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An historic basis for the Iliad...?

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posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:08 AM
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It seems quite possible to me that the historical basis that inspired the composing of the Iliad took place at the same time as the epic is first thought to have originated in the 7th century Bc with regard to specific events of 646 Bc, the sacking of Susa in Iran by the Assyrian King Ashurbanipal and the return of the Goddess Nanaya to her home in Uruk, from whence she had been abducted 1,635 years previously...


The Kuyunjik tablets texts describe how 1,635 years before the goddess had become angry and left her abode, since then staying in Elam in unbeftting circumstances. The return of the goddess is here represented as the execution of an ancient divine command, with Ashurbanipal taking the role of the predestined champion of the gods who brings Nanaya back to her sanctuary E-hili-anna at the Eanna temple in Uruk.


The Goddess Nanaya was understood as the physical incarnation of Inanna and the perfection of beauty, just as the Greek Helen was held to be the very representation of Aphrodite. The actions of the warlike Assyrians in recovering this Goddess from her exile then parallel the Greek justification for the attack on Troy.




The king justifes his attack on Elam as divinely ordered retribution for wrongs committed against his ancestors, more specifcally a destruction wrought 1,635 years ago:

“Kudur-Nanhundi, the Elamite who did not respect the oath by the great gods, who in his madness trusted in his own strength, brought his hand against the sanctuaries of the land of Akkad and ruined the land of Akkad”

Later in the text, afer a description of his campaigns against Humban-haltaˇs, the king tells how he escorted the goddess Nanaya back to the Eanna temple


Of course the Illiad is a fictional work set in an entirely Greek setting, but the actions of Ashurbanipal provide the best basis for historical inspiration contemporary to the author.



Ashurbanipal was a keen student of history and tradition he styled himself after writings of the Neo-Sumerian basis of the late 3rd Millenium, there is strong correspondence to his own claims of origin and those of the Neo-Sumerian King Shulgi, it is not so surprising then that he sought to right a wrong recorded from the Late 3rd millenium and the destruction of Akkad by the Elamites.



I knew no father or mother, I grew up in the lap of my goddess. As a child the great gods guided me, going with me on the right and left.

The Lady of Nineveh, the mother who bore me, endowed me with unparalleled kingship; the Lady of Arbela, my creator, ordered everlasting life for me.


The Goddess Nanaya that was returned to Uruk was of course her primary cultic statue, these were invested with magical qualities and highly prized, Ashurbanipal claims his own creation with regards to the cultic statue shrine of Istar of Arbela, these were quite rare and to my knowledge no primary Sumerian cultic statue has ever been found, Nanaya was held in the E-hili-anna or 'House of Allurement'.




In the Hellenistic period Nanaya or Nanâ was frequently assimilated with Artemis.

A Roman temple for Artemis-Nanâ was built in the middle of the city of Dura Europos, and a dedicatory inscription identified Nanȃ as the chief goddess of that city. In this temple were erected the images of Aphrodite (winged victory), and Tyche or Fortuna which shows that Nanâ combined her characteristics with all those Graeco-Roman divinities.

An inscription accompanying the image of Artemis in Greek dress on a tessera from Palmyra identifies her as Nanaya
Her cult is also known from Aššur and Hatra. Nanai or Nanaya had the epithet “the great goddess of the entire earth”


The treasures seen illustrated are all of Bactria-Margiana and reflect the prominence of the cult of Nanaya in central Asia, it is considered that her influence extended due to her sojourn in Susa as in this article Nanaya in Bactria, she was syncetized with many Greek Goddesses and also in that region had association with the mythos of Eros and Psyche and their child Cupid, as a Goddess of love.



Hear o regions of the world the praise of queen nanay

Glorify the beautiful one, extol her of voice resounding

Exalt the splendid one, hail the mighty one

Make continuous prayer and entreaty to her.


Ash urbanipals self image.

Elam and Ashurbanipal

Nanaya in Syria and Mespotamia


edit on Kam33184vAmerica/ChicagoThursday2631 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:34 AM
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interesting thread

i always liked the idea that troy was located in the south east of england



Wilkens argues that Troy was located in England on the Gog Magog Downs in Cambridgeshire. He believes that Celts living there were attacked around 1200 BC by fellow Celts from the continent to battle over access to the tin mines in Cornwall as tin was a very important component for the production of bronze.

According to Wilkens, St Michael's Mount is the site of Scylla and Charybdis
Wilkens further hypothesises that the Sea Peoples found in the Late Bronze Age Mediterranean were Celts, who settled in Greece and the Aegean Islands as the Achaeans and Pelasgians. They named new cities after the places they had come from and brought the oral poems that formed the basis of the Iliad and the Odyssey with them from western Europe. Wilkens writes that, after being orally transmitted for about four centuries, the poems were translated and written down in Greek around 750 BC. The Greeks, who had forgotten about the origins of the poems, located the stories in the Mediterranean, where many Homeric place names could be found, but the poems' descriptions of towns, islands, sailing directions and distances were not altered to fit the reality of the Greek setting. He also writes that "It also appears that Homer's Greek contains a large number of loan words from western European languages, more often from Dutch rather than English, French or German."[2] These languages are considered by linguists to have not existed until around 1000 years after Homer. Wilkens argues that the Atlantic Ocean was the theatre for the Odyssey instead of the Mediterranean. For example: he locates Scylla and Charybdis at present day St Michael's Mount.


link




posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 08:41 AM
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a reply to: aynock

Yes the authors of that theory liked to point out that the Greeks never engaged in chariot warfare but the Celts did, but of course the Assyrians were also most noted for this so that might have been picked up on, but like i said i see it as basically a fictional work inspired by an historical premise of a grand folly type quest to return the incarnation of the Goddess of love back to her rightful place.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 09:32 AM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt

Great thread. Here's something of interest that may play a part in your investigation. As an herbalist Elecampane (Inula helenium) is a fantastic herb for driving out all manners of phlegm, it is also a huige source of inulin used in industry.

Interestingly enough Elecampane was supposedly used by Helen, King Menalaus' wife. What I find fascinating is that Helen is depicted in modern times as having been ok with her kidnapping by Paris whereas by herbal tradition it is implied that she was homesick at the least.




Inula, the Latin classical name for the plant, is considered to be a corruption of the Greek word Helenion which in its Latinized form, Helenium, is also now applied to the same species. There are many fables about the origin of this name. Gerard tells us: 'It took the name Helenium of Helena, wife of Menelaus, who had her hands full of it when Paris stole her away into Phrygia.' Another legend states that it sprang from her tears: another that Helen first used it against venomous bites; a fourth, that it took the name from the island Helena, where the best plants grew.


www.botanical.com...

I suspect I need to see how prolifically Inula helenium grows in the region of Assyria, I suspect quite a bit as it is one persistent plant.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 10:35 AM
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a reply to: BlueJacket

The plant does get a mention in Assyrian herbal collections which were recorded on a large number of tablets found, but i don't know any specifics regarding its associations and usages in that culture.


The genus Inula comprises more than one hundred species widespread in temperate regions of Europe and Asia. Uses of this genus as herbal medicines have been first recorded by the Greek and Roman ancient physicians. These medicines are used as expectorants, antitussives, diaphoretics, antiemetics, and bactericides. Moreover, Inula helenium L. which is mentioned in Minoan, Mycenaean, Egyptian/Assyrian pharmacotherapy and Chilandar Medical Codex


The Genus Inula

The only area there might be a correspondance is with the Goddess Anahita that was seen as an Iranian equivalent of Nanaya, also very closely related to being seen above a lion as is the case with Nanaya of Bactria, anyway her motif resembles the flower of the herb.







edit on Kam33184vAmerica/ChicagoThursday2631 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 11:00 AM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt
Kantzveldt,
There is a big problem with your theory, the sack of troy predates your 7th cent bc event by more than 500 years.
And the Myceneans did engage in chariot combat, but not sure n the sense others did.
The heroes would meet ahead of the main forces dismount and fight individual combats.
The later Greek city states did get away from chariots when they embraced citizen armies.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 11:19 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10

Not really i'd never suggest the Greeks framed the conflict in anything other than a Greek context, they had no real interest in Assyrians versus their Eastern neighbours the Elamites but concerned themselves with their own history, the central narrative that they hung their epic upon though of the incarnation of the Goddess Aphrodite abducted as the justification for war owes everything i feel to the historical event, which must have been the talk of the Eastern Mediterranean at the time.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 04:42 PM
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You have my respect for the work you put into your theory, I mean this is how a number of such theories have been put forth by scholars trying to understand just where the Illiad comes from - some have even theorized connecting it to the Epic of Gilgamesh.

However the accepted theory of it originating as an Achaean tale passed down through several centuries until it was written into a fable by Homer has some major supporting factors - namely several Hittite cuneiform texts that record the conquest of the Troas, a part of the Anatolian peninsula, and specifically with the city of Wilusa, as known to the Hittites, by Mycenaean Greeks. "Troy" wasn't the only city that fell to the Greeks in this expansion, but it was the most famous and was written about by Hittites as well.

From the wikipedia entry on the Achaens, Hittite Documents;


Some Hittite texts mention a nation lying to the west called Ahhiyawa.[12] In the earliest reference to this land, a letter outlining the treaty violations of the Hittite vassal Madduwatta,[13] it is called Ahhiya. Another important example is the Tawagalawa Letter written by an unnamed Hittite king (most probably Hattusili III) of the empire period (14th–13th century BC) to the king of Ahhiyawa, treating him as an equal and suggesting that Miletus (Millawanda) was under his control.[14] It also refers to an earlier "Wilusa episode" involving hostility on the part of Ahhiyawa. Ahhiya(wa) has been identified with the Achaeans of the Trojan War and the city of Wilusa with the legendary city of Troy (note the similarity with early Greek Ϝίλιον Wilion, later Ἴλιον Ilion, the name of the acropolis of Troy). The exact relationship of the term Ahhiyawa to the Achaeans beyond a similarity in pronunciation was hotly debated by scholars, even following the discovery that Mycenaean Linear B is an early form of Greek; the earlier debate was summed up in 1984 by Hans G. Güterbock of the Oriental Institute.[15] More recent research based on new readings and interpretations of the Hittite texts, as well as of the material evidence for Mycenaean contacts with the Anatolian mainland, came to the conclusion that Ahhiyawa referred to the Mycenaean world, or at least to a part of it.


Not all parts of the tale are historical, as Homer clearly did not understand the role of the War Chariot in use at that time, instead relegating it to a contrivance to bring the combatants into the arena for hand-to-hand combat.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt

great thread as usual
FS

though methinks you're going to far with the Euhemerism

i'm gonna have to go with punkinworks and blackmarketter

lol, not to derail and no disrespect meant,

but I recently reread Velikovsky's "Worlds in Collision"

which partly concerning themselves with the alleged near collisions by Venus and later Mars between the 8th and 7th centuries BC, puts it in the same time frame.

anyways, my point is while reading therein about modern historians finding themselves at a loss regarding multiple calendar reforms worldwide in those days to a 360 day calendar despite the fact that the Sumerians, Egyptians, Indians, Mayans, and Chinese all had the maths and were known to be more than adequate observers of the Heavens not figuring out that the year was actually 365.25 days. lots of theories and explanations, yet it occurs to me that occams razor so often invoked is not being used in this case, the simplest explanation is actually that these seemingly "inaccurate" observations were accurate and that the ancients were reporting things as they saw them.



posted on Mar, 26 2015 @ 06:45 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

It's probable the Greeks did base their epic on conflicts and grievances remembered from the Middle Bronze age, the tale as it was set out though makes more sense for the 7th century BC were Sparta had risen to become the major land power around 650 BC and the main protaganist in the conflict.

It's perhaps the case then that not only were they inspired by Ashurbanipal's quest to recover Nanaya but also the remembering and acting upon grievances from the distant past and thus set out a tale involving their own.


edit on Kpm33184vAmerica/ChicagoThursday2631 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 06:32 AM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt
Some great research man, you have some serious knowledge on Assyrian/Sumerian myths and history, though aside from a small link of Helen and Nanaya being both beautiful women entrapped/kidnapped/imprisoned there and an empire waging war to save them which both are just circumstantial in my eyes, there is no other link from this story. Also do you know the extent of Greek-Assyrian contact? Not meaning just hearing of them actual contact where Homer could have heard this story. The only points that come to mind are wars with the Persians and the conquests of Alexander the great (which obviously much later), the Greeks already had their own history and myths they wouldn't have copied or mimicked tales from across the sea into their own in my opinion as is seems they were very proud of their heritage.

I would say that Sparta while the apparent cause for the war (in the poetic story telling sense anyway) the real protagonist was the Mycenae empire wanting to rule, they conquered many city state kingdoms back in the day and I would imagine this was just the only one to survive the dark age through story, Wilusa itself was a very strategic location.

Blackmarketeer gave some good info there thought I'd just add this also aha

Hittite records even mention an Alaksandos as ruler of Wilusa (Alexander is also known as Paris) which is quite a Greek-esque name compared to the regional names, also fragments mention a King Priam, interesting to note that Wilusa was a state that broke away from the Hittite empire and ruled itself as a city state (Michael Wood) not to mention other Hittite tablets found in Hattusa sent from Wilusa translate to "he attacked", "help" "Many ships came"

Although the site of Wilusa/Troy has not turned anything up that would suggest anything close to a 10 year war took place Greek bronze age arrow heads have been found (though not many)

Here is a great debating the evidence for a trojan war which I believe was an assignment, I found it very useful.

How compelling is the evidence for the trojan war
edit on 31-3-2015 by Sparta because: typo



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 09:13 AM
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a reply to: Sparta


It's a good question regarding the extent of Assyrian-Greek contact, there is this paper which suggests that the Iliad was in part inspired by the need to unite against a powerful oppressor in the case of Assyria, even before the same need arose in terms of the Persians;


Considering this time interval, any serious historian should admit thatthe Greek élites cannot have been totally unaware of the political developments taking place in the Near East; further, it is also possible to claim that they cannot have been totally extraneous to them. Moreover,ignorance and extraneousness are simply unbelievable for the late eighth and the seventh centuries, when the Assyrian imperial expansion reached its zenith and represented the main political problem in the whole Near East. As a matter of fact, Assyrian official documents like royal inscriptions and letters surely datable to this time span clearly at-test to the involvement of Greeks in the Near Eastern scenario. In these texts, they are designated
Iamnāia, i.e. »Ionians«, and they are depicted as raiding the Near Eastern Mediterranean coasts.

If these arguments are true, the incipit of the Iliad may be framed withsome degree of confidence into that constellation of ideological mes-sages aiming at soliciting resistance to Assyria which circulated in the Near East during the eighth and seventh centuries. The appeal to unityand concord against an impending attack may be better understood – Ithink – as an appeal against one specific impending attack, the attack par excellence, the Assyrian attack. And further, the appeal to unity and con-cord among Greeks may be framed into the ideological and politicalattitude of those Greek élites who opposed Assyria


Neo Assyrian expansion

Like i've stated previously i don't doubt the Greek-Trojan setting had some historical basis and that was elaborated upon, i've just looked to the events of the 7th BC century as providing the inspiration that prompted the telling of the tale, however transformed they become in the telling of it.
edit on Kam33189vAmerica/ChicagoTuesday3131 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2015 @ 09:21 AM
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a reply to: Kantzveldt

great thread. I hadnt heard about this before but the parallels are undeniable. Good stuff!



posted on Apr, 1 2015 @ 09:10 PM
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Regardless of whatever the actual origin may have been, I don't think it's unreasonable to suggest that the Iliad had some historical event as its genesis.

Harte



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 12:36 PM
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originally posted by: Kantzveldt

a reply to: Blackmarketeer


It's probable the Greeks did base their epic on conflicts and grievances remembered from the Middle Bronze age, the tale as it was set out though makes more sense for the century BC were Sparta had risen to become the major land power around 650 BC and the main protaganist in the conflict.


It's perhaps the case then that not only were they inspired by Ashurbanipal's quest to recover Nanaya but also the remembering and acting upon grievances from the distant past and thus set out a tale involving their own.




Kantzveldt,

You know I always find your threads thoughtful and informative, and on this one I think you might be on to something that runs deeper into ancient western culture than it seems.

  And there absolutely is a connection between the Assyrian story and the Mycenean siege of troy.

 So bear with me for a bit, 


646bc ( the time frame of the Assyrian story)+ 1635 ,which puts initial loss of inna roughly at =2,281bc which puts it in the last  decades of the Akkadian empire. The Akkadians controlled trade from the Persian gulf to the eastern med. Specifically they traded with the Creteans. When the empire fully collapsed members of the royal family, the court and high ranking military members fled west.

 Around this same time there is a distinct change in cretean culture, large military structures show up for the first time along with the large palaces. It's essentially the birth of Minoan culture as we understand it.

 We're the Minoan likely jumpstarted by a group of Akkadian refugees?


 The Myceneans were client states of the and heavily influenced by the Minoans.

  So yes I could see how an akkadian story worked it's way into Greek oral history concerning historic events, then be retold and reframed in the same story structure by the influence of the Assyrian end of the story on Homer as he wrote his epic.



posted on Apr, 9 2015 @ 05:57 PM
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Just a thought. Why wouldn`t the Greeks engage in chariots? Because it was not very effective in their mainland?

Well I thought that the city states under the Greek influence expanded way beyond Greece throughout the Medditerranean to Middle East and Africa. Also both Homer and Hesiod, whose works are the oldest known to this day, are both mentioning gods and demi-gods riding chariots in their works so this "vehicle" was something more than usual weaponry and horses for them and their general belief. At least one can get this impression. And why not use them in one of the most important battles, that would surely please the gods, right?

But until further evidence is found, if found, I won`t dismiss any possible theory that falls within the limits of possible historical event called Trojan War. So S+F for a fresh theory



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 04:47 AM
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a reply to: punkinworks10


a reply to: punkinworks10

Thanks that's interesting, that a mythos relating to the fall of the Akkadian empire could have arisen earlier in the Eastern Mediteranean. The symbolic religious aspects of the Iliad are quite strong in indicating Nanaya, in that though she primarily represented Inanna-Aphrodite she also had associations with Artemis and to some extent Hera in terms of her association with Bau, there was a great deal of syncretism in her cult but the underlying theme was that of incarnation, generally as represented by a Queen.

The apple in the story which determines the primary attribute could relate to the golden cultic apples of Inanna of Uruk, the home city of Nanaya.


You are she who displays shining cornelian from the mountains to be admired. Bringing shining lapis lazuli from the bright mountain on special rafts, you are she who, like fire, melts gold from Harali. You are she who creates apples in their clusters.


The apples were the symbol of her lover Dumuzid. Possible correlations between the Minoan triple Goddess and potential association with Aphrodite-Artemis-Hera or Nanaya might be interesting to consider.

edit on Kam430101vAmerica/ChicagoSunday1230 by Kantzveldt because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 12 2015 @ 06:00 AM
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originally posted by: punkinworks10646bc ( the time frame of the Assyrian story)+ 1635 ,which puts initial loss of inna roughly at =2,281bc which puts it in the last  decades of the Akkadian empire. The Akkadians controlled trade from the Persian gulf to the eastern med. Specifically they traded with the Creteans. When the empire fully collapsed members of the royal family, the court and high ranking military members fled west.

 Around this same time there is a distinct change in cretean culture, large military structures show up for the first time along with the large palaces. It's essentially the birth of Minoan culture as we understand it.

 We're the Minoan likely jumpstarted by a group of Akkadian refugees?

I find it unlikely, given the obvious differences in the writing systems of the two cultures.

But I agree that myths may have been shared - they usually are.

Harte



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