Who, What, Where:These epic stories are about the Mycenaean or Bronze Era, prehistoric Greeks, that flourimelted from about 1600-1100 BC. This is roughly around the moment Moses led the Israelites from Egypt with the time David ruled a unified Jewish nation; by a lot of accounts, Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and Troy fell somewright here approximately 1300-1200 BCE. (See our timeline)

These "Greeks" are relative late-comers to the location we now speak to "Greece" and also most likely originated to the East of Black Sea, around the location now called the Caucasus (between the Babsence and also Caspian seas, where Russia, Turkey and also N. Iran meet). The story of Prometheus -- shackled to mount Caucus -- reflects solid relations in between their original society and that of the Sumerians and so on. These human being also more than likely attacked India, to the East/South at approximately the exact same time (comment on Pramantha/Prometheus mythology). So these Mycenaean human being were both affected by and affected other excellent human beings even before tbelow was written background (or, for that issue, writing). SEE MAPS BELOW

Before the Mycenaeans arrived in the area, previously "Greek" societies venerated primitive fertility goddesses probably pertained to Ishtar, Aphrodite, even Athena and also Hera, and show up to have lived a rather peaceable, farming way of living (we assume this bereason archeological digs display these pre-Mycenaean people lived without military weapons or fortifications...until they were attacked by the Mycanaeans).

In contrast to "the locals", the Greek legends we read celebrate war; this is the literary works of armed forces conquerors, so the Mycenaean civilization had as much in prevalent through, say, the later on Vimonarchs as through the later on thoughtful, "civilized" Greeks: this is a society of raiders, of looters and also pillagers. From this perspective, The Iliadis a occupational of army propaganda that justifies Mycenaen manage of the many handy sea passage of age (the Bosporus), and also The Odyssey justifies colonizing Italy and also Sicily to the West.

So, like the Hebrew scriptures -- or our own "Westerns" (cowboys/us vs. Indians/them) -- these Greek legends justify the invasion and dominance of earlier "native" citizens.

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These Ancient (and also also Classical) Greeks are ideal viewed as a culture rather than as a merged world or "nation". When we soptimal of "the Ancient Greeks" it's the very same means we view “Western Culture” as referring to Europe, Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia. Achilles is a king in his own right, as is Odysseus, Menaleaus, Agamemnon etc., and Achilles goes to great lengths to suggest out that Agamemnon is not his king; Agamemnon is simply the commander of a federation of independent city claims. This distinction is essential to expertise the Iliad: Achilles righttotally sees himself as Agamemnon's equal.

Troy is believed to have fallen around 1184 BC and also The Iliad and Odyssey were not written down until c.800-700 BC, so although they are based upon vaguely actual historical occasions and also actual historical characters, they are occasions that transpired hundreds of years before the writer also lived; they are background that has morphed right into mythology. We still say they were created by the blind poet Homer, yet that’s as much myth as the stories themselves; there’s really no factor to think that a guy called Homer ever created any of these stories, or that he was blind. We can assume that this is a compilation of miscellaneous dental tales and also that a lot of the narration explains what Greek life and also warfare was like in 750 BCE, not 1184 BCE.

Internecene Iliad, Othering Odyssey:The Iliad: The Iliad tells the last chapter in the story of two major Bronze Period “Greek” alliances battling each various other. It ends as soon as the Achaeans (world largely from what we now contact Greece) sack Troy/Ilium (situated in contemporary day Turkey). It's a long, meandering epic, however it primarily revolves about the "godprefer Achilles'" struggle to face his hubris and end up being humanized.

Both in scope and type, think about the Trojan battle as comparable to that in between various European factions in WWI and WWII, or between the North and South in the American Civil War: this was a seminal, history-shaping event, and an intra-cultural war: a battle combated among world of the very same standard culture; although the 2 sides are defended by different gods, all the gods belengthy to the very same fundamental pantheon or family of what we now speak to "Greek gods".

The Odyssey, in comparison, mainly takes place external of that prevalent culture and also defines call through pre-Mycenaean Mediterranean cultures. The story focuses on Odysseus and also his family's struggle to recoup from the Trojan war's after results and also, primarily, with Odysseus struggle to make it back house. So The Iliad describes the clash between two equally brilliant and beautiful groups of “Greeks”, and The Odyssey describes contact via the “Other”, represented as monsters and also witches.

Profound Impact:

We’re interested in part in how acquainted and also "normal" these stories feel, exactly how unexotic they are, because they are the foundation for how Western culture thinks of storytelling, and also how this storytelling consequently shaped our conception of what it indicates to be a humale being. While the Jews offered Western society its spiritual structure, the Greeks offered us our society, the components of our stays we don't also alert bereason it is the exceptionally air we breath – our feeling of heroism, of the individual, of the people partnership to others, or our incredibly indicates of expressing our emovements and also the means we tell stories. Jewish stories opened up our method of conceptualizing God, yet the Greeks gave us our method of thinking about ourselves as human beings. The word for this is "humanism" or Greek Humanism.

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National Geographic Maps

Map including West Asia and also Black Sea:


General map of region:


An outline of his travels is locatedhere. NOTE yet, that scholars really don't understand Odysseus' actual course, if tbelow ever was an "actual" Odysseus and so on, so take these maps through a grain of salt.