Dear Dr. Federn:
I have received your letter and, as I expected, it contained very desirable item: the sentence from Woolley about Carchemish. I hope that in other excavation reports similar instances will show up, and then I will write to Schaeffer a little triumphantly.
You do not need to feel that I am impatient: little or much you can do for “the new chronology,” I am in debt to you for the many bibliographical information and advices you have me magnanimously through the years. Please do not force yourself to go to the library in cold weather or when you feel tired; besides at home, too, you can much do for me by answering so much of the questions as you can with the material under hand. You did not need to rewrite a letter that you once started with your own version of the Theban drama.
I took out the book of E. Bethe, “Thebanische Heldenlieder,” and will keep it for three or four weeks, so that you, should you wish, would be able to look into it. There is a version that besides Euryganeia, Oedipus took also a third wife, Astymedusa (should be here a hint to Akhnaton’s marriage to his third daughter?)
I looked up Cambridge Volume I; the data there cause the author to put Hammurabi into the 22nd century; by now this king is brought down to the beginning of the seventeenth century, almost 5 hundred closer to our time.
At our next meeting I am prepared to discuss with you your version of reconstruction, with the hope of showing you where the difficulty is.
Returning to the paragraph before last, I admit and did so all the time, that I need an Assyriologist for rechecking my data. When I spoke once with Albright, he before anything else, said, you cannot be right: have you considered my article on the King lists? Now it appears that the king lists of Assyro-Babylonia are not unquestionable documents, nor their interpretation is unquestionable. There is an Assuruballit among the El-Amarna correspondents; and there is an Assuruballit in the king lists in about 14th century. But there were more kings by that name, and the very last, a son of Assurballit, in the seventh century had this name.
I copied from Erman about the darkness for the “Frevler” in the schoolboy’s ostracon; was this ostracon found in the grave of Thutenkhamon, or Aye? Why had I the feeling that this hymn was from the grave of one of them?
You have found the man who reduced the age of Ramses III from the 13th to the 12th century. But who placed him in the 13th century (or for that matter, Ramses II or Seti)? If the entire chronology goes back to the historiographs (often they were cometographs) of the seventeenth century, it is very desirable to establish this fact, and as my intention is, to put i at the opening of the second volume of Ages.
In the meantime I contemplate not only the ancient past but also the doings in the sky above. As I have written to you, the rocket to the moon would change its direction , so it did, at the last trial as at the first.
If you have not in your plans to spend a day or two with your relatives, between Christmas and the New Year, you may wish to be at our home. Choose you a date, not necessary on weekend. On Dec. 30 (Tuesday) we go to New York. Either we can bring you there, or pick you up; otherwise you can select any date you like. For instance Dec. 27 (Saturday), 28, 29. Let us know. I enclose a ticket for the railway (good any direction, any date).