(7) Distribution and conclusion:
The Iliad was not written before the Assyrians
withdrew from Cilicia, hardly before 640 BC (as Franz Dornseiff said in the introduction to M. Riemschneider’s magnificent Homer book, p. 10). However, the rapid spread of the epic was mainly due to its significance as a star-catalogue.
The exciting description of the war against Troy made it possible for sailors to playfully learn the stars, the constellations, the whole heavenly geography and its significance for time determination and navigation and to bring their ships safely to their destinations.
The shipowners were wealthy enough to have copies made of the Iliad to train their seamen. In the Greek seaports, the importance of navigation was known and people were eager to get their hands on this latest navigational aid as quickly as possible.
In the Iliad, Homer combines exciting narrative art, comprehensive education and clever interpretation of history with national identification, practical application and good memorability.
Homer thus became the ideal teacher for many generations of Greek and Hellenistic sailors and educated citizens.