Finis Coronat Opus

Waiting for the Greek Etymological Dictionary

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006 danwaniek.org
Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction ( Hardcover ) by R. S. P. Beekes, 1996.
Professor Beekes wrote a highly enjoyable, accessible and informed chef d'oeuvre. Besides the usual stress on his pet theory of laryngeals - now mainstream in the field, professor Beekes perfectly balances his illustrated and yet readable account while he informs us in a comprehensive, well written Basic English. Comparative Indo-European Linguistics is now mature, but the author does not climb on the shoulders of so many illustrious founding fathers, yet he courageously stands right where he should be - he stands ovation ! There are a number of perfectible items in this book, like maps and indices, but then again this 300 year old magisterium is so dynamic nowadays that every new indoeuropean discovery is hard to publish, even in the famous but hard to find Journal of Indo-European Studies. The illustrations are compelling, but selective and somewhat " romantic ". The editors must have pushed for them.
Although he does not like the word "Pelasgian" and uses Pre-Greek throughout his large Opus, it is perhaps best for everybody to let Professor Beekes work in peace, for he now offers the Greek Etymological Dictionary, yet another masterpiece.

ISBN : 9027221510, BOBE-5175-REFS-0001, RANK : (not published by Amazon for this masterpiece), 376 pages, unique edition.

The Last Words of our Savior

Eli, Eli!

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006 danwaniek.org
The Aramaeans : their Ancient History, Culture, Religion (Hardcover) by Edward Lipinski, 2000
Aramaean is the language of our Savior, for popular Aramaean is the form in which His last words on the Holy Cross were uttered. The Aramaeans were a little known people spreading throughout Syria, the Bekaa valley, the Euphrates, Aram per se, inside the Northern Arab territories and so on. Aramean was once the lingua franca, used viva voce and in tablets, papyri and other inscriptions from the Persian Gulf to the Lower and Upper Egypt. Dr Edward Lipinski wrote a scholarly, well documented, synthetic work of great value concerning this dusty, arid and still mysterious knowledgeable field. Patiently and tactfully, the author takes us into the deep and arcane history of the Fertile Crescent around 1500 BC and through 700 BC when the Arameans seem to have vanished together with the former masters of Niniveh. The sophisticate, complex and incredibly "modern" Aramaean culture in the Assyrian and Hurrian context, and especially its religious life are investigated. The weight of Aramaean impact into the Western Civilization is taken into consideration.
Great care and balance are needed for such a sensitive area for anyone who touches the Holy Land and the history of Israel and Judah. Being highly specialized and savvy, the author navigates through semitic studies, archaeology, assyrology and - using a historian's view, in the line of Thucydides - he manages to unearth the first Aramaeans starting with the first attested inscriptions of the name ARAM and AHLAMUU. He particularly and especially pushes his etymological analysis for the word Aram and the A-ru-mu towards the Wild Bull of the Sun under God Hadad - not far from Nicolae Densuşianu's now famous work on the " Arimi ". Even Dumézil's crticized accounts of Hurrians and Vedic warriors entering the Holy Land in advance of the "Sons of Heth" now find a better context, if not downright vindication. Dr Lipinski takes us through the times of troubles where the geopolitical map was redrawn in the Fertile Crescent, at the sudden implosion of the Hittite Empire, with the advent of the Sea Peoples during the Great Mycenian Migration. Toynbee would have liked that vision of chariots along the Gaza Strip... There is a very useful abbreviated list of sources at the beginning. Maps are exquisitely drawn. There are remarkably few typos, even in the realm of previously spotty and badly translated Aramean inscriptions. Even the paper of this volume is great. I would have liked a more assertive attempt to write even a partial conclusion, and the index, with 50 pages, is a bit too much for me. This feast of a book is serious and inspiring. It is highly recommended, even for neophytes, and being myself one of these, I have a word of excuse for Dr Edward Lipinsky, for Amazon does not seem to find useful to add the accent on the "n" in the second syllable of his family name!

ISBN : 9042908599, BOBE-5230-REFS-0001, RANK : #1,672,526, 665 pages, unique edition.

The Whole Wood Behind...

... and in spite of so many exquisite sacred trees

by Dr Dan Waniek, MD
Copyright © 2006 danwaniek.org
The White Goddess : A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth by Robert Graves, 1966.
There is simply too much to say about this masterpiece. Robert Graves has this special - I'd say "cardinal" - virtue to link apparently disparate fields into one deep and yes, poetical view. This book has an avant-la-lettre Great Goddess good taste. But it is much more than a prophetical work opening vistas for Marija Gimbutas. If James Frazer dreamed alone at his desk and thus redesigned the Golden Bough, then Robert Graves put the Golden Bough (and everything else on his desk) at work for all of us to dream on. Only true poets have such an insight. I started to study Robert Graves for a particular purpose, namely for his unique interpretation of the Pelasgian Myth of Creation. I then found his case for the blank ogham to be compelling. And as I grew a bit older, at last, I tried to see the whole wood behind - and in spite of so many exquisite - sacred trees.
And it is the poetical style of Robert Graves which made it possible. A Great Leap Forward from the usual nonsense concerning structural approaches and so on. Highly recommended!

ISBN : 0374504938, BOBE-5250-REFS-0001, RANK : #18,302, 512 pages, 1966, reprint paperback edition.