Up until the late 19th century, humanity had presumed that the fantastical stories conveyed in the ancient works of Homer were little more than fiction. However, certain archaeologists choose to see in Homer’s work the metaphorical hand of truth, and following the author’s descriptions of lands contained in the Illiad, tracked down the exact locations where the re-discovery of the ruins of Troy would be found in 1871 by Heinrich Schliemann and Frank Calvert.
This discovery sent shockwaves through the world as our understanding of Ancient Greek culture which itself was tied deeply into Egypt and even Asia, was revolutionized. Homer was not merely a mythmaker alone, but was in fact embedding the causes (both geopolitical, cultural and moral) of Greece’s mysterious fall into a long dark age between 1100 BCE to 750 BCE within his epic poems.
In this Rising Tide Foundation lecture which I had the great pleasure of moderating, RTF advisor Gerald Therrien introduces Homer’s Odyssey from this methodological vantage point. Like those great scholars who saw in the Illiad the code to cracking gordian knots of universal history, Gerald approaches the tale of Homer’s second work that tells the tale of Odysseus’ harrowing 10 year voyage home. The moral lessons and insights into human nature contained in this immortal work present us with the means to avoid the self-induced tragedies that wrecked havock on the ancient Greeks, and provide the keys to revive new renaissances into future ages.
To access the full list of lectures within this symposium (entitled “Storytelling, Myth making and Universal History), click here.
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