Homer Odyssey Calypso Polyphem Helen Menelaus Demodocus Ino Laertes Arkeisios Ki-Ri-Ke / © 2003-04 by Franz Gnaedinger, fgn(a)bluemail.ch, fg(a)seshat.ch / www.seshat.ch
Hermos Hermaes homoio homaereo Homaeros / footnotes / provisional version in freestyle English, for interested readers only
Tiryns // Elaia // Circular Building // Ring / Ring 2 / Ring 3 / Ring 3a / Ring 4 // Rosette Spiral / Achaean swastika / Tiryns, Argos Eye, soldiers / Tiryns, Argos Eye, plaster head / Tiryns Argolis // Knossos / Knossos 2 // Vaphio / Tiryns Gate / Mycenae // symbols // tin / tin 1 / tin 2 / ore / tin 3 / tin 4 / tin 5 // Atlantis // Troy / Troy 2
Kirike 01 / Kirike 02 / Kirike 03 / Kirike 04 / Kirike 05 / Kirike 06 / Kirike 07 / Kirike 08 / Kirike 09 / Kirike 10 / Kirike 11 / Kirike 12 / Kirike 13 / Kirike 14 / Kirike 15 / Kirike 16 / Kirike 17 / Kirike 18 / Kirike 19 / Kirike 20 / Kirike 21 / Kirike 22 / Kirike 23 / Kirike 24 / Kirike 25 / Kirike 26 / Kirike 27 / Kirike 28 / Kirike 29 / Kirike 30 / Kirike 31 / Kirike 32 / Kirike 33 / Kirike 34 / Kirike 35 / Kirike 36 / Kirike 37
Odysseus, while staying in Troy and roaming the Aegean shoreline, the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, and the Black Sea, had many women - among them Circe, the sirens, and his Trojan mistress Calypso. Having spent 20 years in Troy he longs for home, but Calypso, who loves him still ardently, begs him to stay: her land is more fecund than his, and as king of Troy, with her as queen by his side, he may even gain immortal fame. But his mind is made up, he shall leave for good.
In his dream, beautiful Calypso turns into a goddess. She swears a holy oath, promising that she won't plan a mischief against him. She wishes only his very best. And she keeps word by providing him with tools for making a raft, by summoning a wind and blowing him across the sea. Now he sails homeward, never sleeping, never closing an eye for seventeen days and nights.
But he is fooled by his dream. Actually he sleeps all the time. He wakes up only for a few moments, and then he looks out for the stars, keeping the constellation of the Great Bear on his left side, as he had been advised by Calypso. And thus he is heading back for Troy ...
What happened? Did Calypso break her holy oath? No. She really planned his very best. Which is, of course, his returning to her and becoming king of Troy.
Zeus allows Odysseus to return home as soon as he has absolved his dream-journeys. These bring him back to Troy over and over again: to a Troy in disguise, and blended with other places. On his last journey he shall reach lovely Scherie, which is a better Troy, a peaceful Troy co-operating with a peaceful Mycenae. And then, when he worked through the war, he shall be released and allowed returning home, where he shall see his friends again.
But where is his true home? Calypso asks herself. Ithaca, where he was born and which he left a long time ago? No, it is Troy, which he conquered, and where he may rule as king, with me, Calypso, by his side.
Poor nymph, your ruse must fail. Poseidon, upon returning from Ethiopia, sees Odysseus nearing Scherie, which is his (Poseidon's) foundation. Never shall his enemy rule that place. Poseidon makes sure that Odysseus won't meet Calypso again. He summons a gale that makes Odysseus go astray. And astray he goes --- but not in space, as intended by Poseidon, but in time: Odysseus reaches an early Scherie, which is an early and again a better Troy. Here he meets another nymph by the name of Nausicaa. He is warmly welcomed by her, by her parents, and by all the other nobles, and when he realizes where he is and what a lovely place he had destroyed he can't help weeping.
Odysseus reached Scherie, which, according to Eberhard Zangger, is an early Troy. The blind bard Demodocus (teacher of people) sings a lay on the Trojan War. He had been taught his lay by the Muse, the Child of Zeus. Or by Apollo? Odysseus wonders. The same Muse, however, deprived him of his eye-sight: he can't see anymore what goes on around him, while he can see far into the future. He is kind of a prophet, lending his voice to the decisions of the gods, and thus he is justly called his name. Having been taught by the Muse - or even by Apollo, who was a god of music, poetry and prophecy - he knows a lot on the Trojan war, although this one shall happen in remote future, and as Demodocus is such a gifted singer, owing to the same Muse, his lay is famous all over the world. Everybody enjoys it --- apart from Odysseus, who realizes where he is, namely in an early Troy, and what a lovely place he had destroyed (or will destroy in the Scherian perspective of time), and so he weeps like a woman. And then, perhaps fearing that Demodocus might know more and reveal him as enemy, he tells his fables, which are parables on the Trojan war. For example his famous fable of Polyphem: a giant who makes cheese from the milk he gets from his sheep and goats, and who devours several Achaeans, whereupon Odysseus blinds him. Everybody must agree that Polyphem deserved his horrible fate. What Odysseus's noble audience doesn't know: Polyphem, who resembles more a wooden hill than a man who eats bread, is a later Troy; his sheep and goats are foreign ships, waiting for favorable winds in the Trojan harbor, or passing the Dardanelles; the milk he gets from his animals are fees and duties; the Achaeans, unwilling to pay him (not being sheep and goats he can milk) are getting attacked; and the blinding of Polyphem is the sack and burning down of Ilium, citadel of Troy. By telling his fable, Odysseus justifies the war, and in such a convincing way that he has everybody on his side. He conquers Troy again, being there unrecognized, once again unrecognized, and while we readers of the Odyssey are well aware of him we are fooled in another way, as Troy is hidden behind names like Scherie, Ogygia, Telepylos, or Polyphem's cave.
And then he gets a sword by a noble, which may symbolize military power; a strong box and beautiful robes by Alcinous and Arete, which may symbolize long-lived kingship; and moreover a cauldron on three legs, wherein water is boiled: the three legs may symbolize the Greek mainland, the islands, and the Ionian colonies; the boiling water may symbolize the foaming Aegean; and the fire under the geological cauldron revealed itself during the eruptions of the Thera volcano.
The gifts mean that Greece shall rule the Aegean from now on.
I can only admire Homer for how easily he combines politics with geology, and hides a wagonload of information and messages behind a couple of pleasant words.
Nausicaa's love and Alcinous's and Arete's admiration and friendship are moving and poignant when we understand Scherie as an early Troy, and Odysseus's time travel is more impressive than every time travel on TV: Hos ara min eipont elasen mega kyma kat arkaes ... (book 5, line 313 ...)
Shrewd, wily, ruseful and resourceful master-schemer Homer crafted his Odyssey in such a manner that we can read it in two completely different ways, either like a Trojan gawking at the Wooden Horse, never suspecting that it might be something else than it seems to be, or like Odysseus peering out from the Wooden Horse ... If we read the epic in the former way, we take Scherie, Ogygia, Telepylos, Polyphem's cave, etc., for different places; yet when we read the Odyssey in the latter way we understand them as Troy blended with other places, thus gaining plenty of information the Trojan war.
You may for example compare Scherie with Polyphem's cave. The dwellers of Scherie have salient ships that carry them swiftly anywhere they wish. This means the Phaeacians were honorable sailors and traders. The Cyclopes, on the other hand, have no ships. They symbolize the Anatolians, former Hittites, whose empire fell apart in 1190 BC. Troy, once belonging to the Aegean civilization, became a vassal of Hattusas, and - following the Polyphem fable - gave up seafaring and honest trading. Instead, the Trojans asked fees from the foreign ship-owners who camped in the Trojan harbor, waiting for favorable winds allowing them to sail along the perilous Dardanelles, and duties from ships passing the Dardanelles. And if they were not willing to pay, they have been, as Homer puts it most drastically, devoured by Polyphem.
The Mycenaeans were in need of tin, which was required for casting bronze. Tin came from Afghanistan and from the ore mountain up the river Danube. The Mycenaean bronze contained more tin than modern bronze, and the cheapest way to get the precious metal was by sailing to the Black Sea, passing Troy, passing the cave of that formidable monster Polyphem, son of Poseidon, who also was the founder of pleasant Scherie, early Troy, member of the Aegean civilization.
And what if beautiful Helen of the white arms (book 22, line 227), cause of the Trojan war, symbolizes the white metal tin, more precious than silver and gold, since being rare and so very hard to obtain?
The palace of Menelaus, husband of Helen, gleams of metals. Book 4: this lofty hall of illustrious Menelaus was lit by something of the sun's and moon's splendor. Sun and moon might be gold and silver, their alloy being electrum (wooden panels covered with electrum foil along the walls could have reflected oils lamps and torches, thus brightening up a large hall), but they could also be copper and tin yielding bronze, by far the most important metal in the Bronze Age.
Royal Helen may well be a symbol of precious tin. Her husband king Menelaus is called xanthos, meaning that his hair is yellow, blonde or auburn, what goes along with the shades of copper. Hermione, their child, would then symbolize bronze, the alloy of copper and tin: that lovely girl Hermione, resembling golden Aphrodite (book 4, line 14, meaning Aphrodite wearing the magic golden necklace kestos).
Helen had only one child, Hermione. Menelaus had a second child with a slave, a son, late come strong Megapenthes. The slave-woman may stay for aurichalcite, a mineral containing a natural alloy of copper and zinc (zinc in an enslaved form, so to speak), while her son would stay for brass. (The Greek geographer Strabo mentions oreichalkos from Andeira in the Troas, some 80 kilometers southeast of Troy; it was mined from the surface, what, according to Eberhard Zangger, hints at aurichalcite and not zincblende.)
In Egypt, gold and silver stood for sun and moon (Richard H. Wilkinson). If the same was true in Achaia, copper and tin, personified by Menelaus and Helen, might have been royal counterparts to the divine metals and heavenly bodies.
Electrum was gold with a percentage of silver, but also amber. In the Odyssey it is mentioned three times: a) belonging to the bright palace of Menelaus, where it must occur as metal, used for reflecting the lamps and brightening up the hall; b) and c) belonging to a necklace Eurymachus offers to Penelope, here it must be amber. Eurymachus = wide fighter was the principal suitor for Penelope. Amber as part of his offer points to the north, where the people(s) came from that intruded the Peloponnese from around 1180 BC on, four years after the sack of Troy (1184 BC). Odysseus kills all suitors for Penelope = invaders of the Peloponnese, but mourns them and says they were the best. How come? The Dorians played an important role in the rise of later Greece, and although Homer favors the line of Father Zeus – Arkeisios Laertes – Odysseus – Telemachos (Zeus – Argos – eponymous Tiryns … in Pausanias) he has to honor the Dorian contributions to the rise of Greece.
Helen was a beautiful woman, tin dioxide cassiterite is a jewel of an ore. Two pieces of cassiterite from Malaya ore
Helen of the white arms, lovely cheeks, lovely hair, with her yarn and spindle, may refer to several forms and sizes of ingots, their shimmering, and tin wire coiled up on spools. Interesting enough, Helen gets her artfully crafted threads from Egypt, what may mean, that the art of making tin wire came from there, presumably via Crete, wherefrom the Achaeans imported all kinds of jewelry. More precisely, the spindle and yarn (artfully crafted threads) come from Thebes in Upper Egypt, certainly an allusion to Boeotian Thebes, meaning that Greece is the rightful successor of Egypt (as it rivals Anatolia, becoming a new Scherie).
Menelaus would stay for copper - also for the copper contained in bronze weapons: Menelaus of the loud war-cry. Helen would stay for tin - also for the tin contained in bronze needles: the beautiful robes Helen wove with her own hands.
These are long and richly decorated robes, glittering like stars, which may again refer to cassiterite. Picture a black freight ship loaded with glittering ore and shimmering ingots of the precious metal, coming from the Black Sea, gliding down the Dardanelles, nearing Troy ...
All figures in the Odyssey are symbols, even Menelaus, Helen, and their lovely daughter Hermione, who stay for copper, tin, and their alloy bronze. There was no real Menelaus, no Helen and no Paris, but there might well have been a Spartan ship returning from the Black Sea, transporting cassiterite, passing the Dardanelles, and getting confiscated or seized by the Trojans, whereupon men(e)laos, a strong and decided warrior people living in southwest Peloponnese, joined forces with Hellas in northeast Greece, built a wooden fortress a couple of kilometers northwest of the Hissarlik (Ilium, citadel of Troy), on the then shore of a shallow bay. The Greek soldiers staying there protected the Greek ships heading for and returning from the Black Sea. A long series of incidents finally escalated into the Trojan war and sack of Troy, which was followed by a deluge that swept away the Greek camp (Poseidon's revenge for the blinding of his son Polyphem). Most important, even crucial for the rise of Greece was the union of Menelaus + Agamemnon / Achaia / Peloponnese and of Helen / Hellas / Thessaly / Achilles, a political union, or alloy, if you like. And it was a most precarious union, as we are told in the Iliad. Its danger of failing is even the basic topic of the Iliad.
Tin came from the ore mountains and from Afghanistan tin / A piece of cassiterite from Ehrensfriedersdorf on the German side of the ore mountain tin 1 / The same piece of cassiterite and a pewter mug – I informed a tin artisan about my discovery, he was pleased and gave me the mug for free tin 2 / Other crystals from the same mine and from mines on the Bohemian side of the ore mountain resemble more two pieces of cassiterite from Malaya ore / When I look into my pewter mug I can see the moon tin 3 / tin 4 / tin 5 Picture an Achaean attending a feast and calling upon his waitress: Helen of the lovely cheeks, come over here and pour me some wine, or must I look forever at the moon in my mug? I’d sure prefer the sun in your eye, and rosy Eos on your cheek, but alas, your heart is elsewhere bound, leaving me to the drink, so please come over here and pour me some of that red wine …
PS. Helen may well be a symbol of tin; her abduction by Paris, however, might refer to common practice of those days, namely the abduction of women and workers from foreign shores. The Achaeans did it (Briseis in the Iliad, for example) and the Hittites (Helen). We should always consider the possibilities of several meanings combined in a single person or symbol.
There is something of the sun’s and moon’s splendor found in the palace of Menelaus, and in book 4, line 73, Homer mentions gold, electrum, silver, and elephant ivory. Electrum was an alloy of gold with a percentage of silver, as it often occurred in the gold ore, and also amber, both materials being of a shining pale yellow. So we have three pairs of materials that reflect the relation of sun and moon:
GOLD and SILVER --- divine metals, regarded as flesh and bones of the gods by the Egyptians
COPPER and TIN --- royal metals, personified by Menelaus and Helen
AMBER and ELEPHANT IVORY --- precious materials coming from the wide plains of Eurasia behind taelepylos = far away door Troy, as did tin. The land of the Laistrygones combines Troy with the Crimea, the Balticum, origin of amber, and Finland of the winter sun, while Eurasia, from the ore mountain in the east to Afghanistan in the west, remains the only valid candidate for Atlantis, with Troy as its nautical focus. Atlantis = a corpus of legends from Eurasia, cast in the mould of a story by the Egyptians. The Greeks must have known the same or similar legends, though in a different form, and the splendor of Menelaus’s palace can be seen as the enthronization of Greece as the new leading civilization: the era of Eurasia and its nautical and commercial focus Troy is over, from now on we shall rule, we Greeks, legitimate successors to the Egyptians (Boeotian Thebes – Egyptian Thebes).
A few words on Atlantis. Eurasia, from India to Germany, got the required size. It is rich in metals, and there are elephants (India). The Greeks understood the Caspian Sea as a gulf of the Atlantic Ocean (world map of Hekataios, around 500 BC; world map of Erathostenes, around 250 BC). According to Strabo one encounters the pillars of Heracles also when sailing along the Black Sea. So the sky bearer Atlas and the pillars of Heracles might have been present in the mountain range of the Caucasus, between the Black Sea (pontos) and Caspian Sea (gulf of the okeanos). There might have been some dark memories of a flooding of the Black Sea occurring in around 5500 BC (perhaps recorded in Old European Script? c.f. Marija Gimbutas); and a deluge followed the sack of Troy (Iliad, end of book 12, center of the epic), roughly 10,000 lunar years before Plato wrote his Timaios and Critias. The capital of Atlantis might well have been Troy, as revealed by Eberhard Zangger in 1990, while the rings of harbors around Wilusa / (W)Ilios / Atlantis would have been a romantic invention of a Trojan scribe (here I contradict Eberhard Zangger), meant for glorifying the Trojan past and intimidating the foreign sailors into paying every fee and duty. The Greek sailors, however, unwilling to pay, provoked a series of incidents, besieged and finally sacked Troy. Thus it came to happen that the Athenians (Greeks) gained victory over Atlantis. I may also bring to mind that British historians paralleled Scherie with Atlantis over hundred years ago. Poseidon founded both Atlantis and Scherie, and revenged the blinding of his son Polyphem (told in the Odyssey) by releasing a terrible flood (in the Iliad), which swept away the Greek harbor and camp a couple of kilometers northwest of the Hissarlik (turned into Polyphem throwing a rock and a boulder at Odysseus in the Odyssey). Did I forget something? Yes, the Egyptians called every shore across the Great Green (Mediterrannean Sea) an island.
And if there was a Trojan epic by the name of ATLANTIS, composed by a native bard who spoke Luwian?
World Map after Hekataios, c. 500 BC, with the author’s suggestion of Atlantis Atlantis
For the palace of Menelaus again, which can rival the one of Atlantis. Odyssey, book 4, lines 71-75 (capitals by me):
"phrazeo, Nestaeridae, to emo kecharismene thymo,
CHALKOU te steropaen kata domata aechaeenta
CHRYSOU d' AELEKTRU te kai ARGYROU aed' ELEPHANTOS.
Zaenos pou poiaede g' Olympiou endothen aulae,
hossa tad' aspeta polla. sebas m'echei eisoroonta."
“Look round this echoing hall, son of Nestor, friend of my heart. The whole place gleams with bronze, gold, electrum, silver and elephant ivory. What an amazing quantity of treasures. The court of Zeus on Olympus must be like this inside. The sight fills me with awe.”
Here we have the following materials: Chalkos = COPPER, but also bronze, the alloy of copper and TIN. Chrysos = GOLD. Electrum: this material was an alloy of gold and silver. Trojan electrum, for instance, contains four parts of gold on one part of silver; or at least two parts of gold on one part of silver. Electrum is of a shining pale yellow, and so is AMBER, which was called by the same name electrum (amber can also be of an intense orange or red, reminding of the setting sun). Argyros = SILVER. Trojan silver was hardened with 5 per cent of copper; Trojan silver ingots were hardened with 3.5 per cent of copper. Elephantos = IVORY. So we got six elementary materials that can be arranged in pairs: gold and silver, copper and tin, amber and ivory. These pairs of precious materials reflect sun and moon Amber can also be of an intense orange and red, then reminding of the setting sun, and so do the reddish shades of copper. Odyssey, book 4, lines 45 and 46:
hos te gar aeeliou aiglae pelen aee selaenaes
doma kat hypserephes Menelaou kydalimoio.
It seemed to them that this lofty hall of illustrious Menelaus was lit by something of the sun's or moon's splendor.
Atlantis and Scherie are (I believe) poetical reflections of early Troy as nautical and commerical focus of Eurasia. Hekataios, in around 500 BC, placed the Aegaean with Greece and Troy in the center of his world map. Atlantis and Scherie had been founded by Poseidon, while the palace of Menelaus on the Peloponnese evokes the court of Zeus on Olympus. Here we are again confronted with a rivalry: Zeus and Poseidon are brothers, but Zeus is the supreme god, and although he brings quite some suffering upon the Greeks he finally makes them win the war. Throughout the Odyssey we find the same message: Greece shall become a new Scherie, and, with Boeotian Thebes, the legitimate successor of Egyptian Thebes, hence of Egypt itself, in short: the new leading civilization of the world. Poseidon's anger is well understandable. He and his Trojans do not only loose a war but a struggle of civilizations.
Goethe called reading a highly demanding art, and he wrote that he conceives his books in such a manner that one can read them in two different ways, either along the surface, like going on a pleasure walk, or delving deeper, and those who like to delve deeper will easily find the entrance door. I claim that the Odyssey was written in the same manner and can be read in two completely different ways. The Polyphem episode, for instance, can be read as an adventure, or as a parable on the Trojan war. Is there a 'door' allowing the second reading? Yes, there is such a door. Consider what blinded Polyphem begs from his father Poseidon: Hear me, Poseidon, Sustainer of the Earth, god of the sable locks. If I am yours indeed and you claim me as your son, grant that Odysseus, sacker of cities and son of Laertes, may never reach his home in Ithaca. But if he is destined to see his friends again, to come once more to his own house and reach his native land, let him come late, in wretched plight, having lost all his comrades, in a foreign ship, and let him find trouble in his home. The troubles Odysseus goes through in the Odyssey are the troubles that follow the sack of Troy are the troubles that follow the blinding of Polyphem. Same trouble same cause, hence the sack of Troy and the blinding of Polyphem are the same event, only told in different ways.
My version of the Trojan war (how it could have happened)
The Achaeans are in need of tin, which they use for hardening copper, and whose principal ore cassiterite comes from the ore mountain up the river Danube, and from Afghanistan. The Achaeans purchase the precious ore and metal along the shores of the Black Sea. However, the Dardanelles between the Aegaean Sea and the Sea of Marmara are a perilous waterway. The sailors have to wait for favorable winds in the Trojan harbor. Now the Trojans demand high fees for the use of their comfortable harbor in the Besik bay on the Aegean shore. The Achaeans, unwilling to pay fees, camp somewhere else: on the shore of a shallow bay between the mouth of the eastern arm of lovely Scamander and the mouth of the river Simois, a couple of kilometers northwest of the Hissarlik (Wilusa Wilios Ilios Ilion Ilium / Truwisa Troy); among swamps. Here they have to pay no fees, but are plagued by mosquitoes that cause an early form of malaria. In order to keep away the mosquitoes they burn lotus, rushes and the aromatic roots of the Old World galingale species Cyperus longus. The Trojans charge high duties from ship-owners upon their returning from the Black Sea. The Achaeans are neither willing to pay fees nor duties. Moreover they make fun of the Trojans, who are so proud of their city, which was praised in a famous Luwian epic by the name of Atlantis. Now the Trojans are really provoked and look out for a chance to state an example. And then, one day, a large and proud Achaean freight ship returns from the Black Sea, loaded with gleaming tin ingots and glittering cassiterite. As it sails along the Dardanelles, the Trojans confiscate it. And this means war. The Achaeans build a fortress behind a wall of bricks baked by the river Scamander and form an ally of soldiers from all parts of Greece. The Trojans try to storm the wall and nearly succeed. The Greek, alliance, endangered by rivalries between the kings of Hellas and Achaia, besiege Troy for a long time. In vain. In around 1190 BC, the formerly powerful empire of Hattusas fell apart, probably due to family dispute. So Troy was no longer protected. In the summer of 1184, master-schemer Odysseus (if there ever was such a man, Homer) comes up with a ruse. One night, a terrible storm washes over land and sea. On the next morning the guardians of the Trojan harbor see an Achaean ship drift helplessly along the Aegean shore, hanged with shrubs; mast broken, sail missing. Lo and behold: there is the bow in the shape of a stallion! the wooden horse! the famous ship of Odysseus! he and his men must have died in that horrible storm! The Trojans fetch the wrecked ship and haul it into their harbor. But Odysseus and his men are well alive, hidden in narrow wooden cases inside the ship, and as they reach the harbor they jump out and take the Trojan guard by surprise. An urgent alarm is signaled to the citadel, and the Trojan army, fearing the Greek soldiers by the Trojan harbor, speeds toward the Aegean shore. But no, the Achaeans hide near the citadel, and when the Trojan army has left the Hissarlik behind them, helpless now, the Achaeans storm and sack it, on a summers day (1184 BC), and in the fall of the same year a deluge sweeps away the Achaean camp (and since then the Trojan rivers filled the former shallow bay by one meter every year, or about one kilometer every millennium).
What happened at home, in the Argolis? The palace culture had already declined from around 1230 BC on, probably due to erosion. In the wake of a devastating flood the dwellers of Tiryns had built a several kilometers long and ten meters high dam east of Tiryns, diverting the river Manesse and making it flow along the other side of the near mountain. A truly Herculean labor. Furthermore, the Achaean had taken over Crete, the former Cretan basis in Milet, many islands in the Aegean, and this expansion of the Achaean influence absorbed many people who were missed at home. While the Achaeans gained victory over Troy, their palaces at home whre neglected, and the Dorians took over the Peloponnese. And so the Achaeans won a war and lost their home.
Demodocus, author of a Luwian epic by the name of Atlantis?
Demodocus = teacher of people is a famous bard at the court of king Alcinous, queen Arete, and princess Nausicaa in pleasant Scherie. He sings a ley on the Trojan war he has been taught by the Muse, Child of Zeus. Or by Apollo? Odysseus wonders. Apollo was the god of music and poetry, but also of prophecy. And since Scherie is an early Troy, the ley Demodocus performs is in fact a prophecy. Nobody knows of the Trojan war, but everybody knows the famous ley on the Trojan war, owing to the art of Demodocus. Odysseus finds the ley amazingly accurate: as if Demodocus had been there. Homer reflects his own work in the ley of Demodocus, for also he writes on the Trojan war as if he had been there. One bard is looking several centuries ahead, the other one is looking several centuries backward in time. Now Homer, who mirrors himself in Demodocus, might honor him in the Odyssey. Was the blind seer, famous bard from Scherie = early Troy a historical person, composer of a Luwian epic? Let us assume so, and call this hypothetical epic by the name of Atlantis. It would have been a praise of Troy and the Trojans, who came from Georgia below Mount Ebrus, bearer of the sky, known as Atlas, therefore the old name of the Trojans = Atlantians. In Georgia they were neighbors of the Cyclopes, dwellers of Anatolia. The Atlantians wandered along the northern shore of the Black Sea and finally came to Troy, where they were again neighbors of the Anatolians (and later became a vassal of Hattusas). The epic might have included a dream containing a romantic vision of the past, and warnings regarding the future. It could really have been known all over the world -- at least the dream passage glorifying Troy, surrounding it with rings of harbors, and making it the focus of Eurasia, while the dream would have ended in a warning regarding Troy's future: Atlantis, ideal Troy, was the center of a large continent, while Troy as nautical and commercial focus of Eurasia was placed on the edge of wide Eurasia and therefore highly vulnerable. In the Iliad, a river by the name of Xanthos fights Achilles. Xanthos reminds of xanthos Menelaos, Menelaus of the copper hair, and so the river xanthos was in fact a Trojan army marching along the river Simois or Scamander, bronze armors blazing. In a similar way the flood sinking Atlantis was a foreign army sacking Troy, as feared by Demodocus long ago, as Homer feared a breaking apart of Greece in his time. While Demiodocus's fear came true, Homer was more lucky with his prophecy of Greece becoming a new Scherie and the legitimate successor of Egypt, in brief the new leading civilization in the world ... Who knows if a copy of the Luwian epic (if there was such an epic) survives in a buried Hittite archive somewhere in Anatolia?
Polyphem and Telemos
I read the episode of Polyphem as a parable on the Trojan war. Ilium, which was called ophryoessa = having eyebrows in the Iliad, turns into a giant who resembles more a wooden hilltop than a man who eats bread; the shores and harbors of Troy turn into a cave, the ships sailing to and returning from the Black Sea and staying in the Trojan harbor turn into sheep and goats, whom Polyphem milks, and if someone is not willing to pay fees for using the harbor and duties for passing the Dardanelles he confronts a horrible fate: getting devoured by the monster. In the logic of dreams, one thing can appear as its opposite: while Odysseus and his men invaded Ilium hidden in a horse (or the Trojan harbor in a ship with the bow of a stallion, as explained above), they now leave Polyphem's cave hidden under goats and sheep --- the wish of leaving Troy is so urgent that a secret invading turns into a secret leaving. Polyphem throws a rock at Odysseus, who only makes fun of him, and then Polyphem begs assistance from his father Poseidon and throws a boulder at Odysseus and his men, what in the same logic of dreams may symbolize the Trojans' attempt to storm the Achaean wall, and the deluge following the sack of Troy = blinding of Polyphem. A noble and great seer by the name of Telemos, son of Eurymos, had long foreseen the fate of Polyphem. Could this seer Taelemos, son of Eurymos, be Daemodokos, teacher of people, author of a Luwian epic by the name of Atlantis or perhaps Atlantide? (More than two millennia of Atlantis research led to no conclusion, and so we should perhaps begin to look out for an indirect solution.)
While Odysseus was on his way to Scherie, he meets Ino: But there was a witness of Odysseus's plight. This was the daughter of Cadmus, Ino of the slim ankles, who was once a mortal woman speaking like ourselves, but now lives in the salt depths of the sea, and, as Leucothea the White Goddess, has been acknowledged by the gods. She took pity on the forlorn Odysseus, rose from the water like a sea-gull, and settled on his raft. Ino gives Odysseus a veil to wind around his waist. It will protect him from injuries and death. He shall sail along with the four winds, leave his raft, swim to the shore, throw his veil into the sea, and never look back.
Ino's father Cadmus was the brother of Europa, a Phoenician prince from the Lebanon. He brought writing to Greece and co-founded Thebes in Boeotia. If Cadmus's daughter Ino was a historical person who gained merit in spreading her father's grammata (letters, alphabet), her presence in the Odyssey might be a homage to her. She could well be an allegory of writing. Ino rose from the water like a sea-gull on the wing: one thinks of the Homeric formula winged words. Ino once was mortal and spoke like ourselves, now she is immortal: spoken words are transitory, while a written epic has a long live and may become quasi immortal. Her second name White Goddess reminds of a freshly prepared papyrus, her veil of a scroll. If so, our reading of the Odyssey resembles the dangerous time travel of Odysseus to an early Scherie: in books we can read of long gone events, which may shake us, but we are never really in danger. Like Odysseus we should drift along in the four winds, leave the raft, swim, and, when reaching the shore throw the veil into the sea without looking back: we should follow the story, forget about the medium (scroll book screen), forget about our own life circumstances, and completely immerse in another time and landscape ... Ino comes from the salt depths of the sea: the past may be seen as a deep ocean; salt is a well-known preservative, and words preserve long gone events. Ino rose from the water like a sea-gull on the wing: a beautiful metaphor of how events rise from the 'waves' of written lines. Achilles of the swift feet is a runner, while Ino of the slim ankles might be an allegory of writing, which is done at a table, and yet a writer is swifter than Achilles, moving from one place to any other place in no time, much like Hermes on his winged feet. And wings are not far, since Ino rose from the water like a sea-gull on the wing. And again: winged words are probably the most famous Homeric formula. May this formula be a reverence and homage to a historic person, queen Ino of Boeotia? Did Homer make her immortal by mentioning her in a key episode of his epic? Her stepchildren Hellae and Phryxos, however, who are not mentioned in the Odyssey, must be allegorical, meaning Hellas and Phrygia, Greece and Anatolia, the Greek mainland and the Ionian colonies along the Aegean shore of Anatolia, where Greek was spoken and written.
How did the olive elaia arrive in the Argolis? I believe it was introduced there in around 1700 BC by eponymous Tiryns, who is commemorated on the Phaistos Disk, on the later gold signet ring from Tiryns, and as Lord Laertes in Homer’s Odyssey.
Derk Ohlenroth, former teacher of Middle High German at the University of Tübingen, now emeritus, deciphered the Phaistos Disk in the early 1980s. One side refers to Elaia’s grove and instructs a visitor how to address Despoina, whose secret name was Nyx (Night), and how to get her oracle. Here is my provisional English version of Derk Ohlenroth’s translation into classical Greek and German:
Enter Elaia’s grove, kindle round about polished wood, beat the ground round about the smoke of the offering, and neigh suddenly like a pair of horses: “Aio ae! hyauax! Come, o noble late Night, always born again by the goddess!”
The mythical story behind that surprising archaic formula goes like this: Poseidon fell in love with Demeter, who fled him and turned into a horse, whereupon he turned into a stallion and raped her. She got angry and turned into Black Demeter Melaina or Elaia and made all plants whither, thus causing a famine. Poseidon was by then the god of rivers. His raping of Demeter / Elaia might refer to a flood. In the center of the Elaia side or disk (the Phaistos Disk is actually made of a pair of clay disks) you see an oven, which is a very old symbol of Demeter, combined with a river, symbol of Poseidon. By raping Demeter, Poseidon begot Despoina / Nyx. The strange rite in the above formula repeats that event, evoking Despoina / Nyx, bringing her to life again. The rosette on that side or disk belongs to the word ksynoris, pair of horses, referring to Poseidon and Demeter.
The entrance field is guarded by a soldier, behind him the Argos sign of watchfulness (a circle with a central dot and six dots along the circumference, reminding of the similar symbol on the cheeks, on the forehead and chin of the staring plaster head from Mycenae). In the entrance field are shown the head of a pig or an oxen, two portable beehives, a bag, and a vine twig. These were offerings to the goddesses involved: pigs, oxen, and wine mixed with honey had been offered to Demeter; unwashed sheep wool, perhaps in linen bags, to her daughter Despoina / Nyx. (If the head of the animal should belong to a cat, it would be the guardian of the goddesses’ supplies in cereals.) The presence of Demeter is suggested by the oven in the center of the spiral, while the text itself mentions Elaia’s grove. Demeter and Elaia might have been the same goddess of vegetation, Demeter caring for cereals, Elaia for olives (elaia = olive). A gold ring from Mokhlos in Crete shows Elaia perched on a boat, whose bow grows into a horse; behind her an olive tree, in front of her a large bee:
Gold ring from Mokhlos Elaia
Edible olives grew in Crete as early as 3500 BC. They might have reached Phigalia in around 1800 BC, and the Argolis in around 1700 BC.
Now let us have a look at the more complex side or disk. My provisional English version of Derk Ohlenroth’s translation into classical Greek and German:
(Spiral text, beginning with a rosette:) Zeus is the shining one, also when Zeus is the Lycaion one, to whom children are born his equal, and if Tiryns is a god-like town, then also I, eponymous Tiryns, am the shining one’s equal.
(Margin text, beginning with the rosette:) Who enters the sanctuary (without permission) shall be marked (by God), and be lonely forever, and be without hope for salvation, and return without a shadow (live the miserable life of an outcast, lonely, sneaking around by night, deprived of the sun’s light and warmth, and of society’s benefits).
Eponymous Tiryns refers to Lycaion Zeus. Phigalia is placed below Lycaion mountain, home of Achaean Zeus. Eponymous Tiryns might have come from that region, perhaps from Lycosoura in Arcadia. He might have been the founder of early Middle Helladic Tiryns. He could have built a palace and wall. His main concern would have been agriculture in the Argolis, and he might have averted a famine - thanks to the oracle of Nyx in Elaia’s grove at Phigalia? He might have been the one who introduced the olive elaia in the Argolis.
He would have been a highly important figure in the rise of Achaia, and was therefore commemorated on the Phaistos Disk. This one could be the clay copy of a pair of large marble disks kept in a shrine at Lycosoura. Or, perhaps more plausible, a clay copy of a pair of gold disks worn on the shoulders. Have another look at the very finely worked gold signet ring from Tiryns, which is only 57 millimeters wide. The four kings worshipping Demeter / Elaia wear gold disks on their shoulders. The disks of the two first kings measure less than two millimeters in diameter and yet form clearly visible spirals (here strongly magnified, the first spiral shown in the negative, the second one in the positive):
The four kings might commemorate eponymous Tiryns and his followers. The men combine a lion with a wolf and a dog and are clad in bee skins. The lion means kingship. The wolf (lycos) may refer to Lycosoura and Lycaion mountain, home of Achaean Zeus. Dogs protected the Bee Goddess (and perhaps beehives). The bee accompanied Elaia (see the above ring from Mokhlos) and would have a pair of complementary meanings: the industry required for an agrarian society, and the will to defend it, even at the risk of life. A clear will of defending Tiryns can be deduced from the harsh banning formula on the margin of the ideal acropolis.
Phaistos Disk Tiryns
Derk Ohlenroth considered only the linguistic aspects of the Phaistos Disk, while I believe that the signs also convey visual information. The spiral would represent the acropolis, the margin would stay for the wall, and the entrance field for the main gate. (Or the spiral stays for the Argolis, and the margin for its borders.) Look how many soldiers watch out from the acropolis (or from the Argolis), and how many guard the main gate (or the northeastern access to the Argolis)!
Circular Building on the hill of Tiryns Circular Building / Soldiers looking out from Tiryns or the Argolis, many of the accompanied by the ideogram of the Argos Eye Tiryns, Argos Eye, soldiers / The Phaistos Disk as Argos Eye, compared with the staring plaster head of Mycenae Tiryns, Argos Eye, staring plaster head / The Argos Eye as ideogram of the Argolis Tiryns Argolis
The Argos signs are displayed in regular spaces along the wall, forming a large sign of the same meaning. The center of the spiral and the begin of the margin are marked by a rosette, which belongs to the name of Sseyr / Zeus, and to the word Sslgos = marked by God. The rosette must have been a sacred sign and could well have referred to a large rosette on the acropolis of Tiryns, namely the stone basis of the former Circular Building in the shape of a large rosette. There is a hawk with a snake in his talons: may the early farmers have trained hawks for catching snakes? Two river signs on the margin / wall indicate the then course of the river Manesse. An oven sign marks north: hinting at Thessaly, where Demeter came from. A fish sign marks south: hinting at the sea (gulf of Argolis). A portable beehive marks east: hinting at the fields east of Tiryns. A woman marks west: hinting at Elaia’s grove in Phigalia. Have a close look at the woman with her mane, protruding face and meager breasts: she is Black Demeter / Elaia who turns into a horse and makes the plants whither. Averting a famine would have been a first merit of eponymous Tiryns. He might have introduced the olive elaia into the Argolis. And later on he would have invented a playful alphabet …
His fame and influence might have reached Vaphio in Laconia. A seal from there shows a pair of so-called Genii, actually lion-wolf-dog-bee men raising libation jugs above a young olive tree. Such a scene might have decorated the field above the lintel of the main gate of Tiryns, The influence of Eponymous Tiryns could even have reached the island of Ithaca. Vaphio / Gate of Tiryns
Homer would have commemorated Eponymous Tiryns as Lord Laertes in his Odyssey, where he stays for the time level of around 1700 BC. Odysseus and Penelope build their immovable bed = the Greek civilization around the trunk of a former olive-tree, which had been planted by gardener Laertes, father of Odysseus. When this one reaches pleasant Scherie - according to Eberhard Zangger an early Troy - he sleeps under an olive-tree that grows out of a wild olive. An early reader of the Odyssey might have understood this as a hint to an early period of time, when planting and breeding edible olives were still in an experimental phase.
The lion-wolf-dog-bee men gate of Tiryns would have inspired the much later Lion Gate at Mycenae, which was built only in around 1240 BC. The bodies of the lions are still there, while the attachable heads are lost. The spaces left by the upper blocks are way too small for lion heads, but large enough for eagle heads:
Lion-eagle Gate Mycenae
The lions mean kingship, the eagles would refer to Zeus, ruler over the heavens. The eagle heads might have been made of gold, inlaid with chips of citrit and violet amethyst, or yellow and blue-violet enamel, symbolizing day (left animal) and night (right animal), but also life and death (the tombs of Mycenae are on the left hand side of the gate).
Arkeisios, father of Laertes, marks the time level of around 2200 BC. He may give a name to the Greeks who first arrived in the Argolis, where they built the House of Tiles at Lerna, and the Circular Building on the hill of Tiryns. The stone basis of the Circular Building formed (and remains of it still form) a large rosette. The Circular Building combined a palace with a granary, a sanctuary, and a watchtower. The rosette in the center of a spiral - a well known decorative element of Tiryns and Mycenae, present in Crete from around 1450 BC on - might have been the symbol of Argivian Zeus; also of his wife Demeter and his brother Poseidon. The opposing half ovals along the lower margin of the gold signet ring from Tiryns could symbolize the altars of Zeus and Demeter. You see Demeter on her throne, Zeus as an eagle behind her.
Some more pictures: Circular Building / Rosette in a spiral, an ideogram of Zeus? Rosette Spiral / The Achaean swastika as a simplified ideogram of the rosette in a spiral Achaean swastika // Gold signet ring from Tiryns, showing Zeus as an eagle, Demeter, eponymous Tiryns and his successors Ring / Detail of eponymous Tiryns Ring 2 / Spiral on the shoulder of eponymous Tiryns Ring 3 / the same picture with a small rosette added in the center of the spiral, as a reminder of the stone basis of the Circular Building in the shape of a large rosette Ring 3a / Spiral on the shoulder of the first successor Ring 4 / The same figures on the seal from Vaphio, with spirals on their shoulders Vaphio / Hypothetical gate of Tiryns Tiryns Gate / Throne of Knossos, flanked by a pair of griffins Knossos The lion-bodies of the griffins mean kingship, their eagle-head mean Zeus, ruler over the heavens. There are rosettes in spirals on the shoulders of the griffins. If this symbol was the ideogram for the presence and energy of Zeus their flanking the Mycenaean throne in the Minoan palace may say:
I, Zeus, enthroned the new Mycenaean king of Knossos,
who was born my equal; and I, Zeus, will protect him
A synopsis of symbols from Old Europe, Achaea, Crete, Hattusas and Egypt symbols
Cretan Zeus was born in the Dictean cave. A seal from this cave shows the mountain and rain goddess Diktynna flanked by a pair of griffins. Zeus, originally a weather god, has thus been her successor Knossos 2
Homer’s Kirkae (Circe) might be a reminiscence of the vegetation goddess of Old Europe:
Kirike 01 / Kirike 02 / Kirike 03 / Kirike 04 / Kirike 05 / Kirike 06 / Kirike 07 / Kirike 08 / Kirike 09 / Kirike 10 / Kirike 11 / Kirike 12 / Kirike 13 / Kirike 14 / Kirike 15 / Kirike 16 / Kirike 17 / Kirike 18 / Kirike 19 / Kirike 20 / Kirike 21 / Kirike 22 / Kirike 23 / Kirike 24 / Kirike 25 / Kirike 26 / Kirike 27 / Kirike 28 / Kirike 29 / Kirike 30 / Kirike 31 / Kirike 32 / Kirike 33 / Kirike 34 / Kirike 35 / Kirike 36 / Kirike 37
(Hoping I told you enough interesting ideas to justify my poor English)