Classical Records of
© William R. Finck Jr. 2007
In our Bible, at 1st Kings 4:31, the wisdom of Solomon was said to exceed that of several other men: “For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite (Zerahite), and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol: and his fame was in all nations round about.” Yet the only other place in the Bible that these apparently great men are found is at 1st Chron. 2:6, where we learn that Ethan, Heman, Chalcol, Darda, and Zimri were all sons of Zerah, the son of Judah.
At Genesis 46:12 we learn that when Jacob went to Egypt, Zerah went along also, but no sons accompanied him. While he may have had a wife, or wives, with him (46:26), and Pharez had his own two sons with him, Zerah went to Egypt without children. Much later, during the Exodus, we see that descendants of Zerah were with the Israelites (Num. 26:20). Yet while the records of the census in the desert mention the tribes of the sons of Pharez (Num. 26:21), Zerah’s sons, who must have been notable men, are not mentioned individually.
Is it merely a coincidence that these names of Zerah’s sons, while appearing nowhere else in the Bible, do turn up in Classical Greek records? These men with whom Solomon was compared must have been great, and so why shouldn't we, not finding them in Hebrew records, look to the records of the “nations round about” for the deeds of these men? Of course we should, being told so many times elsewhere that Abraham’s offspring would become many nations. Where is the affirmation of the promise, and the foundation of our Christian Faith, if we find it not in history?
In Greek literature, Dardanos is the founder of the settlement in northwest Anatolia which became known as Troy. Its principle city was known by two names, Ilios (or Ilium) after Ilos, and Troy after Tros, both said to be descendants of Dardanos (cf. Strabo, Geography,13.1.25). Homer confidently gives a genealogy from Dardanos down through Ilos and Tros and several other generations unto Priam, king of Troy when the city was destroyed by the Greeks. The larger district around Troy became known as the Troad, and the Greeks claimed that the walls of the city were built by the sea god Poseidon (Diodorus Siculus, Library of History,4.42.1-3).
Throughout Homer and later Greek literature the Trojans are called Dardans (or Dardanians), after Dardanos, but sometimes Homer mentions Trojans and Dardans together, distinguishing the Dardans of Troy from those who dwelt elsewhere. We are told that the Lycians are Dardans (i.e. Strabo 10.2.10 where the geographer cites Homer), and that Dardans are also found among the Illyrians (Strabo 7.5.1, 6, 7). From Homer’s Iliad, Book 2, it is clear that Dardans dwelt in other towns throughout the Troad.
Both Herodotus (7.91), and Strabo who quotes him (14.4.3) tell us that Pamphylia, the district on the southern coast of Anatolia, was a colony founded by Kalchas, who was a Trojan. Kalchas was also considered to be a wise man and a prophet by the Greeks (Strabo 14.1.27).
If Dardanos is not Darda, and if Kalchas is not Chalcol (in the LXX Chalcad at 1 Kings 4:31, but Kalchal at 1 Chron. 2:6), then why does the Bible mention these men, as if they were men of renown, without telling us who they were? And where did Dardanos the Trojan come from when he founded the colony which became Troy?
Now some may object and claim that the Trojans were but Phrygians, as the Greek tragic poets such as Euripides and Aeschylus called them. Yet Homer never called them such, and neither did other earlier writers. Homer did name Phrygians and Thracians among those who aided in Troy’s defense (Iliad,Book 2), and Strabo notes this error by the tragic poets (12.8.7).Rather, the geographer tells us of the territories held by the Phrygians before the Trojan War, and that they weren’t in the Troad, and that the Phrygians were a division of the Thracians (7.3.2-3; 10.3.16; 12.4.5; 12.8.4; 14.5.29). While the Adamic-Israelite-Trojans may have had intercourse with, even may have intermarried with, the Adamic-Japhethite-Thracians (Tiras, Gen.10:2), not being able to avoid that prophecy found at Genesis 9:27, the Trojans surely were not Phrygians.
Here it is necessary to discuss some of the other nations of the eastern Mediterranean, starting with the Cretan, or “Minoan” civilization. There is a clear connection between Crete and the Troad when place names are compared. Strabo makes this comparison in his Geography at 10.3.20, where he cites in common not only the name of the famous Mount Ida, also a mountain in Crete, but also names such as Dicte, Pytna, Hippocorona and Samonium.
The Cabiri, or Cabeiri, were ‘gods’ worshipped among the Pelasgi in Samothrace (called Samos by Homer and “in earlier times” – Strabo,7.49), an island off the coast of the Troad, as discussed by Herodotus (2.51, 3. 37). George Rawlinson notes in his translation of Herodotus at 3.37 that “The Cabiri were Pelasgic gods”, to which E. H. Blakely, editor of the Everyman’s Library edition published by Knopf, adds: “[The word is connected with the Semitic kebîr = great. – E. H. B.]”. Dardanos was later credited with (or blamed for) bringing the worship of the Cabiri from Samos to Troy, where they were identified with the Idaean Dactyli of Crete (Strabo, 7.49, 50).
In his History of the Peloponnesian War Thucydides, writing of the earliest times, states that by the Carians and the Phoenicians “were the greatest part of the islands inhabited” (1.8). Herodotus says that the Carians were originally called Leleges and dwelt in the islands, from which they were later driven by Ionians and Dorians to settle on the mainland (1.171), although varying accounts are also supplied by the historian. At 1.171 Herodotus also states that the Carians are related to the Lydians (the Shemitic Lud of Gen. 10:22 and Isa.66:19). While Strabo says that the Lycians are Dardans (10.2.10),Herodotus says that they too came from Crete, a colony led by Sarpedon the brother of Minos (1.173), but claims that they were named after an Athenian (7.92). Yet Strabo gives a differing account of Sarpedon, related below.
While Strabo connects the Cilicians to both the Trojans (13.1.49, 58; 13.3.1) and to Syria(13.4.6), and also to cities in Pamphylia (14.4.1) whom he calls “Trojan Cilicians”, Herodotus states of the Cilicians that they “bore anciently the name of Hypachaeans, but took their present title from Cilix, the son of Agenor, a Phoenician” (7. 91). Rawlinson adds a footnote here: “The Cilicians were undoubtedly a kindred race to the Phoenicians”. It must be noted that Homer called the Danaans “Achaeans”, and here we see the Cilicians called “Hypachaeans” in early times. Cadmus “the Phoenician”, legendary founder of the Thebes in Greece, was also called a son of Agenor, and was said to be the brother-in-law of Dardanos (Diodorus Siculus, 5.48.5).
Strabo states that “the Leleges and the Cilicians were so closely related to the Trojans” (13.3.1), and that the Cilicians were settled in the Troad before they colonized Cilicia (13.4.6), and that Homer puts Cilicians in the Troad along with the Dardans (14.5. 21). Of the Pamphylians, whom we have seen are related to the Trojans, Strabo states “But the Pamphylians, who share much in the traits of the Cilician stock of people, do not wholly abstain from the business of piracy”(12.7.2), for which the Phoenicians in early times were also renowned. The Carians dwelt in and around Miletus, of which Strabo says: “Not only the Carians, who in earlier times were islanders, but also the Leleges, as they say, became mainlanders with the aid of the Cretans, who founded, among other places, Miletus, having taken Sarpedon from the Cretan Miletus as founder; and they settled the Termilae in the country which is now called Lycia; and they say that these settlers were brought to Crete by Sarpedon, a brother of Minos ...” Herodotus called the “Greek” philosopher Thales of Miletus “a man ... of Phoenician descent”(1.170). Strabo debates the identification of the Leleges with the Carians, but explains that they inhabited the same territory together, and also that Leleges inhabited a part of the Troad, from which they were driven after Troy’s fall (7.7.2). Carians, including men of Miletus, and Lycians are mentioned by Homer among Troy’s defenders (Iliad, Book 2).
The Minoans themselves were said to have spread west to Sicily (Diodorus Siculus 4.79.1-7, Strabo 6.3.2), and Cretans founded Bottiaïs in Macedon (Diodorus 7.16.1, Strabo 7.11) and Brentesium in Italy (Strabo 6.3.6), among other places. Strabo says that “In earlier times Knossos was called Caeratus, bearing the same name as the river which flows past it.” Caer, or Car, is from a Hebrew word meaning “city”(i.e. “Carthage” is from the Hebrew for “new city”). Another river on Crete, the Iardanos, has a name much like the river of Palestine, the LXX spelling for which is Iordanos.
So in the earliest accounts we find, while those accounts contain some variations, that the Trojans, Leleges, Carians, Cilicians, and Phoenicians are all related, and also all have some connection to ancient Crete, a land famous for its bull-worship cult (cf. Exodus 32; 1 Kings 12:28; 2 Kings 10:29;17:16; Apollodorus, Library,3.2.1). Much later, during the Trojan Wars, Homer places the Dorians on Crete (Odyssey, Book 19), some time before they invaded Greece. Crete is where a great number of Linear B inscriptions have been found, which represents an early Greek dialect, and which is related to an early Cyprian dialect, for which see the Preface to the Revised Supplement(1996) of the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon. It is quite apparent that Crete, and also to some degree Cyprus which was once subject to the Phoenicians of Tyre (cf. Josephus, Antiquities 9:14: 2 and Ezek. 27:6), were stopping points, or staging areas, where in early times the tribes of Palestine settled before moving on into Anatolia, Greece, and points further west.
Once it is realized that the ancient Phoenicians were the northern tribes of Israel, which the Bible and especially the LXX version reveals (see my essay Galilee of the Gentiles? for an introduction to this), and that the Trojans, related to the Phoenicians as explained in the Greek records, had descended from Judah through Zerah, the profound realities of Biblical prophecy begin to materialize.
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until shiloh come ...” (Gen. 49:10). Yet this statement was made perhaps 700 to 750 years before David, the first Judahite king in Israel, received the sceptre there for the Pharez line of Judah.
Strabo says of the Trojans that they “waxed so strong from a small beginning that they became Kings of Kings” (12.8.7), and describes the Trojan royal dynasties which ruled over all the related peoples, including the Carians, Lycians, Mysians, Leleges and Cilicians (13.1.7). Even in the defeat of Troy, the Trojans were considered a noble race and Trojan princes true royalty. So it is evident that the Zerah line of Judah had kings much earlier than the Pharez line.
Virgil’s Aeneid tells a story of how the Trojan prince Aeneas, after Troy’s fall, led a large colony of Trojans to what is now Italy, founding a settlement called Alba Longa. These people later became known by the name of that settlement's most famous city, Rome. While Virgil’s poem contains an anachronistic sub-plot, a romance between Aeneas and Dido of Carthage (who actually lived over 300 years after Troy’s fall, for which see Josephus’ Against Apion), a romance which Virgil ended in enmity and probably contrived for political reasons, the general story of Aeneas’ migration was well accepted in antiquity. Since according to Homer the Lydians were allies of Troy (Iliad Book2), and the Etruscans of Italy claimed to be a colony of Lydians (Strabo 5.2.2, Herodotus 1.94, Tacitus’ Annals of Rome 4.52 ff.), such a migration is quite plausible, Alba Longa having been just south of Tuscany in Italy.
Strabo tells us that the migration of Aeneas is “a traditional fact”, along with the diaspora of other Trojans (3.2. 13), and discusses such at length in several places in his Geography (6.1.12, 14; 13.1.52, 53 et al.). He also relates the descent of Julius Caesar from Aeneas, as did Virgil, and how Alexander the Great also claimed descent from Trojan princes, though he inferred that Alexander’s claim is not as well supported (13.1.27). Although much of Diodorus Siculus’ Book 7 is lost, chapter 5 (in the Loeb Library edition) was preserved in Eusebius’ Chronicle, where Eusebius repeated Diodorus’ account of the Trojan migration and settlement in Italy under Aeneas, and the descent of the family of Julius Caesar from that Trojan prince. Eusebius certainly accepted the account by Diodorus, who he says “gathered in summary form all libraries into one and the same clearinghouse of knowledge” (Diodorus Siculus, “Fragments of Book VII”, Loeb Library, 7.5). The Romans legitimized their rule over the οἰκουμένη by their descent from the noble Trojans, claims recognized even in the Middle Ages.
In Medieval times the Trojan princes were considered to be legitimate, rightful rulers, and noblemen sought to connect themselves to the houses of those princes in order to legitimize their own positions. So in the reign of the Merovingian kings: “Frankish pride in their own achievement bore fruit in Dagobert’s reign in the emergence of the tradition that the Franks were descended from the Trojan royal family, and were thus equal to the Romans” (The Oxford History Of Medieval Europe, pp. 88-89). Yet while Roman claims had the full support of history, such Frankish claims do not. More credible are the claims concerning the kings of the Britons, and Virgil relates that they too were a colony from the Trojans of Italy, though the Greek historians do not state as much. Diodorus Siculus does tell us of the British that “they use chariots ... even as tradition tells us the old Greek heroes did in the Trojan War” (5.21.5), and Strabo says “for the purposes of war they use chariots for the most part, just as some of the Celti do” (4.5.2). This was learned when Caesar invaded Britain, which both Diodorus and Strabo are referring to.
Many ignorant skeptics claim that Troy didn't exist at all, pointing to the want of remains found at Hissarlik, the likely site of ancient Troy. Yet they too ignore the classical writers. In Euripides’ play Helen, which portrays events in the aftermath of the Trojan war, the following dialogue takes place between the title character and the Greek hero Teucer: “Helen: Did you really go to the renowned city of Ilium, stranger? Teucer: Yes: I helped sack it but came to grief myself. Helen: What, has it already been destroyed by fire? Teucer: Yes: you cannot even see for sure the footprint of its walls.”(Euripides, Helen 105-108, Loeb Library, David Kovacs’ translation. The grief Teucer refers to is the loss of his brother Ajax.) Strabo calls the Troad “left in ruins and in desolation” even in his own time (13.1.1), and that of Troy “no trace of the ancient city survives; and naturally so, for while the cities all around it were sacked, but not completely destroyed, yet that city was so utterly demolished that all the stones were taken from it to rebuild the others” (13.1.38), and later quotes Lycurgus of Athens, a 4th century B.C. orator (specifically his Against Leocrates, 62) who said of Troy that “it was rased to the ground by the Greeks, and is uninhabited” (13.1.41). Why do modern ‘scholars’ complain that so little has been found at Troy, when we have a clear indication by the classical writers that there should be nothing left to find? The destruction of Troy was so real to the Greeks that writers such as Thucydides and Diodorus Siculus (i.e. 14.2.4,19.1.10, 20.2.3) dated the events in their histories in terms of the numbers of years from Troy’s fall, which would be 1184 B.C. on our calendars.
While the story of the noble Trojans may surely be continued from the records of the Romans, showing their connection to the Britons, and the settlement of the Milesians in Ireland, along with a closer examination of the Trojan diaspora in Greek records, it is not intended to do so here. It is only hoped that one realizes, that from the earliest dispersions of the children of Israel, that the sceptre certainly did not depart from Judah, and that while the coasts of Europe were first settled by Japhethites (Ionians, Rhodians, Thracians etc.), the children of Israel surely did inherit the οἰκουμένη (“world”), as the Bible promised. And this is only a small part of the story!
The verity of these ancient historical accounts may be ascertained with an inspection of both Old Testament prophecy and New Testament testimony. Dan. 9:25 dates the coming of “Messiah the Prince” for us, which is Yahshua Christ. Dan. 9:26 tells us that after the crucifixion, the “people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city” (A.V.).The methods of the translators, in both the A.V. and the Greek of the LXX, show that from the earliest times men insisted that the “Prince” of v. 25 and the “prince” of v. 26 were two different persons, yet the Hebrew word is the same (#5057), and there is no grammatical compulsion for assuming that these are two different princes! Rather, it is evident that the translators themselves couldn’t conceive of how the Christ could have some other people from outside who would destroy Jerusalem, the “holy city” which they imagined to be inhabited by His people. Yet in reality, as is surely attested to in history and in the Bible, the true Israelite people of Yahweh were spread across the οἰκουμένη (inhabited world), and most of the inhabitants of Jerusalem left behind in 70 A.D. were of the Canaanite-Edomite Adversary: today’s jews.
The Romans, being descended from the Israelite tribe of Zerah-Judah, surely were the “people of the Prince” of Dan. 9:26, who Paul wrote would “crush Satan” under their feet (Rom. 16:20), i.e. destroy the Canaanite-Edomites of Jerusalem. Paul knew the Romans were Israel, and told them as much throughout his epistle to them. This is especially apparent at Rom. 1:21-26, which could only be spoken of Israelites, the only nation who knew Yahweh (i.e. Amos 3:2; Mic.4:5). He also told them at Rom. 2:14-15, where “Gentiles” should be “nations”, and the statement is a direct reference to Psa. 33:12-15; 40:8; Isa. 51:7; Jer. 31:31-33; Ezek.11:19-20; 36:26-27, which can be spoken of no one but Israel. Paul further indicated that the Romans were Israelites at Rom. 2:22-29 (cf. Deut. 10:16; Jer. 4:4); 4:1, 12, 13-18; 5:6,10-11; 7:1-6 (cf. Jer. 3:1, 8; Hos. 2:2); 8:14-17 (cf. Deut. 14:1); 9:1-13, 21-29 and elsewhere. Paul was not, as the ‘church’ supposes, redefining Israel, styled today as “replacement theology”, for Paul was addressing Israelites, not the ‘church’!
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