Lycians – Lydians – ‘Luwians’?

In this post we present a research in the names Λύκιοι (Lycians/Lykians) and Λυδοί (Lydians) and possible connections to the name ‘Λούβιοι’ (Luwians). 

NovoScriptorium: We have researched the Lemma ‘Λύκιοι‘ and the Lemma ‘Λυδοί‘ using the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG). Then, we used the translated (in English) texts from ToposText. On purpose, we focused only on Homer, Hesiod and Herodotus to extract information. Homer and Hesiod are the oldest and most reliable, while Herodotus, even though he offers valuable information quite a few times in his Histories, he was accused of reckless reproduction of rumours/fames as ‘history’ already from Antiquity, so we need to be a little careful with his stories. Moreover, while Homer and Hesiod claim that their stories come from the ‘Muses‘ (we have explained in previous articles what this means), Herodotus writes almost by himself, using a few written sources and many fames/rumours he heard in his journeys.

The Lemma ‘Λούβιοι‘ produced no results – there is no such name reference in the ancient Greek Literature. ‘Λούβιοι’ would be the Greek translational name of the so-called ‘Luwians’, a group of people that apparently lived in Asia Minor from the Bronze Age up to the Iron Age.  The name ‘Luwians‘ resembles the names ‘Lydians’ and ‘Lycians’, two nations that indeed lived in Asia Minor during the historical Time, in the time interval ‘Bronze Age-Iron Age’. The most famous ancient Greek writers seem to know countless different cities, towns, nations, around Europe and the Mediterranean; it wouldn’t be rational that they ignored the existence of ‘Luwians’, who were supposed to live just beside them in Asia Minor. Archaeological evidence indeed suggests the existence of a group of people with the characteristics attributed to the so-called ‘Luwians’. So, with these in mind we seek for further evidence and possible connections.


Homer – Iliad

§ 2.866 And Sarpedon and peerless Glaucus were captains of the Lycians from afar out of Lycia, from the eddying Xanthus.

§ 5.460 And Sarpedon moreover sternly chid goodly Hector, saying: “Hector, where now is the strength gone that aforetime thou hadst? Thou saidst forsooth that without hosts and allies thou wouldst hold the city alone with the aid of thy sisters’ husbands and thy brothers; howbeit of these can I now neither behold nor mark anyone, but they cower as dogs about a lion; and it is we that fight, we that are but allies among you. For I that am but an ally am come from very far; afar is Lycia by eddying Xanthus, where I left my dear wife and infant son, and my great wealth the which every man that is in lack coveteth. Yet even so urge I on the Lycians, and am fain myself to fight my man, though here is naught of mine such as the Achaeans might bear away or drive; whereas thou standest and dost not even urge thy hosts to abide and defend their wives. Beware lest thou and they, as if caught in the meshes of all-ensnaring flax, become a prey and spoil unto your foemen; and they shall anon lay waste your well-peopled city. On thee should all these cares rest by night and day, and thou shouldest beseech the captains of thy far-famed allies to hold their ground unflinchingly, and so put away from thee strong rebukings.”

§ 5.627 So these toiled in the mighty conflict, but Tlepolemus, son of Heracles, a valiant man and tall, was roused by resistless fate against godlike Sarpedon. And when they were come near as they advanced one against the other, the son and grandson of Zeus the cloud-gatherer, then Tlepolemus was first to speak, saying: “Sarpedon, counsellor of the Lycians, why must thou be skulking here, that art a man unskilled in battle? They speak but a lie that say thou art sprung from Zeus that beareth the aegis, seeing thou art inferior far to those warriors that were sprung from Zeus in the days of men of old. Of other sort, men say, was mighty Heracles, my father, staunch in fight, the lionhearted, who on a time came hither by reason of the mares of Laomedon with but six ships and a scantier host, yet sacked the city of Ilios and made waste her streets. But thine is a coward’s heart, and thy people are minishing. In no wise methinks shall thy coming from Lycia prove a defence to the men of Troy, though thou be never so strong, but thou shalt be vanquished by my hand and pass the gates of Hades.”

And to him Sarpedon, captain of the Lycians, made answer: “Tlepolemus, thy sire verily destroyed sacred Ilios through the folly of the lordly man, Laomedon, who chid with harsh words him that had done him good service, and rendered him not the mares for the sake of which he had come from afar. But for thee, I deem that death and black fate shall here be wrought by my hands, and that vanquished beneath my spear thou shalt yield glory to me, and thy soul to Hades of the goodly steeds.”

§ 5.663 Then his goodly companions bare godlike Sarpedon forth from out the fight, and the long spear burdened him sore, as it trailed, but no man marked it or thought in their haste to draw forth from his thigh the spear of ash, that he might stand upon his feet; such toil had they in tending him.

And on the other side the well-greaved Achaeans bare Tlepolemus from out the fight, and goodly Odysseus of the enduring soul was ware of it, and his spirit waxed furious within him; and he pondered then in heart and soul whether he should pursue further after the son of Zeus that thundereth aloud, or should rather take the lives of more Lycians. But not for great-hearted Odysseus was it ordained to slay with the sharp bronze the valiant son of Zeus; wherefore Athene turned his mind toward the host of the Lycians. Then slew he Coeranus and Alastor and Chromius and Alcandrus and Halius and Noemon and Prytanis; and yet more of the Lycians would goodly Odysseus have slain, but that great Hector of the flashing helm was quick to see, and strode through the foremost fighters harnessed in flaming bronze, bringing terror to the Danaans. Then glad at his coming was Sarpedon, son of Zeus, and spake to him a piteous word: “Son of Priam, suffer me not to lie here a prey to the Danaans, but bear me aid; thereafter, if need be, let life depart from me in your city, seeing it might not be that I should return home to mine own native land to make glad my dear wife and infant son.”

§ 6.144 Then spake to him the glorious son of Hippolochus: ‘Great-souled son of Tydeus, wherefore inquirest thou of my lineage? Even as are the generations of leaves, such are those also of men. As for the leaves, the wind scattereth some upon the earth, but the forest, as it bourgeons, putteth forth others when the season of spring is come; even so of men one generation springeth up and another passeth away. Howbeit, if thou wilt, hear this also, that thou mayest know well my lineage; and many there be that know it. There is a city Ephyre in the heart of Argos, pasture-land of horses, and there dwelt Sisyphus that was craftiest of men, Sisyphus, son of Aeolus; and he begat a son Glaucus; and Glaucus begat peerless Bellerophon.

“To him the gods granted beauty and lovely manliness; but Proetus in his heart devised against him evil, and drave him, seeing he was mightier far, from the land of the Argives; for Zeus had made them subject to his sceptre. Now the wife of Proetus, fair Anteia, lusted madly for Bellerophon, to lie with him in secret love, but could in no wise prevail upon wise-hearted Bellerophon, for that his heart was upright. So she made a tale of lies, and spake to king Proetus: ‘ Either die thyself, Proetus, or slay Bellerophon, seeing he was minded to lie with me in love against my will.’ So she spake, and wrath gat hold upon the king to hear that word. To slay him he forbare, for his soul had awe of that; but he sent him to Lycia, and gave him baneful tokens, graving in a folded tablet many signs and deadly, and bade him show these to his own wife’s father, that he might be slain.

“So he went his way to Lycia under the blameless escort of the gods. And when he was come to Lycia and the stream of Xanthus, then with a ready heart did the king of wide Lycia do him honour: for nine days’ space he shewed him entertainment, and slew nine oxen. Howbeit when the tenth rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, then at length he questioned him and asked to see whatever token he bare from his daughter’s husband, Proetus. But when he had received from him the evil token of his daughter’s husband, first he bade him slay the raging Chimaera. She was of divine stock, not of men, in the fore part a lion, in the hinder a serpent, and in the midst a goat, breathing forth in terrible wise the might of blazing fire. And Bellerophon slew her, trusting in the signs of the gods. Next fought he with the glorious Solymi, and this, said he was the mightest battle of warriors that ever he entered; and thirdly he slew the Amazons, women the peers of men. And against him, as he journeyed back therefrom, the king wove another cunning wile; he chose out of wide Lycia the bravest men and set an ambush; but these returned not home in any wise, for peerless Bellerophon slew them one and all.

§ 6.191 “But when the king now knew that he was the valiant offspring of a god, he kept him there, and offered him his own daughter, and gave to him the half of all his kingly honour; moreover the Lycians meted out for him a demesne pre-eminent above all, a fair tract of orchard and of plough-land, to possess it. And the lady bare to wise-hearted Bellerophon three children, Isander and Hippolochus and Laodameia. With Laodameia lay Zeus the counsellor, and she bare godlike Sarpedon, the warrior harnessed in bronze. But when even Bellerophon came to be hated of all the gods, then verily he wandered alone over the Aleian plain, devouring his own soul, and shunning the paths of men; and Isander his son was slain by Ares, insatiate of battle, as he fought against the glorious Solymi; and his daughter was slain in wrath by Artemis of the golden reins. But Hippolochus begat me and of him do I declare that I am sprung; and he sent me to Troy and straitly charged me ever to be bravest and pre-eminent above all, and not bring shame upon the race of my fathers, that were far the noblest in Ephyre and in wide Lycia. This is the lineage and the blood whereof I avow me sprung.

So spake he, and Diomedes, good at the warcry, waxed glad. He planted his spear in the bounteous earth, and with gentle words spake to the shepherd of the host: “Verily now art thou a friend of my father’s house from of old: for goodly Oeneus on a time entertained peerless Bellerophon in his halls, and kept him twenty days; and moreover they gave one to the other fair gifts of friendship. Oeneus gave a belt bright with scarlet, and Bellerophon a double cup of gold which I left in my palace as I came hither. But Tydeus I remember not, seeing I was but a little child when he left, what time the host of the Achaeans perished at Thebes. Therefore now am I a dear guest-friend to thee in the midst of Argos, and thou to me in Lycia, whenso I journey to the land of that folk. So let us shun one another’s spears even amid the throng; full many there be for me to slay, both Trojans and famed allies, whomsoever a god shall grant me and my feet overtake; and many Achaeans again for thee to slay whomsoever thou canst. And let us make exchange of armour, each with the other, that these men too may know that we declare ourselves to be friends from our fathers’ days.”

§ 7.8 Then the one of them slew the son of king Areithous, Menesthius, that dwelt in Arne, who was born of the mace-man Areithous and ox-eyed Phylomedusa; and Hector with his sharp spear smote Eioneus on the neck beneath the well-wrought helmet of bronze, and loosed his limbs. And Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, leader of the Lycians, made a cast with his spear in the fierce conflict at Iphinous, son of Dexios, as he sprang upon his car behind his swift mares, and smote him upon the shoulder; so he fell from his chariot to the ground and his limbs were loosed.

§ 10.412 Then made answer to him Dolon, son of Eumedes: “Verily now will I frankly tell thee all. Hector with all them that are counsellors is holding council by the tomb of godlike Ilus, away from the turmoil; but as touching the guards whereof thou askest, O warrior, no special guard keepeth or watcheth the host. By all the watch-fires of the Trojans verily, they that needs must, lie awake and bid one another keep watch, but the allies, summoned from many lands, are sleeping; for to the Trojans they leave it to keep watch, seeing their own children abide not nigh, neither their wives.”

Then in answer to him spake Odysseus of many wiles: “How is it now, do they sleep mingled with the horse-taming Trojans, or apart? tell me at large that I may know.”
Then made answer to him Dolon, son of Eumedes: “Verily now this likewise will I frankly tell thee. Towards the sea lie the Carians and the Paeonians, with curved bows, and the Leleges and Caucones, and the godly Pelasgi. And towards Thymbre fell the lot of the Lycians and the lordly Mysians, and the Phrygians that fight from chariots and the Maeonians, lords of chariots. But why is it that ye question me closely regarding all these things? For if ye are fain to enter the throng of the Trojans, lo, here apart be the Thracians, new comers, the outermost of all, and among them their king Rhesus, son of Eioneus. His be verily the fairest horses that ever I saw, and the greatest, whiter than snow, and in speed like the winds. And his chariot is cunningly wrought with gold and silver, and armour of gold brought he with him, huge of size, a wonder to behold. Such armour it beseemeth not that mortal men should wear, but immortal gods. But bring ye me now to the swift-faring ships, or bind me with a cruel bond and leave me here, that ye may go and make trial of me, whether or no I have spoken to you according to right.”

§ 11.284 But when Hector saw Agamemnon departing, to Trojans and Lycians he called with a loud shout: “Ye Trojans and Lycians and Dardanians that fight in close combat, be men, my friends, and bethink you of furious valour. Gone is the best of the men, and to me hath Zeus, son of Cronos granted great glory. Nay, drive your single-hooved horses straight towards the valiant Danaans, that ye may win the glory of victory.”

§ 12.309 Straightway then he spake to Glaucus, son of Hippolochus: “Glaucus, wherefore is it that we twain are held in honour above all with seats, and messes, and full cups in Lycia, and all men gaze upon us as on gods? Aye, and we possess a great demesne by the banks of Xanthus, a fair tract of orchard and of wheat-bearing plough-land. Therefore now it behoveth us to take our stand amid the foremost Lycians, and confront the blazing battle that many a one of the mail-clad Lycians may say: Verily no inglorious men be these that rule in Lycia, even our kings, they that eat fat sheep and drink choice wine, honey-sweet: nay, but their might too is goodly, seeing they fight amid the foremost Lycians. Ah friend, if once escaped from this battle we were for ever to be ageless and immortal, neither should I fight myself amid the foremost, nor should I send thee into battle where men win glory; but now — for in any case fates of death beset us, fates past counting, which no mortal may escape or avoid — now let us go forward, whether we shall give glory to another, or another to us.”

So spake he, and Glaucus turned not aside, neither disobeyed him, but the twain went straight forward, leading the great host of the Lycians.

§ 16.426 He spake, and leapt in his armour from his chariot to the ground. And Patroclus, over against him, when he beheld him, sprang from his chariot. And as vultures crooked of talon and curved of beak fight with loud cries upon a high rock, even so with cries rushed they one against the other. And the son of crooked-counselling Cronos took pity when he saw them, and spake to Hera, his sister and his wife: “Ah, woe is me, for that it is fated that Sarpedon, dearest of men to me, be slain by Patroclus, son of Menoetius! And in twofold wise is my heart divided in counsel as I ponder in my thought whether I shall snatch him up while yet he liveth and set him afar from the tearful war in the rich land of Lycia, or whether I shall slay him now beneath the hands of the son of Menoetius.”

Then ox-eyed queenly Hera answered him: “Most dread son of Cronos, what a word hast thou said! A man that is mortal, doomed long since by fate, art thou minded to deliver again from dolorous death? Do as thou wilt; but be sure that we other gods assent not all thereto. And another thing will I tell thee, and do thou lay it to heart: if thou send Sarpedon living to his house, bethink thee lest hereafter some other god also be minded to send his own dear son away from the fierce conflict; for many there be fighting around the great city of Priam that are sons of the immortals, and among the gods wilt thou send dread wrath. But and if he be dear to thee, and thine heart be grieved, suffer thou him verily to be slain in the fierce conflict beneath the hands of Patroclus, son of Menoetius; but when his soul and life have left him, then send thou Death and sweet Sleep to bear him away until they come to the land of wide Lycia; and there shall his brethren and his kinsfolk give him burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead.”

So spake she, and the father of men and gods failed to hearken. Howbeit he shed bloody rain-drops on the earth, shewing honour to his dear son — his own son whom Patroclus was about to slay in the deep-soiled land of Troy, far from his native land.

§ 16.502 Even as he thus spake the end of death enfolded him, his eyes alike and his nostrils; and Patroclus, setting his foot upon his breast, drew the spear from out the flesh, and the midriff followed therewith; and at the one moment he drew forth the spear-point and the soul of Sarpedon. And the Myrmidons stayed there the snorting horses, that were fain to flee now that they had left the chariot of their lords.

But upon Glaucus came dread grief as he heard the voice of Sarpedon, and his heart was stirred, for that he availed not to succour him. And with his hand he caught and pressed his arm, for his wound tormented him, the wound that Teucer, while warding off destruction from his comrades, had dealt him with his arrow as he rushed upon the high wall. Then in prayer he spake to Apollo, that smiteth afar: “Hear me, O king that art haply in the rich land of Lycia or haply in Troy, but everywhere hast power to hearken unto a man that is in sorrow, even as now sorrow is come upon me. For I have this grievous wound and mine arm on this side and on that is shot through with sharp pangs, nor can the blood be staunched; and my shoulder is made heavy with the wound, and I avail not to grasp my spear firmly, neither to go and fight with the foe-men. And a man far the noblest hath perished, even Sarpedon, the son of Zeus; and he succoureth not his own child. Howbeit, do thou, O king, heal me of this grievous wound, and lull my pains, and give me might, that I may call to my comrades, the Lycians, and urge them on to fight, and myself do battle about the body of him that is fallen in death.”

So spake he in prayer, and Phoebus Apollo heard him. Forthwith he made his pains to cease, and staunched the black blood that flowed from his grievous wound, and put might into his heart. And Glaucus knew in his mind, and was glad that the great god had quickly heard his prayer. First fared he up and down everywhere and urged on the leaders of the Lycians to fight for Sarpedon, and thereafter went with long strides into the midst of the Trojans, unto Polydamas, son of Panthous, and goodly Agenor, and he went after Aeneas, and after Hector, harnessed in bronze. And he came up to him and spake winged words, saying: “Hector, now in good sooth art thou utterly forgetful of the allies, that for thy sake far from their friends and their native land are wasting their lives away, yet thou carest not to aid them. Low lies Sarpedon, leader of the Lycian shieldmen, he that guarded Lycia by his judgments and his might. Him hath brazen Ares laid low beneath the spear of Patroclus. Nay, friends, take your stand beside him, and have indignation in heart, lest the Myrmidons strip him of his armour and work shame upon his corpse, being wroth for the sake of all the Danaans that have perished, whom we slew with our spears at the swift ships.”

§ 17.169 Then with an angry glance from beneath his brows, spake to him Hector of the flashing helm: “Glaucus, wherefore hast thou, being such a one as thou art, spoken an overweening word? Good friend, in sooth I deemed that in wisdom thou wast above all others that dwell in deep-soiled Lycia; but now have I altogether scorn of thy wits, that thou speakest thus, seeing thou sayest I stood not to face mighty Aias. I shudder not at battle, I tell thee, nor at the din of chariots, but ever is the intent of Zeus that beareth the aegis strongest, for he driveth even a valiant man in rout, and robbeth him of victory full easily, and again of himself he rouseth men to fight. Nay, come thou hither, good friend, take thy stand by my side, and behold my handiwork, whether this whole day through I shall prove me a coward, as thou pratest, or shall stay many a one of the Danaans, how fierce soever for valorous deeds he be, from fighting in defence of the dead Patroclus.”
So saying, he shouted aloud, and called to the Trojans: “Ye Trojans, and Lycians, and Dardanians that fight in close combat…”


[NovoScriptorium: Let us briefly summarize what we learn from the above references about Lycia and the Lycians of the ‘Trojan War’ times, i.e. of the Bronze Age.

1) Sarpedon and peerless Glaucus were captains of the Lycians,

2) Lycia was situated nearby the Xanthus river (South-West Asia Minor),

3) There was great wealth in the kingdom of Lycia,

4) Sarpedon was believed to be ‘son of Zeus’,

5) Sarpedon is also called ‘counsellor of the Lycians’,

6) Ilion (Troy) was destroyed again at some time before the ‘Trojan War’ (there is indeed archaeological evidence of multiple cities built one upon the other in the region of ‘Troy’ in modern Turkey),

7) the Lycians used bronze weapons and armory,

8) Homer places Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, saying that ‘men’s generations are like leaves’ etc. This could be a direct indication that the Lycians were vanquished and their Bronze Age kingdom dissolved after the Trojan War, reasonably, as a result of their alliance with the Trojans,

9) the phrase ‘graving in a folded tablet many signs’ is a direct reference to written language; both the Achaeans and the Lycians used written language. In the way Homer writes it, they must have used the same language,

10) Lycia was a ‘wide’ territory-kingdom – probably a ‘regional Empire’,

11) from the dialogue between Glaucus, son of Hippolochus, and Diomedes, the son of Tydeus, ‘the race of my fathers, that were far the noblest in Ephyre and in wide Lycia’ etc., it is derived that the Lycian aristocracy originated from the Greek peninsula or, at least, had strong blood and cultural contacts with it,

12) Glaucus is named ‘leader of the Lycians’,

13) Carians, Paeonians, Leleges, Caucones, Pelasgi, Lycians, Mysians, Phrygians, Maeonians and Thracians were all allies of the Trojans but, interestingly, Homer uses a standard phrase to refer to the enemies of the Achaeans; ‘Trojans and Lycians and Dardanians’. This, most likely, implies that the territories of these three kingdoms included the rest of the peoples mentioned. Additionally, Mythology -which we are not going to examine here in depth- suggests that all these peoples were either of ‘Greek genous’ and culture or ‘mixohellenes’, i.e. mixture of Greeks and ‘barbarians’,

14) Lycian aristocracy is said to have been ‘gazed upon as on gods’, by all their men. They are said to ‘possess a great demesne by the banks of Xanthus, a fair tract of orchard and of wheat-bearing plough-land’, the Lycian aristocracy ‘eat fat sheep and drink choice wine, honey-sweet’ and ‘their might is goodly’,

15) Lycian aristocracy was ‘leading the great host of the Lycians’, i.e. the Lycians had a large population,

16) Lycia is called ‘rich land’,

17) the phrase ‘burial with mound and pillar; for this is the due of the dead’ denotes, first of all, that the Lycians were burying their dead, then, it is a direct indication of the way the Lycians were burying -at least- their great dead,

18) Glaucus prays to Apollo denoting that the god was worshipped in both Lycia and Troy,

19) Sarpedon is referred to as ‘leader of the Lycian shieldmen, he that guarded Lycia by his judgments and his might’,

20) Lycia is called ‘deep-soiled’

From the above, it is evident that Homer and his predecessors firmly believed that the Lycians were a nation of ‘Greek genous’]


Hesiod – Fragments

§ CW.F19 (ll. 1-32) ‘…So she (Europa) crossed the briny water from afar to Crete, beguiled by the wiles of Zeus. Secretly did the Father snatch her away and gave her a gift, the golden necklace, the toy which Hephaestus the famed craftsman once made by his cunning skill and brought and gave it to his father for a possession. And Zeus received the gift, and gave it in turn to the daughter of proud Phoenix. But when the Father of men and of gods had mated so far off with trim-ankled Europa, then he departed back again from the rich-haired girl. So she bare sons to the almighty Son of Cronos, glorious leaders of wealthy men — Minos the ruler, and just Rhadamanthys and noble Sarpedon the blameless and strong. To these did wise Zeus give each a share of his honour. Verily Sarpedon reigned mightily over wide Lycia and ruled very many cities filled with people, wielding the sceptre of Zeus: and great honour followed him, which his father gave him, the great-hearted shepherd of the people. For wise Zeus ordained that he should live for three generations of mortal men and not waste away with old age. He sent him to Troy; and Sarpedon gathered a great host, men chosen out of Lycia to be allies to the Trojans. These men did Sarpedon lead, skilled in bitter war. And Zeus, whose wisdom is everlasting, sent him forth from heaven a star, showing tokens for the return of his dear son . . . for well he (Sarpedon) knew in his heart that the sign was indeed from Zeus. Very greatly did he excel in war together with man-slaying Hector and brake down the wall, bringing woes upon the Danaan. But so soon as Patroclus had inspired the Argives with hard courage . . . ‘ Zeus saw Europa the daughter of Phoenix gathering flowers in a meadow with some nymphs and fell in love with her. So he came down and changed himself into a bull and breathed from his mouth a crocus. In this way he deceived Europa, carried her off and crossed the sea to Crete where he had intercourse with her. Then in this condition he made her live with Asterion the king of the Cretans. There she conceived and bore three sons, Minos, Sarpedon and Rhadamanthys. The tale is in Hesiod and Bacchylides.

[NovoScriptorium: Hesiod also refers to the Lycians as a nation of ‘Greek genous’. Moreover, he directly links them with Crete]


Herodotus – Histories

§ 1.4 And the Persians say that they, namely the people of Asia, when their women were carried away by force, had made it a matter of no account, but the Hellenes on account of a woman of Lacedemon gathered together a great armament, and then came to Asia and destroyed the dominion of Priam; and that from this time forward they had always considered the Hellenic race to be their enemy: for Asia and the Barbarian races which dwell there the Persians claim as belonging to them; but Europe and the Hellenic race they consider to be parted off from them.

[NovoScriptorium: It seems that both Greeks and Persians made claims on the peoples of Asia Minor. The Greeks believed that these peoples ‘parted off from the Hellenic race’. Obviously, to become ‘something else’, different from what ‘Greek/Hellenic’ was thought to be back then. This is actually the process described as ‘barbarization’ by several ancient writers, including Homer. There was linguistic as well as cultural ‘barbarization’, and in many cases ‘barbarization’ due to extensive mingling with ‘barbarian’ nations, a process that gave birth to a number of nations characterized as ‘mixohellenes‘]

§ 1.6 Croesus was Lydian by race, the son of Alyattes and ruler of the nations which dwell on this side of the river Halys; which river, flowing from the South between the Syrians and the Paphlagonians, runs out towards the North Wind into that Sea which is called the Euxine. This Croesus, first of all the Barbarians of whom we have knowledge, subdued certain of the Hellenes and forced them to pay tribute, while others he gained over and made them his friends. Those whom he subdued were the Ionians, the Aiolians, and the Dorians who dwell in Asia; and those whom he made his friends were the Lacedemonians. But before the reign of Croesus all the Hellenes were free; for the expedition of the Kimmerians, which came upon Ionia before the time of Croesus, was not a conquest of the cities but a plundering incursion only.

[NovoScriptorium: The Lydian state, obviously, existed in Asia Minor at later times than the Bronze Age. Herodotus refers to the Lydians as ‘barbarians’. But is this the case or here we have another case of ‘barbarized’ Greeks or ‘mixohellenes‘?]

§ 1.7 Now the supremacy which had belonged to the Heracleidai came to the family of Croesus, called Mermnadai, in the following manner: — Candaules, whom the Hellenes call Myrsilos, was ruler of Sardis and a descendant of Alcaios, son of Heracles: for Agron, the son of Ninos, the son of Belos, the son of Alcaios, was the first of the Heracleidai who became king of Sardis, and Candaules the son of Myrsos was the last; but those who were kings over this land before Agron were descendants of Lydos the son of Atys, whence this whole nation was called Lydian, having been before called Meonian. From these the Heracleidai, descended from Heracles and the slave-girl of Iardanos, obtained the government, being charged with it by reason of an oracle; and they reigned for two-and-twenty generations of men, five hundred and five years, handing on the power from father to son, till the time of Candaules the son of Myrsos.

[NovoScriptorium: This excerpt informs us that the Lydians were descendants of Hercules, i.e. they must have been of ‘Greek genous’ in the first place. The reference to ‘the slave-girl of Iardanos’ who mated with Hercules appears as an indication of a nation of ‘mixohellenes‘]

§ 1.10 for among the Lydians as also among most other Barbarians it is a shame even for a man to be seen naked.

§ 1.13 He (Note: Gyges)obtained the kingdom however and was strengthened in it by means of the Oracle at Delphi; for when the Lydians were angry because of the fate of Candaules, and had risen in arms, a treaty was made between the followers of Gyges and the other Lydians to this effect, that if the Oracle should give answer that he was to be king of the Lydians, he should be king, and if not, he should give back the power to the sons of Heracles. So the Oracle gave answer, and Gyges accordingly became king: yet the Pythian prophetess said this also, that vengeance for the Heracleidai should come upon the descendants of Gyges in the fifth generation. Of this oracle the Lydians and their kings made no account until it was in fact fulfilled.

[NovoScriptorium: The Oracle of Delphi was a Pan-Hellenic institutional center; as in every institution of pre-Hellenistic Greece, foreigners were not allowed to participate. The Lydians asking the Oracle is a direct indication that the Lydians must have been of Greek genous -even partially]

§ 1.14 Thus the Mermnadai obtained the government having driven out from it the Heracleidai: and Gyges when he became ruler sent votive offerings to Delphi not a few, for of all the silver offerings at Delphi his are more in number than those of any other man; and besides the silver he offered a vast quantity of gold, and especially one offering which is more worthy of mention than the rest, namely six golden mixing-bowls, which are dedicated there as his gift: of these the weight is thirty talents, and they stand in the treasury of the Corinthians, (though in truth this treasury does not belong to the State of the Corinthians, but is that of Kypselos the son of Aetion). This Gyges was the first of the Barbarians within our knowledge who dedicated votive offerings at Delphi, except only Midas the son of Gordias king of Phrygia, who dedicated for an offering the royal throne on which he sat before all to decide causes; and this throne, a sight worth seeing, stands in the same place with the bowls of Gyges. This gold and silver which Gyges dedicated is called Gygian by the people of Delphi, after the name of him who offered it. Now Gyges also, as soon as he became king, led an army against Miletos and Smyrna, and he took the lower town of Colophon: but no other great deed did he do in his reign, which lasted eight-and-thirty years, therefore we will pass him by with no more mention than has already been made,

[NovoScriptorium: Here we learn that the ancient Phrygians belonged to the same category -asking the Oracle at Delphi and dedicating offerings there- as the Lydians; i.e. they must have had some relation to the ‘Greek genous’, even partially]

§ 1.15 and I will speak now of Ardys the son of Gyges, who became king after Gyges. He took Priene and made an invasion against Miletos; and while he was ruling over Sardis, the Kimmerians driven from their abodes by the nomad Scythians came to Asia and took Sardis except the citadel.

§ 1.16 Now when Ardys had been king for nine-and-forty years, Sadyattes his son succeeded to his kingdom, and reigned twelve years; and after him Alyattes. This last made war against Kyaxares the descendant of Deiokes and against the Medes, and he drove the Kimmerians forth out of Asia, and he took Smyrna which had been founded from Colophon, and made an invasion against Clazomenai. From this he returned not as he desired, but with great loss: during his reign however he performed other deeds very worthy of mention as follows:

[NovoScriptorium: The above two excerpts inform us that peoples were invading Asia Minor since deep Antiquity. Here we learn of the Kimmerians that were driven from their lands by a nomad race, the Scythians. What we notice is that this appears to be a very standard procedure in the History of Man; nomads invading, people fleeing, and then, in turn, also invade some others’ lands for subsistence reasons. Hence, once we know already from the ancient sources that Asia Minor faced external invasions, we may speak of its populations and cultures only in specific time frames and we should not generalize, or be very cautious in any attempted generalizations. Nevertheless, the sources convince us that, at least during the Bronze Age, the ‘Greek factor’ played a quite significant role in Asia Minor. A similar role can be acknowledged for the Hellenistic era, too]

§ 1.17 He made war with those of Miletos, having received this war as an inheritance from his father: for he used to invade their land and besiege Miletos in the following manner: — whenever there were ripe crops upon the land, then he led an army into their confines, making his march to the sound of pipes and harps and flutes both of male and female tone: and when he came to the Milesian land, he neither pulled down the houses that were in the fields, nor set fire to them nor tore off their doors, but let them stand as they were; the trees however and the crops that were upon the land he destroyed, and then departed by the way he came: for the men of Miletos had command of the sea, so that it was of no use for his army to blockade them: and he abstained from pulling down the houses to the end that the Milesians might have places to dwell in while they sowed and tilled the land, and by the means of their labour he might have somewhat to destroy when he made his invasion.

§ 1.19 Then in the twelfth year of the war, when standing corn was being burnt by the army of the Lydians, it happened as follows: — as soon as the corn was kindled, it was driven by a violent wind and set fire to the temple of Athene surnamed Assesian; and the temple being set on fire was burnt down to the ground. Of this no account was made then; but afterwards when the army had returned to Sardis, Alyattes fell sick, and as his sickness lasted long, he sent messengers to inquire of the Oracle at Delphi, either being advised to do so by some one, or because he himself thought it best to send and inquire of the god concerning his sickness. But when these arrived at Delphi, the Pythian prophetess said that she would give them no answer, until they should have built up again the temple of Athene which they had burnt at Assesos in the land of Miletos.

§ 1.20 Thus much I know by the report of the people of Delphi; but the Milesians add to this that Periander the son of Kypselos, being a special guest-friend of Thrasybulos the then despot of Miletos, heard of the oracle which had been given to Alyattes, and sending a messenger told Thrasybulos, in order that he might have knowledge of it beforehand and take such counsel as the case required. This is the story told by the Milesians.

§ 1.21 And Alyattes, when this answer was reported to him, sent a herald forthwith to Miletos, desiring to make a truce with Thrasybulos and the Milesians for so long a time as he should be building the temple. He then was being sent as envoy to Miletos; and Thrasybulos in the meantime being informed beforehand of the whole matter and knowing what Alyattes was meaning to do, contrived this device: — he gathered together in the market-place all the store of provisions which was found in the city, both his own and that which belonged to private persons; and he proclaimed to the Milesians that on a signal given by him they should all begin to drink and make merry with one another.

§ 1.22 This Thrasybulos did and thus proclaimed to the end that the herald from Sardis, seeing a vast quantity of provisions carelessly piled up, and the people feasting, might report this to Alyattes: and so on fact it happened; for when the herald returned to Sardis after seeing this and delivering to Thrasybulos the charge which was given to him by the king of Lydia, the peace which was made, came about, as I am informed, merely because of this. For Alyattes, who thought that there was a great famine in Miletos and that the people had been worn down to the extreme of misery, heard from the herald, when he returned from Miletos, the opposite to that which he himself supposed. And after this the peace was made between them on condition of being guest-friends and allies to one another, and Alyattes built two temples to Athene at Assesos in place of one, and himself recovered from his sickness. With regard then to the war waged by Alyattes with the Milesians and Thrasybulos things went thus.

§ 1.25 Alyattes the Lydian, when he had thus waged war against the Milesians, afterwards died, having reigned seven-and-fifty years. This king, when he recovered from his sickness, dedicated a votive offering at Delphi (being the second of his house who had so done), namely a great mixing-bowl of silver with a stand for it of iron welded together, which last is a sight worth seeing above all the offerings at Delphi and the work of Glaucos the Chian, who of all men first found out the art of welding iron.

[NovoScriptorium: Again, the Lydians appear to dedicate offerings to the Oracle of Delphi. Moreover, the text indirectly implies war for the food sources of Asia Minor, here between Lydians and Milesians]

§ 1.28 As time went on, when nearly all those dwelling on this side the river Halys had been subdued, (for except the Kilikians, and Lykians Croesus subdued and kept under his rule all the nations, that is to say Lydians, Phrygians, Mysians, Mariandynoi, Chalybians, Paphlagonians, Thracians both Thynian and Bithynian, Carians, Ionians, Dorians, Aiolians, and Pamphylians),

[NovoScriptorium: Herodotus informs us that the Lycians (or Lykians) still existed during the Lydian Empire times. Moreover, they were subdued by the Lydians, together with many other Asia Minor groups-nations (all of which are presented by Mythology to have had some short of link with the ‘Greek genous’)]

§ 1.72 Now the Cappadocians are called by the Hellenes Syrians; and these Syrians, before the Persians had rule, were subjects of the Medes, but at this time they were subjects of Cyrus. For the boundary between the Median empire and the Lydian was the river Halys; and this flows from the mountain-land of Armenia through the Kilikians, and afterwards, as it flows, it has the Matienians on the right hand and the Phrygians on the other side; then passing by these and flowing up towards the North Wind, it bounds on the one side the Cappadocian Syrians and on the left hand the Paphlagonians. Thus the river Halys cuts off from the rest almost all the lower parts of Asia by a line extending from the sea that is opposite Cyprus to the Euxine. And this tract is the neck of the whole peninsula, the distance of the journey being such that five days are spent on the way by a man without encumbrance.

§ 1.147 Moreover some of them set Lykian kings over them, descendants of Glaucos and Hippolochos

§ 1.171 but Harpagos, after subduing Ionia, proceeded to march against the Carians and Caunians and Lykians, taking also Ionians and Aiolians to help him. Of these the Carians came to the mainland from the islands; for being of old time subjects of Minos and being called Leleges, they used to dwell in the islands, paying no tribute, so far back as I am able to arrive by hearsay, but whenever Minos required it, they used to supply his ships with seamen: and as Minos subdued much land and was fortunate in his fighting, the Carian nation was of all nations by much the most famous at that time together with him. And they produced three inventions of which the Hellenes adopted the use; that is to say, the Carians were those who first set the fashion of fastening crests on helmets, and of making the devices which are put onto shields, and these also were the first who made handles for their shields, whereas up to that time all who were wont to use shields carried them without handles and with leathern straps to guide them, having them hung about their necks and their left shoulders. Then after the lapse of a long time the Dorians and Ionians drove the Carians out of the islands, and so they came to the mainland. With respect to the Carians the Cretans relate that it happened thus; the Carians themselves however do not agree with this account, but suppose that they are dwellers on the mainland from the beginning, and that they went always by the same name which they have now: and they point as evidence of this to an ancient sanctuary of Carian Zeus at Mylasa, in which the Mysians and Lydians share as being brother races of the Carians, for they say that Lydos and Mysos were brothers of Car; these share in it, but those who being of another race have come to speak the same language as the Carians, these have no share in it.

[NovoScriptorium: Since they worshipped Zeus, it is obvious that they were somehow linked to the ‘Greek genous’. Carians, Mysians and Lydians were brother nations worshipping Zeus in the same ancient sanctuary]

§ 1.173 The Lykians however have sprung originally from Crete: and when the sons of Europa, Sarpedon and Minos, came to be at variance in Crete about the kingdom, Minos having got the better in the strife of parties drove out both Sarpedon himself and those of his party: and they having been expelled came to the land of Milyas in Asia, for the land which now the Lykians inhabit was anciently called Milyas, and the Milyans were then called Solymoi. Now while Sarpedon reigned over them, they were called by the name which they had when they came thither, and by which the Lykians are even now called by the neighbouring tribes, namely Termilai; but when from Athens Lycos the son of Pandion came to the land of the Termilai and to Sarpedon, he too having been driven out by his brother namely Aigeus, then by the name taken from Lycos they were called after a time Lykians. The customs which these have are partly Cretan and partly Carian.

[NovoScriptorium: The text implies a mingling of different groups of people that finally shaped the ‘Lycian (Lykian) nation’. Solymoi, Milyans and Termilai were names of the older inhabitants of the same place named Lycia. We ignore if they were indigenous populations or if they were also migrants from somewhere else. They were all united in a common culture and under a common name, ‘Lycia’ and ‘Lycians’; a group that apparently had some strong links with the populations of the Aegean and the Greek peninsula]

§ 4.35 The maidens, I say, have this honour paid them by the dwellers in Delos: and the same people say that Arge and Opis also, being maidens, came to Delos, passing from the Hyperboreans by the same nations which have been mentioned, even before Hyperoche and Laodike. These last, they say, came bearing for Eileithuia the tribute which they had laid upon themselves for the speedy birth, but Arge and Opis came with the divinities themselves, and other honours have been assigned to them by the people of Delos: for the women, they say, collect for them, naming them by their names in the hymn which Olen a man of Lykia composed in their honour; and both the natives of the other islands and the Ionians have learnt from them to sing hymns naming Opis and Arge and collecting: — now this Olen came from Lycia and composed also the other ancient hymns which are sung in Delos.

[NovoScriptorium: ‘Olen from Lycia composed ancient hymns which are sung in Delos’. The link between Lycians and the ‘Greek genous’ and culture appears rather obvious in this one. Delos was another Pan-Hellenic religious center]

§ 7.92 The Lykians furnished fifty ships; and they were wearers of corslets and greaves, and had bows of cornel-wood and arrows of reeds without feathers and javelins and a goat-skin hanging over their shoulders, and about their heads felt caps wreathed round with feathers; also they had daggers and falchions. The Lykians were formerly called Termilai, being originally of Crete, and they got their later name from Lycos the son of Pandion, an Athenian.

[NovoScriptorium: Here we have yet another reference for the strong link between Lycians and the ‘Greek genous’]


Last but definitely not least, let’s have a close look on what the academics claim/teach about the ‘Luwians’. We have chosen to extract information on our subject from the ‘Oxford handbook of Ancient Anatolia 10,000-323 B.C.E.‘, Edited by Sharon R. Steadman and Gregory McMahon. More specifically, from Chapter 23 written by Ilya Yakubovich.

From the ‘Luwian and the Luwians‘ section we read:

“Whether Luwian is also attested in alphabetic transmission is essentially a terminological question. A number of scholars use the phrase ‘the Luwian languages’ for the group comprising ‘Cuneiform Luwian’, ‘Hieroglyphic Luwian’, Lycian A, Licyan B (Milyan), and now also Carian. On the other hand, Melchert introduced the notion of the Luwic family that represents a higher taxonomic unit than the Luwian dialectal continuum and comprises Luwian and its close relatives of the first millenium B.C.E. On the formal side, he argues that the indigenous languages of Lycia, as known from the local inscriptions, represent close relatives of Luwian but not its direct descendants. On the sociolinguistic side, there is no historical/geographic overlap between the language communities associated with the Luwian language in the narrow sense and Lycian or Carian, as attested in the respective written records. In my opinion, the terminological distinction introduced by Melchert is meaningful, and the aplhabetic Luwic languages spoken in the western part of Asia Minor in the first millennium B.C.E. remain outside the scope of this section.

[NovoScriptorium: So, the Lycians are indeed included in this ‘Luwian’ concept. So do the Carians. What is a little bit strange is that the specialists have concluded that there were ‘indigenous’ languages in Lycia. How can this be proved? Where is the evidence? They could have originated from afar, East or West, North or South.]

…all the Bronze Age Luwian texts from Kizzuwatna are recorded in cuneiform and all the Iron Age Luwian texts are hieroglyphic

[NovoScriptorium: So far, the oldest cuneiform writing is recorded in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. Additionally, the oldest hieroglyphic writing is recorded in Egypt. While in the Aegean a different form of writing was evolving, most likely already since the Neolithic Age. Hence, it would seem quite reasonable to seek for Mesopotamian and Egyptian influences in the ‘Luwian’ cuneiform and hieroglyphic writing. The ancient Greek authors do connect Anatolia with eastern influence but no Egyptian influence at all. Interestingly, they also link the West coasts of Anatolia -and quite stongly, too- with the Aegean and Greece. On the other hand, the fact that Luwian hieroglyphic writing appears between 1500 and 1200 BCE and the fact that the New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, extended -in the 15th century B.C.- as shown in the map below, indicates that it is highly probable, if not certain, as to who had been the influencer for the appearance of hieroglyphic writing in Anatolia]


Given that the attested Luwian dialects are very close to each other, it is possible to date the common Luwian state to about 2000 B.C.E. This increases the likelihood that the region called Luwiya in the Hittite Laws represents the actual Luwian core area. I equate this region with the central Anatolian plateau to the west of the bend of the Halys river, the Lower Land of later Hittite sources.

[NovoScriptorium: This seems to coincide with Herodotus’ description of the Lydian Empire]

The original population of southeastern Asia Minor was Hurrian at least in part, as evidenced through structural interference between Hurrian and Kizzuwatna Luwian.

The status of the Luwian language in the Hittite kingdom proper changed with the course of time. In the Old Kingdom, it was apparently still associated with a particular geographic area (Luwiya), and the Luwians enjoyed protected status as an ethnic group of the second rank. By the time of the early New Kingdom, we see no more mentions of Luwiya, but references to Luwian commands in instructions for Hittite officials imply that it becomes the main language of the lower classes in Hattusa. The distinctive feature of the Empire period is the spread of Hittite-Luwian bilingualism to the higher social orders, indicating an ongoing language shift from Hittite to Empire Luwian.

[NovoScriptorium: So, as it seems, bilingualism is taken for granted in Bronze Age Anatolia. This is not at all far with what the ancient Greek authors suggest. Most of the nations of Asia Minor were considered as ‘mixohellenes‘, i.e. bi-lingual and bi-cultural, products of Greeks/Aegeans that have mingled with indigenous populations)

The same shift to Empire Luwian can be reconstructed for the provincial centers of the Hittite Empire.

…the Kizzuwatna Luwian dialect has no direct descendant attested in the Iron Age.

The name of the Luwian language in the Early Iron Age is unknown, but the speakers of Iron Age Luwian were apparently called Hittites by their Semitic and Urartian neighbors. The hypothesis that it was also their self-designation appears possible, given that the ‘Neo-Hittite’ states preserved many elements of the Hittite culture, including the Hittite royal names and the Anatolian hieroglyphic script. One should also keep in mind that the designation Hittite need not imply persistent ethnic connotations, because it is derived from the name of Hattusa, which was a Hattian foundation, only later to be resettled by the Hittites (Nesites) and Luwians. This constitutes the rationale for maintaining the term ‘Neo-Hittites’ with reference to the Luwian language communities of the first millennium B.C.E.


…both Luwian and Semitic inscriptions from Syria contain examples of mixed pantheons.

[NovoScriptorium: Hence, the Greek authors were right, in the general sense, that in Anatolia there has been a lot of mingling between different peoples]

The Syrian kingdom of Palastina/Walastina has recently emerged as a foundation of the Sea People invaders of uncertain linguistic identity, presumably related to the Biblical Philistines. The state of Hiyawa on the Cilician Plain was ruled by the ‘house of Mopsos’, whose founder is prominent in Greek Mythology, whereas the Cilicians were known to Herodotus as ‘sub-Achaeans’. Nevertheless, both polities belonged to the Neo-Hittite cultural sphere, and their rulers left numerous inscriptions in the Anatolian hieroglyphic script.


[NovoScriptorium: Not at all ‘of uncertain identity’. They were definitely of Aegean origin. Archaeological evidence firmly suggests this.

Various Greek authors from the Archaic to the Roman period, refer to a migration of population groups from the Aegean and West Anatolia to Pamphylia and Cilicia in the aftermath of the Trojan War. The meagre archaeological evidence, as well as the Arcadocypriot and Mycenaean elements in the Pamphylian dialect, fits with this narrative. At least one of the rulers of the Kingdom of Hiyawa considered himself to be a descendant of Muksas/mpš, which shows that the later stories about Mopsos were not entirely fictitious. The Achaean settlers in Cilicia gradually fused with the Luwian population. Further waves of Aegean migrants continued to arrive mainly in Pamphylia and Cilicia Tracheia at least until the7th century. These later migrants were also gradually amalgamated with the indigenous population and their vernacular became heavily influenced by the local Luwian dialects.”

-taken from the ‘Abstract‘ of “Cilicia and Pamphylia during the Early Iron Age – Hiyawa, Mopsos and the Foundation of the Greek Cities“, by Konstantinos Kopanias]

The end of the Neo-Hittite civilization came about as a result of the Assyrian expansion in Syria and the Cimmerian depredations in Asia Minor. It spelled the end of Luwian literacy but obviously could not lead to the immediate extinction of the Luwian language, especially in those areas where it had been linguistically dominant.

[NovoScriptorium: According to Herodotus, the Cimmerians (or Kimmerians) were driven out of Asia minor -obviously after events of war- by the Lydians]

In the Hellenistic period, Luwian names are still attested in appreciable quantities in Greek inscriptions coming from Cilicia Aspera. This is consistent with the hypothesis that the native transmission of the Luwian language was interrupted only as a result of the gradual Hellenization of the Eastern Mediterranean.

From the ‘The Luwian Corpus‘ section we read:

The Bronze Age Luwian texts were recorded both in cuneiform and with the help of the Anatolian hieroglyphic script. The Luwian texts in cuneiform transmission are collected in transliteration in Starke’s volume (1985). All of them were excavated in Hattusa, are preserved on clay tablets, and presumably belong to the Hittite royal archives.

Judging by the palaeography of the respective tablets, they appear to have been recorded at various points in time between approximately 1500 and 1200 B.C.E. At the same time, they have a wide geographic distribution with respect to the place of their oral composition.

About half of the available cuneiform corpus consists of the Luwian incantations coming from Kizzuwatna in southeastern Asia Minor.

A typical feature of the Kizzuwatna rituals is the admixture of Hurrian elements, reflecting the cultural symbiosis between Hittites, Luwians and Hurrians in this part of Anatolia.

[NovoScriptorium: The mingling of people in Anatolia, apparently, must be taken for granted, as clearly suggested by the ancient Greek authors, too]

The westernmost area that can be associated with the preserved Luwian textual passages is the Sakarya River basin. A group of texts devoted to the cultic practices of the town Istanuwa and containing Luwian poetic passages prescribes sacrifices to the River Sahiriya, frequently identified with the Sangarios/Sakarya.


The geographic localization of the Iron Age Luwian texts, which are all recorded in the hieroglyphic script, is easier to accomplish. Given that most of the monumental inscriptions have been found in situ and frequently mention the name and title of the local commissioner, one can normally assume that they reflect the scribal practices of the area of their provenience. The known Neo-Hittite principalities that used Luwian for official purposes include Carchemish, Hama, Gurgum, Kummuh, Masuwari, Melid, Palastina/Walastina, que/Hiyawa, Tabal, and Tuwana. In geographical terms, this encompasses the area from central Anatolia to central Syria. in chronological terms, the inscriptions that are datable on historical grounds span the period between the fall of the Hittite Empire and approximately 700 B.C.E.

[NovoScriptorium: Apparently, the ancient Greek authors must have been right when they suggested that all the western coasts of Asia Minor were inhabited by people of ‘Greek genous’ or, at least, strong ‘Aegean/Greek influence’]

The majority of Bronze Age hieroglyphic seals and bullae carry legends in an indeterminate language, since the formulaic content of short inscriptions does not allow one to decide whether they are Hittite or Luwian.

From the ‘Anatolian Hieroglyphs‘ section we read:

Anatolian hieroglyphic writing gradually arose out of an indigenous set of commonly used symbols and pictograms during the second millennium B.C.E. The evidence suggests that the Anatolian hieroglyphs were invented in the Hittite-Luwian bilingual environment, and only later came to be specifically associated with Luwian.


Anatolian hieroglyphic inscriptions do not have a fixed direction of writing. Usually, a text is divided into horizontal lines, and if a particular line is written right to left, then the next one is written left to right, and vice versa. Philologists refer to this type of writing as boustrophedon, meaning that the text moves along like an ox plowing a field. As a consequence of this practice, the signs in odd and even lines of a text look like mirror images of one another. To make things even more complicated, each line tends to be two or three symbols ‘thick’, and thus individual words are likely to form two-dimensional clusters. A number of Anatolian hieroglyphic signs have cursive shapes, which occasionally creep even into the monumental inscriptions.

[NovoScriptorium: Quite interestingly, there are many ancient Greek inscriptions written ‘boustrophedon’, too]

From the ‘Structure of Luwian‘ section we read:

The Luwic languages have developed a productive class of possessive adjectives…They are sometimes compared with Pre-Hellenic toponyms, such as Knossos or Mt. Parnassos, in an attempt to argue for the prehistoric presence of Anatolians or Luwians in the Aegean area. This argument, however, does not stand close scrutiny, because the majority of the Balkan or Cretan toponyms in -sso- cannot be derived from the known Anatolian or Indo-European roots and are likely to reflect a non-Indo-European substrate.

[NovoScriptorium: Our opinion is that there is nothing like ‘Pre-Hellenic’ or ‘Indo-European’. These terms may be useful only if used in a ‘conventional’ way and not literally. It is a very big discussion, of course, and one that we will not open here. What we keep from this part of the academic text is the conclusion that the toponyms of the Aegean do not derive from some supposed Anatolian influence. We firmly agree that they ‘reflect a non-Indo-European substrate’. Greek Mythology firmly suggests, in every possible way, that the Aegeans were indigenous in the region since their very beginning, and did not come from somewhere else (East or North, as commonly suggested). On the contrary, they have migrated, countless times, from the Aegean towards virtually everywhere else]


Research-Selection-Analysis for NovoScriptorium: Isidoros Aggelos & Philaretus Homerides






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