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Lesley Dean-Jones, Chair 2210 Speedway, Mail Code C3400, Austin, TX 78712-1738 • 512-471-5742

Thomas G Palaima

Professor Ph.D. 1980, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Professor: Robert M. Armstrong Centennial Professor and Director, Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP)
Thomas G Palaima

Contact

Biography

Tom Palaima, a MacArthur fellow for his work in Aegean prehistory and early Greek language and culture, is director of the Program in Aegean Scripts and Prehistory (PASP: see web page). He has held Fulbright fellowships/profesorships in Greece (79-80), Austria (92-93), and Spain (2007) and has been a fellow of the University of Wisconsin Humanities Institute (1983) and the University of Texas Humanities Institute (2002, 2010). In 2007, he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, London.  For his public commentaries and service within the University, he was chosen one of three honorable mentions for Longhorn of the Year, Daily Texan, December 2010.

He has lectured, written and taught extensively on the subjects of ancient writing systems, the reconstruction of ancient culture, decipherment theory, Greek language, war and violence studies, ancient religion, ethnicity, feasting ritual and kingship ideology and practice, song as an important means of communicating social criticism, and Dylanology.

He is a regular commentary writer for the Austin American-Statesman and a regular reviewer and occasional feature writer for the Times Higher Education. He has also written for The Texas Observer and Michigan War Studies Review. He has appeared on NPR, national and Boston, and on Wisconsin Public Radio.

He received the UT Alumni/ae Association's Jean Holloway Award for Excellence in Teaching for academic year 2003-2004 and the Plan II Chad Oliver Teaching Award in 2004-2005. He has taught in the Free Minds Program for poverty-level adults, the Telluride Program summer seminars, the Odyssey program (one of UT's outreach programs), and many times at UT's annual open house (Explore UT) and in the summer Honors Colloquium.

He has taught UT's Summer Intensive Greek program many years 1997-present:

http://www.utexas.edu/research/pasp/greek/index.html.

With Sara Kimball, he has taught for the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and for Undergraduate Studies, courses on how to reconstruct Anatolian Hittite and Aegean Mycenaean cultures through textual, archaeological, art historical and traditional literary sources. He also has strong interest in ancient religion and how it is reconstructed and interpreted. His course "Homer's Banquet" (UGS 303) uses ancient and modern creative works of all kinds to raise questions about ethics, leadership and human behavior.

In public service, he has given seminars on the experience of warfare, ancient and modern at the Smithsonian Institute, the USMA West Point, and as a Phi Beta Kappa National Traveling Lecturer. He has given seminars on the decipherment of Linear B at the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, MD and at the Smithsonian Institute. He has taught in outreach programs about youth and violence. And he has done readings and lectured in the Aquila Theater/NEH program Ancient Greeks/Modern Lives in New York city, Austin and Los Angeles.

Tom serves on the editorial advisory board, Texas Studies in Language and Literature (2010- ) and on the Consejo Científico, Minos, Revista de Filología Egea y del Epos Arcaico, (2012-).

From 2008-2011, he was UT representative on the national Coalition on Intercollegiate Athletics. His COIA reports for 2009, 2010 and 2011 can be found by searching the UT Faculty Council Web site.

His article in the March 22, 2010 The Texas Observer surveys the entire history of the harmful effects on higher education of big-time sports and its supporters. http://www.texasobserver.org/the-golden-football/

His more recent publications include:

—with Larry Trittle, “The Legacy of War in the Classical World,” in Brian Campbell and Larry Tritle eds. The Oxford Handbook of Warfare in the Classical World (OUP 2013) 726-742

— “Songs of the ‘Hard Traveler’ from Odysseus to the Never-Ending Tourist,” Modern Greek Studies Yearbook 26-27 (2010/2011 [2012]) 189-207

—"Security and Insecurity as Tools of Power in Mycenaean Palatial Kingdoms," Études mycéniennes 2010, édités par Pierre Carlier, Charles De Lamberterie, Markus Egetmeyer, Nicole Guilleux, Françoise Rougemont, Julien Zurbach (Pasiphae; Pisa-Rome, 2012) 345-356

—"Scribes, Scribal Hands and Palaeography," in Y. Duhoux and A. Morpurgo Davies  eds., A Companion to Linear B Texts (Bibliothèque des Cahiers de l’Institut de Linguistique de Louvain 127:2; Peeters: Louvain-la-Neuve, 2011)  33-136


—“The Ongoing War in Our Time and in Aristophanes’,” AAS June 25, 2012

http://www.statesman.com/news/news/opinion/the-ongoing-war-in-our-time-and-in-aristophanes/nRpjL/

—“The First Casualty” Times Higher Education  December 20/27, 2012

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/the-first-casualty/422152.article


—“Time the Revelator” Times Higher Education  May 17, 2012  

http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/419920.article

Interests

Aegean scripts & prehistory, Greek language, war & violence studies, public intellectual writing, music as social criticism, Dylanology

C C 303 • Intro To Classical Mythol-Hon

33200 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 112
show description

Myths accompanied Greek and Roman culture as a constant from the pre-literate era before the Homeric epics through the hyper-literary myths of the Roman period. These myths helped the ancient Greeks and Romans to make sense of their world and to address issues with regard to religion, philosophy, and even early attempts at natural science. In different forms, myths still inform our understanding of the world, and Classical mythology in particular has continued to influence western art and literature up to the present day. This class begins with an examination of the Greek understanding of the creation of the world, the pantheon of gods, and the creation of humanity. Time will also be spent on the origins of Greek mythology, looking to the mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, which have influenced Greek thought. Throughout the course attention will be given to particular gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines and the myths which surround them in both the Greek and Roman traditions. Classical Civilization 303 and 352 may not both be counted.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

GK 506 • First-Year Greek I

33465 • Fall 2014
Meets MTWTHF 100pm-200pm WAG 10
show description

This course is an introduction to reading ancient Greek - the language of some of the world’s oldest and best loved writings, including Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and the New Testament. We will cover enough basic grammar and vocabulary for you to begin reading short passages from a wide range of ancient Greek writers.

Greek 506 is the first half of a two-semester sequence that continues with Greek 507 and prepares students to advance to Intermediate Greek (GK 311 and 312), where students read selected works by authors like Plato and Homer.

Grades will be based on participation, homework, weekly quizzes, and four tests (three midterms and a final).

C C 303 • Intro To Classical Mythology

33595 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 1.316
show description

Myths accompanied Greek and Roman culture as a constant from the pre-literate era before the Homeric epics through the hyper-literary myths of the Roman period. These myths helped the ancient Greeks and Romans to make sense of their world and to address issues with regard to religion, philosophy, and even early attempts at natural science. In different forms, myths still inform our understanding of the world, and Classical mythology in particular has continued to influence western art and literature up to the present day. This class begins with an examination of the Greek understanding of the creation of the world, the pantheon of gods, and the creation of humanity. Time will also be spent on the origins of Greek mythology, looking to the mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, which have influenced Greek thought. Throughout the course attention will be given to particular gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines and the myths which surround them in both the Greek and Roman traditions. Classical Civilization 303 and 352 may not both be counted.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

C C 303 • Intro To Classical Mythology

33127 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 112
show description

Myths accompanied Greek and Roman culture as a constant from the pre-literate era before the Homeric epics through the hyper-literary myths of the Roman period. These myths helped the ancient Greeks and Romans to make sense of their world and to address issues with regard to religion, philosophy, and even early attempts at natural science. In different forms, myths still inform our understanding of the world, and Classical mythology in particular has continued to influence western art and literature up to the present day. This class begins with an examination of the Greek understanding of the creation of the world, the pantheon of gods, and the creation of humanity. Time will also be spent on the origins of Greek mythology, looking to the mythologies of Near Eastern cultures, which have influenced Greek thought. Throughout the course attention will be given to particular gods, goddesses, heroes and heroines and the myths which surround them in both the Greek and Roman traditions. Classical Civilization 303 and 352 may not both be counted.

This course carries a Global Cultures flag.

GK 311 • Intermediate Greek I

33232 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 312
show description

Continuation of Greek 601C or 507. Introductory readings from classical authors such as Lysias, Plato, and Xenophon. Includes grammar review.

Prerequisites: Greek 601C or 507 with a grade of at least C, or Greek 804 and 412 with a grade of at least C in each.

GK 390 • War/Viol: Anc Grk/Mod West Exp

33295 • Fall 2012
Meets TH 200pm-500pm WAG 10
show description

NEW COURSE INFO:

GK 390 War and Violence: The Ancient Greek and Modern Western Experience  Palaima

In the last twenty-five years, and perhaps beginning as early as the 1960’s, how we approach classical texts, history and culture and what questions we ask of them and want them to answer for us have changed radically.  It is also now a given within universities and colleges that classical scholars must bring their knowledge of the past to bear upon the contemporary interests and concerns of students and colleagues. Our interdisciplinary scholarship and our teaching across disciplines as classicists must be seriously engaged.

For the last twenty years, I have taught courses, written articles, reviews and commentary pieces, lectured widely and participated in scholarly and public seminars that have examined how human beings respond creatively and humanly to experiences of war and violence, including social violence between classes and groups. I have taught many different versions of junior seminars on ‘myths of war and violence’ and on ‘song as social criticism’ in the Plan II Honors Program and on ethics and principles of leadership for Undergraduate Studies. I have also given seminars on war and Homer at the Smithsonian Institution and participated in Aquila Theater’s Ancient Greeks / Modern Lives project directed at veterans and their families in New York, Austin and Los Angeles.

This work has ethical, moral, psychological, sociological and cultural dimensions and it also addresses major questions such as:

—   “Why Do Wars Begin?”—and will they ever end?—;

—   What is the nature of courage in different social and historical contexts?

—   How do human societies inculcate and reinforce codes of behavior, including the fundamental requirement to convince young men (and now women) to fight and kill and risk being killed for objectives that their leaders set?

—   How do soldiers and civilians respond to ‘news of war’ and what kinds of news and information do they get?

—   How are ‘good’ and ‘evil’ defined and how are widely accepted definitions called into question by actions taken during wars?

—   How are ethical and moral systems constructed and maintained?

—   How are wars and acts of violence processed by human beings, written or sung about,  and taken in, wholly, in part or not at all, by different social groups?

—   Through time, ancient to modern, what are the common features and concerns of those who express ideas or feelings about wars, social injustices and violent acts?

—   What is the nature of ‘justice’ in societies and how and why is injustice tolerated?

—   What are the aesthetics of human expression about war and violence, i.e., what makes forms of expression effective or even tolerable in certain periods and distinctive enough to last?

The aim of this course is to make us more familiar with current areas of interest and current thinking about these important questions, while reading relevant key passages from Greek sources (epic and lyric poetry, drama and history).  We will also read significant contemporary primary and secondary literature and look at connections between the themes of classical writing on war and of literature, blues and folk songs and films in the late nineteenth to early twenty-first centuries.

In this version of the course we shall be looking at selections from and critical questions about Homer, Iliad Books 1, 2, 6, 9, 16, 18, 22 and 24; Hesiod, Works and Days and Theogony; Euripides, Medea and Trojan Women; Aeschylus, Agamemnon; the poetry of Tyrtaeus, Archilochus, and Callinus; Herodotus Book 1; and Thucydides.

Modern authors whose works may be examined include: Robert Graves, Siegfried Sassoon, Wilfred Owen, Ezra Pound, Ernest Hemingway, e.e. cummings, Erich Maria Remarque, Sigmund Freud, George Orwell, Rolando Hinojosa Smith, Charles Neider, Tim O’Brien, Jonathan Shay, Bill Broyles, Jr., Larry Tritle, Leon Golden, Kevin Herbert, E.B. Sledge, Studs Terkel, Paul Fussell, Horton Foote, Kurt Vonnegut, Michael Herr, Seymour Hersh, Chris Hedges, James Dawes, Meir Solaveichik, Charles Patterson, Yehuda Amichai, Naomi Nye, Terence Rattigan, Viktor Frankl, William Faulkner.  We will also pay attention to blues and folk masters.

We shall in all cases discuss historical context, the purpose of accounts being presented as they were, and later interpretations and influence of the selections we are studying.

The course will emphasize close and accurate reading of the texts; the backgrounds and purposes of the authors; understanding of cultural concepts and contexts; the human meaning and values conveyed in masterworks of the human spirit; and the process of human creativity. 

We shall try to make use of and become familiar with resources in the Humanities Research Center.

In seminar meetings we shall discuss what particular works mean and how they convey their meaning and what their relationship is to other works in a long cultural tradition. There will be ample opportunity for the interests of individual students.

GRADING:

Grade will be based on: 

2 class reports on specific topics (20% each) with written handouts when class meeting is being presented and post-presentation reflections;

Class participation and reading (20%);

Draft of a fifteen-to-twenty-page paper (due at the end of week thirteen) (20%);

Final version of said paper (due on Monday after last week of classes) (20%).

C C 303 • Intro To Classical Mythology

33035 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WEL 1.308
show description

The Greeks used their myths as popular attempts to make sense of themselves and their world and to enjoy themselves.

 All of the great Greek myths were ‘written’ for large-scale consumption, to entertain, explore, titillate, excite, criticize, explain, and horrify. Among these myths are top-ten all-time stories of sex and the ironies and savagery and honor of war (The Iliad, The Trojan Women); of sex, exotic adventure and bloody homecoming (The Odyssey), of sex and the creation of the world (Theogony), of sex and political outrage (The Works and Days), of sex, murder and vengeance (The Agamemnon), of sex, incest, voyeurism and cross-dressing (The Oedipus Tyrannus and The Bacchae), of sex, politics and morality (The Antigone), and of sex and detective fiction (The Oedipus Tyrannus). Then as now, "sex, violence, action and mystery sell." The Greeks also used music and dance in mythic presentation: cf. modern opera, music videos, folk and blues music. We'll compare the Book of Genesis with Greek creation myths and give some look at modern war literature and modern music.

THIS COURSE IS NOT DESIGNED FOR YOU ONLY TO LEARN THE BASIC STORIES OF ANCIENT MYTHOLOGY.  IT IS DESIGNED TO GET YOU TO THINK ABOUT HOW LIFE’S REALITIES ARE REFLECTED IN LONG-LASTING MYTHS.

In this course we shall read and discuss the great Greek myths in four ways. First, to become familiar with them and how they worked within their culture. Second, to appreciate and enjoy them as great, but accessible works of the human mind. Third, to understand how they worked as tools to explain the world and what confused human beings—perhaps a redundancy—are doing in it. Fourth, to discuss what they mean for us and our problems—this is, after all, why they still survive.

I will use modern, but not necessarily contemporary, parallels suggested by my activities as a commentary writer, general book reviewer, and  student/scholar of the human experience of war and violence and how human beings come to terms with the meaning of life and death.

BOOKS IN COOP:

Stanley Lombardo, Hesiod, Works and Days and Theogony (Hackett ISBN 0-87220-180-5 pbk)

Stanley Lombardo, Homer, The Iliad (Hackett ISBN 0-87-220352-2 pbk)

Stanley Lombardo, Homer, The Odyssey (Hackett ISBN 0-87220-484-7 pbk)

Paul Woodruff, Euripides, Bacchae    (Hackett ISBN 0-87220-392-1 pbk)

Paul Woodruff and P. Meineck, Sophocles, Oedipus Rex (Hackett ISBN 0-87220-492-8 pbk)

 

Syllabus, notes, background information will all be available on Blackboard. Additional primary readings will be available on Blackboard also.

GRADES: 

 —FOUR IN-CLASS QUIZZES:  end of week 3 (10%), end of week 8 (10%), end of week 10 (15%), and during week 13 (15%)  (50% total)

 —TWO IN-CLASS  EXAMINATIONS short essay + identifications examination, end of week 6 (25%) and during week 15 (25%).   50% TOTAL

 —NO FINAL EXAM IN EXAM PERIOD.

 WARNING:  ALL TESTS AND QUIZZES COUNT. 

NO EXTRA CREDIT. REPEAT: NO EXTRA CREDIT.

No make ups without serious documentation.

"Scholastic dishonesty on any graded assignment will result in a failing grade. Scholastic dishonesty includes any kind of cheating; if you are unsure about the exact definition you should consult the General information catalogue, Appendix , Section 11-802 (http://www.utexas.edu/student/registrar/catalogs/gi01-02/app/appc11.html )"

 You can make up work missed for a religious holiday if you bring documentation of the holiday fourteen days ahead of time.

 "The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-4641 TTY."

 THIS COURSE REQUIRES Attentive reading and thinking, and paying attention during lectures.

 OFFICE HOURS:

 tpalaima@mail.utexas.edu  Office: WAG 14AA 471-8837

 EMERGENCY:  Tom Palaima 

AHC 378 • Aegean Prehistory

32815 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CAL 323
(also listed as HIS 350L )
show description

What do we know historically about the palaces where legendary kings like Minos, Agamemnon, Nestor and Priam ruled? When did the Greeks arrive in what has since been their homeland and how and why did their peculiarly innovative and influential culture develop? What do the so-called Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, on the island of Crete and the Greek mainland, owe to surrounding cultures, and how and why did these cultures come into contact?  What kinds of evidence do we have from the so-called palatial period of Aegean prehistory (the 2nd millennium BCE) and how can we use it to ask historical questions? Formal study of Aegean prehistory is now over 140 years old. One of the challenges for our understanding of the palatial palatial period (reflected in later Greek historical texts like the Iliad, Odyssey, Works and Days, and Thucydides) is to make sense of the material evidence recovered through excavation in conjunction with the data provided by peculiar documents (mostly inscribed economically focused records on clay in writing systems known as Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B) that have been found at most major sites. These documents have turned what used to be called a prehistoric period into what is now known as a proto-historic period. They present us with interesting problems concerning methods and principles of interpretation and historical reconstruction.

In this course we will concentrate on how to make history or pre- and proto-history. We shall try to trace political, social, economic and general cultural developments (including such topics as religious beliefs, ethnicity, orality and literacy, law, regional and central power hierarchies, languages and dialects, trade, warfare, and cross-cultural borrowings and adaptations) on Crete and the Greek mainland between roughly 2200 and 1100 BCE, with some look at Cyprus and Hittite Anatolia. We shall try to define what history means in periods where we lack what we consider historical or annalistic works produced within the cultures we, as moderns, are studying. We shall ask questions most historians ask about human actions and the general quality of life in specific areas and time periods. We shall try to figure out where the ‘high’ Aegean cultures came from, what led to their eventual decline and collapse and what came after them? And we shall consider the historiography of research in this field.

Resources will include: (1) translated and transliterated documents in Linear A and Linear B, and excerpted passages from later Greek historical texts; (2) studies bearing upon the evidence derived from languages per se; (3) specialized articles on topics mentioned in general course description.

Grading:

Grades will be based on: (1) three five-page papers with drafts due in the fourth, ninth and fourteenth weeks of the semester and re-writes in the sixth and eleventh weeks and at the time of the final examination; (2) one student presentation of the material assigned for a course meeting (graded on handout material and clarity and coverage of presentation per se); (3) final examination (an oral one-on-one with the instructor on the topic of the final paper and the main topics in the course). Breakdown of grade: papers (final drafts alone are given grades) first 20%, second 25%, third 30%; presentation 15%; final examination 10%.

This course will mainly use articles from specialized monographs and excerpted chapters from synthetic and collaborative handbooks on Greek prehistory. Basic texts are: The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age by Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (Editor), Cambridge University Press 2008, pb. The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge World Archaeology) by Oliver Dickinson, Cambridge University Press 1994, pb. The Mycenaean World by John Chadwick, Cambridge University Press 1976, pb. Life and Society in the Hittite World by Trevor Bryce, Oxford University Press 2004, pb. Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilization, Second Edition by William A.; Carol G. Thomas McDonald, Indiana University Press 1990, pb.)

GK 506 • First-Year Greek I

33100 • Fall 2011
Meets MTWTHF 900am-1000am WAG 10
show description

This course is an introduction to reading ancient Greek - the language of some of the world’s oldest and best loved writings, including Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and the New Testament. We will cover enough basic grammar and vocabulary for you to begin reading short passages from a wide range of ancient Greek writers. Greek 506 is the first half of a two-semester sequence that continues with Greek 507 and prepares students to advance to Intermediate Greek (GK 311 and 312), where students read selected works by authors like Plato and Homer. Greek 506 can be counted as partially fulfilling the foreign language requirement, or the General Culture requirement, or as an elective. Grades will be based on participation, homework, weekly quizzes, and three cumulative in-class near the end of the 5th, 10th and 15th weeks.                   An Introduction to Greek [Illustrated] [Paperback] H. Lamar Crosby (Author)  John Nevin Schaeffer (Author) # Paperback: 349 pages

# Publisher: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers; Bilingual edition (July 1, 2003) # Language: English # ISBN-10: 0865165548 # ISBN-13: 978-0865165540

GK S324 • Greeks On War

82850 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as GK S385 )
show description

One of the constants in classical cultures was warfare. In this course we will read in three genres of Greek literature with a focus on understanding the human experience of war: Euripides’ Trojan Women, archaic poetry (from Tyrtaeus, Archilochus, and Callinus), and selections from Thucydides (Books 2 and 3 on the plague, Plataea, and Mytilene). We shall in all cases discuss historical context, the purpose of accounts being presented as they were, and later interpretations and influence of the passages we are reading. The course will emphasize close and accurate reading of the texts; the backgrounds and purposes of the authors; understanding of cultural concepts and contexts; the place of these works in later tradition and time periods. There will be regularly assigned readings from secondary scholarly literature. Grades: participation 20%, homework 20%, 3 exams 20% each (including final). Prerequisite: Greek 322 or consent of the undergraduate advisor and the instructor.

GK S385 • Greeks On War

82865 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 230pm-400pm SAC 5.102
(also listed as GK S324 )
show description

One of the constants in classical cultures was warfare. In this course we will read in three genres of Greek literature with a focus on understanding the human experience of war: Euripides’ Trojan Women, archaic poetry (from Tyrtaeus, Archilochus, and Callinus), and selections from Thucydides (Books 2 and 3 on the plague, Plataea, and Mytilene). We shall in all cases discuss historical context, the purpose of accounts being presented as they were, and later interpretations and influence of the passages we are reading. The course will emphasize close and accurate reading of the texts; the backgrounds and purposes of the authors; understanding of cultural concepts and contexts; the place of these works in later tradition and time periods. There will be regularly assigned readings from secondary scholarly literature. Grades: participation 20%, homework 20%, 3 exams 20% each (including final). Prerequisite: Greek 322 or consent of the undergraduate advisor and the instructor.

GK 312K • Intermediate Greek II

33500 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 112
show description

This course opens up for you direct contact with the first and greatest poet in the western tradition and the first historian in the western sense of the word as he used it and we understand it. In this course, we gain confidence reading in non-Attic prose and poetic dialects. We also encounter the beauties of the first great historian and epic poet.We will start with some brief selections from Herodotus (a truly 'Homeric' historian) Book 1, which will introduce Ionic forms.We will then move to Homer's Odyssey, where I hope we may read representative portions of books 3, 4 and 6  covering Telemachus' visits to Pylos and Sparta and Odysseus' arrival in Phaeacia. We shall always move at a pace that is suitable for the class.We shall read for a grasp of these works as literature and as evidence for cultural notions and ideas.  We shall read and master meter. Some attention will be paid to theories of orality and literacy and the methods of composition that produced both works.TEXTS: Herodotus: Book I. J. Sleeman. 978-1-85399-628-3 $26.96 (paper) (Duckworth). Homer: Odyssey, Books 1-12 W. Stanford, editor. volume 1 978-1-85399-502-6 $29.70. (paper) (Duckworth).Course Requirements: regular and conscientious attendance.  nightly assignments. 4 quizzes (5% 10% 10% 10%);  and 3 in-class examinations (15% 15%  20%); class and homework (15%).

GK 390 • Mycenaean Greek: Linear B

33540 • Spring 2011
Meets M 200pm-500pm WAG 10
show description

The Linear B texts, deciphered in 1952, have now been studied intensively by two generations of scholars with specialties in epigraphy, palaeography, linguistics, archaeology, art history, social and economic history, Homeric studies, ancient religion and cult, warfare, geography, onomastics, ethnicity theory, orality-literacy, and cross-cultural contacts. they are also the starting point for addressing questions about cultural continuity.In this course, we shall learn in the first four weeks how to read Linear B and how then to read and interpret key sample texts that will increase our facility and understanding of the stage of Greek and of Greek culture represented by these documents.We than shall study key areas of society, economy, archaeology and culture for which these earliest of western written texts provide crucial evidence. These topics will be guided by three factors:(1) interests expressed by student participants in specific areas, e.g., onomastics, religion, political organization, orality-literacy, Homeric poetry, material culture and what it reflects (warfare, trade, rituals).(2) the interests of our two visitors:  Anastasia Dakouri-Hild and Vassilis Petrakis.(3) my own work on a source book of thematically grouped Mycenaean texts.TEXTS:  A chrestomathy (primer) of Mycenaean that teaches the scripts, basic dialect picture, grammar and has sample texts and topics.-Y. Duhoux and A. Morpurgo Davies eds., A Companion to Linear B: Mycenaean Texts and Their World vol. 1 and chapters in proof from volume 2. (Peeters: Louvain-la-Neuve 2008 and 2011).Grading:  Grades will be based on exercises done in the first weeks (25%) and then on 30-minute class reports (25%) and one final paper that is the result of pursuing, with my and out visitors' help, a topic on interest (50%).  I the past, even at this level of familiarity, students have identified a topics that have led to publishable results.Interested students are encouraged to contact me at tpalaima@mail.utexas.edu even during fall semester.

AHC 325 • Hist Greece To End Pelopon War

32085-32100 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 100pm-200pm WAG 101
(also listed as C C 354C, CTI 375, HIS 354C )
show description

Studying Greek history gives us the chance to view in microcosm all the variables that affect the course of history at other times in other places. We can see human beings and human societies at their best and worst, understand how power works in human societies, observe different kinds of political and economic systems, and consider how cultural values are shaped and what influence they have on what human beings do. We shall study the origins of democracy and de-mystify what ancient democracy was. The history of Greece is also a history of warfare and competition.       This course surveys Greek history from the palatial period of the late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.E.) through the 'Dark Ages' and into the 'polis' period down through the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.E.).        We shall puzzle over how to interpret the often very uneven and very peculiar evidence for the social, political and economic systems that develop in different districts of Greece in 'prehistoric' and historical times.        There will be very little use of visuals. We shall concentrate on sources and how to use them.        The course will consist of two hours of lecture per week plus a one-hour discussion section. Each member of a discussion section will have to lead discussion (with a well-prepared handout) at least once during the semester. Afterwards s/he will write up a retrospective on the discussion to be handed in at the beginning of the final week.        We shall be reading in translation from masterworks of history and literature: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, we shall also take into account documentary sources, including translated Linear B texts from the Greek Bronze Age and inscriptions of the historical period.        We shall discuss carefully critical methods for interpreting primary sources.

Technically AHC 325 CC 354C HIS 354C is an upper-division course. However, it assumes no background knowledge of the subject and will combine survey of periods with in-depth discussion of particulars. There are no prerequisites. This course counts towards the major in Ancient History and Classical Civilization.

Grading policy:  There will be a fifth-week examination (20% short answer and essay at the start of the 6th week), a tenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay at the start of the 11th week), and a fifteenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay on Wednesday of the 15th week). The final component of the grade will be performance in discussion (20%). You should sign up to be a group leader for one of the available discussion sessions. Discussion grade will be based 1/2 on group leading and handout (10% overall) and 1/2 on general participation (10% overall). There will be no final examination in the examination period. Grading is on the regular "A"-"D," 100-60 system (no curve). Regular class participation will be noted under miscellaneous. Breakdown of elements of the grade: 5th-week exam (20%), 10th-week exam (30%), 15th-week exam (30%), discussion (leading 10% and general participation 10%).

C C 354C • Hist Greece To End Pelopon War

32260-32275 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 100pm-200pm WAG 101
(also listed as AHC 325, CTI 375, HIS 354C )
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Studying Greek history gives us the chance to view in microcosm all the variables that affect the course of history at other times in other places. We can see human beings and human societies at their best and worst, understand how power works in human societies, observe different kinds of political and economic systems, and consider how cultural values are shaped and what influence they have on what human beings do. We shall study the origins of democracy and de-mystify what ancient democracy was. The history of Greece is also a history of warfare and competition.       This course surveys Greek history from the palatial period of the late Bronze Age (1600-1200 B.C.E.) through the 'Dark Ages' and into the 'polis' period down through the end of the Peloponnesian War (404 B.C.E.).        We shall puzzle over how to interpret the often very uneven and very peculiar evidence for the social, political and economic systems that develop in different districts of Greece in 'prehistoric' and historical times.        There will be very little use of visuals. We shall concentrate on sources and how to use them.        The course will consist of two hours of lecture per week plus a one-hour discussion section. Each member of a discussion section will have to lead discussion (with a well-prepared handout) at least once during the semester. Afterwards s/he will write up a retrospective on the discussion to be handed in at the beginning of the final week.        We shall be reading in translation from masterworks of history and literature: Homer, Hesiod, Herodotus, Thucydides, Plutarch, we shall also take into account documentary sources, including translated Linear B texts from the Greek Bronze Age and inscriptions of the historical period.        We shall discuss carefully critical methods for interpreting primary sources.

Technically AHC 325 CC 354C HIS 354C is an upper-division course. However, it assumes no background knowledge of the subject and will combine survey of periods with in-depth discussion of particulars. There are no prerequisites. This course counts towards the major in Ancient History and Classical Civilization.

Grading policy:  There will be a fifth-week examination (20% short answer and essay at the start of the 6th week), a tenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay at the start of the 11th week), and a fifteenth-week examination (30% short answer and essay on Wednesday of the 15th week). The final component of the grade will be performance in discussion (20%). You should sign up to be a group leader for one of the available discussion sessions. Discussion grade will be based 1/2 on group leading and handout (10% overall) and 1/2 on general participation (10% overall). There will be no final examination in the examination period. Grading is on the regular "A"-"D," 100-60 system (no curve). Regular class participation will be noted under miscellaneous. Breakdown of elements of the grade: 5th-week exam (20%), 10th-week exam (30%), 15th-week exam (30%), discussion (leading 10% and general participation 10%).

GK 322 • Advanced Greek I

32393 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am GAR 3.116
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Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: Greek 312K or 312L with a grade of at least C; or Greek 412 with a grade of A, and consent of the undergraduate adviser.

In this course, we shall concentrate on close and continuous reading of major Greek authors. Attention will be paid both to grammar and to building vocabulary and critical sensibilities with in particular genres of Greek literature.  In this semester, we shall focus on the epic poetry of Homer's Iliad Book1; the major Greek historian Thucydides, also Book 1; and, time and inclination permitting, excerpts from lyric poets in the Homeric tradition and the Greek biographer Plutarch for early historical figures.

Thucydides uses Homer in his reconstruction of the distant Greek past and his survey of the development of military power from Greek prehistory into the historical period. We shall discuss how he works as an historian and how he relates to his predecessors in the historical tradition. Homer book 1 is now considered a key text in the history of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in western warfare.  We shall pay attention to this in our reading.

GK 324 • Herodotus

32725 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm GAR 2.124
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Reading and analysis of classical authors such as Homer, Herodotus, Euripides, and Plato.

Prerequisites: Greek 312K or 312L (or 322) with a grade of at least C; or Greek 412 with a grade of at least A-, and consent of the undergraduate adviser.

AHC 378 • Aegean Prehistory-W

32548 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 112
(also listed as HIS 350L )
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What do we know historically about the palaces where legendary kings like Minos, Agamemnon, Nestor and Priam ruled? When did the Greeks arrive in what has since been their homeland and how and why did their peculiarly innovative and influential culture develop? What do the so-called Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, on the island of Crete and the Greek mainland, owe to surrounding cultures, and how and why did these cultures come into contact?  What kinds of evidence do we have from the so-called palatial period of Aegean prehistory (the 2nd millennium BCE) and how can we use it to ask historical questions?Formal study of Aegean prehistory is now over 140 years old. One of the challenges for our understanding of the palatial palatial period (reflected in later Greek historical texts like the Iliad, Odyssey, Works and Days, and Thucydides) is to make sense of the material evidence recovered through excavation in conjunction with the data provided by peculiar documents (mostly inscribed economically focused records on clay in writing systems known as Cretan Hieroglyphic, Linear A and Linear B) that have been found at most major sites. These documents have turned what used to be called a prehistoric period into what is now known as a proto-historic period. They present us with interesting problems concerning methods and principles of interpretation and historical reconstruction. In this course we will concentrate on how to make history or pre- and proto-history. We shall try to trace political, social, economic and general cultural developments (including such topics as religious beliefs, ethnicity, orality and literacy, law, regional and central power hierarchies, languages and dialects, trade, warfare, and cross-cultural borrowings and adaptations) on Crete and the Greek mainland between roughly 2200 and 1100 BCE, with some look at Cyprus and Hittite Anatolia.We shall try to define what history means in periods where we lack what we consider historical or annalistic works produced within the cultures we, as moderns, are studying. We shall ask questions most historians ask about human actions and the general quality of life in specific areas and time periods. We shall try to figure out where the ‘high’ Aegean cultures came from, what led to their eventual decline and collapse and what came after them? And we shall consider the historiography of research in this field.Resources will include: (1) translated and transliterated documents in Linear A and Linear B, and excerpted passages from later Greek historical texts; (2) studies bearing upon the evidence derived from languages per se; (3) specialized articles on topics mentioned in general course description. Grading:  Grades will be based on: (1) three five-page papers with drafts due in the fourth, ninth and fourteenth weeks of the semester and re-writes in the sixth and eleventh weeks and at the time of the final examination; (2) one student presentation of the material assigned for a course meeting (graded on handout material and clarity and coverage of presentation per se);(3) final examination (an oral one-on-one with the instructor on the topic of the final paper and the main topics in the course).Breakdown of grade: papers (final drafts alone are given grades) first 20%, second 25%, third 30%; presentation 15%; final examination 10%.    This course will mainly use articles from specialized monographs and excerpted chapters from synthetic and collaborative handbooks on Greek prehistory. Basic texts are: The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age by Cynthia W. Shelmerdine (Editor), Cambridge University Press 2008, pb.The Aegean Bronze Age (Cambridge World Archaeology) by Oliver Dickinson, Cambridge University Press 1994, pb.The Mycenaean World by John Chadwick, Cambridge University Press 1976, pb.Life and Society in the Hittite World by Trevor Bryce, Oxford University Press 2004, pb.Progress into the Past: The Rediscovery of Mycenaean Civilization, Second Edition by William A.; Carol G. Thomas McDonald, Indiana University Press 1990, pb.)

GK 506 • First-Year Greek I

32830 • Fall 2009
Meets MTWTHF 1100-1200 WAG 10
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This course is an introduction to reading ancient Greek - the language of some of the world’s oldest and best loved writings, including Homer, Herodotus, Plato, and the New Testament. We will cover enough basic grammar and vocabulary for you to begin reading short passages from a wide range of ancient Greek writers.

Greek 506 is the first half of a two-semester sequence that continues with Greek 507 and prepares students to advance to Intermediate Greek (GK 311 and 312), where students read selected works by authors like Plato and Homer.

Grades will be based on participation, homework, weekly quizzes, and four tests (three midterms and a final).

GK 804 • Intensive First-Year Greek

82095 • Summer 2009
Meets MTWTHF 830-1100 WAG 10
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For thirty-three years, Intensive Summer Greek at UT Austin has been giving students of diverse backgrounds and interests a rapid and deep understanding of the structure of the Greek language and a love of Greek prose and poetry. You need have no previous knowledge of Greek. If you have had a semester or two or more, the special approach in this course will strengthen your grasp of how Greek works and why it is so subtle a vehicle for conveying ideas.

You will use *Lexis*, a unique textbook and reader designed by the late Gareth Morgan. All of its exercises are based on full passages of real, unaltered and unabbreviated Classical Greek. First readings of Ionic Greek will make you aware of word formation, and that knowledge will enable you to acquire vocabulary quickly. Ionic Greek also is a main component of the Homeric dialect. Once you learn it, you can move easily forward to standard Attic authors and Biblical Greek and backward to Greek epic verse.

You will not read one dreary practice sentence made up in clever desperation or desperate ingenuity. By the sixth day, you will be reading continuous pure Herodotus. All students who successfully complete the course will be well prepared for sophomore level classes and dedicated students from past intensive courses have been able to go into classes at higher levels. Students of other subjects have used Greek right away to enrich and inform their studies.

Students must register for both GK W804 and W412. The course runs through both summer sessions. It meets for five hours each day for about fifty class days, and, if satisfactorilycompleted, counts for 12 semester hours. Classes working under these language-saturation conditions have achieved an enthusiasm and spirit conducive to an unusually rich learning experience. Usually, in the second half, besides ample grammar review, we read Homer's Odyssey IX, Euripides' Medea, Plato's Apology, and some supplementary readings handed out in class.

Professors Dean-Jones and Armstrong are veterans at teaching Greek according to the Lexis method. Teaching assistants are chosen for their excellence at Greek and their skills as instructors. Outside of class we have informal play and poetry readings. Come join us.

Publications

The Golden Football: The University of Texas' Bad Example, The Texas Observer March 5, 2010, pp. 15-17.

[This article shows how budgetary practices within the NCAA sports program at the University of Texas at Austin, the self-declared Jonese of big-time college sports, have set trends that have had harmful effects upon NCAA programs nationwide. It provides some historical perspective and examples of uncontrolled expenditures that are at odds with the critical educational and cultural missions of a state flagship research university.]

 

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"UT's Byzantine Budget: On $5 Million Coaches and Laid-Off Lecturers," The Texas Observer January 6, 2010.

http://www.texasobserver.org/archives/item/15900-uts-byzantine-budget-on-5-million-coaches-and-laid-off-lecturers

[This article provides a full analysis of the University of Texas at Austin budget and its funding sources. State appropriations have increased well under the rate of inflation over the last twenty years. Tuition increases have been capped. Now the Available University (endowment) Fund payouts are down.  The amount coming to the University from state appropriations and the permanent endowment fund is well below what faculty and programs bring in in research grants and service fees. This explodes the myth of 'lazy liberal faculty living off the public dole'.

At this juncture, with major layoffs of lecturers and graduate assistants, firing of staff, and cutting back on advising and other student services, the University regents and president approved a $2 million increase for head football coach Mack Brown. 

We dismantle the ludicrous arguments advanced by President Powers and Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds that Mack Brown deserves this level of compensation. Consider:

A prime argument in support of Brown's pay raise cited by Powers and Dodds is the upswing in football revenues from $21.3 million in 1997 when Brown was hired to now $87.5 million, a 410 percent increase. Even if Brown were responsible for this, a 410-percent increase in his 1997 salary would bring it to $3,081,000, right where it was before December's $2 million increase.

Also in 2008, Wayne H. Pace, CFO of Time Warner, Inc., earned $5 million. His company was ranked 49th in the Fortune 500. It had revenues of $26.6 billion dollars and $133.8 billion in assets. At the same salary, Mack Brown is the head football coach and public face of Longhorns Inc. In 2008, his company had $138 million in total revenues.

Worse still the University allows the sports programs to use 90% of trademark and royalty revenues that could and should be supporting academics. 

Bottom line, Longhorns Inc. as the sports program is called, exists for the entertainment of skybox renters, club seat purchasers and the general television and sports-addicted public. Graduation rates and dismissal rates show that, as Prof. of Law Lino Graglia stated long ago, the program is run as a 'fraudulent enterprise'.]

For a video of a debate between Palaima and Graglia, about the viability and value of big-time college football, see:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_766YDSMWvE.

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"Our Wounds, Our Duty" (co-authored with Steve Sonnenberg), Austin American Statesman Insight Section, December 6, 2009    http://www.utexas.edu/research/pasp/publications/editorials/06dec09.html

[In this article Dr. Sonneberg and I argue that there is a serious need within our culture to communalize the experience and effects of violence in truly sympathetic ways that acknowledge the pain and trauma experienced by those who fight our wars and those who share in and absorb their pain. We stress that the effects of war radiate out from each individual exposed in primary or secondary ways to the violence and dangers and horrors of war. We cite ancient Athenian practice as a good example of making clear to soldiers and others who have been in the sphere of combat that all members of society are making serious efforts to learn and understand what they have done and will come to terms with the effects of their experience collectively, responsibly and sympathetically.]

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The Great Debate: Thomas Palaima and Lino Graglia square off over football Octobr 28, 2009

UT KNOW TRANSCRIPT

http://www.utexas.edu/know/2010/01/06/debate-college-football/

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“1984: It’s Coming,” Times Higher Education September 3, 2009. [In this article, I discuss the ways in which American society resembles Orwell's vision of society in 1984, only twenty-five years later.]

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“Continuity from the Mycenaean Period in an historical Boeotian Cult of Poseidon (and Erinys)” in D. Danielidou ed.,  Doron: Timetikos Tomos gia ton Kathegete Spyro Iakobide (Academy of Athens Center for Research in Antiquity Monograph 6: Athens 2009) 527-536 [This paper examines odd features of local Boeotian cults to Poseidon as documented in early Greek poetry and traces them to elements of Mycenaean ritual.]

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"The Tools of Power" Times Higher Education (2 April 2009) 32-39. [This article discusses Barack Obama's rhetorical skills and the rhetorical presentation of the Obama inauguration ceremony from an ancient and moden historical perspective. It makes clear that Obama has been influenced not only by Cato and Martin Luther King, but also by Big Bill Broonzy, folk and blues and Sunday church preaching.]

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“The Significance of Mycenaean Words Relating to Meals, Meal Rituals, and Food,” in Louise A. Hitchcock, Robert Laffineur and Janice Crowley eds., DAIS. The Aegean Feast. Proceedings of the 12th International Aegean Conference University of Melbourne, Centre for Classics and Archaeology, 25-29 March 2008. Aegaeum 29, Liège and Austin: 2008, pp. 383-389.

[Here I examine the vocabulary for meals in the Mycenaean texts and in early (especially Homeric) and later Greek. It is clear that the control of food production (esepcially high-end meat protien) and banqueting (and associated rituals) was one way the central palace's elites created a sense of palatial beneficence and benevolence. Interesting is that the palace officials who saw to the activities of the 16 different counties or second-order territories within the two provinces of late Bronze Age Messenia were called 'agents of satiety' and 'assistant agents of satiety'.  These palatial coinings disappeared from the later Greek lexicon, but combined with another such term (da-mo-ko-ro or 'he who sates the people')  form a conscious self-presentation that, in realtive historical terms, was not far from the truth. The Mycenaean palatial period brought stability, protection, a rise in imports, and a higher standrad of living for many.]

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“ Mycenaean Religion,” in C.W. Shelmerdine, ed., The Cambridge Companion to the Aegean Bronze Age (CUP 2008) 342- 355, 358-361. [Here I provide a concise handbook overview of the challenges of reconstructing protohistoric religion from the evidence  of material culture, iconography, architecture, clay economic records, regional survey, later traditions, and comparative anthropology.]

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"Civilian Knowledge of War and Violence in Ancient Athens and Modern America." In M. Cosmopoulos (Ed.), Experiencing War: Trauma and Society from Ancient Greece to the Iraq War (pp.9-34). Chicago:2007.

[In this paper I analyze how governments and the military have from World War I to the present made successful efforts to keep knowledge of what is really happening in places where wars are being fought and all related effects away from their civilian populations.  I then describe, historically, the costs this has had for societies as a whole and individuals in them.  I use as a test case from the congressionally authorized presidential use of preemptive force in Iraq, media coverage of the death of Shane Childers, which was inaccurately reported by imbedded reported Gordon Dillow and then led to the heroization or haigiographizing of 2nd Lt. Childers (especially through coverage of his funeral by Rinker Buck. I contrast our situation with that of the ancient Athenians who expressly held public funerary services to communalize grief, had what we would call a full draft, and who created a mechyanism for adult citizen soldiers to re-witness and come to terms with the terrible things they did and experienced while fighting for Athens. Other topics covered: Homer's Iliad, embedded reporting,WW I poets (Sassoon, Owen, Graves) post traumatic stress, and Cpl. Jesse Odom who held Childers as he died and has now written a firsthand account: Through Our Eyes.  This article is dedicate to Col. Ted Westhusing, a former student and colse friend, who died as a conmtractor base camp outside Baghdad on June 5, 2005, after bringing to light serious problkems with contractors and with the security of Iraqi security forces. See T. Christian Miller's book Blood Money.]

 

 

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Palaima, T. (2007) "Ilios, Tros and Tlos: Continuing Problems with to-ro, to-ro-o, to-ro-wo, to-ro-ja, wi-ro and a-si-wi-ja/a-si-wi-jo. In F. Lang, C. Reiholdt & J. Weilhartner (Eds.), STEFANOS ARISTEIOS Festschrift fur Stefan Hille zum 65. Geburtstager (pp.197-204). Phoibos Verlag Vienna.  [here I survey the words in the Linear B corpus that have been linked to Troy, Ilion and Assuwa (Asia) and show how problematical they are.]

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"The Missing Entries from 'A Gaza Diary'," Jerusalem Post  09/25/03

[In this article, I demonstrate how Chris Hedges, then an award-winning war reporter for the New York Times, by his own admission fails to use the high standards of fact-checking, confirming or refuting of hearsay, and corroborating the always problematical memories of what people themselves think they witnessed under the stress of violence. Mr. Hedges' account is widely used as the 'poster child' for the asserted fact that Israeli Defense Force troops in the Gaza strip intentionally lure children into positions where they can shoot and kill them. 

This article was written from a non-partisan perspective and was shopped to Harper's and elsewhere. Mr. Hedges has given three accounts of this incident. These contradict one another on crucial assertions and in one case he even removes a claim about seeing silencers on M-16's  and seeing the children shot.

This account irresponsibly foments hatred in my opinion. This is not good considering Hedges' overall admirable body of work and his important anti-war efforts.]

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Palaima, T.  Mycenaean Society and Kingship: Cui Bono? A Counter-Speculative View.   Aegaeum.

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