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νόστος (nostos, homecoming) is a major theme

Odysseus is

πολύτροπον polytropon

poly         many
tropos      turns

πολύτλας polutas

much suffering, much enduring.

Odysseus & the Sirens.  He wants knowledge & experience. 

Dante puts him in a hot spot in hell b/c he bucks the Chain of Being.

The best series on the Iliad, the Odyssey and the Trojan War is the series In Search of the Trojan War.  It is available on YouTube.  It'd be great to watch them all, but I'd like you to at least watch episodes 3 & 6.

Michael Wood.  In Search of the Trojan War.  1985.   BBC & PBS series

Here is a link to the YouTube page for the entire series.

Episode 3.


Episode 6.


Was a real Troy.  Fell in war 1200 BC.  Dark ages fell over Asia Minor and Greece.

War broke out all over Mycenaean Greece.  Fragile unity broke apart.  Population growing.

Thebes fell.  Seven Against Thebes recalls the war.  Palace destroyed; it's site was not built on for 1000 years. 

Orchomenos another lost city.

Pylos fell.  Was never rebuilt.

1100 BC Dorian (Greek speaking peasants) came in.

Writing ceased.  Only oral traditions survived.  Remembered a god-like race of heroes.

All the eastern Mediterranean had a dark ages.  Hittites having problems.  Built 60 foot

Enemy ships were showing up and attacking.

Hittite Empire fell completely to the sea raiders. 

Who were the sea raiders?

Scene shift to Egypt

Give accounts of the 1200 BC disasters.  1210-1180 BC talk about the invading hordes of sea-people. 

Egypt repelled the sea peoples.  Still don't know who they were.  May have been outsiders, but may have been Myceneans.  The Greek social structure broke down.  Would be natural for a fighting aristocracy to become pirates.  No real evidence for this.

Myceneans did migrate around Mediterannean.  Odyssey talks about raiding Egypt.  Egyptians repelled them, took some captive as slaves. 

Sea peoples a symptom, not the cause, for the dark ages.

May not be one simple cause.  More like our economic disasters. 

Early state societies were unstable.  Population grew too much.  Over-specialized.  Systems collapse followed.  Like the Depression. 

1250 BC  Greek & Hittite empires fell.

Troy fell and was rebuilt a lot.

Homer's war was against either Troy VI or Troy VIIa.

Some think destruction of Troy VI was an earthquate.  Could be the war.  It was a prosperous period with wide streets, as in the Iliad.  Troy VIIa was an unimpressive city--it would have been pirates raiding a small, poor version of Troy.

Wood thinks it was Troy VI that fell after a heyday of 500 years.

Homer tells of a city of wide streets, a royal citadel, and fine horses.

Troy VIIa was a pitiful city. Shanty town that was raided 80 years later.

Wood thought the war was a myth when he started his story; now believes in the war. Maybe there was a real Agamemnon. Wooden horse? Could that be real? Helen of Troy herself? Could she be real? Love leaves no trace in the archaelogical record.

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