Comp Lit 04.16.09 - Comp Lit 1 The Historicity of the...

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Comp Lit 04/16/09 1. The Historicity of the Homeric Epics a. 4 models about what Homer’s poems refer to: i. Bronze Age --oral tradition allowed for transmission through generations and centuries 1. Prevalent until 1960s 2. Heinrich Schliemann a. Started with discovery of Bronze Age sights b. Used the Iliad as way of discovering Bronze Age archaeological sites in Troy and Mycenae. 3. Pros: a. Location (Hisarlik) and features match pretty well what we find in the Iliad. i. Was there indeed a war? ii. We do have rivers, islands (Lesbos) that are all named in Iliad iii. Archaeology: demonstrates that this was very powerful city in 2 nd millennium (great walls). iv. Archaeological evidence stratified in nine layers. One of them (Troy 6) was destroyed sometime around 1250 BCE. v. Did Troy 6 disappear because of invasion by Achaeans? Control of Hellespont and Black Sea could have been for possible motivation for Pan-Hellenic expedition against Troy. vi. Evidence from Hittite tablets of name similar to that in Iliad (don’t need to know exactly) 1. Ahhiyawa 2. Taruisas 3. Wilusa vii. Others believe pirates are to blame for raids against Troy. b. Society i. To what extent is the society described a Bronze Age society? ii. Coincidence between official nomenclature in linear B tablets and names in Iliad. iii. Bronze Age Helmets found (also represented on Mycenean vases); exactly described on Odysseus in Iliad.
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