[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]
Pelops, Ahab and the
by John R. Salverda
Brit-Am Editorial Comment.
Pelops and Ahab.
The Achaeans and Ahab.
Ahab in Greek Records?
Israelites, Arimoi, Kimmeroi (Cimmerians)!
Hittites and Israelites.
The Hurrian Mercenary Chariot Warriors and Olympianism.
Chaldeans and Chaldians.
Was Homer really King Omri of Israel?
Pelops, Hippodameia, and Naboth.
Elijah as Myrtilus.
The Murder of Stymphalus.
The Greek Mount Carmel?
Brit-Am Editorial Comment:
John Salverda has authored a valuable and interesting series of articles showing Israelite Influence on Greek Mythology. The northern Ten Tribes lived separately from Judah. They intermixed with the local non-Israelite populations and adopted their beliefs and practices. It is not certain how literate they were and it may be that only a few actually knew how to read and write Hebrew. It was a violent age punctuated by wars, invasions, and traumatic crises. ….
It was also a period of irrational forces and strong spiritual influences. Under such conditions we may well expect the actual belief system of the common people to have become transformed into something else altogether.
Our studies show that at some stage Israelites (especially from the tribe of Dan) did conquer the Greeks, influenced them and were influenced by them. Also in their movement westward elements from the Ten Tribes sojourned in the Greek sphere. We ourselves do not think there was much of a physical ethnic interaction between Hebrews and Greeks but there was a cultural one.
Archaeological findings show a strong link between Mycenaean (Bronze Age) Greece and Britain as well as between Bronze Age Britain and the area of Ancient Israel and its surroundings. The same applies to Scandinavia. Mycenaean finds in the region of Israel itself are plentiful and may have originated with Israelites. If such was the case then the Israelite component in findings from the British isles and the North of Europe may well turn out to be much greater than is realised.
The article below continues the exposition of John Salverda. The views are those of the author and not necessarily of Brit-Am.
John Salverda in fact says things we would heartily disagree with. Even so, he deserves to be read. It is also important to read properly what he is saying. For instance he claims that Israelite exiles who reached Greece were really Hittites and Chaldeans who had been influenced by Israelite culture. His attributing Gentile origins to Israelite Kings and their followers is doubtful. It could be however that Canaanites and other elements who were driven out or voluntarily left Israel had been influenced beforehand by Hebrew culture and they brought this influence with them to Greece?
This present essay shows parallels between Israel in the time of King Ahab and Elijah and events in Greek Mythology. The author argues his case well and in great detail. For they who may be interested yet find the mass of details a little too much for them we recommend that they at least peruse the Conclusions at the end of this article.
Pelops and Ahab
Nobody would equate, or even compare, the Greek mythological character Pelops with King Ahab from the Scriptural history of Israel. For the stories about Pelops were supposed to have occurred about the same time that the walls of Mycenae were being built. These walls are dated archeologically (through pottery and other items, some even bearing the names of the Pharaohs who lived at the time,) to have coincided with Egypt’s 18th Dynasty, about 1400 BC. Thus long before the days of King Ahab who is said to have died about 850 BC. However, if we adjust events to reflect Immanuel Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history, which omits the so-called “dark ages” of Greece and makes Egypt’s 18th Dynasty to be contemporary with the Kingdom of Israel, then we find that Pelops and Ahab lived at about the same time. This hypothesis is the premise under which the following article was written. Velikovsky makes Ahab to be a contemporary of the Egyptian Pharaohs Amenhotep III and Akhenaton (Velikovsky equates these with the Greek mythological characters Laius and Oedipus, who did incidentally figure in on the myth of Pelops) just before the time that we learn, from Hittite documents, of the arrival on the historic scene of a new people whom they called the “Ahhiyava” (the Greek Achaeans).
[The AMAIC actually identifies Ahab with Akhnaton]
The Achaeans and Ahab
The sons of Danaus and Aegyptus (Danites and Jacobites see http://www.britam.org/salverda/danaan.html
had been established with the Inachids (Anakim) at Argolis for a few generations when the sons of Perseus, arriving from Joppa, joined them. Shortly after the sons of Perseus had completed building the walls of Mycenae, a new group came on the scene, the Achaeans. These Achaeans were, just as were the Perseids a couple of generations earlier, looked upon as royalty and they were given princesses of the royal families of Greece to wed. They were a circumcised people who spoke the same language as the Danaan sons of Perseus, but were never-the-less, in some respects considered to be rivals to the Danaans and proudly claimed Pelops, a foreigner to Greece, as their common ancestor. Considering the time of their arrival, their language, their religious beliefs and their royal status, it is my opinion that the name of this group “Achaeans,” is based upon the Hebrew name of the well known King Ahab, of Israel’s Omri dynasty. Achaab is the Greek Septuagint form of the name Ahab, thus Achaab-ians. The Hittites of Anatolia knew of the Achaeans and called them the ‘Ahhiyava.’ The Egyptians called them the Akaiwasha, (Also written ‘Akwash’ or ‘Ekwesh’ It is from the Egyptian ‘Karnak inscriptions’ where we discover that the Achaeans were circumcised.) the Hebrew ‘H’ being a guttural one, and both the ‘V’ and the ‘W’ are apparently transferred from the letter ‘B,’ while the suffix of the word means ‘the men of’ (the Hittite suffix ‘a’ approximates the ‘oi’ as in the Greek Achaeoi, while the Egyptian suffix ‘asha’ approximates the Hebrew prefix ‘ish,’) thus the word, “Achaean” is a plausible transliteration of the phrase, ‘the men of Ahab.’
The Hittite records of those days make mention of the Achaeans, as a maritime mercantile nation, who inhabited a nearby island or islands, some think Rhodes, but others think some other islands to the west of Asia Minor, for about 150 years (The Achaeans of Rhodes built the famous Colossus of Rhodes, one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the ancient World. It was a huge statue of Helios [Eloah-us]. He drove a fiery chariot across the heavens [as in the story of the apotheosis of Elijah from the story of Ahab].). Hittite figurines have been found in Mycenaean Tiryns, as well as in Thessaly. Although as I will demonstrate, the Achaeans were from the Omri Dynasty of Israel, they were also strongly influenced by the Hittite culture. The Achaeans didn’t have a long history, they came to Greece, just after the sons of Perseus, about two or three generations before the Trojan War, and lasted about as long after the war, until the Dorian Invasion. Their history was short, but it was very eventful indeed. Much of classical Greek Mythology occurred during the short history of the Achaeans. The twelve labors of Heracles, the Calydonian boar hunt, Argonautica, the seven against Thebes, the Epigony, and the Trojan War, all took place while the Achaeans, were in the Peloponnesus (the island of Pelops).
Ahab in Greek Records?
Jehu’s ‘purge’ (c. 842 BC.) was applied to the ‘men of Ahab’ who apparently fled (those who survived the purge) to the city of Pisa in Greece (they probably spent a generation or two in Paphlagonia) from where they later set up the nearby city of Olympia, and instituted the Olympic games (776 BC.) only 66 years later, bringing the stories of King Ahab with them. The original Olympic games were dominated by a death defying chariot race which was probably held in memory of the contest at Mount Carmel and the chariot/foot race between Ahab and Elijah. Evidence for the theory that the ‘Achaeans’ consisted of the ‘sons of Ahab’ can be seen in the remarkable coincidences between the story of ‘Pelops and Hippodameia’ and the story of ‘Ahab and Jezebel.’ Such as the story concerning Ahab and his ivory replacement shoulder; ‘And the right shoulder shall ye give unto the priest for an heave offering of the sacrifices of your peace offerings.’ (Lev. 7:32) Like the ram with its wave offering, (Num. 6:19) Pelops was sacrificed, not to god, but to ‘the gods,’ the Olympians (This is a point worth noticing in the light of associating Pelops with the polytheistic Ahab, Olympus = Elohim-us. The differences between Pelops and Oenomaus were religious in nature, just as were the differences between Ahab and Naboth. The Olympianism of Pelops was the polytheism of Ahab, while on the other hand Naboth was favored by [the ALMIGHTY] like Oenomaus, the grandson of Zeus, was favored by him. Diodorus Siculus says that Oenomaus used to give the contestants a head start, while he would sacrifice a ram to Zeus. Only after Oenomaus had completed this sacrifice, would he pursue and overtake the ill fated suitors. Pausanias also notes; ‘The Eleans say that Oenomaus used to sacrifice to Zeus whenever he was about to begin a chariot-race with one of the suitors of Hippodameia.’ Paus. 5.14.6. See http://www.britam.org/salverda/olympus.html). Pelops was cut into pieces, cooked, then his shoulder was taken out and eaten. (by ‘Demeter’ [a feminine personification of the Levites'], the goddess to whom pigs were sacrificed. The gods were loath to accept a human sacrifice and did not eat, but Demeter didn’t realize what she was doing because she was distraught over the fact that the Earth had just recently opened up and swallowed alive her daughter ‘Core,’ [Korah]. In fact she had been wandering for a long time in search of her daughter and it took the intercession of Zeus himself to get her to join the Olympians at this ‘banquet,’ [the convocation at Shechem]. It was actually Hades, the ‘hidden god,’ [El Olam] that had abducted Demeter’s daughter who was also called, ‘Persephone,’ [the eponymous tutelary of "Beer Sheba"].) The pieces of Pelops were reassembled, he received a replacement shoulder made out of ivory, and he was brought back to life. Not only as good as new but perfected, as Apollodorus puts it; ‘Pelops, after being slaughtered and boiled at the banquet of the gods, was fairer than ever when he came to life again.’ (Epitome book E Chapter 2. 3). That the Achaeans believed in, a sacrificed messiah and his resurrection, is evident by the story that Pelops, their archetypical hero-king, had been sacrificed and resurrected. An entire series of mythological motifs, that are particular to the Greek myths about Pelops, appear to have been borrowed directly from the history and religious customs, not only of Israel, but of the particular “Hittite version” of Israel that existed in the area of Shechem and later Samaria, from the convocation through the Omri Dynasty. The original capital of Israel was a place called ‘Shechem,’ meaning, ‘shoulder.’ This place was destroyed and a replacement capital was built by Omri, the replacement ‘shoulder’ was called, ‘Samaria.’ Samaria was notoriously adorned with ivory panels, and its King, Ahab had famously built an ivory palace to live in. Ginzberg says that each of Ahab’s seventy sons lived in Ivory houses as well. Archaeologists still find carved Ivory pieces all over the place (So called “Nimrud ivories” from the Levant of the 9th and 8th centuries were found, not only in the area of Samaria, but all over the Aegean, in Athens, Corinth, and Sparta, some 200 pieces were found in one Spartan temple alone. This was the “Ivory age” in Israel when King Ahab’s house was paneled with Ivory, and those in Zion slept in Ivory beds see II Kings 22:39 and Amos 6:4). This is a plausible reason for the motif of the ‘ivory replacement shoulder,’ that was granted to Pelops/Ahab and played so prominent a role in his myth.
Israelites, Arimoi, Kimmeroi (Cimmerians)!
Pelops, it is said, came to Greece from Lydia. But Ahab, (whom I suppose to be the inspiration for the Greek character Pelops) never really went to either Lydia or Greece, his descendants and followers went there and took his story with them, transferring the stories of Jezreel to Pisa. Furthermore Lydia, where Pelops is said to have come from, is often confused by the ancient mythographers with Syria, the land of the ‘Syrians’ (Herodotus calls the Syrians, ‘the Syrians of Palestine,’ to distinguish them from the “Leucosyroi” of Cappadocia, he also maintains that they wore the sign of the circumcision.). Israel was considered to be Syrian, and not just by the Greeks. For as the Scriptures say; ‘And thou shall speak and say before THE ALMIGHTY thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.’ (Deut. 26:5) We, following the lead of the Greeks, say Syria, but most everyone else says ‘Aram.’ Some Greeks knew of this other term for Syria, but weren’t too certain as to its application, for as Strabo says, “In fact they make this (Strabo is here referring to Lydia) the setting of the mythical story of the ‘Arimoi’ and of the throes of Typhon,” (Strabo, Geography 12. 7. 19) Again Strabo this time quoting Pindar; ‘it was father Zeus that once amongst the Arimoi, ‘smote monstrous Typhon.’ But some understand that the Syrians are Arimoi, who are now called the Arimaians [and it is here that Typhon is buried].” (Geography 13. 4. 6) (Homer and Hesiod describe Typhon as being imprisoned in the land of the Arimoi, also known as the Arimaspoi, or Kimmeroi.) It is well known that Typhon was buried at the southern border of Syria, see Herodotus ‘Histories’ Book 3, Page 5. Thus, the confusion between Lydia and Syria has Typhon buried in both places, and makes both places the home of the Arimoi who the Greeks sometimes referred to as the Kimmeroi (the Cimmerians). Indeed the land of Lydia was undergoing incursions by the Scythians (Aramaeans) and the Cimmerians (Samarians) as early as 710 BC. Thus it is likely that the information, that the mythographers got from those ‘Lydians,’ was heavily laced with the stories about their old king Ahab which we would expect ‘Cimmerians,’ as displaced Israelites from the kingdom of ‘Samaria’ to know well. The language of the Lydians, spoken in the West of Asia Minor until the 1st century BC, was apparently a linguistic descendant of Hittite. This and the fact that one of Lydia’s kings known to the Greeks bore the Hittite royal name Myrsilis (Mursilis) may indicate that this state was the purest cultural and ethnic continuation of the former Hittites. With this in mind, and combined with the fact that the Omri dynasty was known to, and heavily influenced by, the Hittites, it is no wonder that some thought Pelops to be from Lydia while he was actually from “Syria of Palestine.”
Hittites and Israelites
Now, as to the name of Tantalus the father of Pelops. I am of the opinion that the name Tantalus is a Greek version of the Hittite name Tudhaliyas. There was a very famous King Tudhaliyas who started a Hittite dynasty about 920 BC. (this, of course, is in accordance with Velikovsky’s reconstruction of ancient history which I use consistently). It may seem arbitrary to choose the name of an obscure King, the founder of a distant Hittite dynasty to supply the name of the Greek version of Omri of Israel, but I do have my reasons. For the Hittites where not so obscure as the conventional history of the time would lead us to believe. They did in fact have a considerable influence on the Levant during the Dynasty of Tudhaliyas, placing their princes as kings in important cities like Carchemish and Aleppo, and even facing up to the powerful Assyrian, Egyptian and Mitannian Kings of the time. The princes and nobles of the Tudhaliyas Dynasty were a very numerous and restless bunch who, I believe, had hired themselves out as mercenaries, mainly as charioteers and cavalrymen but also in other military roles. The Hittites famously had introduced horsemanship and chariotry skills all over the middle east and could forge and supply weapons of iron, many kingdoms used their expertise, but especially the Israelite nations. The Hittites made treaties with the Hebrews, Abraham became a confederate with Ephron the Hittite for the partial purchase of Hebron. Like the blond haired blue eyed Amorite women had been to the sons of God at Mount Herman in the days of old, so the Hittite women were to the Hebrews in the land of Canaan, irresistibly appealing. Thus Esau married Judith and Basemat, the daughters of the Hittites Beeri and Elon, respectively. And King David himself had Uriah the Hittite killed because he desired his wife Bathsheba. The Hittites were supposed to be completely exterminated out of the land of Canaan by Joshua, but they weren’t, instead the Israelites made deals with them and intermarried with them. …The Assyrian King Esarhaddon in his chronicles referred to Manasseh the King of Judah as a “king the Hittites.”
Brit-Am editorial Comment:
The author below claims that King Omri of Israel was a Hittite. We doubt this very much and do not feel it is right to attribute foreign ancestry to a monarch of Israel when the Bible does not refer to it. Nevertheless in a cultural sense they may be something in what the author is suggesting. The same point applies to other proposals made below.
Therefore I believe that Omri, was a Hittite captain, an adventurous scion of the Tudhaliyas Dynasty who lead a group of Hittite mercenaries, and was hired by the previous Israelite dynasty, the House of Baasha. When Zimri, captain over half of the chariots, overthrew his lord and killed Elah, the son of Baasha, it did not go well for him. For Omri, a capable commander of the Army (Presumably a royal Hittite and captain over the other “half” of the chariots), having the support of not only his troops, but half of Israel, (largely the Hittite half no doubt) was elevated to the throne. A civil war ensued and Omri was victorious. The ancestry of Omri is not disclosed in the Scriptures, we are not even told the name of the Hebrew tribe from which he was descended.
[AMAIC comment: Omri was of the Hebrew tribe of Issachar, according to our identification of Baasha and his son Elah with, respectively, Ahab and Ahaziah (Hiel), making Omri, then, the same as Ahijah of the tribe of Issachar]
Omri built Samaria. No other time period in all of biblical history was so concerned with the skill of chariotry, as was the era of the founding dynasty of Samaria. The three generations of kings from that era, all scions of the house of Omri, namely, Ahab, Jehoram, and Ahaziah, each were fatally wounded while in their chariots. This preoccupation with ‘chariotry’ is just another ‘coincidence’ that the Omri dynasty had with the Achaeans and the story of Pelops.
As to the name of Pelops himself, I spent a lot of time trying to equate his name with the Hittite death and resurrection god Telipinus (There is the Hittite angle, they share some attributes and I considered the names as similar), however Ahab famously followed after the Baalism propagated by his wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of Sidon. To quote Josephus; “Ahab’s god was called Baal; … Now this Baal was the god of the Tyrians; and Ahab, in order to gratify his father-in-law, Ethbaal, who was the king of Tyre and Sidon, built a temple for him in Samaria, and appointed him prophets, and worshipped him with all sorts of worship” (from “Antiquities of the Jews”). Josephus further tells us that Ethbaal was the priest of Astarte before murdering the previous king and usurping the Sidonian throne (quoting Menander, this time from “Against Apion,” Book I, par. 18). Ahab built a temple for Baal and set up a sacred pole in honor of Astarte (1 Kings 16:30-33). Therefore perhaps the name Pelops, rather than a corruption of the name Telipinus is simply the usual Greek for the phrase “the face of Baal” (Bel-ops) a common Appellation for Tanit or Astarte, or anyone enamored of Baal.
When the Greek poets wanted to indicate riches they often referred to the wealth of the Lydian King Croesus, but when indicating the vastness of realm they would refer to the wide sway and many kingdoms of King Pelops. (“I would not Pelops’ tilth untold nor all Kroisos’ coffered gold, nor yet t’ outfoot the storm-wind’s breath, so I may sit this rock beneath, pretty pasture-mate, wi’ thee, and gaze on the Sicilian sea.” Theocritus, Idylls The Hebrew legends spoke of Ahab in much the same way, “Ahab is one of that small number of kings who have ruled over the whole world. No less than two hundred and fifty-two kingdoms acknowledged his dominion. As for his wealth, it was so abundant that each of his hundred and forty children possessed several ivory palaces, summer and winter residences.” (from Ginzberg’s ‘Legends of the Jews’).
It is purely conjecture on my part but perhaps Ahab was deified by his descendants after his death as the incarnation of their resurrection god. This theory is not so far fetched after all as Josephus tells us that Ahab’s rival Kings Ben-Hadad and Hazael were both deified, and the descendants of Pelops, the Greek Ahab, did think of their ancestor as a sort of King of Kings, whom it was claimed had been raised from the dead (clearly a Messianic, if not a divine attribute). In accordance with Velikovsky’s reconstruction of history, Ahab lived at the same time as the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Dr. Velikovsky associated the Theban myth of Oedipus with the history of 18th Dynasty Thebes in Egypt and identified Amenhotep with Laius, the (true) father of Oedipus. Both Laius and Amenhotep III were famous charioteers who were crowned as a child and had a regent rule for them in their minority.
The Hurrian Mercenary Chariot Warriors and Olympianism
The story of Pelops and in fact, much of the myths connected with the Achaeans, are abounding with the skill of chariot driving as well, so much so that modern scholars who have studied the matter such as Robert Graves, have concluded that these Greeks must have had some sort of ritualistic royal sacrifice involving kings being dragged to death as a result of prearranged chariot crashes. ”chariot crashes were staged in the hippodromes.” (‘The Greek Myths 2′ 109. 4, 5). Well, one thing we do know, is that there was an ancient culture that was dedicated to the horse and chariot, it was called the ‘Maryannu.’ An ancient people called the Hurrians were the purveyors of this Maryannu culture and many peoples especially the Hittites had adopted the tenets of their way of life. Although the Scriptures do not use the name ‘Hurrians’ they do mention the Horites, Hivites and Jebusites all of whom archaeologists have identified as Hurrians. Furthermore, the cities of Harran, Nahor, Pethor and Carchemish are considered to be Hurrian settlements, and I would even go so far as to say that Abraham himself was from the land of the Hurrians (Ur) where the Chaldians (not incidentally, the Chaldeans who are perhaps the same people but were supposedly from Babylonia, a different location altogether) of Urartu (Ararat, the homeland of Noah) had lived. The descendants of the Scriptural Midian (son of Abraham by Keturah 1CH 1:32), it can be demonstrated, were the Mitanni, a branch of the Hurrians as well. Thus the land of Canaan was full of Hurrian culture, and those who weren’t Hurrian by blood readily adopted their culture, as did the Hittites.
W. F. Albright said that the Maryannu were “chariot-warriors” claiming that “chariots played the same role in warfare that cavalry did later, and the chariot-warriors occupied the same social position that was held by the … feudal knights of the Middle Ages.” He agreed with F. C. Andreas that the root of the word “maryannu” comes from the Vedic term “marya” meaning “YOUNG MAN” but that it developed, through connotation, into “warrior.” Since then R. T. O’Callaghan, relying on Egyptian and cuneiform sources, has come out saying; “… from the Mitanni kingdom down through Palestine beyond Ascalon, the term maryannu is to be understood primarily as A NOBLE WHO IS A CHARIOT WARRIOR.” Now, the Scriptures don’t seem to mention the ‘maryannu,’ by that name. However they do use, as did the Egyptians, the term ‘naarim’ (youths) instead. That the ‘naarim’ were young noble chariot warriors who were active in the Omri dynasty is pretty clear. see 1Kings 20: 13-25 where we see the phrase ‘young men of the princes of the provinces’ used four times in relation to its’ use in a chariot battle. Ramses II used the Naarim as well, they saved him in the battle of Karkar.
Many kings of the Maryannu Age hired these professional chariot-warriors, and they did become a kind of aristocracy among the nations that employed them. King David had a Carian (Hurrian) bodyguard. 1CH 18:17 (therein called Cherethites) ‘And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the King.’ David had also placed Hittite warriors in positions of authority, such as ‘Uriah the Hittite.’ Queen Athaliah the very daughter of King Ahab also had such a body guard, unfortunately for her because they conspired against her and placed their own choice (a scion of David) on the throne. (‘In the seventh year Jehoiada sent and fetched the captains over hundreds of the Carians and of the guard, and brought them to him into the house of [the ALMIGHTY]; and he made a covenant with them, and took an oath of them in the house of [the ALMIGHTY], and showed them the king’s son.’ 2 Kings 11:4 see also 11:19). It is perfectly reasonable to conclude that the Israelites shared good military relations with the Hittites in those days, 2 Kings 7:6: “For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.”
Another similarity between the Israel of Ahab and the Hittites has to do with the multiplicity of their gods; “He (Ahab) was so devoted to idolatry, to which he was led astray by his wife Jezebel, that the fields of Palestine were full of idols.” (from Ginzberg’s ‘Legends of the Jews’) The Hittite writings themselves allude to ‘the thousand gods of Hatti’, and more than eight-hundred such names have been discovered.
According to conventional historians, a distinction is to be made between two groups of Hittites. The original Hittites who are coordinated chronologically with Egypt’s 18th and 19th Dynasties, 1450-1200 BC. These lived mainly in Asia Minor dipping down a bit into the northern Levant. And another group whom they call the Neo-Hittites, or Syro-Hittites. These are supposed by many to have been those Scriptural Hittites of the 9th and 8th centuries BC. The conventional historians insert a period of “dark ages” into Hittite history for the interim, as they have done to Greek history, to make it fit into traditional (erroneous) Egyptian history. It has been proposed that this distinction, between the two groups of Hittites, is completely artificial. History makes much more sense without its imaginary dark ages forming lacunas in the continuum. Egypt’s 18th and 19th Dynasties fit nicely into the 10th-7th centuries and consequently the Greek mythological age and the early Hittite era, work well as contemporary with the history of the Kingdom of Israel.
In order to understand the connection between Ahab and Pelops one has to be made aware of the impact of the Hittite religion on Israel. While the placement of the Greek mythological era in the time of Israel remains controversial, lining up the Greeks with the earlier Hittites of Asia Minor is taken for granted. Most scholars who have studied Greek myths are quick to point out that the Greeks owe much to the myths of the Hittites. (Anu, Kumarbi, Teshub = Uranus, Kronos, Zeus). But how did the religion of the Hittites from Asia Minor get to Greece? The Hittites are often cited as an influence on Greek mythology this is largely true, but the influence is not a direct one. The Hittite religion got to Greece because the Israelites of the Omri dynasty who were flushed out by the purge of Jehu, were to a large degree of Hittite origin. And these were the propagators of the [Religion] of Samaria that became the Olympianism of Greece.
Chaldeans and Chaldians
The Hittites are not known to have been a major immigrating group to Greece however the so called Phoenicians were. For the most part these Phoenicians were in reality the people of Israel (that is, Hittite Israel) and that is how the Hittite religion was able to have such a great influence over Greek mythology. The Greeks don’t seem to have known about the Hittites, and the Greeks supposed that the land of the Hittites was peopled by a group whom they called the “Phrygians.” (modern scholars discriminate between the Hittites and the Phrygians, some even blaming the destruction of the earlier Hittites, and the imposition of their dark ages, on the incursion of the Phrygians upon their empire.) The Greeks themselves credit the Egyptians and the Chaldeans, (not the Egyptians and the Hittites who predominated in those days,) as the originators of their religion. I propose that exiled Israelites, (largely of Hittite extraction, and also referred to as Chaldeans because of their descent from Arpachshad) brought the Hittite religion to Greece, and that the Phrygians were for the most part the Hittites themselves (Hattian = Chaldian = Gordian). The Hittites are realized as contributing to the makeup of Israel not only under that name but also the Hittites have been identified, by Velikovsky and others, as the Chaldeans, with whom the Hebrews share an ancestor. Arpachshad, was a son of Shem and the ancestor of the Hebrews through his grandson Eber. (Gen. 10:22, 24 ; 11 :10-13 ; 1 Chron . 1 :17-27) The Hebrew for chshad, the second part of his name, is the same as “Casdim” the first part of the word, “Chaldeans.” Therefore he is the supposed eponym of the Chaldeans (otherwise that well known nation is not mentioned in the so called “table of nations” at all). There was a place called by Ptolemy (active c. 130 AD.) “Arrapachitis,” in the area of the Lakes Urmia and Van, in Armenia, the land of the Chaldians (note the difference in spelling) that some (Koehler and Baumgartner, Veteris Testamenti Libros, p. 89) have associated with Arpachshad. This would relate the Chaldians to the Chaldeans.
Was Homer really King Omri of Israel?
King Omri himself, who as we know from the Scriptures, wrote at least one work, therein referred to as, “The Statutes of Omri.” (For the statutes of Omri are kept, and all the works of the house of Ahab, and ye walk in their counsels; that I should make thee a desolation, and the inhabitants thereof an hissing: therefore ye shall bear the reproach of my people. Micah 6:16) Obviously the editors of the Scriptural account did not allow “all the works of the house of Ahab” to be expressed in the Bible. On the other hand the Elohistic view could not be completely expunged from the historic accounts that were relied upon to write the Scriptures. …When an ancient law code (such as the Law of Moses, the Code of Hammurabi, the Noahic Laws or, as in the present case, the Statues of Omri) was written, it was often connected to or sandwiched in between the introduction of a new religious system, complete with a ‘genesis’ (the birth or origin of the gods, a Theogony giving them titles and distributing to them honors and arts, and setting forth their forms. …). This is what gave force to the laws, for it was always insisted that the chief god of the integrated religion, was the actual author of the attached laws. The so called ‘Statutes of Omri’ no doubt, included the story of origins… Furthermore the law code would often authorize a school of priests, such as the Levites for the law of Moses. These would be the “lawyers” so to speak, experts in every feature of the law, able to explain, not only the legal but also the religious aspects of it. Now, I do not suppose that Omri wrote the works that scholars of Greek mythology attribute to Homer, but then on the other hand neither do those scholars think that one man named Homer wrote all that is attributed to him. Many believe that these “Homeric” writings were written by a group of “Poets,” (whom I suppose to be the priests, or lawyers, of the “Statutes of Omri”) thus I am agreeing with the majority opinion on this issue.
It seems to me that Omri must have built his statutes upon the religious concepts that grew out of the convocation at mount Gerizim and degenerated into the apostate belief system that took hold of the area surrounding the old capitol city of Israel at the Shechem of Abimelech. The Israelites had the religion of the Giants (Titans) also known as the “error of the Amorites” (Gen.15:13-16) being overthrown by the Twelve Tribes, the Midianites of Shechem had the Hurrian religion, and Omri had the closely related Hittite religion. These were apparently combined to form the “Olympian” Mythology of Homer. Herodotus helps us to identify the Scriptural “Omri,” with the Greek “Homer,” his helpful quote runs thus; “but whence the several gods had their birth, or whether they all were from the beginning, and of what form they are, they (the Greeks) did not learn till yesterday, as it were, or the day before: for Hesiod and Homer I suppose were four hundred years before my time and not more, (thus about 850 BC.) and these are they who made a Theogony for the Hellenes and gave the titles to the gods and distributed to them honors and arts, and set forth their forms:” (“Histories” Book 2, Page 53) Here Herodotus makes “Homer” (whom, it is supposed, was more ancient than Hesiod,) to have lived about the same time as Omri, and to have been the original purveyor of the Hellenic religion, that is, Olympianism. The “Statutes of Omri” were flushed out of Israel at this same time (c. 842 BC.) by the purge of Jehu. This group, as I hope to convince the reader, were the Achaeans flushed out of Omri Dynasty Israel by the purge of Jehu, the main purveyors of the Olympic system.
Pelops, Hippodameia, and Naboth
King Ahab and his queen were, of course, well known murderers. The infamous murder that they committed, was their conspiracy killing of Naboth for his vineyard. Queen Jezebel gets most of the blame for this act, but Ahab is clearly, implicated as well, it was a team killing. Stories about King and Queen pairs are somewhat rare in ancient history. But, stories that have the pair jointly committing a deceitful murder that prompted a prophet to bring down a curse, not just upon them, but upon their entire house, and descendants as well are even more rare. The two that come to my mind immediately are Ahab with Jezebel and Pelops with Hippodameia. The famous murder victim in the Greek myth of Pelops and Hippodameia, was named ‘Oenomaus,’ this is perhaps a worn down version of the phrase, ‘oino Nomaus,’ meaning, the ‘vines’ of ‘Nomaus,’ (the name Nomaus being a possible corruption of the name ‘Naboth’). The name ‘Hippodameia’ has been interpreted to mean, ‘horse tamer,’ ‘horse subduer,’ or ‘horse conqueror.’ However, according to her identification with Jezebel and what we know about how she was conquered, (trampled by horses, 2 Kings 9:33) we should rather consider ‘tamed by horses,’ ‘subdued by horses,’ or ‘conquered by horses.’ Hippodameia herself was an evil queen not only had she connived, underhandedly, to get her husband Pelops the Kingdom he wanted by bringing about the death of Oenomaus, but afterward she had also falsely witnessed to have Myrtilus killed, and even later ordered the death of her stepson Chrysippus.
If Oenomaus is to be identified with Naboth and Hippodameia with Jezebel then it is difficult to understand why, in the Greek myth, Oenomaus is portrayed as a King and the father of Hippodameia. However, some think that Naboth was Ahab’s first cousin, his father’s brother’s son; after all he did own the estate lying next to Ahab’s, and he was set in a ‘high place’ among a gathering of the other nobles; in which case Ahab would have been next in line to inherit the estate of Naboth (It is worth pointing out that the sons of Naboth were put to death with him, and that Ahab did inherit Naboth’s estate after he killed them all.). If this were the case then perhaps, contrarily, Naboth himself was a contender for the throne of Israel, in the event of the death of Ahab and his sons, which actually did occur eventually. Josephus had a commentary on the fact that Naboth was set on a high place among the nobles, he said that it was because Naboth was of “an illustrious descent.” See 1Ki 21:8 ”So she wrote letters … unto the elders and to the nobles that were … dwelling with Naboth.” Here we see that, even before the banquet, Naboth was dwelling among the nobles.
Perhaps the reason why Oenomaus is portrayed as a king in Greek mythology has something to do with the trumped up charge against Naboth by which Jezebel was able to orchestrate his execution. “The disastrous end of Ahab is to be ascribed chiefly to the murder of ‘his kinsman’ Naboth, whose execution on the charge of ‘treason’ he had ordered, so that he might put himself in possession of Naboth’s wealth.” (from Ginzberg’s ‘Legends of the Jews’ Note that Ginzberg’s “Legends” calls the charge “treason” and refers to Naboth as Ahab’s “kinsman.”) The false charge against him may have been that he had denied Ahab’s right to the throne and had claimed himself to be the ‘rightful’ King. And the fact that he was set in a ‘high place’ among the other nobles, may have been done in order to strengthen the bogus charge. For while Naboth may have taken his place at the banquet as innocently accepting an honor that was being bestowed upon him, to others it may have looked as though Naboth was treasonously “positioning” himself as royalty. Unlike in Israel where there was one King over all, in Greece, where they had city-states, every city had a King. Perhaps Naboth, as the owner of the bordering plot of land, was naturally considered to be the King of the place when the story got retold in Greece. He was recognized several times in the Scriptures as Naboth ‘of Jezreel,’ especially in the Septuagint version of the Scriptures where the phrase is used over and over again.
Now, as to why the myth has Hippodameia as the daughter of Oenomaus; as we know Naboth was not the father of Jezebel, although she was the daughter of a King. The ‘maiden’ who was characterized in the Greek myth as Hippodameia was perhaps more than just a human woman, like many female figures who appear in Greek mythology, she may have also been considered to represent a land or a people or a throne, namely, the land, people, or throne of Pisa, the Greek version of the Hebrew Jezreel. This was in fact a common metaphor which was used, not only in mythology, but more than once by King Rib-Addi in the El-Amarna Correspondences, as he used to say when he was besieged in his palace, ‘My field is a wife without a husband.’ (In accordance with Velikovsky’s’ reconstruction of ancient history the El-Amarna Correspondences were written in those exact days by people who lived in the land of Canaan.) The location of this place has never been firmly established, but it obviously lays somewhere in the valley of Jezreel. In the light of the foregoing, one could fairly speculate that the place which we now refer to as ‘Jezreel’ in the valley of ‘Jezreel,’ was at one time known as ‘Naboth’s Vineyard.’ Naboth ‘of Jezreel’ may have built it up to the point where it became a kind of city-state that bordered on Samaria. Naboth inherited this valuable property as a result of his ‘illustrious descent,’ although he could not be considered as its King, it was in his possession. Ahab wanted there to be no question as to the Kingship, or the possession, of the place, and Jezebel, by an underhanded stratagem was able to acquire the spot for him. The site was fortified and Jezebel built a temple to Baalath there, therefore the city was renamed “Jezebel” after her. After her scandalous death, it was once again renamed, ‘Jezreel’ so that people would not say, ‘this is Jezebel.’ (2 Kings 9:37 ‘And the carcass of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, ‘this’ is Jezebel.’ I stuck the word ‘this’ in quotes because I believe that we understand it incorrectly to be referring to the ‘carcass of Jezebel,’ when actually it alludes to the ‘field in the portion of Jezreel.’) Naboth was in possession of the place which was, later, to be named after Jezebel, and he inherited it by descent. In the parlance of symbolic poetry, the place was his daughter so to speak, and it was the place itself that was the prize over which Naboth and Ahab were contending. Pelops and Oenomaus were contending to the death, the survivor was to inherit the throne, winning not only the bride but also the Kingdom. In accordance with common mythic symbolism a contender for the throne is often portrayed as a suitor for the Queen. (Such as Cadmus and Harmonia or Perseus and Andromeda) Accordingly, winning the Bride means winning the Kingdom….We clearly understand the symbolism in terms of our own religion, but somehow the same symbolism is a mystery when we read it in a ‘myth.’
We are told by Apollodorus, “Now Oenomaus, the king of Pisa, had a daughter Hippodameia, and whether it was that he loved her, as some say, or that he was warned by an oracle that he must die by the man that married her, no man got her to wife; for her father could not persuade her to cohabit with him, and her suitors were put by him to death.” The versions of the story given by Tzetzes and the Scholiast on Eur. Or. 990 agree closely with each other and with that of Apollodorus, which they may have copied. They agree with him and with the Scholiast on Pindar in alleging an incestuous passion of Oenomaus for his daughter as the reason why he was reluctant to give her in marriage; indeed they affirm that this was the motive assigned for his conduct by the more accurate historians, though they also mention the oracle which warned him that he would perish at the hands of his in-law. The fear of this prediction being fulfilled is the motive genera