The Language(s) of the Trojans: The Perspective of an Anatolian Scholar
Ilya Yakubovich (Institute of World Cultures, Lomonosov Moscow State University;
Journal of Language Relationship, № 15/3-4, 2017 - p.193-215
This paper is devoted to the scrutiny of historical sources that can shed light on the ethnic composition of northwest Anatolia in 14–12th centuries BC. The high probability of the conflicts in this region providing the background for the Homeric narrative about the Trojan war enhances the relevance of this topic for Ancient Mediterranean Studies. The linguistic analysis of the forms retrievable from the primary sources of the first millennium BC is conducive to a pessimistic conclusion that the ethnic identification of the “Trojans” is impossible. This undermines the popular hypothesis about the Luwian ethnicity of the Late Bronze Age “Trojan” elites. At the same time, one must acknowledge the possibility of interpreting several “Trojan” proper noun occurring in the Iliad as Luwic. One of the possible explanations of this phenomenon is the resettlement of (Proto-)Lycian population groups to the Troad as part of a broader process of the Sea People migrations.
Keywords: Troy, Luwian language, Lycian language, Iliad, Homer