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The Danaan Tribe in Europe

An extract taken from the classic book:
Ethnology Of Europe
by Dr. Robert G. Latham
Published by Jan Van Voorst, Paternoster Row,
London, England, 1852
Extract from pages 136-138

Robert Gordon Latham. Born at Billingborough, Lincolnshire, March 24, 1812: died at Putney, March 9, 1888. A noted English philologist, ethnologist, and physician. He was a graduate of King’s College, Cambridge, 1832; professor of English in University College, London, 1839; and lecturer and assistant physician at Middlesex Hospital. He published “Norway and the Norwegians” (1840), “The English Language” (1841), “An Elementary English Grammar” (1843), “A Handbook of the English Language” (1851), an edition of Johnson’s “Dictionary,” and numerous works on ethnology.” -Century Cyclopedia Of Names, p. 594

            “The influences from Syria and Palestine were either Phoenician or Jewish, and by no means exclusively Phoenician. The selling of the sons and daughters of Judah into captivity beyond the sea, is a fact attested by Isaiah. Neither do I think that the eponymus of the Argive Danai was other than that of the Israelite tribe of Dan; only we are so used to confine ourselves to the soil of Palestine in our consideration of the history of the Israelites, that we treat them as if they were adscripti glebae, and ignore the share they may have taken in the ordinary history of the world. Like priests of great sanctity, they are known in the holy places only – yet the seaports between Tyre and Ascalon, of Dan, Ephraim, and Asher, must have followed the history of seaports in general, and not have stood on the coast for nothing. What a light would be thrown on the origin of the name Pelop-o-nesus, and the history of the Pelop-id family, if a bona fide nation of Pelopes, with unequivocal affinities, and contemporary annals, had existed on the coast of Asia! Who would have hesitated to connect the two? Yet with the Danae and the tribe of Dan this is the case, and no one connects them.

            In these remarks I by no means say that the resemblance is not accidental; although my opinion is against it being so. I only say that a conclusion which would have been suggested if the tribe of Dan had been Gentiles has been neglected because they were Jews.

            That the alphabet and the weights and measures of Greece are Phoenician is likely enough; indeed, from the extent to which the habit of circumcision was strange to the Hellenes, the evidence is in favour of the coasts of Phoenicia, and the Philistine country having supplied a larger immigration than those of the Holy Land. In respect to the infusion itself of Semitic blood, whatever may have been the details of its origin, it was considerable; and has generally been admitted to have been so.” [End of remarks by R.G. Latham; emphasis in original text.]

Editor’s comment:

            Dr. Latham is entirely correct in his judgment. For centuries a latent animosity toward the Jews prevented Western scholars from an impartial examination of the evidence in favor of our common descent from the ancient Hebrews. As a result, Hebrew colonization has not been given proper study by those whose prejudices prefer to think of them as a land-locked unimportant tribe. Latham aptly characterizes this thinking by the Latin term, adscripti glebae, which has the implication, ‘permanently embedded to the land.’ Why, he asks, would Hebrews establish seaport cities if they had no interest in sea trade? The Bible gives us such evidence, for Solomon had at sea a navy that sailed with the navy of Phoenicia:

“And king Solomon made a navy of ships in Ezion-geber, which is beside Eloth, on the shore of the Red sea, in the land of Edom. And Hiram sent in the navy his servants, shipmen that had knowledge of the sea, with the servants of Solomon.” (1 Kings 9:26-27)

“For the king’s ships went to Tarshish with the servants of Hiram: every three years once came the ships of Tarshish bringing gold, and silver, ivory, and apes, and peacocks. And king Solomon passed all the kings of the earth in riches and wisdom.” (2 Chron. 9:21-22)

            Archaeologists have also unearthed an 8th century, B.C. Hebrew seal with the emblem of a ship. It is an obvious inference that the ancient Irish tuatha de Danaan, who trace their origin to the East, are related to both the Danaan of early Greece and the Biblical tribe of Dan. It is a known fact that the old word, ‘tuatha,’ means tribe; ‘tuatha de Danaan’ therefore means, ‘tribe of Dan.’ Well-respected modern archaeologist, Cyrus Gordon, (who was called the leading American archaeologist of the 20th century by Archaeology Magazine in 1996), also tied the tribe of Dan to the tuatha de Danaan of early Ireland. Gordon states:

            “A group of Sea People bore the name of “Dan.” The Bible tells how a segment of the seafaring (Judges 5:17) Danites [were part of] the tribal system of ancient Israel… The Danites were widespread. Cyprus was called Ia-Dnan ‘The Island of Dan(an).’ The same people were called Danuna, and under this name they appear as rulers of the Plain of Adana in Cilicia. Greek tradition has their eponymous ancestor, Danaos (Dan), migrating from the Nile delta to Greece… [Note that the Israelites did in fact migrate from Egypt.] So important was this movement that the Greeks afterward called themselves Danaoi for centuries. Virgil also designated the Greeks as “Danai.” Bold scholars see the influence of the Danites in Irish folk-lore… and in the name of Danmark (“Denmark”): the land of Dan… it is a mistake to accept the consensus and to imagine that Sea People with enough striking power… to change the course of history were unenterprising to the point of never sailing west of Gibraltar.”

            Dr. Gordon also points out Biblical evidence that “three of the [Israel] tribes are described as navigational: Zebulon, Dan and Asher (Genesis 49:13; Judges 5:17).”

(Excerpted from pp. 108, 111, 112, Before Columbus: Links Between the Old World and Ancient America, by Cyrus Gordon, Crown Publishers, New York, 1971)



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