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Year of Maroni


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Tonight marks the first day of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar. In ancient Siam this was called the year of Marong. In Thailand, even today, the fifth year in the lunar cycle is referred to as the Year of Marong. (source)

"Marong is a Siamese word used in their astrological or astronomical works. It is applied to a man who can by supernatural means assume any shape he pleases. A Buddhist Priest of Siam acquaints me that it is a title bestowed on a military chief - and also signifies a person who can preternaturally change his appearance” (source)

Marong was a title given to military leaders. For example, the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula was named Marong. His son, the founder of the Kingdom of Siam according to some accounts, also inherited the title Marong. (source)

So get this...

A variation of the Siamese military title 'Marong' is Maroni. M-A-R-O-N-I

Image

This screenshot was taken from Samuel Rafinesque's "The American Nations".

Guess who was Samuel Rafinesque's mentor? Samuel Latham Mitchell (source)

Mitchell was the guy Martin Harris visited in 1828 (two years before the publication of the Book of Mormon) to show the transcript of ancient hieroglyphic letters taken from the Golden Plates.

And how did Joseph Smith spell the name of the last person to engrave upon the Golden Plates? M-A-R-O-N-I


Image
It could be:

  1. A coincidence
  2. More data to support the claim that Joseph Smith was the world's greatest guesser, not easy to guess the exact spelling of a title for military leaders that would have been contemporaneous with Captain Maroni.
  3. Another thing to suggest that the author of the Book of Mormon was riffing off things being discussed only in very tight academic circles in the 1820s
  4. Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.

Happy Year of Maroni everyone!

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The "Maroni" in the 1832 history was written by Fredrick Williams.  See https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-circa-summer-1832/4

Joseph could have told Fredrick how to spell it, or it was just how Fredrick thought it should be spelled.

"Maroni" does appear once in the original manuscript in Alma 58:41.  See https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/original-manuscript-of-the-book-of-mormon-circa-12-april-1828-circa-1-july-1829/183.  That's Oliver's handwriting.  Since "Moroni" occurs multiple times beforehand, I would bet Maroni and Moroni sounded similar and that's why Frederick used Maroni.

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1 hour ago, webbles said:

Hadn't seen that before, thanks. Whether it was first written down as an o or an a, it looks like it was overwritten. 

jPCLLR0.png

Its another Book of Mormon mystery. I've scoured the docs and have found no possible written source before the 1840s for the usage of Maroni or Marong as a military title or name, let alone both at the same time as we find in the Kedah Annals. There are 2 or 3 pre-1830 sources that identify it as an astronomical term in the Siamese zodiac, but there's nothing in English that would suggest it was ever used for the founders of Kedah or Siam. The first to document it as a name or title was Captain James Low in his translation of the Kedah Annals, published in 1849, 19 years after the Book of Mormon. James Low did collect his information on Marong/Maroni on an expedition he made to Siam in the 1820s, but it seems he didn't publish anything about it outside his journal until well after the publication of the Book of Mormon. Its highly unlikely Joseph Smith, or anyone in his orbit, could have known the title. Even Rafinesque didn't write about Maroni as a symbol in the Siamese zodiac until until 1836. 6 years too late.

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8 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Tonight marks the first day of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar. In ancient Siam this was called the year of Marong. In Thailand, even today, the fifth year in the lunar cycle is referred to as the Year of Marong. (source)

"Marong is a Siamese word used in their astrological or astronomical works. It is applied to a man who can by supernatural means assume any shape he pleases. A Buddhist Priest of Siam acquaints me that it is a title bestowed on a military chief - and also signifies a person who can preternaturally change his appearance” (source)

Marong was a title given to military leaders. For example, the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula was named Marong. His son, the founder of the Kingdom of Siam according to some accounts, also inherited the title Marong. (source)

So get this...

A variation of the Siamese military title 'Marong' is Maroni. M-A-R-O-N-I

Image

This screenshot was taken from Samuel Rafinesque's "The American Nations".

Guess who was Samuel Rafinesque's mentor? Samuel Latham Mitchell (source)

Mitchell was the guy Martin Harris visited in 1828 (two years before the publication of the Book of Mormon) to show the transcript of ancient hieroglyphic letters taken from the Golden Plates.

And how did Joseph Smith spell the name of the last person to engrave upon the Golden Plates? M-A-R-O-N-I


Image
It could be:

  1. A coincidence
  2. More data to support the claim that Joseph Smith was the world's greatest guesser, not easy to guess the exact spelling of a title for military leaders that would have been contemporaneous with Captain Maroni.
  3. Another thing to suggest that the author of the Book of Mormon was riffing off things being discussed only in very tight academic circles in the 1820s
  4. Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.

Happy Year of Maroni everyone!

Good timing! Today is Lunar New Year's Eve! And 2 weeks to celebrate :D !

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21 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Who was the poster from long ago who argued that the Book of Mormon took place in Malaysia?

Zosimus used to be Rajah, iirc

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On 2/8/2024 at 10:06 PM, Zosimus said:

Tonight marks the first day of the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese lunar calendar. In ancient Siam this was called the year of Marong. In Thailand, even today, the fifth year in the lunar cycle is referred to as the Year of Marong. (source)

"Marong is a Siamese word used in their astrological or astronomical works. It is applied to a man who can by supernatural means assume any shape he pleases. A Buddhist Priest of Siam acquaints me that it is a title bestowed on a military chief - and also signifies a person who can preternaturally change his appearance” (source)

Marong was a title given to military leaders. For example, the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula was named Marong. His son, the founder of the Kingdom of Siam according to some accounts, also inherited the title Marong. (source)

So get this...

A variation of the Siamese military title 'Marong' is Maroni. M-A-R-O-N-I

Image

This screenshot was taken from Samuel Rafinesque's "The American Nations".

Guess who was Samuel Rafinesque's mentor? Samuel Latham Mitchell (source)

Mitchell was the guy Martin Harris visited in 1828 (two years before the publication of the Book of Mormon) to show the transcript of ancient hieroglyphic letters taken from the Golden Plates.

And how did Joseph Smith spell the name of the last person to engrave upon the Golden Plates? M-A-R-O-N-I


Image
It could be:

  1. A coincidence
  2. More data to support the claim that Joseph Smith was the world's greatest guesser, not easy to guess the exact spelling of a title for military leaders that would have been contemporaneous with Captain Maroni.
  3. Another thing to suggest that the author of the Book of Mormon was riffing off things being discussed only in very tight academic circles in the 1820s
  4. Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.

Happy Year of Maroni everyone!

I think you put forth a compelling argument on several levels for the Malay model, but I think there is a major hurdle that would need to be overcome before it could go mainstream:

Quote

In September 1823, the seventeen-year-old Joseph Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni who informed the young Joseph that “there was a book deposited, written upon gold plates, giving an account of the former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang. He also said that the fulness of the everlasting Gospel was contained in it, as delivered by the Savior to the ancient inhabitants” (Joseph Smith—History 1:34).

That, and the fact that the plates were reportedly buried and located in New York by Moroni.  How a Malay captain with the title of Maroni ended up in New York is a big hurdle.  Joseph Was convinced by Moroni that the record was of the ancient inhabitants of America, and Joseph would retell the stories of ancient Americans, their cultures, modes of transport, etc. to his family members at the supper table.  He even identified the burial place in the Americas of an ancient white Lamanite warrior named Zelph, who died in battle by an arrow. 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

.  How a Malay captain with the title of Maroni ended up in New York is a big hurdle.

A resurrected being traveling anywhere on earth to New York does not seem a big deal.

More difficult is Joseph understanding the BoM to have taken place somewhere in the Americas including seeing the Stephens and Catherwood book as relevant.

https://rsc.byu.edu/approaching-antiquity-joseph-smith-ancient-world/joseph-smith-central-american-ruins-book-mormon

Now if he just saw visions that were not tied to any geographical info (think of a movie or video can show scenery, but nothing you recognize as belonging to a particular location), that might explain quite a bit, but he does seem to have received verbal info as well.

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28 minutes ago, Calm said:

A resurrected being traveling anywhere on earth to New York does not seem a big deal.

I was speaking more of his mortal presence and deposition of the plates in a hill that were unearthed in New York.   Most people see the physical plates in New York as evidence of placing Moroni there in mortality.  That is a strong perception that would be hard to overcome. 

28 minutes ago, Calm said:

More difficult is Joseph understanding the BoM to have taken place somewhere in the Americas including seeing the Stephens and Catherwood book as relevant.

Exactly.  Including his testimony in his history that Moroni himself informed him that it is a record of the ancient inhabitants of "this continent".  

28 minutes ago, Calm said:

Now if he just saw visions that were not tied to any geographical info (think of a movie or video can show scenery, but nothing you recognize as belonging to a particular location), that might explain quite a bit, but he does seem to have received verbal info as well.

Exactly. 

I am yet to see how Zosimus might overcome these barriers.  All of the AI evidence and "Maroni" curiosities will do little to overcome these barriers without addressing them directly.  But I do find it all pretty interesting. 

Edited by pogi
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7 minutes ago, pogi said:

was speaking more of his mortal presence and deposition of the plates in a hill that were unearthed in New York.

I don’t see any reason that requires his burying of the plates that is recorded to be the same burying of the plates in New York, but I may have missed something.  Perhaps the plates were first buried when Joseph was born near where Joseph lived prior to Palmyra and were moved to where he found them when he moved.

Edited by Calm
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2 hours ago, Calm said:

I don’t see any reason that requires his burying of the plates that is recorded to be the same burying of the plates in New York, but I may have missed something.  Perhaps the plates were first buried when Joseph was born near where Joseph lived prior to Palmyra and were moved to where he found them when he moved.

There is no requirement, but any other explanation goes against what seems to be the obvious logical conclusion and explanation that I think most members accept.   The plates were buried in a hill in the Americas by Moroni, according to the BoM, and according to the Angel Moroni.  The plates were found by Joseph Smith just as described - buried in a hill in the Americas as he was directed to the exact location by the prophet who buried them.  

The simplest and most logical conclusion is that the plates were buried in the hill and remained in the hill uninterrupted until Joseph recovered them.  Any other explanation is only derived as a solution to a perceived problem in explaining one's favorite Book of Mormon Model.   

The overwhelming narrative of the church, and the one that influences the perception of members the most is as follows:

Quote

Joseph went to the place, not far from his home, where the plates were buried by Moroni at the end of his life, centuries earlier. There Joseph saw Moroni again, who instructed him to prepare himself to receive the plates in the future.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2020/04/23soares?lang=eng

That is a barrier that does need to be overcome, whether or not reason requires that narrative.  

Any other explanation seems strained to me, honestly.   Who unearthed the plates and moved them to a different hill, and why?  The resurrected Moroni?  Why would he go through the effort to match the description of the burial place in a hill, and why re-burry only to require Joseph to unearth it again when Moroni could have just handed the plates to Joseph after unearthing them.  Why re-burry them?  Doesn't make sense to me, and probably to most members.   The early members clearly viewed the hill as the location that Moroni deposited the plates and named the place "the Hill Cumorah".  That same narrative and perception has been replayed in the Hill Cumorah pageant for generations.  
 

Edited by pogi
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29 minutes ago, pogi said:

The plates were buried in a hill in the Americas by Moroni, according to the BoM, and according to the Angel Moroni.

The BoM didn't say that the plates were buried.  That's from the Angel Moroni.

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9 minutes ago, webbles said:

The BoM didn't say that the plates were buried.  That's from the Angel Moroni.

Well, it didn't use the exact word "buried", but...

Quote

 16 And blessed be he that shall bring this thing to light; for it shall be brought out of darkness unto light, according to the word of God; yea, it shall be brought out of the earth, and it shall shine forth out of darkness, and come unto the knowledge of the people; and it shall be done by the power of God.

Sure, this could be taken metaphorically, but "brought out of the earth" is a little more direct and when accompanied by Moroni's explanation and the events that unfolded, it becomes clear that the passage is describing that the plates will be buried in the earth and unearthed in the latter days.  

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9 hours ago, pogi said:

I am yet to see how Zosimus might overcome these barriers.  All of the AI evidence and "Maroni" curiosities will do little to overcome these barriers without addressing them directly.  But I do find it all pretty interesting. 

As mentioned in the other thread, I do feel it is important to prove out the geography fully first, and there's still a long way to go there. Hopefully many more interesting discussions can be had on the geographical, historical and cultural convergences. I agree the NY problem is a critical issue. Its the first (and usually last) question I get when discussing the Comoro or Malay model with anyone. Certainly, these models go nowhere without providing a suitable response. There is a fascinating solution, but I'd like to continue framing the model first. However here's some foreshadowing:

Madagascar in the Ancient Malayo-Polynesian Myths

e46fade6225b8e6c713474e46ace9c56The paper above explains it better than I can, but in summary, the ancestors of the Malayo-Polynesians (also known as the Kumr or Qumr) go west from the original Comoro (Malay) to the Comoros Islands - where the name/term Moroni is still used.

The paper also explains how these Kumr navigators took their myths (and spiritual records?) east to Easter Island. There's increasing DNA evidence for a link to the Population Y founder group in the Americas. 

More info coming as I continue to frame the model in the geography thread. The Comoro model runs deep and I want to go through it methodically.

Edited by Zosimus
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12 hours ago, Zosimus said:

More info coming as I continue to frame the model in the geography thread. The Comoro model runs deep and I want to go through it methodically.

There isn't anything in the Comoro model.

It's always difficult to have these discussions with you because you don't seem to have any real sense for method. Your arguments could be used by a critic to argue that the Book of Mormon is a modern production rather than a revealed history with a non-traditional context. I am going to address the points as I get them in your OP.

One of the major problems with these kinds of issues is that names are themselves the weakest sort of evidence. They are only useful when you can find a way to make them predictive. This is a lot more difficult than people who are parallel hunting think it is. This thread isn't about a predictive sort of approach - its about seeing something that might work and then trying to make the case for it. The challenge is that an argument for dependence has to follow reasonably well defined steps. And you can see the poorly done attempts in a thread like this - the OP for example, tries to make the connection in this way.

Quote

"Marong is a Siamese word used in their astrological or astronomical works. It is applied to a man who can by supernatural means assume any shape he pleases. A Buddhist Priest of Siam acquaints me that it is a title bestowed on a military chief - and also signifies a person who can preternaturally change his appearance” (source)

So, first, this quote doesn't occur in your source. It is a quote taken from an introduction to the Keddah Annals. And you can find it here. But, that source is problematic. It's problematic for a couple of reasons. First, the claim (which may represent a true experience) isn't accurate in terms of language. A much better source is this one:

Quote

Furthermore, the founder of the Kedah kingship, according to Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa, has the title of Merong Mahawangsa. This title is indeed a combination of Siamese, Sanskrit/Pali and Malay words meaning the "great snake/dragon dynasty/race," with Merong (also Maroni) signifying a great snake or dragon in Thai. (Crawford 1830 II: 32; Roberts 1837: 309; Echols and Shadily 1994: 354, 612; Kaempfer 1998: 70).

This is important because there is nothing here about the word/title meaning a military leader. The word Merong (Marong or even Maroni) means snake or dragon. So you have this source that provide a picture from an 1828 text that uses the terms Maroni and Maron in the context of the Siamese zodiac - a 12 years cycle (the source for that author is mis-dated - which isn't really important except to understand that it was a posthumously published work first published in 1727 under the title The History of Japan - oh and the author's name is Kaempfer not Kempfer. But in that document, the only thing that gets referenced is that the term means Dragon. And the original source (and the one that you provide in 1828) is merely concerned with showing the similarities between the various Asian zodiacs. It doesn't mean "military chief" at all.

So why is this important? Even though we can find texts earlier than the Book of Mormon that provide the Siamese term Merong/Marong/Maroni, they are consistent in their definition as meaning Dragon (or great snake). There is nothing until until 1849 that you provide that connects this term to the idea of a military chief. Even if we assume that there is a real connection between the term Merong and the idea of a military chief, that connection wasn't present in western literature until it was far too late to have been accessible to Joseph Smith.

Moving on -

On 2/9/2024 at 12:06 AM, Zosimus said:

Marong was a title given to military leaders. For example, the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula was named Marong. His son, the founder of the Kingdom of Siam according to some accounts, also inherited the title Marong. (source)

So, Marong wasn't a title given to military leaders. While the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula gave himself this title, the general consensus today is that the title was used to claim the beginning of a dynasty. This is why his son keeps part of that title. However, none of the rest of the descendants did - and in fact, we don't have any other military leaders using this as a title in any sort of proximate place and time. Which suggests that in fact it wasn't a title given to military leaders at all. It's worth noting that your wikipedia article source only suggests that the father and son shared this title (Merong) - it does not make the claim that you do that it was a military title (because it wasn't).

Now why is this important? Because you want to string together a series of connections in an effort to suggest that the meaning of the word as a military leader was known to Samuel Rafinesque (who wrote the 1828 text that you show a picture of), who was taught by Samule Latham Mitchell, who Martin Harris visited in 1828. There are several issues here. The first, and most important, is that Rafinesque would have no context to understand the term Merong/Marong/Maroni in terms of being a military leader. We know this because we know what Rafinesque's source was. He tells us, and we can look it up - there are recent publications of it. So while we can point to a contemporary use of the term Maroni in the environment of Joseph Smith, the entire meaning of the term which might then allow for a context for its use as a name/title in the Book of Mormon doesn't exist.

So let's summarize what you seem to be arguing - just so that we are clear.

1: Joseph Smith learns of a connection between the idea of a military leader and the title Maroni from Martin Harris in 1828. (There is a relatively narrow window for this knowledge to be shared). This knowledge becomes the basis for the name of Moroni in the Book of Mormon.

2: Harris learns this idea from Mitchell when he visits him in 1828.

3: Mitchell also shares this idea with Rafinesque when he mentors him. According to the link that you provide (which doesn't present any solid evidence for this), the time frame for this mentorship would have been between 1815 and 1819.

4: Rafinesque publishes a text with a zodiacal calander cycle from Siam in 1836 which includes references to the terms Maron and Maroni. This is used as evidence to suggest that Mitchell knew of these terms.

5: A work published in 1849 is evidence that the term Maroni means military leader - and that this connection would have been understood by Mitchell and subsequently by Rafinesque.

Do I have this right?

Let's start with the problems to this:

1: Rafinesque cites two references for his Siamese zodiac chart: Kempfer [sic] and Finlayson. Kaempfer's work was published in 1727. Finlayson's work was published in 1826 in London. Neither source references the idea that Maroni or Maron means anything but "Dragon." Both are consistent in this context, and this is the meaning of the word as we understand it in Siamese (and in Pali). I haven't taken the time to search through all of Kaempfer's work. I do know that this particular reference in Finalyson's text (on page 251) is the only time that the word is used in the text. Neither of these texts suggest that the word should be connected to the idea of a military leader.

2: In any case, without any reference to Mitchell, and with sources provided by Rafinesque, there is no real reason to assume that Rafinesque learned anything of this from Mitchell.

3: There is a chronological problem here with Mitchell and Harris. In order for this chronology to work, there can be no expected reference to Moroni prior to Harris's meeting with Mitchell. This works with the historical record (I don't know of any recorded references to Moroni prior to that 1828 meeting) but it is complicated by the fact that we have a translation completed of the Book of Mormon that is completed through Mosiah Chapter 2 (original chapter numbering). This is problematic because while First Nephi through Words of Mormon are claimed to have been taken from the small plates, the original missing manuscript was part of the project started by Mormon and completed by Moroni. This makes it more difficult to claim that there is nothing known of Moroni prior to this 1828 meeting.

So ...

On 2/9/2024 at 12:06 AM, Zosimus said:

It could be:

  1. A coincidence
  2. More data to support the claim that Joseph Smith was the world's greatest guesser, not easy to guess the exact spelling of a title for military leaders that would have been contemporaneous with Captain Maroni.
  3. Another thing to suggest that the author of the Book of Mormon was riffing off things being discussed only in very tight academic circles in the 1820s
  4. Evidence that the Book of Mormon is a historical text or pseudo-historical text set on the Malay Peninsula.

Proposition 2 Is wrong. There is no question in my mind about this. The thing is that it seems that the 1849 account (while probably accurate in terms of the conversation it describes) isn't reliable in terms of providing meaning for the language. Maroni was not used as a title for military leaders more broadly, it was part of a title assumed as part of the leadership of a newly formed dynasty. Proposition 3 is wrong. There was no riffing going on in tight academic circles about this idea of Maroni being a military leader in the 1820s (this becomes its own circular argument). This position is a your creation. There is no evidence for it. And this leads to the conclusion that proposition 1 is most likely correct - that the similarity is purely coincidental. Consequently, for Premise 4, the idea has absolutely no value as evidence for the text having anything to do with the Malay Peninsula.

Which brings me back to something I said in the beginning. How do we show that it isn't a coincidence? Patterns are important. Actual linkages in the genealogy of texts is important. We don't really prove that Moroni is from a shared context by arguing for the similarity of a name and continuing from there to try and figure how we can make it relevant - either by hunting for that unique reference or by creating a tortuous route for that information to pass through. We argue for it by showing patterns. Where do all of the other names come from? If we go through the Kedah Annals, how many other similarities do we find to the Book of Mormon - and more importantly, how many names in both texts have no real corollaries in the other text? It is the answers to these questions that indicate to me that there is nothing here but coincidence. This argument about Maroni is no better than (and is perhaps even worse than) the arguments about the anchorage named Meroni off the coast of Anjouan (one of the Comoros islands).

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A thousand cuts.

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3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

There isn't anything in the Comoro model.

It's always difficult to have these discussions with you because you don't seem to have any real sense for method. Your arguments could be used by a critic to argue that the Book of Mormon is a modern production rather than a revealed history with a non-traditional context. I am going to address the points as I get them in your OP

Hi there. Have we ever had a discussion before? Maybe you've confused me with someone else? I should make it explicit from the start, that I've no concern if a critic makes the arguments for a modern production. I'm trying to decide myself. It doesn't influence or bias my approach.

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

And you can see the poorly done attempts in a thread like this - the OP for example, tries to make the connection in this way.

Sorry, have to jump ahead a little bit. You seem to have missed my subsequent posts which pretty much sum up your comments. This one:

"Its another Book of Mormon mystery. I've scoured the docs and have found no possible written source before the 1840s for the usage of Maroni or Marong as a military title or name, let alone both at the same time as we find in the Kedah Annals. There are 2 or 3 pre-1830 sources that identify it as an astronomical term in the Siamese zodiac, but there's nothing in English that would suggest it was ever used for the founders of Kedah or Siam. The first to document it as a name or title was Captain James Low in his translation of the Kedah Annals, published in 1849, 19 years after the Book of Mormon. James Low did collect his information on Marong/Maroni on an expedition he made to Siam in the 1820s, but it seems he didn't publish anything about it outside his journal until well after the publication of the Book of Mormon. Its highly unlikely Joseph Smith, or anyone in his orbit, could have known the title. Even Rafinesque didn't write about Maroni as a symbol in the Siamese zodiac until until 1836. 6 years too late."

Maybe you missed it, but pretty much what you say below. So I think we're in agreement more than anything. 

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

One of the major problems with these kinds of issues is that names are themselves the weakest sort of evidence. They are only useful when you can find a way to make them predictive. This is a lot more difficult than people who are parallel hunting think it is. This thread isn't about a predictive sort of approach - its about seeing something that might work and then trying to make the case for it. The challenge is that an argument for dependence has to follow reasonably well defined steps. And you can see the poorly done attempts in a thread like this - the OP for example, tries to make the connection in this way.

I haven't really started giving names as evidence yet. This was a thread about the curious usage of Maroni in the Siamese zodiac. If you would like to comment on the model itself, better place to start is the thread where start out with the transects and distances between them. This was a fun thread, because its the Year of Maroni, according to Kaempfer at least. If you are saying that the usage of the word Marong as a military chief in a civilization that dates to the Book of Mormon time period is "nothing", well, I'll be honest, would you say that if the Maya or Olmecs called their warriors Marong, given its usage as a variation of Maroni? Maybe you wouldn't, but I guarantee we'd see an Interpreter article or five. 

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

They are only useful when you can find a way to make them predictive

I'll get there, but wanted to start with the elemental geography first. But here's one, related to our discussion about Marong being a title for a military chief who founded the cities on the east coast of the Land of Zarahemla. If that's the case then we should be able to predict that there would be a city on the east coast with a name like Marong. 

zR0qIGi.pngRalph Olsen identified this city of Marang as the location of the city of Moroni at least 20 years before anyone figured out that Marong was used interchangeably with Maroni. Could that be considered predictive? I have other toponyms and patterns across the model but I tend to agree that names aren't that interesting, won't get into it here.YtU18wt.png

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

A much better source is this one:

Agree, have discussed this one on this board elsewhere.

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

So, Marong wasn't a title given to military leaders. While the founder of the first kingdom on the Malay Peninsula gave himself this title, the general consensus today is that the title was used to claim the beginning of a dynasty. This is why his son keeps part of that title. However, none of the rest of the descendants did - and in fact, we don't have any other military leaders using this as a title in any sort of proximate place and time. Which suggests that in fact it wasn't a title given to military leaders at all. It's worth noting that your wikipedia article source only suggests that the father and son shared this title (Merong) - it does not make the claim that you do that it was a military title (because it wasn't).

Could you kindly point me to the place where the general consensus that the title was used to claim the beginning of a dynasty is established? There's an argument that the name Marong doesn't come from the Chinese word for dragon 'long' but rather from a Pandyan (and I believe Tamil) royal  title Maran (source). Indian historians argue that Marong was from South India (despite the annals saying he was from Rum) and that his name was Maran Mahavamsa. This kinda makes sense, given the close ties between Kedah and South India, and the Tamil invasion of Kedah in the 11th century. IMO it would be equally interesting if Marong came from Maran. From the Book of Mormon Onomasticon entry on Moroni:

"MORON could come from the West Semitic root mrʾ, “lord, master,” with attenuation of the aleph, as in mrn, “our lord,” in Hatrean texts (DNWSI 684).... Less likely is a hypocoristicon “(my) lord,” from Aramaic מרון marōn, “lord,” (source) 

There's also the idea that Sri Mara of Funan was a Marong, as well as the 11th century king Mara of Kedah. So we're not exactly clear that Marong was only used twice in history. And you're right, there's no connection between the maroni of Kaempfer's zodiac and Marong, the founder of Kedah.

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

So why is this important? Even though we can find texts earlier than the Book of Mormon that provide the Siamese term Merong/Marong/Maroni, they are consistent in their definition as meaning Dragon (or great snake). There is nothing until until 1849 that you provide that connects this term to the idea of a military chief. Even if we assume that there is a real connection between the term Merong and the idea of a military chief, that connection wasn't present in western literature until it was far too late to have been accessible to Joseph Smith.

Right, what I'm saying is that Joseph Smith somehow managed to use the name Maroni as the name of a military chief 19 years before James Low said the Siamese did the same with the word Marong, a term Kaempfer used interchangeably with Maroni in the 18th century. 

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

Now why is this important? Because you want to string together a series of connections in an effort to suggest that the meaning of the word as a military leader was known to Samuel Rafinesque (who wrote the 1828 text that you show a picture of), who was taught by Samule Latham Mitchell, who Martin Harris visited in 1828. There are several issues here. The first, and most important, is that Rafinesque would have no context to understand the term Merong/Marong/Maroni in terms of being a military leader. We know this because we know what Rafinesque's source was. He tells us, and we can look it up - there are recent publications of it. So while we can point to a contemporary use of the term Maroni in the environment of Joseph Smith, the entire meaning of the term which might then allow for a context for its use as a name/title in the Book of Mormon doesn't exist.

Oh but I haven't said that Smith got Maroni from Rafinesque because The American Nations wasn't published until 1836. Like I said in the OP, I don't know how Joseph got it. 

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

So let's summarize what you seem to be arguing - just so that we are clear.

1: Joseph Smith learns of a connection between the idea of a military leader and the title Maroni from Martin Harris in 1828. (There is a relatively narrow window for this knowledge to be shared). This knowledge becomes the basis for the name of Moroni in the Book of Mormon.

2: Harris learns this idea from Mitchell when he visits him in 1828.

3: Mitchell also shares this idea with Rafinesque when he mentors him. According to the link that you provide (which doesn't present any solid evidence for this), the time frame for this mentorship would have been between 1815 and 1819.

4: Rafinesque publishes a text with a zodiacal calander cycle from Siam in 1836 which includes references to the terms Maron and Maroni. This is used as evidence to suggest that Mitchell knew of these terms.

5: A work published in 1849 is evidence that the term Maroni means military leader - and that this connection would have been understood by Mitchell and subsequently by Rafinesque.

Do I have this right?

Err, no. as mentioned above, I think you missed my subsequent posts

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

This argument about Maroni is no better than (and is perhaps even worse than) the arguments about the anchorage named Meroni off the coast of Anjouan (one of the Comoros islands).

As mentioned in my last post, I'll cover Comoros in the geography thread. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

Edited by Zosimus
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Just now, Zosimus said:

Hi there. Have we ever had a discussion before? Maybe you've confused me with someone else? I should make it explicit from the start, that I've no concern if a critic makes the arguments for a modern production. I'm trying to decide myself. It doesn't influence or bias my approach.

We have had several discussions over the years, yes.

1 minute ago, Zosimus said:

I haven't really started giving names as evidence yet. This was a thread about the curious usage of Maroni in the Siamese zodiac.

Except that it wasn't about this. If this was all that it was about, then we don't have to worry about the idea that the term Maroni is used to refer to a military commander, and we certainly have no concern with the Annals. Those have nothing to do with the Siamese zodiac.

2 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

would you say that if the Maya or the Cherokees called their warriors Marong, given its usage as a variation of Maroni? Maybe you wouldn't, but I guarantee we'd see an Interpreter article or five.

I doubt this very much. Why? Because as one of the reviewers for submissions to Interpreter, I generally get most of the articles that deal with language and parallels through my e-mail. And I generally apply a fairly high level of scrutiny to claims of this sort.

4 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

I'll get there, but wanted to start with the elemental geography first. But here's one. In our discussion about Marong being a title for a military chief who founded the cities on the east coast. If that's the case then we should be able to predict that there would be a city on the east coast with a name like Marong. 

Marong isn't a title for a military chief. There isn't any etymological reasons to make this determination - and the 1849 source isn't authoritative in this regard. While there is current scholarship on the issue, it doesn't accept this idea either - it limits the use of Marong to its natural meaning of dragon (and hence it carries the same meaning as a title as it does in the Siamese zodiacs). So you can make this assertion - but it is wrong. Perhaps you can come up with something in the last 20 years or so that suggests otherwise.

7 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

Regardless, Ralph Olsen identified this city of Marang as the location of the city of Moroni at least 20 years before anyone figured out that Marong was used interchangeably with Maroni. Could that be considered predictive? I have other toponyms and patterns but I tend to agree that names aren't that interesting, won't get into it here.

No, it's not predictive. It runs into the same problem of parallelomania. And from my perspective, the example you raise only adds to the problem. Why? Because Ralph is also trying to create a parallel between toponyms based entirely on English pronunciations (and spellings). And he also mentions a city Moroni in the Comoros islands (problematic in itself because it doesn't seem to have existed at the right time period). But the reality is that we can find dozens of cities with toponyms of this sort - the more we relax the requirements (as with Moroni/Marang) the bigger the potential pool of places we can find. The challenge is that it can't be all of them. The city Moroni in the Book of Mormon can't be both the city in the Comoros islands or Marang. It also can't be either of these and at the same time be any of the other possible candidates that have been proposed. The realization that comes from this is that all of these alleged connections (except for possibly one) have to be coincidental. The odds that any parallel based on a toponym being coincidental is orders of magnitude higher than the odds of one of them being non-coincidental - either because there is a real history there or because the name was actually borrowed when the text was written. Any methodology that gets into these discussions has to come with a way to distinguish between what would be coincidental and what would not. Ralph Olsen doesn't have even a little bit of this - as evident in his writing.

25 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

There's an argument that the name Marong doesn't come from the Chinese word for dragon 'long' but rather from a Pandyan (and I believe Tamil) royal  title Maran (source).

I'm sorry - I didn't see this argument in that link. (For those following along, it is to a snippet from this article). But then again, we are drifting away from your claim that "This was a thread about the curious usage of Maroni in the Siamese zodiac." This has absolutely nothing to do with the Siamese zodiac. And even less to do with the name in the Kedah Annals. So why is this relevant?

32 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

Maran as you probably know was a name Syriac Christians gave to teachers and leaders. Syriac Christians were present in Kedah pre-Islam.

Who cares? How is this relevant if we are discussing Siamese zodiacs?

33 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

Right, what I'm saying is that Joseph Smith somehow managed to use the name Maroni as the name of a military chief 19 years before James Low said the Siamese did the same with the word Marong, a term Kaempfer used interchangeably with Maroni in the 18th century.

Except that he didn't. All of this is nothing more than wild speculation. There is no connection between Maroni and military chiefs. There is a connection between Maroni and the Siamese zodiac because it is a word that means "dragon". When Kaempfer uses it, he isn't using it in a context which could ever be confused with a military chief - it is only used in the context of the Siamese zodiac. So your argument doesn't actually mean anything - you are trying to draw parallels based entirely on English toponyms.

36 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

The first to document it as a name or title was Captain James Low in his translation of the Kedah Annals, published in 1849, 19 years after the Book of Mormon.

No, this isn't true. You are reading far too much into Low's account. Low doesn't provide any other examples than the one father-son pair. And he provides a very late anecdotal explanation. Low didn't have any etymological data to back his claims up. Current etymological discussions (like the one I quoted) explain this in a very different way - which explains the entire names and not just the first word. There is more material in the text I quoted - stuff about the imagery of the dragon that was likely associated with that kingdom (that sort of thing becomes predictive).

39 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

Maybe you missed it, but pretty much what you said. So I think we're in agreement more than anything. 

I really don't think so. I didn't miss it. I just figured I would stick with the OP. The whole thing with Rafinesque and Mitchell is that you want to create some sort of image of an academic discussion that doesn't actually exist. I am not sure why. It's not terribly relevant to any of this.

41 minutes ago, Zosimus said:

As mentioned in my last post, I'll cover Comoros in the geography thread. Thanks for the thoughtful comments.

Except that its going to be more nonsense. Just like this is.

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3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

Except that it wasn't about this. If this was all that it was about, then we don't have to worry about the idea that the term Maroni is used to refer to a military commander, and we certainly have no concern with the Annals. Those have nothing to do with the Siamese zodiac.

A Buddhist priest told Low in 1824 that Marong was a title for military chiefs that can preternaturally change their shape. Its quite possible that the priest was saying that Marong was a title given to a particular military chief with the title of Marong Mahawangsa, meaning "the great snake/dragon dynasty/race". That's quite possible. Kaempfer, in a completely unrelated account of Siam, documents Marong and Maroni as being a symbol in the Siamese Zodiac. One of the leading experts on the Hikayat Marong Mahawangsa found Kaempfer's Maroni relevant enough to include it in parentheses in his definition of the title of Merong Mahawangsa:

5weHZ0I.png
I find it interesting that Maroni is how Oliver spelled the name of the founder of numerous settlements in the Land of Zarahemla in the original  BOM manuscript. In the Comoro Model, the zodiac symbol for Kedah, one of the twelve tributaries of Ligor (the City of Moroni in the Comoro Model), is the marong, or maroni according to Kaempfer. If you don't find Low's military chief convincing, there remains the zodiac symbol maroni (dragon) representing Kedah south of the capital of the Nephites, like dragons did they fight. (Mosiah 20:11)

In my view, and we should probably move this to the geography thread, the above is not evidence of anything in and of itself. Its a single data point that can be added to other data points in a comparison of geography models. Add everything up, which is the strongest model? I don't need to prove historicity with a model, I only need to come up with a model that has more explanatory power than the others. The Comoro Model does, and I'll be making the case in the other thread.

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I doubt this very much. Why? Because as one of the reviewers for submissions to Interpreter, I generally get most of the articles that deal with language and parallels through my e-mail. And I generally apply a fairly high level of scrutiny to claims of this sort.

Did you review this submission before it was published?

Joseph Smith:The World’s Greatest Guesser(A Bayesian Statistical Analysis of Positive and Negative Correspondences between the Book of Mormon and The Maya)

Quote

In the case of the city Lamanai (Laman), all three consonants, and only these three consonants, namely LMN, are found in the correct order and are the same consonants as given for the city of Laman mentioned in the Book of Mormon. This seems to be a “bullseye” for the Book of Mormon. How did Joseph Smith correctly “guess” the correct consonants, and only the correct consonants in the correct order for the name of an important city “occupied from earliest times?”

Analysis of correspondence: The correspondence is specific, detailed and statistically unusual.
Likelihood = 0.02

I mean come on. Did you call this out or let it fly? Of course I could be misunderstanding their approach to Bayesian analysis, that whole paper makes no sense to me. Would appreciate your thoughts on that one.

And also curious your thoughts on the Mesoamerican geography model. Any articles I might be able to click to?

3 hours ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

The city Moroni in the Book of Mormon can't be both the city in the Comoros islands or Marang. It also can't be either of these and at the same time be any of the other possible candidates that have been proposed. The realization that comes from this is that all of these alleged connections (except for possibly one) have to be coincidental. 

I don't know what Ralph said about the Comoros, but I don't think anyone has ever made a case for Moroni in the Comoros as being the city Moroni in the Book of Mormon. The full story is that the name Comoros comes from the Komr people that historically traded spices between the Malay Peninsula, Aden and the Swahili Coast. Arabic geographies give the history of the Kumr (one source). They were grandsons of Noah that built boats around the time of the tower and sailed to China. They were later chased by the Chinese, or more likely IMO ethnic Tai, down into the islands, presumably the Malay Archipelago. After some turf wars there those not loyal to the Kumr king migrated to the Comoros Islands and Madagascar. They named the Comoros, and they also gave their name to the mountain at the source of the Nile.

Bear in mind this account is corroborated across multiple Arabic sources dating to the 10th/11th AD. Of course, in the Comoro Model these Kumr are the Jaredites from Moriancumer. Is it parallelomania? I suppose it could be, but nevertheless it remains a data point in the Comoro Model. No other model has anything as specific for historical or chronological convergence with the Jaredite migrations. I give this one Likelihood = 0.02 Analysis of correspondence: The correspondence is specific, detailed and statistically unusual. Joking

You can find Qamara on al Idrisi's map here. That's the Malay Peninsula, where the Kumr people sailed from West Asia around the time of the Jaredites, before they migrated to the Comoros.

bJK3Mkd.png

 

 

Edited by Zosimus
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2 hours ago, Zosimus said:

I find it interesting that Maroni is how Oliver spelled the name of the founder of numerous settlements in the Land of Zarahemla in the original  BOM manuscript.

I don't think that is true.  I pointed to one place in the Original Manuscript where Oliver potentially used Maroni.  In all of the other places, he used Moroni.  Do you know of other instances?  Since Moroni was used before and after the Maroni instance, it looks more like an honest hearing mistake.

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10 hours ago, webbles said:

I don't think that is true.  I pointed to one place in the Original Manuscript where Oliver potentially used Maroni.  In all of the other places, he used Moroni.  Do you know of other instances?  Since Moroni was used before and after the Maroni instance, it looks more like an honest hearing mistake.

It may have been, but it is spelled Maroni there, and Joseph's dictated 1832 history. If they were both hearing mistakes, makes me wonder how Joseph originally pronounced Moroni. And why would Frederick Williams hear it and spell it wrong two years after the publication of the Book of Mormon?

There are a couple other tangential instances:

Another point to note is that Matilda listed the names that she remembered from her father's story as "Mormon, Maroni, Lamenite, Nephi." There is reason to believe that the misspelled names Maroni and Lamenite are not due to ****inson, but to Mrs. McKinstry and therefore indicate that names were not merely being taken from the Book of Mormon, as critics have charged. Ellen ****inson stated, "I wrote this statement at Mrs. McKinstry's dictation, and was obliged to change it and copy it four times before she was satisfied so anxious was she that no word nor expression should occur in it to which she could not solemnly make oath" (source)

"Elijah Abel gave his son the name Maroni. Elijah Abel was one of the early black converts to Mormonism. He was baptized in 1832, ordained to the rank of Seventy in 1836, and received a patriarchal blessing from Joseph Smith, Sr. Abel had close contact with the Smith family in Nauvoo and may have lived in the Nauvoo House. It is difficult to determine whether these are simply misspellings (despite the fact that the Book of Mormon had been published in 1830 with the spelling of "Moroni"), or if they have some deeper significance." (source)

I don't know why Maroni in some cases. While little peculiarities like these might not seem relevant to us today, they might be to some researcher going through this thread tomorrow. 

Edited by Zosimus
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13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

A Buddhist priest told Low in 1824 that Marong was a title for military chiefs that can preternaturally change their shape.

But this is meaningless - in more ways than one. Let's review, shall we? Do we believe that there are military chiefs that can preternaturally change their shape? I don't. On the other hand, one of the staples of Asian mythology about dragons is their ability to change shape. So something here is being lost in translation. On top of this, Marong means "dragon." And, we don't have a history in Malaysia of "Marong" actually being used as a title for military chiefs (especially those that can change their shape). So we have this problem - that you are elevating a single source which is not terribly believable - and trying to elevate it. This just doesn't work. And what I don't find is any modern discussion of Malaysian literature (and the Kedah Annals in particular) which uses this idea or asserts this idea. What I do find is an uncontested narrative that the individuals in the Kedah Annals (both of them) that are named with the identifier "Marong" as using that identifier in conjunction with its native meaning of Dragon and using it because they want to identify their leadership as a dynasty named after the dragon. So which am I supposed to believe here? Your version doesn't seem to bear up under scrutiny.

13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

One of the leading experts on the Hikayat Marong Mahawangsa found Kaempfer's Maroni relevant enough to include it in parentheses in his definition of the title of Merong Mahawangsa

Yes. This is the one I quoted (you can see that I actually retyped the whole thing rather than just posting a picture - I have a copy of the book). But you need to understand that nowhere in that leading expert's text is Marong ever associated with the idea of a "military chief". It is always read as dragon. There is nothing in that leading expert's text which would back up what Low recorded of what he was told by the Buddhist priest. That testimony isn't considered particularly useful or valuable because it isn't meaningful when discussing the Kedah Annals - it isn't necessary for finding the meaning of the names.

13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

In my view, and we should probably move this to the geography thread, the above is not evidence of anything in and of itself. Its a single data point that can be added to other data points in a comparison of geography models.

It isn't a data point at all. This is what I keep trying to point out. It isn't a true statement that you are making - and your attempts to try and forge this false idea into evidence means that you really don't understand how the process of collecting evidence to support a hypothesis actually works.

13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Did you review this submission before it was published?

No. And for the record, when I reject submissions that rejection isn't always the final say. This doesn't have much to do with language or parallels - and the author suggests that it is a model that doesn't have to engage parallels. You can read a few of my thoughts on this particular article here (in this forum). It is a terrible article. Why? For the most part, Bayesian statistics simply don't work for questions of this sort. Bayesian statistics work well when we have hard statistics. There is a really fascinating observation in that paper that sums up the problem (at least as I see it) rather well:

Quote

Thus the question is: “At this ratio of 1:2:2, how many total correspondences are required to shift our skeptical prior of a billion to one against the Book of Mormon to a billion to one in favor of the Book of Mormon?” The answer is about 17 total correspondences — only 17 out of 131 correspondences (13% or about one out of every eight) must be accepted at their assigned evidentiary strengths to shift the strong skeptical prior to a strong positive posterior.

This is such wonderful nonsense. There is a pretty good analysis of the problem here. We can simply turn the argument around and make just as good a case (probably better if we choose to) by being just a selective with our choices (and anyone can see that despite the denial, there is this high level of selection going on). The fact that the selection begins with Coe makes it that much easier to conceal what an impact this makes on the garbage statistical model that gets introduced. Bayesian statistics require some real sense of probabilities - not just blind subjective measurements that are concealed under claims of being conservative. It requires that there is real separation between the probabilities involved (a problem that occurs especially when dealing with claims of textual interpretation and history). There is nothing at all in this that is remotely similar to throwing a dice or flipping a coin, and it creates problems with the entire proposition.

14 hours ago, Zosimus said:

I don't know what Ralph said about the Comoros, but I don't think anyone has ever made a case for Moroni in the Comoros as being the city Moroni in the Book of Mormon.

I know of several people who have discussed this - and at least a couple who have published this idea.

14 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Bear in mind this account is corroborated across multiple Arabic sources dating to the 10th/11th AD.

It is irrelevant.

So let me get back to the questions that I asked that you haven't answered. If this is all really about the appearance of a Siamese Zodiac term that bears some similarity to the name Moroni, why is all of this other stuff relevant? The Book of Mormon offers nothing to support the idea that Moroni is either a title or was chosen as a name because it means something associated with a military leader. You haven't explained why Martin Harris's trip to see Samuel Mitchell means anything. You haven't come up with any sort of argument that would explain why this couldn't be purely coincidence that we have two words that look similar (in their English transliterations of course). These are important questions given what you provided - in part because what you provided isn't simply what you claim it is. Instead, it seems that you are trying to string together chains of unrelated issues to try and alleviate the argument that it is merely coincidence - but I don't see you doing a very good job of it. The links have to be real and not imaginary.

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11 hours ago, Zosimus said:


I don't know why Maroni in some cases. While little peculiarities like these might not seem relevant to us today, they might be to some researcher going through this thread tomorrow. 

If we were to list all of the different spellings of things from all of the written sources of the time, we would have a huge, huge pile of material. Phonetic spelling was much more common in that time frame. We now have consistent spelling - even if our pronunciation is very different.

Some examples. I live in Michigan. A couple of cities that I visit from time to time are Houghton and Gaylord. Perhaps Sault Ste. Marie. Listening to you pronounce them would almost certainly guarantee that you aren't local. Mackinac maybe? Michigan is considered to have its own accent. It is part of a larger regional accent called the Inland North accent. You can read a little bit about it here. The thing is that when we are writing down things that we have heard, it isn't just the words that we hear that matters, it is the difference in accent. In particular, there is a shift in sound between 'o' and 'a' in dialects from different parts of the country. Of course, in the early 19th century, the dialectical maps wouldn't be as complete as they are today - but the geographic regions that were populated by English speakers often had more specific (distinct) elements than we see today. When a large group of people gets pulled together from lots of different places (as happened with LDS in Ohio and then in Illinois, and finally in Utah). It is understandable that there would be challenges in rendering names consistently all the time. It wasn't such a big deal with people in the Book of Mormon, but when they were still alive it sometimes ruffled feathers (just look as Symonds Ryder - whose name remains misspelled in the D&C).

Martha Spaulding McKinstry is a different sort of animal. Her recollection isn't of the Book of Mormon at all but the Spaulding Manuscript from which the Book of Mormon was allegedly plagiarized. Most of the accounts that we have of that manuscript were not written by the supposed eyewitnesses but by the people wanting to publish them (the signatures are usually genuine). You can see that from my analysis here of the Hurlbut affidavits. This includes Martha Spaulding's affidavit.

In all of this though, we still have to wonder why you want this to matter. What difference does it make? Do we care if there were misspellings? Do you really think that Matilda's claim that the original (and non-existent) manuscript of her adoptive father Solomon Spaulding was in fact the original source of the Book of Mormon and that it used the name Maroni? If you believe this, then trying to place the Book of Mormon in the Malaysian Peninsula seems pointless. On top of this, we still have to wonder why, if Spaulding was the author of the Book of Mormon would Martin Harris's trip to see Samuel Mitchell at all meaningful? All of these little facts don't really come together into a coherent narrative (even assuming that we take them at face value).

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13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

It may have been, but it is spelled Maroni there, and Joseph's dictated 1832 history. If they were both hearing mistakes, makes me wonder how Joseph originally pronounced Moroni. And why would Frederick Williams hear it and spell it wrong two years after the publication of the Book of Mormon?

I pronounce Moroni as "Maroni".  I use the "short a" sound instead of the "short o" sound in the first vowel.  If someone had to dictate from me and didn't know the word originally, I'd suspect they would write "Maroni".  Considering that the vast majority of instances of "Moroni" are spelled as "Moroni", focusing on the few times where it was spelled differently seems a stretch.  The first time Moroni is in the Original Manuscript appears to be  https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/original-manuscript-of-the-book-of-mormon-circa-12-april-1828-circa-1-july-1829/138 and that page has several instances of Moroni, all spelled with an "o".

13 hours ago, Zosimus said:

Another point to note is that Matilda listed the names that she remembered from her father's story as "Mormon, Maroni, Lamenite, Nephi." There is reason to believe that the misspelled names Maroni and Lamenite are not due to ****inson, but to Mrs. McKinstry and therefore indicate that names were not merely being taken from the Book of Mormon, as critics have charged. Ellen ****inson stated, "I wrote this statement at Mrs. McKinstry's dictation, and was obliged to change it and copy it four times before she was satisfied so anxious was she that no word nor expression should occur in it to which she could not solemnly make oath" (source)

I'm not sure how this helps.  The names "Maroni" and "Lamenite" are not in Spaulding's book.  So she couldn't have gotten them from her father's story.  The fact that she spells them differently doesn't affect how Joseph spelled it in the Book of Mormon.

 

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