Jan Sammer 781-38th Avenue Lachine, Quebec, Canada K6T 2C2
January 10, 1978
With the publication of Ramses II and his Time in April and of Velikovsky’s article “From the End of the Eighteenth Dynasty to the Time of Ramses II” in Kronos before the end of March, the whole Ages in Chaos scheme will be presented; and I think this is a good time to take stock of all the remaining unpublished books, and plan how each might be brought to completion.
Let me start with The Assyrian Conquest. I retyped the manuscript almost entirely, to include Velikovsky’s many corrections and additions, which he made in pencil on the mns. The new mns. includes two or three brief new sections, and some existing sections receive a fuller treatment. At the very beginning, instead of “The End of the House of Akhnaton” I put the article on Akhnaton which Velikovsky once wrote for the Encyclopedia Britannica, but which was never published. I followed the suggestion of a pencil note on the mns. of the Conquest: Velikovsky, however, has not definitively agreed to this change. I thought “The End of the House of Akhnaton” was not very good because it tried to cover too much ground too briefly, and assertions were made (such as the claim that Smenkhkare and Tutankharnun killed each other in a duel) which had not been proven in Oedipus and Akhnston and did not really add anything to the reconstruction. The “Akhnaton” article, on the other hand, is very well written, more restrained in the claims it makes, gives a fuller treatment to the period, and does not lean so obviously on the Oedipus-Akhnaton parallel, building only on the Egyptian evidence. I think the Oedipus-Akhnaton identification should be mentioned, but perhaps only in a footnote; it need not be stressed for the purpose of Ages in Chaos. The only problem with including this article is that it starts with the reign of Amenhotep III and Tiy, and Ages I stops near the end of Akhnaton’s reign. Still, it would be good to tell the story of the end of the 18th Dynasty ir Ages; the first volume concentrates on the events in Asia. So with a short introduction, explaining that we go a little back in time, the article could serve as the first chapter. The section on “The Radiocarbon Age of Tutankhamun” I suggest to omit: the story was told before, and our argument should be based on all available dates, not just a selected few. There is to be an article on this in the forthcoming SIS Review special issue on Ages I. After the end of the 18th Dynasty should be a section on evidences from art, literature and religion re: the sentence of dynasties. It would be similar to what will be in the Kronos article, but in greater detail. So far written is 1) a section on the “Three Early Saite Tomb Reliefs,” discussed by Cooney in his article in JNES of 1950. However Eddie objected (and I believe with good reason) that Montuemhat, together with Psamthek, belong into Persian time, and therefore we are still comparing reliefs some 4 to 5 centuries apart. 2) The section on the Dream Stela of Thutmose IV is good. 3) One more section on ‘religion,’ Aton worship in Libyan times, was written, but this I had to change quite a bit, because looking up the reference I found it refers to a text., and not an actual picture of the Aton disc. But there is quite a number of other evidences—I collected a whole file, using various leads from Velikovsky’s notes; now some writing needs to be done. The comparisons between l8th Dynasty and Libyan art are especially convincing.
Velikovsky wanted to include at this point a few “follow-up” sections to Ages I, such as “The Ivory of Fort Shalmaneser,” the escape of Nikmed to Greece, the discoveries at the Cadmeion, and a few others. These are mostly already written, e.g. in the essay which you may have seen on “Some Additional Evidence for the Period From the Exodus to the end of the 18th Dynasty.” The chapter on ivory needs some research on detailed comparisons (articles and reports are generally published in Iraq; the actual report of Mallowan is a two-volume work from 1965 or 1966). The discoveries at the Cadmeion raise the problem of the proper placement of the Kassites: seals of Kassite kings were found there. Thus archaeological evidence would seem to point to a later placement of the Kassites, who would therefore not be identical with the Hyksos. But this of course raises a host of other questions. At this point there should be some description of the later reign of Shalmaneser III, the Great Revolt, the reigns of Adad-Nirari III and Sammu-rammat, etc. On the Egyptian side Velikovsky wanted to write about Osarsiph and the priest Osorkon. Some research needs to be done here: it is a question of comparing the texts in Josephus and the Osorkon texts, newly translated by R. Caminos, and published in the Analecta Orientalia series of monographs (ca. 1957 or 1958). The parallels of expulsion, and some kind of return of the priest, and his cruelty and unpopularity, are obvious. In the next chapter, on Pharaoh So, Velikovsky wants to give an alternate solution, beside the one which he now has, namely, to say that So may be Sabaka: the Hebrew actually has Sua, and the Assyrian annals, referring most probably to the same king, have Si’be; so it is not implausible, and many Egyptologists formerly held this view, except now So is Zoan, despite the grammatical difficulty. But the identification with Sosenk accounts rather neatly for Sosenk’s Palestinian campaign reliefs on the Bubastite gate at Karnak. As a minor point, I think the spelling should be Shoshenk—because this is what it is in Egypt-ian.
The section on Harsiese I omitted from the Kronos article, and would suggest to omit in the book for the following reasons: 1) Harsiese is generally accepted to have been a god in the Haremhab coronation text (see Gardiner’s article in JEA ca. 1958), and not a person. This I would not dispute, because the neter sign shows this. 2) Harsiese was a very common name: there were several in Persian time, and in the time of Assurbanipal. To use this evidence would be to employ the same method which Kitchen used to support the conventional scheme, .
The other sections on Haremhab are good; the “Three Little Riddles” is replaced with separate short sections, each presenting one “riddle”: 1) the tomb of Petamenophis, published in UI for 1936 (if my memory serves me correctly), where a cartouche of Haremhab was found, yet von Bissing, the excavator, wonders why there is no indication of a date in this Ethiopian tomb: Haremhab’s cartouche is the missing date. 2) Haremhab and the prince Sheshonq; this is based on an article in Annales du Service of 1956 by Labib Habachi, who reproduces a portrait of Haremhab in this Libyan tomb; the problem is that Haremhab wears the Ureaus, and the representation must be dated very early in Haremhab’s career (end of Libyan times). One could say that the royal insignia were added later—this is what is generally said about his tomb at Memphis. 3) The third evidence comes from a publication by De Rouge in the last century: Haremhab and Tirhaka are shown together on a pylon at Karnak (I believe it is the so-called Ethiopian Pylon). Harembab is acting as a priest: thus one would say that this dates the time before Haremhab went over to the Assyrian side—but this raises the problem of when did Tirhaka begin to reign. Generally it is thought that he succeeded Shabteka in -689, and Velikovsky uses this fact as an argument when he tries to bring out that there were two campaigns of Sennacherib into Palestine: Tirhaka participated, but he could not have done so in -702, since he was not king then. The idea occurred to me that the only other time that Haremhab and Tirhaka could be shown together celebrating a ceremony (the priest Haremhab proclaims among other things “nous n’aimons pas les rois d’Asie”) would be after Tirhaka’s campaign of -687, when Haremhab was defeated together with Sennacherib. Which brings me to the next point about Haremhab fleeing to Argos as Danaus, This I find chronologically impossible. Danaus was one of the earliest kings of Argos. But Haremhab’s wife, Twosre (Thuoris) was said by Manetho to have reigned at the time of the Trojan War. The two things cannot be reconciled, and there is no more reason to trust Manetho for Danaus being Haremhab than for Osarsiph being Moses, The rest of the mns. reads well and has few problems. The chapters on Seti’s wars in Syria could be elaborated—they are not well sychronized with Assyrian events. At the very end Velikovsky wanted a supplement on the Library of Assurbanipal at Nineveh, to deal mostly with the astronomical texts found there, ancient eclipses, etc. I don’t know to what extent he wants now to pursue this idea: it seems rather extraneous to the whole scheme, and is not written yet; perhaps it could be put together from the debate with Stewart and other writings. On the whole, then, the book is written, and within two months could be prepared for print. I have already had some illustrations made.
The Dark Age of Greece is about 100 pages typed—not enough for a book, What could be done (and Velikovsky did not oppose the idea when I mentioned it to him) that the book should consist of these 100 pages, plus an annotated bibliography prepared by someone else—I was thinking of Eddie Schorr—to take account of the vast amount of material available, and research done. A hundred pages of text might be enough—the 500 year problem can get monotonous, but for scholars a large annotated bibliography would be the best approach,
Now a few words about Test of Time. It is now about ten years old and in need of updating. This can be done by other people, such as Ralph or Earl Milton. Some newer sections exist, I remember typing about four or five. Besides, for “Venus” and “Moon” Velikovsky’s articles in Pensée could be made use of. The chapter on the moon is actually pre-Apollo. Perhaps we should try to update just one volume—on astronomy—over the next year. This can only be done if other people will help. For a start I made one corrected version (bringing together the corrections of Ralph, Earl, and Velikovsky on one copy), of “Sun,” xeroxed it on 14 sheets to leave space for footnotes and additions, and sent a copy to Earl. As you know, Test of Time is under the Doubleday contract, so there should be no problem about finding a publisher.
There seems to be e consensus that the next book should be Mankind in Amnesia. Now as you probably know, this book was given to Bradbury to read in the fall of 1976, as you edited it, and he wrote a letter with his opinion of it. Besides the preface, which he thought was “apologetic” he wrote that the book does not have any kind of climax, that it is too “chopped up.” We discussed this again briefly when I was at his office a few months ego with the galleys of Ramses II. He then suggested that several of the sections, especially those in the chapter “Chronicle of Our Time” would find a better place in Velikovsky’s autobiography—as would the whole Einstein book, but more on this later, I tend to agree with Bradbury and in fact the book could be fairly small. This is also what Velikovsky has been saying lately. It should be small, tightly organized, and it should not go in all directions; e.g., the 52 and 700-year cycles need much elaboration. In fact only the mid-fourteenth century is written of the 700-year cycles, and while the projected “At the Cradle of Christianity,” and the section on the rise of Islam would be most interesting and would fit well into the scheme, their absence makes the whole 700-year cycle not very convincing. So perhaps it would be better to leave out the cycles altogether. Two sections are missing, and this was noticed by many people. A short explanation of the actual cause of the traumas in the catastrophes—this is never explicitly stated—and an explanation later on that war is a desire for repetition of the experience: this again is never actually said, and it should be. I feel that these two points can be made into the two climax points of the book. As to the arrangement of the chapters, Velikovsky liked yours except for the fact that he wants the later sections on war and violence to center around the Second World War: thus, this part would start with the Freud-Einstein correspondence, continue with Wells, then the Chosen People of Hiroshima, then Jung’s Testament.
So Mankind really needs some good editing.
There are other manuscripts I worked on, for instance Shamir: this mns. is quite short, and it is not very likely that it can be made into a book. But I retyped the whole thing; there are sections on “Sanverin,” which means hypnosis in the Old Testament; on various electrical phenomena connected with Moses and Elijah; on diamonds; and of course on “Shamir” the radium of King Solomon. I suppose it could only be published in combination with something else.
Next is “The Secret of Baalbek”: the title essay, as you know, is on the location of Dan: this essay I retyped, to include various pencil corrections of Velikovsky, and I looked up and filled some missing footnotes. In the same book belongs “The Desert of Wandering” where Kadesh Barnea is identified with Mecca, and a detailed comparison between the Arabic traditions of Mosai-ki-ya and the Hebrew traditions of the wandering in the desert is made. The third part of the book, as I see it, would be a kind of glossary of geographical sites which receive a new identification. I think you have a copy of the notes in alphabetical order which Velikovsky wrote, and I thought that if he does not expand on them they could be published as they are in alphabetical order, even if there is some overlap with the longer essays. Actually one other longer essay belongs in this book, the one on the exile of the Ten Tribes into Southern Russia, for which I read somewhere a title “Behind the Mountains of Darkness.” This essay Velikovsky told me a few weeks ago only, should be taken out of the Assyrian Conquest Volume. In that mns. it broke off about half-way, and I was able to reconstruct an ending from a very early version of the same story which I found in the archive. So now it is complete, a fairly lengthy essay. I corresponded on this with Eddie last fall, and he had objections—but none actually fatal to the scheme, and I still think it is plausible. So there you have it: three essays plus a historical-geographical glossary, and it would be a book,
I retyped the book on Einstein, Before the Day Breaks almost in its entirety and with a little editing it has gotten in such form that sometime in September, I believe, it was sent to Mr. Wyeth, chief editor at Harper & Row. Returning it three weeks later, Mr. Wyeth wrote that he found the personal story fascinating, but could not understand the part on science. But that, of course is the core of the book; Velikovsky would not write simply about his friendship with Einstein. As I said, Bradbury suggested an abbreviated version of the book for Velikovsky’s autobiography.
My own view is that it should be a separate book, as it was written. Parts of the flashback are missing; otherwise it is nearly complete. But this is one book that can wait for its time to arrive when the issues discussed become important in the public mind. The two publishers who saw it think that it is not a big enough story—this is how I would interpret their reactions. (Sam Vaughn, the chief editor at Doubleday is now reading the mns.) Maybe not yet.
I regard the planned volumes on the earlier catastrophes as the most important of all, with the possible exception of Mankind in Amnesia. You have the old version as it stood in 1946. In addition to that Velikovsky wrote a little more, I believe in the early 1960s, and the following are the new sections: “Khima,” “The Light of the Seven Days,” “Seventeen,” “Nova,” “Description of the Deluge in Rabbinical Sources,” and “The Salts of the Oceans.” I enclose xerox copies. I also enclose in xerox my notes from some recent research that I did (during December) on Saturn, to give you an idea of the amount of material that might need to be taken into account when the book is finally written. I would like to hear from you how this book might be put together, assuming that Velikovsky will not work on it any more, but will give direction and advice. My own idea was that possibly additional material, which really needs to be included, could be written in italics to distinguish it from the main text. Because of the momentous nature of the events described the documentation must be full; still, we must preserve the authenticity of the parts written by Velikovsky, and any additional material should be so marked. Please look over the enclosed material and let me know what you think can be done.
x/c Mrs. Velikovsky