The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales: The Illiad, the Odyssey and the Migration of Myth

The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales: The Illiad, the Odyssey and the Migration of Myth

Book rating: 03 Paperback

By (author) Felice Vinci

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  • Publisher: Inner Traditions Bear and Company
  • Format: Paperback | 432 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 24mm | 750g
  • Publication date: 30 January 2006
  • Publication City/Country: Rochester, VT
  • ISBN 10: 1594770522
  • ISBN 13: 9781594770524
  • Edition: 1
  • Edition statement: Translation
  • Sales rank: 381,938

Product description

Compelling evidence that the events of Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" took place in the Baltic and not the Mediterranean - Reveals how a climate change forced the migration of a people and their myth to ancient Greece - Identifies the true geographic sites of Troy and Ithaca in the Baltic Sea and Calypso's Isle in the North Atlantic Ocean For years scholars have debated the incongruities in Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey," given that his descriptions are at odds with the geography of the areas he purportedly describes. Inspired by Plutarch's remark that Calypso's Isle was only five days sailing from Britain, Felice Vinci convincingly argues that Homer's epic tales originated not in the Mediterranean, but in the northern Baltic Sea. Using meticulous geographical analysis, Vinci shows that many Homeric places, such as Troy and Ithaca, can still be identified in the geographic landscape of the Baltic. He explains how the dense, foggy weather described by Ulysses befits northern not Mediterranean climes, and how battles lasting through the night would easily have been possible in the long days of the Baltic summer. Vinci's meteorological analysis reveals how a decline of the "climatic optimum" caused the blond seafarers to migrate south to warmer climates, where they rebuilt their original world in the Mediterranean. Through many generations the memory of the heroic age and the feats performed by their ancestors in their lost homeland was preserved and handed down to the following ages, only later to be codified by Homer in the "Iliad" and the "Odyssey." Felice Vinci offers a key to open many doors that allow us to consider the age-old question of the Indo-European diaspora and the origin of the Greek civilization from a new perspective.

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Author information

Felice Vinci is a nuclear engineer with an extensive background in Latin and Greek studies. Since 1992 he has been researching his theory on the northern origin of Greek mythology. He lives in Rome.

Customer reviews

By Colin Bayler 06 Mar 2012 3

Vinci does a very credible job of proving that Homer's epic tales actually took place in the far north and were brought to the Mediterranean by the populace when they moved south. They tried to transcribed the locations of their homeland onto their new environment and failed in many places. This explains why scholars have been puzzled by the many inconsistencies in the stories.

There were only two problems I had with the book: it needed more maps and could have benefited from some actual pictures of the areas he was describing. He also blew it at the very end when, almost as an afterthought, he tried to claim that ancient biblical history could have originated from this area as well. Since this was speculation and not proven as was Homer's stories, it should have been left out. It tainted an otherwise well researched book.

Vinci succeeded in what he set out to do and proves that history is malleable and not set in stone like many believe.

Review quote

"Vinci's audacious rewriting of Homeric culture and mythology is a creative proposition, which deserves to be further investigated. He has my full vote of confidence."

Back cover copy

HISTORY / CLASSICAL STUDIES "It is hard to overstate the impact, both scholarly and imaginative, of Vinci's compellingly argued thesis. . . . Scholars will be rethinking Indo-European studies from the ground up and readers of Homer's epics will enter fresh realms of delight as they look anew at the world in which Homer's heroes first breathed and moved." --Professor William Mullen, department of classics, Bard College "Powerful, methodical, important, and convincing . . ." --Alfred de Grazia, author of Burning of Troy For years scholars have debated the incongruities in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, finding the author's descriptions at odds with the geography he purportedly describes. Inspired by Plutarch's remark that Calypso's island home was only five days' sail from Britain, Felice Vinci convincingly argues that Homer's epic tales originated not in the Mediterranean, but in northern Europe's Baltic Sea. Using meticulous geographical analysis, Vinci shows that many Homeric places, such as Troy and Ithaca, can be identified in the geographic landscape of the Baltic. He explains how the cool, foggy weather described by Ulysses matches that of northern climes rather than the sunny, warm Mediterranean and Aegean, and how battles lasting through the night would easily have been possible in the long days of the Baltic summer. Vinci's meteorological analysis reveals how the "climatic optimum"--a long period of weather that resulted in a much milder northern Europe--declined and thus caused the blond seafarers of the Baltic to migrate south to warmer climates, where they rebuilt their original world in the Mediterranean. Through many generations the memory of the heroic age and the feats performed by their ancestors in their lost homeland was preserved and handed down, ultimately to be codified by Homer as the Iliad and the Odyssey. In The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales, Felice Vinci offers a key to open many doors, allowing us to consider from a new perspective the age-old question of the Indo-European diaspora and the origin not only of Greek civilization, but of Western civilization as a whole. FELICE VINCI is a nuclear engineer with an extensive background in Latin and Greek studies. Since 1992 he has been researching his theory on the northern origin of Greek mythology. He lives in Rome.