Who Were the Milesians?

You are here

Who Were the Milesians?

Login or Create an Account

With a UCG.org account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


Note that the Scythians from Spain were known as Milesians—a name replete throughout the Irish annals. Peter Berresford Ellis, one of the foremost Celtic scholars now writing, states in his 2002 book Erin’s Blood Royal: The Gaelic Noble Dynasties of Ireland: "The indigenous Gaelic aristocracy of Ireland is, without doubt, the most ancient in Europe . . . The Irish royal houses have genealogies . . . tracing their descent, generation by generation, from the sons of Golamh, otherwise known as Milesius or Mile Easpain (soldier of Spain), who, according to tradition, invaded Ireland at the end of the second millennium B.C. [a time frame which is problematic, as we will see]. He is regarded as the progenitor of the Gaels" (p. 3).

Ellis thus sees the name Milesius as deriving from a root that means "soldier," as the Latin miles, the origin of our word military. Yet as we saw earlier, the term Milesian is normally used to designate the people of Miletus in western Asia Minor (now western Turkey). We should look more into the background of this important Aegean city-state to see if there could be a connection.

According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, "The Greek city traced its foundation to Neleus and his followers from Pylos" ("Miletus," 1985, Vol. 8, p. 125). "The Mycenaean kingdom of Pylos was conquered by Neleus, and thereafter was ruled by his youngest son, Nestor" ("Pylos," Baedeker Greece, 1995, p. 417). The city of Pylos was located on the southwest coast of Greece on the Ionian Sea ("Pylos," Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 9, p. 820). Ionian Greeks from this area colonized throughout the Mediterranean.

Historian Will Durant explains in his acclaimed work, The Story of Civilization: "There is nothing more vital in the history of the Greeks than their rapid spread throughout the Mediterranean . . . The migration followed five main lines—Aeolian, Ionian, Dorian, Euxine, Italian . . . The second line [the Ionian line] took its start in the Peloponnesus [southern Greece], whence thousands of Mycenaeans and Achaeans [whom Homer identified with the Danaans] fled . . .

"Some of them settled in Attica [the region of Athens], some in Euboea [the large island northeast of Athens]; many of them moved out into the Cyclades [islands of the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey], ventured across the Aegean, and established in western Asia Minor [Turkey] the twelve cities of the Ionian Dodecapolis [including Miletus] . . . The fifth line moved westward to what the Greeks called the Ionian Isles, thence across to Italy and Sicily, and finally to Gaul [France] and Spain . . .

"One by one these colonies took form, until Greece was no longer the narrow peninsula of Homeric days, but a strangely loose association of independent cities scattered from Africa to Thrace [in northern Greece] and from Gibraltar [in southern Spain] to the eastern end of the Black Sea" (Vol. 2, pp. 127-129).

So it should perhaps not really surprise us that we would find the name Milesians in both ancient Turkey and even Spain since these were undoubtedly related people. This becomes even more likely when we realize the scope of influence of Miletus itself. Durant reports: "Miletus, southernmost of the Ionian Twelve, was in the sixth century [B.C.] the richest city in the Greek world. The site had been inhabited by Carians from Minoan days [more on the Cretan Minoans in a moment]; and when, about 1000 B.C., the Ionians came there from Attica [the region of Athens], they found the old Aegean culture [of nearby ancient Troy] . . . waiting to serve as the advanced starting point of their civilization . . .

"Taking a lesson from the Phoenicians and gradually bettering their instruction, Ionian merchants established colonies as trading posts in Egypt, Italy, the Propontis [Sea of Marmara between Istanbul and the site of ancient Troy], and the Euxine [Black Sea]. Miletus alone had eighty such colonies, sixty of them in the north" (pp. 134-135, emphasis added).

Surely, then, the Milesians of Spain were from Miletus or any of its many colonies. But who were these people? They came, we have seen, from Mycenaean Greece, which was heavily Danite (once again see Appendix 2: "Were the Greeks Israelites?"). Yet Danites, it should be realized, were not the only Israelites in southern Greece.

Indeed, as amazing as it sounds, it can be shown that many inhabitants of Mycenaean Greece—and of ancient Troy—were of the tribe of Judah, which seems to have migrated through Crete. Indeed, it appears that these Jews were ruled by kings descended from Judah’s son Zerah, of the scarlet thread. From this descent emerged two main royal Zarhite lines—the Trojan royal house, from which most of European royalty is surprisingly descended, and the royal house of Athens, which became the royal line of Miletus (see Appendix 3: "Aegean Royal Lines From Zerah").

Milesius or Miledh, the father of Ireland’s Milesian dynasty from Spain—also called Golamh or Gathelus—is referred to as either the son of Nel (also Niul or Neolus) or the son of Cecrops, the founder of Athens in Greek mythology. This is, in fact, proof positive that Ireland’s traditional histories link its Milesians to those of the Aegean. For besides the mention of Cecrops, we have already seen that the Milesians of Asia Minor traced their descent from Neleus, the ruler of Mycenaean Pylos on the Ionian Sea (who, as with other Mycenaean rulers, was likely of Jewish descent). So Milesius was probably not the actual name of the founder of the Milesian dynasty in Ireland. Rather, the name Milesius or Miledh itself meant Milesian (one from Miletus). Thus, it most likely did not just mean "soldier."

Likewise, the name Golamh and its variants are not personal names. Rather, they simply denote nationality, coming from the same origin as Gaul and Gael. As explained in our booklet The United States and Britain in Bible Prophecy, these names denote wandering Israelites—as did the term Scythian ("Linguistic Links: What’s in a Name?,"). Interestingly, as noted elsewhere in this publication, Milesius was said to descend from the king of Scythia, one Feinius Farsaidh. But this may not be an actual personal name either. "Feinius appears to be the same word as Feni, a name for Ireland’s earliest Celtic inhabitants" (Ellis, p. 228). These were probably the Phoenicians—many of whom were Israelites.

Continuing on, the high kings of Ireland "claimed their descent from the two sons of Milesius, Eremon and Eber Fionn, who were progenitors of the Gaels in Ireland and who divided Ireland between them—Eremon ruling in the north and Eber Fionn in the south" (p. 5). Again, these may not have been personal names. We will later look at the meaning of Eremon or Heremon, which may have been a real name or at least a title. But Eber Fionn or Eber Finn may simply denote "Hebrew Phoenician." Whatever the case, the most likely conclusion regarding the identity of the Milesian invaders of Ireland is that they were Israelites—yet not just any Israelites, but Zarhite Jewish royalty from Miletus.