Archaeology and the Homeric Epic by Susan Sherratt, John Bennet

By Susan Sherratt, John Bennet

The connection among the Homeric epics and archaeology has lengthy suffered combined fortunes, swinging among 'fundamentalist' makes an attempt to take advantage of archaeology with a view to display the basic historicity of the epics and their historical past, and outright rejection of the concept archaeology is able to contributing something in any respect to our figuring out and appreciation of the epics. Archaeology and the Homeric Epic concentrates much less on historicity in favour of exploring a number of different, maybe occasionally extra indirect, ways that we will be able to use a multi-disciplinary technique – archaeology, philology, anthropology and social heritage – to aid supply insights into the epics, the contexts in their potentially lengthy construction, features in their 'prehistory', and what they could have stood for at a variety of instances of their lengthy oral and written heritage. the consequences of the Homeric epics at the background and well known reception of archaeology, specially within the specific context of recent Germany, can also be a subject matter that's explored the following. individuals discover quite a few concerns together with the relationships among visible and verbal imagery, the social contexts of epic (or sub-epic) construction or new version, the jobs of bards and their relationships to varieties of buyers and audiences, the development and makes use of of 'history' as traceable via either epic and archaeology and the connection among 'prehistoric' (oral) and 'historical' (recorded in writing) classes. all through, the emphasis is on context and its relevance to the production, transmission, new version and manipulation of epic within the current (or near-present) in addition to within the historic Greek previous.

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Munich: C. H. Beck. indb 31 11/30/2016 5:08:43 PM 32 Johannes Haubold Cobet, J. -J. Gehrke 2002 Warum um Troia immer wieder streiten? Geschichte in Wissenschaft und Unterricht 53: 290–325. Cobet, J. and B. ) 1992 Archäologie und historische Erinnerung: Nach 100 Jahren Heinrich Schliemann. Essen: Klartext. Cohen, G. M. and M. ) 1991–2005 Studia Troica 1–15. Mainz: Philipp von Zabern. Davies, M. ) 1991 Poetarum Melicorum Graecorum Fragmenta, vol. 1. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Easton, D. F. 2002 Schliemann´s Excavations at Troia 1870–1873.

Both Heinrich Schliemann and Manfred Korfmann were prolific writers as well as excavators, and for the purposes of the present argument I shall concentrate on their publications rather than their excavations (for Schliemann’s publications, see Cobet 1997, with further bibliography; for Korfmann’s, see the literature cited in Latacz et al. 2001; Korfmann 2002; 2004; 2006). In fact, I shall concentrate on Schliemann’s and Korfmann’s popular works rather than letters, diaries, notes or archaeological reports (for Schliemann’s excavation diaries, see Easton 2002; Korfmann’s excavation reports are available in Cohen and Korfmann 1991–2005).

It is certainly possible to identify some patterns of behaviour that are consistently depicted in the poems, but it seems risky in the extreme to assume that they give a reliable depiction of a historical society or period, while any historical element in the account of events is likely to have been so distorted as to be unrecognisable. So, I submit, they are neither historically nor socially ‘true’. Acknowledgements I would like to thank Sue Sherratt and John Bennet for inviting me to speak at the Round Table, and John especially for his help with preparing PowerPoint illustrations for me to use.

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