Piyamaradu (also spelled "Piyama-Radu", "Piyama Radu", "Piyamaradus", "Piyamaraduš") was a warlike aristocratic personage whose name figures prominently in the Hittite archives of the middle and late 13th century BC in western Anatolia. His history is of particular interest because it appears to intertwine with that of the Trojan War. Some scholars assume that his name lives forth in that of King Priam of Troy.

Meaning of the name

The name appears to be a compound with Luwian "piyama" "gift" as its first part. Other Luwian names contaning the same word are attested, such as Piyama-Kurunta.

The second part of the word was earlier believed to be an unknown theonym *"Radu", [ [http://pages.sbcglobal.net/zimriel/amc/arzawa.html Arzawa Pages] ; see Theophoric names, and compare to the Hebrew form "Jonathan" ("Gift of Jehova").] but since Luwian words do not start with an "r", it must be "aradu", which may be a noun meaning "devotee", derived "from *"arada-" 'religious community (vel sim.)', itself a derivative of *"ara-" 'associate' (cf. Hitt. ara- 'id.') [Cf. I.S. Yakubovich, [http://oi.uchicago.edu/pdf/yakubovich_diss_2008.pdf Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language] , p. 113.]

The Exploits of Piyamaradu

It is believed that Piyamaradu was the legitimate heir of Uhha-Ziti, a previous king of Arzawa who was dethroned by the Hittite king Mursili II, and probably the son of his son Piyamakurunta. [F. Starke, "Troia im Kontext des historisch-politischen und sprachlichen Umfeldes Kleinasiens im 2. Jahrtausend", "Studia Troica" 7 (1997), p. 450-454; J.D. Hawkins, "Tarkasnawa King of Mira", "Anatolian Studies" 48 (1998), p. 17; W.-D. Niemeier, ”Westkleinasien und Ägäis von den Anfängen bis zur Ionischen Wanderung”, in: "Frühes Ionien", 2007, p. 79.] He tried to reassert his own dynastic claim by attacking the Hittite empire in Arzawa, Seha, Lazpa (Lesbos) and Wilusa (Troy). This he probably did in concert with an application to the Great King of Hatti [Muwatalli II according to Gurney; Hattusili III, according to an earlier consensus)] to be accepted into Hittite vassal status as a sub-king.

When his application was deprecated, he rebelled, wishing to assert his putative dynastic rights. The Great King of Hatti suppressed him through the agency of a certain other trusted vassal, Manapa-Tarhunta. Piyamaradu, on the other hand, allied with the Great King of Ahhiyawa (Achaea, i.e Mycenean Greece), and married his daughter to Atpa, the vassal ruler of Millawanda (Miletus).

Because he had asserted himself against the Great King of Hatti, and allied himself his characterization in the Hittite archives is that of "troublemaker", "adventurer", "freebooter", or "mercenary"; from his own point of view he may have considered himself merely to be asserting his own rightful (hereditary?) status. The salience of his exploits in the record, together with his name and claim, render dynastic parameters plausible.

Identification with Homeric personages

Piyamaradu has been conjectured to correspond to the archetype embodied in the epic/legendary Priam of Troy in the Iliad. [S.P. Morris, "A Tale of Two Cities", "American Journal of Archaeology" 93 (1989), p. 532.] The epic Priam's son Paris/Alexandros, identified with Alaksandu, a Wilusan king known to have made a treaty with the Hittite monarch Muwatalli II, has a less speculative identification. [ [http://www.transanatolie.com/English/Turkey/Anatolia/Ancient%20Cities/troy.htm Transanatolia] ]

If Piyamaradu was no more than an irksome adventurer, it must be one of those curious (though not uncommon) "flash-in-the-pans" of history that his name has persisted for more than 3000 years. Nevertheless, at least one French source has no hesitancy in designating him as "roi" ("king"). ["Une rapide campagne est nécessaire pour s'assurer de la loyauté de l'incertaine Arzawa et du roi Piyamaradu." [http://perso.orange.fr/miltiade/hittites.htm] ]

Hittite archives

The relevant Hittite archival correspondence referring to him include:

*Manapa-Tarhunta letter "...a notorious local troublemaker called Piyamaradu is harrying Wilusiya, a land of the Assuwa federation loosely allied with the Hittite Empire. The Hittite king has apparently ordered Manapa-Tarhunda to drive out Piyamaradu himself, but Manapa-Tarhunda's attempt has failed, so that the a Hittite force is now sent out to deal with the problem."

*Tawagalawa letter "The letter would be more appropriately known as the 'Piyama-Radu letter'".

*Milawata letter "Like the Tawagalawa letter and also the Manapa-Tarhunta letter, the Milawata letter mentions the infamous adventurer Piyama-Radu; but as a figure of the past."



* [http://www.ajaonline.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=17 "American Journal of Archaeology Online Forum:" "The Importance of Troy in the Late Bronze Age 2005--03-10"; accessed 2006-08-16.]
**1986. "Untersuchungen zu Piyamaradu (Teil II)." "Orientalia" 55.47-62.
**1983. "Untersuchungen zu Piyamaradu (Teil I)." "Orientalia" 52.81-97.
*Gurney, Oliver 2002. "The authorship of the Tawagalawas Letter." "Silva Anatolica" Vol. 2002, pp.133-141.

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