Who is the most ancient historical Indo-European who is known by name?

In other words, is it Pythonos, king of Kussara (17th century BC) or are there more ancient figures?

  • There's links??
    – Luke_0
    Commented Jun 12, 2012 at 12:42
  • There is now, LOL
    – code4life
    Commented Sep 25, 2012 at 14:04
  • "Adam and Eve."
    – Tom Au
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 19:18

2 Answers 2


Jared Diamond refers to "Hittite-like names in Assyrian," and there's a (possibly mythical) Hittite king from 23rd century bce, Pamba.

  • This is probably pretty much going to be it. Hittite split off from Indo-European even before the East-West split happened, and the Hittites would have been the first Indo-Europeans to be encountered (in great numbers) by a literate people.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 13, 2012 at 17:16
  • 1
    Pamba was not Nessian (Hittite) though. He was Hattian, therefore his name cannot be considered Indo-European.
    – Midas
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 5:59

The earliest Hittite & Luwian (Indo-European, not Hattian) names date back to the 20th century BCE. They are known from the so called 'Cappadocian tablets' belonging to some Assyrian merchants near the site of Kultepe. Some examples of such names are:

Šu-pi-u-ma-an (male)
Ši-ta-ra-ma-an (male)
Iš-pu-nu-ma-an (male)
Aš-ka-na-šu (male)
A-ši-at (male)

A-zu-e-el-ka (fem)
Me-nu-ze-el-ka (fem)
Ni-wa-al-ka (fem)
Ma-ga-ni-ka (fem)
Ku-ni-a-šu (fem)

Further reading
Götze, Albrecht "Some Groups of Ancient Anatolian Proper Names", Language Vol. 30, No. 3 (Jul. - Sep., 1954), pp. 349-359

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