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'The Odyssey' and 'The Iliad' are giving up new secrets about the ancient world
Boston Globe ^ | September 28, 2008 | Jonathan Gottschall

Posted on 10/03/2008 11:34:06 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

In his influential book, "Troy and Homer," German classicist Joachim Latacz argues that the identification of Hisarlik as the site of Homer's Troy is all but proven. Latacz's case is based not only on archeology, but also on fascinating reassessments of cuneiform tablets from the Hittite imperial archives. The tablets, which are dated to the period when the Late Bronze Age city at Hisarlik was destroyed, tell a story of a western people harassing a Hittite client state on the coast of Asia Minor. The Hittite name for the invading foreigners is very close to Homer's name for his Greeks - Achaians - and the Hittite names for their harassed ally are very close to "Troy" and "Ilios," Homer's names for the city.

"At the very core of the tale," Latacz argues, "Homer's 'Iliad' has shed the mantle of fiction commonly attributed to it."

(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; History; Science; Travel
KEYWORDS: epigraphyandlanguage; godsgravesglyphs; greece; greeks; homer; latacz; schliemann; trojanwar; troy
The article includes its author's hatchet job on Heinrich Schliemann.
1 posted on 10/03/2008 11:34:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
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2 posted on 10/03/2008 11:35:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

booo!!!!

Schliemann is the greatest!


3 posted on 10/03/2008 11:42:44 AM PDT by ConservativeDude
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To: ConservativeDude

:’)


4 posted on 10/03/2008 11:49:16 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

Sing Muse, of the wrath of Achilles...


5 posted on 10/03/2008 12:33:52 PM PDT by hc87
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To: SunkenCiv

the argeioi won.


6 posted on 10/03/2008 1:43:21 PM PDT by ken21 (people die and you never hear from them again.)
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To: SunkenCiv

Joachim Latacz’s book is fascinating and well-written, an excellent read (at least in the English translation), but a lot of his views are controversial. There is still a wide range of views about the reality of the Trojan War. The man who directed the recent series of excavations at Troy, Manfred Korfmann, died in 2005, but I believe they are continuing under another director. Korfmann was sharply criticized by some of the other scholars in the field.


7 posted on 10/03/2008 1:49:35 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: ken21

:’)


8 posted on 10/03/2008 2:29:31 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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Defences at Troy reveal larger town [ news finally reaches UK ]
Times o’ London | September 19, 2008 | Normand Hammond
Posted on 09/19/2008 7:36:25 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2086313/posts

Troy Story [The Straight Dope]
Salt Lake City Weekly | July 19, 2007 | Cecil Adams (The Straight Dope)
Posted on 07/18/2007 11:14:32 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1867912/posts

Mycenaean and Hittite Diplomatic Correspondence: Fact and Fiction [ PDF file ]
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ^ | circa 2004 | H. Craig Melchert
Posted on 05/03/2007 10:59:47 AM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1827901/posts

In Search of the Real Troy
Saudi Aramco World | January/February 2005 Volume 56, Number 1
Graham Chandler, Photographed by Ergun Cagata
Posted on 02/20/2005 2:33:23 PM PST by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1347422/posts


9 posted on 10/03/2008 2:33:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery Homer: His Art and His World
Troy and Homer:
Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery

by Joachim Latacz
tr by Kevin Windle and Rosh Ireland
Homer: His Art and His World
by Joachim Latacz
tr by James P. Holoka


10 posted on 10/03/2008 2:45:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv
Homer doesn't mention the story of Achilles' heel--Achilles is still alive at the end of the Iliad (but one of the ghosts in Hades that Odysseus talks to during his visit to the underworld in the Odyssey). The phrase about the face that launched a thousand ships comes from Marlowe.

Carl Blegen, after spending several years in the 1930s excavating at Troy, discovered a Bronze Age palace at Pylos in 1939 which he identified as Nestor's palace (although nothing with Nestor's name turned up). There's a building on the University of Cincinnati campus named for Carl Blegen.

11 posted on 10/03/2008 3:07:00 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv
Homer doesn't mention the story of Achilles' heel--Achilles is still alive at the end of the Iliad (but one of the ghosts in Hades that Odysseus talks to during his visit to the underworld in the Odyssey). The phrase about the face that launched a thousand ships comes from Marlowe.

Carl Blegen, after spending several years in the 1930s excavating at Troy, discovered a Bronze Age palace at Pylos in 1939 which he identified as Nestor's palace (although nothing with Nestor's name turned up). There's a building on the University of Cincinnati campus named for Carl Blegen.

12 posted on 10/03/2008 3:07:26 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

I like to think that “the way I know it” is the truth.

I, too, am stickin’ with Schliemann


13 posted on 10/03/2008 5:36:37 PM PDT by bannie
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To: bannie
:') Technically, I'm sticking with Wilhelm Dörpfeld, the little-known protegé of and successor to Schliemann, who associated the Trojan War with Troy VI; Blegen claimed (based on whim) that Troy VI was destroyed by quake (which actually fits the Iliad pretty nicely) but that Troy VIIa was the layer of the War.

Okay, I had to look up those codes for the non-Eng letters. Bedtime.
14 posted on 10/03/2008 6:30:26 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: Verginius Rufus

For that matter, the Horse isn’t in the Iliad.


15 posted on 10/03/2008 6:36:22 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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link from wiki-wacky-pedia:

http://www.uwm.edu/Course/mythology/1200/twar2.htm


16 posted on 10/03/2008 6:37:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

A vry worthwhile article—except for the part where he starts in about the epic works can’t be a real picture of the times they portray because they were transmitted by oral troubadors for hundreds of years.

The whole point of the transmission of stgories that comprise the ethos of a culture is that they are ‘sacred’ in a sense and the ritual of repeating them exactly as handed down is an important part of the ‘power’ of the tale.

Anthropologists have found that many cultures still hand down the history of their culture through this method when written history is not available and they use mnemetics to keep the ‘sacred’ story unchanged.


17 posted on 10/03/2008 6:50:30 PM PDT by wildbill
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http://www.google.com/search?source=ig&hl=en&rlz=&q=blegen+linear+b

http://traumwerk.stanford.edu:3455/Archaeopaedia/123

http://www.uc.edu/news/bennett.htm


18 posted on 10/03/2008 6:53:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: wildbill

:’) That’s an old debate — anthropologists can’t show that tales passed down strictly orally with no resort to old written versions are preserved intact, unless there’s a sudden discovery of just such an old written version. I don’t think that’s ever happened as such.

The closest may be the unearthing of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that’s hardly the same thing, because the Bible has existed in various written forms for as long as 3000 years — there’s just nothing older than the DSS, and there are slight differences here and there, even though the copyists have kept multiple written versions alive (and in a great many languages beginning about 600 years ago).

In his 1980s docu, Michael Wood tracks down a couple of keepers of an oral tradition, one in Turkey, the other in Ireland, in order to make a case for centuries-long survivals of long epics by illiterate groups. I don’t think there’s anyone in the field who now thinks (or perhaps, ever thought) that the Iliad (at least!) was all one tale throughout the centuries, supposedly before it was written down. The oldest complete Iliad dates (it sez here) to the 10th century; the oldest surviving fragment (I think 1st c BC) can actually be seen (in photo) in Bettany Hughes’ docu, “Helen of Troy”. Couldn’t find a copy online.

http://www.bettanyhughes.co.uk/b_articles_sex_lies.htm

http://www.globalegyptianmuseum.org/detail.aspx?id=14630

http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/papyrus/records/4r.html

http://www.wired.com/gadgets/miscellaneous/news/2007/06/iliad_scan

http://chs.harvard.edu/chs/chs_home


19 posted on 10/03/2008 7:15:14 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______Profile hasn't been updated since Friday, May 30, 2008)
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To: SunkenCiv

“’The Odyssey’ and ‘The Iliad’ are giving up new secrets about the ancient world”

Water board?


20 posted on 10/03/2008 8:36:48 PM PDT by Grimmy (equivocation is but the first step along the road to capitulation)
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To: SunkenCiv
An American scholar named Milman Parry (1902-1935) developed the theory that the Homeric poems are oral poems--there was no fixed text and every performance would have been different. The poet was basically composing in front of a live audience, not writing words down--he had basic themes and plots and had a large store of formulas that he could use to put together lines that would fit the metrical requirements of a line of poetry.

Parry studied how living oral poets learned their techniques and made recordings of such poetry (in Yugoslavia) in order to understand better how Homer would have operated. The Homeric poems are much longer than could have been performed on one occasion but show the traits of oral poetry (like many repeated phrases). Homer would have inherited basic stories from earlier generations. Some genuine information was preserved but it's hard to know what really dates back to the 13th century BC and what was added by later poets--how many of the figures in the Iliad are real people and how many are made-up names, for example.

It's not entirely clear why and when the Iliad and Odyssey were written down--obviously not before the adoption of the alphabet. Later on rhapsodes memorized the fixed texts word for word--Plato's dialogue Ion features a rhapsode named Ion who knows Homer's poems by heart.

21 posted on 10/03/2008 9:00:25 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SunkenCiv

That “shortage of women” is part of what drives China and the Saracens. That “shortage of women” drives hyper masculine societies toward conquest of more introspective feminine societies.


22 posted on 10/04/2008 3:59:12 AM PDT by ThanhPhero (di hanh huong den La Vang)
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To: SunkenCiv

an anhropologist some years ago found that the oral traditions regarding the sea voyages of the polynesian people who left Tahiti for Hawaii were remarkably accurate as to the navigational info which had been transferred over generations by the keepers of the oral tradition using mnemetic remembrance codes.

We all remember the boy scout pledge amd the pledge of allegiance that we memorized.
those are merely micro oral traditions that virtually everyone can remember.

I don[t think it is unusual or impossible that culturally important, but lengthly, stories of a culture can be memorized by selected ‘shamans’ or singers to pass down the traditions of a people.


23 posted on 10/04/2008 12:11:34 PM PDT by wildbill
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To: SunkenCiv; Verginius Rufus
I think the best scenario is that Troy and the Greeks were carrying out raids against each other - Viking style raids to loot cattle and women.

I never understood the position Helen held in the story - a willing captive that would belong to whomever was strong enough to hold on to her until I realized this has to do with the ancient practice of wife-napping and counting coup?

The Greek counter raids failed until an earthquake leveled the city walls and allowed the Greeks to take the city?\

24 posted on 08/19/2009 5:58:17 AM PDT by Nikas777 (En touto nika, "In this, be victorious")
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To: Nikas777; SunkenCiv; Verginius Rufus
The point in the source claiming that at the time of the war Greece did not yet have city-states, but only tribes seems odd. I thought that the war was during the Mycenaean period, when city states obviously existed.

The Illiad, of course ends with the death and funeral of the Trojan hero Hector, who is my favorite hero in the story.

25 posted on 08/19/2009 6:56:12 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ("men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." -- Edmund Burke)
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To: Lucius Cornelius Sulla; SunkenCiv; Verginius Rufus

I think at this time Greece had settlements that were more akin to those found in Western Europe during the middle ages. You had the land lord’s fortress at the high point (an acropolis) and maybe a market square and temple complex and the rest of the people lived on small farms?


26 posted on 08/19/2009 7:02:15 AM PDT by Nikas777 (En touto nika, "In this, be victorious")
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To: Nikas777
That seems to line up with what I remember of Mycenaean civilization. Naturally there would have been considerable numbers of trading and commercial establishments.
27 posted on 08/19/2009 7:09:49 AM PDT by Lucius Cornelius Sulla ("men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." -- Edmund Burke)
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To: Nikas777; Lucius Cornelius Sulla

Thanks!


28 posted on 08/19/2009 4:33:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/__Since Jan 3, 2004__Profile updated Monday, January 12, 2009)
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To: Nikas777
The Homeric epics are probably a mishmash from various eras--a few authentic details from the Bronze Age, but more from the later so-called Dark Age closer to the time the version of the poems we have was created.

The recent tendency seems to be to go back to the notion that the Troy of the Trojan War was level VI (not VIIA). The people doing the most recent excavations at Troy (since 1988) seem to be of that persuasion.

29 posted on 08/22/2009 6:02:33 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus
It is funny how much we don't know about the most famous war in antiquity.

Either the war was extraordinary enough to be remembered or Homer was so talented a bard he made it worth remembering.

30 posted on 08/24/2009 6:43:05 AM PDT by Nikas777 (En touto nika, "In this, be victorious")
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