Skip to comments.Palace Of Homer's Hero Rises Out Of Myths
Posted on 03/28/2006 10:59:23 AM PST by blam
Palace of Homer's hero rises out of the myths
From John Carr in Athens
ARCHAEOLOGISTS claim to have unearthed the remains of the 3,500-year-old palace of Ajax, the warrior-king who according to Homers Iliad was one of the most revered fighters in the Trojan War.
Classicists hailed the discovery, made on a small Greek island, as evidence that the myths recounted by Homer in his epic poem were based on historical fact.
The ruins include a large palace, measuring about 750sq m (8,000sq ft), and believed to have been at least four storeys high with more than thirty rooms.
Yannos Lolos, the Greek archaeologist who made the discovery, said he was certain that he had come across the home of the Aiacid dynasty, a legendary line of kings mentioned in the Iliad and the Classical Greek tragedies. One of the kings, Ajax (or Aias), was described by Homer as a formidable fighter who, at one point in the Trojan campaign, held off the Trojans almost singlehandedly while his fellow Greek Achilles sulked in his tent because his slave-girl had been taken away from him.
The city of Troy is believed to have fallen about 1180BC at about the same time, according to Mr Lolos, that the palace he has discovered was abandoned and left to crumble. Ajax, therefore, would have been the last king to have lived there before setting off on the ten-year Trojan expedition.
This is one of the few cases in which a Mycenaean-era palace can be almost certainly attributed to a Homeric hero, Mr Lolos said.
Fellow archaeologists said that they believed that the ruins were indeed those of a Mycenaean palace. Curtis Runnels, Professor of Archaeology at Boston University, said: Mr Lolos has really delivered the goods.
The Mycenaean ruins appear to be at the site where Homer records a fleet of ships setting out to take part in the war on Troy. The Iliad is believed to portray conditions at the close of the dominance of Mycenae, the prime Greek power of the second millennium BC.
The ruins have been excavated over the past five years at a site near the village of Kanakia on the island of Salamis, a few miles off the coast of Athens.
The palace was built in the style of those of the period, including the vast acropolis at Mycenae.
The complex was found beneath a virgin tract of pine woods on two heights by the coast, Mr Lolos said. All the finds so far corroborate what we see in the Homeric epics.
Homer compares Ajax to a wall and describes him carrying a shield made of seven layers of thick oxhide. Unlike other heroes, he fights without the aid of deities or the supernatural. According to Sophocles, who wrote 800 years after the Trojan War, Ajax committed suicide after the fall of Troy without seeing his homeland again.
Several relics of oriental and Cypriot origin were found at the site at Kanakia, such as bronze armour strips stamped with the emblem of Pharaoh Rameses II of Egypt, indicating trade or possible war in the 13th century BC.
Salamis became famous as the site of a sea battle in 480BC in which the Greek navies destroyed the invasion fleet of the Persian king Xerxes and put paid to the Persian threat.
The other main site where archaeologists claim to have discovered relics of places recounted in the Iliad is at the castle of Pylos in southeastern Greece, believed to be the home of King Nestor.
FACT OR FICTION?
King and warrior who appears in Homers Iliad, the story of the Trojan War, and in Sophocles tragedy Ajax
In the Iliad, he is so big that when King Priam of Troy sees him, he says: Who is that great and goodly warrior whose head and broad shoulders tower above the rest?
In Sophocles play, Ajax goes mad after losing the prize of Achilles armour and eventually kills himself
Don't let Oliver Stone get a hold of the play, next thing we'll know is that he was gay and then eventually married his horse.
Very, very cool.
Thank you! This is a terrific find, can't wait to see some pictures. :-)
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Don't let Oliver Stone get a hold of the play
LOL. We won't be hearing too much from him hopefully after the critical debacle and financial hit he took on his latest travesty regarding another Greek cultural icon...Alexander.
The Ajax from Salamis is Telamonian Ajax (Aias), meaning the son of Telamon. There was another Ajax in the Trojan War, from Locris, known as the Lesser Ajax, who was not a nice guy.
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Source: New York Times
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Posted by a_Turk
On News/Activism 12/25/2001 1:12:01 AM EST · 8 replies · 218+ views
NYT | 12/25/2001 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Refinements of radiocarbon dates appear to rob the monumental tomb at Gordion of its claim to having been the final resting place of the illustrious King Midas, researchers reported last week in the journal Science. American and European scientists analyzed the effects of the sun's cycles on amounts of radioactivity absorbed from year to year, as recorded in tree rings. They said the research had given archaeologists and historians a more precise chronology for the Middle East and Aegean regions in the Bronze and Iron Ages. One of the researchers, Dr. Peter I. Kuniholm, an archaeologist at Cornell University, said ...
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Posted by vannrox
On News/Activism 09/04/2002 7:48:54 PM EDT · 88 replies · 6,086+ views
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Posted by LostTribe
On News/Activism 10/22/2002 1:13:37 AM EDT · 17 replies · 246+ views
New York Times | October 22, 2002 | John Noble Wilford
Was Troy a Metropolis? Homer Isn't Talking By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD new Trojan War has broken out. In the warrior roles of Achilles and Hector are two respected professors on the same German university faculty who could not differ more fully and vehemently over what to make of the ruins at the presumed site in western Turkey of the legendary siege in the 13th century B.C. immortalized by Homer. One adversary, an archaeologist who has directed excavations there since 1988, contends that he has found telling evidence of Troy as a much larger and more important city than previously thought....
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Posted by TigerLikesRooster
On News/Activism 02/08/2003 12:52:05 AM EST · 52 replies · 607+ views
BBC NEWS | 02/07/03 | N/A
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Posted by blam
On News/Activism 09/16/2003 8:33:47 PM EDT · 44 replies · 271+ views
Seattle Times | 9-16-2003 | Dan Vergano
Scientists say warfare began after people formed villages By Dan Vergano Gannett News Service From ancient Troy to today's Iraq, warfare forms the backdrop of human history. But anthropologists, archaeologists and other scholars tend to disagree on war's origins: Some see it as an ailment of civilization and others say it has deeper roots. Two anthropologists from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, suggest that although people could have come into conflict before civilization, archaeological remains of burning homes, fleeing refugees and slain captives show simple raids steadily maturing into full-scale warfare as humans settled into villages and society became...
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Posted by JFC
On General/Chat 05/25/2004 10:00:32 AM EDT · 41 replies · 1,123+ views
Vanity | JFC
I went to see the movie Troy, reluctantly, last night with my husband. We both turned to each other at the end and said... the left who said the Passion was bloody and so harsh for all eyes, just have no leg to stand on. I do think Brad Pitt is trying and will be taking the place of Mel Gibson in these type of roles, since Hollywood has left Mel out to dry. I would not recommend seeing it. Unless your into blood, and lots of naked bodies.
Was There a Trojan War?
Posted by SunkenCiv
On General/Chat 07/30/2004 2:43:38 AM EDT · 26 replies · 2,263+ views
Archaeology | May/June 2004 | Manfred Korfmann
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On General/Chat 08/28/2004 7:07:50 PM EDT · 5 replies · 409+ views
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Posted by SunkenCiv
On General/Chat 08/12/2005 11:50:43 AM EDT · 14 replies · 327+ views
Humanities, Volume 26/Number 3 | May/June 2005 | Victor Wishna
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Posted by blam
On News/Activism 03/25/2004 3:03:11 PM EST · 15 replies · 556+ views
The Telegraph (UK) | 3-24-2004
The truth about an epic tale of love, war and greed (Filed: 24/03/2004) The legend of Troy has an enduring grip on the imagination. Aidan Laverty talks to the scientists who say they have proved that a siege really took place It's one of the greatest stories ever; the tale of a war fought over the love of Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world. Now as Hollywood breathes fresh life into the myth, archaeologists have uncovered new evidence from the site of Troy that brings us closer than ever to the truth behind this ancient legend. City scan:...
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Posted by sarcasm
On News/Activism 05/09/2004 3:12:11 PM EDT · 131 replies · 775+ views
Reuters | May 9, 2004
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Posted by Willie Green
On News/Activism 05/12/2004 2:31:20 PM EDT · 45 replies · 174+ views
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Posted by jonboy
On News/Activism 05/12/2004 6:25:56 PM EDT · 54 replies · 117+ views
Tiscali Entertainment | 5/12/04 | unknown
The invasion of Iraq occurred just as shooting for the film got underway in Malta. "I couldn't believe it," 60-year-old Petersen told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. "I thought, it's as if nothing has changed in 3 000 years. People are still using deceit to engage in wars of vengeance." While stressing that he "did not make this film with the intention of making an anti-American statement", Petersen said the parallels between the Trojan war and the Iraq war became more apparent daily during the filming. "Just as King Agamemnon waged what was essentially a war of conquest on the ruse of...
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Posted by JLAGRAYFOX
On News/Activism 05/14/2004 8:55:00 AM EDT · 222 replies · 799+ views
May 14, 2004 | John Arcari (JLAGray Fox)
Please boycott the movie "Troy: that releases today. Brad Pitt, a rabid Bush hater and support of "Traitor" Democrat John Kerry needs to take a beating in this movie. If the movie does not do well at the box office Pitt is toast as an actor!
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Posted by dead
On News/Activism 05/14/2004 1:33:59 PM EDT · 113 replies · 111+ views
NY Post | May 14, 2004 | Jonathan Foreman
<p>Clunky epic. Running time: 163 minutes. Rated R (violence, brief gore). At the Empire, the Lincoln Square, the Kips Bay, others.</p> <p>IT'S perhaps unfair to expect contemporary Hollywood moviemakers to do justice to Homer's "Iliad" or the legends of the Trojan War that have inspired artists and writers through the centuries.</p>
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Posted by SpyGuy
On News/Activism 05/18/2004 9:12:09 PM EDT · 29 replies · 110+ views
SpyGuy | 18 May 04 | SpyGuy
Does Hollywood use schools and teachers to pimp movies to young children? I suspect that they do. We already know that companies provide schools with products and supplies in exchange for in-class advertising and promotion. The following is a true story. (Although, in writing this, I have undoubtedly improved upon the grammar of the responses I received from the children.) Yesterday, I was talking to a friend's third-grade daughter about her school curriculum. I asked her what she was studying this week. "The Greeks," she said. I asked further, "Why are you studying the Greeks and what are you learning...
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Posted by blam
On News/Activism 07/18/2004 4:17:56 PM EDT · 50 replies · 1,569+ views
The Australian | 7-18-2004
50 ancient tombs uncovered From correspondents in Athens July 18, 2004 ARCHEOLOGISTS have discovered 50 tombs dating back to the late Minoan period, around 1400 BC, and containing a number of artifacts on the Greek island of Crete, ANA news agency reported today. The tombs were part of the once powerful ancient city of Kydonia, which was destroyed at the time but later rebuilt. The oldest among them contained bronze weapons, jewellery and vases and are similar to the tombs of fallen soldiers of the Mycenaean type from mainland Greece, said the head of the excavations, Maria Vlazaki. The more...
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Posted by Red Badger
On News/Activism 08/06/2004 3:41:50 PM EDT · 80 replies · 2,303+ views
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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Atlantis, the legendary island nation over whose existence controversy has raged for thousands of years, was actually Ireland, according to a new theory by a Swedish scientist. Atlantis, the Greek philosopher Plato wrote in 360 BC, was an island in the Atlantic Ocean where an advanced civilization developed some 11,500 years ago until it was hit by a cataclysmic natural disaster and sank beneath the waves. Geographer Ulf Erlingsson, whose book explaining his theory will be published next month, says the measurements, geography, and landscape of Atlantis as described by Plato match Ireland almost exactly. "I am...
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Posted by CHARLITE
On News/Activism 12/05/2004 12:22:19 AM EST · 54 replies · 1,733+ views
JEWISH WORLD REVIEW | DECEMBER 4, 2004 | JAMES LILEKS
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Posted by OESY
On News/Activism 12/21/2004 1:21:35 PM EST · 48 replies · 1,191+ views
New York Times | December 20, 2004 | SHARON WAXMAN
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 19 - Are movies growing bigger as theater audiences are becoming smaller? That's one conclusion to draw from the box-office results of 2004, as Hollywood pursued its penchant for big-budget event films - from Warner Brothers' "Troy" to 20th Century Fox's "I, Robot," to Sony Pictures' "Spider-Man 2" - but the number of moviegoers in the United States dropped for the second year in a row. With nearly two weeks to go before the end of 2004, domestic box-office receipts appeared likely to top last year's total of $9.27 billion, nearing $9.4 billion, according to Exhibitor Relations,...
Russian Culture Official Suggests Legendary Gold Collection From Troy Unlikely be Returned Germany
Posted by LibWhacker
On News/Activism 02/27/2005 5:03:19 AM EST · 17 replies · 717+ views
AP | 2/27/05
MOSCOW (AP) - A legendary collection of gold objects from ancient Troy seized by Soviet troops in Berlin in 1945 should become Russian government property, a top Russian cultural official said in remarks published Saturday. But Anatoly Vilkov, deputy chief of the Russian agency that preserves the nation's cultural legacy, stopped short of ruling out the objects' return, as quoted by the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets. The gold collection - excavated by amateur German archaeologist Hermann Schliemann - will be made federal property after it is inventoried, he said. It could be exhibited in Germany but only if its return is...
Kernave: Lithuanias Troy to celebrate UNESCO heritage site listing
Posted by nickcarraway
On News/Activism 03/26/2005 8:12:17 PM EST · 6 replies · 353+ views
Baltic Times | 23.03.2005 | Darius James Ross
VILNIUS - Few countries are so fortunate as to have an archaeological treasure trove preserving 10 millennia of human settlement. A discovery so impressive that it bears comparison to the Greek city of Troy, which had been consigned to myth until late nineteenth-century archaeologists dug up a hill in Turkey proving its existence, and showing that a stack of eight cities had been built on top. In the 1970s, Lithuanian archaeologists began following up rumours of a magnificent ancient city, stumbling across a site about 35 km from Vilnius unscathed by war and industrial development, which many now call Lithuanias...
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Posted by blam
On News/Activism 08/17/2005 7:37:50 PM EDT · 26 replies · 711+ views
Canadian Press | 8-17-2005
Bulgarian archeologists uncover treasure of thousands of golden ornaments Canadian Press Wednesday, August 17, 2005 SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Archeologists working a dig in central Bulgaria have unearthed some 15,000 miniature rings and other gold ornaments that date to the end of the third millennium BC - a find they say matches the famous treasure of Troy, scholars announced Wednesday. The 4,100- to 4,200-year-old golden ornaments have been gradually unearthed over the past year from an ancient tomb near the central village of Dabene, 120 kilometres east of the capital, Sofia, according to Prof. Vasil Nikolov, the consultant on the...
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Posted by wagglebee
On News/Activism 09/23/2005 10:37:53 PM EDT · 117 replies · 3,425+ views
The Madera Tribune | 8/27/05 | Thomas Elias
POROS, Island of Kefalonia, Greece - The tomb of Odysseus has been found, and the location of his legendary capital city of Ithaca discovered here on this large island across a one-mile channel from the bone-dry islet that modern maps call Ithaca. This could be the most important archeological discovery of the last 40 years, a find that may eventually equal the German archeologist Heinrich Schliemanns 19th Century dig at Troy. But the quirky people and politics involved in this achievement have delayed by several years the process of reporting the find to the world. Yet visitors to Kefalonia, an...
Helen Of Troy Existed?
Posted by blam
On News/Activism 10/18/2005 2:08:43 PM EDT · 108 replies · 2,265+ views
The Discovery Channel | 10-18-2005 | Jennifer Viegas
Helen of Troy Existed? By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery NewsWas a Queen of Sparta Helen of Troy? Oct. 17, 2005 Helen of Troy, described in the epic poem The Iliad, was based on a real woman, according to a new book that weaves history, archaeology and myth to recreate the famous ancient Greek beauty's life. According to the new theory proposed by Bettany Hughes, Helen's mythological character was inspired by a wealthy Bronze Age leader from the southern mainland of Greece. Hughes, a former Oxford University scholar who has conducted research in the Balkans, Greece, and Asia Minor, was unavailable for...
There is no doubt in my mind that the Homeric epics are based on fact. Thanks for this post--great stuff.
I'd take that bet. The rich are richer today anyway you slice it. I don't know how much carved stone Gate's $50 billion would get him but the Queen of England has a pretty big stone house. Don't know the specs but Buckingham Palace is a whole lot bigger than 8000 sq ft.
Sounds kind of Homerphobic to me
I enjoy comparing modern life to the times of old too. The greatest wealth could not buy the most basic of conditions that we now take for granted. Fresh fruit and vegetables from all over the world, year around. Lights, heat and air conditioning. Finely woven sheets, better than owned by kings are available at the local discount store. Transportation that would turn any royalty green with envy. Who of us could take the deprivation of living like a king in the days of the Iliad?