Watchman's Teaching Letter #75 July 2004
This is my seventy-fifth monthly teaching letter and continues my seventh year of publication. With this lesson, we are going to continue to show more evidence concerning Herodotus’ report as regards to the burial of the Scythians and their kings. The idea is to show the account by Herodotus pertaining to this and compare it to the report of the archaeologists. Not only that, but to compare this new evidence against what was offered in the last lesson. The following three articles are from the book The World Of The Past, edited by Jacquetta Hawkes (a set of two volumes) under chapter 5, “Europe”, pages 454-456:
HERODOTUS: The Burial of Scythian Kings
“THE Scythians formed the main clan of an enormously widespread group of nomads, whose territories may at times have stretched as far east as the Yenisei. Although there was no political unity among them, these nomadic tribes shared much in common in their way of life and in their art. The Scyths proper occupied the more westerly part of the range. By the seventh century B.C. they were established in southern Russia, the Kuban and the Crimea, and in time they pushed further into eastern Europe – into Roumania, Bulgaria, Hungary and Prussia. At various points, and particularly along the Black Sea, they came into contact with the Greek colonists. Nomadic chiefs employed Greek craftsmen to work for them, and some Scythic art shows a blending of Hellenic with Persian and other oriental elements.
“The Scyths were so powerful in the fifth century B.C. that Herodotus devoted an entire Book to them. To collect material he went to Olbia, a Greek commercial outpost on the Black Sea by the mouth of the Bug. Some of the information he recorded was fanciful, but much has been proved correct. In particular his description of the burial of Scythic kings has been supported even in detail by graves excavated in south Russia and elsewhere.
“The burial-place of the Scythian kings is in the country of the Gerrhi, near the spot where the Borysthenes first becomes navigable. When a king dies, they dig a great square pit, and, when it is ready, they take up the corpse, which has been previously prepared in the following way: the belly is slit open, cleaned out, and filled with various aromatic substances, crushed galingale, parsley-seed, and anise; it is then sewn up again and the whole body coated over with wax. In this condition it is carried in a wagon to a neighbouring tribe within the Scythian dominions, and then on to another, taking the various tribes in turn; and in the course of its progress, the people who successively receive it, follow the custom of the Royal Scythians and cut a piece from their ears, shave their hair, make circular incisions on their arms, gash their foreheads and noses, and thrust arrows through their left hands. On each stage of the journey those who have already been visited join the procession, until at last the funeral cortege, after passing through every part of the Scythian dominions, finds itself at the place of burial amongst the Gerrhi, the most northerly and remote of Scythian tribes. Here the corpse is laid in the tomb on a mattress, with spears fixed in the ground on either side to support a roof of withies laid on wooden poles, while in other parts of the great square pit various members of the king’s household are buried beside him: one of his concubines, his butler, his cook, his groom, his steward, and his chamberlain – all of them strangled. Horses are buried too, and gold cups (the Scythians do not use silver or bronze), and a selection of his other treasures. This ceremony over, everybody with great enthusiasm sets about raising a mound of earth, each competing with his neighbour to make it as big as possible. At the end of a year another ceremony takes place: they take fifty of the best of the king’s remaining servants, strangle and gut them, stuff the bodies with chaff, and sew them up again – these servants are native Scythians, for the king has no bought slaves, but chooses people to serve him from amongst his subjects. Fifty of the finest horses are then subjected to the same treatment. The next step is to cut a number of wheels in half and to fix them in pairs, rim-down-wards, to stakes driven into the ground, two stakes to each half-wheel; then stout poles are driven lengthwise through the horses from tail to neck, and by means of these the horses are mounted on the wheels, in such a way that the front pairs support the shoulders and the rear pairs the belly between the thighs. All four legs are left dangling clear of the ground. Each horse is bitted and bridled, the bridle being led forward and pegged down. The bodies of the men are dealt with in a similar way; straight poles are driven up through the neck, parallel with the spine, and the lower protruding ends fitted into sockets in the stakes which run through the horses; thus each horse is provided with one of the young servants to ride him. When horses and riders are all in place around the tomb, they are left there, and the mourners go away.”
The object here is to scrutinize and compare what you have just read under the topic “The Burial Of The Scythian Kings” with the “Royal Scythian Tomb Excavated.” Once you do this, you will observe that some of Herodotus’ informants exaggerated some of the facts. The blame is on the misinformed informants rather than Herodotus!
Royal Scythian Tomb ExcavateD, Pages 457-460
“CHERTOMLYK is near Nikopol in the southern Ukraine. The burial dates from the fourth century B.C.
“The Scythians, as we learn from their own proud and defiant retort to the taunts of Darius, valued their burial grounds above all their possessions, venerating them with a passion that was perhaps increased by their lack of temples and holy sites. To them the burial ceremony was an intensely mystical and august ritual, but it was also a singularly costly affair, not only in labour, material and worldly goods, but also in life. The loss in horses was especially high. Recent discoveries show that orthopaedically faulty animals were sometimes killed off in Hungary and a proportion of those buried in Altaian graves suffered from similar defects, but many of the horses found at Pazirik were in excellent condition at the time of their death. Information on this point is lacking with regard to the Kuban and south Russian burials, but the numbers of horses killed at important funerals in the Kuban was tremendous. There the figures varied from a score to several hundred, the highest to be recorded being at Ulski, where some four hundred had been buried.
“The most important and impressive of the Scythian burials are the royal tombs of southern Russia, and of them all Chertomlyk is perhaps the richest, both in the variety and artistic quality of the objects found in it and also in the well-nigh fabulous intrinsic value of the gold-work. Like so many other burials, Chertomlyk had attracted the attention of thieves, but in this instance a fall of earth in the entrance shaft they had dug trapped and killed at any rate one of the gang, leaving the objects he had amassed piled up in a corner of the tomb. Since this robber was unlikely to have dug the trench single-handed, it is probable that his companions escaped with some of the booty. Nevertheless, the archaeologists who opened the tomb some two thousand years later still found in it much that was of considerable monetary value and a great deal more that was of absorbing interest.
“The barrow was unusually elaborate in plan, for it contained a central burial chamber with four minor ones radiating from it. The first chamber to be entered by the excavators contained a small Scythian cauldron, a magnificent gorytus [bow-case] complete with arrows, and five knives with bone handles and iron blades. In the main chamber they found fragments of a carpet, but these were too decayed to give any idea of its pattern. Hooks for clothes to hang on were still in place on the walls and ceilings, but the garments which had once hung there had perished, and only the stamped golden plaques with which they had been trimmed lay in heaps where they had fallen to the ground. Placed in niches set at floor level in the walls were further personal belongings and some gold vases. In the north-eastern chamber stood six amphorae still holding the dregs of the wine and oil that had once filled them and also a bronze mirror mounted on an ivory handle.
“The dead man lay on his back, facing east. The setting in which he took leave of this world was of extraordinary opulence. A fine bronze torque encircled his neck, a gold ear-ring had been placed in one ear and there were gold rings on all his fingers. According to custom, an ivory-handled knife lay within easy reach of his left hand, together with a gorytus containing sixty-seven bronze arrowheads and an ivory-handled riding whip laced with gold. Fragments of an ivory casket, a silver spoon, numerous gold plaques from his clothes, pendants, gold tubes, beads and buttons were also found here. In the third small chamber lay two bodies, each adorned with a gold torque, gold bracelets and rings, and a belt decorated with gold plaques, together with the gold plaques which had trimmed the clothing strewn about their bare bones. Beside them stood a bronze cup, a silver ewer, a gorytus containing arrows, and a whip. In the fourth chamber were fragments of a bronze bier that had once been decorated with an elaborate design carried out in dark and light blue, green and yellow paint. A woman’s body lay on it, still wreathed in gold bracelets, finger-rings and ear-rings. Twenty-nine stamped gold plaques, twenty gold roundels and seven gold buttons lay intermingled with her bones. On her head were the remnants of a purple veil with the fifty-seven gold plaques which had formed its trimming still in place. Within her reach was a bronze mirror set in blue paste. Nearby lay a man’s body, probably an attendant’s, with a bronze bracelet on his arm, his knife and arrow-heads within grasp of his left hand. Between the bodies stood an elaborately ornamented silver dish, and it was there that the famous Chertomlyk vessel itself was found. A large bronze cauldron, measuring three feet in height, with six splendidly modelled goats ranged round its rim to serve as handles, was also found in the tomb, as well as a smaller bronze cauldron, numerous minor objects in gold, a great ornamented sheet of gold which had been ripped off the king’s gorytus, five splendid swords, and numerous fragments of delicate Greek pottery. Ten horses lay fully caparisoned outside the burial chamber, but in the same compound. The trappings of five were embellished with gold decorations, those of the rest with silver.”
Before I make any critical comments on this article, I will now quote this same passage from The History: Herodotus translated by David Grene, 3. 115-116:
“115. These, then, are the countries that are at the uttermost ends of the earth in Asia and Libya. But about the limits of the world toward the west, in Europe, I cannot speak with certainty. For my own part, I do not accept that there is a river, called Eridanus by the barbarians, that issues into a sea toward the north, from which it is that amber comes; nor do I know of the actual existence of the Tin Islands, from which our tin comes. The very name Eridanus speaks against their story, for it is a Greek, not a barbarian, word, made up by some poet or other. Nor have I been able, for all my efforts that way, to hear from anyone who was an eyewitness that there is a sea beyond Europe. But certainly our tin and our amber come from the edges of the world.
“116. It is clear that there is far the greatest supply of gold to the north of Europe, but how it is got is again something I cannot tell exactly; it is said that the Arimaspi – men with one eye – steal the gold from the griffins. I cannot be persuaded about this either – that there exist in nature men who are just like everyone else except that they have only one eye. Certainly, however, it seems likely that the ends of the earth, which enclose and entirely shut in all the rest, should have in themselves what we think most beautiful and rarest.”
Of all the writings in Herodotus that display his honesty, this passage is an outstanding, shining example for several reasons! His humble, unpretentious statement: “But about the limits of the world toward the west, in Europe, I cannot speak with certainty” shows his humility. It radiates to the observer like a precious gem. Anyone with the slightest bit of discernment can see it immediately. While Herodotus traveled extensively to many lands, evidently he never made it to the “Tin Islands”, or as we know them today, Britain. That Herodotus was speaking of Britain is supported by The Drama of the Lost Disciples by George F. Jowett, page 37.
Then he very conscientiously explains that the river called “Eridanus” is Greek in nature. By this he shows he is suspicious of the report and rightly informs us of his misgivings. What more need he do to show his fidelity? But still he has his scoffers! Then he continues: “... nor do I know of the actual existence of the Tin Islands, from which our tin comes.” The tin required to make bronze in Herodotus’ day was very critical especially for a country’s defense. The source of tin was so guarded that the sailing men would crash their vessels against the rocks rather than reveal its secret. It is somewhat like how the Hittites guarded the secret of producing iron. If the source of tin was guarded to that extent, we surely cannot condemn Herodotus for not knowing its location.
Then Herodotus speaks of an abundant supply of gold in northern Europe. We cannot know how far north Herodotus meant as his known world didn’t compare to what we know today. About the location of the gold Herodotus relates an anecdote of his day: “I cannot tell exactly; it is said that the Arimaspi – men with one eye – steal the gold from the griffins.” This sounds like a ploy by the people of Herodotus’ day to guard the location of their source of gold. If such is true, then we can comprehend the reason for Herodotus doubting the existence of “one-eyed” people. And though Herodotus is mostly critical of this entire account, nevertheless many elements of the story are true. The major outstanding disclosure in this passage of Herodotus is the mention of the “Tin Islands.” I’m also like Herodotus inasmuch as I have never seen any natural “one-eyed” people, and until some archaeologist digs one up, I choose to disbelieve!
But the whole object of using this segment of Herodotus’ writing was to demonstrate his honesty and integrity considering what he had to work with in his day!
BUT AGAIN WE MUST ASK: “WHO WAS HERODOTUS”?
For more documentation concerning Herodotus’ background we will go to Cyclopædia Of Universal History by John Clark Ridpath, LL. D. (©1885). I like reading old books, how about you? The following quotation from volume 1, page 396 gives us our most important clue yet. Because it is so significant, I’ll put it in bold type:
“Then came the great Herodotus, justly styled the father of History. He was born in Halicarnassus, in the year B.C. 484. He was a Dorian by descent and an Ionian by education. His merit consists in this, that he, first of the great minds of the Aryan race, perceived that history should be stripped of poetic disguises, and yet given an artistic and philosophic form in the language of common life. Herodotus had the genius of the traveler, the curiosity of an antiquarian, the industry of an artisan. He sought companionship with the literati of foreign cities. He stored his mind with records of the East. He reflected not a little upon the nature and causes of events, and thus fitted himself for historical authorship to a degree not to be expected of his age. He selected for a theme the great struggle between his country and Persia. As his narrative proceeds and he finds himself in contact with other nations, he pauses with a natural grace to recount their annals, their customs, their traditions, their laws. Garrulous? Granted; but such garrulity! Would that the primitive world had produced more such charming gossips! To spare the one were to lose the quaintest monument of ancient literature.”
In the above paragraph, I underlined the item of greatest interest, at least if you believe in the Israel Identity Message. It is of the greatest weightiness, for the Dorian Greeks were Israelites. Therefore, Herodotus was an Israelite! Once we understand this connection of the Dorian Greeks, 1st & 2nd Corinthians become of greater interest.
We must question, though, Ridpath’s calling Herodotus “first of the great minds of the Aryan race.” Surely, there were many great Aryan minds in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Persia, the Levant and elsewhere before him. Herodotus just happened to be among the first of those Aryan minds who applied himself to history.
TRANSITION OF POWERS TRIGGERED DORIAN EXPANSION
For this we will refer to the book The Wycliffe Historical Geography Of Bible Lands by Charles F. Pfeiffer and Howard F. Vos, page 299:
“Economic and political decline set in on Cyprus at the end of the thirteenth century and continued for some centuries thereafter. The Hittite Empire came to an end about 1200 B.C. Troy was destroyed about the same time or a little earlier. The Egyptian Empire disintegrated about 1100, and the Mycenaean power was brought to an end by Dorian invasions about the same time. International turbulence is never conducive to economic prosperity. The end of the period saw Cyprus rather isolated.
“According to Homer’s Odyssey and other Greek writers, some of the Greek heroes returning from the Battle of Troy settled on Cyprus and established towns there – including such sites as Salamis, Curium, and Nea Paphos. New archaeological evidence from Enkomi (near Salamis) and at Nea Paphos confirms the arrival of Greeks on the island and their building activities there around 1230 B.C. At Enkomi the Mycenaeans apparently built a new town on the site about 1230 B.C.; this was destroyed by the Sea Peoples (Philistines) some thirty years later.”
The object here is not to get that involved with Hittite history, but only show how the Dorian expansion fits time-wise with the decline and fall of the Hittite Empire.
SOME CONFUSION ABOUT DORIAN GREEK HISTORY
Since we understand that Herodotus was a Dorian Greek, it would be appropriate to consider some Dorian Greek History. Inasmuch as a lot of confusion exists, we will first present what historians generally say, and then give a reply in brackets. For this, we will use excerpts of the book The World Of Herodotus by Aubery de Sélincourt:
Page 73: “Greek Mycenaean civilisation was to last for four hundred years, spreading over much of the mainland, to the coasts and islands of the Ionian Sea, and as far east in the Aegean as Rhodes. It perished with the coming of iron and the invasion of the Dorians, when all the great cities were destroyed and a new Dark Age descended upon Greece, about which little is known until the curtain rises again with the Greek migrations to Asia Minor and the beginning of the period when the city-states first came into being.”
[“Greek Mycenean civilization” was that of Homer’s Danaans, the tribe of Dan which left the main body in Egypt before the Exodus to come to Greece. Mycenae, Thebes and Argos were among the famous Achaian (Danaan) cities. Early indication has it that the Danaans resided with their Japhethic predecessors (Ionians, Thracians, etc.)]
Pages 76-77: “But their power was destined to be broken by another Greek-speaking people, the Dorians, who about the year 1100 B.C., nearly a century after the traditional date of the siege of Troy, came with their iron weapons down from the north in hordes and carried all before them. This was not a peaceful infiltration like that of their predecessors, but an invasion and a conquest. Unlike the Achaeans who adopted as their own much of what they found in their new home, the Dorians were destroyers. Their coming brought a period of great confusion; as they poured southward over central Greece and into the Peloponnese, tribes and communities were reduced to serfdom, or swept away. Over a course of two centuries and more there was a continuous movement of peoples before the pressure of the invaders. The Dorians were a barbarous and virile race, and it took them a long time to learn civilised ways: some of them, one is tempted to think, never did; for in the years to come the greatest of the Dorian towns was Sparta, and it is not easy to associate the idea of civilised ways with that profoundly interesting but hateful place.
“An important result of the Dorian invasion and the spreading of the Dorian tribes over a large part of the mainland of Greece, and of the shifting of peoples consequent upon it, was the colonisation by Greeks of the coast of Asia Minor and of Cyprus and the Aegean islands. The movement of colonisation had begun before the Dorian invasion, but it was now greatly accelerated. The Achaeans, with their kinsmen the Aeolian Greeks, were the first to seek new homes in the kindlier land of Asia, and in the off-shore island of Lesbos; their settlements were mainly on the Mysian coast, extending as far south as Old Smyrna, and they were followed by Ionian venturers, who settled to the southward, as far as Miletus. Lastly the Dorians themselves joined in the search for new lands, built settlements in the islands of Cos, Cnidus and Rhodes, and continued the line of Greek coastal towns to the borders of Lycia.”
Pages 117-118: “The Spartans were a Dorian people, and the Dorians, far back at the beginning of things, had fought their way down from somewhere in the north-western regions of Greece into the Peloponnese, where they had wrested the land from the original inhabitants. Probably they had fighting in their blood more than the other branches of the Greek peoples, and certainly the Spartans, once they were settled as masters of the greater part of the Peloponnese, were compelled to maintain their position amongst the conquered population by force, and the threat of force. Sparta itself was a small community, little more, indeed, than a collection of villages; in it lived the true-born Spartan nobility, perhaps eight or nine thousand of them, while everyone else on the scattered farms of the fertile plain of Lacedaemon had lost even their names: they were the ‘perioeci’ – the ‘dwellers-around’; or else the helots, the Spartans’ slaves.”
[Sélincourt’s remarks here that the Dorians “came ... down from the north”, ... “poured southward over central Greece and into the Peloponnese”, ... “Lastly ... built settlements in the islands ...”, ... “fought their way down from somewhere(?) in the north-western regions of Greece into the Peloponnese” are all unsubstantiated, and can be proven wrong, and are in direct conflict with the Dorian conquest as it is explained by J. B. Bury who is much closer to the truth (although Bury is also confused and blind to the Dorian origins).]
Sélincourt page 132: “Sicyon, neighbour to Corinth, was a Dorian state of great antiquity, originally founded by Dorians from Argos. After following the pattern of development common to most Greek communities she fell, about the middle of the seventh century, under the ‘tyranny’ of a certain Orthagoras, whose dynasty lasted for nearly a hundred years.”
Page 259: “For a long time the Aeginetans, a Dorian people, had been a prosperous mercantile community; they were amongst the first of the Greeks to issue a coinage, early in the seventh century B.C. and the Aeginetan silver ‘turtles’ remained the standard coinage of the Peloponnese for two hundred years. The island traded freely with Egypt, and in the reign of Amasis (569-526) built its own shrine at Naucratis, the trading-post at the mouth of the Nile.”
Next, we will observe that many of the Greeks were family and race conscious, at least among their own local tribes. For this, I will use excerpts from A History Of Greece by J. B. Bury, page 53:
“The departure of the Dorians from the regions of Parnassus was probably gradual, and it was accomplished by sea. They built ships – perhaps the name of Naupactus, ‘the place of the ship-building,’ is a record of their ventures; and they sailed round the Peloponnesus to the south-eastern parts of Greece. One band of adventurers brought a new element to Crete, the island of many races; others settled in Thera and in Melos. Others sailed away eastward, beyond the limits of the Aegean, and found a home on the southern coast of Asia Minor, where, surrounded by barbarians and forgotten by the Greek world, they lived a life apart, taking no share in the history of Hellas.”
Again from A History Of Greece by J. B. Bury, page 54: “The next conquests of the Dorians were in the Peloponnesus. They had found it impossible to attack on the north and west; they now essayed it on the south and east. There were three distinct conquests – the conquest of Laconia, the conquest of Argolis, the conquest of Corinth. The Dorians took possession of the rich vale of the Eurotas, and, keeping their own Dorian stock pure from the mixture of alien blood, reduced all the inhabitants to the condition of subjects. It seems probable that the Dorian invaders who subdued Laconia were more numerous than the Dorian invaders elsewhere. The eminent quality which distinguished the Dorians from other branches of the Greek race was that which we call ‘character’; and it was in Laconia that this quality most fully displayed and developed itself, for here the Dorian seems to have remained more purely Dorian.
“In Argolis the course of things ran otherwise. The invaders, who landed under a king named Temenos, had doubtless a hard fight; but their conquest took the shape not of subjection but of amalgamation. The Argive state was indeed organised on the Dorian system, with the three Dorian tribes – the Hylleis, Pamphyli, and Dymanes; but otherwise few traces of the conquest remained. It is to the time of this conquest that the overthrow of Mycenae is probably to be referred. Certain it is that both Mycenae and Tiryns were destroyed suddenly and set on fire. Henceforward Argos under her lofty citadel was to be undisputed queen of the Argive plain. Greater, indeed, was the feat which the Dorians wrought in their southern conquest, the feat of making lowly Sparta, without citadel or wall, the queen of the Laconian vale.” [The “amalgamation” spoken of above was surely Dorian Greeks with Danaan-Israelite-Greeks, Phoenician-Israelite-Greeks and Japhethite-Ionian-Greeks.]
From the book The World Of Ancient Times by Carl Roebuck we read the following:
The Dark Age (1100-750 B.C.) “The settlement of the Dorian Greeks, which followed upon the invasions of the twelfth century, was concentrated mainly in the Peloponnesus and made it the most important Dorian area in Greece. The Dorians settled at Corinth and Sicyon near the Gulf of Corinth, at Argos near the old Mycenaean citadel at Mycenae, and in the southeast at Sparta in Laconia. Achaea, on the south shore of the Gulf of Corinth, Arcadia, in the heart of the Peloponnesus, and Messenia, in the southwest, were left undisturbed for the time being. From the eastern Peloponnesus, however, Dorians crossed the Aegean to Crete, Rhodes, and the adjacent coast of Asia Minor, where they spread as far north as Halicarnassus. The native populations were in some cases reduced to the status of serfs, and the Doric institutions and dialect were imposed. Cyprus remained untouched by the Dorians, so that its Mycenaean colonial settlements long preserved their old style of writing, artistic traditions, and some sporadic trade into the Aegean. But Cyprus was too far from the Aegean to seriously affect its new growth or to share in it. The island’s own culture was soon strongly influenced by Phoenician traders and settlers from the nearby coast of Syria.”
From the above, we can plainly see that the Dorian Greeks settled at Halicarnassus, the place of Herodotus’ birth! And we can be quite sure that a “serf” would not receive an education such as Herodotus was able to attain. As for Herodotus’ honesty, we will again refer to pages 151-152 of the book The World Of Ancient Times by Carl Roebuck where it speaks of Herodotus’ role model, Hecataeus:
“Herodotus had an example of historical writing in the work of Hecataeus (p. 233 [who stated]: ‘I have found the myths of the Greeks many and ridiculous’), who had insisted that history be truthful and critical. Hecataeus, however, had lacked a meaningful theme, one in which the experience of a whole generation of men was involved or on which the creative imagination of its interpreter could work. Herodotus conceived his history on a broad scale, designed to show the contrasting character and civilization of the peoples who fought, as well as to give an account of the events of the wars.
“Herodotus’ conception of historiography is an interesting example of the transitional period of thought in which he lived: ‘What Herodotus the Halicarnassian has learned by inquiry [historie] is here set forth: in order that the memory of the past may not be blotted out from among men by time, and that great and marvelous deeds done by Greeks and foreigners and especially the reason why they warred against each other may not lack renown.’ The ‘inquiry’ is thoroughly in the spirit of Ionian natural science. Herodotus carried it out by personal observation of the lands and peoples in whom he was interested, by talking with them, by asking questions and drawing inferences. The material was sifted with a keen and honest mind and a very considerable amount of common sense. If he could not reconcile various stories, the several versions were set down, often with a quietly ironic comment to indicate his own opinion. Part of the ‘inquiry,’ however, was to preserve the great deeds of the men who fought the wars. The spirit is that of Homer and of aristocratic Greece, which held that the proper end of human activity was excellence and glory ... He gives a fresh and sympathetic account of the lands and peoples of the Persian Empire and finds as much to criticize in Greece as he does among the ‘barbarians.’ Yet the Greeks did win the war, and Herodotus found in them certain qualities beyond the common courage and humanity found in all men.”
Other comments which should be mentioned here are: Mycenae is assigned prominence by scholars probably because in the Iliad it was the home of Agamemnon, chief of chiefs among the Danaans. Argos was certainly prominent in the earliest literature, and gave its name to the famous ship of the Argo-nauts.
The “Phoenicians traders and settlers from the nearby coast of Syria” are primarily Israelites from the northern tribes sailing from Tyre and Sidon: Asher (Ezek. 27:6), Zebulon and Naphtali (Isaiah 9:1 “... in the region of the nations”).
Thus we have in Herodotus a true Israelite and an honest man of integrity doing his very best under difficult circumstances!