Home Forums Ancients "The Trojans were Greeks ?"

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  • #78860
    Paskal
    Spectator

    How to apply the theory to the Trojan question to deduce that the Trojans were Greeks?

    A first Greek wave – called “Proto-Ionian” rather than “Ionian” or “Pelasge” to avoid confusion – having come by sea, through the Strait of the Dardanelles, it was quite natural to attribute to it the foundation of Troy, a simple fishing village originally.

    And this is what archeology verifies: the famous “Maritime Troia-Kultur”, covering the period 2900-2200 BC. our era in round figures, is closely related to the Cycladic Civilization, gradually occupied by Proto-Ionians.

    The probable natural disaster of -2200 that put an end to the “Proto-Ionian civilization” properly modified things again.

    From Troy IV, the city, initially founded in territory Luvite, became Anatolian again.

    But it still kept the traces of its Greek origin: its kings bear double names, both Greek and Louvites: Priam / Podarkès and Pâris / Alexandros.

    It is an Alexandus / Alexandros who signed around 1280 a treaty of alliance with the Hittite king Muwatalli II.

    Various facts that have intrigued archaeologists and historians find their explanation in the framework of this “History of Troy, revised in the light of the Proto-Ionian theory”, which shows a Troyan city in the recent Bronze non-Achaean, but louvito / proto- Ionian: “Why do not we find traces in the Hittite texts of this Trojan War if it was a war between Greeks and Anatolians?” – “Why is Mycenaean pottery, so abundant in and around Miletus, practically absent in Troas, as well as in Lemnos and Lesbos?” – “Why did Muwatalli II send Hittite troops under Gassu’s command to fight against Piyamaradu, a” condottiere “allied with the Achaeans, who was attacking Wilusa at that time?” – “Why in the Homeric legend, are the Trojans’ gods Greek gods? ” – Why, in this same legend, do most Trojan names have a Greek etymology? “- Etc.

    The Greeks have often been at war with each other: it is enough to remember the oath that unites the leaders of the expedition against Troy among them, so that they do not fight against each other.

    How then to explain the importance in the Greek legends of this famous war?

    It must be understood that, because of its Luvito-Greek population and its past, Troy was, at the time of the Mycenaean extension in the 14th / 13th centuries, a tempting prey for the Achaeans / Mycenaeans.

    With the blessing of the Hittites, interested then by the destruction of the kingdom of Arzawa (see the exchange of friendly correspondence between Hittites and Achaens under Suppiluliuma around 1340), the Achaeans had established themselves in Miletus after Mursilis II destroyed this city towards -1316.

    But the “honeymoon” between Hittites and Achaeans ended when the latter claimed to extend their influence to Troy.

    Hence the treaty of alliance between Muwatalli II and the Trojan King Alexandros to -1290 …

    In spite of this alliance, the Achaeans finally had to conquer the city, but this conquest was very ephemeral because of the terrible tsunami of -1200.

    The memory of this semi-fratricidal war remained nevertheless in the Greek memory …

    #78885

    Always a good topic for speculation. I know the archaeologist Carl Blegen thought the Trojans might be Greeks.

    However, I like the idea that Troy was a cosmopolitan centre with, maybe, a Luwian core but admixture from many peoples of the Aegean, including Mycenaeans who came to trade in the rich centre. The Greek names of the Trojans in Homer’s poems really is just an effort to allow his Greek audience to understand the names of the characters. Many Chinese of my acquaintance have English names so they can function in an English-speaking society.

    I think it telling that Hector’s son is called Scamandrios; named after the local river. The Greek “Astyanax” is a nick name.

    Homer, in Book 4, line 437, wrote about the Trojan army:
    ‘Their speech and dialects were all different, as they spoke a mixture of languages—the troops hailed from many parts.” This would indicate at least a majority did not speak Greek?

    I also thought this was interesting: “Trojans had a close relationship with the Hittites, including sharing some of their laws . For example,there is a resemblance between the marriage traditions of the Trojans and the Hittites. According to a Hittite law “if a man has a wife and the man dies, his brother takes his wife”. The Trojans had exactly the same law. The legend tells us that after the death of Paris his brother Deiphobos married Helen. ”

     

    donald

     

     

    #78893
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Homer, in Book 4, Line 437, wrote about the Trojan Army:

    “Their speeches and dialects were all different, because they spoke a mixture of languages – the troops were from many parts.” This would indicate that at least a majority did not speak Greek?

    The Trojans have many allies who are not Greek and do not speak Greek …

    That the Trojans were originally Greek settlers, does not seem impossible given the location of the city …

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #78900

    Hi, Paskal,

    I’m not adamant that the Trojans did not have Greek antecedents. It is definitely possible. However, I still think it’s not certain.

    Another suggestive point for the Trojans being non-Greek is how Homer lines up the gods for the two sides.

    You’ll remember:

    GODS who favoured the Greeks included: Hera, Athena, and Thetis.

    GODS who were uncommitted were: Zeus, Hades, Hermes, Iris, Persephone and Demeter.

    GODS who supported the Trojans were: Aphrodite, Apollo, Poseidon, and (for a while) Athena.

    Now, clearly these are all Greek names for deities but the fact that there are 2 opposing camps of gods *might* suggest the two sides worshipped different gods. It was common (cf the Romans) to label a foreign god with similar attributes with the name of a home grown deity.

    Hence, the very definite possibility that the Trojans were not Greeks & had their own, different culture.

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Deleted User.
    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Deleted User.
    #78903

    BTW The only piece of writing from Troy, a hieroglyphic seal, is written in Luwian.  Also the oldest form of the name for Troy known to the Hittites, Wilusiya-, is a Luwian formulation. I still sometimes call  Guangzhou Canton, an old English name. It doesn’t matter what I call the place, it’s still a Chinese city.

    If they ever uncover the Trojan palace archives & it’s in Linear B, we’ll know you are correct………(unlikely because Schliemann, I think, “bulldozed through the palace).

     

    donald

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Deleted User.
    #78905
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Hi Donald,

    No, the fact that there are two camps of opposing gods, does not prove that it is about two different ethnic groups, for me it’s exactly the opposite …

    Yes it was normal for the Romans to label a foreign god with similar attributes to a home grown deity,  but I do not think the Greeks did the same…

    And  if the Hittites  use a louvite formulation it is perhaps because they did not know the language spoken by the mycenaean and note that in the Iliad, not

    only the Greeks and the Trojans have the same gods, but they can talk to each other without interpreters !

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #78913
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Pascal and Ochoin:

    You might find this academic talk to be of some use.

    The question of whether the people of Wilusiya (Wilusa) were Luwian or Achaean in origin is hotly debated. The recent discovery of the oldest written inscription on a piece of jewellery/official seal discovered at Wilusa (assuming Wilusa is correctly identified as Troy/Ilium) would lead to a stronger case for a Luwian origin rather than an Achaean one for Troy. The other option, as Ochoin points out, is that there was an Achaean ruling-class ruling over an older established Luwian subject population or a more heterogenous subject population with strong Luwian representation. The argument that Wilusiya/Wilusa was a homogeneous kingdom of Achaean origin is much harder to make. The jury is still out on the degree of Achaean cultural penetration into Bronze Age Anatolia c. 2200 – 1400 BCE, so until more concrete archeological evidence is found we are building intellectual palaces on a bedrock of conjecture, hypothesis and informed speculation where archeology causes academic earthquakes in understanding and interpretation quite regularly.

    “Alaksandu of Wilusiya” may very well be a Luwian name which penetrated into the Achaean language, so using its appearance as evidence for Achaean linguistic penetration eastward may be getting the direction of cultural penetration backwards due to misplaced familiarity with names.

    Cheers.

    Rod Robertson.

     

     

    #78916
    Paskal
    Spectator

    For me there is no doubt that Troy is a former Greek colony, which was its first settlers,

    Troy was she the capital of a kingdom or an empire?

    NO !

    To begin with it would be necessary to define what you call by Greek.

    For example those who were in Greece before the mycenaeans are also Greeks, no ?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #78932

    For example those who were in Greece before the mycenaeans are also Greeks, no ?

     

    Evidently, yes.

    This is interesting:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/08/greeks-really-do-have-near-mythical-origins-ancient-dna-reveals

    God bless DNA sampling. So if you read this, the ethnic stock of those in Greece & those living in Anatolia was much the same. So does that make the Trojans Greek? Sorry, Paskal, I’m not yet convinced.

    So who were peoples such as the (supposedly) non-Greek Pelasgians? Evidently, in islands such as Lemnos, non-Greek Pelasgians, with a totally different language, lived into Classical times.

     

    donald

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Deleted User.
    #78934

    Pascal and Ochoin: You might find this academic talk to be of some use. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DNyA90f_aw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent%5D The question of whether the people of Wilusiya (Wilusa) were Luwian or Achaean in origin is hotly debated. The recent discovery of the oldest written inscription on a piece of jewellery/official seal discovered at Wilusa (assuming Wilusa is correctly identified as Troy/Ilium) would lead to a stronger case for a Luwian origin rather than an Achaean one for Troy. The other option, as Ochoin points out, is that there was an Achaean ruling-class ruling over an older established Luwian subject population or a more heterogenous subject population with strong Luwian representation. The argument that Wilusiya/Wilusa was a homogeneous kingdom of Achaean origin is much harder to make. The jury is still out on the degree of Achaean cultural penetration into Bronze Age Anatolia c. 2200 – 1400 BCE, so until more concrete archeological evidence is found we are building intellectual palaces on a bedrock of conjecture, hypothesis and informed speculation where archeology causes academic earthquakes in understanding and interpretation quite regularly. “Alaksandu of Wilusiya” may very well be a Luwian name which penetrated into the Achaean language, so using its appearance as evidence for Achaean linguistic penetration eastward may be getting the direction of cultural penetration backwards due to misplaced familiarity with names. Cheers. Rod Robertson.

    Thanks, Rod. We’re a scholarly lot here at TWW.

    #78935
    Paskal
    Spectator

    What I’m saying is that the mycenaenan were Greek, the Dorians were Greek, so those who were in Greece before the mycenaenan also (just like those in the center of the Peloponnesus, which is seen being massacred by the soldiers of the light infantry of Pylos) and those of now too, so why the first Trojans would be they not also Greeks, but from a different group?

    #78936
    Ali Dogan Sayiner
    Participant

    Hello, I’m from Troy or modern Çanakkale. Being someone from the region I did my personal research. Trojans were not Greeks . They were vassals of Hittites. Trojans were Anatolian folks. In Hittites records region were called Wilusha. Probably have connections with Luwis.

    Great website

    The History of Troy

    contact me via : [email protected]
    http://www.sayinermicrotoys.com/

    #78947
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Hello Ali,

    If the Trojans were not Greeks, their ancestors certainly were …

    They were vassals of Hittites. So why did the Hittites not come to help them?

    Trojans were Anatolian folks.On can live in Anatolia and not be Anatolian …

    At the Bronze Age there were not only Anatolians in Anatolia and the history of the peoples designated as Anatolian is quite well known …

    #78951
    Rod Robertson
    Participant

    Despite modern maps showing Western Anatolia as Hittite controlled, they were not. There was a broad J-shaped band of independent and federated vassal kingdoms (running from north of Wilusiya, down the western Anatolian coast and interior, and along the south coast until about the land north of Cyprus). These vassal kingdoms sent tribute/protection money to and raised warriors for the Hittites but these kingdoms, which were for all intents and purposes otherwise sovereign states, could not depend on the Hittites for local defence.

    What’s more these western Anatolian kingdoms were rich states with very substantial mineral resources, located along busy trade routes and some of these kingdoms and confederacies could have rivalled the Hittites in their wealth if not their military strength. One such vassal kingdom which later went rogue was called “Mira” and according to the Beykoy inscription discovered in 1878 (but just translated and published in 2017) it was Mira which was the protector of Wilusiya (Troy?). King Kupanta-kuruntas apparently was the name of one King of Mira c.1190 BCE  and he or someone like him would have been charged with aiding the Trojans in their time of need. The Hittites were pretty busy at this point dealing with palace intrigues at home and Gasgan/Kaskan raids/invasions from the Black Sea coastal region noth of the Hittite heartland, as well as defending their eastern frontier from the Mitanni, Assyrian and Egyptian Empires.

    In the interests of objectivity, I must report that the authenticity of the Beykoy inscription is being disputed by some scholars and proving its provenance is difficult. The original stone inscription was destroyed when local Anatolian villagers broke it up and used it for building materials in the foundation of a local mosque after it was excavated out of the ground. Fortunately paper copies were made by archaeologists on the scene during the excavation and those copies were rediscovered among the personal effects of an elderly British archaeologist who died in 2012. He was the last of a group of scholars who tried unsuccessfully to decipher certain Luwian writings which have only recently been understood.

    https://www.livescience.com/60629-ancient-inscription-trojan-prince-sea-people.html

    http://www.sci-news.com/archaeology/luwian-hieroglyphic-inscription-sea-people-05314.html

    https://phys.org/news/2017-10-luwian-hieroglyphic-inscription-bronze-age.html

    Cheers.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #78966
    Paskal
    Spectator

    In some nothing new on the ethnic origin of the Trojans …

    On the other hand , it was predictable that the Hittites would not control Troy, that would have been known…

    Otherwise they would have helped … It makes sense …

    Moreover the Hittite empire did not go to the coast of the Aegean Sea – hence the Mycenaean colony …

    At the time of the Trojan War, the Hittites are already on the decline …

    #78999

    it was predictable that the Hittites would not control Troy, that would have been known… Otherwise they would have helped … It makes sense ……

     

    I’ve read the ingenious idea that the Amazons who went to Troy’s aid were Hittites: beardless, kilt-wearing troops.

    I think this is a stretch but a clever idea nonetheless.

    donald

    #79013
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Donald,

    It’s a good idea very funny especially that the Hittites had very long hair …

    Paskal

    #79026

    Donald, It’s a good idea very funny especially that the Hittites had very long hair … Paskal

    Hi, Paskal,

    you know the Egyptians referred to the Hittites as (loose translation) “girly boys”?  Not very PC…..but I guess this also suggests their enemies thought them effeminate. But Hittites as Amazons?

     

    donald

     

    #79028
    Paskal
    Spectator

    The Egyptians referred to the Hittites as “girly boys”, that means effeminate ?

    Not very PC …. PC what is it ?

    Donald, Hittites as Amazons it’s a very good idea of  you !

    Achilles was in love with the corpse of the queen of the Amazons, after killing her (or him ?) well if it was a Hittite wren or a simple leader it does not surprise me because Achilles was a little Holé, Holé …

    Paskal

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #79039

    Not very PC …. PC what is it ?

    “The term political correctness (adjectivally: politically correct; commonly abbreviated to PC or P.C.) is used to describe language, policies, or measures that are intended to avoid offense or disadvantage to members of particular groups in society. Since the late 1980s, the term has come to refer to avoiding language or behavior that can be seen as excluding, marginalizing, or insulting groups of people considered disadvantaged or discriminated against, especially groups defined by sex or race.”

    Essentially, being a decent human being. There aren’t too many Hittites around anymore to offend, but mocking someone’s (supposed) sexual orientation would be distasteful. I was, of course, merely reporting something the Ancient Egyptians wrote. It is in line with the various abuse, throughout history,  people throw at their enemies. I have no idea what the Hittites called the Egyptians but I’m certain it was equally crude & offensive.

     

    donald

     

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Deleted User.
    #79044
    John D Salt
    Participant

    Not my period at all, and I doubt this adds much to people who have already made a study of it, but this week’s issue of the British popular science mag “New Scoentist” has a piece entitled “The Champion of World War Zero” about Eberhard Zangger and his views on this question. A rather different piece (and with more maps) is in the online edition: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2087924-world-war-zero-brought-down-mystery-civilisation-of-sea-people/

    All the best,

    John.

    #79045
    Paskal
    Spectator

    @ Donald : The Egyptians wore neither beards nor mustaches and they had wigs, so to put back to back with the Hittites …

    @ John : Thank you John, now it is well known, that the Mycenaean were one of the people of the sea …

    But there are also people of the sea among the allies of troy !

    #79290
    Paskal
    Spectator

    And if there are no Greeks, why the Trojans can converse with the Mycenaean without translators in the Iliad ?

    Or not that we should accept that the conversations occured as Homer reports them – for a start, people don’t ordinarily speak in hexameter – but it’s surely not particularly far-fetched that elite Trojans knew the language of their neighbours, even if it wasn’t their own.It’s an interesting discussion because we will never know but nous can make many logical arguments one way or the other.

    Less than 1000 years later there were cities dotting the Anatolian coast that mixed Greek and Anatolian culture.

    Could the same not have happened in the Bronze Age ?

    It seems unusual to me that the myths would Hellenise the Trojans if there wasn’t some connection between the cultures.

    If the Trojans were completely foreign I would imagine the myths stating that “our” heroes with the help of “our” gods triumphed over “their” heroes and gods making “us” superior, rather than myths linking the opponents with language and religion.

    Paskal

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #79300
    Not Connard Sage
    Participant

    And if there are no Greeks, why the Trojans can converse with the Mycenaean without translators in the Iliad 

    The Illiad is epic narrative verse, not prose reportage. It is (whisper this) largely made up. ‘Homer’ may not have existed as a single entity, or lived centuries after the Trojan War. Or both.

     

    "I go online sometimes, but everyone's spelling is really bad. It's... depressing."

    #79305
    Paskal
    Spectator

    Yes, Homer not have existed as a single entity and lived after the Trojan War.

    But the descriptions in the iliad hold the road compared to what we know now …

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
    #79332
    Mike Headden
    Participant

    Some of the descriptions in the Iliad chime with some of the things we think we know about the period but folk memory is surprisingly persistent so you’d expect elements to be correct.

    It is, however, literature and propaganda not history.

    Growing old is mandatory, growing up is entirely optional!

    #79341
    Paskal
    Spectator

    It is, however, literature and propaganda not history ?

    Mike how can you know it ?

    • This reply was modified 3 years, 6 months ago by Paskal.
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