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Re: history


I want to echo your accolades for Laurel.  She has come a long way as
a historian in a few years, and continues tirelessly researching and
publishing work of interest to all of us.

Regarding this point:

> I must say, that while I have been an avid student of all sorts of history,
> what I have come across in this past year is daunting because of the depth
> and breadth of the knowledge which is tied into ancient

may I suggest we take the following as the motto of this list:

 	He whose vision cannot cover
 	History's three thousand years,
 	Must in outer darkness hover,
	Live within the day's frontiers.
	--Johann Wolfgang Goethe, West-östlicher Divan 

We know now that Goethe underestimated the actual extent of human history,
writing as he did in 1819, before the vast archaeological discoveries in
the middle East and India extended it back at least another thousand years,
before linguistic work detected elements of Indo-European civilization as
far back as perhaps 4500 BC, and before Ryan and Pitman made their case
that a clearly-established event around 5500 BC was remembered in the
stories of Noah's flood, thus extending human history to at least 7500
years.  But Goethe's point remains.  Facts aren't enough; vision is required
to see behind the phantoms of today the ghosts of 300 generations who set
the stage on which we play.

John S. Quarterman <jsq@matrix.net>
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