Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


15 May 2010

Wilusa: Reconsidering the evidence

Vangelis D. Pantazis Klio 91 (2009): 291-310.


A wide consensus among archaeologists and classicists today prevails that Ilios of the Homeric epics should be identified with the hill of Hisarlik. Moreover, a growing number of Hittitologists tends to believe, with less hesitance than before, that Taruisa of the Hittite texts should be identified with Troy and Wilusiya/Wilusa with (F)Ilios. A strong argument in favour of this view is, among others, the striking similarity between the names of the Wilusan ruler Alaksandu and Homeric Alexander (the second name of the unfortunate Trojan hero Paris). Many linguists render these equations as very likely. There is also a growing belief that recent discoveries make the above conclusions even more solid. To use the words of a leading Anatolist, scepticism now “is beginning to look somewhat out of place”. Nonetheless, despite the authoritative and sometimes pompous way such assertions are often expressed, there are serious flaws in their argumentation. For the author, a reconsideration of the evidence regarding the Hittite geography of Asia Minor is now more urgent than ever. This paper will focus on the important issue of Wilusa, arguing for a new theory regarding its location.


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