Sunday, November 3, 2013


 Rediscovering Ethiopian "Solymi", "Shalmai" or Soleym Settlements of the Levant, Mediterranean and Aegean: Roots of Ancient Israel  by Dana W. Reynolds

   (Parts I, II and III  of King Solomon's Miners were especially inspired by and are now dedicated to the memory and works of two early African American griots way ahead of their time, William Leo Hansberry and Drusilla Dunjee Houston, as well as Martin Gardiner Bernal and Kamal Suleiman Salibi, two wise men never straying from the right path.) 

 “But at that moment, the mighty Earthshaker, returning from the Ethiopians, saw him from the distant mountains of the Solymi. Poseidon watched Odysseus sailing and his spirit grew enraged.” (Homer, The Odyssey, translated by Ian Johnston, 2007, p 105)

 Cheorilus’s description of the Solymi (quoted in Josephus, Against Apion I.173) accords with the account in the catalogue of Xerxes’ army (Herodotuss 7.70) of the Eastern Ethiopians; both Choerilus’s Solymi and Herodotus’s Eastern Ethiopians, strikingly, wear on their heads hides of horse heads.” (Jew and Gentile in the Ancient World: Attitudes and Interactions from Alexander to Justinian   1996, Louis H. Feldman, p. 192)

“The Cilicians and Solymi, as well as the as the kindred Pisidians and Isaurians, were peoples of the Semitic race; who entering Asia Minor by the pass round the Gulf of Issus, overspread the sea-board beneath the chain of Taurus, and occupied its slopes and heights.” (The Ancient history of the East from the Earliest Times to the Conquest  Philip Smith. p 474). 

Modern view of the ancient world

“The ethnic character of the Solymi depends mainly upon the assertion of Chaerilus that they spoke a Phoenician dialect. It is confirmed by their name which connects them very remarkably with the Hebrew… Salem and Jerusalem, by their habit of shaving the head with the exception of a tuff, by their special worship of Saturn, and by the occurrence of a number of Phoenician words in their country. If we regard the Solymi as Semitic on this evidence, we must suppose an early Semitic occupation of the whole southern coast of Asia Minor, followed by an Indo-European invasion before which the primitive inhabitants yielded losing the more desirable territory and only maintaintng themselves in the mountains” (Rawlinson, G. 1862, The History of Herodotus, p. 540).

The 18th and 19th century Discovery of the Solymi  

       In this post will be discussed the connection of modern Afro-semitic peoples of Arabia with the medieval tribes of Harrah named Sulaym or Soleym and their likely connection with the "Solymi" of Josephus and earlier writers. It will be shown that once again, earlier Western scholars came closer to exposing the facts about “Ethiopic” civilization in the Levant and Mediterranean, than some of our modern “Biblical Archaeologists” are able to do. For example, although some of these modern scholars have tried to malign the theoretical foundations of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena volumes, and suggestions that ancient “dark-skinned” “Ethiopians” and Egyptians must have had some substantial influence on these regions, Bernal was in fact far from the first, nor even the most prolific on the subject.  Similar suggestions, and in many cases, assertions, were in fact directly made by a number of Orientalist historians as well as the ancient Greeks and Romans, themselves.
       One encyclopedia in the last century makes note of the comments of a  Greek historian living near the end of the 5th century, “According to Hesychius, the Island of Lesbos was anciently called Ethiopia, and its people Ethiopes; having been colonized, perhaps from the Syrian coast. The Leuco-Syri, or White Syrians seem to have received the name as a distinctive term by which any confusion between them and their darker neighbours to the South might be avoided” (This appeared in, Encyclopedia Metropolitana edited by Smedley, Rose and Rose in  1945, p. 642. See also Ralph Griffiths, Sept. 1774, “The Monthly Review”).
     Furthermore, Cheikh Anta Diop and Bernal and more recent authors had only been pointing out and throwing light on what was expressly and consistently repeated by the ancient Greeks themselves - Strabo, Pliny, Hesychius, and many others. To pretend that there is something radical, politically-motivated and/or “Afro-centric” about the suggestion that ancient black Africans or affiliated peoples once inhabited and significantly influenced these regions has gone on unwarrantedly, at the expense of not only the reputations of these scholars, but of the study of world history.   
      From the time of Homer until the period of Strabo, “Ethiopians”, or “black peoples” from the coasts of north Africa and the Levant (Syro –Arabia) were considered by the Greeks to have at one time occupied other coasts of the Mediterranean and the Aegean, including such regions as Crete, Lycia, the Taurus, Pisidia and Cilicia, before the coming of their own ancestors. Cheikh Anta Diop thus, rightly, remarked that earlier scholars had previously found that Boeotia, Cilicia, Lesbos, Lemnos, Lycia, Euboea and other countries of the coastal Mediterranean and Aegean had once been classified by the ancient Greeks as formerly “Ethiopian”. 
       Josephus living in Strabo's era probably referred to these Ethiopians when mentioning "the children of Ham" and his "Ethiopic wars" -

 "The children of Ham possessed the land of Syria and Amanus, and the mountains of Libanus; seizing upon all that was on its sea-coasts, and as far as the ocean, and keeping it as their own.  Some indeed of its names are utterly vanished away; others of them being changed, and another sound given them, are hardly to be cdiscovered; yet a few there are which have kept their denominations entire."  ( Josephus' 1st century, Antiquities of the Jews, Book I, Chapter 6 )  

     Greek geographers like Strabo still considered the remnants of the Solymi living in the Taurus mountains and a few other places as descendants of early or proto-Greek populations of Lycia and Cilicia encompassing part of coastal Anatolia and northern Syria. These were the very same places the Greeks themselves said were once designated Ethiopia by their own ancestors.
       In the 18th century, Jacob Bryant, another early specialist on ancient myth makes reference to ancient commentators’ remarks about Cassius and Belos, whose sons Aigyptos (the “goat-footed”) and Danaus, came to rule Egypt and Greece respectively. Josephus claimed the people of Tyre in Phoenicia were ruled by Belus. The latter deity was in fact called “king of Sidon”. 
       The connection of Jupiter or Jove to the semites is also illuminated in these myths. The author of Primitive History, from the Creation to Cadmus, wrote in 1789,  Diodorus Siculus (from Euhemerus) says that ‘Jove was entertained by Belus at Babylon; when Cassius, whose name Mount Cassius bears, ruled Syria, and Cilix, Cilicia’” (William, W., 1789, p. 234).
     The mythological name of Cassius was connected to a deity named Zeus Hyksius or Jupiter Casius. Ptolemy wrote the name of the place where this Cassius was venerated as Kassion and Kassiotis. It was situated between the city of Pelusium a locale at the eastern extremity of the Nile Delta and a lake named Sirbonis.

      Bryant in 1776 wrote, I have observed that the sons of  Chus are said to have come under the titles of  Casus and Belus into Syria and Phenicia”. And a little further he adds,  
 “in the account of the Cadmians who are styled Arabians… I have shewn that Eubeoea was the place to which they first came and here was an Ethiopium.( Strabo, lib. 10)  Samothrace was called Ethiopia. (Hesych.) Lesbos had the name of Ethiopa and Macaria. (Plin. Lib. 5.c. 31.).  The extreme settlement of this people was in Spain, upon the Baetis, near Tartessus and Gades: and the account given by the natives according to the historian Ephorus was that colonies of Ethiopians traversed a great part of Africa; some of which came and settled near Tartessus; and others got possession of different parts of the sea-coast. (Strabo lib.)  They lived near the Island of Erythrea which they held (Dionys. Perieg. V. 558)(Bryant, J., 1776, p. 183).
     Tartessos was located in Spain only two days distant from Gibraltar. Rightly or wrongly, the above author relates the name of Casus to Kush and then proceeds to relate these Ethiopic colonizers of Syria and the Aegean with peoples who ended up settling North Africa. He quotes Strabo as saying, “It is on this account that we find some of the same family on the opposite coast of Mauritania. Who are represented as a people of great stature.”
      He then translates Strabo’s words as follows with regard to Mauritania or northwest Africa across from Spain – “the people of this country are Ethiopic and they are the largest of any stature with which we are acquainted’ (Bryant, 1776,. p. 138)
      There are two people once known to have dwelt in this “Mauretanian” region – coastal northwest Africa that were black or considered “Ethiopians” and whose least modified descendants not infrequently still reach or surpass heights of up 7 feet.  One of them are the Woodabe or that original group of Fulani or Peul who now inhabit mainly the region of Sahel. The other are the veiled Tuareg, once described by some colonialists as “giants of the Sahara”, who were still claiming descent from the “Phoenicians”. Their. indigo-colored dress or coverings, like those of certain Yemenites (Mahra) and the ancient Arabs, are likely what the Greeks referred to as “Tyrian” or “Phoenician purple”. 
      Philip Smith wrote:
 Strabo regards both the Milyans and Cabalians – another mountain-tribe of Northern Lycia – as Solymi; and he considers that a people of this name had once held the heights of Taurus from Lycia to Pisidia. The Pisidians are also represented by other writers as being Solymi.  It is clear that the Solymi were driven back into the mountains by the entrance of a new race, whose long and arduous struggles with the old inhabitants are indicated by the conflicts of Bellerophon and other mythical heroes with the Solymi…. (Smith, 1871, p. 432).

      Thus, the Cabalians or “Cabalian Maeoneans” of Herodotus were considered a remnant of the Solymi that had as well once occupied Lydial. At a certain point these populations are considered to have entered North Africa where they are mentioned on the coast. (The word Cabali is said to derive from qabila (and its variants) simply meaning tribe in the semitic or African-Asiatic dialects. Others relate the name to Kybele, a mother goddess venerated in associated with Attys or Attis another deity of Lydia).
       According to legend, Solymus, ancestor of the Solymi was son of the nymph “Chaldene”, a “daughter of Pisidus”. His sister and wife was named “Milyas”. Early on, the Solymians occupied a place called Termessos. Pisidia was a little north of Lycia in Anatolia and corresponding also to the area of Sagalassos and Termessos, two affiliated towns in the region. Thus, Strabo notes that the mountain at the foot of Termessos was in his day called Mt. Solymos, where there was also a cult called Zeus Solymos.
    The presence of the Solymi in this region might explain why certain specialists studying the ancient town of Sagalassos have noted an ancient "affinity of the Sagalassos population with the sub-Saharan populations from Gabon and Somalia" (Ricaut, F.X. and Waelkens, M., 2008, p. 555). 

        Matthew Gonzales in his article on the cult of Ares writes:  “‘Indeed, in the land of the Termessians one could be shown the former camp of Bellerophon and the tomb of his son, cut down by the hand of Ares (Strab. 13. 4.16), who was the father of the Solymoi in some traditions (Etym. Magn. …). (Gonzales, p. 269 )
     Ares was also known as Aretas the name of the deity Hareth related to the name Erithrea. The Axumite and other peoples of the Horn were well known to have worshipped Ares also under the name of Mahrem (Phillipson, D.W., 2012, pp.95-96).   
       Philip Smith in his Ancient History of the East also noted the Solymian historical connection to the original semitic inhabitants of Cilicia:  The Cilicians and Solymi, as well as the kindred Pisidians and Isaurians, were peoples of the Semitic race; who entering Asia Minor by the pass round the Gulf of Issus, overspread the sea-board beneath the chain of Taurus, and occupied its slopes and heights.”
       Josephus identified the founders of Lydia with the “Lud” of Genesis 10 :22 ( Gmirkin, 2001, p. 142, fn. 15). The biblical Lud in Arabic is Al-Aoud or Wadd signifying “the lion’s whelp”, a name of more than one famed ancient Arabian chief. Not surprisingly, Herodotus relates that the original “Lydians”  were named from one of their ancient kings. 
      The Cabali or Maonians of Lydia also were known to have worshiped “Atys” or “Attis”, a God whose associated mythos bears similarities to that of the deity Ad, Hadad or Adad of Babylonia and Arabia on the one hand, and Adonis, “Lord” of the Phoenicians, on the other. Hesiod in fact said Adonis was “son of Phoenix” (Evelyn-White, H., 1914, p. 171).
       Atys is a God who underwent crucifixion and “resurrection”, like Adonis. Atys came to be venerated by the royal families of early Phrygia as well. Attis and other deities of apparent “semitic” origin are most probably testimony to a legacy of an “Afro-semitic” i.e. Ethiopic presence in Anatolia.

Afro-Semites in Greek Mythology: Minaean Connections to the Solymi of  the Levant and Aegean

From the Lud, Maon, and Maacath settled round Palestine, came the Ludoi, Maones and Makedones of Lydia.” (Origines Celticae 1883, p. 408 by Edward Guest, William Stubbs and Cecil Deeds)

“According to Hesychius, the Island of Lesbos was anciently called Ethiopia, and its people Ethiopes; having been colonized, perhaps  from the Syrian coast. The Leuco-Syri, or White Syrians seem to have received the name as a distinctive term by which any confusion between them and their darker neighbours to the South might be avoided.” ( Encyclopædia Metropolitana; or, Universal Dictionary of Knowledge, 1845, p. 642)

Agenor sent his sons Phenix, Celix, and Cadmus to find Europa: they failed but founded the Phoenician, Cilician, and Boeotian (Theban) peoples.” (Cited in the book of writings by Gabrielle Suchon: A Woman Who Defends All Persons of Her Sex, p. 301.)

       In our past posts we discussed the archaeological and linguistic evidence connecting the Minim or Minaeans with the Levites, or priestly caste of the Yehudim (Judaeans). The apparent connection of the Maonians with the Solymi is perhaps more testimony that the Solymi were, in fact, Soleym. In the Bible, the Arabian name of the Ma’an, Ma’in or Minaean, is also sometimes translated as “Maonian”.   A place called Ma’on is in fact called a city of Judah (See I Sam. 25:2, 3, Smith, Hackett, Abbott, 1877, p. 1875).
       It is thought that the word Lud in the Bible had connection to Lydia.. As the book, Origines Celticae, pointed out in the 19th century, Abulfeda is one of the Arab writers who identify Lud as the ancestor of the Amalekites, “and many hints, gathered both from Scriptural and classical sources, lead us to the conclusion that several races, Amalek, Maon, and, claiming Lud for their ancestor, dwelt south of Palestine.  The Hebrew word rendered Mehunim in 2 Chron. 26.7 is merely the plural form of the word Maon, which appears in Judges 10. 12; and therefore the same people must be alluded to in both passages…The Septuagint renders the Mehunim of 2 Chron. By the term Minaioi, …” From the book (Origins Celticae, 1883, p. 178)
      Thus, whatever might be said of the ethnicity and dialect of the inhabitants of Lydia in the time of Strabo, it is highly likely the proto-Lydians of the region, and probably the name of Lydia itself, originated amongst the descendants of the Afro-Semitic people the Greeks considered of Phoenician i.e. Canaanite, affiliation. Later, European- speaking Greek invaders settled in the region amalgamating with the Maonians, while the name of Lydia or Lud, descendant of "Belos" and “Ninos” was retained for the people of that country..
       When all is said and done, to conceive of the Solymi of the Taurus and Aegean as “semitic” is not as far-fetched as certain modern scholars have tried to make it appear. The ancient mythos surrounding the Solymi and Ogygia and Gyges appears to relate them to the Amalekites, “the Phoenician shepherds” of Joseophus and the names of two of their kings -  "Agag".

It is hard to to unravel these obscure mythi, but the marriage of the mythical Tremilos with Ogygia seems to show that the people whom the Termilai subdued were Agagi or Amalekites, and therefore that the Solumoi were a branch of this people – a conclusion to which we have been already brought by other considerations” (Guest et al., 1883, p. 239).

      According to Greek mythology the son of the Phoenician Agenor, “King of Tyre”, is Cadmus. Agenor sent his son to search out his sister in Boeotia in Greece. Cadmus is considered the founder of Thebes. He is in fact called the father of Ogygia in one tradition and in another, he is his son. Pausanius of the 2nd century A,D, claimed “The first to occupy the land of Thebes are said to have been the Ectenes, whose king was Ogygus, an aboriginal”. (Pausanius 9 .5.1.) Aeschylus who lived in the 6th – 5th century B.C. also makes reference to Thebes as “the Ogygian Thebes”.
      The names of Gyges and Ogyia occur, not surprisingly, in both Lycia and Lydia. Apparently a lake in Lydia was named Gygia named for a nymph that inhabited it. Ogygos is called “King of the Titans” in one tradition and he had at one time fled to Tartessus a(mentioned above) after his defeat by Zeus. According to Stephen of Byzantium the early Lydians themselves were called Ogygioi (Fontenrose, 1959, p. 237, fn. 27).         The history of settlement of peoples in Egypt and the Nilo-Saharan affiliation of peoples in the Mediterranean is also captured, or represented in the many myths surrounding the legendary figure of king Minos and his family. And the original proto-Minoan people of Garamantian (Nilo-Saharan) affiliation seem to have settled in the Mediterranean along with the Ethiopic semitic-speaking peoples that came by way of the Levant or Aegean to Libya. The daughter of Minos named Akakallis (sometimes called a nymph) is supposed to have had a son named Garamas (otherwise called Amphithemis), ancestor of the Garamantes (Green, P., 2007, p. 348) - i.e., inhabitants of Garama or Djerma in Libya.
       It was said that “Nasamon”, another son of “Amphithemis”, was ancestor of the Nasamonians, a people whom we have discussed in earlier posts that possessed similar customs and with obvious links to the Tuareg.  These myths all seem to suggest that African-Semitic” populations of the Levant (Solymi, Cabali-Maonians) had met and intermingled with other African people in the Mediterranean, Aegean and in North Africa or “Libyan” landscape, giving rise to early populations there.
     Minos, himself, was son of the Phoenician princess "Europa" and thus a considered colonizer of Egypt.

"The Lycians were from Crete in ancient times (for in the past none that lived on Crete were Greek). Now there was a dispute in Crete about the royal power between Sarpedon and Minos, sons of Europa; Minos prevailed in this dispute and drove out Sarpedon and his partisans; who, after being driven out, came to the Milyan land in Asia. What is now possessed by the Lycians was in the past Milyan, and the Milyans were then called Solymi. 1.173.3 For a while Sarpedon ruled them, and the people were called Termilae, which was the name that they had brought with them …” ( Herodotus: The Histories)
       The people ruled by Minos may have been the Carians or Garamantes, while Sarpedon appears to have come to rule over the original Milyans “then called Solymi”.  Although there was conflict between them early on, these peoples of Minos and Sarpedon, two sons of Europa, appear to have been viewed as affiliated with the Levant.
      Later of course, the descendants of classical Greeks were to claim descent from all of these earlier “Pelasgic” peoples, though Pelasgians were said to have been a dark-skinned race or "melanthes…genus". Herodotus did maintain the belief that almost all of the names of the Gods had come to Greece from Egypt by way of the Pelasgians to the Greeks.
       Another early 19th century text entitled, A Geographical and Historical Description of Asia Minor, reads as follows:

 Next to the Pelasgic migrations, we must place the settlements formed by Minos, who seems to have reigned, not only over Crete and the Cyclades, but to have had possessions on the coast of Caria and Lycia.  In the former country, Sarpedon, his brother, is said to have founded Miletus; in the latter the same chief established his Cretan bands, named Termilae, after having driven from the coasts or exterminated the Milyae and Solymi, the first possessors of the country, and descended, as appears most probable from the Syrians or Phoenicians”. (Cramer, p. 24)
      The 19th century historian unabashedly recognized that the ancient Greeks considered there to be a close ethnic connection between the Solymi and the original Phoenician inhabitants of Cilicia.

“Strabo speaking of the small district Cabalis, which must certainly be referred to this people, remarks, that many authors looked upon it as the seat of the ancient Solymi of Homer, who were doubtless of Phoenician origin… their arms and accoutrements were precisely those of the Cilicians.” (Herod. VII.77.) ( Cramer,  p.  421)

     The appearance of Afrosemitic people in the Aegean is likely linked to the rise of the "Hyksos" and their appearance in the Syria, the Aegean and Egypt. An artistic style associated with the flying gallop appears deep within the Sahara in the Ahaggar and Tassili regions around the same time it does in the Mediterranean and Aegean. In the Sahara it is found at a certain period in association with Tuareg inscriptions called Tifinagh.  
     The representations recall the Mycenaean and Cretan models, rather than the Egyptian type according to the author of An Early History of Horsemanship (1985). "The style "seems to have dominated the art of the Sahara for few centuries starting roughly 1000 B.C."  Also of note are the similarities in chariot styles associated with the art. Two-shafted chariots similar to those from the eastern Mediterranean appear among those of the Fezzan (Azarolli, A. 1985, p. 59).  
         Evidently, the "great route" of the Garamantes from the Mediterranean coast to the Adrar region of the Iforas is also marked with rock paintings of flying gallop representations (Azzarolli, A.,1985, p. 61).
     Martin Bernal offerred the following with regards to the inhabitants of Thera. 
     "The presence of both the griffin an its flying gallop is fascinating.  As argued in the last chapter and above both the mythical animal and its motion appear to have been hallmarks of the Hyksos princes in Syria and the Aegean"  (Bernal, 1987, p. 388).       

"FLYING GALLOP" representation of stags on ancient fresco from the isle of Thera in the Mediterranean
      Greek archaeologist Spyridon Marinatos wrote of the above art found on Thera that this "'African" fresco "should be assigned for preference to the turbulent Hyskos period with which some scholars have connected the legend of Danaus and Aigyptos.'" (Bernal, p. 388).

Man of Mycenae (mainland Greece) dated to the 12th century B.C.


The popular flying gallop representations in "Caballine" (horseman) rock art of  the Tassili region of Sahara. 

     Although the Greeks seem to have implied the Solymi were semites, i.e. Phoenicians, it was Homer that appears to have first implied that the Solymi or Phoenicians were an “Ethiopic” population. Alluding to the trident-bearing Neptune or Poseidon, the author of the Odyssey writes “Now the lord, the shaker of the earth, on his way from the Ethiopians espied him afar off from the mountains of the Solymi: even thence he saw Odysseus as he sailed over the deep; and he was mightily angered in spirit, and shaking his head he communed with his own heart. ‘Lo now, it must be that the gods at the last have changed their purpose concerning Odysseus, while I was away among the Ethiopians” (Book V, The Odyssey).
        Homer, however, wasn’t the only author whose writings suggest that the Solymi were ancestral “Ethiopians”.  The Solymi are implied to be “Ethiopians” in the writings of Cheorilus as well.  Feldman noted both the Solymi of Choerilus writings and the Eastern Ethiopians wore said to have worn horse hides on their heads (Feldman, L,  1996, p. 192). John Kenrick in his book, Phoenicia, also notes this:

The epic poet Cheoerilus, contemporary with Herodotus, describing the armies of Xerxes, says, ‘Behind these came a race of men wonderful to behold, speaking the Phoenician tongue; they dwelt on the Solymian mountains, beside the broad lake. With squalid heads, shaven round, and above they wore the stripped-off skins of horses’ heads, hardened in the smoke (Kenrick, pp. 86-87).

        Some have tried to dismiss the obvious connection the ancients were making between the Aegean Solymians, the Ethiopians, and founders of Jerusalem.

Choerilus says that they wore helmets of hide, made out of horses’ heads. That is the distinctive badge of the eastern Ethiopian levies in Herodotus [7.70]; and Homer [Od. 5.283] provides the link between Solymi and Ethiopians – when Poseidon paused and surveyed the seas from the vantage-point on the Solyma mountains he was returning from Ethiopian festivies. Choerilus must be abandoned, though not without reluctance (Syme Anatolica 189). 

      Smith in his Ancient History of the East also notes that the description of the way the Solymi shaved their hair was typically Arabian, and adds.

     All this agrees with the theory that the Solymi were a semitic people, perhaps of that ancient type which is blended with Hamitic characters.  The chief direct testimony to this effect is that of Choerilus of Samos, the contemporary of Herodotus, who wrote a poem on the Persian War, in which he mentions the Solymi as serving in the army of Xerxes, and says that their language was Phoenician.  This statement is confirmed by their habit of shaving the head with the exception of a tuft – a custom ascribed by Herodotus to the Arabians, and mentioned in Scripture as practiced by the Edomites, Moabites and Ammonites…” (Philip Smith 1881, p. 433)

        While the contention that these Dead Sea Solymi of the time of Josephus had "Ethiopic" or “Eastern Ethiopian” connections can hardly be doubted, more recent observers have been hesitant in making the same connection. Ancient historians saw the Solymi as peoples settled centuries earlier amongst populations in Lycia in Anataolia, a long way off from Israel and the Dead Sea.  Historians of  "the classics" and biblical archaeologists view this as “problematic”  – as usual - even though Strabo in the 1st century cites Ephorus of the 4th century B.C. as claiming that the southern seaboards or southern coasts of Asia (which includes Asia Minor) were once occupied in their entirety by “Ethiopians”, i.e. black populations.
       By the time of Strabo, however, the Solymi had for the most part disappeared from many of their coastal habitats in Anatolia and the Aegean.  According to Book V of Pliny Natural History (1st c. A.D.), the Greek Erastosthenes of the 3rd century B. C. of Cyrene stated that "the nations of the Solymi, Leleges, Bebrices, Colycantii, and Trepsedores, are utterly perished from Asia." 
      Still long after the coming of the Hellenic Greeks, Josephus had made the claim that the Solymi were connected to the Dead Sea region and were responsible for the foundations of a town called Jerusalem.      



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BigApplz said...

This is a very good post. Two things stand out to me. The Nabateans by their name and artwork are obviously kin to E.Africans. The rock churches of Lalibela come to mind when shown the carved village. The quote from Herodotus about the worship of Saturn. The true spirituality of Semitic religions has always been open secret! SMH.

Dana W. Reynolds said...

Thank you for visiting, BigApplz. The churches of Lalibela are a little late to be directly influenced by the Nabataeans, however, you are correct in acknowledging their connection to east Africans. They and the rest of the original peoples of "Midian" were said to have populated areas of East Africa called "trogodyte". A large portion of eastern Africa is also considered simply an extension of "Arabia" in the writings of Strabo and other early Greeks. There is no question that many of the peoples occupying the Nile and Sahara, Sahel, Arabia and east Africa were the same before 1500 AD. And this was "Bilad es-Sudan for much of the Middle East in the Medieval period.