Saturday, June 10, 2017

Amazons and the Tribe of Dan

Since it's Wonder Woman month, I figure it's time I explore this idea I've been wanting to explore for awhile.  (The embryo of this theory has been in my mind since before Gal Gadot was cast, so now it's just inspired by an Israeli actress playing Wonder Woman.)

At least one prior writer has looked into the possibly of a Lost Tribes connection for the Amazons.  John R. Salverda.  Salverda's many theories on Greek Mythology are something I want to do a separate post on in the future.  For now I just want to comment that while I find his research useful much of it I feel is way off base.  I do not identify Myrina with Mariam.  Also Salverda is very anti-Feminist, talking about "Hebrew Women saved the ancient world from Amazonian Feminism", I however feel part of the intent of the New Testament is to save the world from Patriarchy.  And that the Office of Prophetess held by Mariam is the same one later held by Deborah, and other Prophetesses of the Hebrew Bible all the way down to Anna at the Birth of Christ.  And now since Pentecost by many Christian women starting with the Daughters of Philip.  Mariam and her group of Women were not sinning, in fact I feel they are vital to understanding the importance of the word Almah.

The Geography of the Amazons is a complicated matter.  In Homer they were in Lycia or west of Lycia when encountered by Bellerphon.  The stories of their encounters with Herakles and Theseus focus on the Thermodon river south of the Black Sea near Pontus.  Herodotus says they latter migrated north of the Black Sea and intermarried with Scythians.  The legends surrounding queen Marpesia, Lysippe, Lampedo, Hippo and Otheria connect them to the founding of cities like Ephesus and Smyrna and to eastern Aegean islands like Lemnos, Lesbos and Samothrace. Hypsipyle encountered by Jason and the Argonaughts on Lemnos I think was another Amazon queen and the usual origin story for her women was a made up myth.

Allied with the Amazons mentioned in the Iliad were the Solymi.  Josephus in Against Apion argues the Solymi mentioned by Herodotus as being in Xerxes army were Jews.   William Whiston in his footnotes of his translation agrees with that by contrasting them with other Solymi he feels were pagan gentiles.  But if these Solymi were Danites rather then Judeans then they were similar yet different.

East of Lycia takes us to Cilicia and Adana, definitely early Denyen colonies.  And winding up north of the Black Sea takes them to the Danube.  So Geographically there is good reason to see the Amazons as a Danite offshoot.  And lots of notable Danites of the Bible seem to be Danites mater-lineally, like Huram or the incident in Leviticus 24.  But perhaps the real key to this mystery is looking into who the Goddess of the Amazons was.

Greek sources on their Goddess are confusing.  It's often said to be Artemis but some researches say that was a late development.  Their Queens are often called Daughters of Ares yet that was a male deity.

The Caananite/West Semitic deity who served the function of Ares, as god of War, was a female, the goddess Anath.  This caused attempts of the Greeks to identify her with one of their Goddesses to be similarly complicated.  Her status as a Virgin goddess invited comparisons with both Athena and Artemis, but her association with the Bow and Arrow makes Artemis a bit more plausible.  In the middle east direct analogues to Anath are easier to find, Tanith/Tanis among the Carthaginians and Libyians, Neith in Egypt (but perhaps also Nephethys/Nebtheth).  And it's also possible to see some of Anath in the Hindu Kali.

The name of Anath, or at least the same Semitic root it comes from, appears in The Hebrew Bible.  Like in the location Anathoth.  But in Judges an Anath is the parent of judge Shamgar.  Not much is said about Shamgar, but the vague similarities to Samson can encourage one to see him as another Danite.  Since I agree with Veilikvosky in dating the Ugarit texts to the Kingdom Period, maybe the origin of Anath was in part a deification of the much earlier mother of Shamgar?  But it's also theorized that "Ben Anath" may just have been a title for great warriors, paralleling theories about why Amazons were called daughters of Ares.

In the Ugarit texts, the most important narrative for Anath after her role in the Baal Cycle is in the legend about Danel and his children.  Danel is a name very likely related to Dan, maybe it could be Dan himself deified by his descendants, combining Dan and El.  Anath kills Danel's son Aghat because she wanted his Bow forged by Kothar-Wa-Khasis (who the Greeks would have identified with Hephaestus, also strongly linked to Lemnos) by sending Yatpan after him.  But it seems Aghat's death was not her intent.  The protagonist of the story then becomes Paghat, the younger sister of Aghat.  She sets out to avenger her brother.  The narrative is incomplete, some scholars have theorized Paghat and Anath would be reconciled in the end, with Yatpan as their common enemy.  Maybe the story would have ended with Paghat founding an Amazon tribe?

Myrina and the Libyian Amazons of Diodorus I believe were not Israelites but from Phut.  Diodorus sees no continuity between the Libyan Amazons and later Amazons of Asia Minor even though he says Myrina conquered all those same regions.  However a key distinction with the Libyan Amazons is they worshiped a different kind of Goddess seemingly, a mother Goddess like Cybele.   Also in the context of Myrina's story, I think the Gorgons/Gorgos were an offshoot of the Girgashite tribe of Canaan.

The Artemis of Ephesus is sometimes said to be a mother goddess, sort of Artemis fused with Cybele.  But this is based on the common assumption the images of the Ephesian Artemis are of a woman with countless breasts.  I prefer the theory that that is Bee Hive imagery rather then breasts.  And the Bee Hive imagery can further back up a Danite connection thanks to Samson.

Some texts, including maybe the Iliad itself, imply Dardanus was a consort of Myrina.  So Myrina's Amazons could have intermarried with Danites.  But it's also possible some Danite women later starting their own tribe drew inspiration from the earlier legacy of Myrina.

Because of revised Chronology concerning the Dark Ages of Greece, and my belief that Homer merged together different Trojan wars.  I think Myrina and Dardanus can be re-dated to the 900s BC (the traditional date for Dardanus becoming King is 1475 BC).  Herakles and Bellerphon to the 700s BC, and Perseus to the early 700s or late 800s.  And the final fall of Troy to about 678 or the 660s BC.

For the most part I still date Theseus to the 1200s BC, due to the unbroken chronology of Athenians Kings and Archons.  And that that time period becomes in Revised Chronology the Minoan rather then Mycenean age archeologically fits the story of Theseus and Minos even better.  But perhaps the particular myths about Theseus and Antiope and Hippolytus were about some Athenian from the 800s BC that got applied to Theseus later.  In fact it's unlikely the same Theseus could have married another Minoan princess, Phaedra, after abandoning Ariadne.  Or maybe this story originally involved a prince of a different City-State in Attica.

A lot of modern treatments of Norse Mythology (including Marvel comics and the MCU's Thor franchise) treat the Valkyries as being like the Amazons of Norse Mythology.  But that is not at all what the Valkyreis actually were, they were basically the same thing as the Houris from Islamic belief, beautiful women who serve fallen warriors in paradise.  Instead I think maybe the Vanir were Amazons, what we know about the Vanir is greatly distorted, but it is possibly all the wives of the AEsir gods were Vanir.

The myths of the AEsir and Vanir being at war and later intermarrying I think are partly inspired by two Ancient tribes Waring then coming together.  The AEsir I think descend from Ashkenaz, who were the Askuza of Assyrian records and once dwelt around Lake Ascanius, thus making them Phyrgians during the Trogan War.  Another group of people in Phyrgia yet also treated as distinct were the Mygdons.  The name Mygdon could come from Megiddo/Megiddon.  Mygdon of Greek mythology's mother had an Amazonina name, Anaxineme, but he's also said to have waged war with the Amazons.

The descendants of Ashkenaz are sometimes said to have been Scythians ( a term the Greeks used of all the tribes north of the Black Sea, so not necessarily all from the same Genesis 10 ancestor).   And Herodotus says the Amazons intermarried with Scythians at some point.

I think a number of women in Greek Myhtolgoy not usually labeled Amazons are given away to have been Amazons or of Amazon ancestry by their names.  Including Adromache wife of Hector.  In the oldest depictions Andromache not Hippolyta was the name of the Amazon Queen defeated by Herakles.

One such name is Clymene, an attested Amazon name in at least one source.  But a name given to some Aquatic Nymphs, including the wife of Deucalian.  But is also the name of a mother of Atalanta, who's not considered an Amazon but is thematically similar given her connection to Artemis and being the only woman among the Argonauts.  And her father was Iasus, a name I think cold be a more archaic Greek form of Yehoshua/Yeshua, which in Koin Greek becomes Iesous.

Myrtilus's mother is said variantly both to be an Amazon and a Daughter of Danaus.

The folk Etymology of Amazon meaning "one Breast" and that they had to cut one off to use a Bow and Arrow properly has long annoyed me.  It super annoyed when I was reading the first House of Night book and a teacher is talking specifically about many claims the Greeks made about Amazons being wrong, but then accepts the "one Breast" story as fact.  All artistic depictions of Amazons show them with both Breasts.

But what caught my attention lately, as I've been watching an endless amount of Anime, is it seems in Japanese School Archery Clubs, the females wear costumes that kinda resemble Miko costumes but with different coloring.  But also have a sort of protective covering over the breasts, which could maybe make it look kinda like they have one larger breast rather then two.  Perhaps it hurts my Otaku cred that I don't know what this thing is properly called.  This is interesting since I support some theories about Lost Tribes coming to Japan.

On the subject of anthropologically speculating on what a hypothetical Matriarchal society might be like.  One area where I feel it would be flawed to assume it'd be the exact opposite of most patriarchal societies is in how it practiced Polygamy.  In the Pre-Christian world the only societies that frowned on Polygamy were Greece and later Rome who borrowed from Greece.  It maybe the the devotion to Monogamy in the Christian world is largely another Greco-Roman rather then Hebrew influence.

Polygyny has been far more common then Polyandry.  But there have been Polyandrous cultures that were still very patriarchal in how they practiced it, still viewing the woman as property but as shared property.  The difference between Polygynus cultures and Polandrous cultures was whether their situation needed them to encourage or discourage rapid reproduction.

In The Bible the follower of YHWH are told to be fruitful and multiple.  But the Leverite marriage custom could provide a basis for allowing conditional Polyandry.

So I suspect even a Matriachal culture would still have encouraged men to have multiple sexual partners.  But how it was practiced would have been different.

Of course the Amazons are generally seen has no practicing Marriage as we'd think of it at all.  But mating either with foreigners or with the Gargareans.

It's also maybe not a coincidence that many goddesses associated with the Amazons, like most ancient Virgin Goddesses, were also associated with Lesbianism.  This is perhaps most well documented with Artemis.  But there is possibly homoerotic subtexts in myths about Anath too, her relationships with Shapash and Astarte, and again we don't know how Paghat's story ends.

Another interesting clue just came to my attention.  Harmonia is a name given in Greek Mythology to both the woman by whom Ares fathered the Amazons (though Otrera is said to be both Ares daughter and mother by him of other Amazons) and the wife of Cadmus and mother of his children.  Cadmus was originally a Sidonian Prince, we know from The Bible that they intermarried with Danites often.  It's also said that some Amazons became Meaneds of Dionysus.  Three of the Meaneds were daughters of Cadmus.  Eurypyle is the name of both a Meaned and an Amazon.

In Judges 9:50-57 a Woman of Thebez killed King Abimelech.  Veilikvosky talked about there be tow ancient cities named Thebes, well in The Bible we have a third.  Perhaps originally this was the Thebes of Cadmus.  Perhaps the traditional identification of Biblical Thebez with modern Tubas is off and it was really further north?  What if Thebez could be part of the region elsewhere refereed to as Geshur? (Usually placed in the Golan Heights.)  Geshur had a King named Talmai who's daughter married King David.  Talmai is also the Aramaic form of the name Ptolemy.  And one of the King of Thebes of Greek mythology was a Ptolemy.  This is the only Ptolemy of Greek mythology, the other examples of the name don't pop up till later Classical history.

Psalm 68:14-16 uses Zalmon in a way that could support it being another name for Bashan, which was near Gesher.  It could be the Tower of Shechem wasn't in Shechem proper s we think of it.  The Etymology of Megiddo is no agreed on.  When Herodotus refers to the Battle of Megiddo that involved Necho, he called it Magdolos, which could support it being derivative of Migdal, the Hebrew word for Tower, including when Judges 9 refers to the Tower of Shechem.  Shechem and Megiddo are both connected to Western Manasseh, while Geshur and Bashan were both allotted to Eastern Manasseh.  But after Dan left their original allotment for the northern Dan, they took over much land originally allotted to Naphtali and Eastern Manasseh.  Deuteronomy 33 prophetically says Dan would leap from Bashan.

Or maybe I should even rethink my position of Myrina.  Another Myrina in Greek Mythology was a daughter of Cretheus, who also had a daughter named Hippolyte.   And Cretheus was a brother of Sisyphus and Salmoneus who Salverda argues for identifying with Joseph and Judah.  And the Myrina of Cretheus was the wife of Thoas father of Hypsipyle.  The starting point of Queen Myrina's story being in Libya is the connection to Mont Atlas, but Salverda argues for Atlas being Sinai, which I view as Sana'a in Yemen.  A Middle Eastern location fits better for my Gorgons=Girgashites hunch.  And linking the Amazons to Arabia fits well with my Feminism of Pre-Islamic Arabia observations.  Also King Lycurgus is sometimes alternatively placed in Arabia.

Hippolyta I think was a title or throne name many or maybe even all Amazon Queens held, and that is part of what confused the Amazons history chronologically.

A brief summery of my proposed Amazon chronology.

Myrina conquers much of Syria and Turkey in the early 900s BC. 

Lysippe becomes a key founder of the Thermodon Amazon nation.

Marpesia, her sister Lampedo, and Hippo are the successors of Lysippe.  They conquer more land and found more cities.

Antiope and Orithyia are the successors of Marpesia.  Antiope is captured by an Athenian (but not the original Theseus) and marries him.  Othyria then leads an Amazon expedition against Athens.  Antiope is killed in the battle by the Amazon Molpadia, why isn't agreed on.

Eurypyle campaigns against Samshi-Adad V, (husband of Shammuramat (Semiramis) and so might have become confused with Ninus) with an all female army.

Otrera was the Amazon Queen defeated by Bellerphon.

Andromache is defeated by a Herakles, as well as her sister Melanippe.

Priam and Mygdon fight against Amazons in the same region Bellerphon did earlier.

Pentheselia is an ally of Priam during the 7th Century BC Trojan War.  She was the sister rather then daughter of her predecessor.

Antianeira succeeds Pentheselia.

The Thermodon Amazons migrate north of the Black Sea.

There were probably multiple people behind the legends of Herakles.  Him being sometimes the father of Romulus and Remus fits Velikvosky's date for the final fall of Troy by giving us a Hercules in the 700s BC.

But I want to pay close attention to the myths about Herakles and Omphale.  The Lydians called the father of Omphale's children Tylons, clearly he was a distinct national hero of Lydia the Greeks just identified with Herakles similarly to how they did Melkart of Tyre and others.

Omphale herself was the daughter of a river god, Iardanus.  That is clearly the Jordon, the Strongs explains that the name of Jordon comes from the same root as my name, Jared, with the Greek of Luke 3 renders Iared.

Some of the accounts of the Kings of Lydia says the descendants of Herakles and Omphale took over a few generation later, and weren't the immediate children of them.  This can very much support the idea that Herakles and Omphale's relationship originally took place elsewhere.

I have argued that Delilah was an Israelite not a Philistine.  While at the same time arguing she was the mother of Micah in chapter 17.  Maybe Herakles and Omphale were inspired by Samson and Delilah, and the dynasty that ruled Lydia before Gyges took over were of Danite ancestry?

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Dan and Baalbek

I talked about Dan a great deal in an early post of this Blog.  The Tribe of Dan and the Sea Peoples, some aspects of that I've changed my mind on as shown in my post about Cush and in The Lost Tribes and the Sea Peoples.

While a great deal of what I said in that post is still important to me.  I've now changed my mind on the details of it even more as I've come to agree with Velikovsky on the Dan of Jeroboam's Calf being Baalbek.

The key change being that I can no longer necessarily agree with my past assessment (taken from Birtam) that the Leshem-Dan of Joshua and Laish-Dan of Judges are different places.  Or at least if they are somewhat different not nearly so far away from each other.  Maybe they could still be different migrations to basically the same area.

I do not associate Dan with less locations however.  From this site they migrated and scattered further.  Moses foretold they would Leap from Bashan.  So I still think they are tied to the Danuna/Denyen of the Sea Peoples as well as Adana in Turkey.

However I can't agree with Velikovsky's desire to diminish how Roman the site of Baalbek we know today is.  Chris White in Ancient Aliens Debunked thoroughly proves how Roman it is.  And it had the same Architect as the one who designed Hadrian's Temple Complex over the Temple Mount.  A fact relevant to making the Southern Conjecture argument.

However it perhaps adds interesting context to Hadrian building these two complexes at the same time, if Baalbek was the Dan of Jeroboam.  Maybe he wanted to leave his mark on the Holy Sites of both Kingdoms of Israel.