Trojans, Teukrians, and Dardanians: Diodoros on their origins (mid-first century BCE)

Citation with stable link: Philip A. Harland, 'Trojans, Teukrians, and Dardanians: Diodoros on their origins (mid-first century BCE),' Ethnic Relations and Migration in the Ancient World, last modified June 5, 2023, https://philipharland.com/Blog/?p=16505.

Ancient author: Diodoros of Sicily (mid-first century BCE), Library of History 4.75 (link).

Comments: In this short passage, Diodoros attempts to explain the origins of two then non-existant peoples in northwestern Asia Minor (Turkey): the Teukrians and the Trojans. He also connects them with Dardanians, as does Strabo (link). A people designated by this same term (Dardanians) were known in Diodoros’ own time and afterwards, but usually they were located northwest of Macedonia (link).

Source of the translation: C. H. Oldfather, Diodorus Sicilus: Library of History, volumes 1-6, LCL (Cambridge, MA: HUP, 1935-1952), public domain (passed away in 1954), adapted by Victoria Muccilli and Harland.

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[For Diodoros’ preceding discussion of Taurians and Kolchians, go to this link]

Book 4 

[Teukrians and Dardanians]

75  The first to rule as king over the land of Troy was Teukros, the son of the river-god Skamandros and a nymph of mount Ida. Teukros was a distinguished man and caused the people of the land to be called Teukrians, after his own name. To Teucros was born a daughter Bateia, whom Dardanos, the son of Zeus, married. When Dardanos succeeded to the throne he called the people of the land Dardanians after his own name. He also founded a city on the shore of the sea, calling it Dardanos after himself. (2) To him a son Erichthonios was born, who far excelled in good fortune and in wealth. Of him the poet Homer​ writes: “The wealthiest was he of mortal men. / Three thousand mares he had that grazed throughout / his marshy pastures [Iliad, 20.220‑21].

[Trojans]

(3) To Erichthonius was born a son Tros, who called the people of the land Trojans, after his own name. To Tros were born three sons, Ilos, Assarakos, and Ganymedes. Ilos founded in a plain a city which was the most renowned among the cities in the Troad, giving it the name Ilion after himself. (4) And to Ilos was born a son Laomedon, who had Tithonos and Priam.

As the myths relate, Tithonos, after making a campaign against those parts of Asia which lay to the east of him and pushing as far as Ethiopia, begat Memnon by Eos. Memnon came to the aid of the Trojans and was killed by Achilleus. Priam, on the other hand, married Hecabe and begat, in addition to a number of other sons, Hektor, who won very great distinction in the Trojan war. (5) Assarakos became king of the Dardanians and begat Capys, whose son was Anchises, who by Aphrodite begat Aineas, the most renowned man among the Trojans. And Ganymedes, who excelled all men in beauty, was snatched up by the gods to serve as the cup-bearer of Zeus. . . [omitted remainder of the narrative].

[For Diodoros’ subsequent discussion of Sicilians, go to this link].

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