[This is an important review of a book you should have
to decide for yourself. Sometimes the reviewers comments are quite valid,
sometimes not necessarily true. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, not
you could read the book and make up your own mind. I find the topic very interesting.
Volume XXVI, Number 3, Issue Number 111 pages 16-22.
Jozko Šavli, Matej Bor, Ivan Tornazic (sic). Veneti: First Builders of
European Community: Tracing the History and Language of Early Ancestors of
. Bennogasse 21, A-1080, Vienna, Austria: Editiones Veneti, 1996.
Co-published by and available through Anton Skerbinc, Site 1, Box 17, RR
1, Boswell, British Columbia, Canada. 533 pages. $25.00 + $4.00 postage/handling.
is scarcely a reader-friendly book. In this critique the reviewer
will attempt to somewhat popularize its abstruse subject matter. In order
to assist our fellow-Augustans toward a well-reasoned, dispassionate evaluation
of its merits, the reviewer1 must shoulder a three-fold task: 1. rehearse
a brief litany of inherited linguistic and historic presuppositions countered
by the books theses; 2. go over the literary qualities of the book itself;
3. cogently consider the arguments of the authors' theses, theses which the
reader will find authentically iconoclastic.
1. The academic world classifies Slovenian as a South Slavic language, sharing
phonologic, morphologic and lexical features with Bulgarian, Macedonian, and
Serbo-Croatian, and lacking the common features of the West-Slavic languages,
Czech, Polish, Slovak, Lusatian (Wendish) and Kashubian. We can illustrate
this with two examples drawn from de Brays Guide to the Slavonic Languages
Consider the consonant clusters /kv/ and /gv/ of Old Church Slavonic (Staroslavianski
which were kept in the West Slavic languages, but became [cv] (c=Ts) and
[zv] in the South Slavic languages, thus:
South Slavic West Slavic
1.1 "flower" Slovenian: [cvet] Czech: [kvyet]
Bulgarian: [cvyat] Polish: [kvyat]
Macedonian [cvyat] Slovak: [kvet]
Serbo-Croatian: [cvet] Lusatian: [kvyet]
2. "star" Slovenian: ['zvezda] Czech: ['hvezdal
Bulgarian: [zve'zda] Polish: ['gyazda]
Macedonian: ['dzvezda] Slovak: ['hvyezda]
Serbo-Croatian: ['zvezdal Lusatian: ['hvyezda]
[The original text used a little superscript "y" meaning the preceding consonant
must be palatalized. I am unable to duplicate the character here so I just
used a y in the above.]
One after another, Slovenians significant distinctive features map out in
the same comparative profile. That is why we consistently classify it as a
South Slavic language. Yet the authors of Veneti would assert and reaffirm
a West Slavic identity for Slovenian. The reader might well ask, "With what
The Slovenian speech area stretches from the Julilan Alps to the Croatian
border near Zagreb and from the Hungarian border to the Italian littoral.
With more than 46 dialects, standard literary Slovenian represents a composite
linguistic system, based primarily on the geographically central dialects
of Dolenjsko, and Gorenjsko. We generally group the isoglosses of Slovenian
dialectology into the following broad regional variations: Lower Carniolan
(Dolenjsko); Upper Carniolan (Gorenisko): Styrian (Stayersko); Carinthian
(Korosko): Pannonian (Panonsko) along the Hungarian border: Adriatic (Primorsko)
along the Italian/Friulian border: and Rovte (Rovtarsko) between the Italian
littoral and Upper Carniola.
In the diachronic study of language change, glottochronology is a fairly
reliable tool useful in the approximation of variable rates of predictable
linguistic innovation. We can apply it judiciously as a kind of "linguistic
carbon-14" dating technique for morphologic and phonologic change. Glottochronologic
results for Slovenian do tend to confirm the conventional wisdom among Slavicists
that its distinctive features, just as those of other South Slavic languages,
are indeed datable after the sixth century C.E. Yet the authors of Veneti
would propose that not only the Veneti themselves but even the Etruscans were
genetic and linguistic predecessors of the modern Slovenian people. Our first
impression is necessarily, what kind of raw, chauvinistic, separatist Slovene
nationalism is confronting the reader?
True, two ideologically driven trends of thought have shaped the course
of Slovenian studies over the past 150 years: the German and the Pan-Slavic
(Russian) Historical Schools. Each sought to establish its own cultural hegemony
over strategically and economically important tracts of real estate, including
the Slovenian homeland. Moreover, we Augustans are quite aware that history;
including linguistic history, is, in essence, the story-line that any given
"historian" can piece together form disjointed documentary or archeological
facts. The story line is accepted as adequately valid until challenged by
new information or by a new political agenda, witness the number of rewritings
that official Russian history underwent throughout the Soviet era.
Veneti, the book under review, comes to mount a serious, well-substantiated
challenge both to the official occidental (German) and oriental (Russian)
histories of not only Slovenian cultural and linguistic development but indeed
of Europe itself.
We find the earliest documented occurrence of the name "Veneti" in the accounts
of the sack of Rome by the Celts who were forced to retreat when the Veneti
broke through into their territory. During the Second Punic War, the Veneti
came under the political influence of Rome, although they retained complete
autonomy in internal affairs until 89 B.C.E. Thereafter, Gnaeus Pompeius Strabo
conferred the lus Latinum
upon them as a part of Cisalpine Gaul. Together
with Istria, Augustus brought them into the tenth region of Italy with Aquileia
as capital. Aquileia suffered attacks and destruction by the Alamanni, the
Franks, and the Juthungi in 286 C.E., by the Goths under Alaric early in
the fifth century, and by Attila in 452 C.E. Under Theodoric the Great, 493-526
C.E., the Veneti prospered, but in 568 C.E. found themselves again occupied,
this time under the Lombards, after which period scanty documentation leaves
us more questions than answers.
Such in brief outline are the linguistic and historic givens against which
the book, Veneti
2. Frankly, the book as a literary product leaves more to, bc desired than
to be praised. An English translation form the German original, Unsere
Vorfahren die Veneter
, the book is essentially an amalgam of articles
by three authors: Jozko Šavli, Ph.D.; poet, dramatist and critic, Matej Bor,
recipient of the Preseren Prize, Slovenia's highest award for culture; and
Father Ivan Tomažič of the University of Vienna. Each of these three contribute
to the book as a recognized scholar in his own right. Dr. Šavli, a respected
fellow Augustan, has published a number of quality studies in our society's
journals, and the reviewer has had the pleasure of assisting him on occasion
as proof reader/ translator. Therein lies the reviewers frustration with
the literary quality of Veneti
. Technically correct, much of the language
is "translational English," with sporadic lapses of number accord and cognate
grammatical deficiencies. Predictably, it is somewhat lacking in idiomatic
. Nor is it inappropriate at this juncture
for the reviewer to note his fraternal willingness to assist Dr. Šavli in
anglicizing; ars pro arte
, any subsequent English-language edition
of the book. Its subject matter is simply too important to beg vigorous,
structurally strong argumentation, as the reader will shortly see.
presents the contributions of each author consecutively in
three distinct sections. Dr. Savli's articles in Part One set the tone for
the reader's subsequent evaluations, and, deplorably, are phrased most "translationally."
Part Two,3 Bor's contribution, is the most reader-friendly section of the
book. Yet, rare will be the layman with the Sitzfleisch
to wade so
far into it undeterred. On the other hand, perhaps even more seldom will be
the open-minded specialist whom the preceding pages will not have dissuaded
from a resolute determination to digest Veneti's
arguments. The line
of argumentation itself, the only real point of the book is not well seamed
and simply presents the reader with a dearth of cogency. Had Part Two, Bor's
writings, opened the discussion, the stage could have been set for Šavli's
Part One to supplement and significantly underscore Bor's conclusions. The
approach of each author does successfully propound the central theses of the
book, though the reader is left the overwhelming task of constructing his
own synthesis from the array of disparate data set out. Nevertheless, even
this architectural flaw cannot detract from the splendid accomplishment of
Šavli, Bor, and Tomažič in bringing the attention of the English-speaking
world the results of their studies. May it bc acknowledged that beneath the
imperfect form of this first edition of Veneti
lies a serious example
of refined erudition and objective scholarly investigation.
3. Having set forth for the reader a laconic sketch of the linguistic and
historic backdrop to the printing of Veneti
, and having summarily
indicated some areas for amelioration in subsequent English editions, we
may now direct our concern to issues of content.
It is unlikely that any member of our society will be unaware that the line
of demarcation dividing the Early and Late Iron Ages in Europe is represented
by the Celtic migration c400 B.C.E. More, the Celtic migration extended throughout
Western and Central Europe and reached, in the early third century B.C.E.,
as far as what had earlier been known as Phrygia in Asia Minor. It is to this
"Gallic" Christian community that St. Paul directed his Epistle to the
. We refer to the Indo-European language of these peoples as
Proto-Celtic and to their civilization as La Tene culture (c400-cl5 B.C.E.)
Keeping this paradigm in mind, it will be somewhat easier for the reader
to envisage the probabilities of historical accuracy in the following iconoclastic
theses defended by the book.
3.1. A Proto-Slavic speech community had divided into Proto-West Slavic
and Proto-East Slavic dialects some time before the formation of the Lusatian
Culture (c1300-c1100 B.C.E.) and had also extended throughout a great part
of Western and Central Europe and as far as Pamphlagonia, the northern coast
of Asia Minor. There, according to Homer (II. ii, 85), they (hoi Heneloi
specialized in the breeding of "wild mules." Šavli's valid findings from his
analysis of European toponymy4 adequately establish an infra-structural Slavic
presence throughout these regions. This conclusion is equally supported by
Bor's chapter, "Similarity of the Slovene, Latvian, and Breton Words."5 The
reviewer has also carried out the homework for this independently,6 inducing
him to inevitable concurrence with Bor's results. The significance of Bor's
discovery of a layer of Slavic loanwords in Breton cannot bc overstated. Their
presence clarifies the comments of Julius Caesar's De Bello Gallico
"The Veneti are by far the strongest tribe on this coast .. They possess the
most powerful fleet with which they sail as far as Britain. . ."7 Pliny the
Elder, Strabo, Ptolemy, and Casius Dio also refer to the Veneti in Gaul (Armorica).
Bor's recovery of these Slavic lexical loans in Breton necessitates our reexamination
of certain aspects of universally accepted academic theory as exemplified
by the following definition: VENETI ... A Celtic people in the northwest
of Gallia Celtica ... In the winter of 57 B.C., they took up arms against
the Romans, and in 56 were decisively defeated in a naval engagement."8 Bor
has clearly established the existence of Slavic loans in Breton and this fact
strongly suggests that prior to the arrival in Armorica of the Brythonic (Insular
P-Celtic) speaking refugees fleeing the Saxon invasions of South Britain,
the indigenous Venetic population had indeed been Slavic. That a knowledge
of Slovenian dialectology enabled Bor to proceed in his analysis is itself
3.2. It is not only plausible but phonologically sound thinking that Greek,
lacking the consonant cluster /sl-/, would have transcribed /slovene(ti)/
as /henetoi/, with assimilation of /-o-/ to /-e-/, or, with the digraph, /weneti/,
and that the word would thence have passed to the Romans as "Veneti
"(Latin /v/ = [w]). Homer recorded that the Pamphlagonian Henetoi
fought on the side of Troy, and after a long sea voyage along the Illyrian
Coast, settled as far as beyond the Timava River.
3.3. We have an unimpeachable attestation equating the names Veneti and
Slav, authored by Abbot Jona Bobbiensis, disciple and successor of St. Columban,
543-615 CE., which comes to disprove prior historical assertions that Slavs
were newcomers to the Slovenian territory from the sixth/seventh century on:
"... Veneti qui et Sclavi dicuntur..", "the Veneti who are also called Slavs."9
Furthermore, we can henceforth assert that St. Jerome, born c347 at Stridon,
near modern Ljubljana, very probably spoke the Slavic regional dialect (Venetic),
for in his Commentary to Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians
,10 he explains
the name Tychicus as "Tychicus enim silens interpretatur," "Tychicus actually
means silent." The Slovenian adjective tih
, [tix], means "silent"
and emerges as a highly probable Venetic loan into St. Jerome's Latin, which
would have suffixed the adjectival desinence -icus.
3.4. We discover that Etruscan inscriptions betray a gradual process of
linguistic fusion (akin to, that of Anglo-Saxon and Norman French) upon an
earlier Slavic substrat, extant prior to the arrival of the Lydian or Hittite
immigration. Again here, it is a knowledge of Slovenian dialectology that
allowed Bor to decipher the earlier inscriptions.
3.5. We are brought to appreciate the fact that it is specifically Slovenian
dialectology that provides the missing key to, a meaningful reading of early
Venetic, Phrygian, Rhaetian, and Yapodic inscriptions, even permitting a partial
reconstruction of Venetic grammar. The task had facilely eluded every preceding
Venetologist and, for his pioneering achievement in this field, the reviewer
would advance the candidacy of Matej Bor for academic acclaim.11 Prior to
Bor's work, opinions were divided on the Venetic language, attested in 200
brief inscriptions, all of which are datable to the last five centuries B.C.E.,
most of them form Este, Padua, Vicenza, Trieste, Pieve di Cadore and the
Gurina plateau in Austrian Carinthia: "... some regard the language as closely
related to, Latin and to the other members of the Italic branch, while others
classify it as a wholly independent member of the family. The evidence is
not sufficient to afford. a completely unambiguous answer to the problem."12
The problem had heretofore maintained its intransigence simply because no
Venetologist had yet brought into the arena a thorough working knowledge
of Slovenian dialectology. Specifically herein resides the genius of Bor's
But what of the books thesis that modern Slovenian descends demonstrably
from Proto-West Slavic, that it is in fact erroneously classified as a Yugoslavic
(South Slavic) language in accord with the linguistic objections signaled
above? The reader must bear in mind that phonologic and morphologic innovations
in any given linguistic system geographically dissenlinate out in what eventuate
into broad "isoglossic fans." It is accurate to underscore that the distinctive
features referred to above are as characteristic of South Slavic innovations.
But what can we uncover of the original Slavic language spoken from high antiquity
in the eastern Alps and northwestern Balkan peninsula which received and
integrated these South Slavic innovations?
R.G.A. de Bray comments in Guide to the South Slavonic Languages
"Perhaps the most interesting of the other [Slovenian] dialects is that of
Carinthia... which has certain features such as the preservation, in certain
regions, of the groups - tl, -dl-, and the ending -e for adjectives in the
neut. sing., eg dobre mleko (= good milk) [cf. Czech), which seem to point
to its being a transition stage to, West Slav." Moreover, Šavli is correct
when he affirms: "Beside the lexical relationship with the Baltic languages,
Slovene exhibits still other Proto-Slavic characteristics; the dual, as with
the Wends in Lusatian; the supine, as with the Czechs; the genitive in the
negative form as found in the Balto-Slavic group. The large number of dialects,
forty-six altogether, reveals the [sic] great age of the Slovene language,
as is not the case with any other Slavic language . . . In Slovene, all the
reflections of the ancient Proto-Slavic have been preserved." 14
To fathom the implications of only one of these "reflections," the metathesis
of /-tl/ and /-dl/, let the reader but pause to consider Šavli's statement15:
"The West Slavic languages in this region [Kashubian Zone] have preserved
certain ancient peculiarities; eg., the characteristic Proto-Slavic consonant
pair ti and dl. The same consonant pair is retained in the northwest Russian
dialect of Pskov; i.e., in the region of the 'Slovieni' ... "Actually, in
point of fact, only Kashubian--often misclassified as a Polish dialect--preserves
without metathesis the Proto-Slavic /-tl-/ and /-dl-/, as de Bray observes
in his Guide to the West Slavonic Language
,16 "... Kashubian can be
considered a transition to the old dialects of the now Germanized Slavs on
the left bank of the lower Oder. With them it affords some examples of Slavonic
words without the metathesis of liquids ... " For the other West Slavic languages,
de Bray confirms: " ... Czech: The Slavonic metathesis of liquids. Here Czech
has the same forms as South Slav17 ... Slovak: The Slavonic metathesis of
liquids. Slovak, like Czech, has the same forms and vowels as the South Slav
languages18 ... Lusatian, like Polish has true West Slav forms with vowels
... after the liquids [metathesis]."19
The earliest South Slavic language with ample documentation is Old Church
Slavonic which was reduced to writing by the Macedonian saints, Methodius
and Cyril (mid-ninth century.) Characteristic of this language, as of every
South Slavic language thereafter, is the metathesis of /-d-/ and / -dl-/.
How then are we to account for the preservation of this archaic distinctive
feature in any South Slavic dialect? Linguistic innovation is not known to
reverse itself once carried out. And yet it is precisely in Carinthia that
we find this Proto-Slavic feature shared with Kashubian and the Slovieni
dialect of Pskov, Russia. Only one conceivable explanation presents itself.
The Carinthian dialects of Slovenian are not to be understood as transitional
to West Slavic, but rather as uniquely residual from the primordial Slavic
language, Venetic, once spoken throughout the region. They must be seen as
the linguistic residue of dialects which somehow remained unaffected by the
great South Slavic isoglossic fans that, through the centuries, swept through
the Balkans and into the eastern Alps. This, as indeed every piece of evidence
set forth by the authors of Veneti
leads inexorably to the justification
and substantiation of their conclusions.
Their labor is to be applauded and The Augustan Society can take pride that
one of these remarkable men, Dr. Jozko Šavli, stands among us as one of our
Charles Bryant-Abraham, PhD, OAA
1. In all fairness to our readership, we should succinctly sketch out the
essential qualifications of the reviewer for assumption of this task. The
reviewer holds a Ph.D. in linguistics from the Université de Montréal
(dissertation: Les traductions judéo-espagnoles du poeme liturgique
hebreu "Azharot" de Salomon ibn Gabirol, imprimées aur XVI, et XVIII
siecles, 600 pp.; these: Les déictiques esquimaudes comme indice
de la neuropsychologie de la percetion visuelle
, a noted contribution
to Canadian Eskimology.) Prior, as a Teaching Assistant at the University
of Texas, Austin, (majors: French, Hebrew, German, linguistics; minor: Iranian
Studies), lie was assigned to work with Dr. R. Olesch of the Department of
Slavistics, the University of Cologne, Germany, on sabbatical in Texas (1964-65)
for researching the Lusatian language (Wendish) still spoken in and around
Serbin, Texas, a rural community northeast of Austin, Texas. (This Wendish
community and a sister settlement in Australia are the only Lusatian speech
islands outside the original Saxon/Brandenburg linguistic area of that minority
West Slavic language.) The reviewer's linguistic work has included, but has
not been limited to: Czech (West Slavic), Wendish (West Slavic), Bulgarian
(South Slavic), Old Prussian (West Baltic) and more recently, Lithuanian
(East Baltic.) His earlier readings in comparative Slavistics included Slovenian,
but, as a fluent speaker of German, his study of Slovenian was necessarily
filtered through the tradition of the German Historical School, a decided
disadvantage for an open-minded evaluation of Veneti's
2. R.G.A. de Bray, Guide to the Slavonic Languages
Dent & Sons, Ltd., 1963.)
4. Ibid, 13-47.
5. Ibid, 324-331.
6. The reviewer had previously done intensive studies in comparative Celtic
linguistics, with a concentration on Old Irish and Old Welsh.
7. Veneti, 192.
8. "Veneti," Encyclopaedia Britannica
, 1964 ed. Vol. 23, 48.
10. Patrologia Latinae, tomus XXVI
. Commentar. in Epist. ad Ephes,
Liber III, cap. IV, Migne edit. 1866 (Cf. Veneti, 463.)
12. Madison Scott Beeler, "Venetic Language, Encyclopaedia Britannica
Vol. 23, 50.
13. R.G.A. de Bray, Guide to the South Slavonic Languages
rev. Columbus: Slavica Publishers, 1980), 387.
15. Ibid, 84.
16. R.G.A. de Bray, 1980 ed., 246.
17 Ibid, 50.
18. Ibid, 149.
19. Ibid, 359.
Update on Veneti, First Builders of European Community, Tracing the History
and Language of Early Ancestors of Slovenes
After submission of my review of Venetil to Sir Rodney Hartwell in June,
1998, I came across a book in Athens of potential interest to the subject
of a Proto-(West) Slavic presence in the Balkans, He Glossa tes Makedonias,
he Archaia Makedonike kai he Pseudonyme Glossa ton Skopion
, "The Language
of Macedonia, Old Macedonian and the so called Language of the Skopljites"
(written in modern Greek with citations in classical Greek and in Latin),
by G. Khatsidakis, et al. (Athens, Greece: Olkos, 1993).
I will not review the book at this time for our Greek-reading Augustans,
other than to indicate broadly my impression that the seven contributing writers
have built a well-reasoned argument for the essential Hellenism of Alexander
the Great. One cannot, however, avoid suspicion of a hidden political agenda
to head off any future South Slavic irredentism for the Macedonian-speaking
hinterland of Thessalonica. Unlike Veneti
the book presents no linguistic
evidence to shore up its premises and conclusions.
Granted, as A. I. Thabores correctly points out (p. 194) in his chapter,
"He Hellenike Dialektos ton Archaion Makedonon ka ta Semerina Neo-Hellenica
Idiomata tes Makedonias (kai tes Alles Boreias Helladas)
," "The Greek
Dialect of the Ancient Macedonians and the Modern New Greek Dialects of Macedonia
(and the Rest of Northern Greece)": ". . . the names of their gods, the myths
and the mythical heroes, their personal names, the monumental and place names
and lexical items of their dialect ... are all essentially Greek." [my translation]
Yet I would query whether this might not be reflective of an on-going, pervasive
Greek cultural influence in the frontier zone between Greece and the Balkan
peoples reaching back to the pre-heroic age.
The passage that caught my eye and that I would bring to the attention of
our fellow Augustan, Dr. Jožko Šavli, and his co-authors of Veneti
Prof. Matej Bor and Father Ivan Tomažič, occurs in Anna Panagiotou's study
(pp. 187-188), "He Glossa ton Archaion Epigraphon tes Makedonias
"The Language of the Ancient Inscriptions of Macedonia." I urge Dr. Savli
and his colleagues to reexamine the known Macedonian inscriptions--there are
some 6,000 of them through the prism of Slovenian diachronic dialectology,
and I first pose the challenging question here in The Augustan
thoroughly assimilated into the Greek culture and language through the education
of his teacher, Aristotle, can it be that Alexander the Great himself emerged
into world history from a Proto-(West) Slavic, i.e., Venetic, family background?
I translate Ms. Panagiotou's reference to a passage in Curtius2 Hist.
Alex. Magni Maced.
, IV, 11.4.:
... which narrates another event of the kingdom of Alexander ... considered
as an indication that the Macedonian language was not a Greek dialect, but
a different language: the general Philotas was accused by one of his compatriots
of not feeling ashamed, " ... Macedo natus, homines linguae suae per interpretetn
" "... born a Macedonian, to hear the men of his language through
an interpreter, i.e., according to this passage, Philotas had need of translators
in order to understand the mother tongue. Yet in a curious way, this passage
comes to contradict another by the same author in the same document (VI.9.34-36.)
Alexander asks if Philotas will speak in the language of their fathers, ".
. . Macedones ... de te iudicaturi sunt, quero an patrio sermone sis apud
, " ". . . the Macedonians who will judge you, I ask if you
will use the language of [our] fathers with them," and elicited the response:
"Fraeter Macedonas .. plerique adsunt, quos facilius quae dicam percep-turus
arbitror, si eadem lingua fuero usus qua tu egisti, non ob aliud, credo quam
ut oratio tua intellegi posset a pluribus
"[Above and] beyond the Macedonians ... there are many present whom, I feel,
will more easily grasp the things I say if I use the same language you did,
for no other reason, I believe, than that your speech might be understood
by many." This explanation caused the angry remarks of Alexander that Philotas
neglects to speak in the language of their fathers: "Ecquid videtis adeo etiam
sermonis patrii Philotan toedere? Solus quippe fastidit eum discere. Sed
dicat sane utcumque ei cordi est, dum memineritis aeque ilium a nostro more
quam sermone abhorrere," "Have you ever seen Philotas reject the language
of [our] fathers heretofore? Indeed, he alone is averse to learning it. Let
him then say, however, it is in his heart, since you will remember that he
is opposed to our custom[s] as weIl as our language."
Ms. Panagiotou's article proceeds to attempt to explain this passage as
referring to a northern Hellenic dialect so greatly at variance uith the
that it might just as well have been a foreign
language. Her attempt falls short of convincing.
Now the work plan before us is not complex The Macedonian inscriptions,
must be scrutinize anew by the trained and sensitive eyes of Slavicists of
the stature of the authors of Veneti. Let this task bc undertaken at the
earliest possible moment.
1. Charles Bryant-Abraham, PhD,
Fcllow, The Jerusalem Center for
Biblical Studies and Research
2. Cf. John C. Rolfe. Quinius Curtius
(Cambridge: Harvard University
Rolfe states (p. xviii): "Curtius's principal source is Clitarchus, son
of Dinon (Pliny, N.H. x (49) 136), who accompanied Alexanders expedition
and wrote a highly coloured account of it ... Curtius used Clitarchus in
a changed and contaminated form, perhaps through Timagencs, whom he mentions
in viii. 5.21 in connection with Clitarchus and Ptolemy ... He differs with
Clitarchus in ix. 5.21 and follows Ptolemy, censuring Clitarchus for carelessness
or credulity ... "
Rolfe adds (p. xxi): "The Historiae
seem to be the work of a rhetorician
rather than of an historian. One of his principle aims was to insert in his
work brilliant speeches and romantic incidents. Doubtless he wished to give
a correct account, but his imperfect knowledge of history and geography led
him into many errors.
Rolfe is correct in pointing out (p. xxiv) that the chancellary language
of Macedonia was Greek: "For some generations the court language was Attic
Greek." Yet, even conservatively admitting constraints on Curtius' accuracy,
we must presume a kernel veracity for the passages in question. That presumption
is sufficient to warrant reexamination of the Macedonian inscriptions by Venetologists.
Where to purchase the book about Veneti:
VENETI: FIRST BUILDERS OF EUROPEAN COMMUNITY
is published by Editiones
Veneti, Vienna 1996, translated and printed in Canada, hardbound with an attractive
dustcover, 534 pages, 150 illustrations, index. Price in the USA, Australia
and other destinations $29.00US, Canada $34.00CAD. Postage included. Quantity
discounts are available. To order this important publication write to: Anton
Škerbinc Site 1, Box 17, R.R. 1 Boswell, B.C. V0B 1A0 Canada or Ivan Tomažič
A-1080 Wien, Bennogasse 21, Austria.
For criticism of this topic, please contact Anton
who is anton at kootenay dot com.
I don't know much more than what is presented and he sells his English
translation of the book on Veneti and knows much more than I.