Monday, October 10, 2016

Priam, King of Troy

Chart #11 covers a lot of information, although most is legendary. Dardanus was the legendary King of the Dardanians around the Straits of Dardanelles (shown in yellow on nearby map). According to Greek legend he was the son of Zeus and Electra, although some medieval sources (such as the O'Cleary Book of Genealogies) show his descent from Noah's grandson, Javan as shown in an earlier blog (Chart #1). 

The current town of Çanakkale is the closest to the ancient city of Troy - today called Hisarlik. Scholars a couple of centuries ago thought the Greek story of the Trojan War was strictly made up and mythological. However, when archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered certain treasures at Hisarlik the scholarly world came to recognize that there was some historical basis to the Greek legends. A fascinating biography about Schliemann is The Greek Treasure, by Irving Stone - a highly recommended read.

Homer's Iliad is reasonably well-known today and sometimes taught in US schools along with Greek mythology. Many of the Greek gods and heroes are mentioned in the famous Trojan War, which was taken by the Greeks against Troy due to Priam's son, Paris kidnapping Helen from her husband, Menelaus the king of Sparta.

As can be seen in Chart #11, there are at least four nations that claim descent from the Trojans. It is quite likely that if there is any truth to any of the genealogies shown here, then there are likely mistakes and embellishments along the way. I will discuss each of them below, starting with Rome:

1. Rome: As I have discussed in an earlier blog (Chart #7), Julius Caesar claimed descent from both Ascanius (here in Chart #11) and Numa Pompilius, the legendary second king of Rome.  The first ruler was Romulus, who had a twin brother, Remus who were abandoned to die as infants but were suckled by a she-wolf . Romulus' ancestry goes back to Aeneas, who is shown in Chart #11, but as I have no descendants but for a few more generations I have not included a genealogy chart here for Romulus. 

But there is another legendary king by the name of Latinus, who was one of Aeneas' fathers-in-law who was called the King of Latium (or Italy). This man would have lived several generations earlier than Romulus and was one of his ancestors. The earlier Latinus was King of Italy about 400 years before Romulus founded the city of Rome.

2. Britain: There is also another legend that a grandson of Ascanius, called Brutus was the first to migrate to the British Isles. His name is where the "British" derive the name of their islands. We will discuss Brutus in a later blog showing some of his descendants.

3. France: Priam's son, Helenus married Andromache, a princess of Thebes. They were the parents to a man called Genger (or Cestrinus) who was the father of Franco (whence France gets it's name). An old book written in 727 called Liber Historiae Francorum claims that after the fall of Troy a group of 12,000 refugees from Troy settled on the Tanais (or Don) River, northeast of the Black Sea. Originally these refugees were the founders of the Cimmerians and then moving further west becoming the founders of the Sicambri.  This line descends to connect to Chart #9, the ancestors of the early French kings.

The Sicambri were a Germanic peoples and may have been ancestors to some French, but most scholars would disagree with most of Liber Historiae Francorum. Since DNA evidence as I addressed early in my posts suggest that most western European inhabitants have been in the area since the end of the Last Ice Age and this would support what most scholars claim. However, the more I have looked at some of these conquests and supposed migrations I tend to think most of them involved men (rather than women and children) and whether they conquered or not, they often represent a smaller segment of the population which in only a few generations were totally intermarried with the original inhabitants.

4. Scandinavia: So now we come to the famous Norse God, Odin (or Woden) who according to Snorri Sturluson in his famous Icelandic Saga, the Heimskingla, claims that Odin and Njord migrated from around the Black Sea. Odin settled his many sons as Kings in various places around Scandinavia and eventually he himself settled with Njord at Uppsala, Sweden. Sturluson then follows the stories of Njord's descendants as early Swedish Kings and then eventually migrating to Norway to become the ancestors of the Medieval Norwegian Kings. We will discuss later the Anglo-Saxon invasions of Britain and how these rulers all claimed descent from various sons of Odin. There is an interesting book called After the Flood, by Bill Cooper, which can be obtained in PDF form on the web (link below). Although I do not agree with his conclusions, he does some interesting analysis of various medieval documents in Chapter 7 attempting to show that there is probably some historical basis to the list of Odin's ancestors.

Here are links to some of the key people in my online genealogy database:

Here are some links to help you learn more:

Here are some useful books to read pertaining to the subjects in this blog:

Cumberland Family Software:

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