February 10, 2003
Trojan Discoveries

BBCnews is reporting that Homer was a lot more accurate than previously thought. No, not that Homer, the Homer who wrote the Iliad and the Odyssey. While the Argive plain today does not at all resemble what's described in the epics, new geologic research has discovered this is due mainly to silt deposits over the intervening 3000 (!) or so years. According to this new research, the plain as it existed during the Bronze age is quite accurately represented by Homer.

The Greeks, and pretty much the Greeks alone, were quite well-known for this. Five centuries later Herodotus would write a much more conscientiously "accurate" history, which for centuries was treated as not much more than an old man telling stories. Yet every time modern scholars have been able to check him, Herodotus is quite accurate. That is, when he himself considers the information accurate. In some places he was working from what people told him, and states very plainly when he thinks his sources are full of horse-hockey.

Posted by scott at February 10, 2003 09:19 AM

eMail this entry!

You know this makes sense.

It reminds me how most people think that oral history is not a valid primary source. But it can be when looked at carefully and picked apart. Oral history can be a very strong tool for historians. Too bad they ignore it so often.

Posted by: Carrie on February 10, 2003 03:13 PM
Post a comment

Email Address:



Remember info?