PART 5    Ch.XXXIII.13

The Pelasgians or proto – Latins (Arimii)

(The Pelasgians from the northern parts of the Danube and the Black Sea)





XXXIII. 13. Migrations of the Arimii in Asia Minor and Armenia.


Troy, the rich capital of the Pelasgians of Asia Minor, situated near the shores of the Hellespont, appears in ancient traditions of Hellada and Italy as an Arimic citadel.

A son of Priam is called Chromios by Homer (Iliad, V. v. 160), probably being the same as the son of Priam called Aromachus, mentioned by Hyginus (Fab. 90).

Another Trojan hero is also called Chromios (Homer, Iliad, VIII. v. 275).

Two other heroes are called ‘Ormenos, one killed by the Greek hero Teucros, the other defeated by Polypoetes of Thessaly (Homer, Iliad, VIII. v. 274; XII. v. 187).

Aeneas, as one of the oldest Greek historians tells us (Dionysius Halic. lib. I. c. 72), had four sons, Ascanius, Euryleonte, Romulus (‘Romylos) and Rom (‘Romos).

We find with Hellanicus (5th century bc) the tradition that Roma had received its name from a Trojan woman, Rome, who had come to Latium with Aeneas (fragm. 53).

Virgil also reduced the origin of the Romans to Troy: Pater Aeneas Romanae stirpis origo (Aen. XII. v. 168). This was a simple Greek fable, which the Romans had adopted for political reasons, in order to appear before the populations of Asia Minor as legitimate successors of the Trojans (Cauer, Die rom. Aeneassage, Leipzig, 1886, p. 98). This fable had received later an official form though. The emperor Claudius, as Suetonius writes (Claudius, 25), had accorded to the citizens of new-Ilius the right to be free of taxes for ever, considering that they had been the authors of the Roman nation.

A lord of the Mysiens of Asia Minor, allied with the Trojans in their war with the Greeks, also had an Arimic name, Chromis (Homer, Iliad, II. v. 858).

Adramyttion, one of the most ancient cities of Mysia, had been founded, as it was said, by one so-called ‘Ermon, or Adramyn, as this name was pronounced in Phrygian language (Steph. Byz.).

A city of Lycia was called ‘Erumnai (Steph. Byz). A prince of Lycia, allied with the Trojans was called Chromios, and another hero from Lycia is called also Chromios, having also the epithet of “divine figure” (Homer, Iliad, V. v. 677; XVII. v. 218. 534). In these surnames, the guttural ch is only a simple rough aspiration of r, as the same name appears with the Greek authors from the Roman epoch, as ‘Romylos and ‘Romos.

In the eastern parts of Bithynia, Ptolemy mentions the mountain Orminius, under which dwelt a Pelasgian pastoral tribe called Caucones (lib. V. 1).

Near the Olympus mountain of Asia Minor, which separated Bithynia from Mysia, flew the river called Ryndacus, one of its tributary being named Rymus (Hecateus, fr. 202).

One of the most ancient kings of Lydia had been called ‘Ermon, Adramyn by Stephanos Byzanthinos, Adramon by Hesychius.

The kingdom of Lydia, from where a significant part of the population had gone to Umbria under the name of Turseni, as Homer writes, had been founded near the river Hermus. The same river has with the Roman geographers the name Ermunas and Hermunas (Riese, Geogr. Lat. min. p. 44, 86, 87, 101).

On a coin of Ephesus is also mentioned a king with the name ‘Ermon. The same name ‘Ermon also appears on a coin of the city Erythrae, situated on the shore of the sea, facing the island of Chios (Mionnet, Descr. d. med. Suppl. VI. 129).

Finally, another city in Lydia had the name Eyrumna (Diodorus Siculus, lib. XXXI. c. 19).

The ancient dynasty of Cappadocia, as Diodorus Siculus mentions, had been founded by a king with the name Arimnaeus. A province of Cappadocia, as Strabo tells us, was called Rimnena or Romnena (Geogr. Ed. Didot, lib. XII. 1. 4), even in the times of the kings who had reigned before Archelaus (1st century ad).

In Pontus, near the northern frontier of Cappadocia, appears the locality called Rogmi (Tab. Peut. Segm. X. 1).

A port of Cilicia was also called Rogmi (Steph. Byz.), probably identical with Rhegma, about which Strabo speaks (lib. XIV. 10. 10).

In Paphlagonia, situated between Bithynia and Pontus, existed a village named Armene (Steph. Byz.).

Armenia, one of the most important countries of Asia, had been colonized, according to Strabo, by one so-called Armenus from Thessaly, who had taken part in the expedition of the Argonauts (Geogr. Lib. XI. 14. 13).

The Romanians from Thessaly, from Epirus and from Macedonia are even today called, as we know, Armani and Armeni.

A similar tradition about the beginnings of Armenia is found with Flavius Josephus. Armenia, writes he, has been founded by a son of Aram, son of Sem, son of Noah (Ant. Jud. I. 6. 4).

Erzerum, the capital of Armenia, situated near the sources of the river Euphrates, had been, even from the most remote of times, one of the most important industrial and trading centers between Persia and Europe. In Arabic Erz means country (TN – tera), so that Erzerum has the meaning the country (tera) of the Rumi (Cantemir, Ist. Imp. ottom. Ed. 1876, p. 101).

Finally, we note here that the Egyptian inscriptions from the time of Tutmes III (16th century bc) mention a mountainous country, situated on the northern continent and called Remen (Brandes, Uber d. geogr. Kenntnisse d. alten Aegypter, p. 46). Brandes believes that here is meant Armenia. But it seems that this geographical prehistoric name related more to the territory from north of Thrace, called ein ‘Arimois by Homer.