Tag Archives: Homer

Scientists apply Genetic Estimates to Homer’s Iliad

iliad-2-TOPHomer’s Iliad is one of the most famous works of Bronze Age Greece. Its date and composition, however, is one of the academically controversial. Recently, a group of researchers at the University of Reading applied the same techniques to researching genetic evolution (using the rate of genetic mutation) to the evolution of language. Using this method, they determined that the Iliad was written approximately 762 BCE +/- 50 years; a date consistent with historical theories.

“Languages behave just extraordinarily like genes.It is directly analogous. We tried to document the regularities in linguistic evolution and study Homer’s vocabulary as a way of seeing if language evolves the way we think it does. If so, then we should be able to find a date for Homer.” — Mark Pagel, Ph.D.

To learn more about the process and extensive findings, see the article published at Inside Science, “Geneticists Estimate Publication Date of the ‘Iliad‘” or the paper, published in the Journal of BioEssays.

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This Day in History – Troy is Sacked

According to the Greek mathematician and philosopher Eratosthenes, today marks the anniversary of the sack of Troy (1184 BCE). Now, while the Trojan War is an event shrined in myth and mystery (and its occurrence is still a point of debate), I like that today is a day to mark the study of Homer and Bronze Age Greece. So, I shall commemorate the anniversary with a listing of relevant sources for the study of Homeric Greek and the Greek Bronze Age.

The Online Liddell-Scott-Jones Greek Lexicon – if you have ever taken Greek, then you are more than familiar with the Liddell Lexicon. The online version is comprehensive and complete – and easier to navigate than other electronic Greek dictionaries.

The Internet Ancient History Sourcebook: Greece – The largest collection of english translated Greek texts. If you need to look up a reference, it can be your best friend. They are out of copyright and fully open-source. However, because these are from very old translations the english can be a bit… painful.

eLatine eGreek eLearn – A social networking site using the Ning platform for teachers and students of the ancient world.

The Perseus Digital Library – Hosted by Tufts, the Perseus Project serves as a database for Greek and Latin literature, images, and resources.

The Center for Hellenic Studies – This site hosted by Havard has a lot of online literature, discourse, and even free online courses for those interested in Bronze Age Greece.

The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World – This site is hosted by NYU and offers a variety of online resources for students and educators.

The Encyclopedia Mythica: Greek Mythology – This site hosts a number of resources, references, and material for those interested in Ancient Greece and is divided by region.

The Iliad – The text is offered in its complete form for free via Project Gutenberg

The Odyssey  – The text is offered in its complete form for free via Project Gutenberg.