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Posted on 4 Apr 2012 21:37:32 BDT
masai mara says:
@gillie liath. I watched the programme and really enjoyed it.
So the Hittites didn't want to become the greatest? And Egypt didn't stand in their way then?
Was the reason you disliked it, that you believe the BBC have got their facts wrong?

Posted on 5 Apr 2012 12:15:07 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
Didn't see the programme but think I understand what gillie liath was getting it; so many of these documentaries have cliched and over-dramatic narrations like this which really set one's teeth on edge. No-one on TV can tell a story in a straightforward, unsensationalised way any more; even some of the sainted Attenborough's voice-overs have veered into cliche and irritating anthropormorphism just lately and it can be a real turn-off. The other annoying trend is to include contributions from several experts but to never let any of them complete more than one sentence at a time.

Posted on 5 Apr 2012 15:11:16 BDT
masai mara says:
@Sou'Wester
Oh maybe. I must say that I thought the dramatisation, enhanced the overall enjoyment of the documentary for me. I felt it allowed the programme to flow and capture my attention more effectively. Any way we are all entitled to our opinion.

Posted on 5 Apr 2012 16:16:08 BDT
Sou'Wester says:
As you say, Suzanne, we're all entitled to our view. Obviously I can't comment about this programme specifically as I didn't see it, but tend to treat most television documentaries on history with a fair amount of suspicion; they are much too fond of cherry-picking the juicy bits and although this may create "dramatic" TV it can often give a very distorted view of what actually happened.
Apropos documentaries in general, there's a Timeshift programme on BBC4 tonight being repeated for the umpteenth time. Have seen it before and as documentaries go it isn't that bad (in that at least it isn't wholly inaccurate even if it does indulge in some sweeping generalisations and the "don't let any expert speak for more than a few seconds" syndrome), but the Radio Times description of the programme is total nonsense. I'm afraid it's that sloppy and careless approach that permeates the BBC and other programme makers that makes me so mistrustful of them.

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Apr 2012 19:50:47 BDT
Last edited by the author on 9 Apr 2012 20:30:25 BDT
gille liath says:
Sou'Wester has interpreted my comment more or less correctly. It's not just that the choice of phrases is irritating; I think, like anthropomorphism in nature shows, it reflects an underlying lack of understanding of the subject.

Posted on 9 Apr 2012 20:54:55 BDT
masai mara says:
@gille liath
Ok. We shall have to disagree on that. However, you still have not answered my original questions.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 08:00:33 BDT
I wish these forums / fora / forii would have a spell checker and that in English, not 'Americanese'.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Apr 2012 19:38:56 BDT
Last edited by the author on 10 Apr 2012 20:48:36 BDT
gille liath says:
Actually I did answer; but if you need me to elaborate:

Were the Hittites 'on a mission' to become a great empire? Almost certainly not; like other ancient peoples, they would have kept fighting the enemy in front of them until they found themselves dominating a large area. Did Egypt 'stand in their way'? Again, no; Egypt regarded itself as the centre of the world and probably would not have seen other states as rivals, but as either clients or irritants. But of course we can know little for certain about their motives; lines like the one I quoted are simply projection, giving ancient peoples attitudes and a world-view the same as our own.

Quibbling about words, you may say? But that's what history is all about: the interpretation, the 'narrative'.

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 11:58:30 BDT
[Deleted by the author on 5 Oct 2012 22:38:05 BDT]

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 13:19:21 BDT
Isobel Ayres says:
Hi Suzanne,

I think the point is that yes, you may be right and their attitudes might have been the same as ours, but they very well may not have been. We can't know for sure, and a programme purporting to be history should therefore avoid anthropomorphism of animals, or the modernisation of the intentions of ancient peoples. Unless the BBC sourced evidence of the Hittites planning a world empire, of course, that they didn't reveal :)

Posted on 11 Apr 2012 14:23:17 BDT
masai mara says:
Hi Isobel
Yes I take your point to a certain extent, but I am unsure about the "modernisation of the intentions of ancient peoples." I don't regard the Hittites as particularly ancient in context to human development and history. Therefore, I can assume that their intentions and rationalisation of the problems they faced must have been much the same as ours.
Gillie liath states the BBC have got it wrong, and as far as I know, he/she is right. I feel the need now to contact the BBC to find out exactly what evidence they sourced.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 19:54:07 BDT
gille liath says:
Hi again.
I think that to say 'they are getting their facts wrong' would be putting it too strongly - it's more a question of how you put the facts, ie what we know from archaeology and any contemporary writings, together into an overall narrative.

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Apr 2012 19:54:39 BDT
gille liath says:
Hi Isobel, how's things?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 12:41:23 BDT
Isobel Ayres says:
Hey Gille,

Nobbad thanks - you?

In reply to an earlier post on 12 Apr 2012 21:32:16 BDT
gille liath says:
Ticking over - if you complain nothing happens, etc... :)

In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2012 12:54:47 BDT
Isobel Ayres says:
No tempting fate!

In reply to an earlier post on 8 May 2012 22:07:37 BDT
Yangonite says:
Hi GL

".......we eat bread and we drink water.........."

Posted on 15 May 2012 23:36:08 BDT
Yangonite says:
I say Yangonite, old chap - bread and water.......... whatever do you mean?

Posted on 15 May 2012 23:44:51 BDT
Yangonite says:
Well Y, it's the rosetta-stone phrase from a Hittite tablet. The word used to represent 'water' sounded very much just like the english word 'water'; the word used for 'bread' was somewhat like the word for bread in some germanic dialect; and so on for the other words in the phrase.
This pointed to the conclusion that Hittite was an Indoeuropean language - unusual given its middle-eastern location.
Once this fact was ascertained it made decipherment of the language possible.

I thought the above was probably the most interesting snippet that came out of that BBC4 documentary.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Jul 2012 22:02:30 BDT
gille liath says:
Answering your own questions - comes to us all on this forum...
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This discussion

Discussion in:  history discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  45
Initial post:  23 Mar 2012
Latest post:  3 Jul 2012

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