We know that Lamech is the first man to marry two wives according to Bible's protohistory. Within the frame of the hypothesis proposed here, Lamech should stay for Lukka (*Luq), in other words, neither for the Lycians, we know of from historical records dating after the Persian conquest of Xanthos in the mid-sixth century nor for Lukka widely documented as people and country in Hittite sources (Gander 2010 ). However, the closest model we can rely on to show that Lycians (*Luq) are involved in Genesis are the Homeric Lycians, and Sélépios belong to a neighbour people, a meaningful starting point to connect Zillah, the second wife of Lamech to Iliad. Lamech - seventh after Adam – takes for himself a second wife with a name, Zillah, that is reminiscent of Zila-Anzili, a well-known goddess in the Hittite pantheon. If Lamech has anything to do with the Homeric Lycians who are faithful allies of the Trojans and come from or have founded colonies in that area, on the shores of Hellespont, it should not come as a surprise that he marries a remarkable woman from those remote borders, home of the mighty Cilicians. "Sélépios is the king of Lyrnessus, city of the Troad (near present-day Edremit), south of Mount Ida, on the river Evenus; cited only as patronymic of king Evenus, and thus the grandfather of Mynes, in Hom. Il. 2, 692-693. It does not appear to have a Greek origin, and it is probably a local name, which finds no evidence in the Greek onomastic of historical age" (DEMGOL). To sum briefly up: we know of Sélépios only as father-ancestor of the Cilicians of Lyrnessus, because Evēnus is called Σεληπιάδης (Wathelet 1988 : 541; von Kamptz 1982 : 377), "son of Sélépios" (Il. 2.693). This patronymic is fairly transparent from Anatolian languages standpoint and can be traced back to Zilapiya (Marizza 2007 : 169), which Laroche explained as "given to Zila" (NH 317–319; HF 89–90; Melchert 2013 : 47), that is, Anzili, an important deity of Hattusa Pantheon. In Hittite sources, Zilapiya is the name of an officer (Beckman 1983 : 626; HF 89, 181; Hoffner 2009 : 94-95, 97, 120-123, 125-126, 169-170, 225, 237), mentioned along with Taruli(ya), Kaššu, Aulla, Ḫulla, Ḫuilli, who is ordered to carry out various operations in areas threatened by Kaska enemies (Imparati 2002 ). All that we know about him comes from letters found in Tapikka (Forlanini 2002 ), a Hittite town located in present-day Maşat Höyük, 20km south of Zile (Classical Zila) (González Salazar 2001 ; Carnevale 2017-18 ). The cuneiform tablets providing those reports can be dated to the early 14th century B. C., during the reign of Tudḫalia III (van den Hout 2007 ; Stavi 2012 ). The current interpretation of the name considers it theophoric because it refers to the goddess Anzili, who had her own sanctuary in Anziliya, near Tapikka (Taracha 2000 : 189 n. 107; Alp 2001 : 30-31). The name would be a compound of *Zila- and -piya-, a suffix that means "given by," equivalent to the Greek suffix -dotos. Admitting that Zillah, Lamech's wife, is nothing more than Anzili in more prosaic disguise, the assumption that the forefather of a Cilician city in the Troad has a Hittite-Luwian name, which refers to a Hittite goddess once identified with Šaušga/Ištar, has far-reaching consequences for the rereading of the first chapters of Genesis. The Persian goddess who settled in Zile after the Achaemenid conquest is Anāhitā (Anaitis) (Brosius 1998 ), whose syncretism with Ištar is known (de Jong 1997 : 151, 284, 380; Arjomand 1998 ; Harper 1967 ; Qaderi 2017 ; Nabarz 2013 ). As we noted at the beginning of this entry, it is advisable to stick to the essential, but we can grasp very important details from Homer's Iliad, postponing the question of who these Lycians are, far from their traditional homeland (Xanthos), to a specific entry of this hypertext. Attention should be drawn to the three symbolic objects in the hands of Achilles, who took them from the city of Eetion, the king of another Cilician city - Thebe Hypoplakia (von Stählin 1907 ) - after killing him and his children. About this I will deal with in the entry "Achilles".
Originally Published: April 5, 2021
Last Updated: June 18, 2021