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.
Homer is not a Grimm fairy-tale aunt who passes on traditional stories,
nor has he translated any poetry into written form that is already orally available.
Homer is also not the lonely genius who produces a great poem out of nothing. Rather, he has transferred the current story of the demise of a great culture that he wants to tell into the heroic Mycenaean early period in order to exaggerate and alienate it.
Homer is already what has been called a poet doctus
since Kallimachos (ca. 300 – 245 B.C.): a poet who shines with erudition (as the Assyrian author of the “Eighth Campaign” Sargon’s had before him).
The epic becomes an encyclopaedia of the knowledge of the time. Homer brings – just like Vergil later – a wealth of allusions to contemporary history (see Schrott) and to the works of the still essentially Assyrian literary canon into his epic.
Back to Schrott’s thesis about Homer as a cultural accountant:
Schrott is correct in his view that the Greeks of the 7th century are not yet a cultural nation that only want to enjoy Homer’s battle descriptions. That’s why he rightly mistrusts the idea of Homer as a poet of the spirit of beauty.
The question is: Why did the Greeks still love their Homer so hot and intimately from the very beginning? Only because of the prophecy of future Greek greatness?
towards the tricky acting Hera and her brave Greek fighters and thus sanctions the transition of the shifty moment of action in Cilicia from the Assyrians to the Cilician Greeks as divinely predetermined.
an inevitable fate brought about by the (star) gods. Homer designs his literary Troy after the Cilician Karatepe (Schrott), but his message is directed against Assur like that of the Israelite prophets.
into the mighty city of Troy. The Assyrian custom of abducting women as spoils of war becomes the abduction of Helena. The death of Sargon II in battle becomes the death of the Trojan hero Hector.
Sargon’s father and predecessor Tiglatpilesar III became the aged Trojan king Priamos. Sargon’s brother and predecessor, the short-ruling Salmanasser V, who turned Cilicia into an Assyrian province, became the unheroic Paris, which provided the reason for the war with the theft of Helena.