Re: Odin as a Trojan Prince

From: MrCaws@...
Message: 8561
Date: 2001-08-16

In my last post I was referring to the possible indirect validity
of the tradition of the Aeneid. Let me just say that I don't mean any
chronolgical correspondence between the Aeneid and the actual rise of
Etruria. I'm not saying Trojan colonists arrived by the boatload in
Italy at 1250 BC or something. I'm saying that the scattering of sea
peoples that happened circa 1200 BC paved the way for contact and
trade with the West Mediterranean, eventually leading to a trade
relationship between a EtruscoLemnian speaking seafaring people(s)
and the Villanovan peoples of Central Italy, which gave birth to the
Etruscans(Catch breath). I'm also suggesting that this seafaring
group were allies of the peoples of Troy and members of the Arzawa
league in general, sharing cultural affinities with the Lycians,
Lydians, and other states.
So, the Aeneas story is right only in a very general sense.
Substitute 300 years for the time it took Aeneas to get from Troy to
Italy. And forget direct colonization, since the archaelogical record
doesn't record any drastic breaks. Just a gradual development and
cultural synthesis that produced the Etruscans.
Now I'll go and answer a few things from post 8533, and I warn you
I may ramble.

(cas111jd wrote)
> Well, we would need one of our resident know-it-alls to fill in the
> details more accurately than I can recall without digging through
> notes, but these theories have major problems:
> 1. the Trojan war occurred around 1250 BC. This would have been the
> time of Aeneas, who first settled amongst kindred Thracian tribes
> northern Greece.
> 2. the collapse of the Mycenaean culture nearby bronze age cultures
> occurred about 1200 BC, followed by a depopulation of Greece and
> of Anatolia, and the Mycenaean colonization of Cyprus, Pamphylia,
> the attack of the Sea Peoples across the eastern Mediterranean
> their defeat against Egypt. Some may have ended up sailing into the
> western Mediterranean, but that is another subject.

Actually, the sea people subject is relevant. Quite relevent. Apart
from the tentative identification of Sardinians, Etruscans, and
Lycians/Luwians among their numbers, He opening of the West Med. Sea
that occured at this point was an important step towards the
development of Etruria. Trade routes formed, and cultural contact
started happening. We still aren't talking about Etruscans for a
while though.

> 3. No significant Aegean-Anatolian cultural influence is
> in the western Mediterranean until centuries later. As I recall,
> metallurgy of Sardinia (it was a source of copper) improved after
> 1200 BC, but that's about it.

> First Phoenician and then Greek traders and settlers opened up the
> western Mediterranean after the 'Dark Age' ended around 800 BC.

Yes. Actually, the Shardana were one group of the Sea Peoples. They
have usually been identified as the Sardinians. This means we have
Sardinians in the East Mediterranean already.

The Phoenicians definetly predate Greek settlement, and any evidence
of Etruria proper. Etruscan arrivals were probably contemporary
withe Greek settlers, . However, Greek settlers were not the ones who
infused Etruria. Evidence shows that Greek colonies didn't make it
that far north. Actually, the Etruscans traded more heavily with
Phoenicia, especially in north Italy.

> after this time in the "Orientalizing" period did significant Greek
> influence reach Etruria. This included Greek deities such as
> who we also find in Hittite records as Apulianas of the vassal
> of Wilusa (Ilion). Only in the Iron Age did the Etruscan alphabet
> appear. If we are to believe that the Etruscans are descended from
> the people of Lemnos, some explanations are necessary:

Evidence shows that Wilusa did not speak Greek in Hittite timees,
rather something like Luwian. And Apollo has his roots set pretty
firm in West Anatolia anyway. If you ask me, the Greeks and Etruscans
borrowed Apollo from a common West Anatolian source. Of course, that
is not to say there aren't other influences on the complex Apollo

> How did the population of a tiny island like Lemnos come to
> a large state like Tuscany?
> Given that Etruscan was a non-IE language, how did its parent
> population ever manage to survive the waves of Anatolians,
> and Greeks through the Mediterranean? Not even the Minoans could do
> that. Herodotus says the Tuscans were descended from a faction of
> Lydians that left in a drought in the 9th century BC. Lydia was, I
> certain, an IE Anatolian-speaking state since Middle Bronze Age
> times.

Well, Lemnos didn't directly colonize Tuscany. It was a cultural
synthesis with the existing Villanovan peoples by a group that wasn't
necessarily confined to Lemnos.
As for the difficulty maintaining their language, it may well be that
these languages had seen brighter days. The Greeks speak about wars
they have waged to expel the Pelasgian population from an island.
Islands have a way of not getting caught up in the sweeping tide of
change quite so quickly. Also, Herodotus mentioned the ability of
Pelasgian languages to survive despite being surrounded by different

Now, the only way to explain any of this, as far as I can tell, would
> have to include arguments such as:
> the Etruscan alphabet was written only on perishable materials such
> as leather and papyrus before it is found carved in stone in the
> eighth (or whichever) century.

The Etruscan alphabet was adapted from the Phoenician alphabet
roughly the same time the Greeks adapted it. Interestingly, the
Etruscans wrote their alphabet from right to left, like the
Phoenicians and earliest Greek samples did.

> the refugees from Anatolia were too few in number to impact the
> indigenous early Etruscan language.
> the Lemnos stele is not necessarily proof of Etruscan language or
> origin. After all, about every city in Anatolia had its own, if
> similar, script that lasted into Roman times. This shows the
> fractured nature of the Anatolian city-states that apparently were
> more worried about keeping their own distinct identities than
> communicating with each other. Perhaps some day some more evidence
> Anatolian alphabets will be uncovered showing a clearer picture of
> the place. Unfortunately, the Greeks and Romans used old buildings
> and cities as quarries for their new buildings and cities, so lotsa
> luck on that!

The tendency of Anatolian cities to tenaciously hold to language and
culture is an example of how Etruscan could both survive and flourish
despite being surrounded by IE languages. This also shows why the
tongue took hold so well in Etruria. The Villanovan culture was still
fairly decentralized prior to the Etruscan flowering, so a new
language might well take hold. And, whatever the case may be, it is
far more likely that the sea-borne tongue would be the one to be
alphabetized, and if EtruscoLemnian wasn't the dominant tongue by
then, that would probably do the trick.

> Besides the Lemnos stele and its obvious similarity to the Tuscan
> alphabet, there are the names of the Tuscan rulers of Rome.
> Superbus and Tarquinas Priscus are, IMO, titles. They relate to the
> name of the Armenian king Tigranes, the Greek word tyrant, and the
> name of an early Welsh king whose name I cannot recall at the
> Anyways, I believe the name translates as something like 'lord',
> in any event is for a sovereign. The Tuscan city of Tarquina was
> located on the coast of southern Tuscany, which may have been a
> landing spot for the Anatolian refugees, no matter what ethnic
> identity or century of arrival you believe them to be.

Don't forget Anatolian Tarkhun, deity of war, conquest, and the
nation. Yes, Tarquinia is a probable point of arrival for some
traders and/or settlers.

> As for Aeneas: the Romans grafted a lot of Greek mythology onto
> own. Indeed, they shamelessly adopted wholesale the Greek myths of
> Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, etc to their deities Jupiter, Juno, Venus,
> so on. Why should we not believe Aeneas was also adopted? After
> the archaeology of Rome shows little more than some wattle and daub
> huts before the Tuscans took over the place in the eighth century.
> Surely cultured princes such as Aeaneas and his retinue (or
> refugees there were) could show the local rubes something better
> this.

Yes, but the Romans stole even more from the Etruscans. Compare Roman
Juno to Etruscam Uni. Anyway, I am suggesting that this was all
allegory, and that the settlers did show the Villanovans a lot of
stuff that helped develop the Etruscan, not Roman, civilization.

-Mr. Caws