BMCR 1995.12.13

Response: Wheeler on Braund on Wheeler on Braund (Schluss). Georgia in Antiquity, Noch Einmal

Response to 1995.09.28

Response by

I regret that Mr. Braund is unhappy (BMCR 95.9.28) with my review (BMCR 95.4.5), although his unseemly resort to ad hominem attacks only betrays his desperation. I have always encouraged ambitious young scholars like Mr. Braund, and I believe that I have been generous in pointing out pertinent bibliography to aid their research. Yet all scholars have peers, however reluctant they may be to acknowledge them, and the study of ancient Georgia is not a matter simply of Mr. Braund and Georgian archaeologists, as the book in question implies. A point for point rebuttal of Mr. Braund’s response is unnecessary, as I intend to supplement the short note in BMCR with a more detailed discussion of Mr. Braund’s views in a scrupulously refereed scholarly journal. It is silly, however, to quibble about scholarly works in the public domain, when interested readers can obtain them and form their own opinion about originality and extent of comprehensive treatment of the bibloigraphy. I maintain my position that Mr. Braund’s journalism in reporting the progress of other scholars’ excavations in Georgia renders his book useful. My problem lies with Mr. Braund’s historical interpretations of such excavations and his conclusions drawn from Greek and Latin texts. I observe that Mr. Braund does not take issue with one of my most trenchant criticisms, the absence of two basic characteristics of a historical monograph—a unifying thesis and a proper conclusion.

For the sake of the public record, I also find it necessary to differ with Mr. Braund’s response on two points of fact. First, Mr. Braund implies that I have repeatedly urged him to read my work. To my best knowledge, I only informed Mr. Braund in 1989 of the availability of my work of 1977, when he inquired about it. I have not subsequently mentioned the subject to him. Second, Mr. Braund alleges that I have indirectly charged him with plagiarism. But I believe he has misread the language of my review on this point, just as he has put his own “spin” on the review in other respects.