Tiras was, according to and Chronicles 1, the last-named son of Japheth who is otherwise unmentioned in the Hebrew Bible. According to the "Book of Jubilees", the inheritance of Tiras consisted of four large islands in the ocean. Some scholars have speculated his descendants to have been among the components of the Sea Peoples known to Ancient Egypt as Tursha and to the Greeks as Tyrsenoi.

Josephus wrote that he became ancestor of the "Thirasians" (Thracians). These were the first fair-haired people mentioned in antiquity according to Xenophanes, and were later known as the Getae according to historians beginning with Herodotus (4.93, 5.3). "Tiras" or "Tyras" in antiquity was also the name of the Dniester river, and of a Greek colony situated near its mouth. Some have suggested that Tiras was worshiped by his descendants as Thuras, or Thor, the god of thunder. The earliest Norse sagas name Thor as an ancestral chieftain, and trace his origins to Thrace. The Germanic peoples also worshiped a god called Tiwaz, whose name was rendered Tyr/Tir in Scandinavian languages, and Tiw in Old English.

The medieval rabbinic text "Book of Jasher" (7:9) records the sons of Tiras as "Benib, Gera, Lupirion," and "Gilak", and in 10:14, it asserts that "Rushash, Cushni," and "Ongolis" are among his descendants. An earlier (950 AD) rabbinic compilation, the "Yosippon", similarly claims Tiras' descendants to be the "Rossi" of "Kiv", ie. Kievan Rus, listing them together with his brother Meshech's supposed descendants as "the Rossi; the Saqsni and the Iglesusi".

Another mediaeval Hebrew compilation, the "Chronicles of Jerahmeel", aside from quoting "Yosippon" as above, also provides a separate tradition of Tiras' sons elsewhere, naming them as "Maakh, Tabel, Bal’anah, Shampla, Meah", and "Elash". This material was ultimately derived from Pseudo-Philo (ca. 75 AD), extant copies of which list Tiras' sons as "Maac, Tabel, Ballana, Samplameac," and "Elaz".

The Persian historian Muhammad ibn Jarir al-Tabari (c. 915) recounts a tradition that Tiras had a son named Batawil, whose daughters Qarnabil, Bakht, and Arsal became the wives of Cush, Put, and Canaan, respectively.

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