Luwian List Request

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FanatiChris
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Luwian List Request

Post by FanatiChris » Sun Oct 10, 2021 8:06 pm

Would like to suggest creation of a Bronze Age army list for the Luwian kingdoms of Anatolian including Arzawa as important rivals of the pre-empire Hittite period. The list could be extended to the late Empire period representing the Luwian rebellion that is increasingly associated with the fall of Hattusa otherwise attributed to the Sea Peoples migration. Arzawa was considered a major kingdom on par with the Hittites by Egypt and there are contemporaneous records of significant victories against the Hittites although unfortunately no detailed accounts of battles or army composition other than a translated reference to an army comprised of “infantry and cavalry.” Adding a Luwian list would enable creation of a cool Rise of the Hittites campaign. DBA has subject Anatolian contingents in the Hittite lists that could be extrapolated from, but I can’t point to the sources. I recognize the difficulty of extrapolating a list from the limited sources but even a speculative list would fill an important gap and give the early Hittites a regional foe other that the Gasgans. Plus who wouldn’t want an early army from Wilusa to contend with Dark Age Greeks in the period before the Trojan War. I’ll post relevant links as I find them to this thread to help build the case.
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by FanatiChris » Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:20 am

Interest reference to archaeological finds supporting the rise of the Lucian Kingdom of Mira and its successes against Hittites in the Late Bronze Age period associated with Sea Peioples. https://phys.org/news/2017-10-luwian-hi ... e-age.html
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by Andreas Johansson » Mon Oct 11, 2021 8:00 am

FWIW, Ramses II's Qadesh inscriptions say that each Hittite vassal contingent, including those of Arzawa and other western Anatolian places, consisted of chariots and infantry. Arzawan chariots are said to have three crew equipped with all weapons of war.

This isn't too helpful, obviously, but it does suggest Arzawan forces were rather like those of the Hittites themselves and their Syrian subjects, or indeed those of the Egyptians (though Egyptian chariots had only two crew).

Significant numbers of cavalry would be surprising in the Bronze Age. Would you happen to have the reference at hand, Chris?
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by David Kuijt » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:22 pm

One of the questions that needs answered is this: does Arzawa (including Mira, Seha) already have a list representation, in the Early Bronze Age Highlander army list?

As Andreas says, the inclusion of "cavalry" in a translation of a description of their troops absolutely requires explanation, since there was no such thing at the time. Could be a translation error, could be someone extending a description five centuries too early, could be lots of things, but before 880 BC or so the chance of horse-mounted troops in mass being used in battle is zero. Or to say it another way -- if you could prove that academically, you would totally rewrite the history of the use of the horse in battle.

Going back to representing the Arzawa with the Early Bronze Age Highlander list -- our current representation of EBAH is a little "wild" -- largely Rabble, unshielded javelinmen. If the Arzawa had shields and spears the list could be modded based on that to include a bunch of Light Foot. Such a list might look quite a bit like the Hittite list, but with Light Foot instead of Light Spear, and with fewer Chariots and no Horde.

I'd like to see some more stuff before starting to work on it, though. Some Arzawa rock carvings of warriors would be nice.
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by David Kuijt » Mon Oct 11, 2021 5:54 pm

FanatiChris wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 12:20 am
Interest reference to archaeological finds supporting the rise of the Lucian Kingdom of Mira and its successes against Hittites in the Late Bronze Age period associated with Sea Peioples. https://phys.org/news/2017-10-luwian-hi ... e-age.html
If you trace down that link, it is published by "Luwian Studies". The underlying research is supposedly done by Eberhard Zangger, based upon a transcription of the original stones passed to him by James Mellaart. Zangger is an academic turned businessman who founded and is the president of Luwian Studies (nonprofit). In 2018 Zangger has accused Mellaart of falsifying documents, and distanced himself from Mellaart. See here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eberhard_Zangger

The short form is this: that hieroglyphic inscription is dubious, academically.

If I was researching this (and no, I don't have time -- but I'm interested, and I might do some of that research during the break between semesters), I would concentrate on what the academic reaction to Zangger's 2017 article has been. Yes, academics will always react negatively to new ideas (will defend their old ideas) but they are much more likely to have good information on whether the Beyköy hieroglyphs are made-up crap than we are.

Just speaking as a well-read layman, I can tell you that there are a number of red flags in the article you cite. The dating is far too precise. The whole thing is tremendously convenient. The (reported) content is a better strategic report of a major question in the still unresolved issue of the Late Bronze Age Collapse than the sum of everything yet discovered -- including the Medinet Habu reliefs and the various Ugarit information and everything else together.

Now that article is a tertiary report (a layman's conversion of Zangger's 2017 article) so maybe his article is less... shaky. But it's sort of like finding a whole brace of dinosaurs right at the Iridium Layer, with one of them holding a sign saying "I choked to death on Iridium".

None of this is intended as a criticism of the idea that the Luwians should get an army list -- Zangger didn't make up the Luwians. But the idea that the Luwians were critical in the destruction of the Hittites is ... shaky. Most likely it was the Gasgans. There is no evidence that the Luwians ever had the military strength to threaten Hittite central lands, much less overthrow their civilization. And there are no surviving descriptions of the cause of the collapse of the Hittites. (unless this Luwian enscription proves valid)
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by FanatiChris » Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm

Appreciate your observations and reservations...sound as always. What I can add to the original link I posted is based on a reading of papers presented at academic conferences at scholars and archaeologists on the hot new field of Luwian studies, whose theories are not widely accepted but which seem to fit the archaelogical and available historical records. I've seen a number of academic presentations on-line making the case as part of an expanded awareness of what was going on in that region vis-a-vis the Hittites and the Greeks especially in the Late Bronze Age period, but going back to 2000 BC. References to the Great King of Azwara appear in the Egyptian hierogyphs at Medinet Habu. The Luwian hieroglyphic record is pervasive (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karatepe_bilingual) and the language and symbols were even adopted by the Hittites. The theory is that after the smaller Luwians states saw the opportunity to throw off the Hittite yoke because of their Gasgan troubles, and get some payback, they allied themselves with one of the Luwian king of Mira (one of the sub/successor kingdoms of Azwara) to sack Hattusis, after which they had free reign to conduct sea-born raids and establish settlements down the coast as far as Palestine, contributing to the Sea People narrative. Trouble is that except for one Luwian king, who had his image carved into a mountain, there is not much yet to suggest details of battles, army composition, etc.

This is one of the sites I've been perusing if you're interested: https://luwianstudies.org/

And lots of recorded paper presentations on-line if you need something to put you to sleep: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Luwians
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by David Kuijt » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:29 am

FanatiChris wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm
Appreciate your observations and reservations...sound as always. What I can add to the original link I posted is based on a reading of papers presented at academic conferences at scholars and archaeologists on the hot new field of Luwian studies, whose theories are not widely accepted but which seem to fit the archaelogical and available historical records. I've seen a number of academic presentations on-line making the case as part of an expanded awareness of what was going on in that region vis-a-vis the Hittites and the Greeks especially in the Late Bronze Age period, but going back to 2000 BC. References to the Great King of Azwara appear in the Egyptian hierogyphs at Medinet Habu. The Luwian hieroglyphic record is pervasive (e.g. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karatepe_bilingual) and the language and symbols were even adopted by the Hittites.
This is all really good stuff!

The problem with theories that are "not widely accepted" is that some of them turn out to be like Continental Drift (widely reviled for a generation or more before massed evidence gradually crushed the nay-sayers) and some of them turn out to be Immanuel Velikovsky and totally full of feces and crying "I'm being suppressed!" like on Life of Brian.

FanatiChris wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm
The theory is that after the smaller Luwians states saw the opportunity to throw off the Hittite yoke because of their Gasgan troubles, and get some payback, they allied themselves with one of the Luwian king of Mira (one of the sub/successor kingdoms of Azwara) to sack Hattusis, after which they had free reign to conduct sea-born raids and establish settlements down the coast as far as Palestine, contributing to the Sea People narrative.
The first part of the chain of what-if above (Luwians getting together and throwing off the Hittite yoke) is quite reasonable; I'll be interested to see if they have any direct evidence for it. And loss of control of Luwia (plus a possible military defeat over there in the Luwian homeland) could have been a contributing factor in the collapse of the Hittites. The Luwian invasion into the Hittite homelands is more of a stretch. The chain of what-if taken as a whole, however, is total BS. Any of this could be true, don't get me wrong. But there are also a million other explanations for any of it. There is no evidence for any of that stuff. Sure, Gasgan troubles are highly probable -- and if the central state got weak, then any peripheral subjects (including Azwara / Luwia) are likely to take advantage and get some independence. But all the rest of that chain of "maybe" is pure conjecture and fabrication. I can make the same story up with the Gasgans being the active agents, with the Lukkans, with the Assyrians even, with a remnant Hurrian state, with a Hittite civil war, possibly combined with drought and other systems-collapse stuff.

Now I like the Luwian imaginary story better than some of the others I've heard regarding the LBA Collapse -- Sardinia being the source for the Sea People, for example (Sardinia-Sherden). But Occam's Razor cuts them both.

We know for sure that the Gasgans were the main threat to the Hittite homelands. We know for sure that civil wars are among the most common sources for internal strife in the Biblical period, and that internal strife was a far greater threat than most external enemies for the superpowers (Egypt, Hittites, name any other, but especially Assyria later on). We don't have any evidence either way, but Occam's Razor tells me to throw out any fanciful stories that involve a sudden union of Luwian states getting together, overthrowing the greatest power Anatolia knew before the Ottomans 3000 years later, destroying it sufficiently that no record survives, then deciding to become a migrating pirate homeland movement to settle in Palestine.

If the Luwians got together and conquered Hattusas sufficiently that the Hittite nation collapsed, why wouldn't they do what every other civilized conqueror did when they had any chance at all -- put their own people in charge and become the ruling dynasty? Why would they turn a Che Guevara / William Wallace "Freedom-from-Hittite-Oppression" movement into a travelling migratory road show (as the standard interpretations of the Sea Peoples are)? And why would the Luwians move from their homelands to invade the severely landlocked Hittite central lands (who were civilized, and therefore turning a profit with agriculture and stuff) and then decide to leave and migrate south to Cilicia, Syria, and Palestine? That's way far from their beaten paths. The basic thought I have is this -- if the Luwians created the power vacuum in the center of Anatolia, they would have stayed there. Or gone home, to bask in their success and the loot they certainly would have had from sacking Hattusas. Why would they do the Sea Peoples thing?


None of my musings above is supported by evidence either, of course. I'm not saying that any of my musings happened -- what I'm saying is that we have no evidence that any of that happened. And my musings seem (to me!) to be less unlikely than the chain of what-if above.

On the plus side, I'm becoming more convinced that the Luwians deserve an army list. I won't be able to look at any material you collect for a few months, though.
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by David Kuijt » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:44 am

FanatiChris wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm
This is one of the sites I've been perusing if you're interested: https://luwianstudies.org/
Note what I said earlier about Luwian Studies being the organization created by Zangger. So things published there (at his website, created for his organization) are likely to have a strong bias in favor of his theories. And they may not be subject to the sort of peer review that applies to academic publications. I'd do some searching on Luwians in peer-reviewed academic journals as well, to get the idea of what the academic community thinks of these ideas.

You might also consider reading 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed (Cline, 2015, Princeton University Press) for the most recent analysis of the various theories of the LBA Collapse.

Another book worth reading is The End of the Bronze Age: Changes in Warfare and the Catastrophe ca. 1200 B.C. (Drews, 1995, Princeton University Press) for some very interesting analysis (although some of his theories are a little dated by more recent discoveries). Cline (1177 BC) has a chapter considering his arguments.
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Re: Luwian List Request

Post by David Kuijt » Tue Oct 12, 2021 6:40 pm

FanatiChris wrote:
Mon Oct 11, 2021 9:50 pm
And lots of recorded paper presentations on-line if you need something to put you to sleep: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Luwians
Note that many of these seem to be of Zangger's talks or funded by his organization, Luwian Studies.

With that said, watching one of his presentations he had one or two images of what might well be Luwians, first from (some pottery -- forgot which) showing distinctive hats, and then the same hats / headgear on the back side of the Warrior Vase (the side which doesn't usually appear on illustrations). The Warrior Vase is dated right around then, so that's very interesting.
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