area of settlement of the people we term ‘Greek’, there had been agreat number of different tribes and clans ever since they moved intotheir new homeland in about
. Why should these threenames have been selected? Furthermore, as far as we can tell, byHomer’s day at least two of them, ‘Achaioı ´’ and ‘Danaoı ´’, as generalterms for the Greeks, did not exist at all. In fact, there had appar-ently been no general term for centuries. It is highly likely that nonehad ever existed, except in bardic poetry. In reality, by Homer’s timethe only terms were ‘Ionian’, ‘Aeolian’, and ‘Dorian’ for the largegroups. The name ‘Achaian’, centuries later, giving Latin
—Achaea had been a Roman province since
—came from theregion of Thessaly known as ‘Achaia’ (possibly for the second timein Greek history).Here too the key to an understanding can only be found in thehistorical reality. Just as in the case of the twin names Wilios andTroy there was no conceivable motive for inventing a name, so herein the case of the trinity Achaioı ´ /Danaoı ´ /Argeioi no rational motivecan be offered to explain why at a particular moment a particularpoet should have invented three names for the attacking army. Whatwould his audience have made of it? Given the abundance of realand available possibilities, would they not have found such inven-tions strange? But if the trinity comes not from invention but fromhallowed tradition, what was the origin of the tradition?
‘achai(w)ia’ and ‘achijawa’
It is easiest to answer this question in the case of the ﬁrst name,‘Achaioı ´’.In the Hittite documents, ‘Ah˘h˘ijawa¯’ (now usually writ-ten ‘Achijawa’) occurred at an early date as the name of a country.Not only does this name bear an obvious phonetic resemblance tothe ‘Achaioı ´’ found in the
(and to the adjectival form ‘Achaiı ´s’,which appears ﬁve times)—as with ‘Ilios’, it is to be expected thatthe ‘w’ will be lost in the Homeric form, so originally ‘Achaiwoı ´’,‘Achaiwı ´s’. But this word also, considered geographically and pol-itically, seems to point to the people we know as ‘Greeks’. So werethe Homeric ‘Achai(w)oı ´’ the same as the inhabitants of Hittite‘Ah˘h˘ijawa¯’? This question was posed by Emil Forrer as early as
the opposing side 121