Delving into a 3,000-year-old mystery using astronomical clues in Homer's "The Odyssey," researchers said Monday they have dated one of the most heralded events of Western literature: Odysseus' slaughter of his wife's suitors upon his return from the Trojan War.I hate Ancient Greece, but this is quite cool.
According to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the wily hero who devised the Trojan Horse hefted his mighty bow on April 16, 1178 BC, and executed the unruly crowd who had taken over his home and was trying to force his wife into marriage.
The finding leaves many perennial questions unanswered, such as whether the events portrayed actually occurred or whether the blind poet Homer was the author of the tale.
But it casts a new sheen of veracity on a story that has existed in a hazy realm of fantasy and history since it was first composed 400 years after the Trojan War.
"They make a wonderfully persuasive case," said Scott Huler, author of a book about his efforts to follow Odysseus' journey. "I do find myself convinced that some of these events Homer described" are based on actual history. - Los Angeles Times