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From the Grecian settlements on the coast of Asia Minor, and on the adjacent islands, our attention must now be turned to those non-Hellenic kingdoms and people with whom they there came in contact.

Our information with respect to all of them is  unhappily very scanty. Nor shall we improve our narrative by taking the catalogue, presented in the Iliad, of allies of Troy, and construing it as if it were a chapter of geography: if any proof were wanting of the unpromising results of such a proceeding, we may find it in the confusion which darkens so much of the work of Strabo—who perpetually turns aside from the actual and ascertainable condition of the countries which he is describing, to conjectures on Homeric antiquity, often announced as if they were unquestionable facts. Where the Homeric geography is confirmed by other evidence, we note the fact with satisfaction; where it stands unsupported or difficult to reconcile with other statements, we cannot venture to reason upon it as in itself a substantial testimony. The author of the Iliad, as he has congregated together a vast body of the different sections of Greeks for the attack of the consecrated hill of Ilium, so he has also summoned all the various inhabitants of Asia Minor to co-operate in its defence, and he has planted portions of the Cilicians and Lycians, whose historical existence is on the southern coast, in the immediate vicinity of the Troad. Those only will complain of this who have accustomed themselves to regard him as an historian or geographer: if we are content to read him only as the first of poets, we shall no more quarrel with him for a geographical misplacement, than with his successor Arktinus for bringing on the battlefield of Ilium the Amazons or the Ethiopians.

The geography of Asia Minor is even now very imperfectly known, and the matters ascertained respecting its ancient divisions and boundaries relate almost entirely either to the later periods of the Persian empire, or to times after the Macedonian and even after the Roman conquest. To state them as they stood in the time of Croesus king of Lydia, before the arrival of the conquering Cyrus, is a task in which we find little evidence to sustain us. The great mountain chain of Taurus, which begins from the Chelidonian promontory on the southern coast of Lycia, and strikes north-eastward as far as Armenia, formed the most noted boundary-line during the Roman times—but Herodotus does not once mention it; the river Halys is in his view the most important geographical limit. Northward of Taurus, on the upper portions of the rivers Halys and Sangarius, was situated the spacious and lofty central plain of Asia Minor. To the north, west, and south of this central plain, the region is chiefly mountainous, as it approaches all the three seas, the Euxine, the Aegean, and the Pamphylian—most mountainous in the case of the latter, permitting no rivers of long course. The mountains Cadmus, Messogis, Tmolus, stretch westward towards the Aegean Sea, but leaving extensive spaces of plain and long valleys, so that the course of the Maeander, the Kaister, and the Hermus is of considerable length. The north-western part includes the mountainous regions of Ida, Temnus, and the Mysian Olympus, yet with much admixture of fertile and productive ground. The elevated tracts near the Euxine appear to have been the most wooded—especially Kytorus: the Parthenius, the Sangarius, the Halys, and the Iris, are all considerable streams flowing northward towards that sea. Nevertheless, the plain land interspersed through these numerous elevations was often of the greatest fertility ; and as a whole, the peninsula of Asia Minor was considered as highly productive by the ancients, in grain, wine, fruit, cattle, and in many parts, oil; though the cold central plain did not carry the olive.

Along the western shores of this peninsula, where the various bands of Greek emigrants settled, we hear of Pelasgians, Teucrians, Mysians, Bithynians, Phrygians, Lydians or Maeonians, Carians, Lelegians. Farther eastward are Lycians, Pisidians, Cilicians, Phrygians, Cappadocians, Paphlagonians, Mariandynians, &c. Speaking generally, we may say that the Phrygians, Teucrians and M-sians appear in the north-western portion, between the river Hermus and the Propontis—the Carians and Lelegians south of the river Maeander,—and the Lydians in the central region between the two. Pelasgians are found here and there, seemingly both in the valley of the Hermus and in that of the Kaister: even in the time of Herodotus, there were Pelasgian settlements at Plakia and Skylake on the Propontis, westward of Cyzicus: and O. Muller would even trace the Tyrrhenian Pelasgians to Tyrrha, an inland town of Lydia, from whence he imagines (though without much probability) the name Tyrrhenian to be derived.

One important fact to remark, in respect to the native population of Asia Minor at the first opening of this history, is, that they were not aggregated into great kingdoms or confederations, nor even into any large or populous cities—but distributed into many inconsiderable tribes, so as to present no overwhelming resistance, and threaten no formidable danger, to the successive bodies of Greek emigrants. The only exception to this is, the Lydian monarchy of Sardis, the real strength of which begins with Gyges and the dynasty of the Mermnadae, about 700 b.c. Though the increasing force of this kingdom ultimately extinguished the independence of the Greeks in Asia, it seems to have noway impeded their development, as it stood when they first arrived and for a long time afterwards. Nor were either Carians or Mysians united under any one king, so as to possess facilities for aggression or conquest.

As far as can be made out from our scanty data, it appears that all the nations of Asia Minor west of the river Halys, were, in a large sense, of kindred race with each other, as well as with the  Thracians on the European side of the Bosphorus and Hellespont. East of the Halys dwelt the people of Syro-Arabian or Semitic race,—Assyrians, Syrians, and Cappadocians—as well as CiliciansPamphylians and Solymi, along its upper course and farther southward to the Pamphylian sea. Westward of the Halys the languages were not Semitic, but belonging to a totally different family—cognate, yet distinct one from another, perhaps not mutually intelligible. The Carians, Lydians and Mysians recognised a certain degree of brotherhood with each other, attested by common religious sacrifices in the temple of Zeus Karios at Mylasa. But it is by no means certain that each of these nations mutually comprehended each other’s speech; and Herodotus, from whom we derive the knowledge of these common sacrifices, acquaints us at the same time that the Kaunians in the south-western corner of the peninsula had no share in them, though speaking the same language as the Carians; he does not, however, seem to consider identity or difference of language as a test of national affinity.

Along the coast of the Euxine, from the Thracian Bosphorus eastward to the river Halys, dwelt Bithynians or Thynians, Mariandynians and Paphlagonians—all recognised branches of the widely-extended Thracian race. The Bithynians especially, in the north-western portion of this territory, and reaching from the Euxine to the Propontis, are often spoken of as Asiatic Thracians—-while on the other hand various tribes among the Thracians of Europe are denominated Thyni or Thynians—so little difference was there in the population on the two sides of the Bosphorus, alike brave, predatory, and sanguinary. The Bithynians of Asia are also sometimes called Bebrykians, under which denomination they extend as far southward as the Gulf of Kios in the Propontis. They here come in contact with Mygdonians, Mysians and Phrygians. Along the southern coast of the Propontis, between the rivers Rhyndakus and Aesepus, in immediate neighbourhood with the powerful Greek colony of Cyzicus, appear the Doliones; next, Pelasgians at Plakia and Skylake; then again, along the coast of the Hellespont near Abydus and Lampsacus, and occupying a portion of the Troad, we find mention made of other Bebrykians. In the interior of the Troad, or the region of Ida, are Teucrians and Mysians: the latter seem to extend southward down to Pergamus and the region of Mount Sipylus, and eastward to the mountainous region called the Mysian Olympus, south of the lake Askanius, near which they join with the Phrygians.

As far as any positive opinion can be formed respecting nations of whom we know so little, it would appear that the Mysians and Phrygians are a sort of connecting link between Lydians and Carians on one side, and Thracians (European as well as Asiatic) on the other—a remote ethnical affinity pervading the whole. Ancient migrations are spoken of in both directions across the Hellespont and the Thracian Bosphorus. It was the opinion of some that Phrygians, Mysians and Thracians had immigrated into Asia from Europe, and the Lydian historian Xanthus referred the arrival of the Phrygians to an epoch subsequent to the Trojan war. On the other hand, Herodotus speaks of a vast body of Teucrians and Mysians, who, before the Trojan war, had crossed the strait from Asia into Europe, expelled many of the European Thracians from their seats, crossed the Strymon and the Macedonian rivers, and penetrated as far southward as the river Peneus in Thessaly—as far westward as the Ionic Gulf. This Teukro-Mysian migration (he tells us) brought about two consequences: first, the establishment near the river Strymon of the Paeonians, who called themselves Teucrian colonists; next, the crossing into Asia of many of the dispossessed Thracian tribes from the neighbourhood of the Strymon into the northwestern region of Asia Minor, by which the Bithynian or Asiatic Thracian people was formed. The Phrygians also are supposed by some to have originally occupied an European soil on the borders of Macedonia near the snow-clad Mount Bermion, at which time they were called Briges,—an appellative name in the Lydian language equivalent to freemen or Franks: while the Mysians are said to have come from the north-eastern portions of European Thrace south of the Danube, known under the Roman empire by the name of Moesia. But with respect to the Mysians there was also another story, according to which they were described as colonists emanating from the Lydians; put forth according to that system of devoting by solemn vow a tenth of the inhabitants, chosen by lot, to seek settlements elsewhere, which recurs not unfrequently among the stories of early emigrations, as the consequence of distress and famine. And this last opinion was supported by the character of the Mysian language, half Lydian and half Phrygian, of which both the Lydian historian Xanthus, and Menekrates of Elaea, (by whom the opinion was announced,) must have been very competent judges.

From such tales of early migration both ways across the Hellespont and the Bosphorus, all that we can with any certainty infer is, a certain measure of affinity among the population of Thrace and Asia Minor—especially visible in the case of the Phrygians and Mysians. The name and legends of the Phrygian hero Midas are connected with different towns throughout the extensive region of Asiatic Phrygia—Kelaenae, Pessinus, Ankyra, Gordium—as well as with the neighbourhood of Mount Bermion in Macedonia: the adventure whereby Midas got possession of Silenus, mixing wine with the spring of which he drank, was localised at the latter place as well as at the town of Thymbrion, nearly at the eastern extremity of Asiatic Phrygia. The name Mygdonia, and the eponymous hero Mygdon, belong not less to the European territory near the river Axius (afterwards a part of Macedonia) than to the Asiatic coast of the eastern Propontis, between Kios and the river RhyndakusOtreus and Mygdon are the commanders of the Phrygians in the Iliad; and the river Odrysde, which flowed through the territory of the Asiatic Mygdonians into the Rhyndakus, affords another example of homonymy with the Odrysian Thracians’ in Europe. And as these coincidences of names and legends conduct us to the idea of analogy and affinity between Thracians and Phrygians, so we find Archilochus, the earliest poet remaining to us who mentions them as contemporaries, coupling the two in the same simile. To this early Parian Iambist, the population on the two sides of the Hellespont appears to have presented similarity of feature and customs.

To settle with any accuracy the extent and condition of these Asiatic nations during the early days of Grecian settlement among them is impracticable: the problem was not to be solved even by the ancient geographers, with their superior means of knowledge. The early indigenous distribution of the Phrygian population is unknown to us, and the division into the Greater and Lesser Phrygia belongs to a period at least subsequent to the Persian conquest, like most of the recognised divisions of Asia Minor; it cannot therefore be applied with reference to the period earlier than Croesus. It appears that the name Phrygians, like that of Thracians, was a generic designation, and comprehended tribes or separate communities who had also specific names of their own. We trace Phrygians at wide distances: on the western bank of the river Halys—at Kelaenae, in the interior of Asia Minor, towards the rise of the river Maeander— and on the coast of the Propontis near Kios:—in both of these latter localities there is a salt lake called Askanius, which is the name both of the leader of the Phrygian allies of Troy and of the country from whence they are said to come, in the Iliad. They thus occupy a territory bounded on the south by the Pisidian mountains—on the west by the Lydians (indicated by a terminal pillar set up by Croesus at Kydrara)—on the east by the river Halys, on the other side of which were Cappadocians or Syrians:—on the north by Paphlagonians and Mariandynians. But it seems, besides this, that they must have extended farther to the west, so as to occupy a great portion of the region of Mount Ida and the Troad. For Apolloddrus considered that both the Doliones and the Bebrykians were included in the great Phrygian name; and even in the ancient poem called ‘Phoronis’ (which can hardly be placed later than 600 b.c.), the Daktyls of Mount Ida, the great discoverers of metallurgy, are expressly named Phrygian. The custom of the Attic tragic poets to call the inhabitants of the Troad Phrygians, does not necessarily imply any translation of inhabitants, but an employment of the general name, as better known to the audience whom they addressed, in preference to the less notorious specific name—just as the inhabitants of Bithynia might be described either as Bithynians or as Asiatic Thracians.

If (as the language of Herodotus and Ephorus would seem to imply) we suppose the Phrygians to the be at a considerable distance from the coast and dwelling only in the interior, it will be difficult to explain to ourselves how or where the early Greek colonists came to be so much influenced by them; whereas the supposition that the tribes occupying the Troad and the region of Ida were Phrygians elucidates this point. And the fact is incontestable, that both Phrygians and Lydians did not only modify the religious manifestations of the Asiatic Greeks, and through them of the Grecian world generally—but also rendered important aid towards the first creation of the Grecian musical scale. Of this the denominations of the scale afford a proof.

Greek musical scale —partly borrowed from the Phrygians.

Three primitive musical modes were employed by the Greek poets, in the earliest times of which later authors could find any account—the Lydian, which was the most acute—the Dorian, which was the most grave—and the Phrygian, intermediate between the two; the highest note of the Lydian being one tone higher, that of the Dorian one tone lower, than the highest note of the Phrygian scale. Such were the three modes or scales, each including only a tetrachord, upon which the earliest Greek masters worked: many other scales, both higher and lower, were subsequently added. It thus appears that the earliest Greek music was, in large proportion, borrowed from Phrygia and Lydia: and when we consider that in the eighth and seventh centuries before the Christian sera, music and poetry conjoined (often also with dancing or rhythmical gesticulation) was the only intellectual manifestation known among the Greeks—and moreover, that in the belief of all the ancient writers, every musical mode had its own peculiar emotional influences, powerfully modified the temper of hearers, and was intimately connected with the national worship—we shall see that this transmission of the musical modes implies much both of communication and interchange between the Asiatic Greeks and the indigenous population of the continent. Now the fact of communication between the Ionic and Aeolic Greeks, and their eastern neighbours, the Lydians, is easy to comprehend generally, though we have no details as to the way in which it took place; but we do not distinctly see where it was that the Greeks came so much into contact with the Phrygians except in the region of Ida, the Troad, and the southern coast of the Propontis. To this region belonged those early Phrygian musicians (under the heroic names of Olympus, Hyagnis, Marsyas,), from whom the Greeks borrowed. And we may remark that the analogy between Thracians and Phrygians seems partly to hold in respect both to music and to religion, since the old myth in the Iliad, wherein the Thracian bard Thamyris, rashly contending in song with the Muses, is conquered, blinded and stripped of his art, seems to be the prototype of the very similar story respecting the contention of Apollo with the Phrygian Marsyas—the cithara against the flute; while the Phrygian Midas is farther characterised as the religious disciple of Thracian Orpheus.

In my previous chapter relating to the legend of Troy, mention has been already made of the early fusion of the Aeolic Greeks with the indigenous population of the Troad; and it is from hence probably that the Phrygian music with the flute as its instrument—employed in the orgiastic rites and worship of the Great Mother in Mount Ida, in the Mysian Olympus, and other mountain regions of the country, and even in the Greek city of Lampsacus—passed to the Greek composers. Its introduction is coeval with the earliest facts respecting Grecian music, and must have taken place during the first century of the recorded Olympiads. In the Homeric poems we find no allusion to it, but it may probably have contributed to stimulate that development of lyric and elegiac composition which grew up among the post-homeric Aeolians and Ionians, to the gradual displacement of the old epic. Another instance of the fusion of Phrygians with Greeks is to be found in the religious ceremonies of Cyzicus, Kius, and Prusa, on the southern and south-eastern coasts of the Propontis: at the first of the three places, the worship of the Great Mother of the Gods was celebrated with much solemnity on the hill of Dindymon, bearing the same name as that mountain in the interior, near Pessinus, from whence Cybeld derived her principal surname of Dindymene. The analogy between the Cretan and Phrygian religious practices has been often noticed, and confusion occurs not unfrequently between Mount Ida in Crete and the mountain of the same name in the Troad; while the Teucrians of Gergis in the Troad—who were not yet Hellenised even at the time of the Persian invasion, and who were affirmed by the elegiac poet Kallinus to have immigrated from Crete—if they were not really Phrygians—differed so little from them as to be called such by the poets.

The Phrygians are celebrated by Herodotus for the abundance both of their flocks and their agricultural produce: the excellent wool for which Miletus was always renowned came in part from the upper valley of the river Maeander, which they inhabited. He contrasts them in this respect with the Lydians, among whom the attributes and capacities of persons dwelling in cities are chiefly brought to our view: much gold and silver, retail trade, indigenous games, unchastity of young women, yet combined with thrift and industry. Phrygian cheese and salt-provisions, Lydian unguents, carpets and coloured shoes, acquired notoriety. Both Phrygians and Lydians are noticed by Greek authors subsequent to the establishment of the Persian empire as a people timid, submissive, industrious, and useful as slaves—an attribute not ascribed to the Mysians, who are usually described as brave and hardy mountaineers, difficult to hold in subjection: nor even true respecting the Lydians, during the earlier times anterior to the complete overthrow of Croesus by Cyrus; for they were then esteemed for their warlike prowess. Nor was the different character of these two Asiatic people yet effaced even in the second century after the Christian sera. For the same Mysians, who in the time of Herodotus and Xenophon gave so much trouble to the Persian satraps, are described by the rhetor Aristeides as seizing and plundering his property at Laneion near Hadriani—while on the contrary he mentions the Phrygians as habitually coming from the interior towards the coast regions to do the work of the olive-gathering9. During the times of Grecian autonomy and ascendency, in the fifth century b.c., the conception of a Phrygian or a Lydian was associated in the Greek mind with ideas of contempt and servitude, to which unquestionably these Asiatics became fashioned, since it was habitual with them under the Roman empire to sell their own children into slavery—a practice certainly very rare among the Greeks, even when they too had become confounded among the mass of subjects of imperial Rome. But we may fairly assume that this association of contempt with the name of a Phrygian or a Lydian did not prevail during the early period of Grecian Asiatic settlement, or even in the time of Alkman, Mimnermus, or Sappho, down to 600 b.c. We first trace evidence of it in a fragment of Hipponax, and it began with the subjection of Asia Minor generally, first under Croesus and then under Cyrus, and with the sentiment of comparative pride which grew up afterwards in the minds of European Greeks. The native Phrygian tribes along the Propontis, with whom the Greek colonists came in contact—BebrykiansDoliones, Mygdonians, &c.—seem to have been agricultural, cattle-breeding and horse-breeding, yet more vehement and warlike than the Phrygians of the interior, as far at least as can be made out by their legends. The brutal but gigantic Amykus son of Poseidon, chief of the Bebrykians, with whom Pollux contends in boxing, and his brother Mygdon to whom Herakles is opposed, are samples of a people whom the Greek poets considered ferocious, and not submissive; while the celebrity of the horses of Erichthonius, Laomedon, and Asius of Arisbe, in the Iliad, shows that horse-breeding was a distinguishing attribute of the region of Ida, not less in the mind of Homer than in that of Virgil.

Primitive Phrygian king or hero Gordias. Midas.

According to the legend of the Phrygian town of Gordium on the river Sangarius, the primitive Phrygian king Gordius was originally a poor husbandman, upon the yoke of whose team, as he one day tilled his field, an eagle perched and posted himself. Astonished at this portent, he consulted the Telmissean augurs to know what it meant, and a maiden of the prophetic breed acquainted him that the kingdom was destined to his family. He espoused her, and the offspring of the marriage was Midas. Seditions afterwards breaking out among the Phrygians, they were directed by an oracle, as the only means of tranquillity, to choose for themselves as king the man whom they should first see approaching in a waggon. Gordius and Midas happened to be then coming into the town in their waggon, and the crown was conferred upon them: their waggon was consecrated in the citadel of Gordium to Zeus Basileus, and became celebrated from the insoluble knot whereby the yoke was attached, and the severance of it afterwards by the sword of Alexander the Great. Whosoever could untie the knot, to him the kingdom of Asia was portended, and Alexander was the first whose sword both fulfilled the condition and realised the prophecy.

Of these legendary Phrygian names and anecdotes we can make no use for historical purposes. We know nothing of any Phrygian kings, during the historical times—but Herodotus tells us of a certain Midas son of Gordius, king of Phrygia, who was the first foreign sovereign that ever sent offerings to the Delphian temple, anterior to Gyges of Lydia. This Midas dedicated to the Delphian god the throne on which he was in the habit of sitting to administer justice. Chronologers have referred the incident to a Phrygian king Midas placed by Eusebius in the tenth Olympiad—a supposition which there are no means of verifying. There may have been a real Midas king of Gordium; but that there was ever any great united Phrygian monarchy, we have not the least ground for supposing. The name Gordius son of Midas again appears in the legend of Croesus and Solon told by Herodotus, as part of the genealogy of the ill-fated prince Adrastus: here too it seems to represent a legendary rather than a real person.

Of the Lydians I shall speak in the following chapter.