Renfrew and IE Overlords

JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Sat Dec 11 20:07:20 UTC 1999

>X99Lynx at writes:

>Well, at the time that Archaeology & Language was published, Renfrew's main
>argument was with the "majority" theory at the time - which placed IE's
>dispersal at 2500BC (Childe-Kossina-Gimbutas).

-- Gimbutas has it beginning around 4000 BCE, and that's been her date of
choice for a long time.

And the Ukraine is still the "majority" theory, and likely to remain so.

>Quite possibly the book was the stroke that "demolished" that theoretical

-- Renfrew is not taken very seriously outside his own coterie.  His
arguments are weak.

Eg., he has Celtic arriving in the British Isles before 4000 BCE and then
remaining absolutely uniform until historical times, whereupon it starts
changing rapidly.  His explanation for Indo-Iranian is even more ludicrous.

>It is a conclusion based on consensus.

-- consensus of linguists; hence a linguistic argument.

>One important thing that Renfrew's book did was to bring objectivity back to

-- what Renfrew does is posit developments that are linguistically... ah...
highly implausible.  Or to be less reticent, "ridiculous".

>It certainly wasn't the horse, which shows no sign of being a
>factor in seige or decisive war before 1000BC.

-- an absurd statement, seeing as every major Middle Eastern power depended
on a chariot corps in the 2nd millenium BCE.

>And the chariot was just a platform for conveying war leaders around in Homer.

-- I suggest you study the data from the period when the chariot was an
actual factor.  It was primiarily used as a mobile platform for archers.

>But Latin's prestige didn't come from a bunch of headbashing riders off the

-- No, headbashing armies from Italy.  You know, the "Roman Empire"?

>And Slavic has consumed a long list of "dominant elite" languages like they
>were just popcorn at the ballpark.

-- Slavic reached its present dimensions through a series of well-attested
folk migrations and conquests starting in the 5th century AD.

Prior to that it was confined to a relatively small area of northeastern
Europe.  Most of the area now covered by Slavic languages was occupied by
Baltic, Finno-Ugrian, Illyrian, or other languages.

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