This discussion reminds me of the one we had about Hercales being black. By looking further into the origins of the Pelasgians, I am finding many
theories. Most believe them to be a Semitic group of seafarer people. Some other theories include: Aboriginal people, descendants of the Biblical
Peleg, Indo-Eurasians, Euro-Africans, Palestinian, Syrian, Canaanite and fore-runners of the Etruscan people of Northern Italy. Below, I’ve provided
information and links for further consideration and discussion:
Pelasgians, or Sea Peoples of Lemnos, the evidence is that the Pelasgians were a mixture of various peoples including some of the biblical Canaanites
who later became the Phoenicians.
Modern writers restate or amplify the view, ascribed to Ephorus, that “Pelasgian” simply means “prehistoric Greek,” or have used the name Pelasgian at
their pleasure to denote some one element in the mixed population of the Aegean—Thracian, Illyrian (Albanian) or Semitic. followed by many
anthropologists, describes as “ Pelasgian” one branch of the Mediterranean or Eur-African race of mankind, and one group of types of skull within that
PELASGIANS: The name Pelasgi which almost certainly stands for Pelak-skoi or Pelag-Skoi has been connected with pelagos, 'the sea,' and the people
consequently regarded as sea-faring. Various traditions were current among the Greeks with regard to the pre-Greek inhabitants of their country. They
were inclined to call all
these by the general name of Pelasgians, although they recognized Carians and Leleges as distinct. The Dorians claimed that the Ionians were Pelasgian
or at least
mainly so, and that they themselves were true Greeks. The inhabitants of Attica, who were regarded as Ionian, boasted that they were autochthonous,
the original inhabitants of the land.
The people inhabiting the Lemnos island at and before 600 B.C. were called PELASGIANS, although according to the Lemnos island inscription, they
called themselves as SAKA. The Pelasgians were a non Indo-European people and were speaking a non Indo-European language. Turkic speaking Pelasgians
must have been direct kins of Central Asiatic Saka people who arrived in the Balkans and then onto some of the Aegean Sea islands in waves of
migrations from Central Asia long before the 6th century B. C. and adapted themselves to the environment conditions of the area.
"Pelasgians" is the name generally given by ancient writers to the peoples before the Hellenes. According to both Herodotus and Thucyclides,
Pelasgians formed the
largest element of the early population of Greece and the Aegean, and most of them were gradually assimilated by the Hellenes. Herodotus saw this
transformation as following the invasion by Danaos (the Egyptian), which he took to be around the middle of the second millennium B.C. Herodotus
stated that the Egyptian Danaids taught the Pelasgians (not the Hellenes) the worship of the gods." The idea that the
Pelasgians were the native population, converted to something more "Greek" by the invading Egyptians, also occurs in the plays of Aischylos and
Euripides, written around the same time as Herodotus' Histories.
The Pelasgians: The pre-Hellenic population of Greece, the Pelasgians, arrived from Palestine around 3,500 B.C., seven hundred years before the
Hellads came to Greece from Asia Minor. Their story of origin claimed that they had sprung from the teeth of the original chaos dragon, the serpent
Ophion. According to the Pelasgians, Athena was born by Lake Tritonis in Lybia. As a maiden, she accidentally killed her playmate Pallas ("Youth")
in a friendly game of warfare. Athena took the name of her playmate, henceforth calling herself Pallas Athena. She left Lybia for Crete and came
finally to Greece around 4,000 B.C. where she lived in the city of Athenae by the Boeotian River Triton.
Offspring of Peleg?
Recently, it has begun to appear that the Pelasgians of antiquity, who were great sea-going merchants and sometimes pirates, in earliest times may
have received their name from Peleg. Surviving in a multitude of forms is a determinative appended to many words that has the effect of converting the
word into a patronymic. This appears, for example, as -icus in the word Germanicus, also -ic in the word Britannic, ski in many familiar Russian
names, possibly -scans in the word Etruscans, and scion in English. Another one, which is the important point in this context, is skoi, placed after
the more ancient name Peleg, giving the compound form Pelegskoi. These are the Pelasgians.
The Pelasgians are very much of a mystery, for although they appear to have been quite powerful, it is not clear where they came from or what happened
to them. When the Thracians descended to the Aegean from the north in the 14th century B.C., they displaced the Pelasgians from the territory which
they held between the Hebrus and the Strymon. It is curious to find the Pelasgians occupying a territory adjacent to a river, the Hebrus, bearing a
name so much reminiscent of Eber who, according to Genesis 10:25, was their father. After they were displaced, these people seem to have been
swallowed up by the Greek population with whom they were subsequently confused, Munro says: "The Pelasgic nation ceased to exist as such and the
Ionian name was adopted, probably among the mixed communities on the Asiatic side."
Perhaps because the Pelasgians were not Greek-speaking people, they were the more readily equated by the Greeks, who tended to lump all foreigners
together, with the Etruscans who were also non-Greeks. Yet they appear not to have been, in fact, the
same people. We have, therefore, possibly a group of "Eberites" achieving some notoriety for a time in the early world, only to disappear by being
displaced from their primary settlement and swallowed up in the melee of people who populated the Aegean area.
Their ancestor, Peleg, received his name because of an event which has been variously interpreted. In the Book of Jasher (2:11), which is ascribed to
Alcuin and is very likely spurious, there is an interesting observation with respect to this man: "It was Peleg who first invented the hedge and the
ditch, the wall and bulwark: and who by lot divided the lands among his brethren." Jamieson, in his Commentary, suggests that the event in view was a
formal division of the earth made by Noah, acting under divine impulse, between his three sons. It is proposed that further reference to this event is
to be found in Deuteronomy 32:8 and Acts 17:24-26. Peter Lange refers to a work by Fabri entitled, Origin of Heathenism, dated 1859, in which the
author interprets the expression as having reference to a catastrophe which violently split up the earth into its present continental masses. This
was, of course, long before Wegener, Taylor, and Du Toit published their ideas on the subject of Continental Drift, a subject currently very much
The word Peleg seems somehow to have come down to us also through Greek in the form pelagos, meaning sea. If there is a real connection, this might
suggest a further idea, namely, that "division" took place when men began to migrate for the first time by water. The phrase the earth was divided
would be interpreted to mean the peoples of the earth were divided, i.e., by water.
In the view of Anticlides (apud Strab. V, 2, 4) the Etruscans who arrived in Italy under the leadership of Thyrrenos were Pelasgians and they belonged
to the same strain that colonized the Aegean isles of Lemnos and Imbros as well as several sites on the Anatolic seaside. This thesis is reported also
in some Rhodian documents going back to the third century BC, thus partially supporting the assumption that the Etruscans might have been one of the
Peoples of the Sea (the TRSH) mentioned in the Egyptian sources.
As a matter of fact, the Egyptian inscriptions of Ramses III (1197-1165 BC) relate of the so-called "Peoples of the Sea", i.e. a set of peoples who
came from land and sea to invade Egypt. Some of these peoples were known under the same name a couple of centuries before, since they were mentioned
among the peoples that supplied mercenary troops to the Pharaoh during the rule of Amenophis III and Merneptah (1413-1220 BC). Some of the "Peoples
of the Sea" can be easily identified, as in the case of the Achaei, called Jqjwsh.w in the inscriptions, or the Philistines called Prst.w.