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For my fellow classics and ancient-history nerds out there: Scientists have determined when Odysseus returned home to slaughter his wife's suitors.
This Tunisian mosaic from the Bridgeman Art Library shows Odysseus and the Sirens.
Click the image to see the story.

The exact date of Odysseus' revenge turns out to have been April 16, 1178 BCE. Cool.

Chris

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
skaldic
Jun. 24th, 2008 05:05 pm (UTC)
Cool. Fascinating bit of detective work, assuming that their clues are accurate, which is seriously questionable... I'd be curious as to whether or not there is a date for which the clues fit during the presumed lifetime of Homer. (I'm actually more impressed with their finding the clues than with their conclusions based on them.)

My favorite bit of screwed-up clues from Homer comes not from the Odyssey, but the Iliad, actually. At one point, the poem makes a point of talking about the Achaeans carrying their small, round shields. And then shortly thereafter, when they charge, one of them trips over the point of his shield -- only possible when you realize that the shields used circa 1200 BCE were much, much larger -- and suitable for tripping over.

I personally think that Schliemann opened a Pandora's box -- just because the existence of Troy proved to be accurate, doesn't mean the rest of it is so...
mckitterick
Jun. 24th, 2008 05:57 pm (UTC)
I hear ya - now we hope to pin down every other detail. Which is, shall we say, unlikely. I mean, I don't know about you, but how exactly could we verify that Athena fought on the Trojan Plain?
skaldic
Jun. 24th, 2008 06:01 pm (UTC)
Well, if one had a girlfriend named Athena, and one were, shall we say, well-protected...
steve98052
Jun. 25th, 2008 11:33 am (UTC)
The clues don't fit into the presumed life of Homer. Solar eclipses happen on average more than once a year – somewhere in the world. Solar eclipses in any given location are extremely rare, so finding one that matches even a couple of the clues match.
roseconnelly
Jun. 24th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Wow! Nothing really *is* certain except death and taxes. I mean, taxes and then death.



mckitterick
Jun. 24th, 2008 05:54 pm (UTC)
Or, in the words of Fox Nooz, "Death Taxes."
scarlettina
Jun. 24th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
The people were late on their taxes. He was cranky. That explains it!
amnesiacat
Jun. 24th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
That is so cool.
margaretq
Jun. 25th, 2008 05:31 am (UTC)
I can only get the first half of the page to load (despite repeated attempts)... I feel so unfulfilled...


Tease.
mckitterick
Jun. 25th, 2008 12:25 pm (UTC)
Odd....
(Deleted comment)
mckitterick
Jun. 25th, 2008 06:00 pm (UTC)
My feelings exactly. Especially the "still awesome."
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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