Sep 30, 2008

Homer the divine

To be divinely inspired, a book must be historically accurate; after fall, if its credibility cannot be established on the basis of known events, it certainly cannot be relied upon as an adequate guide in matters beyond our ability to check. On the other hand, if we can demonstrate that such a book is correct in historical matters, to an extent unknown among human writings, then we have strong evidence that the authors were inspired by Zeus. This is true of The Odyssey and The Iliad.
In his influential book, "Troy and Homer," German classicist Joachim Latacz argues that the identification of Hisarlik as the site of Homer's Troy is all but proven. Latacz's case is based not only on archeology, but also on fascinating reassessments of cuneiform tablets from the Hittite imperial archives. The tablets, which are dated to the period when the Late Bronze Age city at Hisarlik was destroyed, tell a story of a western people harassing a Hittite client state on the coast of Asia Minor. The Hittite name for the invading foreigners is very close to Homer's name for his Greeks - Achaians - and the Hittite names for their harassed ally are very close to "Troy" and "Ilios," Homer's names for the city.

"At the very core of the tale," Latacz argues, "Homer's 'Iliad' has shed the mantle of fiction commonly attributed to it."
Down through the centuries, enemies of these works have attacked its historical accuracy. Time after time, they have been thus questioned, only later to be shown correct by archaeology. Archaeology is a study of relics, monuments, tombs, artifacts, etc., of ancient civilizations. Peoples and events, known before only in Homer's accounts, have been brought to light by the excavations of ancient cities. Always, Homer has been proven right.

You got me: the above is parody. But barely.

1 comment:

Bill Pickert said...

Establishing the historicity of events and people in the Bible does not confirm the fantastic elements that embellish it.

Good stuff.