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who were the trojans?

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              WHO WERE THE TROJANS?

Because the lliad was written in Ancient Greek and all the names of the persons and gods were Greek names, many people think that the Trojans and the Greeks were the same people and they spoke the same people and they spoke the same language. The abundance of the Mycenaean type of ceramics which were found during the excavations also strengthens this opinion. But according to the latest research of linguists, the Trojans spoke an Indo-European language which was widely spoken in different part of Anatolia, called Luvian.

Prof. Calvert Watkins, a specialist in Indo-European languages, explains the abundance of Mycenaean ceramics as due to trade and claims that during this trade two different languages were used. It is clearly understood from the lliad that the Trojans had a close relationship with the Greeks. Equally they had similar relationships with the Hittites as well. As a matter of fact there is a resemblance between the marriage traditions of the Trojans and the Hittites. For example: According to a Hittite law "if a man has a wife and the man dies, his brother takes his wife". Take Trojans had exactly the same law. The legend tells us that after the death of Paris his brother Deiphobos married Helen.

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Obviously the Trojans had connections both with east and west. But who were thay? It would probably be easier to answer this question if a few written tablets had been unearthed during the excavations. But no tablets have been found so far. However the Hittites in central Anatolia used both Hierogliphics and Cuneiform, around the second millennium B.C. This is why the linguists are searching the Hittite sources and trying to find something about Troy.

At a Symposium held at Bryn Mawr College in October 1984 linguist Prof. Watkins suggests that "Steep Wilusa", a city mentioned on a Hittite tablet which was written in Luvian, could well be "Steep llios" of the lliad. "Priya-Muwas" sounds very much like "Priamos". The Luvian "Aleksandus" may well be "Aleksandros", the second name of the Trojan prince Paris.

How can we ignore these reseblences? Especially if Homer tells us in the lliad that the Trojans and their allies spoke different languages and dialects.

"Hector, I urge you above all to do as I say. In his great city, Priam has many allies. But these foreigners all talk different languages. Let their own captains in each case take charge of them, draw up their countrymen, and lead them into battle.

(lliad II. 800-805)

"...Such was the babel that went up from the great Trojan army, which hailed from many parts, and being without a common language used many different cries and calls.

(lliao IV. 437-439)

That means the Trojans and their allies were certainly not Greek-speaking people. The names of many heroes mentioned in the lliad were local Anatolian names. Those which sound Greek were either adopted or made up. For example "Astyanax", son of Hector, was a Greek name, but Hector would call him "Skamandrias". "Hector" too could well have born a real local Anatolian name.

Although not proved, we shall go on believing that the Trojans were "native people of Anatolia" until archaeologists find tablets in future proving to the contrary.

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