User talk:John Hill

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Sadao Nakajima[edit]

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Hello, John Hill. You have new messages at Michitaro's talk page.
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Durga: File:Durga at Indian Army base gate.jpg[edit]

The image is inaccurately identified as Durga. She is in fact Bharat Mata, with the lion and India's national flag. I am removing the image. The plaque below the statue says it is Bharat Mata. --Redtigerxyz Talk 15:29, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

Dear Redtigerxyz - thank you so much for pointing this out. Unfortunately, I do not read Hindi and so I missed the importance of the plaque. I will re-upload the photo with corrected caption to the page on Bharat Mata. Cheers, John Hill (talk) 22:01, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

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Ashina myths[edit]

I am trying to write something about the relevance of Asian religious lore to Greek and Roman religion and myhts, particularly these Ashina Wusun stuff to the Lykaia and Lupercalia plus the myth of Acca Larentia and the Fratres Arvales. As it looks very uncertain who and what is Prototurkish and what is Iranic I am a bit stuck. But obviously the myth and its meaning look to be identical and performing the same function. The literature is impressive and mostly in Russian or Turkish, languages I do not know.

As you have done a great deal of work on the issue I am writing for your opinion about the relevance-need to introduct this learned querelle in my work. It seems one of those topics that do not lead anywhere. I guess one could use the proper names found in ancient Chinese histories to try and identify these folks, but it is a highly specialistic and very speculative job. To me, and I am a profane, these names (e.g. those found in the Zhou Shu) sound Turkish or Tungusic.

In my opinion it looks however interesting the Etruscan connexion as they look to be Prototurkish (language and culture) and may have brought to Greece and Italy the customs and language of the Prototurks in the political sphere (palta, purthe, prutanis, balteus; tarqan, Tarquinius) as well as their religious lore, myth of the shewolf totem included. Of course this could have arrived independently.

Thank you for your kind attention.Aldrasto11 (talk) 08:32, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

Hi Aldrasto11. Thank you very much for your interesting note. It is indeed amazing how far the wolf origin myths spread very early across Eurasia. For example, the Roman myth about Romulus and Remus certainly finds echoes in the early Chinese accounts of the wolf suckling the founder of the Wusun leader - in spite of the fact that these cultures were separated by many thousand kilometers and several hundred years. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to track down the origins of these myths and how they spread and, as you correctly note, little is known about how to separate proto-Turkic and Iranic traditions.
Although I have read most of the Chinese accounts of the Wusun myths - I really don't know very much more about them. I am certainly no expert on early proto-Turkic and Iranic languages and cultures. So, I have taken the liberty of forwarding your notes to a friend of mine who is an expert on early Trukic cultures and has also translated some interesting articles from Russian into English. I will let you know what he says if and when he replies.
In the meantime, if you would be kind enough to send me your email address I would like to send you an article about the wolf legend and the Wusun.
Thanks for raising this interesting subject.
All best wishes for your research - please let me know if you turn up anything of interest.
Yours sincerely, John Hill (talk) 02:24, 14 February 2015 (UTC)


Dear John Hill, Thank you very much for your courteous reply and your helpfulness. May I just say that in my view the myth,
although recorded earlier in Italy, was probably born in Asia and travelled west. I say this on the basis of its more
complete preservation in the "Book of the Zhou" in which one finds many archaic features such as the transformation into
the swan, the matrilinear marriages, the rocking on a tree for the choice of the leader, the meaning and function of the cave that in Rome is almost lost etc.
You can forward mail to: maribianch@yahoo.com
Thank you again, I hope to bring more clarity about these topics concerning our classical world roots.
Yours sincerely04:24, 14 February 2015 (UTC)04:23, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
The signing did not work before, hope now it does...Aldrasto11 (talk) 12:19, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Thank you very much for the articles, I read the one by the Mongol scholar. Very interesting the connexion of the wolf and the crow among Altaic peoples. Unfortunately he does not know about many details of the Roman myth: in fact in Rome too there is the motive of the mating of the shewolf in the figure of Acca Larentia, wife of Faustulus-Faunus and mother of the 12 Fratres Arvales, into whom Romulus is adopted; the Lupercal cave where the shewolf mates with the god Lupercus i.e. Faunus...In general there is a complete version of the myth that is not always and everywhere apparent. See e.g. the myth of Cyrus the founder of the Achemenids as compared to the whole story in the "Book of Zhou". I would like to add that the only obvious way of reaching a conclusion about the Tu Jue seems to be in trying to identify the language of the proper names, such as e.g. (A)pangbu, (Yizhi)nishidu, Naduliu(shi). Aldrasto11 (talk) 04:32, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

File:Kurdish woman daughters.jpg[edit]

Hi, could you add information in the file discription where you took the photo and the circumstances, so why they wear traditional clothes. Thank you. Greetings --Zulu55 (talk) 12:56, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

Hi! Thanks for your comment. I took this photo during a 6-week stay near Van, in eastern Turkey in 1973, where I was taking photos for an article on the Urartian civilisation for the National Geographic Magazine which, unfortunately, was never completed. At that time, there was considerable anti-Kurdish feeling and propaganda and Kurdish men were not allowed to wear their traditional clothes. However, it was common then to see Kurdish women in the region wearing their beautiful traditional clothes and not veiling their faces. Taking photos of the women was a pretty scary pastime, however. Although many women actually asked to be photographed, one woman warned me that, if their men caught me taking their photos they would kill me! The women generally positioned lookouts to warn us if Kurdish men were approaching, and then happily posed to have their photos taken, and thanked me after for doing so.
I was checked several times by the authorities and was actually roughed up a bit once and forced into a jeep and taken for hostile questioning in front of a mustachioed colonel in a large military base somewhere outside Van who spoke excellent English with an American accent (as I remember, he said he had trained in Colorado). I was only allowed to go free several long hours later after all my papers had been checked with Ankara.
A couple of times people tried to talk with me in the town of Van (including one old bearded man who spoke French) but were quickly surrounded on the street and hustled off before they could talk with me. I never discovered what this was all about - however, it must be remembered that, not only were the Turks having longstanding and ongoing problems with the Kurds, but Van is very close to the borders of Iran and the old U.S.S.R. and was, therefore, a very sensitive area.
I, and the people I was travelling with (my wife, step-daughter, and another family with 8 children), were forced to camp the whole time we were there in a small army communications base about 10 km south of the town of Van on the banks of beautiful Lake Van (just above the highway and a lovely small beach used by the soldiers) - presumably so they could keep a close eye on us. The authorities were clearly uncomfortable about me contacting and taking photos of Kurds and photographing archaeological sites, and obviously suspected me of some sort of nefarious activity. However, in the end, I was freely allowed to take all the photos I wanted and was generally treated very hospitably, by both the locals and the military.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I hope my story is of some interest. I will certainly update the information on the photo.
Sincerely, John Hill (talk) 23:57, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
Wow, thank you very much - it is certainly of interest. This tells so much more than just the picture. Thanks a lot!
PS: By the way: At german Wikipedia we try to enhance the colors of the picture: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Fotowerkstatt#File:Kurdish_woman_daughters.jpg_-_Wei.C3.9Fabgleich.3F --Zulu55 (talk) 09:54, 25 March 2015 (UTC)