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Homer’s Iliad: The Fall of Assyria – presented in an astronomical educational poem (a star catalogue)

Pelican, Rapida, Galapagos
Pelican, Rapida, Galapagos

Prohibitions of thinking, dogmatism and a lack of imaginative power are the end of all science.

 

Joachim Bauer, Das kooperative Gen, 2008

Symposion: Homer – Troia – Kilikien, University of Innsbruck, 13 and 14 November 2008 (on Raoul Schrott: Homers Heimat. Der Kampf um Troja und seine realen Hintergründe, München 2008)

 

Table template for the symposium (slightly edited for the blog)

 

Theses

(1)The poet Homer describes the decline of the Assyrian empire in the Iliad around 640 – 630 BC. He did so by depicting in a snapshot the Cilician campaign lasting several weeks, the defeat and death of the Assyrian Grand King Sargon II in 705 BC.

 

(2)Homer makes the discussion among the Assyrian elite about the consequences of Sargon’s non-burial the philo­sophical-religious theme of his poem (Battle for Hector’s Body).

 

(3)For the sake of the poetic effect, Homer shifts the plot of the epic into the heroic Mycenaean period and describes the struggles as the beginning of the downfall of Troy, as a conflict between Greeks and Trojans.

 

(4)The Iliad is the product of a Cilician small-state culture blossoming after the end of Assyrian rule, comparable to the national renaissance in Judah after liberation from the Assyrian yoke.

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