Togarmah

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Red: Son of Japhet, Yellow: Son of Ham. Blue: Son of Shem

Togarmah (Hebrew: תּוגרמה) is a figure in the so-called "table of nations" in Genesis 10, the list of descendants of Noah that represents the peoples known to the ancient Hebrews. Togarmah is among the descendants of Japheth and is thought to represent some people located in Anatolia. Medieval traditions variously claimed Togarmah as the mythical ancestor of peoples in the Caucasus and western Asia, including the Georgians, the Armenians and some Turkic peoples.

Biblical attestations and historical geography[edit]

Togarmah is listed in Genesis 10:3 as the third son of Gomer, and grandson of Japheth, brother of Ashkenaz and Riphat. The name is again mentioned in the book of Ezekiel as a nation from the "far north". Ezekiel 38:6 mentions Togarmah together with Tubal as supplying soldiers to the army of Gog. Ezekiel 27:14 mentions Togarmah together with Tubal, Javan and Meshech (Khazars) as supplying horses to the Tyrians.

Togarmah is sometimes identified with the Anatolian kingdom called Tegarama by the Hittites and Til-Garimmu by the Assyrians. O.R. Gurney placed Tegarama in Southeast Anatolia.[1] Others have located it in central Anatolia near the town of Gürün, Sivas about 90 miles (140 km) east of Kanesh.[2]

Later traditions[edit]

Several later ethnological traditions have claimed Togarmah as the mythical ancestor of various peoples located in western Asia and the Caucasus. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100 AD) and the Christian theologians Jerome (c. 347 – 420 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 636 AD) regarded Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians. Several ancient Christian authors, inclcuding Saint Hippolytus (c. 170-c. 236 AD), Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 – c. 339 AD), and bishop Theodoret (c. 393 – c. 457 AD), regarded him as a father of Armenians. Medieval Jewish traditions linked him with Turkic peoples including the Khazars.

Armenian and Georgian traditions[edit]

Thargamos and his sons.
The order of the figures from left to right is: Movakan, Bardos, Kartlos, Haos, Lekos, Thargamos, Caucas, Egros. An opening folio of the Georgian Chronicles (Vakhtangiseuli redaction), 1700s.

Armenian Moses of Chorene (c. 480) and Georgian Leonti Mroveli regarded Togarmah as the founder of their nations along with other Caucasian people.

According to Moses of Chorene's History of Armenia and to Leonti Mroveli's medieval Georgian Chronicles, Togarmah was thought to have lived in Babylon, before he received the "land between two Seas and two Mountains" (i.e. the Caucasus) in his possession. He then settled near Mount Ararat and divided his land among his sons:[3][4]

  1. Haik (Հայք) - first son of Togarmah, inherited Mount Ararat and founded the Armenian nation.
  2. Kartlos (ქართლოსი) - settled in north-east from Ararat, founder of Kartli (Sa'kartvelo) who united other brothers and founded the Georgian nation.
  3. Bardos[disambiguation needed]
  4. Movakos (Movkans)
  5. Lekos (Lak) - Lak people settled in Caucasus Mountains
  6. Heros (Herans) - settled in the eastern part of Ararat
  7. Caucas (Kovkases) - settled beyond the Caucasus Range
  8. Egros (Egers) - settled between the Black Sea and Likhi Range (Western Georgia)

Turkic traditions[edit]

Togarmah was linked to medieval Turkic peoples by Jewish-Khazar traditions. The Khazar ruler Joseph ben Aaron (c. 960) writes in his letters:

"You ask us also in your epistle: "Of what people, of what family, and of what tribe are you?" Know that we are descended from Japhet, through his son Togarmah. I have found in the genealogical books of my ancestors that Togarmah had ten sons."

He then goes on to enumerate ten names that can be identified as contemporary tribes living near the Black and Caspian Seas:[5][6] "Ujur" (Uyghur), "Tauris" (Tauri), "Avar" (Avar), "Uguz" (Oghuz), "Bizal", "Tarna", "Chazar" (Khazar), "Janur", "Bulgar" (Bulgar) and "Sawir".

The medieval Jewish Joseph ben Gorion lists the ten sons of Togarmas in his Josippon as follows:

  1. Kozar (the Khazars)
  2. Pacinak (the Pechenegs)
  3. Aliqanosz (the Alans)
  4. Bulgar (the Bulgars)
  5. Ragbiga (Ragbina, Ranbona)
  6. Turqi (possibly the Kökturks)
  7. Buz (the Oghuz)
  8. Zabuk
  9. Ungari (either the Hungarians or the Oghurs/Onogurs)
  10. Tilmac (Tilmic/Tirôsz - Tauri)."

In the Chronicles of Jerahmeel, they are listed as:

  1. Cuzar (the Khazars)
  2. Pasinaq (the Pechenegs)
  3. Alan (the Alans)
  4. Bulgar (the Bulgars)
  5. Kanbinah
  6. Turq (possibly the Kökturks)
  7. Buz (the Oghuz)
  8. Zakhukh
  9. Ugar (either the Hungarians or the Oghurs/Onogurs)
  10. Tulmes (Tirôsz - Tauri)

Another medieval rabbinic work, the Book of Jasher, further corrupts these same names into:

  1. Buzar (the Khazars)
  2. Parzunac (the Pechenegs)
  3. Elicanum (the Alans)
  4. Balgar (the Bulgars)
  5. Ragbib
  6. Tarki (the Kökturks)
  7. Bid (the Oghuz)
  8. Zebuc
  9. Ongal (Hungarians or Oghurs/Onogurs)
  10. Tilmaz (Tirôsz - Tauri).

In Arabic records, Togorma's tribes are these:

  1. Khazar (the Khazars)
  2. Badsanag (the Pechenegs)
  3. Asz-alân (the Alans)
  4. Bulghar (the Bulgars)
  5. Zabub
  6. Fitrakh (Kotrakh?) (Ko-etrakh. Etrakh means Turks [possibly Gokturks])
  7. Nabir
  8. Andsar (Ajhar)
  9. Talmisz (Tirôsz - Tauri)
  10. Adzîgher (Adzhigardak?).

The Arabic account however, also adds an 11th clan: Anszuh.

In the 18th century, the French Benedictine monk and scholar Calmet (1672–1757) placed Togarmah in Scythia and Turcomania (in the Eurasian Steppes and Central Asia).[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ map on inside cover of Gurney, The Hittites, Folio Society edition
  2. ^ http://www.hittitemonuments.com/gurun/
  3. ^ http://rbedrosian.com/gc2.htm The Georgian Chronicles by Leonti Mroveli
  4. ^ http://www.vehi.net/istoriya/armenia/khorenaci/01.html "The History of Armenia" by Moses of Chorene
  5. ^ Bloomberg, Jon: The Jewish World in the Middle Ages. Ktav Publishing, 2000, p. 108.
  6. ^ Pritsak O. & Golb. N: Khazarian Hebrew Documents of the Tenth Century, Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1982.
  7. ^ The Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. (1835) B. B. Edwards and J. Newton Brown. Brattleboro, Vermont, Fessenden & Co., p. 1125.