Red: Son of Japhet, Yellow: Son of Ham. Blue: Son of Shem
Togarmah (Hebrew: תּוגרמה) is a figure in the so-called "table of nations" in Genesis 10, the list of descendants of Noah that represents the peoples known to the ancient Hebrews. Togarmah is among the descendants of Japheth and is thought to represent some people located in Anatolia. Medieval traditions variously claimed Togarmah as the mythical ancestor of peoples in the Caucasus and western Asia, including the Georgians, the Armenians and some Turkic peoples.
Biblical attestations and historical geography
Togarmah is listed in Genesis 10:3 as the third son of Gomer, and grandson of Japheth, brother of Ashkenaz and Riphat. The name is again mentioned in the book of Ezekiel as a nation from the "far north". Ezekiel 38:6 mentions Togarmah together with Tubal as supplying soldiers to the army of Gog. Ezekiel 27:14 mentions Togarmah together with Tubal, Javan and Meshech as supplying horses to the Tyrians.
Togarmah is sometimes identified with the Anatolian kingdom called Tegarama by the Hittites and Til-Garimmu by the Assyrians. O.R. Gurney placed Tegarama in Southeast Anatolia. Others have located it in central Anatolia near the town of Gürün, Sivas about 90 miles (140 km) east of Kanesh.
Several later ethnological traditions have claimed Togarmah as the mythical ancestor of various peoples located in western Asia and the Caucasus. Jewish historian Flavius Josephus (37 – c. 100 AD) and the Christian theologians Jerome (c. 347 – 420 AD) and Isidore of Seville (c. 560 – 636 AD) regarded Togarmah as the father of the Phrygians. Several ancient Christian authors, inclcuding Saint Hippolytus (c. 170-c. 236 AD), Eusebius of Caesarea (c. 263 – c. 339 AD), and bishop Theodoret (c. 393 – c. 457 AD), regarded him as a father of Armenians. Medieval Jewish traditions linked him with Turkic peoples including the Khazars.
Armenian and Georgian traditions
Thargamos and his sons. The order of the figures from left to right is: Movakan, Bardos, Kartlos, Haos, Lekos, Thargamos, Caucas, Egros. An opening folio of the Georgian Chronicles (Vakhtangiseuli redaction), 1700s.
"You ask us also in your epistle: "Of what people, of what family, and of what tribe are you?" Know that we are descended from Japhet, through his son Togarmah. I have found in the genealogical books of my ancestors that Togarmah had ten sons."
He then goes on to enumerate ten names that can be identified as contemporary tribes living near the Black and Caspian Seas: "Ujur" (Uyghur), "Tauris" (Tauri), "Avar" (Avar), "Uguz" (Oghuz), "Bizal", "Tarna", "Chazar" (Khazar), "Janur", "Bulgar" (Bulgar) and "Sawir".