Osysseus' return pin-pointed
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"I'll be home by noon dear, in about 20 years"...
(and sorry for the misspelled title)
I noticed the shields of the suiters were round. Was it too early a time period for Spartan suiters? Maybe I shouldn't be asking questions when I know so little. Feel free to ignore.
sorry, can't ignore Homer! :)
yes, this was an earlier period, pre 'Dark Age'.
the timeframe of Homer's two great epics* is generally thought to be the 12th century BC, at the brink of the Dorian invasion and the collapse of the Mycenean culture.
*- there is an on-going debate as the whether Homer actually wrote both poems (or even either poem!), but that can of worms can go into another thread i think.
12th century BCE!! Somehow I had the idea that nobody would have had time to write book-length poetry in those days. Wwwaahhww!
not written down, but composed.
these stories were originally done in the bardic form, recited from memory at festivals, symposiums and other such gatherings. that is why there are so many repitious similes, such as "the rosey-fingered dawn", etc.
i don't know when they were first written down... probably somewhere around the fifth century or so would be my guess (Homer is thought to have lived about 400 years or so earlier). however the oldest extant copy is in Latin and from around the late Roman era.
> 5: Actually the Mesopotamian epic of Gilgamesh is probably as old as c. 2,100 BCE (making Homer a newbie).
Sparta was Helen of Troy's old home town, and it's king, Menelaos, was her legal spouse. After the Trojan War they got back together and lived happily ever after in Sparta. It seems possible there could have been Spartan suitors at Ithaca, though the impression in the Odyssey is that they were all or mostly local guys. But who knows what kind of shields they would have? And where did the engraver of that nineteenth-century picture get his input?
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