On Sa, 29.08.2009, 22:09, Huntsman, Jeffrey F. wrote:
> Since we are largely speculating about who was thinking what, I don't
> expect we will ever tease apart what is a long-standing, regularly invoked
> memory of a people from what they might have heard from literary sources.
> Indeed, the research that psychologists and those in the field of
> criminal justice have done regarding eye-witness reports, abuse
> narratives, and other psychologically "real" things has made clear, is
> that human beings can readily convince themselves that they have actually
> experienced things that did, in fact, not happen to them. How much more
> difficult then is it to prove where our stories come from?
> Let me leave you with something even more speculative: You know that
> circling an enemy with a chariot in an anti-clockwise manner is a great
> insult. I have read that this might somehow be connected with the
> prominence of ancient sun worshipping practices, since this motion is
> consider "against the sun". (Although exactly why this should be
> considered an insult is very obscure.) My speculation is that it is an
> insult of a more mental type: running anti-clockwise presents the
> charioteer to the enemy, not the hero. This is in effect saying to your
> adversary: "I am so powerful that even my charioteer, unarmed as he is,
> is more than you can contend with. Be glad it's not me."
> Since we have no textual evidence (that I know of anyway) of the
> motivation of the chariot rotation, we'll probably never know, but I like
> my idea anyway. Intriguing?
Yes, very much so. I love practical explanations like that, and I prefer
their explicative potency over that of symbolic or "magical" strategies
which often leave me - as a modern reader, conceding that - with a
question similar to your own: "why should you bother how the sun runs when
you try to cut off the head of your enemy?"