General Findings of The Bardot Group
After several decades at creating our contemporary voice of antiquity, our narrator Mentor son-of-Alkimos, so until recently the gradual publication of his extensive writ by his Archival and Royal Chronicles. They now offer our lay readers and classical studies buffs several profound departures from what the Classical Age Greeks believed of their Minoan, Helladic, Cycladic and Troadic Periods - all of whose antecedent prehistory the modern academy usually subsumes within the Late Aegean Bronze Age. We no longer can find meaning in an artifactual consensus of either the Mycenaean or Minoan Ages, both of which spanned consecutively over a much greater duration than our creative Mentor can command authoritatively. What both those periods and strictly “academic ages” express of the 16th through 13th Centuries BCE has often been vague, dishonestly revisionist, or otherwise obliterated by imposed fantasy about the Argives in particular. What Mentor offers of recitative content instead, for a narrower Second Era of Great Oared War Navies, spanned the years 1410 to 1226 BC. His domain of authoritative rendition becomes, therefore, entirely original prehistory for all Greeks by their ethnicity brought to a unified confluence at the end of the 15th century BC.
We've begun with his coverage of the Trojan War's Advent, from 1262 BC, or two years after the Abduction of Helen. Through the active diplomacy conducted to ransom and restore her diplomatically, we've established the two years prior to the first Eastern Campaign. A trilogy of books shall run the Trojan War onward, until its Aftermath. What shall accrue details an expansion of the grand recitative legacy from which Homer himself drew source in order to develop his own genius and ultimate mastery of the material as the first epic poet of history.
Our forging and tempering of Mentor as our contemporary narrator, by a lifetime within the 13th Century BC, has compelled our source scholars and our philological creators to a particular dichotomy. We afford a sharp and deep contrast between Early and/or Earliest Greek Myth and the copious Classical Greek Mythology from the 5th century BC onward. While there's a marvelous harmony between the two mythical sets of recitations by the most venerable story, fable or archival renditions, earliest myth were honest history as once briefly brought to writ by use of syllabaries. That former or earlier legacy than alphabetic writing, as now supplemented from Mentor's opera, affords us versions of well-known antecedent recitals that differ greatly from what we've learned of "Greek" prehistory through the Dramatists of the 5th Century BC. For the Tragedians of greatest genius were almost eight centuries ahead of Mentor's assumed lifetime, and fully four hundred ahead of Homer's and Hesiod's seminal masterpieces. Considering such major gaps in the extant legacies from those earliest Masters, successive to each other by such huge gaps of time, we must expect much historical revisionism, even gross misunderstanding and deliberate fallacious fabrication, by what the lapses of centuries in between composed for those subsequent Masters.
Accordingly, we enumerate some of the startling features of Mentor's Opera:
1. All earliest belief systems evolved from the pre-Hellenes. They were essentially heterodoxical, or non-doctrinaire with respect to their broadly regional geneses. City States were non-existent, of course, and most of the worships of deities long preceded the final Olympian Pantheon. They were generally evocative of a Great Earth Mother, herself a final Creatrix by the First Creation between Nyx and Chaos. Personalized as Gaia/Gë, she was progenitive, even "tri-genitive," through her highest transcendence and two deifications as imminences. There's also a genuine harmony of the pre-Hellenic earliest beliefs in the characterization of male gender as pure force, in holistic form and efficacy of raw power - e.g., as sun/fire, sea/tide, heaven/storm, abysm/undertow, river/flood and cascade/spate. Time was also regarded as force, a transcendant chronological force, a push and pull so inexorable and irreversible as any measured continuum enabling its future everlastingly oncoming.
Appositely, or by divine aspects of female gender, the Great Goddess/Earth Mother is of counterpart paramountcy, as purely physical or material of form. Even as she's often immanent, either abstractly or blatantly emotional by any conceived apparition, she's essentially of holistic of material effect, of and by substance. Hardest of all her aspects to understand, even as everywhere once believed, is the archly feminine aspect of the Fates (always plural as the Moirai) or Destiny (always singular and neuter as we have from Roman Classical Mythology). That way, all alone, the Goddess was herself much as "Father" Time, both transcendent yet also immanent as the ability of us mortals to "substantiate" her chosen apparition. Accordingly, even prophecy, by promethaean/mantic mentality, was virtually material as manifest of "solid outcome."
The catalyst to earliest dynamic sexual unions, again in common to the highly differing versions of earliest divine genesis, was Eros - Love as force both physical and psychic, and as either all-powerful - whereby the ungovernable emotions that have ruled procreation everlastingly. That said, what follows bears no final consensus or collegiality within our many communities of academic high professoriats.
2. As for the First Creation, Nyx - Night or The Invisible Void - was wedded in purest passion to Chaos - Force as Manifest Luminance - as Light & Fire. So, then, for the Big Bang at creation of Primordia, the universe as Modern Physics has called its consequence! Before their duet at primordial manifestation of everything there was nothing to be seen, but everything was elemental by an existent maelstrom. The Big Bang of Antiquity was much about abounding profusion and expansive diversity of sentient life.
The progeny produced by their transcendent union, both suddenly luminous and substantial by intangible force, slowly built to consensual archetypes. There's Ürania a Goddess of the Heavens and Poseidonia as Goddess of the Seas & Waters (before, that is, she became best known as Amphitritë). They then created, together, Gaia/Gë or The Earth Mother. So we have in evolution a Trinity at paramountcy, collectively the Creatrix as a trinity. By them, again to trinity, the further genesis of living, mortal beings. Gaia becomes paramount as the ultimate artifactual deity. She's molds and crafts matter; she's both beneath and above her two transcendent Sisters. Then, after considerable further evolution, all that's left of the two latter godheads, respectively, is their transcendence, or utter passivity, a sometimes elemental concept at best of an abstract interdependence between earth, water and air.
Chaos, always transcendent, therefore remote, lives on as the fourth element -- vital, dynamic force as the primordial element Fire. He's Life as force inherent, and the essence of power by his any progeny thereafter. We must take him as well as the seemingly immaterial universe, the Void of Ether, which was regarded as another, albeit hidden, dynamic force. From his genesis force, aboriginally, the Great Goddess substantiated most all her creations as living variably finite, or mortal lifetimes of several generations as measurable. Thus she's at last the ubiquitous "deathless" Creatrix, by whom many sundry and subsequent versions of equally existential creation myths.
Another trinity, albeit by progeny subsequent to the earliest ever Trigenitive Pantheon, was Theia Therön (Goddess of Wild Things,) Theia Ürania (Goddess of Flying Creatures) and Theia or Potnia Amphitritë (The Sea Mistress over marine life). By them, eventually, the Titans of Classical Greek Mythology, but not yet, or at first, in any orthodox sense of their engendered eunomia, “good order,” by which humanity attained its organized and yet highly complex polytheism, whereby, too, a diversity of coherent religions.
3. A religion of orthodox polytheism evolved to efficacy just afterwards of the Late Aegean Bronze Age. It took all the Greek Dark Age (1190 to 780 BCE) for its orthodox and elite pantheon to become manifest to the Greeks of the 1st Millennium BCE. We also believe that the loose or heterodoxical polytheism, an oldest and well-formed religion of the Greeks, came by evolution from worships upon Crete Island. The often called Mother Island, she's what scholars have preferred to call Minoa. Crete in turn was greatly influenced by Egypt, albeit the earliest beliefs were startlingly rational as an anthropomorphic polytheism (i.e., no human bodies supporting heads of beasts or birds). The evidence here, by a mostly Cretan pervasiveness of the Greek Peninsula, was tenuously philological, known by evolutions of names (1) from Rheia to Hera, (2) from Dyaos to Zeus, (3) from Poseidonia to Poseidon while she was renamed Thalassa until popularized as (4) Amphitritë, always a mostly transcendent goddess. A comparable train of male deities proved out from (5) Okeanos to Pontos to Poseidon.
4. Another evolution, late in the Greek Dark Age, has Zeus paramount over the Olympian Pantheon. He becomes so by a four centuries' transition, as from Dyaos Son of Rheia (as recomposed in Anatolia off the Hatti supreme deity Teshub) to Dios Son of Kronos, to a trinity of Dyaos, D(i)on and Dis, until finally we have Zeus, Poseidon and Hades in patriarchal triumvirate. Their trinity of shared powers lasted only for a nonce, however. Earliest in that evolution, notwithstanding it didn’t prove enduring, Poseidon attained paramountcy over his brethren male deities, even if his name was passed to him from a clearly matriarchal progenetrix, Poseidonia. He was also the deity most contentious with the Great Mother for divine paramountcy. By her final trinity name, Hera, she subsumed all the transfigurations of goddesses – crone, matron and maiden – as an evolved supreme deity brought over to Greece from Anatolia. Her preserved name, from before the Anatol’s Hattic Empire, lasted as “Our Lady Arinna.” Allowing for some flux and contentiousness between monotheism and polytheism, she manifest as the "All Holy One" (Panhagia) or the "One All Holy."(Figuratively, that is, as the "All Giving" Mia Pandora. Idiomatically stated here, we deliberately afford our lay readers an appropriate sense of her paradoxical antithesis.
5. A final trinity is that familiar to classicists as Gaia/Demeter/Persephonë. They're essential to the mysteries of the female condition, the arbiters of the female transfigurations. By reversing their order as presented, an infant female goes from a growing girl to initiate maiden, thereon to bride or nymph, whereby her transformation anew as fecund matron, until, at last, she's a sage crone elder. Chloris Mother Nature is often all three of those goddesses as one, and she's parthenogenic, or prolific of life without aid of seed or mounting by sire of her bounties. So too "Daughter" Day, who rises as Eos the Dawn, a maiden, becomes midday as Hemera a matron goddess, and descends through the dusk as Hespera the Evening Crone. The Bronze Age Greeks, please understand concomitantly, adored their goddesses mostly as fecund matrons; whereas the later and classical Greeks placed a greatest devotion upon an ever renewing, ever revitalizing maidenhood as inherent their own foremost goddesses.
6. The Olympian Pantheon, accordingly, was a vista far ahead of the LABA as a final line-up of Hellas' primordial deities. Granted that the already Old & Ancient Beliefs in the Great Goddess were lapsing off primary worships of female deities, their ever waning as trinities, or declining triumvirates, composed a finale of (i) immanent maidens, (ii) governing supreme matrons and (iii) a single transcendent crone (Demeter). The foremost male deity remained Poseidon for many centuries. He was invoked severally, however, as the Consort God to the Great Goddess, aka "The God of Springs." There was still, as well, the primeval worship of the Sun God as Helios Son of Hyperion (Mentor uses Helios Hyperion by conflating that godhead). Also widespread, as though to round out Helios, was an already ancient worship by the once flatland universe of Okeanos and Tethys, by a sense of cosmogony as "Dispensing Earth," ergo Tethys, as surrounded, overlapped and insinuated by her ever circulating "Ocean."
Mentor himself would learn of Aphroditë, Artemis, Ares and Hephaistos for their foreign geneses. He never mentions Ares, however, regarding him instead as Enyalios the War Maker. The primary deity of Mentor's own nation race, the Highlanders, became the trinity of Gë (Earth), Theia Therön (Goddess Beasts Wild) and the Huntress Maiden. He uses Hera interchangeably with Errha, an invoked name for the primeval Maiden Goddess, but clearly by Rheia of a supposed Cretan genesis.
These and other departures from Hesiod's Theogeny, of course, are too numerous to examine here in brief.
We realize that much of the above goes against the grain of classical studies buffs whose educations have rested so solidly upon the Olympian Pantheon as finally conceived. They would much prefer the Greeks whose literary traditions -- oral and composed -- rested upon firm and longstanding orthodox foundations. The Bardot Group, however, is always about much earlier examinations than history can provide us, regardless any lack of rigor in offered argument. But just as the archaeological digs compel us to alternative realities about the pre-Hellenes and earliest ever Greeks (before their Dark Age, that is), so does our own archifactual Mentor.
OTHER LESSONS LEARNED BEST BY "UNLEARNING":
3. Far into the Late or Last Age of Patriarchs, new dynasts, whether conquerors or interlopers by their foreign origins, took upon themselves the native model of sovereign manhood. The theory to such tendency is attributed to Joseph Alsop. Mentor terms courting man the Consort, or Lord, Home Protector. He's in the most part a model of champion defender, but also an exemplar of land steward and diplomatic plenipotentiary, all such roles in play for his Meda or High Matron. He's the prototype Elite Man, howsoever subordinate, while also an apt precursor to the Hero. But only later, for he's by that dub off the earlier and paramount model/name-title for Elite Woman, a Heroine [HAIR-owe-een(ay)] if proven through life of the inestimable virtue called charis. The sacral Medai, or High Matrons as we've translated for their pedigrees, took such a model man as (1) consort of limited term; or (2) as husband of a longer set term, a Great Year or 100 solar months; or, if orphaned of her mother, as champion-at-field (3) during her youth as a designated defender "of house."
A consort aspirant, Mnaistairos [(m)NAYSS-tare-oss, but earliest Latin M(n)aester, had to vie for the Kora-of-House ("princess") by the regional dictates of her homeland. The rites and ordeals imposed upon consort aspirant passed from most violent expressions of her respective marital tradition into sundry practical criteria to a best choice of man, whether a father's appointee, or a mother's, or designee by council elders to either parent. They then arranged astute marriages of an illustrious Köra or Maiden Heiress to her most apt mate. Peculiarly, though, selection of aspirants placed premia upon men who were foreign or utter strangers to the hosting soveriegn family, as by disposition to have her marry outside her clan.
The Highlanders, appositely, called their leading maidens Archetas, or Chieftainnesses, who usually mated with leading huntsmen of foreign tribes by treated arrangements within their entire "nation race." Children by such sires were not named for their fathers, at least not until the Highlanders fought for their recapture of Helen. There seems, or almost seems, a concerted and deliberate effort to find consort aspirants outside of the local milieu of the Maiden's homeland. There's sense of hybrid vigor, too, in mating a foreign born consort or man of some lesser ilk than his maiden's. Certainly the best of the Consort Home Protectors came from the arranged marriages or won wedlocks to indigenous born Maidens by the often foreign sires of their children. That Consort Home Protectors lived in their bride's homeland, though, was a tradition undergoing eclipse during Mentor's lifetime.
The result was a fine blend of traditional sovereignties, all of a sturdy hybrid vigor as we've gleaned them from Mentor's several long recitals of the regional pre-histories. Marriages were often sacral and royal co-regencies, of sovereigns compounded, even though the basics of such dual sovereignty were highly variable - or much as the cultural anthropologist George Thomson has ably outlined of the ordinal possibilities. Ancient Kadmeis, before she became classical Thebes, was ruled by an Eurynassa and a martially adept Consort King, who was usually chosen from five leading patron clans or Spartoi. The ruling matriarch of that title led a native religious hierarchy of women, noble born by the aboriginal Äonians, although their genos had become obscure by the patriarchal ascendancy of Kadmos (no fixed dates here or as yet ascertained for his liefetime) after his marriage to Harmonia "of Aionia."
The Attican or oldest Ionic marriage tradition was by practice of endogamy, aunt to nephew, where the Maiden Heiress, the youngest female of her sacral or royal generation, took to herself an oldest kinsman by the next generation, that younger than her own. That stated, the incestual relations were broadly collateral, at some distance of kinship. A good example was the marriage of Cephalos and Prokris, through the distant kinship between their mothers by the Erechtheid Dynasty of Attica.
4. Sometimes good marriages were made almost impossible within the highest pedigrees of either sex. After the last Gorgophonë ruled over the region of Amykai (which conjoined Andania and Lakonia), her conjoined realms by her two husbands went into conniptions over how to arrange proper yet ambitious marriages for her many grandchildren. So highly eligible had those princes and princesses become by their dynastic birthrights off the Perseid matrilineage that arranged marriages became very difficult to negotiate except as endogamies between collateral first cousins.
Even so, Lakonia became an earliest example of a successful fraternal co-regency that was of an approved legitimacy through a last matriarch, even if by a foreign mother by her wedlock of to the ruling son and sire. The senior brother & co-regent took wife, Leda, and his issue by her, howsoever difficult as any next marriage arranged, rendered the next set of co-regents; or else it yielded, instead, a co-regency of oldest son with most meritorious near maternal kinsman. That practice died with a last intended co-regency, alas, after Tyndareos' and Ikarios'. For after the former, or senior co-regent apparent, had sired a greatest prince in Kastor, the best partner possible on merits was so obviously his foster brother Polydeukes (aka Pollux) by the Queen Matriarch Nemesis over the Highlanders. But as Mentor must tell us of their inevitabilities, internecine strife within the original matriarchal dynasty took both youngmen off to the underworld before they could achieve that best possible accession. They must "suffer" ascension instead, by apotheosis as the Didymoi or Gemeni.
The House of Cephalos by the Echinades Isles took foreign brides over its last few successions, but the ruling regime had by then become a successful co-regency of Father (by the titles Wanax & Battle Commodore that Laertes had assumed from his own sire) and Son (Sea Wanax or Home Protector by an accession appointed by a League Council). Even so, that patriarchy ruled over traditional and matriarchal dominions. All of them satellites to "Ithaca," for which status they felt greatly blessed, they characterized an hierarchy of large demesnes by matron led manorial plantations. Women remained of "First Estate," men coming in second except for a few hereditary and,or appointed Sea Chiefs.
The complications of the royal line of Hecabe, the wife of High King priam over Troias, are so complex that only Embassy at Troy, the second volume of the Trojan War Advent, shall essay that subject. Suffice to say here that the hero known as Paris was both Prince Alexander of Troias and High King Alexander of Wilusa. No wonder that the future Roman Emperor Tiberias' favorite dinner time quiz was to ask his guests "What was the royal title of Hekabe Daughter of Dymas, father; and who then must Dymas have been?"
5. The most remarkable departure of Classical Greek Mythology from the Earliest Greek Mythology is its vast accretion of legend about Herakles. He is no way to be found in a paramount posture of an itinerant hero, a sometimes maniac under Hera's scourge of his mind, and all-in-all a pan-Hellenic Paragon. He exists solely by later myths, of early writ by the alphabet, although a fabulous oral rendition deliberately confuses us with his true historical name and the approximate date of his lifetime. For the most part he became a composite hero by many generations and epochs. He becomes clearly a Doric prototype of the superior prehistorical patriarch, but as lodged in the late pre-history of Mentor's late lifetime, when the Dorians were a mostly quiescent or obscure tribal culture by the Highlanders. That he became by them both a ruthless and brilliant strongman makes him a harbinger of the rough and tough Hellenes that emerged after four centuries of a long Greek Dark Age. Other heroes much his like are Orion for the Boeotians and Theseus for the Atticans. Sisyphus stood in comparable standing for the Ephyreans, the precursors to the Korinthians, although those later Greeks abhorred his memory and had him consigned to the Underworld. All those heroic personages are composites.
Even as there were many a diverse Herakles by the LABA, they were all by honorific nomination of the Highlanders originally. Of remote alpine habitats and hunting/gathering ways as tribesmen, that's not to diminish Mentor's own nation race. The Highlanders were refugees from the lowland conquerors of their ancestral homelands. In having to flee into the mountains, they did not there regress. If anything the confluence of many aboriginal and indigenously settled cultures amalgamated into a human species vigor that argues well for the highly rational Greeks who emerged from the Greek Dark Age as both Dorian and Ionian of general ethnicity. They are apart the Achaians' defusion, from the base of the Balkan Peninsula into Central Greece of the Greek Peninsula proper. That nation race began their arrival as waves of a ruthless equestrian culture, mostly nomadic out of near eastern Asia. The Achaians were in no way as characterized by Homer's dub of Greek "horsetamers" within his masterpiece epics. There were never any Achaians or Myrmidons that fought the Trojan War for the sake of Helen.
The Earliest Greeks, accordingly, were mostly alpine interior Highlanders and earliest maritime age Lowlanders - called Pelasgiotes by most foreigners. The equestrian Aeolians, Aeolidans and Minyans arrived to the Great Peinios Plain of later Thessaly in waves, eventually to be supplanted by the Achaiwoi, or Homer's Achaeans. The Pelasgiotes were what scholars call Mycenaeans, but they were mostly Argives of an ethnicity that's also well termed as Danaan, by an imperial outreach and defusion of 15th Century Greece that took over Crete. The Creto-Mycenaeans who resulted sought hegemony over Western Greece and actively colonized the Greek Archipelago and west coastal Anatolia.
6. There's nothing in the LABA like a Polis or City-State. Only Troy and Miletos of Anatolia came close to that rural and township model of statehood, although from them both became the first conceptual polity of a Polis, as evolved from earliest Greeks in full flight from Hellas during their long Dark Age. By Anatolia, therefore, as concurrent with the Age of Colonization at a zenith from 1150 to 950 BCE, regional sovereignty fractured into urban entities which conjoined laoi, towns people, to rustic damoi, or dependent folk commoners. Any prior tradition of such polity lies far beyond the purview of Mentor and his opera.
Mentor's times are characterized, therefore, by large regional sovereignties which we translate as common-wealths. There's a taint of communism about such a broad landed entity as so dubbed, even it's a construct that's not in any way comparable to the proletariat that Marx, Engel, Lenin or Stalin insisted was an oppressed order of exploited yeomanries. Rather, the social contract was that between royalty and yeomanry in symbiotic liege relations to each other - of "a prosper alike, suffer alike" preceptual attitude.
7. Finally, all stable regions of the LABA were surrounded by wilderness or mountainous buffers, all large tracts in dedication to the Goddess Beasts Wild (Theia Therön). Conservatories or sacral preserves, they allowed invaders to trespass upon them briefly, but the regions were never a platform for permanent conquests by permanent incursion until Pelops and Aiakos. That changed with Pelops in particular, when he subjected the southern peninsula of "Apia," or "Apis Pelasgiotis," after which he consolidated his conquests through formal adoptions of indigenous royalties into his foreign born, equestrian caste of elite warriors.
Aiakos would perform much the same kind of creation, of autonomous imperial regime, through his reconquests over the last wave Minyan invaders of today's Central Greece. Having fully repulsed them, chasing them back to their oldest former borderlands, they rendered unto him their homage by a complete capitulation of their force. Upon which a stupendous outcome, Aiakos formed a confederate Great Kingdom which consolidated his various subjections of lesser petty realms. His underling kings served him in fealty, while ruling otherwise autonomously, and while also enjoying the safety of the Patriarch and his ensuing martial descendants. By them his equestrian and martial paramountcy endured as Aeoleis & Minya, until the Trojan War, into which, sadly, it fatally volunteered all might and force over a ten year duration.
For more about that last topic, please refer to In General to the Trojan War.