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The Chalybes or Chaldoi (Χάλυβες, Χάλυβοι, Χάλδοι) were a tribe of Classical Antiquity credited with the invention of ferrous metallurgy.

They settled in north Anatoliamarker, near the shores of the Black Seamarker, from the Halys to Pharnakeia and Trabzonmarker in the east and as far south as Lesser Armenia.

The main sources for the history of the Chaldoi are accounts from classical authors, including Homer, Strabo, and Xenophon.The Chaldoi/Chalybes, Mossynoikoi, and Tubal/Tabal/Tibareni, are counted among the first ironsmith nations by classical authors.In Roman times, the Chaldaei (homonymous but unrelated to the Semitic Chaldeans) and Chalybes are mentioned by Plutarch (Lucull. c. 14) as settling in Pontic Cappadociamarker, or the Pontus Cappadocicus section of the Roman province of Pontus.

Χάλυψ, the tribe's name in Greek, means "tempered iron, steel", a term that passed into Latin as chalybs, "steel". That, in turn, is cited as a possible origin for Excalibur, the name of King Arthur's legendary sword. Sayce derived the Greek name Chalybe from Hittite Khaly-wa, "land of Halys".


  1. Strabo, xi., 14.5
  2. The Greek Colonisation of the Black Sea Area p. 74


  • Giorgi Leon Kavtaradze: Probleme der historischen Geographie Anatoliens und Transkaukasiens im ersten Jahrtausend v. Chr., in: Orbis Terrarum 2 (1996) S. 191-216 [293016].
  • Дэвид Лэнг (David Marshall Lang): Грузины. Хранители святынь, Москва. Центрполиграф, 2006. pp. 71-72
  • The New Arthurian Encyclopedia (1995)

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