Dardanians (Trojan)

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Amycus punished, red-figured Lucanian hydria, end of 4th century BC, Cabinet des Médailles. A prominent Trojan during the Trojan War

The Dardanoi (Greek: Δάρδανοι; its anglicized modern terms being Dardanians or Dardans) were a legendary people of the Troad, located in northwestern Anatolia. The Dardanoi were the descendants of Dardanus, the mythical founder of Dardanus, an ancient city in the Troad.[1] A contingent of Dardanians figures among Troy's allies in the Trojan War.[1] Homer makes a clear distinction between the Trojans and the Dardanoi,[2] however, "Dardanoi"/"Dardanian" later became essentially metonymous–– or at least is commonly perceived to be so–– with "Trojan", especially in the works of Vergil such as the Aeneid.

Dardanoi and Trojans[edit]


The Royal House of Troy was also divided into two branches, that of the Dardanoi and that of the Trojans (their city being called Troy, or sometimes Ilion/Ilium). The House of the Dardanoi (its members being the Dardanids, Greek: Δαρδανίδαι; Latin: Dardanidae[3]) was older than the House of Troy, but Troy later became more powerful.[citation needed] Aeneas is referred to in Virgil's Aeneid interchangeably as a Dardanian or as a Trojan, but strictly speaking, Aeneas was of the branch of the Dardanoi.[citation needed] Many rulers of Rome, for example Julius Caesar and Augustus, claimed descent from Aeneas and the Houses of Troy and Dardania.[citation needed] Homer adds the epithet Dardanides (Δαρδανίδης) to Priam and to other prominent characters denoting that they are members of the house of the Dardanoi.[citation needed]

Homer[4] writes;

The Dardanians were led by brave Aeneas, whom the fair Aphrodite, a goddess bedded with a mortal man, bore to Anchises in the mountains of Ida. He was not alone, for with him were the two sons of Antenor, Archilochus and Acamas, both skilled in all the arts of war.

The strait of the Dardanelles was named after the Dardanoi, who lived in the region.[citation needed]


The ethnic affinities of the Dardanoi, and of the Trojans, and the nature of their language remain a mystery. The remains of their material culture reveal close ties with Luwian,[5] other Anatolian[6] groups, and Thracians.[7] The Dardanoi were linked by ancient Greek and Roman writers with the Illyrian people of the same name who lived in the Balkans (i.e. the Dardani), a notion supported by a number of parallel ethnic names found both in the Balkans and Anatolia that are considered too great to be a mere coincidence (e.g. Eneti and Enetoi, Bryges and Phryges, Moesians and Mysians).[8][9] Strabo described the Dardanoi as Illyrians and this view is also supported by modern scholars.[10][11][12][13][14] Archaeological finds from the Troad dating back to the Chalcolithic period show striking affinity to archaeological finds known from the same era in Muntenia and Moldavia, and there are other traces which suggest close ties between the Troad and the Carpatho-Balkan region of Europe. Archaeologists in fact have stated that the styles of certain ceramic objects and bone figurines show that these objects were brought into the Troad by Carpatho-Danubian colonists; for example, certain ceramic objects have been shown to have Cucuteni origins.[15] Egyptian records from the Battle of Qadesh refer to Hittite allies known as Drdny, likely referring to the Dardanoi.[16]

Variations of the name[edit]

Homer in the Iliad carefully distinguishes the Dardanoi from the Trojans, not only in the list of Trojan allies (11:816–823) but also in the frequently repeated formula keklyte meu, Trôes kai Dardanoi ed' epikuroi (e.g., 3.456)".[2]

Words used by Homer are:

  • Dardaniōnes, Δαρδανίωνες, denotes people of the Troad in general.[17]
  • Dardanioi, Δαρδάνιοι, same as above.[17]
  • Dardanides, Δαρδανίδης, a name given to Aenias, as a descendant of Dardanus; in Latin, the plural form (Latin: Dardanidae; Greek: Δαρδανίδαι) is sometimes also used for Trojan women in the Aeneid.[18]
  • Dardanoi, Δάρδανοι, descendants of Dardanus, but sometimes distinguished as descendants of Assarakos whose branch of the family, including Aineias, continued to count Dardanie (a non-urban settlement up in the foothills of Mt. Ida) as home rather than Ilios, the citadel by the sea (see 20.215ff. and 2.819-20n).[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bryce, Trevor (2009). The Routledge Handbook of the Peoples and Places of Ancient Western Asia: The Near East from the Early Bronze Age to the fall of the Persian Empire. Routledge. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-134-15907-9.
  2. ^ a b "Review: Some Recent Works on Ancient Syria and the Sea People", Michael C. Astour, Journal of the American Oriental Society, Vol. 92, No. 3, (Jul. - Sep., 1972), pp. 447–459 writing about Richard David Barnett who identified the Dardanoi with the Trojans: "Which is,incidentally, not so: the Iliad carefully distinguishes the Dardanoi from the Trojans, not only in the list of Trojan allies (11:816–823) but also in the frequently repeated formula keklyte meu, Trôes kai Dardanoi ed' epikuroi (e.g., III:456)".
  3. ^ Vergil: Aeneid 10, Tome 10.
  4. ^ Hom. Il. 2,819-823. (Translated by Terence Chan)
  5. ^ Trojans and Their Neighbours: An Introduction (Ancient Peoples) by T. Bryce, 2005, p. 117: "... question, we might have a clearer indication of the Trojans' ethnic origins. We have referred to the widespread distribution of Luwian- ..."
  6. ^ Art of the First Cities: The Third Millennium B.C. from the Mediterranean to the Indus (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series) by Joan Aruz, 2003, p. 255, "... and the type and technology of the alloy are of Anatolian, and specifically Trojan, origin. ..."
  7. ^ The National Encyclopædia: A Dictionary of Universal Knowledge: By Writers of Eminence in Literature, Science, and Art. Volume 14 : Tri - Z by unknown author, 2001, p. 22: "... his allies. The inhabitants of the Troad were probably of Thracian origin. At the time of the Trojan War they had reached a higher state of prosperity and ..."
  8. ^ Wilkes, John (1992). The Illyrians. Wiley. p. 145. ISBN 9780631146711.
  9. ^ J. B. Bury; S. A. Cook; F. E. Adcock, eds. (1931). The Cambridge Ancient History: The Egyptian and the Hittite Empires. Vol. 2, Part 2 (1st ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 17.
  10. ^ Stanley Arthur Cook; Martin Percival Charlesworth; John Bagnell Bury; John Bernard Bury (1924). The Cambridge Ancient History. Cambridge University Press. p. 837. ISBN 9780521224963.
  11. ^ A.Sanducci (2022). Ancient Scholars about the Turks and the Turkic Nations. World Scholarly Press. p. 395. ISBN 9798985923704.
  12. ^ Malden, Henry (1830). History of Rome, Parts 1-5. Baldwin and Cradock. p. 67.
  13. ^ Ellis, Robert (1858). Contributions to the Ethnography of Italy and Greece. J.W. Parker. p. 10.
  14. ^ The Journal of Hellenic Studies, Volume 108. Council of the Society. 1988. p. 164.
  15. ^ Hoddinott, Ralph F., The Thracians, Thomas & Hudson Inc., 1981. pp. 35–38
  16. ^ Mellink, Machteld (1986-01-01). "Troy and the Trojan War: A Symposium Held at Bryn Mawr College, October 1984". Bryn Mawr College: 53.
  17. ^ a b c Iliad, 7.414, 8.154. See The Iliad: a commentary, page 286.
  18. ^ Lemprière's Classical dictionary.

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