Orlov's diary


Please note the diary will give away story-line and plot resolution.

WARNING: Prof. Orlov's diary can be a labyrinth; complete with ramblings, contradictions, inaccuracies and unresolved questions.
It is helpful to keep in mind that though Prof. Orlov himself stated he didn't like to work on more than one project at a time, it is apparent he jumped back and forth between scrolls, maps, research, direct-translation, and writing the constantly over-lapping stories of each scroll into one coherent story.

Though it undoubtedly contains insight into the development of The Amazon Chronicle, it is advised the following be read 'with a grain of salt'.

- The journal seemed to have started at the translations that primarily made up Book III, followed by Book I, II and finally IV.
- The order has been re-organised by Book sequence so as not to give away spoilers.

Believed to be written while making notes that became: Book I

- Sept. 2, 1969. After a delightful summer with the family and time to clear my head of all things Greek, Amazoi and Caucasus, I now find myself eager to return to the next scroll that sits next to me on my desk. Patiently waiting to be delicately unfolded like the most precious of flowers.

- Sept. 6, 1969. It was with great pleasure, that I found I had uncovered what I can only describe as the Master Scroll. My head is giddy like a young boy to find it clearly labelled: Taysha's Scroll. After hearing mention of The Great Taysha in previous scrolls, I am amazed and excited to be able to hear her full story.

- Oct. 24, 1969. I have been struggling with The Scroll of Taysha this last month due to its difference in writing of the first scrolls I had translated. Finally! Today! I have discovered why it was so.
It seems to be written on the accounts of various other people, and not by Taysha herself. Discovering this minute detail has enabled me to start to properly organise the over-lapping stories into a consecutive, linear story-line.

- Nov. 13, 1969. I was pleased to discover the history behind the Amazoi bows. Mastered ahead of their time. I can only assume this mysterious tribe (known to Taysha and the others as the Kubu) was of some sort of Scythian clan, as the description of the bows lead me to believe them to be what I have learned to be named: recursive. Though the description of their (the Kubu) fair hair (described as 'dirty') and their mannerisms, I would think they may have originally been a tribe from the Steppes. A break-away tribe that separated from the Scythians maybe? Though I must admit, I am yet to find a date to indicate the time of these writings and I could be far off course.

- Oct. 4, 1970. Quick note: I have been finding the Scroll of Taysha rather monotonous as a lot of her story had been mentioned in the previous scrolls of what I am calling the Storytellers. To give my mind the needed rest, I am spending a lot of time in what I have named; the Osfer Scrolls. It is indeed a privilege to read what I assume to be the only record of this lost tribe's language, and I am most thankful for the scribe or stenographer who spent so much time and detail on the language and even adding the difference of pronunciation of the people who spoke it. In particular, I learned today that Daela, is made from dae (meaning South) which is pronounced da-e. It was especially welcome piece of information for me because I have always pronounced her name as Day-la in my head.
I will endeavour to keep the correct pronunciation of this simple yet beautiful language that was, until now, lost to the world.

- June 2, 1973. I would need to make note of the terrible and frustrating time over these many years that I have had trying to conclude a date of the scrolls. The covering end of every single scroll has worn with age, making the first unravelled part unreadable.
I have officially given up the chase regarding these matters and hope that future findings would reveal this most valued information. What I have been able to piece together from the scrolls I have opened, is that they were written (or overseen) by a man I believe to be named 'Adelphos'. A chief scribe from the colony of Panticapaeum (modern day Kerch). As typical with one discovery, it soon leads to more questions:
The reason for the scrolls being found in Anapa --ancient colony of Gorgippia and not in in Kerch -- is presently a mystery to me.
Unfortunately for all of us, the scrolls contained this vital information at the top of the pages and were rolled with this introduction at the outside. That is to be the first thing viewed when opened. Unfortunately due to the passage of time the top sections of each of the scrolls have deteriorated badly. And I have many fragments re-fit under glass to preserve them to my best ability. So far the information of Adelphos was derived from painstakingly combining bits and pieces from each of the 24 rolls. That (I must admit) and a bit of educated guessing.

- June 2, 1973. My earlier mention of Adelphos has reminded me to mention that my research for documentation of this Greek scribe has rendered fruitless. I can only hope that those who continue my work can provide more information on this man than I have been able. On personal thoughts and theory; it is continually in the back of my mind that the first notable mention of the mythical Amazons of Greek lore were in The Illiad. Reasonable debate puts the Trojan-Greek war around the 12th century BC. And I am more and more convinced the warrior-women mentioned in these scrolls to be somehow related to the Amazons of Greek myth. But I am skeptical to think these scrolls date back so long ago, as I am almost certain the ceramic pot they were discovered in to have been made between the 8th or 6th century BC.

Believed to be written while making notes that became: Book II

- Aug. 9, 1974. I've finally started translating a fresh scroll that seems to be from an Amazoi man I believe to be named Falotra (which meant: arrows). I do remember mentions of him in other scrolls as being the eldest Amazoi. And I notice his tale seems to start around the same time of The Great Taysha. It is undoubtedly one of the thicker scrolls and in my experience translating the others, I assume I will be re-visiting some familiar stories. Yet I find myself greatly looking forward to finding out another view-point of the history of the Amazoi people.

- Aug. 30, 1974. I wanted to make mention of how the Greek scribe took great pains to include the Osfer language within the text of each scrolls. Thanks to the dictionary that was included, I am able to delve deeper into the culture of these people. For many years of translating I find I am still finding nuances within the language. Although realising I have made mistakes in previous translations and must now return to correct my errors, I find the coarse of translating running much more smoothly than that of the first tiresome and gruelling attempt. I can only hope I have properly given Taysha and the other the true honours and respects their story deserves.

- Sept 30, 1974. I believe I've found a shift in the Amazoi culture (besides the obvious change that Taysha brought with her) in the form of subtle name changes. Realising 'Rafeltu' was the father of 'Rafel'. It was interesting to notice the word 'Tu' (meaning a god or deity) was not used in future generations. (Perhaps from their apparent shift from worshiping the male gods to the goddesses)
The change of the ending of their names got me thinking, and I also noticed 'Falotra', who also being male and his name meaning simply 'Arrows' (arrow + 'plural'). In comparison to the latter names in which most, if not all, of the female names ended in an 'a' sound while the male names almost certainly ended with a consonant.

- Nov. 4, 1974. I've finally figured out the dating system used by the chronicler, Adelphos. Apparently he has been translating directly from the Amazoi tellers of the tale. Summary: There are three dating systems for the Amazoi. 1. The winters past from the attack from the Hoorg that wiped out the original village and their (now unknown) culture. 2. The winters past from the reunion of Taysha with the survivors of the Hoorg attack (approx. 8 years later) 3. Taysha's age. (It was stated the winter after the Hoorg attack was her 14th winter. ie. She was fourteen years old) It's beyond me why a Greek Recorder failed to mention the most useful of dates. (The Greek calendar). Though it is obvious this information was most likely written on the first part of every scroll. Still, I can fully appreciate how he remained true to the words of those who told their tale without interference from Greek reference. Although it grieves me greatly to not be able to pinpoint an actual date.

- Mar. 13, 1975. I've spent most time on this translation so far as it has given me greater detail of the actual location the Amazoi lived and travelled. The descriptions of the mountains, valleys, lakes and directions are starting to form in my mind and they have led me to the epiphany that these locations did actually exist.
Since then I have been absorbed with trying to locate the ground on which they walked.
On a side note: I've recently found it also very interesting to note there is little mention of the births and deaths of those they referred to as the New Comers. I get the feeling that although they traveled as one tribe, there was much divide between them culturally, with what Ulforta and the others referred to as half-bloods caught in the middle.

- July 2, 1975. My mind is heavy with constant translation, mis-translation, searching for locations referenced in the stories on a map of the Caucasus Mountains.
I even dream in ancient Greek.
So, I have broken my own rule of keeping to one project at a time and taken a break from the story to look through the next scroll before completing the one I am presently working on.
At first glance, some years ago, the parchments looked like a series of Greek words. Myself, being versed in the ancient Greek languages thought it would be a nice way to spend my latter days, translating and discovering new words. It wasn't until a night a couple weeks ago that it became obvious, an epiphany of sorts, that the series of words were not Greek, but Greek pronunciations of other words.
I am delighted, although now torn between two projects (See? You shouldn't do so. I knew better) as I have found the parchments to be not only a dictionary of sorts, but also a vault of phrases and idioms of the Amazoi.
(Osfer, as they refer to their language. 'Os' meaning 'tongue' and 'Fer' meaning 'able to do')
It has, in a positive side, opened a vast amount of insight to what I have already translated from the scrolls of the STORYTELLERS.
Meanings of all the names. Curse words. Sayings. Referring to everyday things such as the pins & needles one feels after one's arm has fallen asleep as 'little crawlies' or 'little creepies'.
I am fascinated, but deeply hope this doesn't hinder me from finishing this third set of parchments. If my mapping is correct. The Amazoi now stand a couple month's walk from the Black Sea. It's almost a shame I have been over their stories by translating several Storyteller's scrolls and now know their fate. Although I question my mapping accuracy at this point as it seems they would have to walk all the way back the way they came to get to the trade route of the Rek-chal.

It would be nice to have help with all this. I teach my son ancient Greek in hopes he will one day improve on what I have accomplished thus far.

- Jan. 1, 1976. Happy New Year. I find myself up and translating this morning with vigor.
I have struggled for some time now regarding the word usage in the scrolls. Long worded titles describing the military positions being the most common chore.
(One such translation ended up to be 'The One in charge under the Great One under the chief.')
I hope devout students of history and linguistics will forgive me as I have taken certain liberties with the translation for the sake of keeping the interest of those not versed in ancient Greek.
I will, from now on, use words I feel best describe what has been described in the scrolls in modern words.
(Some of these include: cavalry, lancers, lieutenants, generals, and whatnot) I hope my educated colleagues will support me on my decision, as the scrolls are always available to them to form their own (and perhaps better) translations.

Believed to be written while making notes that became: Book III

- Jan 2, 1957. It is with my own hand I may condemn myself, but I have decided to keep the translation of the scrolls to myself. I have conveniently misplaced any logs from the university referring to the seven jars. I have seen too many inept up-and-comers who will use all means that cross their paths to move up the ranks of our Beloved Party.
It would be a disastrous event if but one such people got their hands on this valued asset to the Union and to the Academic world.
This is clearly a treasure of world antiquity. I only hope my actions will be understood and praised by future generations of our Beloved Soviet Citizens.

- Mar. 12, 1959. As typical with me, I have neglected my diary.
Though it fair to use the excuse that I have quite honestly spent every spare minute on the care needed to unwrap the scrolls. Hoping to find a common content to start categorizing them, I spend my days this last 2 years scanning from head to tail for sign of dates, places or events that might give me insight to when these scrolls were written.

- Feb. 23, 1960. I've finally discovered the purpose and content of the main grouping of scrolls (by topic at least).
Each of the 24 scrolls are testimonies of individuals of a tribe I believe to have lived north of the Caucasus.
There is a great deal of detail of the cultures, languages of these people and I am able to discern they are from various tribes of (what I believe to be) the area around the Ukraine region.
The efforts of the last three years have paid off with the correct handling of the scrolls, which was always my first concern. As Providence would have it, I seem to have become focused on the 12 scrolls that deal mainly with a tribe that called themselves the Ama-zoi or Ama-joi.
In order to keep myself from becoming too distracted in the tedious task of translating these ancient Greek writings, I have decided to keep with this smaller group first, before moving on to the remaining 12 scrolls of various lengths.

- May 3, 1961. My first attempts to pin-point the location of these people started from the word given by the head trader for the valley he used to bring goods up from the south.
It is my belief he would use the most commonly accepted words (that is: a Common Tongue), whereas the Amazoi, who were seemingly a small tribe, would use their own local words (ie. using their using the word Dolsha to name the Benatch tribe).
After months of disappointing searching through the scrolls, I came across mention of Phasis, which I believe to be a Greek Colony that sat on the present day city of Poti.
Coupled with the constant mention a liberal phrasing of the 'Great Water' to the West, I can only conclude they were people that originated from within the Caucasus Mountains and were searching for the present day Black Sea.
Thus my original notion these people were from the Steppes seems incorrect.

Footnote: I have also translated the town names of Biai, Aiya and Tsuku. Which I believe are the Urartu Kingdom (circa. 850 BC to 600 BC), the city of Kutaisi and Tsukhumi respectively.
The question that now lingers is how a small tribe that was affected by the Urartu would make it up to the Anapa area.

- May 20, 1963. It is with beating heart of excitement that I make note of the rough completion of the first full translation of the first few scrolls.
What excites me most is the inclusion of a type of dictionary at the end of each scroll.
Many words, like the story, over-lap. And at first glance, this is a rather annoying thing. But it does aid in my ability to translate and gives a variety of explanations for each word.
For example, I have found the word Amazon (used to describe the warrior women of Greek myth) described as a combination of the Greek words 'ama' and 'zoi' meaning 'without breast' or as I feel a more precise translation of the feeling of the words would be as 'breastless'.
(As I figure, this type of over-simplified explanation would be the same as someone saying they were from the tribe 'Eatalot' so we would naturally joke that they 'Eat-a-lot'.)
I believe it a natural character of Man to create such word games.

It makes me very happy to understand the Ama-zoi are Earth People. People of the Earth. A fitting and much more respectful translation of their name, I think. As all but one of them seemed to be with both breasts intact.

- Jan 3, 1964. I'm constantly pulled in different directions over the pronunciation of names (of both people and tribes). This Greek scribes involved in the documenting process of the scrolls use a mix of phonetics to recapture the distinct words. They also translated the meanings of the names of certain people into Greek. Why they have chosen some over others, I have yet to find out. Most likely it was a personal choice. (Boredom, fatigue, laziness would also be a factor). Other times they have simply exchanged one foreign name with a Greek one.

- Oct. 4, 1964. I found it interesting to note the first story the description of the Amazoi bows. It seems to me they sounded very close to those later used by the Scythians, or Huns around the Great Steppes. Short but very powerful. There have been two suggestions now that they (the Amazoi) did not want their bows shared with their allies. I am assuming there was a more complicated way of making them than the average bow that was made more powerful by making them (the bows) longer.
I have also noticed in the list of things they traded with Oolgash or Oochtach, that their bows were not included. Could they have invented the composite bow?* (*Footnote: See Nov. 13, 1969 entry for his answer)

- Dec. 25, 1964. Merry Christmas. I have reached a remarkable point of the story at the Amazoi conquest of the fishing village of Torik and their first contact with the Black Sea. I can't help but wonder if the Elada (Ellada) who took Daela's cousin and her followers onto the ship that was clearly documented as heading south were not in fact going to the colony of Cotyora or Trapezus.
And, if the place they (the Amazoi) were taken was one of the Greek colonies in present day Turkey, then it does bring a large amount of coincidence to the Greek myth of the Amazon warriors who raised a temple to the god of war on the island known as Ares in present day Turkey.
Update: July 23, 1968. I must record here my joy at finding a very old map showing the town of Torik. Unfortunately for my purposes the map was created to document sea currents and show no mountain ranges to take bearings from. I have yet to find any documentation of the village. Will keep you informed if I find any.

- Jan. 3, 1965. A Good New Years to all of us.
I found myself thinking about this 'Powerful Empire' to the south (The Biai), and thinking more of the dates of the recorded events.
This kingdom would have undoubtedly put a quick stop to a small armed force of 300 barbarians taking over their trade routes to the north. So, I find myself wondering if they will be absorbed, defeated in battle, chased away or simply ignored.
In formation I can find on the Urartu Kingdom (The Biai) shows the extent of their borders shared with the Kolkha (Colches). I am looking forward to seeing how this mystery reveals itself.

- Oct. 14, 1966. I have found in my research first mention of the Cimmerian rise to power mentioned at 714 BC. I am assuming this would be after the Amazoi as it would include much of the same area around the south-east coast of the Black Sea.
(*Footnote: See Jan. 20, 1969)

- Jan. 20, 1969. I've discovered the Scythians did not seem to cover the south-east portion of the Black Sea as I had originally assumed.
These lands are believed to be inhabited and controlled by the groups of tribes commonly known as the Cimmerian and Sarmatians.
I have found much similarity between their customs and those of the Amazoi. I would not be suprised if the Amazoi had originated from the Northern tribes far before, or assimilated far after. Perhaps the information is in the other scrolls left to be discovered.

- June 8, 1969. I found it interesting of the Benatch commander's commenting on the strategy idea of using the Amazoi women to draw out the defenders from their walled village. This tactic of 'feigned retreat' was also commonly used by the Mongolians.

Believed to be written while making notes that became: Book IV

- Jan. 22, 1980. I have been unfaithful in my note-keeping it seems. No matter. The true story lies within the translations more than within my personal revelations that would soon turn to an old man's ramblings.
I have organised the largest amount information from the scrolls into one tome, of which I hope will fill the gap between Taysha's story and that of her grand-daughter Daela. There is finally mention of a Greek historian of sorts, although not Adelphos (who is responsible for writing the scrolls) I have switched between translating the Osfer-Greek dictionary and the final scrolls. I must admit I have become so attached to these people, the fear the next parchment holds word of their demise brings me to find any excuse not to pick it up.

- Feb. 24, 1980. I feel old today and sad to think what could be the fate of these scrolls that have been (unofficially) in my care all these years.
Especially after having survived the last 2,000 years or more.
I am determined to finish the translation, starting tomorrow.

- Apr. 4, 1980. Finally. My personal question that had lingered for the past 20-odd years has been answered.
How did the Amazoi and the other Storytellers communicate with Adelphos, the Elada (Greek) scribe of the scrolls?
The answer is Zotikos.
I can only assume he survives to the end as I have crossed part of their story that only he could have witnessed.
It has been a fascinating journey for me to say the least. I hope to hear more of Tayna and those who followed her on the Elladan ships. I have long since known that the Greek Amazon myths placed the Amazons in the Pontus (northern Turkey) region as well as in Colchis region. After almost 30 years translating the scrolls, I firmly believe (from the description of the text) that this is due to both Tayna and witnesses of the female Amazoi mounted-archers who fought against the city of Aiya (Kotaisi) in the Battlefield of Gal (which I believe to be the lowlands near the modern day town of Gali)

- June 2, 1980. I have noticed in my reviewing of my past translations of my original thought that Torik was a foundation for the present city of Picunda. Yet a small voice of doubt stood out in the back of my mind as certain details didn't add up. As I find out what happened to Torik I now understand it may have been completely eradicated from history. It would be an interesting find for an archeologist. Seeing Torik was described as having a stone Chambers building. Something I have always found rare in a non-Eladan (Greek) town. Perhaps it sits at the bottom of the sea, waiting to be discovered.

- Nov. 13, 1981. I have been quite proud of my map making up to this point, but have reached a rather frustrating point when explanation of the defense of Torik takes place. I can't see how anyone could walk or run up to where I believe the now eradicated town of Torik was from the final defense line. I am prompted to believe the spit that holds modern day Picunda did not exist in the days of the Amazoi, or at least was much smaller.
Of course, there are always a hundred unthought-of of explanations. Perhaps Torik was where Picunda now sits. Although this would throw off my calculated times to cover the distances between, say the village of Benatch or to Tsuku.
Alas, as I work primarily alone on this project, I can only do the best of one man in hopes others will come after me to improve on and discover more truths to what I have found.

- Dec. 4, 1981. It was interesting to note that the insignificant tribe of Stochi was last mentioned as taking those of the destroyed towns. As I believe the location of this tribe's village was located on the grounds of present day Gagra. Now I know why I have had so much trouble matching the towns of Torik, Suma and Bakat as it is apparent they had all been wiped out. Completely burned to the ground by ignorant and vengeful men.
I do wonder what would have become of the area if the Amazoi and other survivors had stayed.

- Apr. 5, 1981. I hope I can be forgiven for taking certain liberties with my work. If find the details of the march from Torik north that Zotikos had mentioned are missing. I am assuming this information was either purposefully left out, or remain somewhere in the remaining scrolls which I have yet to cure and unravel.
I have mapped out what I feel is the average walking distance for a group consisting of the aged, sick and pregnant along mountainous and beach terrain to be between 8 and 12 kilometers a day.

- Nov. 28, 1982. It has finally occurred to me that the colony of Sinda mentioned in the final writings was perhaps the predecessor to Gorgippia. Though not referred to by that name by either of the Greeks (Adelphos, who apparently oversaw the writing of the chronicle? more on him later?and Zotikos, who travelled with the Amazoi from the south) Knowing the colony of Gorgippia was established in the 6th century (BC) I can only assume something of a political nature caused a name change. Perhaps the city of Sinda wasn't actually re-taken by the Greeks until years later.
I must wonder what happened to the old oracle who chose the spot in the name of the gods. Was he scorned or killed? Or was he clever enough to wiggle his way out of the responsibility for the complete defeat of his chosen city?
I mentioned Adelphos because it is apparent by the writing on the scrolls that they were done by at least four different people. So, I assume that Adelphos was the head overseer of the writings. Most likely with the assistance of Zotikos. (His fate is still unknown to me)
Unfortunately without proper documentation I am forming all this with nothing more than half-educated guessing.
Another question I have is how these {scrolls} ended back up in Anapa. The writings took place at the colony of Panticapaeum, yet according to the records they were unearthed under a Greek Orthodox church in Anapa (which is the location of Gorgippia, or Sinda) Perhaps they were considered to belong to the Gorgippia colony as part of their history. One can only guess.
Another question I now have after translating the end of the tale: Adelphos, who introduces himself as the Chief Scribe at the beginning of each set of writings, doesn't seem to hold such a grand title at the town of Sinda. Although I suppose he could have been promoted after his actions.
Looking back I wonder what the untold story is of Rafeltu, The father of the Amazoi, and the people he led about the mountains for seven years before Taysha found them.
I still have three scrolls to properly translate, perhaps there is some bit of their history there. I would greatly love to be able to travel to Turkey and follow the route from east to west along the coast looking for signs of documentation of Tayna and the women who left with her. As Zotikos mentions they were indeed in the colony of Trapezus before heading west.
If my information is correct, that would put the story after 756 BC, as that is when the colony of Trapezus is said to have been established.
Yet, as is always the case with more information added to the mix, this adds to the confusion. If the Amazoi are indeed the basis of the Greek Amazon myths and stories that are mentioned in The Iliad which is accredited to Homer as the author, then there is a discrepancy of between 100 years at the worst side and 50 years at the best.
Although, as I write, I notice the word 'accredited' as there is no solid proof that I am aware of at this time, that Homer did indeed write either The Illiad or The Odyssey for that matter. Perhaps our dear soviet sponsored history books have been censored for the good of the people, but in all texts both domestic and foreign that I have been able to view, I can only find estimations that Homer lived sometime in the latter part of the 8th century BC.
I did find, however, one estimation of the Odyssey was the late 8th century as well, but that in itself is a dog chasing its tale. If it's accredited to Homer, and Homer is believed to have died before the 7th century, then the Odyssey must have been written during that time.
So, as always, things don't line up perfectly on paper.
Politics and leaders in our earth's history have had the uncanny ability to set dates and record "facts" as they see them.
So I am sceptical at best.

Dec. 3, 1982. (In continuation of my previous post)

The dating has been bothering me and kept me thinking for the last week.
I have these points repeating in my mind:

1. Trapezus (modern day Trabzon in Turkey) where Zotikos says he is from is clearly recorded to be established in 756 BC
2. Panticapaeum (modern day Kerch in Russia) where Adelphos is the Chief Scribe, is believed to be established around the same time as Trapezus but I cannot find a set date, so I have some slack to play with there.
3. Sinda (modern day Anapa) is not mentioned as Gorgippia which is the name the Greek colony receives when established near the 6th century BC. So again some slack.
4. The Biai (commonly known as The Urartu Kingdom) reached its height at around 743BC. Although not extending to its greatest size at the time of the Chronicle, it is conceivable to think that, as the largest military power in the region, they would send troops across their borders to aid allies in war and diplomacy.
5. Phasis (where I believe Rafel and Ulforta rescued their ally and friend from the southern tribes) was believed to be established near modern day Poti around the same time as Trapezus, though little can be found on its history. Though it is clear from the Chronicle that it was a starting town with the cutting of the surrounding trees not even complete.

So, out of all these points, the establishment of Trapezus is the only actual specific date.

On that basis, if I choose, for the sake of balancing the scales, to think the dating of Trapezus is incorrect either through mistake or deliberate action, the events of the Chronicle could have happened between say, 780 to 740 BC.
I believe a 40 year difference in matters like this is acceptable.

The question that then remained was The Iliad.
The problem isn't actually the mention of the Trojan-Greek Wars.
(They could be written at any time after the events)
The problem is whether or not it was written by Homer.
(Homer was not alive in the 8th century BC, but instead the 7th)

To start with, I find the use of the word Amazon and Amazoi too strong a case against brushing it off as mere coincidence.

After my 33 years of study and translating these scrolls, I am convinced that The Iliad was written sometime around 750BC or later. Most likely the information gathered by Zotikos and spread throughout the Greek colonies inspired someone to include the tales of the Amazoi in his story.
The debate on who wrote it can be left to the intellectuals.
I, my good comrades, am going to bed!!

Feb. 2, 1983 I stand corrected and feel rather foolish.
I have for some reason or another associated the 8th Century BC with the dates from 899 to 801 BC instead of (correctly) 799 to 701 BC.
A rather simple and embarrassing mistake.
So, it seems these stories would quite conceivably pre-date The Iliad. If it was indeed written by Homer, then it would also finish the debate of the Homeric Question and settle his lifetime around the date of 750 BC.

Dec. 25, 1991 My pen sits strangely heavy in my hand today.
The CCCP is, of today, no more.
Though we have all dreamed of 'western freedoms', I can honestly say the open door to my 'cage' seems rather over-whelming at the moment.
We sit quietly and sip our vodka in solemn celebration and reflection to this historic event.
The irony is that I fear more to entrust the Scrolls that have so long been in my possession to this new 'free state', than I ever had at being discovered by the eyes and ears of the Soviet Union.
What I will do with the Scrolls now, I must wait and see.

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