On some Late Helladic migrants into Anatolia named in Hittite and Luwian sources, their migration to Iron Age Cilicia and their return to Greece in legend


  • Stephen P. B. Durnford


Ahhiyawa, Attarissiya, Caria, Chios, Helladic, Hittite, Hiyawa, Linear B, Luwian, Mopsus, Pamphylia, Thebes, Tiresias


I offer the novel and speculative propositions that 15th-14th century Hittite records of intrusion by Attarissiya of Ahhiya refer to the legendary migration from Thebes into ‘Caria’ by one of several men named Tiresias, presumably via Chios, and that teiresías is an aphaeretic form of attarissiyas, and khíos of aḫḫiyā. Further, presuming that Anatolians had initially encountered Mycenaeans as coming from Chios, I suggest that aḫḫiyawā, ethnicon of aḫḫiyā and the Anatolian exonym for Mycenaeans, was used for Greek *akhaiwíya by folk-etymology. The recurring Linear B names *etewokléwes, *wroikos and *mokʷsos occur in Anatolian sources altered by Luwic pronunciation, showing that Ahhiyawa and Hattusa communicated orally via bilingual speakers working with scribes. Led by *mokʷsos, Tiresias’s linguistically mixed descendants, whose deeds were later imported into Greek as non-Homeric narratives, took the coastal route to Cilicia under their aphaeretic endonym ḫiyawa. They settled in Pamphylia (Hittite ‘Lukka’) by the 13th century, then spread, after Hittite power vanished, into Cilicia Pedias by the 10th century (Herodotus’s Hypachaioi) and founded the kingdom of Hiyawa, whose royal names descend from *wroikos and *mokʷsos. The relevant attestations, linguistic processes and chronology offer a consistent pattern, with traces in Iron Age Lydia and Phrygia too.


Allen, W.S. 1987. Vox Graeca: A Guide to the Pronunciation of Classical Greek, 3rd edition. Cambridge.

Archi, A. 2015. A royal seal from Ebla (17th cent. B.C.) with Hittite hieroglyphic symbols. OrNS 84/1: 18-28.

Bachvarova, M.R. 2015. Migrations in Anatolian narrative traditions, in Stampolidis et al. 2015: 145-183.

Bachvarova, M.R. 2016. From Hittite to Homer: The Anatolian Background of Ancient Greek Epic. Cambridge.

Becker, J, Hempelmann, R, Rehm, E. (eds) 2010. Zentrum und Peripherie. Festschrift für Jan-Waalke Meyer (Alter Orient und Altes Testament 371). Μünster.

Beckman, G.M. 1999. Hittite Diplomatic Texts (WAW 7). Atlanta.

Beckman, G.M. 2016. Aḫḫijawa und kein Ende: The Battle over Mycenaeans in Anatolia, in Byrd et al. 2016: 1-12.

Beckman, G.M., Bryce, T.R., Cline, E.H. 2011. The Ahhiyawa Texts (WAW 28). Atlanta.

Bennet, E.L., Olivier, J-P. 1973. The Pylos Tablets Transcribed. Rome.

Boardman, J., Vaphopoulou-Richardson, C.E. (eds) 1986. Chios. A Conference at the Homereion in Chios 1984. Oxford.

Bolatti Guzzo, N., Taracha, P. (eds) 2019. ‘And I Knew Twelve Languages’ – A Tribute to Massimo Poetto on the Occasion of His 70th Birthday. Warsaw.

Brixhe, C. 1976. Le Dialecte grec de Pamphylie: documents et grammaire. Paris.

Bryce, T.R. 2016. The land of Hiyawa (Que) revisited. AnSt 66: 67-79.

Buck, C.D. 1910. Introduction to the Study of the Greek Dialects – Grammar, Selected Inscriptions, Glossary. Chicago.

Burgin, J.M. 2016. Graphical origins of ‘Initial-A-Final’ in Hieroglyphic Luwian. SMEA NS 2: 7-32.

Bury, J.B., Meiggs, R. 1975. A History of Greece (4th edition). London.

Byrd, A.M., DeLisi, J., Wenthe, M. (eds) 2016. Tavet Tat Satyam – Studies in Honor of Jared S. Klein on the Occasion of His Seventieth Birthday. Ann Arbor – New York.

Carruba, O. 1965. Review of Neumann, G. 1961. Untersuchungen zum Untersuchungen zum Weiterleben hethitischen und luwischen Sprachgutes in hellenistischer und romischer Zeit. OLZ 60: 554-559.

Carruba, O. 1979. Commento alle nuove iscrizioni di Licia, in Studia Mediterranea Piero Meriggi dicata. Pavia: 75-95.

Chadwick, J. 1973. Documents in Mycenaean Greek (2nd edition). Cambridge.

Cline, E. 1996. Aššuwa and the Achaeans: the ‘Mycenaean’ sword at Hattušas and its possible implications. BSA 91: 137-151.

Cobet, J., von Graeve, V., Niemeier, W.-D., Zimmermann, K. (eds) 2007. FrühesIonien. Eine Bestandsaufnahme. Panionion-Symposion Güzelçamlı, 26 September ‒ 1 Oktber 1999 (Milesische Forschungen 5). Mainz am Rhein.

Cole-Dai, J., Ferris, D.G., Kennedy, J.A., Sigl, M., McConnell, J.R., Fudge, T.J., Geng, L., Maselli, O.J., Taylor, K.C., Souney, J.M. 2020. Comprehensive record of volcanic eruptions in the Holocene (11,000 years) from the WAIS Divide, Antarctica Ice Core. JGR Atmospheres 126: https://doi.org/10.1029/2020JD032855

Crossland, R.A., Birchall, A. (eds) 1974. Bronze Age Migrations in the Aegean. Archaeological and Linguistic Problems in Greek Prehistory. Park Ridge.

Dercksen, J.G. 2007. On Anatolian loanwords in Akkadian texts from Kültepe. ZA 97: 26-46.

Dinҫol, B., Dinçol, A., Hawkins, J.D., Peker, H., Öztan, A., Çelik, Ö. 2015. Two new inscribed Storm-god stelae from Arsuz (İskenderun): ARSUZ 1 and 2. AnSt 65: 59-77.

Durnford, S.P.B. 2008. Is Sarpedon a Bronze Age Anatolian personal name or a job description? AnSt 58: 103-113.

Durnford, S.P.B. 2010. How old was the Ankara Silver Bowl when its inscriptions were added?. AnSt 60: 51-70.

Durnford, S.P.B. 2012. Peering into the cauldron: an approach to enigmatic terminology in ancient texts. BJRL 89/1: 85-109.

Evelyn-White, H.G. 1914. Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle – Homerica (Loeb Classical Library 57). London.

Finkelberg, M. 1988. From Ahhiyawa to ’Αχαιοί. Glotta 66/3-4: 127-134.

Forlanini, M. 2012. The historical geography of Western Anatolia in the Late Bronze Age: Still an open question. OrNS 81/2: 133-140.

Forrer, E. 1924. Vorhomerische Griechen in den Keilschrifttexten von Boghazköi. MDOG 83: 1-22.

Gander, M. 2012. Aḫḫiyawa – Ḫiyawa – Que: Evidenz für die Anwesenheit von Griechen in Kilikien? SMEA 54: 281-309.

Gander, M. 2017. The West: Philology, in Weeden, Ullmann 2017: 262-280.

Garrison, L. 2018. The war lasted about 9 years according to Homer, in Quora blog response to ‘When did the Trojan War end?’, https://www.quora.com/When- did-the-Trojan-War-end.

Gautschy, R. 2014. A reassessment of the absolute chronology of the Egyptian New Kingdom and its ‘brotherly’ countries. Ägypten und Levante / Egypt and the Levant 24: 143-160.

Goedegebuure, P., van den Hout, T., Osborne, J., Massa, M., Bachhuber, C., Şahin, F. 2020. TÜRKMEN-KARAHÖYÜK 1: A new Hieroglyphic Luwian inscription from Great King Hartapu, son of Mursili, conqueror of Phrygia. AnSt 70: 29-43.

Godart, L., Sacconi, A. 1999. La Géographie des États mycéniens. Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres. Comptes Rendus des Séances de l’Année, Apr.– June (published 2001): 527-546.

Hasselbach-Andee, R. (ed.) 2020. Companion to Ancient Near Eastern Languages. New York.

Hawkins, J.D. 2000. Corpus of Hieroglyphic Luwian Inscriptions, vol. 1: Inscriptions of the Iron Age. Berlin – New York.

Hawkins, J.D. 2003. Scripts and Texts, in Melchert 2003a: 128-169.

Hawkins, J.D., Morpurgo Davies, A. 1993. Running and relatives in Luwian. Kadmos 32: 50-60.

Hawkins, J.D., Weeden. M. 2017, Kizzuwatna and the Euphrates States: Kummaha, Elbistan, Malatya: Philology, in Weeden, Ullmann 2017: 281-294.

Hope Simpson, R. 2003. The Dodecanese and the Ahhiyawa question. BSA 98: 203-237.

Houwink ten Cate, P.H.J. 1961. The Luwian Population Groups of Lycia and Cilicia Aspera During the Hellenistic Period (reprinted 1965). Leiden.

Houwink ten Cate, P.H.J. 1974. Anatolian evidence for relations with the West in the Late Bronze Age, in Crossland, Birchall 1974: 141-158.

Jasanoff, I., Melchert, H.C., Oliver, L. (eds) 1998. Mír Curad: Studies in Honor of Calvert Watkins. Innsbruck.

Killen, J.T., Olivier, J.-P. 1989. The Knossos Tablets: A Transliteration (5th edition) (Minos Supplement 11).Salamanca.

Koliński, R. (ed.) 2018. Awīlum ša la mašê – Man Who Cannot be Forgotten: Studies in Honor of Prof. Stefan Zawadzki Presented on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. Warsaw.

Kopanias, K. 2008. The Late Bronze Age Near Eastern cylinder seals from Thebes (Greece) and their historical implications. Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Athenische Abteilung 123: 39-96.

Kopanias, K. 2018. Cilicia and Pamphylia during the Early Iron Age: Hiyawa, Mopsos and the foundation of the Greek poleis. Athens University Review of Archaeology 1: 69-95.

Landfester, M., Cancik, H., Schneider, H. 2006. Brill’s New Pauly: Encyclopaedia of the Ancient World. Leiden.

Lane Fox, R. 2008. Travelling Heroes: Greeks and their Myths in the Epic Age of Homer. London.

Latacz, J.L. 2004. Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery (Tr. Windle, K., Ireland, R.). Oxford.

Latacz, J.L. 2010. Troia und Homer: Der Weg zur Lösung eines alten Rätsels (6th edition). Leipzig.

Liebhart, R.F., Brixhe, C. 2010. The recently discovered inscriptions from Tumulus MM at Gordion – a preliminary report. Kadmos 48/1: 141-156.

Lipiński, E. 2004. Itineraria Phoenicia. Leuven.

Liritzis, I., Polymeris, G.S., Vafiadou, A., Sideris, A., Levy, T.E. 2018. Luminescence dating of stone wall, tomb and ceramics of Kastrouli (Phokis, Greece) Late Helladic settlement: Case study. Journal of Cultural Heritage 35: 76-85 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.culher.2018.07.009

Manning, S.W., Barjamovic, G., Lorentzen, B. 2017. The course of ¹⁴C dating does not run smooth: Tree-rings, radiocarbon, and potential impacts of a calibration curve wiggle on dating Mesopotamian chronology. Journal of Ancient Egyptian Interconnections 13 (March 2017): 70–81.

Masson, O. 1983. Les inscriptions chypriotes syllabiques (2nd edition). Paris.

Melchert, H.C. 1990. Adjectives in *-iyo- in Anatolian. HSp 103/2: 198-207.

Melchert, H.C. 1998. Poetic meter and phrasal stress in Hittite, in Jasanoff et al. 1998: 483-494.

Melchert, H.C. (ed.) 2002. Corpus of Lydian Inscriptions. https://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/anatol/lydian/lydco.htm.

Melchert, H.C. (ed.) 2008. Corpus of Lycian and Milyan (Lycian B) Inscriptions. https://titus.fkidg1.unifrankfurt.de/texte/etcs/anatol/lycian/lycco.htm.

Melchert, H.C. 2020a. Mycenaean and Hittite diplomatic correspondence: Fact and fiction, in Classical Inquiries, available on-line at: https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/mycenaean-and-hittite-diplomatic-correspondence-fact-and-fiction.

Melchert, H.C. 2020b. Luwian, in Hasselbach-Andee 2020: 239-246.

Mountjoy, P.A. 1998. The East Aegean-West Anatolian interface in the Late Bronze Age: Mycenaeans and the kingdom of Ahhiyawa. AnSt 48: 33-67.

Mouton, A. 2015. Hépatoscopie à Hattusa, in Roche-Hawley, Hawley 2015: 207-237.

Murray, A.T. 1924/1999. Homer – The Iliad, Books I to XII, Revised Wyatt W.F. (Loeb Classical Library 170). London.

Murray, A.T. 1974/1999. Homer – The Iliad, Books XIII to XXII, Revised Wyatt W.F. (Loeb Classical Library 171). London.

Murray, A.T. 1919/1998. Hom. Od. 3.141 Homer – Odyssey, Books 1-12, Revised Dimock, G.E. (Loeb Classical Library 104). London.

Niemeier, W-D. 2007. Westkleinasien und Ägäis von den Anfängen bis zur Ionischen Wanderung: Topographie, Geschichte und Beziehungen nach dem archaeologist Befund und den hethitischen Quellen, in Cobet et al. 2007: 37-96.

Niemeier, W-D. 2008. Ḫattusas Beziehungen zum westlichen Kleinasien und dem mykenischen Griechenland nach den neuesten Forschungen, in Wilhelm 2008: 291-349.

Nagy, G. 2016. Some ‘Anchor Comments’ on an ‘Aeolian’ Homer, Classical Inquiries Dialogues, Center for Hellenic Studies, Harvard. https://classical-inquiries.chs.harvard.edu/some-anchor-comments-on-an-aeolian-homer.

Novák, M. 2010. Kizzuwatna – Hiyawa – Quwe. Ein Abriss der Kulturgeschichte des Ebenen Kilikien in Kulturlandschaft Syrien, in Becker et al. 2010: 397-422.

Palmer, L.R., Boardman, J. 1963. On the Knossos Tablets. Oxford.

Pausanias, Description of Greece, translated by W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod. Cambridge, MA – London, 1918, supported by Annenberg CPB/Project, https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text.

Peters, M.S. 2009. Of Princes and Peasants? A Comparative Approach to an Understanding of Social Development, Identity and Dynamics in Mainland Greece, c. 1300 – 900 B.C. Sheffield.

Plummer, R. 1982. Genesis 34 in Jewish writings of the Hellenistic and Roman Periods. The Harvard Theological Review 75/2: 177-188.

Roche-Hawley, C., Hawley, R. (eds) 2015. Divins et lettrés dans l’orbite de Babylone (Oriens & Méditerranée ˩ Archéologie 16). Paris.

Roosevelt, C.H., Luke, C. 2017. The Story of a forgotten kingdom? Survey archaeology and the historical geography of central Western Anatolia in the second millennium BC. European Journal of Archaeology 20/1: 120-147.

Rotstein, A. 2016. Literary History in the Parian Marble (Hellenic Studies Series 68). Cambridge, MA – London.

Ruppenstein, F. 2015. Did the terms ‘wanax’ and ‘lāwāgetās’ already exist before the emergence of the Mycenaean palatial polities? Göttinger Forum fürAltertumswissenschaft 18: 91-107.

Schürr, D. 2019. Von Bock und Roß und vielleicht Kalb im Lykischen, in Bolatti Guzzo, Taracha 2019: 560-572.

Sherwin-White, A.N. 1976. Rome, Pamphylia and Cilicia, 133-70 B.C. JRS 66: 1-14.

Skelton, C. 2017. Greek-Anatolian language contact and the settlement of Pamphylia. Classical Antiquity 36/1: 104-129.

Stampolidis, Ν., Maner, N.C., Kopanias, K. (eds) 2015. NOSTOI. Indigenous Culture, Migration and Integration in the Aegean Islands and Western Anatolia during the Late Bronze and Early Iron Age. Proceedings of the International Conference, Istanbul, March 2011. Istanbul.

Strabo, Geography, translated by H.G. Hamilton and W. Falconer. Londn – New York, 1903, https://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper.

Süel, A. 2014. Tarhunnaradu/Tarhundaradu in the Ortaköy texts, in Taracha 2014: 932-942.

Talbert, J.A.R. 2013. Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World. Princeton.

Taracha, P. (ed.) 2014. Proceedings of the Eighth International Congress of Hittitology, Warsaw, 5-9 September 2011. Warsaw.

Taracha, P. 2018. On the nature of Hittite diplomatic relations with Mycenaean rulers, in Koliński 2018: 215-230.

Toffolo, M.B, Fantalkin, A, Lemos, I.S., Felsch, R.C.S., Niemeier, W.-D., Sanders, G.D.R., Finkelstein, I., Boaretto, E. 2013. Towards an absolute chronology for the Aegean iron age: new radiocarbon dates from Lefkandi, Kalapodi and Corinth. PLoS One 8/12: 1-11.

Ventris, M., Chadwick, J. 1953. Documents in Mycenaean Greek: Three Hundred Selected Tablets from Knossos, Pylos, and Mycenae with Commentary and Vocabulary. Cambridge.

von Schuler, E. 1965. Die Kaškäer: Ein BeitragzurEthnographie des alten Kleinasien. Berlin.

Walcot, P. 1956. The text of Hesiod’s Theogony and the Hittite epic of Kumarbi. The Classical Quarterly 6/3-4: 198-206.

Weeden, M. 2018. Hittite-Ahhiyawan Politics as Seen from the Tablets. SMEA NS 4: 215-225.

Weeden, M. 2020. Back to the 13th or 12th Century BC? The SÜDBURG Inscription at Boğazköy-Hattuša in Anatolia between the 13th and the 12th century BC. Eothen 23: 472-496.

Weeden, M., Ullmann, L.Z. (eds) 2017. Hittite Landscape and Geography (Handbook of Oriental Studies 121). Leiden.

West, M L. 2001. Atreus and Attarassiyas. Glotta 77 (published 2003): 262-266.

Whitmarsh, T. 2021. Less care, more stress: A rhythmic poem from the Roman Empire. The Cambridge Classical Journal: 1-29. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/cambridge-classical-journal/article/less-care-more-stress-a-rhythmic-poem-from-the-roman-empire/B5A03C3981F21E885228D3C3184109E9

Wiener, M.H. 2003. The absolute chronology of Late Helladic III A2 revisited. BSA 98: 239-250.

Wilhelm, G. (ed.) 2008. Ḫattuša-Boğazköy. Das Hethiterreich im Spannungsfeld des Alten Orients. 6. Internationales Colloquium der Deutschen Orient-Gesellschaft 22-24. Marz 2006, Würzburg. Wiesbaden.

Woodard, R.D. 2008. The Ancient Languages of Asia Minor. Cambridge.

Yakubovich, I. 2010. Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language. Leiden.

Yakubovich, I., Hawkins, J.D. 2015. Phoenician and Luwian in Early Iron Age Cilicia. AnSt 65: 35-55.

Yates, A.D. 2017. Lexical Accent in Cupeño, Hittite, and Indo-European. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of California, Los Angeles.



How to Cite

Durnford, S. P. B. (2022). On some Late Helladic migrants into Anatolia named in Hittite and Luwian sources, their migration to Iron Age Cilicia and their return to Greece in legend. ARAMAZD: Armenian Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 15(1-2), 43–127. Retrieved from https://archaeopresspublishing.com/ojs/index.php/aramazd/article/view/1300