Re: Odin again?

From: malmqvist52@...
Message: 9121
Date: 2001-09-07

Hi all,
--- In cybalist@..., tgpedersen@... wrote:
> Ta-dah, look what I found! I searched on the shelf with Roman
> authors, starting at A:
> Appianus: Mithridatica
> 101:
> ...
> Mithridates wintered at Dioscurias in Colchis, which city, the
> Colchians think, preserves the remembrance of the sojourn there of
> the Dioscuri with the Argonautic expedition. Here he conceived the
> vast plan, a strange one for a fugitive, of making the circuit of
> whole Pontus, and then of Scythia and the sea of Azov, thus
> at the Bosporus. He intended to take away the kingdom of Machares,
> his ungrateful son, and confront the Romans once more; wage war
> against them from the side of Europe while they were in Asia, and
> between them the strait which is believed to have called the
> because Io swam across it when she was changed into a cow and fled
> from the jealousy of Hera.
> 102.
> Such was the chimerical project that Mithridates now eagerly
> He imagined nevertheless, that he should accomplish it. He pushed
> through strange and warlike Scythian tribes, partly by permission,
> partly by force, so respected and feared was he still, although a
> fugitive and in misfortune. He passed through the country of the
> Heniochi, who received him willingly. The Achaeans, who resisted
> hwe put to flight. These, it is said, when returning from the siege
> of Troy, were driven by a storm into the Euxine sea and underwent
> great sufferings there at the hands of the barbarians because they
> were Greeks; and when they sent to their home for ships and their
> request was disregarded, they conceived such a hatred for the
> race that whenever they captured any Greeks they immolated them in
> Scythian fashion. At first in their anger they served all in this
> way, afterwards only the handsomest ones, and finally a few chosen
> lot. So much for the Achaeans of Scythia.
> Mithridates finally reached the Azov country, of which there were
> many princes, all of whom received him, escorted him, and exchanged
> numerous presents with him, on account of the fame of his deeds,
> empire, and his power, which was still not to be despised. He even
> formed an alliance with them in contemplentation of other and more
> novel expoits, such as marching through Thrace to Macedonia,
> Macedonia to Pannonia, and passing over the Alps into Italy.
> ...
> Nothing is heard of these plans afterwards. But this is, for the
> first part, the route that "Odin" followed around that time. Did
> actually implement the plan? Did they hear of the defeat of
> Mithridates while en route in Pannonia and were suddenly stranded
> with no particular place to go?
> And who are those Acheans of Scythia? Were "Odin"'s people
> not from Trojans, but from Greek-hating Achaeans?
Acheans from Scythia... Interesting.
If I understand it correctly the Homeric achaeans are said to be
identified with the Ahhiyawa mentioned in hittite texts from the 13th
My main source for my knowledge about Ahhiyawa is N K Sandars' The
Sea Peoples from 1978, and I quote from p 107-111:

Also among the Libyan allies are the Ekwesh not heard of before this
time, who are singled out as forming the largest contingent from
overseas. They have been connected with the Ahhiyawa of the Hittite
texts and so with the Homeric Achaean; if so it's rather surprising
that as indoeuropeans they were circumcised. One inscription, the
KAthribis stela, says only of the Ekwesh that they are *of the
Countries of the Sea. But in the Great Karnak inscription, Shardana
Shekelesk and Ekwesh are all ' of the Countries of the Sea' although
curiosly not the Lukka.
Because of the uncertain dates of some of the Hittite archives,
references to Ahhiyawa have to be treated with caution. At one time
the King or Prince of Ahhiyawa was of sufficient standing for the
hittite king to consider marrying into his family. In the second half
of the 14th century, in the reign of Mursilis II the gods Ahhiyawa
and of Lazpa, perhaps Lesbos were summoned to aid the ailing Hittite
king. This means that their statues were carried to Hattusa, which
presumes a degree of mutual understanding and respect betwen the
royal houses At various points the correpondence links Ahhiyawa in
some way with Millawanda (Miletus). The Tawagalawas Letter, adressed
to an unnamed Hittite king, probably Muwatalis (1306-1282), referers
to a former Hittite subject who was now playing the corsair from a
base at Millawanda and causing trouble in the Lukka Lands which were
evidently at that time a no-man's-land between a Miletus dominated by
Ahhiyawa and the Hittite country. From later negotiations it appears
that the envoy of the Hittite king to Ahhiyawa was a man of
distinction who had ridden in the chariot with him, and with the King
of Ahhiyawa's brother, when the latter was on a visit to the Hittite

The chief interest for the problem of the Ekwesh lies in the close
connection with the Ahhiyawa, the people of Miletus and of the Lukka
Lands and their mutual concern with corsairs, piracy and the sea. In
another text a ship of Ahhiyawa seems set for aSyrian port. The 'Land
of Ahhiyawa' has been placed in western coastal Anatolia near
Miletus, in the Troad, in mainland Greece in Rhodes and in one of the
larger islands perhaps Crete. It is clear that the Ahhiyawans were a
powerful sea-going people who at one time claimed equal status with
Hittite king himself, and who were frequently interfering in coastal
Anatolia. Whether we place the controversial Maduwattas indictment,
with its reereces to the Mycenean world, where it would fit very well
or whether as the linguists prefer, we date itsome two centuries
earlier, does not greatly affect this particular issu. There are
linguistic objections also to the traditional direct identification
of Hittite Ahhiyawa and Homer's Akhaiwoi (Achaeans) even without
bringing in the Egyptians' ekwesh. One plausible explanation is that
the Hittites may have understood the names Ahhiya(wa)rather
differently at different stages intheir history, just as Keftui
changed its meaning for the Egyptians, and later still Ionia and the
Ionians. Ahhiyawa may have embraced all the Mycenaeans known to the
hitties, or only certain colonies in western anatolia. This leaves a
very wide door opento the Ekwesh who could equally well havr come to
Egypt from western Anatolia, from one of the Agean islands or from
mainland Greece.

Then I surfed around a little and found this map:

Here Miletus is on the TROJAN side!!! BTW the same side as Memnon,-
the ethiopian king from Susa at Tigris and his army, which (if they
existed) I assume would be composed of "the peoples that lived
between Susa and Troy" which he is supposed to thave conquered.
(I have always assumed that Snorri's "Munon or Mennon" is this

Aristotele 350 BC also mentions Achaeans together with Heniochi ALSO
THEN at the Black Sea:
"There are many races who are ready enough to kill and eat men, such
as the Achaeans and Heniochi, who both live about the Black Sea; and
there are other mainland tribes, as bad or worse, who all live by
plunder, but have no courage"
but found this on the NC- list some time ago:

Ok , so the Achaeans were a people who were good at "handling the
sea"But still the question is: Were they able to get in to the Black
sea, and when?
It's also a looong time from 1300 to 350, but if the 1300 ones were
Libyan allies with a home in Miletus and the 350 ones were identical
to the 1st cent. Scythian ones it seems unlikely that any of these
two peoples were greek speakers.

Homer's story that the greeks were the Achaeans then seems (at least
intuitively) odd. [As in fact also the Danaoi rendering of them did.
Odd enough to get Saxo Grammaticus to lie about Dudo of St Quentin's
work ( Dudo called the Danes Daci and that "they called themselves
Danai or Danes and boast that they are decended from Antenor" Saxo
just says that Dudo
"calls the normans of his day Daci or Dani and he somehow associates
them with the Dacians of antiquity"
as quoted from Karsten Friiss-Jensen in "Dudo of St Quentin and Saxo
Grammaticus in Dudone di SanQuintino, Labirinti 16 , Universita degli
Studi di Trento
The Antenor part Saxo just ignores.

Regarding the date of The Illiad events I have until recently thought
them to be very obscure( If it's a story based on the truth , which I
still don't know) but recently when I looked into it it seemed to be
accepted that it all happened about 1200. I E. before the dark ages :-
( and at a time when so much other things also happened( The peoples
of the Sea attacking Egypt, Ugarit sacked etc.) It seems dubious that
both the "Memnon" army and the Ekwesh/Ahhiyawa would have had time to
worry about Troy.

From this In AncientBibleHistory also get the Impression that the
Ekwesh/Ahhiyawa perhaps wasn't Indo-European speaking but "Asianics"
speaking instead:
From: jdcroft@...
Date: Mon Aug 6, 2001 12:22 am
Subject: Re: Greek & Biblical Parallels (Bibliography)


Thank you for your excellent annotated Bibliography, I will find it
of much use.

Regarding the point you make

> Gordon argues that the Minoan A is Semitic, not Greek, and that the
> Philistines spoke a Semitic language (p.96 The Bible and the
Ancient Near
> East, note #3 cf. C.H. Gordon, Evidence for the Minoan Language,
Ventor, New
> Jersey. 1966.). Note, most scholars disagree, and believe Minoan A
must be
> Indo-European.

This is in error. Most scholars don't argue that Minoan Linear A is
European at all. In fact from a study of the Linear A hieroglyphs
also found in Linear B, it would seem that Linear A is part of a
language family to which Hurrian (on one extreme) and Etruscan (on
the other extreme) probably also belonged, a now nearly extinct
language family linguists call "Asianic". Languages of this family
are marked by place names having the terminators *-ossos, *-inthos or
more rarely *-indos, found in placenames between the Caucasas to
Southern Italy. They seem related to the NW Caucasian family, today
found amongst the Chechens (who are causing the Russians so much
pain). Linguists today seem to be of the opinion that this language
family during the Early Neolithic had a wide provenance throughout
the Middle East, and very probably a tongue of this language family
was the first to acquire a grain farming technology. James Mellaart,
the excavator of Catal Huyuk in Turkey is of the belief that this was
the language spoken here, a language from which the pre-Hittite
Khattic language later developed. Despite the fact that a number of
scholars persist with the out of date theory that Minoan was a West
Semitic language, this seems denied by most modern evidence which
suggests that the Minoans were an indigenous development originally
coming from Anatolia, and that there was no Levantine input until
comparatively late (post-Palacial EMIII). This Levantine input was
by the way of trade relations.

Regarding Greek and Biblical parallels, it has been suggested by
Palmer amongst others that the *-inthos substrate beneath the Greek
language is the tongue of the aboriginal people of the Aegean, called
by Herodotus, Thucidides and many other classical writers
as "Pelasgoi". This word, seems to have undergone a consonantal
shift during late Mycenean - early Archaic times from an earlier form
*Palaistoi. Pelasgoi has also been linked etymologically to the
Greek "Pelagos" - the pre-Greek word meaning "Island", whilst in its
reconstructed form *Palaistoi has been linked with the Greek origins
of our own word for Palace. Linguists working with the Greek
language have convincingly shown that up to 30% of the classical
Greek language is Non-Indo-European in origin. Non-Indo-European
elements tend to cluster in terms of abuse, terms relating to
maritime activities, and words relating to Mediterraean agriculture
(eg. olives, wine etc), all of which are assumed to be of Pelasgoi
origin. It is interesting that a number of scholars also go further
and equate *Palaistoi with the Egyptian Peleset, and with the Hebrew
Philsitines. It is interesting how quickly the Philistines were
acculturated to a Canaanite culture, and how little of their Aegean
culture remained. One of the few Philistine words documented in the
Bible, apart from the name Goliath (which has a classic Pelasgoi
form), is the name of the rulers of the Philsitines, "Seren". This
word has no Hebrew or Canaanite etymology, and it has been suggested
that Seren in fact is the word "Tyrant" a Greek word which itself has
a pre-Indo-European format (Mycenean kings being called Wanax
(related to Latin Rex, or Sanskrit Raja), Classical Greeks kings
being called Basileus). In fact the word "Tyrant" only became
commonly used in Greece after political revolutions of the 6-7th
century BCE in which the common folk (often of Pelasgoi origins)
rebelled against aritsocratic rule to install dictatorial oligarchs,
giving Tyrant its modern meaning.

Given this analysis, perhaps we can conclude that there were three
possible ways in which common Greek-Hebrew elements occurred.

1. 5,000-4,000 BCE - That Greek and Hebrew both drew from a common
substrate or "Asianic koine", which carried words
like "wine", "tauros", and the numbers "six" and "seven (i.e.
Sabbat)" and possibly the word "star" as well. These words, carried
by the first farmers to infect both Indo-European and later Semitic
languages, also undoubtably carried mythic elements as well (eg. the
portrayal of the Earth as a Mother Goddess (or even as "grandmother"
(- Hannahanna in Khattic and Hurrian), a sacred marriage fertility
rite (or Hieros Gamos, between a priestess, representing the goddess,
and her male consort), and a divine family (mother, husband, and

2. 1550-1150 BCE - That the late Bronze Age trade contacts,
culminating in Minoan settlement in the Levant (Ugarit and Avaris),
and later with Greek Achaioi (Egyptian Ekwesh, Hittite Ahhiawaya)
contact and settlement in the Eastern Mediterranean, and finally with
Danaos/Denyen/Danite, Teucer/Tjekker and Palaistoi/Peleset/Philistine
settlement along the Levantine coasts, including Palestine (to which
the Philistines gave their name).

3. 780-600 BCE - When trade recovered in Early Classical times, to
trade in ideas as well as trade goods during the "Orientalising"
Phase of the late archaic period in Greece, during which time Greek
Hoplite mercenaries served in many states, from Saite Egypt to the

Trying to go through the associations Gordon and others in your
Bibliography Walter, show between the Bible and Aegean motifs to
determine whether they occurred in Period 1, Period 2, or Period 3
would be an almost impossible task. The only way a commencement of
this work could occur I believe is to look at those elements which
are clearly Olympian or Post-Olympian in origin (and which therefore
must date from contact 3), and those elements which in addition to a
Hebrew-Greek commonality also show commonalities with Hurrian and
Khattic myths (and therefore are porbably Asianic, and therefore
contact 1).

In any case, I don't know if such a descriminating study has been
done. It would certainly further our understanding of both the Bible
and the ancient Greeks if it were to be done - and give us a better
understanding of the two great wellsprings of our own - western
European culture as well.

Hope this helps.



perhaps greek speaking people weren't even a big threat to western
anatolia in these times.


Before I know more of the facts of the conventional dating and
chronology and why the New Chronology wants to take away 350 years, I
think I should trust the conventional chronology, but it would- I
think be a little bit easier if the events at Troy were dated in the
times of Homer or one generation before him as these guys suggest:
This appeared in C&C Review, 1990 Issue (Volume XII).

Essay Two:

The Greek Colonisation Movement - When and Why?
Essays on Early Greek History in the light of the New Chronology

David Rohl is a post-graduate researcher at London University, having
recently obtained there his B.A. in Ancient History and Egyptology.
He is Director of the Institute for the Study of Interdisciplinary
Sciences, and Editor of the Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum.
He has been instrumental in developing the 'New Chronology', with
articles etc in both C. & C. Workshop and Review.
Having put forward, in the previous essay, the proposal that the
Greek Dark Age may, in fact, be a scholarly invention and that the
interval of time between the collapse of Mycenaean culture and the
Archaic revival was relatively short, I now propose to consider what
effect such a reduction in the chronology would have on the causes of
Greek expansion in the Mediterranean. At the same time I will
endeavour to give a brief summary of the archaeological evidence for
continuity of occupation between the Bronze and Iron Age stratigraphy
found at the principal colonisation sites under discussion. This will
hopefully show that there are good reasons to suggest that the
colonisation movement began with Homer's Achaeans and that the
subsequent Archaic expansion directly followed the earlier founding
of cities on the coasts of Sicily, Italy, Anatolia and the Levant by
the Achaeans, thus avoiding the requirement of a two phase
colonisation hypothesis.

Current thinking on the reasons for the colonisation movement

"Many parts of the Greek world seem to have suffered from the eighth
century onwards from overpopulation, attested to indirectly by the
considerable increase in the size and numbers of settlements revealed
by archaeology." [1]
In this statement from Austin and Vidal-Naquet we have the major
explanation as to why the Greeks decided to settle on foreign shores
in the 8th to 6th centuries BC. The scenario was developed on the
following basic lines.

Approximately 100 years after the Trojan War (c. 1250 BC), the
Mycenaean Bronze Age came to a rather sudden end (during the century
1200 to 1100) and Greece plunged headlong into a dark age. Sometime
in this historical void there may have been a movement of peoples,
known by the later Greek writers as the Dorians, into the Peloponnese
but the effect of this movement is not clear in the archaeological
record. Along with this Dark Age came a severe depopulation as
evidenced in the archaeological remains for this presumed 350-year
period [2]:

"The substantial reduction in the number and size of occupied sites
is proof of widespread depopulation: indeed some areas of the Aegean
have so far produced no evidence of habitation during this period.
Depopulation was accompanied by regional fragmentation and isolation,
as communications ceased not only within the Aegean but also with
areas beyond. A significant feature of the Dark Age is the scarcity
of architectural remains at most sites."
Then, around 1000 BC, the coast of Western Anatolia was colonised by
the Ionians - this is regarded as the first phase of colonisation by
Greek-speaking peoples. Two centuries or so later, without any
obvious explanation, the population of Greece rose sharply, resulting
in the failure of the agriculturally-based society to support itself.
The mountainous terrain of the Greek mainland afforded little room
for agricultural expansion to cope with the crisis, and so the Greeks
chose a policy of emigration for a part of the population as a
solution to their dilemma. Thus at around 800-750 BC we find the
second major colonisation phase of the Mediterranean World by the
Greeks getting underway. The two phases of colonisation are regarded
as quite separate both in terms of chronology and causality:

"One major gap in our knowledge concerns the situation in the Greek
settlements of Asia Minor, the foundation of which goes back to the
Dark Age and which do not belong to the same movement as the
colonization of the eighth century and after." [3]
Going hand in hand with this policy was the natural development of
maritime trade brought about by improvements in ship-building
technology and the need to find grain supplies from other regions to
help feed the population which remained at home.

The low-chronology scenario in outline

Most of the basic points in this scenario would not come under
challenge with a non-Dark Age chronology, but the time spans involved
would be radically reduced. It would, however, be finally possible to
find a solution to the problems of the rapid population changes which
are apparent in the high-chronology model and to harmonise actual
historical events with the histories of the later Greek commentaries.

There is no doubt that over-population was a major factor in the
Greeks going overseas, but an explanation for that population
increase must be readily identifiable in the historical evidence
(both written and archaeological) for any hypothesis to carry weight.
In the low-chronology model on offer here the decrease in population,
brought about by the Dark Age recession, does not occur at all,
precisely because there is no 350-year Dark Age to consider. This
alternative scenario goes as follows:

After the Trojan War the Mycenaean Bronze Age culture degenerates
through infighting amongst its aristocracy:

"Even after the Trojan War Hellas was in a state of ferment; ...
There was party strife in nearly all the cities, and those who were
driven into exile founded new cities. Sixty years after the fall of
Troy, the modern Boeotians were driven out of Arne by the Thessalians
and settled in what is now Boeotia, ... Twenty years later the
Dorians with the descendants of Heracles made themselves masters of
the Peloponnese.
"Thus many years passed by and many difficulties were encountered
before Hellas could enjoy any peace or stability, and before the
period of shifting populations ended. Then came the period of
colonization. Ionia and most of the islands were colonized by the
Athenians. The Peloponnesians founded most of the colonies in Italy
and Sicily, and some in other parts of Hellas. All of them were
founded after the Trojan War." [4]
Thus the 'many years' envisaged by Thucydides for the collapse of the
Heroic Age and the interval of time between the Trojan War and the
Colonisation Period amounted to 80 plus circa 20 years only: a period
of around a century at most. The population did not decrease because
the interval of time between the return from Troy and the Dorian
invasion was a mere 3-4 generations, and it was precisely this
invasion from the north which created the sudden rise in the
population in southern Greece. The influx of this new group was the
very stimulus which forced the indigenous Achaean population into
their new adventure overseas.

[*!* Image: Map of the western Greek colonies (D. Rohl)

1 = Himera 9 = Naxos 17 = Syris
2 = Acragas 10 = Zancle 18 = Metapontum
3 = Gela 11 = Mylae 19 = Tarentum
4 = Pantalica 12 = Rhegium 20 = Pythecussae
5 = Finocchito 13 = Locri 21 = Cumae
6 = Syracuse 14 = Caulonia 22 = Santa Maria
7 = Thapsos 15 = Croton 23 = Carthage
8 = Catana 16 = Sybaris


The identity of the early colonisers according to ancient written

The above version of events is in almost complete agreement with the
ancient writers themselves, as the following selected extracts

Strabo on the founding of Croton (Italy) and Syracuse (Sicily):

"... Antiochus says that when the god directed the Achaeans by oracle
to found Croton, Myskellos departed to examine the site. ... He
returned and founded Croton. Archias the founder of Syracuse also
shared in the task, having sailed up by chance, when he was setting
out upon the establishment of Syracuse." [5]
Strabo on the founding of Tarentum (South-East Italy):

"They were sent out and came upon the Achaeans, who were fighting
with the barbarians. Sharing in the danger they founded Tarentum."
In both these examples it should be noted that it is the Achaeans who
are identified as the colonisers.

Thucydides on the Trojan colonisation of the Western Mediterranean:

"After the fall of Troy, some of the Trojans escaped from the
Achaeans and came in ships to Sicily, where they settled next to the
Sicanians and were all called by the name of Elymi." [7]
It is again Thucydides who describes the atmosphere of migration that
appears to have been a characteristic of the Late Bronze Age times:

"It appears, for example, that the country now called Hellas had no
settled population in ancient times; instead there was a series of
migrations, as the various tribes, being under the constant pressure
of invaders who were stronger than they were, were always prepared to
abandon their own territory." [8]
It is, of course, one of the more persistent traditions that the
Villanovans of Northern and Central Italy (Early Iron Age Etruria)
were refugees from Troy who eventually became the Etruscans, but it
is just reasonable to suggest that the other Villanovan group in the
neighbouring region of Emilia might also be considered to be the
Elymi described by Thucydides. Without overemphasising the point one
can readily see a close association between these names and the
Homeric 'Troy' and 'Ilium' and perhaps the 'Taruisa' and 'Wilusa' of
the Hittite texts.

[*!* Image: Archaic vase painting thought to depict the abduction of
Helen of Troy by Paris (Illustration: David Rohl)]

The archaeological evidence for the early colonisation of the Western
Mediterranean by the Mycenaean/Achaean population

The archaeology from a number of the above sites argues strongly in
favour of the classic Greek historians' views on colonisation. In
Southern Italy, at the sites of Porto Perone and Scoglio del Tonno
(Tarentum), excavation has revealed the occurrence of Mycenaean
pottery in the same archaeological context as Sub-Apennine and Proto-
Villanovan ware. Indeed, in the case of Scoglio, the excavator,
Quagliati, unearthed a house with an earlier stratum containing Sub-
Apennine material and then a later stratum represented by both
Mycenaean and Proto-Corinthian ware together in the same deposit. [9]
The archaeology therefore appears to confirm Strabo's statement that
Homer's Achaeans colonised Southern Italy and that this was certainly
not a considerable time (if any time at all) before the main
colonisation period of 750-650 BC.

In Sicily the Pantalica North cemetery contained violin bow and
simple fibulae characteristic of the late-Mycenaean age and an LH III
C1 vase, indicating some contact with Late Bronze Greece. After the
previous Thapsos culture the archaeological record shows a period
without settlements (exactly on the Greek Dark Age model) until the
colonisation period at around 730 BC. Only evidence of cemeteries
remains. In the words of Bernardo Brea:

"... a real Dark Age set in, only to be brought to an end five
centuries later with the Greek colonisation of Sicily." [10]
What is really meant here is that there is practically no evidence of
settlement in Sicily between the rich Thapsos culture (presumed to
have ended c. 1250 BC) and the Finocchito phase (c. 730-650) other
than the cemeteries of the so-called Pantalican culture which appear
to have almost no identifiable settlements. The implication is
reasonably clear: like Greece, the chronology of the Pantalican phase
must be dramatically compressed in order to explain the lack of
material culture in Sicily for the Early Iron Age and, indeed, the
Pantalican cemetery material itself may rather reflect the end phase
of the Thapsos culture, contemporary with the Mycenaeans, or perhaps
a short transition into the Late Geometric Finocchito phase.

Similar chronological problems occur all around the Western
Mediterranean for which there is insufficient space here to give any
detail. They can best be summarised by a single example of the sort
of difficulty archaeologists have found themselves in when using the
high chronology as a means of dating artefacts from the region.
Quoting the British Museum report on the analysis of material from
the Santa Maria Hoard discovered in Sardinia:

"Dr Macnamara has argued ... for the derivation of the Santa Maria
Tripod-stand 2 from the metal-working tradition of the Late Cypriot
III period, which provided a terminus post quem between 1230 and 1050
BC. A terminus post quem between 850 and 775 BC is suggested by the
comparison of the Rattles 136 and 137 with a Sardinian
miniature 'stool' in a Villanovan grave at Vulci. In the round
figures appropriate to speculation, these two extremes leave us with
a minimal range of four centuries: from the beginning of the twelfth
to the end of the ninth." [11]
[*!* Image: Shipwreck of Odysseus from an Early Geometric Vase of the
8th century BC (Illustration: David Rohl)]

The colonisation of the Eastern Mediterranean - a new connection with
the Sea Peoples' movements

In Homer's Odyssey we have glimpses of the period of Achaean
colonisation in its earliest phase - a phase not far removed from an
era of brigandry and piracy. Two examples from the exploits of
Odysseus will suffice to create a picture of Greek sea faring
activity at this time:

"... before the sons of the Achaeans ever set foot on the land of
Troy, I had nine times had under my command men and swift ships to
sail against foreign shores, and hence much booty reached my
hands; ..." [12]
"From Ilion the wind drove me along and brought me to Ismaros, in the
land of the Ciconians. There I sacked the city and put the men to
death. We captured from the city their wives and much treasure, and
divided it all among us, in such a way that no one went away deprived
of his fair share through me." [13]
[*!* Image: Late Bronze Age warriors
(D. Rohl, after N. K. Sandars: The Sea Peoples [London, 1978])
Sandars states: 'Warriors of the 13th to 12th century belong to a
common type, from the Greek mainland through the Levant to Egypt. All
are armed with a spear and round shield and wear a short kilt.' She
notes the greaves of the Greek (left) from a Pylos wall painting, the
helmet insignia of the Egyptian bodyguard from Medinet Habu (centre)
and the spearman(god) from Enkomi (right).]

The marauding Achaean fleet described here brings to mind the threat
posed by the Akwasha (Ahhiyawa/Akhaiwoi/Achaeans?) of Merenptah's
inscription and the 7 ships attacking Ugarit described in the archive
of Hammurabi [14], conventionally dated to c. 1200 BC but on the
revised model to c. 900-850 BC. One is also reminded of the story in
the Odyssey where the Greeks ravage the Delta of Egypt before being
put to flight by the Egyptian army - a remarkable parallel to the
maritime battle described in the Sea Peoples reliefs at Medinet Habu.

Clearly there were Mycenaean/Achaean expeditions to the east coast of
the Mediterranean at this time as evidenced by the a quantity of LH
IIIC ware found near Al-Mina. We also have the Mopsus tradition now
confirmed to a degree by Hittite records. All this led Boardman to
suggest the very idea that this was a colonisation movement but he
too was unable to go further than to recognise the similarities with
the 8th-century undertakings:

"At the end of the Late Bronze Age, when Mycenaean Greeks had won
ascendancy over the Aegean and succeeded to the Minoan 'empire',
there are more clear indications of what can almost be called
colonizing by Mycenaean Greeks in the Near East, although the
establishments may have been no more than trading posts admitted
under treaty with local kingdoms. ...
"On eastern shores, as on the western coastline of Asia Minor, it was
to the same areas and cities that the Greeks returned after the Dark
Ages, to found new settlements or open new markets, but here there
was clearly a complete break in the continuity of Greek occupation,
despite the survival or memory of names like Mopsus or the Danaans."
Needless to say, the break in continuity referred to was not an
archaeological one but a requirement of the Dark Age chronology
currently in use. With a date of the turn of the 12th century for the
Sea Peoples invasions, contact with Egypt, in the orthodox
chronology, appears to cease for many centuries:

"In the Dark Age the Greeks lost all touch with Egypt, and contact
was not resumed until c. 650, appreciably after the period when the
Homeric poems took their present shape." [16]
The low chronology has a period of only around two and a half
centuries between the large scale movements by sea at the end of the
Bronze Age and the establishment in the Delta of the Greek city of
Naucratis in c. 640 BC. During this time interval the Greeks were
busy colonising the rest of the Mediterranean and founding new cities
such as Cumae and Al Mina (750 BC), Naxos, Syracuse, Mende and
Sybaris (734-720 BC), Croton and Tarentum (708-6 BC), and Gela, Locri
and Byzantium (688-660 BC). Egypt and the coast of North Africa
(including the founding of Cyrene c. 630 BC) appears to have been the
last major area to receive the attentions of the Greek colonists.

On the west coast of Anatolia the Achaean colonisers were also very
busy and there is little doubt that it was in this area that overseas
settlement first began. The founding of Miletus and other famous
Ionian cities at the end of the Mycenaean period has been well
documented, so there is no need to deal further with them here, but I
would like to return to the city which was the starting point for
this essay - the city at the centre of the great event which may have
been the initial catalyst of the colonisation movement.

[*!* Image: Axeman from an ivory box discovered at Enkomi, Cyprus.
The axe is typical of types found in Sicily, the headpiece is that
worn by typical Sea Peoples portrayed on the Medinet Habu reliefs.
(Illustration: David Rohl)]

Troy - the missing centuries

The city of Troy typifies the problems raised by the insertion of the
Dark Age into Greek history. City VIIA at Hissarlik is generally
accepted as the Troy destroyed by the Achaeans - it is usually
ascribed a date of c. 1250 BC for its demise. This city was followed
by City VIIB in which a new form of pottery called 'knobbed ware'
(Bukelkeramik) first appears. This city is assumed to have been
abandoned around 1150-1100 BC and the site left unoccupied for 400

"There is nothing at Troy to fill this huge lacuna. For 2000 years
men had left traces of their living there; some chapters were brief
and obscure, but there was never yet a chapter left wholly blank. Now
at last there is silence, profound and prolonged for 400 years; we
are asked, surely not in vain, to believe that Troy lay 'virtually
unoccupied' for this long period of time." [17]
It is only in around 700 BC that a Greek population is established at
the site and the new city of Ilium is brought to life again on the
ruins of the Homeric citadel. This, of course, is all very well, but
the scenario produces two major problems: (a) identifying the people
who occupied VIIB, bringing with them the 'knobbed ware', and (b)
explaining the continuity of the local Grey Minyan ware pottery
across a four-hundred-year period of abandonment.

Under the alternative low chronology model, the new occupants of City
VIIB, following the Greek sack of Troy (c. 900-850 BC), were the
Phrygians who crossed the Hellespont bringing with them the 'knobbed
ware' - a type of pottery which archaeologists have found in
abundance in the Balkan region. The site was never abandoned for more
than a generation before the Greeks re-occupied the city around 700.
The Grey Minyan ware continued in use throughout this much shorter
period with its manufacture in the hands of the indigenous
population - the surviving Trojans who never left the site to
colonise the western Mediterranean during either of the Phrygian or
Greek occupations.

The archaeology of the site strongly supports this hypothesis. In
particular a villa within the citadel walls was occupied throughout
the period with no lacuna and with the use of Geometric pottery in
the level ascribed to City VIIB which was supposed to have fallen
around 1100 BC. The archaeologist Blegen hinted at the consequences
of this discovery but could not quite bring himself to draw the
conclusion which was clearly in his mind.

"It has been argued that Troy VIIb came to its end about 1100 B.C.
Generally considered, our evidence leads us to believe that a gap of
400 years exists between the end of Troy VIIb and the beginning of
Troy VIII, but the possibility of a contrary view is established by
the evidence of several successive floors of house 814, and also by
the presence of Geometric sherds in a context of Troy VIIb." [18]

We have come full circle in our review of the beginnings of the
colonisation movement. The findings at Troy are fairly typical of the
sort of problems discovered at most of the major colonisation sites
around the Mediterranean coastline. Something does not quite sit well
with a long Dark Age chronology, as neither the archaeology nor the
writings of the later historians fit the picture of this hypothesis.
Any alternative proposal which can bring together the Achaean
migrations with those of the traditional colonisation movement of the
8th century should be welcomed if simply to demonstrate that the work
in this area is very much in need of further study and research.

[*!* Image: Greece and the Greek colonies in the Aegean
(Illustration: David Rohl)

BOEOTIA. Thasos. Lemnos. Lesbos. Chios. Chios. Euboca. Andros. Samos.
Naxos. Cos. Melos. Corcyra. Cephallenia. Ithica. Zacynthus.

Key: 1 = Olympia
2 = Sparta
3 = Argos
4 = Sicyon
5 = Corinth
6 = Thebes
7 = Megara
8 = Athens
9 = Chalcis
10 = Lefkandi
11 = Eretria
12 = Delos
13 = Naxos
14 = Cos
15 = Halicarnassus
16 = Miletus
17 = Ephesus
18 = Teos
19 = Smyrna
20 = Kyme
21 = Assos
22 = Sigeum
23 = Troy
24 = Mende


Notes and References

1. M. M. Austin & P. Vidal-Naquet: Economic and Social History of
Ancient Greece: An Introduction, (London, 1986), p. 58
2. R. J. A. Talbert (ed.): Atlas of Classical History, (Beckenham,
1985), p. 11
3. M. M. Austin & P. Vidal-Naquet: op. cit., p. 65
4. Thucydides: History of the Peloponnesian War I, 12, (R. Warner
5. Strabo: Geography VI, 1, 12
6. Idem: VI, 3, 2-3
7. Thucydides: VI, 2
8. Idem: I, 2
9. Q. Quagliati: 'Taranto: relazione degli scavi archeologici che si
eseguirono nel 1899 in un abitato terramaricolo, allo Scoglio del
Tonno, presso la citta' in Notizie degli Scavi di Antichita, (1900),
pp. 411-464
10. L. Bernardo Brea: Sicily Before the Greeks, (London, 1966), p.
130. For more on Sicily, Troy and the Greek 'Dark Age', see J. N.
Sammer: 'Sicily, Carthage, and the Fall of Troy', Kronos VIII:2
(1983), pp. 11ff
11. E. Macnamara et al.: The Bronze Hoard from S. Maria in Paulis,
Sardinia (BM Occasional Paper 45, 1984), p. 17
12. Homer: The Odyssey XIV 222, (W. Shewring trans.)
13. Odyssey IX, 39-42
14. N. K. Sandars: The Sea Peoples, (London, 1978), p. 143
15. J. Boardman: The Greeks Overseas, (London, 1980), pp. 35-6
16. J. V. Luce: Homer and the Heroic Age, (London, 1975), p. 54
17. D. Page: 'The Historical Sack of Troy' in Antiquity 33, (1959),
p. 31
18. C. W. Blegen et al.: Troy IV:1, (Princeton, 1958), p. 250.

This essay was originally written in 1988 in fulfilment of a B.A.
Ancient History & Egyptology degree. The third in this series is
scheduled for a later SIS publication.

I don't copy it fully unto here because my post is already very long
but Torsten perhaps would like to comment on this:

The allies of Priam also included Ethiopians under Memnon;14 the
Ethiopian allies of Priam must date in all probability to the period
when the Ethiopians were one of the most honored nations, highly
regarded for their military prowess. What is called here Ethiopians
were actually Sudanese: in Egyptian history the Ethiopian Dynasty and
their most glorious period is dated from ca. -712 to -663, when
Ashurbanipal pursued Tirhaka to Thebes, occupied it, and expelled the
Ethiopian from Egypt proper. The tradition concerning Memnon, the
Ethiopian warrior who came to the help of Troy, would reasonably
limit the time of the conflict also to the end of the eighth and the
beginning of the seventh century.15 The possibility of an Ethiopian
landing at Troy in the days of the Ethiopian pharaoh Tirhaka need not
be dismissed because of the remoteness of the place: as just said,
close to the middle of the seventh century, and possibly at an
earlier date, Gyges, the king of Sardis, sent in the reverse
direction Carian and Ionian mercenaries to assist the Egyptian king
Psammetichus in throwing off the Assyrian hegemony.
note 14,15
[In the Odyssey (III.111-2) Nestor recalls the death of his son
Antilochos who died by the spear of "the glorious son of shining
Dawn," (Od. IV.185-202) which is the epithet reserved for Memnon.
Later in the Odyssey the Ethiopian warrior is mentioned by name
as "great Memnon." (Od. XI. 522)

Those called here Ethiopians actually were the inhabitants of what is
today Sudan. Cf. Mireaux, Les poèmes homériques et l'histoire
grecque, vol. I, ch. iv.

I also found here:

that Heyerdahl seems to have found "a bracelet and greenish metal
"...which very closely resemble
objects found on the Swedish island of Gotland"
in the Azov region.

Best wishes