This accessible book contains a thorough review of recent research discoveries of scientific and technological knowledge contained in the Iliad and the Odyssey. The book has been well received in the original Greek version and is now available in English.
This book has been well received in the original Greek version and is now available in English. It is a thorough review of recent research discoveries of scientific and technological knowledge contained in the Iliad and the Odyssey, suggesting elements of a very advanced, almost modern, civilization, in the Mycenaean era.
Recommended for a wide audience.The astonishing accounts of almost modern technological achievements found in the Homeric Epics constitute one of the so-called Homeric Issues. The question is whether such achievements existed in reality or whether they were just poetic conceptions. Both views have their followers and adversaries.
For example, robots, either in human form, as the golden girls serving Hephaestus, or in animal form, as the gold and silver mastiffs of King Alcinous, or even the intelligent, self-propelled ships of the Phaeacins, could hardly have existed in an era for which no evidence or even hints of prime movers exist. Even so, such references prove that the Mycenaean people were well aware of the importance of such devices, and this certainly acts as a catalyst for technological progress.
On the othe hand, besides the unparallelled building ability of the Mycenaeans, as is the case with the Cyclopean Walls, technology specialists may locate examples of structures so advanced, that they can be considered modern with regard to materials, design and manufacture. Still, these can be well within the possibilities of the era. In fact, one can reasonably state, that, if the Mycenaean Civilisation had not collapsed, the world history of technology would be totally different.
From the contents of the present book, a general conclusion can be drawn. The Homeric Epics include scientific and technological knowledge so vast and so diverse that it must be studied by specialists from as many disciplines as possible and also that this search must continue along with progressing science in our time, which will allow for increasingly deeper understanding of the great achievements of Greek Prehistory.Inhalt
Provisional Table of Contents, April 2008: Preface; PART I: INTRODUCTION 1. HOMER AND HOMERIC EPICS 2. TROY AND THE MYTHOLOGICAL CAUSES OF THE WAR 3. ACHILLES AND THE "MENIS" 4. THE WAR AND THE FALL OF TROY 5. THE ODYSSEY OF HOMECOMING 6. TROJAN WAR AND CULTURAL TRADITION 7. KNOWLEDGE IN THE HOMERIC EPICS 8. SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY PART II: PRINCIPLES OF NATURAL SCIENCE 9. CURVILINEAR MOTION 10. CREEP IN WOOD 11. HYDRODYNAMICS OF VORTICES AND THE GRAVITY SLING PART III: AUTOMATION AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE 12. HEPHAESTUS' FORGE 12.1 The bellows 12.2 The self-propelled tripods 12.3 The traps 13. THE ROBOTS OF HEPHAESTUS 14. THE PHAEACIAN SHIPS AND THE UAV9s PART IV: DEFENSIVE WEAPONS IN THE EPICS 15. STRUCTURAL MATERIALS IN HOMER AND IN MODERN TIMES 16. THE SHIELD OF ACHILLES 17. THE SHIELD OF AJAX 18. OTHER DEFENSIVE WEAPONRY 18.1 The helmet of Ulysses 18.2 The shield of Hercules according to Hesiode 18.3 The Roman shield according to Polybius PART V: FURTHER ISSUES 19. THE TROJAN HORSE 20. MYCENAEAN BUILDiNG 21. THE ADMIRABLE HOMERIC METER EPILEGOMENON AND CONCLUSIONS APPENDIX: THE FORGE (a literary and symbolic approach)