I'm not going to reel off all of Ross' statements, not at first anyway. I'll ask him which of the many boners he made in his original paper he'd care to defend (by the by...there are little round bottomed Ghassans running around so we'll just keep it close to the chest. I don't mean to imply that this debate is any great shakes, but just because it is no big deal, in some ways I'd expect Ghassan to break into a sweat over it.) I'm guessing he's simply going to say that he "took back" most of it. That may or may not be good enough, I wont know until I'm in the situation.
His main crtiticisms seemed to be levelled at our ancestors for being what the bible claimed they were, so we'll discuss that first. I have been given several books and articles by a friend and have some more current research to fall back on, including of course Parpola.
His other point was both a compliment, according to his lights, and another slam. He praises us for turning Christian (ahem) and thern proceeds to lambast us anyway for stooping so low as to show any pride in them pagan heathens. According to Ross we, of all the people on this planet, should be ashamed of our roots, our ancestors who, according to him and the one or two books he's read, were about the worst people that ever lived. All of this, his whole point and source of "evidence", is what the Jews said about us in their bible. It was from that nasty little book that most subsequent stories about us derived...Lord Byron's poem about us purple wolves, or something, and all other references up to and including the last 100 years of "scientific" research.
Only in the last twenty years or so has a new attitude developed among researchers as we all step back from this 2000 year old book we've been tying ourselves up in knots to acknowledge as the word of a diety, when if anyone else said those sorts of things he'd be in a nut house today.
I'll open with a brief run through of Assyrian history, this is not a course in Assyrian History...just the facts Ma'am. Next will be some commentary on the history of research, how it was influenced by the bible...witness Ross' comments...and how there has been a shift away from that book and a new understanding. Something as simple as the Time Magazine article of '89 which quoted several "experts" and Van Cleef and Arpels (Fancy jewelry makers) as to their astonishment at the discovery of the artifacts found in an Assyrian royal lady's tomb in Iraq (sorry Hanna), and how these exquisite pieces revealed a refinement and degree of culture they never dreamed existed in that "warlike" society. Well DUH!!!
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