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What problems have you identified in making connections between the world described in the Homeric poems and the archaeological evidence you have studied? How far do you think it is possible to resolve these problems?

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Introduction

What problems have you identified in making connections between the world described in the Homeric poems and the archaeological evidence you have studied? How far do you think it is possible to resolve these problems? In this essay I shall demonstrate that it is not currently possible to resolve the problems I have identified in making connections, between the world of the Homeric poems and the archaeological evidence I have studied. This essay will deal with two specific areas, the first is that of the problems associated with the citadel of Troy while the second, will deal with the problems posed by, Homers descriptions of the armour and the weapons used by the hero's of the Iliad. In book six of the Iliad Homer mentions a series of features in relation to the citadel of Troy. These range from the description of the hero's houses, such as Hektor's 'well established dwelling' in 370 and Paris' 'high house' in 503, to the descriptions of the defences of the city as found in lines 327 where he mentions 'the steep wall', and in line 386 the 'great bastions of Ilion'. ...read more.

Middle

It is therefore possible that they served as the focal point around which the legendary tales of Homer's heroic age were built. The age that Homer tells of in the Iliad is one in which the hero's fight with armour and weapons, items that are highly prized and sought after (6.617-18). There are four scenes within the Iliad in which Homer describes in full detail the armour and weapons of the hero's, they are Alexandros in 3.330-448, Agamemnon at 11.17-44, Patroklos in 16.131-44 and Achilleus at 19.369-91. As genre scenes the descriptions follow a standard formula, with the occasional digression to add details such as, the ornamentation of Agamemnon's breast plate at 11.24-28, and to highlight the inability of Patroklos to wield the ash spear of Achilleus at 16.140-44, a point which highlights the fact that there are some major differences in the type of weapons and armour that are used. These differences are seen when we compare the weapons and armour described in the four scenes mentioned above. Both Paris (3.338) and Achilleus (19.387-8) are described as carrying single spears, Paris's is described as 'strong shafted' while Achilleus' is 'huge heavy thick', this is in contrast to Agamemnon and Patroklos who are both described as carrying 'two strong spears' at (11.43) ...read more.

Conclusion

8th century BCE), onto those that were used in a previous age. This suggests that Homer was not fully conversant with or had not seen some of the weapons he was describing. So in conclusion, we have in this essay looked at the problems relating to both the Citadel of Troy and the armour and the weapons worn by the hero's of the Iliad. Both highlight the difficulties of making direct connections to the world of Homer. The archaeological excavations on the site of Hissarlik have not as yet yielded any evidence that can prove the stories as told in the Iliad. In order for this problem to be resolved there would need to be a discovery on the site, of some form of textual evidence that explicitly refers to the events as described by Homer in his poems (AC4, band 6). The issues relating to the Armour and weapons of the Iliad are also difficult to resolve in relation to the world created by Homer, as the archaeological evidence clearly indicates that, the stories have changed, being manipulated as they passed through centuries of oral recitation. It is therefore my conclusion that it is not currently possible to resolve the issues that have been dealt with within this essay. ...read more.

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