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ANAHITA  September 1999

ANAHITA September 1999

Subject:

Re: Limping Heroes (1)

From:

Robert Portlock <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 3 Sep 1999 17:53:38 -0600

Content-Type:

text/plain

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text/plain (132 lines)

Whoooh!   Smokin"!!

Excellent summation!  Thank you.

The preponderance of motif patterns does not necessarily qualify a
candidate
for "mythical" status.  Indeed, it seems, Tamerlane fits a category
that, though
possessing some qualities of a "lame hero", fails in other respects.


Then again, by what standards are our subjects to be judged?
Tamerlane, to
continue this instance, was perceived as a hero and as a monster.  His
career
of genocide echoes the role of Moses and Joshua: two figures, mythical
or otherwise, who would be judged less
amicably by the indigenous peoples they displaced by successfully
providing
a promised homeland for their people.

You point out that Tamerlane's lameness "never led him to any spiritual
awakening",
at least, "as far as [you] can tell".   I am not familiar enough with
the scenario,
and I am indebted to you for even bringing all this to my attention,
but I wonder if,
as you suggest, the people in Uzbekistan might not "tell" a different
story as to his
spiritual qualifications.

Achilles is, arguably, the greatest of the Greek Heroes of the Illiad,
yet the Trojans
celebrated his death after he desecrated the body of THEIR greatest
hero.
Likewise, Dudley Young turns "perceived" heroics on its ear, in Origins
of the Sacred,
by reminding us that Odysseus and his band of marauders were little
more than murdering
pirates thieving their way through the Mediterranean, causing mayhem in
otherwise
sedentary places as Polyphemus' island of the Cyclops.

Hindsight provides invaluable historic/moral lessons but when examining
mythic motifs,
that which is timeless, it is sometimes better to reserve moral
judgement to explore more
fully the meaning of the symbols themselves, thereby gaining new
perspectives about
the related subjects as well.

Again, thanks for the insight about Tamerlane.  Definitely a subject
worthy of study.

Bob Portlock
[log in to unmask]
[log in to unmask]

Co-author of "Joseph Smith As Latter-day Halcyon:  Spiritual Mythology
and Mormon Symbolism"
(to be found at
http://www.bitcorp.net/~mindscape/Latter-day_Halcyon98.htm ).




>>> John Gainer <[log in to unmask]> 09/03/99 01:12PM >>>
Don Taylor wrote:

> Don't forget Tamerlane-- he was a crippled hero. Some scholars
> believe him to be a actual person-- not an invented character
> like General George Patton.

Tamerlane was an actual person--there is plenty of contemporary written
and
physical evidence of that.  And he was "crippled" or at least
injured--his name
was Timur or Temur (meaning "iron" in Turkic) and the "-lane" is from
Persian
"-lenk" meaning "lame."  But a hero?  In modern Uzbekistan he's
becoming one in
the way that Don Taylor must be implying happened to Patton.  But he's
only a
hero in Uzbekistan because he started out there and made Samarkand and
surrounding cities wealthy with the booty of wars fought elsewhere.
Outside
Uzbekistan he's a villain.  He didn't just conquer, remember, he tried
to
totally wipe out civilian populations, making mountains of skulls.  And
his
injury occurred during battle and never led him to any spiritual
awakening.  In
fact as far as I can tell he only used religion as an excuse to make
war and to
slaughter the losers.

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