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Phoenician and Luwian in Early Iron Age Cilicia

  • Ilya Yakubovich (a1)

The relationship between the Luwian and Phoenician versions of the bilingual texts emanating from Cilicia has never been systematically studied from the philological viewpoint. In this paper I endeavour to demonstrate that a converging set of formal arguments supports the primary character of the Phoenician versions of the ÇINEKÖY and KARATEPE 1 bilinguals and the secondary character of their Luwian versions. I interpret this as a metaphor for the relationship between two ethnic constituents of the Neo-Hittite principality of Que, whose coexistence was earlier argued for on independent grounds. According to the proposed interpretation, the Phoenician language was emblematic of the rulers of Que, who claimed Greek descent and therefore attempted to distance themselves from the traditional elites of the neighbouring Neo-Hittite states. The use of the Luwian language was a concession to the indigenous population of Que. The adoption of Phoenician as a language of written expression by the Greek colonists in Cilicia happened at the point when the Linear B script had been forgotten and represented the first step toward the creation of the Greek alphabet.

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Anatolian Studies
  • ISSN: 0066-1546
  • EISSN: 2048-0849
  • URL: /core/journals/anatolian-studies
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