Dardaan, Danaan and Dorian Origins: the Mediterranean Migrations of Israel

A forensically reconstructed colorization of the ‘Alexander Sarcophagus’ after the original from Sidon, Lebanon.

The ancient Greeks recorded the ancestors of the Dorians and the Danaans as having come to Greece by sea from Phoenicia (which included all the land of ancient Israel) and Egypt. Their patriarchs such as Cadmus “the Phoenician” and Danaus “the Egyptian” were said to have come from the Near East via the Mediterranean and Crete.

They were preceded in these lands by the Ionian Greeks who descended from the Japhetic patriarch Javan. Branches of the Ionians included Rhodians, Tartessians and Athenians. They established the Ionian league and produced democracy and Plato.


Also among their predecessors were the “Minoans” (wrongly connected by Sir Arthur Evans with Minos the Phoenician) who are the biblical Philistines of Caphtor/Crete (Strong’s H3731). (See Bryant G. Wood’s ‘The Genesis Philistines’ from the Associates for Biblical Research).


The Danaans settled Greece next having travelled there by sea directly from Egypt, and finally the Dorians arrived by sea from Phoenicia pushing the Danaans further inland and settling the coastlands. These Danaans formed the racial bedrock of Mycenaean civilization along with a portion of the Minoans and later mingled with the Dorians in the Archaic Greek period.

While not the direct object of this discussion, it can be established that the ancient Phoenicians of early Greek literature were one and the same race of people as the Israelites of Canaan, speaking the same tongue and living in the same lands.

‘The Israelite Origins of Europa: the Phoenicians in the West’ 

It was these Phoenicians who were one of the most profound influences on proto-Greek civilization. They gave to the Greeks the alphabet, and influenced their language, mythology and culture profoundly.

Many ancient Hellenic heroes, gods and demigods are of Phoenician origin including Europa, Heracles, Dionysus, Semele, the Cabiri, Oedipus, Phoenix, Minos, Sarpedon, Rhadamanthys, Phineus and Adonis among others. 

A Graeco-Phoenician sarcophagus, Beruit, Lebanon.

In Syro-Palestine archaeologists have found numerous examples of “Aegean” or “Mycenaean” artifacts and graves of the late bronze age predating the Hellenistic period and all recorded Mycenaean expansion into Palestine.

Notable such sites include Dor on the Palestinian coast once possessed by the tribe of Mannasseh where we find a Greek style gorgon and evidence of Levites. Also of note is the city of Tel Dan where we find entombed Mycenaean pottery. 



This letter from Areus, King of the Lacedemonian (Spartan) Dorian Greeks is recorded by the Judaean historian Flavius Josephus. Here Areus sends word to the priests of Judaea declaring their kinship. 

“Areus, King of the Lacedemonians, to Onias, Sendeth Greeting. We have met with a certain writing, whereby we have discovered that both the Judaeans and the Lacedemonians are of one stock, and are derived from the kindred of Abraham. It is but just, therefore, that you, who are our brethren, should send to us about any of your concern as you please. We will also do the same thing, and esteem your concerns as our own, and will look upon our concerns as in common with yours. Demotoles, who brings you this letter, will bring your answer back to us. This letter is foursquare; and the seal is an eagle, with a dragon in his claws.”
-Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 12.4.10 (12:226-227)

A Greek jewelry box featuring sphinxes/cherubs, Thebes, Greece.

In 1st Maccabees 12 is recorded the response to Areus from the high priest Jonathan who affirms the common heritage of these Dorian Greeks with the Judaeans. 

“Jonathan the high priest, and the elders of the nation, and the priests, and the other people of the Judaeans, unto the Lacedemonians their brethren send greeting: There were letters sent in times past unto Onias the high priest from Darius, who reigned then among you, to signify that ye are our brethren, as the copy here underwritten doth specify. At which time Onias entreated the ambassador that was sent honourably, and received the letters, wherein declaration was made of the league and friendship. Therefore we also, albeit we need none of these things, for that we have the holy books of scripture in our hands to comfort us, have nevertheless attempted to send unto you for the renewing of brotherhood and friendship, lest we should become strangers unto you altogether: for there is a long time passed since ye sent unto us. We therefore at all times without ceasing, both in our feasts, and other convenient days, do remember you in the sacrifices which we offer, and in our prayers, as reason is, and as it becometh us to think upon our brethren: and we are right glad of your honor. As for ourselves, we have had great troubles and wars on every side, forsomuch as the kings that are round about us have fought against us. Howbeit we would not be troublesome unto you, nor to others of our confederates and friends, in these wars: for we have help from heaven that succoureth us, so as we are delivered from our enemies, and our enemies are brought under foot. For this cause we chose Numenius the son of Antiochus, and Antipater the son of Jason, and sent them unto the Romans, to renew the amity that we had with them, and the former league. We commanded them also to go unto you, and to salute you, and to deliver you our letters concerning the renewing of our brotherhood. Wherefore now ye shall do well to give us an answer thereto. And this is the copy of the letters which Oniares sent. Areus king of the Lacedemonians to Onias the high priest, greeting: It is found in writing, that the Lacedemonians and Judaeans are brethren, and that they are of the stock of Abraham: now therefore, since this is come to our knowledge, ye shall do well to write unto us of your prosperity. We do write back again to you, that your cattle and goods are ours, and ours are yours. We do command therefore our ambassadors to make report unto you on this wise.”
-1st Maccabees 12:6-23

Alexander the Great or Antiochus IV and the Greeks (R) meet the Judean priesthood (L), Huqoq, Galilee.

Here the prophet Ezekiel speaks of maritime commerce between the Ionian Greeks (Javan) and the Israelite tribe of Dan from which sprang the Danaan Greeks. 

“18 Damascus was thy merchant in the multitude of the wares of thy making, for the multitude of all riches; in the wine of Helbon, and white wool. 19 Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.”
-Ezekiel 27

Diodorus Siculus quotes Hecataeus of Abdera, an elder Egyptian historian who recounts the Exodus from a pagan Egyptian perspective. He corroborates the basic narrative of the Exodus and also connects the Greek patriarchs Danaus “the Egyptian” and Cadmus “the Phoenician” to the ancient Israelites of Egypt and the Exodus. 

“All the aliens were driven from the country Egypt, and the most outstanding and active among them banded together and, as some say, were cast ashore in Greece and certain other regions; their leaders were notable men, chief among them being Danaus and Cadmus. But the greater number were driven into what is now called Judaea … The colony was headed by a man called Moses, outstanding both for his wisdom and for his courage”
-Diodorus Siculus quoting Hecataeus of Abdera, Library of History, 40.3.1-3

The name Cadmus is possibly related to the Semitic triliteral root qdm signifying “east” (in Hebrew, qedem means “front”, “east”. The verb qadam in Syriac means “to be in front”), and the Greek kekasmai (<*kekadmai) “to shine”. Therefore, the complete meaning of the name might be “he who excels, from the East”.

A commonly proposed etymology for Danaan and Danaus is the proto-Indo-European root *dʰenh₂ meaning “to run”, “to flow” or “to set in motion”. I would propose that *dʰenh₂ may be related to the Hebrew word din (H1777) meaning “sail, direct” or “straight course” which is also the root of the name of the tribe of Dan. Thus it may be that these names mean “Danite” or “sailor”. 

Flavius Josephus indicates to us in his work Antiquities of the Judaeans that the Judaean men were physically indistinguishable from the Greeks except for their circumcision. Note that the ancient practice of circumcision differed greatly from the modern practice. 

In the 2nd century AD the Edomite Jews altered the circumcision procedure to include full removal of the foreskin, excision of the frenulum and all mucus membranes. They also added the practice of sucking the blood from the wound. Consumption of blood is expressly forbidden in Levitical law.

Previously the practice of circumcision only involved removing any excess foreskin protruding beyond the glans. Thus the Hellenized Judaeans could conceal their circumcision by keeping the foreskin over the glans.

“Wherefore they desired his permission to build them a Gymnasium at Jerusalem. And when he had given them leave, they also hid the circumcision of their genitals, that even when they were naked they might appear to be Greeks.”
-Flavius Josephus, Antiquities of the Judaeans, 12.241

A forensically reconstructed colorization of a statue of a Dorian archer after the original from Aegina, Greece.

Strabo, describing the city of Comana in Pontus informs us that the inhabitants considered swine’s flesh impure in accordance with the law of Moses. 

“…the sacred precinct, apart from its sanctity in other respects, is most conspicuously free from the impurity of the eating of swine’s flesh; in fact, the city as a whole is free from it; and swine cannot even be brought into the city.”
-Strabo, Geography, 12.8.9

Mentioned only twice in Scripture, Darda and Calchal the sons of Zarah son of Judah were notable men comparable in wisdom to king Solomon:

“5The sons of Phares, Esrom, and Jemuel. 6And the sons of Zara, Zambri, and Aetham, and Aemuan, and Calchal, and Darda, in all five.”
-1 Chronicles 2

“30And Solomon abounded greatly beyond the wisdom of all the ancients, and beyond all the wise men of Egypt. 31And he was wiser than all other men: and he was wiser than Gaethan the Zarite, and than Aenan, and than Calchal and Darda the son of Mal.”
-1 Kings 4

Nothing else is said of these men in the Scriptures we have, and they have no descendants listed among the tribes of Israel from the time Zarah went to Egypt without his sons. While not spoken any further of in Scripture, these famous men do appear in profane writings of the Mediterranean.

Darda/Dardanos founded Troy (named for his son Tros) in Anatolia, which was also known as Ilios (named for another of his sons Ilos). Priam, the famed king of Troy was also his descendant.

Calchal/Kalchas also appears in Greek literature as a Trojan patriarch and founder of Pamphylia. He was regarded by the Greeks as a prophet and wise.

The Trojans are often referred to as Dardans, but there are also some Dardans spoken of as distinct from the Trojans. These Dardans comprised not only the Trojans, but the Lycians, many of the Illyrians, and other people’s of the Troad (the broader region surrounding Troy).

A Roman coin depicting Julius Caesar

In addition to the Illyrians and Lycians the Romans claimed Trojan descent as did The Britons. Julius Caesar himself was said to be of Trojan descent as was Roman aristocracy in general. Brutus the Trojan is said in medieval British lore to have established the Britons and founded London.

The Trojans were considered close relatives of the Phoenicians. Cadmus “the Phoenician” who founded Thebes was said to be the brother in law of Dardanos. Trojans, Leleges, Carians, Cilicians, and Phoenicians are all clearly related by the Greek writers, and by extension via the Phoenicians, the Dorian and Danaan Greeks of Mycenaean civilization. The Illyrians were said to be comprised, in part, of Dardans and Illyrius was a descendant of Cadmus “the Phoenician”.

All of these interrelated tribes have an ancient connection to Crete which served as a waypoint for settlement from elsewhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. There dwelt at various times Minoan-Philistines, Ionian-Javanites, Dardanian-Judahites, Danaan-Danites, and Dorian and Phoenician-Israelites all partaking in bull worship just as did the Israelites of the Exodus.

The Trojans, though their ancestors had partaken in such idolatry, never forgot their chief God, YHWH. They always remembered him as Jove (aka Jupiter, a contraction of Jove Pater), the king of the gods and never ceased their sacrifices to him. In ancient Latin, with a soft J and a soft V, Jove is pronounced almost identically to YHWH (Iaoue or Ioue according to Greek Christian sources).

While the sphinx is a simplified version, the cherub was a sphinx-like creature with the head of a man, the wings of an eagle, the front quarters of a lion and the hind quarters of a bull.

Lycian sphinx/cherub, Xanthos, Anatolia.

These are the same four symbols described as being a part of the throne of God, in both the Revelation and the opening chapters of Ezekiel. They are also the symbols of the leading tribes situated around the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. The Phoenicians used sphinxes and cherubs in their art and such figures have been found as far West as Iberia. It was particularly prevalent among the Lycians who were a branch of the Dardans.

Trojan descent has been considered a claim to Royal lineage from ancient times to medieval. If one could boast Trojan birth they would be treated as regal in the world of our ancestors. 

“8Juda, thy brethren have praised thee, and thy hands shall be on the back of thine enemies; thy father’s sons shall do thee reverence.

9Juda is a lion’s whelp: from the tender plant, my son, thou art gone up, having couched thou liest as a lion, and as a whelp; who shall stir him up?

10A ruler shall not fail from Juda, nor a prince from his loins, until there come the things stored up for him; and he is the expectation of nations.”
-Genesis 49

A forensically reconstructed colorization of the ‘Augustus of Prima Porta’ after the original from Prima Porta, Italy.

There would be no kings from Judah in Canaan for many centuries to come from the time Judah recieved his blessing. Neverthelesss the promise of rule and royalty was fulfilled long before the anointing of David in the Trojan aristocracy who ruled over many kindred peoples. 

After the time of the Exodus near the collapse of the bronze age Egyptian records document their encounters with a tribal confederacy scholars commonly refer to as the sea peoples. Among the groups named are the Ekwesh which are first mentioned circa 1200 BC and scholars have generally identified these as the Achaeans of Greek records synonymous with the Danaan Greeks. Interestingly we find in the Egyptian Karnak inscription that the Ekwesh were circumcised.

From about 1150-1100 BC Egyptian records identify the Peleset along with the Denyen among the sea peoples and scholars have commonly identified these as the Philistines and Danaans. Alternatively some scholars have identified the Denyen as the Biblical tribe of Dan. Of course these two theories concerning the identity of the Denyen are not mutually exclusive as the Danaans were certainly descendants of the Biblical Danites.

As mentioned earlier the Philistines are identifiable with the people known to archaeology as the Minoans who interacted and coexisted with the Danaans and so it is no surprise to see these tribes together in this tribal confederacy. Other tribes mentioned among the sea peoples include the Teresh, Lukka and Weshesh which have been identified with the Tyrrhenians or the Trojans, the Lycians and the Biblical tribe of Asher respectively.

A Lycian sarcophagus featuring sphinxes/cherubs, Sidon, Lebanon.

The identity of the Tyrrhenians is debated by scholars, but two plausible theories are that they are the Phoenicians of Tyre or the Etruscans. It can be demonstrated that the city of Tyre was at this time under Israelite control and was an important port for the Israelites who were known in classical records as the Phoenicians. The Etruscans are said by classical authors to have been a colony of the Lydians who are identified by all Biblical scholars as the Semitic Lud of Genesis 10.22.

The Lycians are said by Strabo to have been Dardaans who were descendants of the Judahite Darda son of Zerah as were the Trojans who were likewise regarded as a branch of the Dardaans. The Lycians seem to have spoken a Luwian dialect identified by many Biblical scholars with the Semitic Ludites and so it seems plausible that the Lycians were a confederacy of Judahites and the related Ludites. It is thus most probable that the so-called sea peoples encountered by the Egyptians were Hellenized Danites, Asherites, Judahites, Ludites and Philistines who established a seafaring tribal confederacy following the conquest of Canaan and the establishment of the Israelites in the coastlands.

There are many occasions in the New Testament where the Israelite heritage of the Dardaans, Danaans and Dorians is affirmed. Here St. Paul of Tarsus tells the Dorian Greeks of Corinth that their fathers had all passed through the Red Sea with Moses in the Exodus. 

“1 Now I do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all had passed through the sea. 2 And all up to Moses had immersed themselves in the cloud and in the sea, 3 and all had eaten the same spiritual food, 4 and all drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank of an attending spiritual rock, and that rock was Christ. 5 Yet with the greater number of them God had not been pleased, for they had been thrown down in the desert. 6 But these have become models for us, for us not to become desirers of evil, just as also they in that place had desired. 7 Neither become idolaters, just as some of them; as it is written, “the people were seated to eat and to drink, then rose up to play.” 8 Neither should we commit fornication, just as some of them had committed fornication, and in one day twenty-three thousand had fallen. 9 Neither should we tempt Christ, just as some of them also had tempted, and by the serpents they perished. 10 Neither should you mutter, just as some of them had muttered, and by the destroyer they perished. 11 Now these things as examples happened to them, and have been written for our admonition, to those whom have attained to the fulfillments of the ages.”
-1 Corinthians 10

St. Paul again indicates that the Corinthians are flesh and blood descendants of Israel where he warns them of the evils of idolatry.

“18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?

19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?

20 But I say, that the things which the nations sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.

21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.”
-1 Corinthians 10

A Lycian coin depicting Mithrapata.

Here St. Paul tells the Colossian Greeks that the Greeks, Judaeans, the Scythians and other Barbarians are all one in Christ. Many who are ignorant of the Israelite heritage of the Dorian and Danaan Greeks and the Scythians assume this passage teaches a disregard for race, but this is not so. 

“9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

11 Where there is neither Greek nor Judean, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.”
-Colossians 3

‘Scythian Origins: the Lost Tribes in Iran, the Steppe and Europe’ https://acompanyofnations.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/scythian-origins-the-lost-tribes-in-iran-the-steppe-and-europe-2/

St. Peter addresses his epistle to “those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia”. St. Peter of course refers to the dispersed Israelites scattered about Asia Minor known to history as Celts, Romans, Scythians and Greeks.

“1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who are elect exiles of the dispersion in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to be obedient to Jesus Christ and sprinkled with his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance.”
-1 Peter 1

It is evident in many places in the epistle of Paul to the Romans that St. Paul considers his readers Israelites, but here I will point out some of the most obvious:

“1 Now what may we say that our forefather Abraham has found concerning the flesh? 2 For if Abraham from the rituals has been deemed worthy, he has reason to boast, but not towards God. 3 Indeed, what do the Scriptures say? “That Abraham trusted God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.””
-Romans 4

Notice that St. Paul calls Abraham “our forebear”. Also see that St. Paul mentions Abraham’s faith in the promise from God that his seed would become many nations which was inherited through Jacob-Israel.

“9And God appeared to Jacob once more in Luza, when he came out of Mesopotamia of Syria, and God blessed him. 10And God said to him, Thy name shall not be called Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name; and he called his name Israel. 11And God said to him, I am thy God; increase and multiply; for nations and gatherings of nations shall be of thee, and kings shall come out of thy loins.”
-Genesis 35

Lycian Heracles (a Phoenician), Perge, Anatolia.

St. Paul later continues with this theme of the faith of Abraham and the fulfillment of the promise in the same chapter:

“13 Indeed, not through the law is the promise to Abraham or to his offspring, that he is to be the heir of the society, but through righteousness of faith. 14 For if they from of the law are heirs, the faith has been voided, and the promise annulled. 15 For the law results in wrath, so where there is no law, neither is there transgression. 16 Therefore from of the faith, that in accordance with favor, then the promise is to be certain to all of the offspring, not to that of the law only, but also to that of the faith of Abraham, who is father of us all; 17 (just as it is written, “That a father of many nations I have made you,”) before God whom he trusted, who raises the dead to life, and calls things not existing as existing; 18 who contrary to expectation, in expectation believed, for which he would become a father of many nations according to the declaration, “Thus your offspring will be:” 19 and he not being weak in the faith, nor having considered his own body by this time being dead, being about a hundred years old, and the deadness of the womb of Sara, 20 but at the promise of God he did not doubt in disbelief, rather he was strengthened in faith, giving honor to God, 21 and having full satisfaction that what He has promised, He is also capable of doing; 22 for that reason also “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
-Romans 4

Notice that once again St. Paul refers to Abraham as the father of both himself and the Romans. They according to the faith of Abraham; the faith that his offspring would become many nations. Not one single nation in Palestine, but “a nation and a company of nations” from the loins of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob-Israel. 

“1And after these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram, I shield thee, thy reward shall be very great. 2And Abram said, Master and Lord, what wilt thou give me? whereas I am departing without a child, but the son of Masek my home-born female slave, this Eliezer of Damascus is mine heir. 3And Abram said, I am grieved since thou hast given me no seed, but my home-born servant shall succeed me. 4And immediately there was a voice of the Lord to him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come out of thee shall be thine heir. 5And he brought him out and said to him, Look up now to heaven, and count the stars, if thou shalt be able to number them fully, and he said, Thus shall thy seed be. 6And Abram believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.”
-Genesis 15

Lycian sphinx/cherub, Xanthos, Anatolia.

It is evident in numerous places all throughout the prophets and the New Testament that trees, vines and other plant life symbolize people, families, nations and races. 

‘The Origins of the Serpent Seed’ 

Here St. Paul refers to the Romans as a “wild olive tree” (a symbol of Israel. Jeremiah 11.16, Hosea 14.6) grafted in among the other branches. Those branches being the Israelites of Judaea under the law. The ancestors of the Romans had departed from the main body of Israel before Moses ever recieved the law and so they are “wild olive” branches grafted in among the cultivated branches under the law.

“16 Now if the first fruit is sacred, then also the balance, and if the root is sacred, also the branches. 17 But if some of the branches have been broken off and you, being of a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, having become a partaker of the richness of the root of the olive tree, 18 you must not exult over the branches; but if you exult, you will not sustain the root, or the root you. 19 Now you will say, Those branches have been broken off, in order that I would be grafted in? 20 Correct, in disbelief they were broken off, and you in faith stand. Be not proud, but reverent. 21 Indeed if God spared not the natural branches, perhaps you may not be spared. 22 Behold then the goodness and severity of God: certainly upon those who have fallen, severity; but the goodness of God upon you, if then you abide in that goodness, otherwise you also will be cut off.”
-Romans 11

“1Hearken to me, ye islands; and attend, ye nations; after a long time it shall come to pass, saith the Lord: from my mother’s womb he has called my name:

2and he has made my mouth as a sharp sword, and he has hid me under the shadow of his hand; he has made me as a choice shaft, and he has hid me in his quiver;

3and said to me, Thou art my servant, O Israel, and in thee I will be glorified.

4Then I said, I have laboured in vain, I have given my strength for vanity and for nothing: therefore is my judgment with the Lord, and my labour before my God.

5And now, thus saith the Lord that formed me from the womb to be his own servant, to gather Jacob to him and Israel. I shall be gathered and glorified before the Lord, and my God shall be my strength.”
-Isaiah 49

“8Behold, I bring them from the north, and will gather them from the end of the earth to the feast of the passover: and the people shall beget a great multitude, and they shall return hither.

9They went forth with weeping, and I will bring them back with consolation, causing them to lodge by the channels of waters in a straight way, and they shall not err in it: for I am become a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born.

10Hear the words of the Lord, ye nations, and proclaim them to the islands afar off; say, He that scattered Israel will also gather him, and keep him as one that feeds his flock.”
-Jeremiah 31






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