay in that dark stinky place again afterwards, in the dark. I boast myself their boss forthwith, though, I even tried to calm the littlest children down. I then worked myself into a fierce temper tantrum. I tried my best bully voice to lambaste the deck hands overhead, voicing my fiercest warnings about the disaster awaiting them if they didn’t return us to port. And I used all your best and dirtiest words, too, Iphthimë – for which my gratitude for their splendid results as well! As I’ll soon enough I’ll be saying about.”

[Penelope: Teemy, just beside Kastor and Helen, giggled and made a merry cast of her eyes up to Helen, but was too polite for any other rejoinder.]

There weren’t any objections to my bossiness except for some whimpers of dread. I told them we should act like boys who know how to cuss and be as impolite as possible. I then began to fetch up some of the little lambs and kids. We could grab them from a gap between our higher deck and the animals’ below upon the bottom planking of washy water. To be able to handle those little creatures, to sense them just as distressed as we were, seemed to cheer everyone up. So I became the shepherd as well.

We weren’t released from the sea-closet until some long time of voyage had passed.  Some sailor discovered us with the animals and began cursing that we all smelt so bad and looked so filthy. We were let out one at a time and led to places below the benches upon which the rowers were seated. That way every rower could keep us in sight. They then began to dunk us in the water to clean us off with rags. They even gave us blankets afterwards so that we wouldn’t get too cold. There was a chilly and stormy sky that hovered so near above us.

I was unable to peer out of the boat, see the horizon, until I got my own dunking. I then gave those sailors all I could of cussing. They laughed at me, but I got a good look around. I could just see the head of the Lakonian Gulf. It was far back and away, though, as some kind of heavy valley haze. The shore to my left I could not recognize until our pass-by of Elaphonisos Islet. I guess it was anyway. What other little island is there? That shore empty of anybody who knew us, I put my gaze ahead towards Point Malea, that the ship must make a close approach to it,  because we were running out of shoreline. I looked for any ship at pursuit, but none lay behind us.

I hollered then, screamed anew, as though to project our distress across the water. All the while I leapt over the rowing benches, dodged the crew and escaped any rowers with free hands to clutch me. The rowing stopped, all the benches soon at the scramble to catch hold of me. I was so quick and agile that the rowers couldn’t snatch me up again despite their strongest curses that I was a most horrid urchin and best be made quickest a fast snack for the fish. They said they had an especially large fish with huge teeth just waiting to eat me up, just as soon as they could throw me overboard for being so horrid. I kept up the cussing, though, and they couldn’t stop laughing that I had so many nasty words to say to them. Anyway, they were pretending at all their threats, and they knew I knew that so that I’d keep at swearing at them.

[Penelope: T’andra giggled, and so must I. Soon all of us were heaving with laughter. I can but shall not say of Iphthimë’s cussing, but it was rich, ripe and endless without repetition, to Teemy’s and Kastor’s approval of the mere mention of Helen’s cussing. We were rolling on the floor we thought Helen must have been so funny.]

When the sailors did grab me again I used all of Teemy’s absolutely worst insults – that’s to say the keekiest – to upbraid them for snatching little beasts and any little children fondly looking after their misery for losing their mothers. How horridly mean they were, and how those little critters knew them so evil, too.  I laced my epithets with horribly grim warnings about what they’d done, and to whom and just who we were, we children, and why Lakonians despise wicked pirates like them so much. I was about to say how dare they capture me, !!!, but instead  I stayed just smart enough to nay-say the sort of girl I really was, not even  once to have named my titles and honorifics! 

[Penelope, in interjection again: “That must have been very hard for you,” Kastor teased, for which Teemy cuffed him, and Helen made grabby hands to pretend that she was strangling him. By then even aunt-Leda and the other grown-ups were near to howling with laughter. Helen’s obvious quality and plain prettiness was no secret to anybody, anywhere. It seemed almost impossible to believe her clever enough to have disguised herself so certainly as a scruffy, grime-smeared lad.]

For a while I did keep one secret, though: Thanks to Iphthime’s sort of dirty lip, or perhaps because of my odd style of hair-cut, I must suppose that they, by gazing upon my short play tunic of gray cloth, were fooled. All the other little girls we wearing sissy harnesses or bibbed dresses. Anyway, or for whatever other reason, the crews mistook me a rude urchin boy for a certainty! I was so darned astonished! To even remotely suspect me a boy! For some time I could not think how to exploit such an astounding, flawed impression to my advantage. For one long instant I even felt strangely flattered, even to feeling great satisfaction that my chaplet of braided fillets had fallen off my head in my wild scramble to yell and hail towards Elaphonisos Islet.

The other children, once let loose, must prove much as I’ve said, a sissy every boy and a howling shrieker every girl. I must next warn the pirates off of the littlest captives. I truly think they were so frightened as to maybe fall into a frenzy or a fit, even to choke upon their misery. It really was going just so awfully bad for them! Also, we were setting the little creatures off again! They were screaming all through the boat. At so high and loud a pitch that my ears were hurting even while listening to them.

I kept up an ever gushing font of foul insults. Almost a game, Teemy, because it was sort of a test of how many I could remember without saying any of them twice again. But I only made the seamen howl with laughter. They teased me back with their crudest insults. Good stuff, too! They even dared to call me a catamite! But their most effective taunt by that repartee stumped me into fright. I was suddenly named several times in a same way. They called me Slave Boy!

The ship passed Point Malea, without any indication that I could yet see that a pursuit was from anywhere underway behind us. The first realization of a chase came fast enough, however, upon the big turn that came next. For the pirates ordered us captives back into the sea-closet, while they scrambled overhead to set sail wear and linens. After another spell of darkness we children were tied to the inside walls of the ship, to poles that they called stanchions. There, before us,  laid out across the ship, were the rowing benches. I must suppose that the pirates spaced us so to have us balance the best run of their ship under fullest and fastest sail. That and an excellent wind, so suddenly blowing up, made obvious that our captors were very relieved to have achieved the broad turn of the ship away from Point Malea. For even I could tell it was a storm wind blowing up and over us, stretching an ever broader sail than I’ve ever seen before. They kept untying the linen fabric’s lower hem, and then hiking it up higher and higher upon its pole. They didn’t stop doing so until I heard someone shout the sailors to stop. The Mast couldn’t break away the way they’d had it, the shouter said, and they all had cah-cah for brains for not knowing so. Yet with that sail so fully billowing, and the ship still so fast through the sea by the wind force, I must feel at last deeply disheartened by the rapid progress away from any sight of homeland.

I almost cried, too, Kastroh. But I knew you’d say me a ninny, so I didn’t. But it was hard to stuff the weepies down. Until, that is, there arose a sense of greatest fright among those pirates; that they had no quarter available to them at deep sea, into which to escape clean away, even with so strong a wind behind them as befitted any direct bearing upon their desired destination.

We captives could not see for ourselves why their fright, but the pirates’ long stares back upon the ship’s wash of wake showed that they knew they were under pursuit. I must imagine that a well-oared, well-sailed ship was scooting up the wake of our ship. I could only surmise how effective the pursuers by our rowers’ haunted expressions. They made manifest a most urgently felt distress!

[Penelope: Helen’s way of telling that distress made easy for us to remember what Polydeukes had said, about how the chase after that pirate ship gave both encouragement and constant frustration both at once to Commodore Sonios and himself. The only difference in his telling to me and Helen’s was the deep distress that she recited of the pirates: Steadily rowing at ever increasing exhaustion, I recall how Polly had said of his own ship under Sonios’s command, especially about the frustration of tiring rowers so relentlessly at chase.  Allow me to skip to that nightfall, therefore.]

Darkness proved early and rapidly befallen after so much time at flight under full sail. The gloam perturbed the pirates greatly, surpassing the hard pace of sustained rowing without either rest or reliefs. They remarked their bad luck to be heading into a full Moon-rise, just as soon as brief twilight’s end by the storm looming up from westward behind us. I recalled just then how one of our priestesses of Shrine Orthia once told me that a full Moon is a very lucky omen for the wholly righteous, yet very bad luck for the wholly wicked. For so it surely proved.

First thing, Moon caused such distress by her radiance over that nightfall that the pilots, the only crew whom I could clearly overhear – or understand -, remarked that the pursuit was becoming too exhausting upon the rowers. To which there was a lame yet loud reply that the pursuit ship must tire also, and just as much, because she “wasn’t riding the storm sea as well as her class should suggest she could;” and also seemed to be “hogging far down the rolling swells” – whatever that meant.

Suddenly, though, by that very clear Moon-rise climbing ahead of us, I felt myself suddenly damp at the crotch! I was wetting myself. Trying to move myself from what I must suppose was warm water awashing off my side wall of the ship, as by splashes  over the rail and soaking the side planking,. I discovered the dampness was also thick and sticky. In the darkness I couldn’t tell what was happening. But I couldn’t find a dry spot – or rather, I couldn’t dry off after I was so sure that I’d found a dry place to crouch down upon.

I tried to stay awake but I could not. When I awoke and could see well by Sun’s rise his first yellow bright light, I examined my tunic. It had turned a deep muddy color, but then, fully beheld, it was completely soiled with bloody ooze. Crusty stuff too. Looking everywhere for bruise or cut, yet feeling neither pain by a scrape, I finally examined peered down and under, to see my nethers.”

[Penelope, again in interjection: “Helenë!”, Klytaimnestra must protest, “Shame upon thee to speak of that in our men’s company!”

But before she could react Kastor piped in, “Damn it, Klystrah, do you always have to give away a story before it’s fully told!?!”

Not at all befuddled, Helen took that pause to resume excitedly, even joyfully:]

“There, indubitably, was sign that I was at my first Moon-time ever! That full-Moon arising had brought me to full advent as maiden!”

 “My thrill was entirely opposite to the feelings expressed next by all the rowers nearest me. They became utterly aghast by what had happened to me during the darkness past. A nearest oarsman had been watching me at my candid self-examination. Likely he too was wondering about the obvious signs of my extreme blood-let. He realized as soon as I did what and why its sign.

He yelled his distress that I was befouled: “This lad has Curse! Curse I tell you! He smears the hold in Woman’s Sin, Blood Smut! Riddance him! Riddance him!

He set off all his fellow oarsmen and sailors. There’s was a panic fright so openly expressed that even we children must wonder for it. Some of them began crying again, believing as those sailors did that some calamity was upon them and soon to be felt as direst peril for everyone entrapped upon that boat. The captain and his pilots couldn’t talk any sense into them. While so much ado, though, I managed to wrap up all that soiled raiment before anyone could throw it over the side. I just knew for a certainty that I needed to toss it overboard and leave floating it somewhere ahead where it would be found on the sea surface. For that full night had passed without anybody remarking about a ship still at chase after us. That had to be very bad, or soon it would be, at the very least. I just knew that. somehow

The pirates must have been clever in estimating any chasing ship’s guesses about their hide-outs, because they talked mostly about an unfrequented tuck of a pebbly beach somewhere near. Out of sight by storm shadow over their pursuers, the sunrise was already darkened to gloam by falling storm clouds high above the eastern horizon ahead.  The pirates turned about suddenly, to land the ship’s rear-end quickly, after a short row of very rapid stroking that got the boat into an inlet. The crew took down sails and its pole rapidly after the turn; and with next rapid exertions, they unloaded the craft of us captives. We were making loud again because I told them all to struggle hard to break their bonds, and to shout anew  as loud as everybody could, or to make themselves tight balls, whereby to make delay for long enough for our chasers behind us to see or even overtake us.

But nothing doing by my attempt to delay. I did see afar and at last a most splendid galley under sail and coming off deep sea to force us to stay landed. Alas, it passed by us. She made a most marvelous, hopeful sight for me. I only must wonder how such a great ship had failed until then to overtake us.  I must suppose that the wind was still too strong, despite the water become so surprisingly flat and calm, so that she’d fallen just short of a final overtaking of our own boat.

So what the pirates had done, I must also suppose, had proved just in the nick of time. On that quick change of bearing, and by rowing into the wind, and finally by running the boat backwards and up the beach and high ashore, the great galley had missed what they called a tuck of our seashore. The men at watching all horizons were soon reporting the pursuit galley had turned about, was again at a hasty retreat back upon us by renewed pursuit. But then they were rowing away from our landfall and over and across to [Hydra Island], on the chance that was where the pirates had resorted to. So they missed us a second time on that near passing, because our captors had easily hidden our vessel under flotsam that had piled up ashore. The glum sky overhead had also helped to keep us well hidden.

I felt, nonetheless, that our best luck was renewing. That great galley had just missed us. We had to stay put until dark. There ensued, too, the pirates’ deepening dread for the next day, that their ship might be discovered by our pursuers’ vigilance overland. Many warships, of all kinds, passed us so close to the Tuck. I mean Commander Sonios’ great galleys, of course, for even the pirates could recognize his banner by waving high upon every ship at passing. Each hung a banner that might be sighted from higher up the shore. At least that’s what the pirates’ worried chatter was about, that land chasers, men mounted horses, could also signal back and forth to those gathering ships at sea but nearing land, while our boat was trapped in a recess of beach and only barely concealed there.

Next, too, the pirates were brought to some much greater dread. The watchers inland kept up reporting a large force of mounted horsemen that was raising dust and even heard to be breaking through brush. They were small search groups that the pirates called vedettes. The name of Prince Diomedes the grandson of Deipylë was mentioned most frequently as a greatly respected searcher ashore. The only luck the pirates had by that prince’s active scour of the Argolid – for that’s where the boat had hugged into to hide – lay in his searches from the Peninsula’s Saronic Gulf side. So we would learn, or they to so reason just then. Before working thoroughly around and along the Strait whose shoreline we were upon, most of the Prince’s time was wasted within the Gulf shore. Because that coastline search necessitated the prince cover the most familiar coves and inlets until he was above our stretch of shoreline.

It became again last dusk. Any reports said in dread of Diomedes faded with the rapid loss of daylight. His force must have been very near discovery of the tuck, though. So I could easily overhear for myself as I got used to their slurred speech and stunted catch-phrases. Terrified watchers reported into the campsite settled deepest ashore through messengers, by their smallest lads sent hither or thither from their hide-out in a high up shore recess of that beach.

Finally, though, the Pirates became more cheerful. They announced their very good chances to hie away upon the next fulsome Moon-rise. The retreat of storm over day’s end still hovered thick upon the eastern horizon. The pirates dared venture the early dark for a crossing to Kea Island off Point Sounion of Attica. So we captives were hustled aboard the ship on her fast launch off the pebbly beach, and into the pitch-dark by earliest nightfall. That prompt resumption of the escape likely served the pirates well. They avoided patrols, which they feared might come off the Saronic Gulf. Commander Medon’s name was mentioned with great dread, but no longer were there any remarks about Commodore Sonios. The ships, I suppose, were not yet fully gathered together by both his fleet commanders in concert with Commodore Medon’s, or yet so fully deployed for a most intensive search possible once we’d crossed over to Point Sounion under cloud-hazed moonlight.”

Yet our recapture was becoming a near thing every day. I told my charges so, that I was guessing alright. They gained courage as the days passed. The pirates just barely found shadow by another landfall at hiding from Moon, at that next night’s wain of fullest orb, climbed above a last cloud drift until hovering above dark stormy horizon ahead, to the northeast. Then, at the instant of Moon’s excellent light, we sighted behind our progress many great galleys and swift escort vessels, coastal huggers as the pirates called them. They were seen actively about, at cruise in groups of three ships. I could see them plainly. They could be seen under sails or oars, and they seemed absolutely thorough at their coverage of the entrance into the Saronic Gulf to bar our retreat thither.”

[Penelope: I spare how Helen passed the rest of the pirates’ successful flight away. The longer and longer delays of risings by Moon each night allowed them safely staged retreats north up the Bay of Myrtoa. Despite the need to shorten their legs by each nighttime’s voyaging, they had enough time to find perfect inlets and tucks for concealment. To hide the ship from any sighting from offshore in daytime became a new major problem at leaving each next landfall. Still, the days gave plenty of time for rest, and to secure provision somehow from unsuspecting hamlets inland the vast Attican Peninsula. As corroborated by others later, and many times said before Helen’s retelling that night, the final landfall of the pirates would have to prove twofold of a careful concealment plan. ]

The first plan was for a place, somewhere the pirates could unload us, for final concealment in another hide-out, which proved upon Mount Tricorythos, where we tied up together. There, the pirates stripped us captives so that they might leave our clothing behind as a sign to their pursuers that they were irretrievably stolen and lost.  My bloody raiment had already been found, they told me, and the discarded attire of all those captive children were added to it for the certain discovery by any pursuers.

The vessel then embarked immediately away, to pretend itself at voyage up the Strait of Abantis. They actually were boarded three times by patrols of sleek Cephallene galliotes before they managed their vessel’s abandonment. That feint the pirates accomplished under the thick dark of the night, whereby also the ship’s far distance by a drag of the pirates across an open meadowland [the Lelantine Plain] of Abantis Island. They were so mean to tell us all this, making it hard for me to console our littlest captive fellows. I’ve never felt so greatly distressed. Such was the report of pirates, nonetheless, by sending messengers out to other pirates at various hide-outs near ours. Their perfect confidence that the ship’s discovery would take much time caused me even greater distress:

They made a joyful reunion of each other at last, at a new hide-out, likely nearby, a deep cave where we were put ashore and kept hidden! My charges were so frightened of the deep woods into which we were dragged before the cave was reached. Indeed that was a very dark woodland, but also where I felt at sudden great peace and perfectly felt safety in our surrounds. Yes, the daytimes were dark, too, and distressful to my little companions. They didn’t know the woods and feared anything their like of deeply dark ground and canopy of trees. I loved the smell of it, knew it for it was, a habitat for little wild creatures like we children must become to find safety within it. I told them happy stories about the forests and deep set meadowlands where sunny places most lovely, and I’d known many of them already, especially all those and many others that I’ve learned about with Polly, all about animals and small children as constantly friendly and tame with each other.

Just as we were getting used to being dirty and bound together to trees from time to time at deep within those woods, we were fetched and dragged down to a second landfall. It lay across some channel. The confidence expressed while the crossing, all the new and nasty men so glad for it, made all of us unhappy, but that was going to be their short-lived relief of us. I could not keep myself unnoticed any longer as a captive of finest quality. I heard my name mentioned often. They still had not come to realize that the most sought after captive was myself. None of the children knew my name either. To them all I was a girl boy, a hoyden, someone so different from a princess as not be imagined as one by anybody. I had kept myself dirty of face and attire, although I was cramped up a bit around my groin by the soiling of all the new raiment afforded me. Even so, I had become so persistently impudent and otherwise nasty as a skinny lad that they guessed me special in a very different way than I am. Admittedly, their outspoken arrangements for my disposal –”on the cheap” they said – caused me great despair, even a collapse of my optimistic nature held so steadfastly up until then. For a first time, moreover, I dreaded what would have to happen to all the others besides me. I might be disposed of; but they would likely be killed!

Then, though, before such horrid thoughts could become too deeply felt and constantly irking, there came a day when the pirates crammed us into yet another hide-out, a bear den with creeper vines dangling down in concealment of it. Those horrid men threatened all us captives against making even the slightest sound. I thought that was the last place they would lead us and let us abide. I just felt that so, even likely. I don’t know why. They gagged the constant bawlers. They knew themselves caught and soon to be overrun. Or so I began to think, because they didn’t dare move us any longer.

And so they were, caught and slain, although no less the surprise of all us captives when they were caught and we so happily found!. In impressively quick time, too! But I didn’t see our rescuers’ slaughter, except for those stuck in the den at watching over us. I saw all four of them beheaded and their heads affixed atop poles. I didn’t even wince that was so sudden and so!

T’andra, despite my relaxed grip upon her, must burst like a bundle full bodiedand bursting  in joy, her hands waving upright in exclamatory pride for her sister. Up she leapt from our shared seat, too, with every zeal to applaud Helen. All the rest of us were so impressed as to stay still stunned and crouch seated in awe and fully coyed by what Helen had said! I so wish that Father, just for once, could have been at Helos that night! I did my best to tell him about Helen in her way, just exactly so, just as her tale now said.

But how could I? Helen is Helen – irreplicable!

Consequences

Helen become fourteen, but near her fifteenth birthday, Penelope could not say further about her until that autumn of 1271 BC by the Lakonian naval calendar of thirteen months, each 28 days, by each  year. That summer before, though, Iphthime and Klytaimnestra became the beginning of an entourage for Helen as she was brought to a debut over that summer and the next. There also had been a long cavalcade of Lakonians through the highlands of the Mantinian and Arkadian Brotherhoods of Highlanders, by way of expressing gratitude to them for aiding so well the pursuit after Helen. Held at the summer solstice, when the highland wheatlands are nigh to harvesting and all else bountiful in wild flowers, that occasion was the Highlanders’ first chance for most of them to gaze upon the princess of their blood, the most esteemed and hallowed of all their illustrious alpine womanhood since Leda had briefly been among them before her marriage to Tyndareos.

Not unexpectedly, Helen, even at fourteen years old, had proven sensational for her beauty and graciousness amidst her own people, her future subjects. For she’d been trained and groomed well, and spoke their special dialect of speaking fluently. Returning to Therapne of Lakonia, and then to the royal horse ranch of Gangania near inland from the Gulf of Lakonia, it became a venue for a broad encampment, for any equestrian fair and “meet” by way of introducing gallant young men hosted by Kastor and Polydeukes, but under her foster father Tyndareos lavish hospitality by way to introducing Helen in entourage to all the young guests.

The royal family all together again at Therapne, Helen’s entourage was expanded to include the royal princesses who were postulant to the holy orders of their mother’s sanctuary demesnes within the Pamissos River Valley of Andania — across the mountain divide of the Amykai Mountain Range. They were Phoebe and Hilaiira, by demesnes along Nadon Stream and and along the east coast of Andania upon the Gulf of Andania, respectively situated. Leda had finally gotten a wish long hoped for, to bring those second cousins to the Oebalids into the royal family and out of their cloistered existences spent within their sanctuary inheritances by their long dead mother {Supposed a princess Arene, a sister of Tyndareos and Ikarios, she’s most unsatisfactorily explained as such. The Sisters Leukippidai, so-called, were the daughters of a high priestess of Andania, a woman in liege fealty to the late grandmother Gorgophone].

The following summer, Helen at fifteen almost to sixteen years old, another Horse Fair was held in late spring at Therapne, amidst the many horse concourses there where the stabling of the Lakonian Horse under Kastor and its troop attachments attendant as under drills becoming to young masters-at-arms, both Lakonians and Highlanders, under Polydeukes as their martial-at-arms.

On that note of maturity, the oldest princes and princesses altogether at their approaching debuts to the royalties of the Peloponnesus, I leave off this posting. The 162nd Bardot Blog, two postings hence, shall resume about Helen from that summer of 1270 BC. That year shall carry us by immersion into the famous, even illustrious Trials-of-Bridal for Helen that were held for her formal debut to all early Greeks at Helos in the mid-spring of 1268 BC. For from there truly begins Helen in legend and lore by Early Greek Mythology that mostly belies what Classical Greek has to say about her —  as mostly against her — from the slanted bias and posturings of Ancient Athenian Classical Drama.


for the Bardot Group, Legacy Scholars of Antiquity