Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Ideal Reader: Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour #7

This is one of those subjects that really should be easy, right?  Authors should know who their ideal readers would be . . . except it isn't so much about them as it is about us.  And we're not always as good at looking at ourselves as we are at looking out into the boundless dark where readers lurk, just beyond our reach.

We are our own ideal readers.  If we can't first please ourselves with our work, how can we possibly hope to lure any of the rest of you into the pages of our make-believe worlds?  I know what pleases me, even if I don't articulate it well.  (Such a sad thing for an author to say!)  But even though I enjoy what I write, I do read other material, too.  I don't expect an ideal reader to want to read nothing but my work.  Even I would get bored! Which means I know there isn't only one way to write stories.  But there is a best way for me.

I do have my own slant on writing (as do we all).  I think you'll find mine a bit different from a lot of what is out there, though there isn't a any single factor I can point to.  The pieces add up to what is uniquely mine.

My characters are, of course, my own.  They are where I start and finish, but a character is nothing without a story to tell.

I write -- and read -- adventure stories.  I want characters who find themselves in unusual and dangerous situations and fight for the right reasons.  I'm not interested in dark characters who might be only marginally better than the bad guys.  I'm rarely interested in tales of ambiguity where you really can't tell (and often don't care) which side should win.

I have been told I have a good young adult 'voice' for writing.  I write a good deal of YA material, but not always.  People (including publishers) have sometimes said that if my main characters were younger, the story would be a good YA book.  However, if the characters were younger, then the story would not be the same.  That's made me wonder why adult characters can't have adventures of the same type as YA books.  Yes, there is a line of knowledge and experience that is crossed (which is why just changing the age of a character will not automatically make the story work).  However, does that mean every 'adult' aged character can't face problems a young adult would face and have to deal with them in much the same way?

Sex is not the answer to everything.  It does not make an adult.  And yet there seems to be a rule in the publishing world that once a character crosses a certain age line (25 to 30 at the tops) they must be more interested in their love life than they are in saving the world. (Yes, I am being facetious  here.  I know it's not always that way.)  I have had people dislike my work specifically because I don't play up the romance and sex side of an older character and I had one say that because they are not 'children' my friendship relationships were unrealistic. 

Actually, what we were dealing with was reader expectations.  They expected a certain type of behavior based on age and on all the other books they've read.  They are not, obviously, my ideal readers.

I am not a romance writer.  I might have a romance in a book now and then (not all of them do), but it is not my focus.  Adventure, remember.  Strange places, interesting people, obstacles to overcome.  Friendship is a very important factor in most of my books as is loyalty.  That doesn't mean every character will epitomize these virtues and many of them have to find the path to such beliefs.

Ideal reader?

You are out there.  I hear from some of you now and then.  You find something enjoyable in my books and for a little while we share an adventure.  Many of you treasure stories of friendship across genders and tales of people who do the right thing for altruistic reasons.  You are people who do not need every book they read to follow the same pattern, and sometimes find a rousing adventure (whatever the genre) a nice escape.

I look forward to hearing more from you and hope that others join in.

If you want to get to read about nearly twenty other writers, check out the Merry-Go-Round Blog Tour. Be sure to read tomorrow's post by Sharon Kemmerer

Friday, January 13, 2012

The ebook price debate

I've been reading a great deal about ebook prices and how $0.99 is bad, etc.  I have, maybe, a slightly different take on all this.

First, I think it should be the author's decision.  And quite honestly, I feel that saying we shouldn't do $0.99 books benefits the big publishers more than it does the Independent Author.  Why?  Because they don't want to compete with lower priced books.  If Indie Authors publish at higher prices, then someone making a decision between an unknown and an established author (or someone new from an established publisher), then they are more likely to go with the 'known' factor.

So, this should be the author's choice and it has nothing to do with the quality of the work.  Only the material itself can be used to judge if the book is good or bad.   Don't make the mistake of using anything but the writing as a way to determine quality.  I think too many people want to make decisions without actually having to work at reading something.

However. . . .

My personal choice is that price should be an indication of length.  My lower priced pieces are shorter works and I would not expect anyone to pay novel-length price for them.  I also do not expect to pay $2.99 for short work, fiction or nonfiction.

In that respect, I think authors should be honest with their readers about length of works.  I am glad to see Amazon has approximate length on many of the items.  They are using the standard of about 250 words per page -- a good count for most paperbacks with dialogue.  I am not going to spend $5 for 4 pages of words.  When author overprice their work for the length, I feel they're being dishonest.

And this brings me to the 2YN series.  I purposely put them at $0.99 cents for two important reasons.

First, though they are going to vary in length, none of them will be a full book length. 

Second, I want the work to be accessible to people who are looking for help in writing and don't have a lot of income to spare.  $0.99 a month (or so) isn't unreasonable.  I do it to help, just like the many other things I do to help new writers.  (Here is the link to the first set.  Set two will be out next week.)

So, don't judge an offering by the price.  Judge by what it is.

2012: Slow start and expanding focus

I was very ill for most of the first week of the year.  I still got writing done, but it wasn't easy.  The DAZ newsletter took almost all of my attention and energy.  This was, honestly the worst start to a writing year I ever remember, but I did start on Water/Stone/Light.  A slow start, but I kept at it and now I'm finally into the second chapter.

The illness is not all that has slowed me down, though.  It's cold here; my furnace died and cannot be fixed, and my space heaters were doing the best they could -- until one of them died, too.  The second is now making odd sounds and I fear it's going to go soon, but today it is kicking out heat and I'm going to believe it will hold up for a while yet.  Really, all I have to do is make it through February, which is generally our coldest month.  I'm almost half way through January, so that's only about six weeks.  March can be iffy, but generally not as cold.

During these cold days I was reminded of something I had kind of forgotten.  My brain doesn't function well when I feel cold.  And that is the second problem I'm having this year.  I cannot concentrate on writing new material.  Even with the wonderful outline, I'd get maybe a paragraph before I stopped and stared, waiting for my brain to kick in with the next step.  It's even taking me far longer to get newsletters done than it should.

By last night I was starting to get very frustrated, which didn't help at all, of course.  Then I happened upon a sort of odd answer.  I need to keep writing or else I will just get in worse and worse moods.

I had been reading a very old story of mine.  Interesting story -- better, plot wise, than I had expected.  It was the 3rd in a set and I dug out the middle one.  Then I went looking for the first.  After a couple of hours trying to search through files it finally occurred to me that this was a very old story.  I had probably written it on the old Atari computer and never translated it over.  However, I knew I had read it in the last decade.  So that meant only one answer.

I went digging through my two file cabinets and finally found it: an old print out, still with the fan fold paper still attached, page to page.

This, obviously, needs to be retyped into a format I can work with.  And retyping it means rewriting, of course.  Far easier, though, that working from an outline.  The story is there.  I just need to translate it over.

And it will give me the experience of writing without my brain having to work too hard.  I am not going to abandon the other work -- Water/Stone/Light or the rewrite of The Servant Girl.  I have most of the second set of 2YN classes done as well.  What this is going to do is give me something to work on when I'm cold and need the distraction.

There  are, actually, other things in my life.  Photography, for instance.  I have been doing a Picture-a-day blog since January 1,2007 and I have not missed a single day.  That's over 1800 pictures posted in the blog ( ).  Very many cats, some lovely birds at the feeders, pretty sunsets and occasional trip pictures to other places.  My photography occasionally turns up in print, often for nature centers and such.  I give the printing rights for free in those cases.  Taking 40 to 50 pictures a day is not unusual for me (Yay for the age of digital cameras!) and that's just sitting at my desk watching the birds at the feeders.  I'll take several hundred on a ride and sometimes close to a thousand at the zoo or a wildlife refuge.

So photography, like writing, is something I do every day even though I don't talk about it as much. 

In the last seven years I've also taken up the fun of Digital Art.  This is like having a virtual photography studio with all kinds of models, backdrops, props -- and the ability to manipulate all of it in just about any way you like.  Because I work for DAZ 3D ( I have a lot of programs including DAZ Studio, Bryce, Carrarra Pro (my favorite) and even Poser.  For people like me who never learned to draw and really aren't going to take the time to learn now, this provides a wonderful way to visually express myself.  No, it isn't traditional art.  This is something different and requires a different sort of creativity.  I have seen some incredibly lovely work done.

One of my goals this year is to get back to doing one 3D picture a week, if I can -- because, like writing, I can only get better at it if I actually practice.  I've created a set of pictures at Flikr to take care of this so I am accountable for the work.  My first one up was actually a little late (what a surprise this year), but I am still going to hold myself to it.

I also have an odd program called Magix Music Maker.  This allows you to take little snippets of music and create your own songs.  You can also play virtual instruments to create your own pieces or add in to what you have.  Learning to blend in different tracks and building bridges has been fun.  Working with sounds is interesting to me.  It's something entirely outside of my usual range of creativity.  This is good.  No, it's not as creative as playing real instruments or writing songs, but that's not going to happen in my already busy world.  However,  it is an interesting way to get the feel of music styles.  One of the things I decided to do is create theme songs for some of my characters.  This is the one for Devlin:

My other plans this year include studying more of the CS5 programs. I was doing wonderfully learning InDesign, but then too many things hit at the end of the year and I dropped the work.  It's time to go back to it. Oh yes, and reading in general.  I didn't do well when I was ill because of the headaches.  But it's time to start moving ahead on the Cambridge Ancient History and the Durant Story of Civilization again. 

This is the way to spend the winter.  Focusing on creativity of different types and having something I want to do, not just that I need to do.  I believe the word I am looking for is fun.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Project Report 6: Water/Stone/Light -- The Legend (and other work)

I'm starting to feel like an actor in a Monty Python piece:  Not dead yet!  It's not been the best start to a year for me.  Russ surprised me by coming home a day early (Christmas Day) and spent 8 days at home.  And I was miserably ill for most of them and could barely get out of bed most days.  Still, it was good to have him here to take care of the cats and stuff.  I was better when he left, but still not well.  Almost a week later, I am finally able to spend more than an hour or two sitting up.

While last year's total words were not adversely affected by that last week when I fought out 500 words a day (1,034,393 for the year), this has been the worst start to a year that I ever remember.  I am still barely getting 500 words a day.

That is going to end today. 

I started Water/Stone/Light on January 1 and I've been working a bit at it every day since then.  I wrote a short 'legend' to go with the story, which may or may not become part of the book itself when I'm done.  It was a way for me to deal with events far in the past and start the feel for the story itself:

A thousand years ago. . . .

. . . And over the high pass, though the place even then called The Barbarian Gate, came ten thousand invaders, and ten times as many following, intent on conquering the wide green lands of Tygen.  The king and the army stood their ground at the headwaters of the Habur River, knowing they could not win against such odds as came at them from the cold northern lands.

The messengers sent by the barbarian king laughed to see them so unsettled.  The king grew enraged and the four Prelates of the temples grew angry.  The Prelates lifted their magic and created out of the messengers dog-like things, and those went yipping back to their master.

The king could see no hope of survival except in the power of the Prelates, little though he trusted magic and would never deal with it until now.  He went too late to beseech their help and they could not turn back the army.
That night, while the others slept, the Prelate of the temple of Change reached forth and did the unthinkable; she spread her power against the mountain itself and brought it down, stone upon stone, burying the barbarian army and sealing the pass in stone and magic.

But it also sealed the headwaters of the Habur River and death spread as sand and dust from the destruction of the mountain swallowed the great cities along the river, so that in the win there was great loss.  Thousands died, unwitting sacrifice to the unnatural victory.  Overnight the land turned to wasteland, wide fertile plains lost forever to the desert.

The king retreated to his palace on the River of Life, and there he grew sore afraid of such magic power.  He ordered the Temple of Change destroyed; every priest and priestess killed, every temple and altar torn down and the power of The Temple of Change forgotten in all of Tygen.  The other three Prelates, as fearful of the power of Change as the king, retired to their temples, and lingered there, quiet through many generations.

Tygen remained safe, the only pass into the land destroyed, and no enemy came upon them again, generation upon generation, while the people thrived along the River of Life.

But legends never tell the whole story . . . and eventually all rock erodes and every magic fades. . . .

The story itself is moving slowly, but I don't care.  I have no reason to rush through the tale.  Now that I feel as though I have half a brain back to work with, I might have a better chance writing more, but that's not important.  I want it done right. The outline is wonderful -- the story should be as good, at least.

I have the final edits for Waiting for the Last Dance a contemporary YA mystery.  I started on them a few days ago . . . but I don't like the opening.  It needs cut back and more power in the first few lines.  I think it lacks the MC's 'voice' in that opening, too.  So, I'm picking at it, changing this and that until I get the feel I want.

I could not decide which book I wanted to work on for publication -- Xenation: Draw the Line (science fiction) or The Servant Girl (epic fantasy).  I have them both pulled out and I'll do the final edits on them a bit at a time and see which one finally takes off first.

No hurry.  That's what I have to keep reminding myself.  Having been so ill, I feel as though I need to rush to catch up.  That's not true.  Except for a few things I owe to other people (ACOA work and FM work), there is nothing I must do or do quickly.

(And there, moving away from Waiting for the Last Dance already helped.  I had a thought and redid the opening paragraph again.  Much better.)

What really makes me want to work faster is that I have so many things I want to share this year.  My sales are starting to pick up and I want to take advantage of that by putting out new items -- but not rush them.  No.  There is no hurry.  (Yes, I do have to keep reminding myself.)

So, welcome to 2012.  I'm a bit late with that, but here is hoping that we all find the stories we want to tell this year.  I think it's going to be an excellent writing year . . . well, once I really get moving with it.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Book Review: Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 1, Part 1

The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, Part 1: Prolegomena & PrehistoryThe Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, Part 1: Prolegomena & Prehistory by I.E.S. Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A person has to truly love history, esoteric knowledge and pottery to read this book from cover-to-cover. I have actually read it twice. The first time was over 25 years ago, when I was able to get a copy from the library. I read several of the books in the series and swore that I would own them one day. This is the first of the 19 volumes that I've bought.

The history of mankind's first steps towards civilization is a fascinating mosaic of tool (and pottery) making, the first attempts at agriculture and domestication of animals -- and of movement. The amount of movement humanity did before wheeled vehicles or anything to ride is phenomenal. From Mesopotamia to Egypt to the islands of the Aegean and into Greece, the spread of people can be traced through the types of pottery and the patterns (among things) they brought with them, and through the trade in such items as obsidian, turquoise and -- late in the book -- copper. There were isolated communities, but trade routes were plainly already established, and culture spreading along those paths.

This is not a story of personality; there are no known people except in the chapter of how various king lists are used to coordinate time with several areas by matching names with those found in other documents. After that, it is a story of humanity as a whole, learning from each other how to better survive in the world.

I love learning just for itself. However, I have also always found books like this to be a storehouse of story fodder and background material for world building. I make certain that I mark out one interesting line within every 20 page stretch. These little tidbits often seed their way into stories, along with much else I read in the books.

Below are the quotes from this book.

Page 1 -- More than four-fifths of history of our earth was over before the fossil record opens.

Page 33 -- In the end it overlaps with pre-history, and the most recent events we have described -- for example the separation of the waters of the Mediterranean from those of the Red Sea -- were unwittingly witnessed by tool-using man.

Page 60 -- The archaeological evidence supports the suggestion that irrigation farming involved only the breaching of the natural embankments of streams and made use of uncontrolled local flooding.

Page 62 -- The land of Egypt consists of three major features: the alluvial lands of the valley and the delta, the low desert bordering these land son both flanks, and, beyond, the desert uplands.

Page 93 -- The most obvious and dramatic change in temperate Europe was that forest trees were able to expand from their Late-glacial landscape.

Page 111 -- The most impressive burial at Teviec comprised six persons: at the bottom there was a man of between twenty and thirty who had evidently been killed by an arrow mounted with a triangular microlith, and above five more burials, including those of two men, two women and a girl, the whole surmounted by a heap of stone incorporating what appears to have been a ritual hearth.

Page 124 -- Although we have described this model in terms of geographical spread, it is equally applicable to dialect differentiation among the various strata of a given society or to the divergence that arise between spoken and written forms of the language which continue to influence one another.

Page 145 -- It became extinct as a spoken language, for all practical purposes, soon after the close of the Ur III Dynasty, and the end of the third millennium, but was intensively cultivated by scribes down into the second century, B. C., if not even later. (Sumerian)

Page 170 -- It has been suggested that the genesis of the Iron Age accompanied the fall of the Hittite Empire at the beginning of the twelfth century B. C.

Page 188 -- Her disappearance from history some time between his 20th and 22nd years agrees with Manetho's slightly garbled statement that after the third king of the dynasty 'his sister Amesssis' ruled for twenty-one years and nine months. (Hatshepsut)

Page 206 -- It is towards the end of the reign of Suppliuliumash that the Hittite records mention the death of Tutankhamun.

Page 234 -- According to Cameron three rulers held office simultaneously dring that period of Elamite history. When the senior ruler, the sukkalmah, died the next senior, the sukkal of Elam and Simashki, moved up to sukkalmah. The junior ruler, the sukkal of Susa would move up whenever the next highest office was vacated, and a new sukkal of Susa would be appointed.

Page 249 -- Hunting was still the main occupation, but at Zawi Chemi there is abundant evidence for domestic sheep, the first animal to be domesticated.

Page 270 -- Burqras looks like an attempt by early farmers at settling in the Euphrates valley which failed, just as the early settlements in Palestine seem to have failed ultimately, though after a much more prolonged effort.

Page 284 -- In a previous section we have already described the establishment of early village sites on the edge of the alluvial plain in the Deh Luran district and we have seen how, soon after 6000 B. C., plain and painted pottery made its appearance in the 'Muhammad Ja'far phase' at Ali-Kush, together with a decline in agriculture and a concomitant increase in pastoralism that led eventually to the abandonment of the site.

Page 306 -- By reason of their seasonal migrations nomads are most efficient agents for the transmission of culture.

Page 331 -- It need not surprise us that this now desolate spot was once deemed to be a holy place and that the faithful journeyed there to leave offerings in the sand long after the city had ceased to be.

Page 349 -- Considered in retrospect, the most remarkable feature in this long prehistoric process is the inverse measure of progression revealed by an analysis of pottery and the architecture respectively. Whereas the painted wares found at the bottom of Eridu are artistically highly developed and elaborate in design, the first buildings are simplicity itself, and many centuries must have lapsed before they began to assume the basic form of ground plan which we associate with Sumerian civilization. Moreover, as the buildings became more elaborate and standardized in plan, the pottery lost its fullness of design, and tended towards repetition and a more mechanical output of relatively limited shapes.

Page 364 -- It is not unlikely that this was a dedication, a burnt sacrifice made when a temple named the 'Cone-mosaic Temple' was dismantled to make way for a ne one, and that a part of the older temple furniture was thus consecrated in perpetuity before being replaced by a new set.

Page 383 -- We may be tempted to see in these Gawra buildings the origin of the Megaron which, at a considerably later period, was to become so characteristic a feature of Anatolia -- at Troy and Beycesultan -- and eventually of the Mycenaean world.

Page 403 -- These caves are still used intermittently by Kurds for a month or two each yer as shelters during the season when they are collecting wild fruit, and also in autumn when they are hunting game: the nearest running stream is now at Havdiyan.

Page 434 -- Already we may discern the beginnings of the terrible population problems that confront us today: the perfect equilibrium between production and consumption is a notion of the golden age which, so far, has existed only within man's imagination, but has never been realized beyond it, however wide the open spaces may have been at the beginnings of prehistory.

Page 448 -- A bone holder for a flint knife from Sialk I represents a male figure with hands and arms reverently folder across the front of the body in an attitude of obeisance which is already astonishingly Persian!

Page 470 -- Animals and humans were buried in the same cemeteries. The bodies of the animals were wrapped in matting and linen, and their graves did not differ from those of humans except in their lack of tomb furniture. The remains found were those of small carnivores, either dog or jackal, cows and sheep. (El-Badari, predyansitc Egypt.)

Page 485 -- Some of the better graves were lined with matting or with wooden planks, which were the ancestors both of wooden coffins and the internal wood paneling of the First Dynasty tombs.

Page 519 -- It is no paradox to attribute to nomads the introduction of pottery and certain other developments; before the establishment of trading on a larger scale, nomads played an important part in the transmission of new ideas and the diffusion of influences.

Page 530 -- The Ghassul-Beersheba culture, which mad its appearance without any preliminaries, disappeared without any sequel.

Page 542 -- From time immemorial industrious Cypriot farmers have built thousands of miles of terrace walls to avert the worst effects of such storms.

Page 562 -- When the Thessalian Plain, and most likely other parts of Greece as well, became inundated, possibly between 30,000 and 20,000 years ago, man must have taken to the higher ground of the periphery, perhaps descending again in the several periods of desiccation.

Page 583 -- Made in much the same way were the more numerous clay sling bullets, unbaked or poorly fired, which seem to have been the only weapon of the period.

Page 606 -- Towards the end of the Late Neolithic period one can sense an increase in the movement of peoples into and about the Aegean, possibly a preliminary phase of maritime commercial enterprise such as characterizes the subsequent Early Bronze Age.

View all my reviews

Book Review: Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. 1, Part 2

The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, Part 2: Early History of the Middle EastThe Cambridge Ancient History, Vol 1, Part 2: Early History of the Middle East by I.E.S. Edwards
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This volume was every bit as fascinating as the first one. The huge book covers a number of areas, from Early Dynastic Egypt and later to the myriad of Mesopotamian countries with stops at Palestine, Syria, Persia, Cyprus, Crete and early Greece. The journey though the past is an intriguing mosaic, looking at the ties leading from one place to another and following the paths of pottery shards and shapes as well as building styles and burial rights to link cultures through influence and invasion.

This is the true start of 'history' as recorded events, and with it begins the cult of personality as well. We know names of rulers who lived and died five thousand years ago, glancing at their moments of glory and bringing them back to life for a moment before they are consigned again to the pages of history books. Names like Scorpion King from Egypt (yes, there really was one) to Sargon of Agade stand out for a moment or two. Empires rise and fall -- sometimes mysteriously fall, in fact, with a line of destruction traced, but no sign of the true enemy.

The depth of information in this book is incredible, of course, as well as impossible to absorb in its entirety. I knew that, having read these early books years ago, and this is the reason I decided to own the books, rather than borrow. I want these on hand and to be able to go and find the tidbits of information I want at any hour. I have found so many odd moments of inspiration in these books that I think I could write for the rest of my life and never run out of ideas.

I purposely slowed down while reading this volume. I would have had it done months earlier, otherwise. However, these are expensive books, and I can't afford to buy a new one each month. I did now want to finish one and then have to wait for the next one.

Below are quotes from this book.

Page 6 -- The distinction of completing the conquest and of uniting the two kingdoms belongs, in all probability, to Narmer, who is thought to have ben Scorpion's immediate successor. (Early Dynastic Egypt)

Page 35 -- At death, when a new incarnation of Horus had succeeded to the throne, the deceased king surrendered the right to his Horus-titles; for this reason the New Kingdom royal lists consistently enumerate the kings under their personal names, to which the nbyt-title had generally been prefixed in contemporary inscriptions. (Early Dynastic Egypt)

Page 54 -- That such works were compiled appears likely from numerous passages in the Pyramid Texts of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties referring to practices and conditions which were out of date at that period, and from the priestly title 'Scribe of the God's Book' found on early dynastic vases. (Early Dynastic Egypt)

Page 71 -- The peculiar conditions of Mesopotamia -- a country without natural boundaries and not, at first, ruled by kings -- preclude the clear demarcation of a new beginning in its recorded history; instead of a single monarchy, we find autonomous city states, each linking its present to a legendary past. (Last Predynasitc Babylonia)

Page 92 -- The word for king (lugal) is not found before Early Dynastic times. The words for 'elder' and 'assembly' do occur, however on 'Proto-literature' tablets and it seems, therefore, likely that local autonomy found expression in a system which feeble traces are found far into historical times and which assigned ultimate authority to the assembly of all free males presided over by the elders. (Last Predynasitc Babylonia)

Page 102 -- There follows the story of Oannes and his brethren, fabulous monsters which came up every day from the sea and 'instructed mankind in writing and various processes of the arts, the formation of cities and the founding of temples. He also taught them the use of laws, of bounds and of divisions, also the harvesting of grains and fruits, and in short all that pertains to the mollifying of life he delivered to men; and since that time nothing more has been invented by anybody.' (Cities of Babylonia)

Page 125 -- The boundary between Lagash and Umma was marked by an important canal, which It was an aggression to cross or divert. (Cities of Babylonia)

Page 144 -- The fall of Lugalzaggisis and of this Third Dynasty of Uruk makes no more than one ordinary transition in the king-list, but the break was wider and far more significant than before. It marks a complete change of interest, and with the utmost distinctness it ends an age. The Early Dynastic period is over, and after it the face of Babylonian history changes. (Cities of Babylonia)

Page 172 -- IN the Westcar Papyrus, Hordedef appears as the sponsor for the magician Djedi. (Old Kingdom Egypt)

Page 182 -- On the south wall of Sahure's court was pictured Seshat, the Goddess of Writing, recording the numbers of sheep, goats and cattle captured in a raid on the Libyan tribes of the Western Desert. (Old Kingdom Egypt)

Page 202 -- Although the texts are difficult to understand one cannot fail to be stirred by the breadth and sweep of the early conception of a bright celestial afterworld in which the dead become the indestructible stars. (Old Kingdom Egypt)

Page 225 -- It is significant that the Canaanite word for 'flour' was borrowed by the Old Kingdom Egyptians to designate a kind of bread, qmhw. (Palestine Early Bronze Age)

Page 243 -- Nevertheless, there are good reasons for claiming the alluvial mud deposits which have been observed at Ur and at Kish in houses, and at Farah (Shuruppak), correspond with the one (flood) described in the Gilgamesh epic and transmitted, perhaps through Canaanite mythology, to the Old Testament record. (Early Dynastic Mesopotamia)

Page 278 -- (Nippur) Before 2000 B.C. it was the centre to which the princes of Sumer repaired in order to receive the crown and scepter of kingships -- the regalia which were the authentic symbols of dominion over the entire land and entitled the holder to a place on the canonical list. (Early Dynastic Mesopotamia)

Page 285 -- (Royal tombs of Ur) No one who was present at the time of that discovery is likely to forget the ghastly scene of human sacrifice, a crowd of skeletons so gorgeously bedecked that they seemed to be lying on a golden carpet upon which gold and silver vessels, head-dresses, jewellery and a multitude of other treasures rested undisturbed, a dream of a cave far richer than Aladdin's come to life. (Early Dynastic Mesopotamia)

Page 318 -- Political unity was only rarely and ephemerally imposed by the outside, and commercial rivalry led to bitter warfare between neighbours. (Syria Before 2200 B. C.)

Page 322 -- (Mesopotamians) It is clear that it was not military glory, in the first instance, which drew them so far from their homes, but a real combination of political, and above all, economic necessities. They needed to have access to the 'Upper Sea', the Mediterranean, just as they had access to the 'Lower Sea', the Persian Gulf. (Syria Before 2200 B. C.)

Page 349 -- That the sacred pillar (djd) of Osiris was originally a lopped conifer has been doubted, but there are many similarities between the deities Osiris, Adonis and Tammuz-Marduk in his most ancient form and it may be that the worship of Osiris was linked with a Syrian tree-cult from very early, perhaps prehistoric times. (Syria Before 2200 B. C.)

Page 366 -- (Carinated bowls with concave sides) The latter are paralleled no only in contemporary north-west, but also in various cultures of the southern Balkan Peninsula (Gumelnita, Salcuta, Vinca, Larisa), thus for the first time establishing firm chronological contacts with Eastern Europe. (Anatolia, C. 4000-2300 B. C.)

Page 383 -- Nevertheless, there are traces of violent upheaval in the north- and south-west of the country, where the Troy I culture was destroyed and the north-western culture now spread over the former south-western province, after the burning of Beycesultan XVIIa. These two events are undoubtedly connected and it is tempting to link them with the instruction of local Early Bronze Age cultures in Thessaly and Greece, neither of which can possibly be regarded as local developments from the previous Late 'Neolithic' cultures. (Anatolia, C. 4000-2300 B. C.)

Page 402 -- A special feature of this culture is the care bestowed on the elaboration and decoration of hearths, such as one could expect in the bitterly cold country where the snow often lies for six months on end. (Anatolia, C. 4000-2300 B. C.)

Page 429 -- For the present purpose, the most significant feature in these is the recurrence of Purushkhandra(r) in the later text which purports to tell, with many mythical accompaniments, how the Empire of Naram-Sin was invaded by a demoniac horde which made that town the first conquest, as though tit had been the most distant bound of the Akkadian possessions. (Dynasty of Agade)

Page 446 -- And even if the name be admitted as adapted to later conditions, as the name of Akkad in the same passage doubtless is, the underlying cause of hostility is the same, whether the western invaders are called Akkadians, Amorites, or Arameaans -- they were all needy strangers attracted by the wealth and refinement of the ancient cities of the south, and against these barbarians the contempt and hatred of the citizens was unvarying. (The Dynasty of Agade)

Page 480 -- As the Horus Netjeryhedjet he claims mastery over the traditional foreign enemies of Egypt, called collectively the 'Nine Peoples of the Bow', or, more simply, the 'Nine Bows' . . . . (The Middle Kingdom of Egypt)

Page 486 -- Despite the activates of the nomarchs of Thebes and the early rulers of the Eleventh Dynasty Nubia aat the time of Nebhepetre's accession was apparently an independent nation with its own dynasty of kings, descended perhaps from a renegade Egyptian official of the late Old Kingdom or Heracleopolitan Period (The Middle Kingdom of Egypt)

Page 508 -- (Execration Texts) These texts, written in hieratic or small pottery bowls and mud figures of bound captives, which were broken and buried near the tombs of the dead at Thebes and Saqqara, consist of lists of persons and things regarded as actually or potentially dangerous to the tomb-owner and his king; and include, besides a variety of general evils, the names of deceased Egyptians, whose malevolent spirits might be expected to cause trouble, and the names of numerous foreign princes and peoples who, unless brought under control, might constitute a threat to the safety and prosperity of Egypt. (The Middle Kingdom of Egypt)

Page 532 -- The Asiatics took advantage of this state of affairs to make their way in force into the Eastern Delta and to wander through its pastures with their flocks. (Syria and Palestine c. 2160 - 1780 B. C.)

Page 545 -- Moreover, since external trade was a royal monopoly, Egyptians rarely left their country on private business. (Syria and Palestine c. 2160 - 1780 B. C.)

Page 572 -- There were never any pots in the Dagger type tombs, nor any weapons in the Pottery type tombs. (Syria and Palestine c. 2160 - 1780 B. C.)

Page 591 -- It received the new influences of the nomadic groups which had strong metallurgic tradition (perhaps comparable with that of the modern 'tinkers' who in the East are very similar to the gypsies), and out of this amalgam it fairly rapidly produced a new urban civilization. (Syria and Palestine c. 2160 - 1780 B. C.)

Page 610 -- How slight a confidence was inspired by this victory is shown by the decision to build a defensive line against a fresh advance of Amorites, a measure of doubt, if not despair, whether in Babylonia, in China or in Britain, when the limits of power are thought to have been reached, and barbarians are to be fenced off, no longer subdued in their own haunts. (Babylonia, C. 3220- 1800 B. C.)

Page 626 -- These intruders were regarded with distaste by the native Babylonians, who looked upon them as barbarians, had many scornful things to say about their manner of life, and even regarded their territorial god Amurru as a crude nomad who had not so much as a house when he came towards the civilized districts. . . . (Babylonia, C. 3220- 1800 B. C.)

Page 660 -- The Elamite expression ruhusak still presents a problem. As it corresponds with mar ahati in Akkadian diplomatic language, its principal meaning out to be 'sister's son', and this is doubtless connected with the Elamite system of succession through the female branch. (Persia c. 2400-1800 B.C.)

Page 662 -- Typical of these Elamite characteristics is a reverence for the female element in magic and in powers of the underworld, together with a particular preference for the worship of serpents. At all times Elamite religion had a strong savor of the magical and the uncanny, which impressed even the hard-tempered Assyrians. For Mesopotmia, Ealm was always the land of witches and demons. (Persia c. 2400-1800 B.C.)

Page 681 -- We have seen, as the end of the second Early Bronze Age approached, a sequence of migratory movements culminating in a great invasion, perhaps of Indo-European newcomers, which divided the peninsula diagonally into two almost equal parts, causing immediate and unmistakable changes in the south and the south-western regions. (Anatolia, c. 2300-1750 B.C.)

Page 708 -- State monopolies of the copper trade existed in most ancient Near-Eastern countries. (Anatolia, c. 2300-1750 B.C.)

Page 736 -- Rarely was a Babylonian king interested in 'widening the bounds of his country'; with the exception of some Kassites who were influenced by Assyrian ideas, they did not use titles such as sar kissati, 'King of the universe', sar kibrat erbettim, 'king of the four regions (of the world)' etc. (Assyria, c. 2600-1816 B.C.)

Page 752 -- That they, like subsequently the merchants in Asia Minor, came from the city of Ashur can be inferred from the typical reference ina alim, 'in the city (par excellence), a manner of speaking about the city of Ashur which is familiar not only from the documents of Asia Minor but also from the Shamshi-Adad correspondence excavated at Mari. (Assyria, c. 2600-1816 B.C.)

Page 767 -- When Tiglath-pileser I and others allude to the sanctuary of the 'Old Lord' (belu labiru), they obviously refer likewise to the weather-god of the former Subarian population with, however, using for this Hurrian deity the Sumerian name Enlil. (Assyria, c. 2600-1816 B.C.)

Page 785 -- At Lerna the debris of the House of the Tiles must itself have formed a huge mound. Here a strange thing happened. People carried away a vast amount of the fallen matter, leaving only a low, convex tumulus circular and c. 19 metres in diameter, to mark the place of the great building. A ring of stones was set at the border, and for some time -- decades perhaps -- nobody encroached upon the awesome ground within it. (Greece in the Early Bronze Age)

Page 806 -- Fleeing before an invasion, a number of the former might well seek refuge in a kindred land, themselves too poor and wretched to make a conspicuous impression at the moment, but bringing with them some of their former customs and a measure of the enterprise and imagination and grace that were soon to appear so brightly on the soil of Crete. (Greece in the Early Bronze Age)

Page 823 -- A people is said to live in or to form such a continuum when its constituent tribes or other linguistic subdivisions live near enough to each other, or otherwise are I sufficiently close contact, for linguist changes to spread through them all. (Immigrants from the North)

Page 857 -- The ancient tradition cited by Herodotus that the Phrygians were of Thracian origin thus appears to be true. (Immigrants from the North)

Page 874 -- However, possession of well-trained horses may itself have given the northern peoples sufficient military advantage. (Immigrants from the North)

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