Assembling a new book of ancient stories translated by great writers, Of Gods and Men , I was surprised to discover how prevalent the tale of the Trojan War has been down the ages. Authors as diverse as John Dryden, Alexander Pope and Louis MacNeice have been moved to translate various versions of the classical myth. One reason the Trojan War has struck such a chord is that, besides being an excellent story, it has long been suspected to have actually happened. For most ancient Greeks, indeed, the Trojan War was much more than a myth. It was an epoch-defining moment in their distant past. As the historical sources — Herodotus and Eratosthenes — show, it was generally assumed to have been a real event. Determined to get Helen back and punish the Trojans, Agamemnon and his brother marched a mighty army against Troy, and eventually succeeded in bringing its people to their knees. Helen of Troy, portrayed here in a painting by Edward Burne-Jones, has fascinated artists through the centuries Credit: Trustees of the British Museum. In antiquity, even respected historians were willing to believe that this war actually happened. Modern scholars, however, have tended to be more sceptical.
According to a new study of the epic tale “The Odyssey”, by the ancient Greek poet Homer, a total solar eclipse occurring during Odysseus’ return from Troy could help trace a more accurate timeline for the city’s fall. Astronomical clues found in Homer’s “The Odyssey” could help confirm a total solar eclipse when Odysseus returned home, providing a potentially accurate timeline for the fall of Troy, two scientists reported Monday.
Historians and classicists for centuries have debated the eclipse hypothesis in the ancient Greek poet’s epic work, concluding reluctantly that no such reference exists in either “The Odyssey” or its predecessor, “The Iliad. The clues, they claim, provide corroborating evidence of a solar eclipse when Odysseus returned home to murder the suitors who had taken advantage of his long absence to court his wife.
The first clue is the description of a new moon on the day of Odysseus’ return, which is a prerequisite for a total solar eclipse.
Keywords: Homer, Bronze Age, Nordic, Iliad, Odyssey. The Northern more than five hundred years before his time” (Kirk ).
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Astronomical dating of Odyssey and Mahābhārata (Part 1/2)
The Odyssey is an epic poem that chronicles the adventures of Odysseus, also known as Ulysses, on his journey back to his homeland, Ithaca, from the moment the Trojan War ends, narrated in the Iliad, until the moment when He finally returns home, many years later. The authorship of this work, written in ancient Greek, is attributed to Homer, a poet who lived in the region of Ionia, present-day Turkey, during the eighth century B.
As we know, the Odyssey, as well as the Iliad, were part of the ancient oral tradition, and were sung from town to town by the rapsodas, until in the 6th century B.
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Researchers have found what could be the oldest written lines from Homer’s “Odyssey”
If true, this would date the fall of Troy itself to precisely BC. It takes Odysseus 10 years to reach Ithaca after the year Trojan war. During.
The epics of the Greek poet Homer, The Iliad and The Odyssey, have been recited around campfires and scrutinized by students for 2, years, if not longer. But now, reports the BBC , archeologists in Greece have found 13 verses from The Odyssey chiseled into a clay tablet dating to the third century A. The tablet was discovered near the ruins of the Temple of Zeus during three years of excavations in the ruins of the ancient city of Olympia on the Greek peninsula the Peloponnese.
In a press release , the Greek Culture Ministry says that the preliminary date of the text has been confirmed. If verified, it will be a priceless literary and historical artifact. In fact, any glimpse into Homer before medieval times is rare, and any insight into the composition of the epics is precious. Whether the stories were composed by a blind poet named Homer is a source of debate, though many researchers believe Homer was probably not a historical individual but a cultural tradition that developed the stories over many decades or centuries, with scribes writing them down sometime around the 8th century B.
Instead, bards would have told slightly different versions of the epics each time they recited them, using a technique known as composition-in-recitation. Scribes transcribing the recitations would have heard different versions depending on the storyteller, so there were likely various versions of the Homer epics works floating around the ancient world.
The versions we know now come from medieval copies made of the complete works based on ancient sources that are now lost. After those texts were rediscovered during the Rennaissance, they became classics and have been translated endlessly, with each generation adding their own scholarly take or literary spin to the tales. In fact, just last year the first English translation of the story by a female classicist was published.
But not all of the earlier versions of Homer are lost. Archaeologists working in Egypt in the late 19th century began collecting scraps of papyrus containing lines, quotations and even complete chapters of the stories.
Solar eclipse to help date the fall of Troy
In the epic “Odyssey,” one of the cornerstones of Western literature, the legendary Greek hero Odysseus returns to his queen Penelope after enduring 10 years of sailing the wine dark sea. Now scientists have pinned down his return to April 16, B. The ” Odyssey ” is a millennia-old epic said to be composed by the blind poet Homer.
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Experts think they might have found the oldest-ever Greek copy of The Odyssey , the epic poem by Homer which is widely regarded as one of the most significant works of literature ever put down on paper An ancient slab of stone thought to date back to the 3rd century CE looks to contain 13 verses of the poem, detailing the return of the protagonist Ulysses to his home island of Ithaca after two decades of journeying.
The plaque was discovered in the ancient city of Olympia in southern Greece, and is the fruit of three years of work carried out by the Greek Archaeological Services agency and the German Institute of Archaeology. The plaque discovered in Greece. Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports. If that date is confirmed, it makes the stone carving the oldest written record of the epic poem found yet in the country — at least until the next discovery. Fragments of parchment containing the poem have been recovered in Egypt dating back to the 3rd century BCE.
The general consensus is that Homer composed the poem around the 8th century BCE, almost certainly to be read aloud rather than written down. It would then have been passed on orally by storytellers down the generations. It’s gone on to have a huge influence on Western literature, thanks to its pioneering use of a non-linear plot and variety of characters.
The first printed rather than handwritten copy of the poem was produced during the late 15th century , still in the original Greek. An English translation arrived in It’s even influenced the English language: if you’ve ever wondered why a long and arduous journey is known as an odyssey, it’s because of this ancient poem.
We’ll have to wait and see what date the slab is finally given when it comes to determining whether there is indeed a new record for Homer’s poem, but it’s a fascinating example of the way written texts can survive through the centuries, or even millennia.
This Ancient Tablet Could Be a Lost Copy of The Odyssey, One of The Oldest Ever Found
The conflict, set around the late twelfth century B. Agamemnon, brother of the wronged spouse, gathers an army composed largely of Greek kings, including Achilles, a Thessalian prince, and Ulysses, King of Ithaca. The Greek army lays siege to Troy for ten years, eventually winning the final battle thank to Ulysses ruse and his Trojan horse. Although they are separate works, both epics were destined to become landmarks of literary history. His pride having been wounded by Agamemnon, who abducted his slave, Briseis; the hero refuses to fight.
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The Greek poet Homer was born sometime between the 12th and 8th centuries BC, possibly somewhere on the coast of Asia Minor. He is famous for the epic poems The Iliad and The Odyssey , which have had an enormous effect on Western culture, but very little is known about their alleged author. Homer is a mystery. The Greek epic poet credited with the enduring epic tales of The Iliad and The Odyssey is an enigma insofar as actual facts of his life go.
Some scholars believe him to be one man; others think these iconic stories were created by a group. A variation on the group idea stems from the fact that storytelling was an oral tradition and Homer compiled the stories, then recited them to memory. The stories have repetitive elements, almost like a chorus or refrain, which suggests a musical element.
All this speculation about who he was has inevitably led to what is known as the Homeric Question—whether he actually existed at all. This is often considered to be the greatest literary mystery. Much speculation surrounds when Homer was born because of the dearth of real information about him. Guesses at his birth date range from BC all the way back to BC, the latter because The Iliad encompasses the story of the Trojan War, so some scholars have thought it fit to put the poet and chronicler nearer to the time of that actual event.
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According to a new study of the epic tale “The Odyssey”, by the so the researchers looked for a period within years of the fall of Troy that.
Toggle navigation. Greece and the Garden Chapter 3. Rome and the Reinvention of Paradise Chapter 4. The usual questions posed by scholars about the Trojan War and the Iliad and Odyssey , our primary sources of information about that event and its participants, are as follows: Was there a historical Trojan War? Was there, in actual fact, a bard called Homer, and did he compose the Iliad and Odyssey?
Do the Iliad and Odyssey in any way accurately reflect Greek society at any historical period, or is the social background against which the epic heroes act out the drama of their lives entirely a fictional construct? To these compelling questions, I would like to add another. Could the Iliad and Odyssey both be counted among those literary works that are fundamentally utopian in outlook? On the grounds that they strongly manifest the dream of a society for a better life, I will argue that they should.
In regarding the Homeric poems from a utopian vantage point, I am making a series of assumptions that will necessarily influence the course of my argument. First, it is my opinion that there was a Trojan War—or wars—dating to the thirteenth century BCE and that there is accordingly a historical core to the poems. The dating of the poems is critical because the eighth century was a time of tremendous change and evolution in the Greek world, both socially and politically.