History Community ~ All Empires Homepage


This is the Archive on WORLD Historia, the old original forum.

 You cannot post here - you can only read.

 

Here is the link to the new forum:

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Calendar   Register Register  Login Login


Forum LockedWho were the black-headed nations?

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
King of Kings

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Iran
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3963
Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Who were the black-headed nations?
    Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 16:26
The Cyrus the Great Cylinder is said to be the first charter of right of nations in the world becuase Cyrus says there that he shepherded with justice and righteousness all the black-headed nations that he conquered their lands, what do you think that he meant by "the black-headed nations"?
Back to Top
khshayathiya View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 20-Feb-2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
Post Options Post Options   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 15-Apr-2009 at 22:32
The phrase "black-headed people" ocurs very often in sacred cuneiform texts. From what I could find so far, this phrase seems to include all mortals.

For example, in a prayer to Nergal, there exists the verse "Bel, thy father, hath given thee the Black-headed people, all living creatures.", meaning that all humans and all ceatures are destined to go to the Underworld, ruled by Nergal.
Back to Top
Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
King of Kings

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Iran
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3963
Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 09:10
Certainly not all humans, because Cyrus distinguishes their land with the land of Gutium and all the Umman-manda (Medes) in the same line of his cylinder inscription, we can see that ancient Mesopotamian inscriptions also talk about blonde-headed people in Gutium, for example:

Back to Top
khshayathiya View Drop Down
Samurai
Samurai
Avatar

Joined: 20-Feb-2009
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 108
Post Options Post Options   Quote khshayathiya Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 10:02
I will happily defer to anyone who has better knowledge than me in Mesopotamian matters. Until that person comes to elucidate the nature of the phrase "black-headed people", I will give my opinion, on the understanding that I do not presume to hold the truth, but am merely attempting to find it out. 

The translation of the passage, as I have found it here runs like this:

He made the land of Gutium and all the Umman-manda [i.e., the Medes] bow in submission at his feet. And he [i.e., Cyrus] shepherded with justice and righteousness all the black-headed people, over whom he [i.e., Marduk] had given him victory. Marduk, the great lord, guardian of his people, looked with gladness upon his good deeds and upright heart.


To my mind, the black-headed people are not opposed to the people of Gutium and Umman-manda, but include them: Marduk gave Cyrus victory over nations (Gutium and Umman-manda incuded) and Cyrus lawfully ruled over these nations, over all "mortals" therein, which pleases Marduk.

Now, regarding the fact that there are blond people in Gutium, that does not in itself deny that "black-headed people" might be synonymous to "mortals" in texts of a ritual/sacred nature, because such texts are formulaic in nature and the formulae tend to be archaic. In our case, the phrase "black-headed people" may have been coined well before the people in the Mesopotamian area were aware of the existence of Gutium, let alone of the existence of blonde people in Gutium.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 11:45
It seems unlikely, on general principles, that a panegyrist would claim Cyrus 'shepherded with justice and righteousness' only some of the people he ruled over. 
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
King of Kings

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Iran
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3963
Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 19:26
About the inscriptions of the Sumerian king Shulgi (2161 BC– 2113 BC), we can read here: http://www.gmalivuk.com/otherstuff/fall02/echanows.htm -> "The theme of the black-headed people is recurrent and appears twice in Shulgi C, once in Shulgi P, and once in Shulgi V while mention of Sumerians and Akkadians as disparate groups occurs only once. While Shulgi B mentions the Sumerians and Akkadians as different groups, this occurrence offers very little evidence for an ethnic difference between the Sumerians and Akkadians of ancient Mesopotamia not only because it merely transpires once, but also because of the way the distinction is constructed. In Shulgi B, Shulgi states that “in verdicts, my heart has never committed violence against even one other king, be he an Akkadian or a son of Sumer, or even a brute from Gutium” (lines 266-269). With the direct opportunity to accent an ethnic difference by casting the Akkadians in a poor light, Shulgi A does not. Little preference seems to be given to being “an Akkadian or a son of Sumer,” which implicates the lack of an ethnic difference between the ancient Sumerians and Semites. If there were an ethnic difference between the Sumerians and Akkadians, the brutish description of the Gutians or another derogatory appellation would be expected for the Semites. Rather, it seems that there was an ethnic difference between the barbarous Gutians and all of the black-headed people of ancient Mesopotamia, not between the Sumerians and Akkadians."

Edited by Cyrus Shahmiri - 16-Apr-2009 at 19:48
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16-Apr-2009 at 20:02
The sentence in bold is an inference only, and moreover does not rule out the possibility that the Gutians would also have been called 'black-headed'.
 
For instance, there is an ethnic difference between the Sephardim and the Jews of Eastern Europe, but the Sephardim are still Jews.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Apr-2009 at 10:45
Did you ever stop to think that the space in front of the Kremlin was called 'Red Square' long before the Revolution even though it's not red? (And never has been.)
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
CiegaSordomud View Drop Down
Housecarl
Housecarl


Joined: 07-Aug-2008
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 40
Post Options Post Options   Quote CiegaSordomud Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Apr-2009 at 05:32

Originally Black-headed people wan as ancient summerian term for descendents of the founders of Sumerian cities.
Later on it meant the closest inheritors of this culture. So even Babylonians who were descendents of tent dwelling Martu tribes were called black-headed people after borrowing Sumerian terms.

Elamites, Hurrians, Assyrians (althought borrowing heavily from Akkadians) were not black-headed people because they were outside that sphere.

Gutian is not a ethnic designation, its a general term for a northeastern barbarian or less known tribes who might have come from the land of Gutium. Some of those could include some Hurrian groups.
Back to Top
Cyrus Shahmiri View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
King of Kings

Joined: 07-Aug-2004
Location: Iran
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3963
Post Options Post Options   Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 17:00
There should be a reason that they are called "black-headed people", in fact there were certainly some different non-black-headed people in that region, I believe they were Gutians because we see in the Mesopotamian texts, just as they name themselves as Sag-gia (black-headed) they call Gutians Mam-ruti (light-haired).
Back to Top
Cent View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain
Avatar

Joined: 20-Jun-2005
Location: Sweden
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1011
Post Options Post Options   Quote Cent Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Apr-2009 at 21:03
Aren't Kurds descendents of Gutians? 
They don't speak enough about the Kurds, because we have never taken hostages, never hijacked a plane. But I am proud of this.
Abdul Rahman Qassemlou
Back to Top
Sharrukin View Drop Down
Chieftain
Chieftain


Joined: 04-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1134
Post Options Post Options   Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 05:58

Here's an answer from an expert on the Sumerian language, as to its original and later meanings:

http://sci.tech-archive.net/Archive/sci.archaeology/2005-01/1688.html

It was later a designation to all Babylonians
Back to Top
gcle2003 View Drop Down
Immortal Guard
Immortal Guard
Avatar

Joined: 06-Dec-2004
Location: Luxembourg
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7011
Post Options Post Options   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21-Apr-2009 at 10:38
Makes sense.
Citizen of Ankh-Morpork
Never believe anything until it has been officially denied - Sir Humphrey Appleby, 1984.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down



This page was generated in 0.047 seconds.