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Danuneans or Danuna ( Akkadian Kur Da-nu-na , Phoenician Dnn-im , Egyptian Dnwn / Dnjn / Dnan ) is the name of a people living in the Adana region (ancient kingdom of Qu'e (Hiyawa)) in Cilicia was resident.

Location and origin

The settlement area of ​​the Danuneans lay in a valley by the sea, enclosed by high mountain ranges. The area is also known in ancient times as "Plain Kilikien" (Kilikia Pedias). Equating the Danuneans with the tribe of Dan is controversial. According to Biblical tradition, the Dan tribe settled in a similar area, but geographically further south.

Historical sources

The Egyptian name Dnwn appears for the first time in the middle of the 14th century BC. In the Amarna letter EA 151 from Abi-Milki . Further mentions are made, among other things, in connection with the Sea Peoples , who in the 8th year of Ramses III's reign . Attacked Egypt by water, later also in an inscription by King Kilamuwa of the city-state of Ja'udi around 800 BC. BC as a people of the Danuneans :

My father's house was under mighty kings. But the Danunean king stood mighty above me. "

- Kilamuwa

The Danuneans are mentioned as residents of the Kingdom of Qu'e both in the bilingual Karatepe and in the inscription on the statue of Çineköy , which is also bilingual . The Phoenician name of Qu'e is Adanawa . Because of their regional proximity and similarity of names, some people associate the Danuneans with the town of Adana.

Biblical sources

W. Max Müller wanted to equate the Rodanim of the table of nations with the Danuna of the Amarna letters . The discussed equation of the Danuneans with the descent of Jawan as a people of Rhodes is based on the table of nations in Genesis ( Gen 10.4  EU ) and the Chronicle ( 1 Chr 1.7  EU ) with the listing of the Dodanim, Tharsisa , Elisa and Chittim . In this interpretation, Jawan corresponds to the Achi-jawa .

References to the Danaers

It was suspected that the Danaers are the Danuneans, but so far it has not been proven. In the place names list of Amenhotep III. cities and landscapes on the Greek mainland (= Tanaja / Danaja), especially on the Peloponnese, are named:

Mukana ( Mycenae ), Deqajis (possibly Thebes or Thebais , the landscape around Thebes), Misana ( Messene or Messenia ), Nuplija ( Nauplion ), Kutira ( Kythera ), Weleja (possibly Elis or Eleia ). The place Amukla ( Amyklai ), just a few kilometers south of Sparta , was removed from this list. The reason is unclear.

The simultaneous mention of the Danuna in the Levant contradicts a direct derivation of the mainland Greek Danaer in connection with the attacks of the Sea Peoples , which is why possible equations were discussed controversially.


  • Otto Kaiser: Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . Vol. 1. Old series. Gütersloher Verlagshaus, Gütersloh 1985, ISBN 3579000608 .
  • Jürgen Borchardt: Homeric helmets - helmet shapes d. Aegean to oriental. u. europ. Helmets. von Zabern, Mainz 1972.
  • Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy : Greece, the Aegean Sea and the Levant during the Dark Ages from the 12th to the 9th century BC Chr. Files of the Symposium of Zwettl Abbey, October 11-14, 1980. Austria. Akad. Wiss., Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-7001-0596-7 .
  • Elmar Edel and Manfred Görg: The place name lists in the northern columned courtyard of the mortuary temple of Amenophis III. Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-4470-5219-8 .
  • Waltraud Sperlich: The Hittites: the forgotten people. Thorbecke, Ostfildern 2003, ISBN 3-7995-7982-6 , chapter: The inscription from Azitawadda.
  • Wolfgang Helck : The relationship between Egypt and the Middle East and the Aegean until the 7th century BC Chr. Science Buchges., Darmstadt 1995, ISBN 3-534-12904-0 .
  • William J. Murnane: Ancient Egyptian coregencies (texts Medinet Habu Ramses III.) (= Studies in ancient Oriental civilization. 40). Oriental Institute, Chicago 1977, ISBN 0-9189-8603-6 .
  • William J. Murnane: Texts from the Amarna period in Egypt. Scholars Press, Atlanta 1995, ISBN 1-5554-0965-2
  • Jørgen Alexander Knudtzon: The El Amarna tablets. 1st part: The texts. Leipzig 1915; Edited v. Otto Weber, Erich Ebeling. Zeller, Aalen 1964.

Notes and individual references

  1. a b c In: Texts from the environment of the Old Testament . (TUAT) Vol. 1, Old Series, pp. 639f.
  2. In: Orientalist Literature Journal. Vol. 11, pp. 288 ff.
  3. Gustav Adolf Lehmann: The 'political-historical' relations of the Aegean world of the 15th – 13th centuries. Jhs. v. About the Middle East and Egypt: some references. In: Joachim Latacz (Ed.): Two hundred years of Homer research. Review and Outlook (= Colloquium Rauricum. Vol. 2). Teubner, Stuttgart 1991, ISBN 978-3-519-07412-0 , p. 107 f. (with references)

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