Who, What, Where:These epic stories are about the Mycenaean or copper Age, ancient Greeks, who thrived from around 1600-1100 BC. This is roughly about the time Moses led the Israelites indigenous Egypt through the time David ruled a unified Jewish nation; by many accounts, Moses led the Jews out of Egypt and also Troy dropped somewhere approximately 1300-1200 BCE. (See our timeline)

These "Greeks" are family member late-comers to the area us now call "Greece" and also likely originated to the east of black color Sea, approximately the area now referred to as the Caucasus (between the Black and also Caspian seas, whereby Russia, Turkey and N. Iran meet). The story that Prometheus -- shackled to mountain Caucus -- shows strong connections between their original culture and that of the Sumerians etc. This people additionally probably invaded India, come the East/South at roughly the very same time (discuss Pramantha/Prometheus mythology). So this Mycenaean world were both affected by and influenced other great civilizations even prior to there to be written history (or, for the matter, writing). Watch MAPS BELOW

Before the Mycenaeans arrived in the region, previously "Greek" societies worshipped ancient fertility goddesses more than likely related to Ishtar, Aphrodite, also Athena and Hera, and appear to have lived a quite peaceable, agricultural lifestyle (we i think this because archeological digs show these pre-Mycenaean people lived without armed forces weapons or fortifications...until lock were attacked by the Mycanaeans).

In contrast to "the locals", the Greek legends we read celebrate war; this is the literary works of armed forces conquerors, so the Mycenaean human being had as lot in typical with, say, the later on Vikings just like the later philosophical, "civilized" Greeks: this is a culture of raiders, of looters and also pillagers. Native this perspective, The Iliadis a work of armed forces propaganda that justifies Mycenaen control of the most valuable sea passage of period (the Bosporus), and also The Odyssey justifies colonizing Italy and Sicily to the West.

So, prefer the Hebrew bibles -- or our own "Westerns" (cowboys/us vs. Indians/them) -- this Greek legends justify the invasion and also domination of previously "native" inhabitants.

You are watching: The iliad and the odyssey are important because they __________

These old (and also Classical) Greeks are best viewed as a society rather 보다 as a unified human being or "nation". When we speak of "the ancient Greeks" it's the same way we view “Western Culture” together referring come Europe, Britain, the USA, Canada, Australia. Achilles is a king in his own right, as is Odysseus, Menaleaus, Agamemnon etc., and also Achilles go to great lengths to allude out that Agamemnon is not his king; Agamemnon is merely the command of a federation of elevation city states. This difference is necessary to understanding the Iliad: Achilles rightfully look at himself as Agamemnon's equal.

Troy is believed to have actually fallen roughly 1184 BC and also The Iliad and also Odyssey to be not composed down until c.800-700 BC, therefore although lock are based upon vaguely real historical events and actual historical characters, lock are occasions that transpired thousands of years before the writer even lived; they are history that has morphed right into mythology. Us still to speak they were composed by the remote poet Homer, but that’s as lot myth as the stories themselves; there’s yes, really no reason to believe that a man named Homer ever wrote any kind of of this stories, or the he was blind. We have the right to assume that this is a compilation of miscellaneous oral tales and that much of the narration defines what Greek life and also warfare was favor in 750 BCE, not 1184 BCE.

Internecene Iliad, Othering Odyssey:The Iliad: The Iliad tells the final chapter in the story of two significant Bronze age “Greek” partnerships battling each other. That ends once the Achaeans (people mainly from what we now contact Greece) bag Troy/Ilium (located in modern day Turkey). It's a long, meandering epic, however it primarily revolves about the "godlike Achilles'" battle to challenge his hubris and become humanized.

Both in scope and type, consider the Trojan war as comparable to that in between different european factions in WWI and WWII, or in between the North and also South in the American civil War: this was a seminal, history-shaping event, and also an intra-cultural war: a war fought amongst people that the same an easy culture; although the 2 sides are defended by various gods, all the gods belong to the same basic pantheon or household of what we now speak to "Greek gods".

The Odyssey, in contrast, mainly takes place outside of that common culture and describes contact with pre-Mycenaean Mediterranean cultures. The story focuses on Odysseus and his family's battle to recoup from the Trojan war's after impacts and, primarily, with Odysseus struggle to make it ago home. Therefore The Iliad defines the clash between two equally brilliant and also beautiful groups of “Greeks”, and also The Odyssey describes contact with the “Other”, represented as monsters and also witches.

Profound Impact:

We’re interested in component in how familiar and also "normal" these stories feel, just how unexotic castle are, due to the fact that they space the structure for just how Western culture thinks that storytelling, and how this storytelling consequently shaped our conception of what it way to be a human being being. While the Jews offered Western culture its religious foundation, the Greeks provided us our culture, the parts of our stays we don't even notice because it is the very air us breath – our sense of heroism, that the individual, the the individuals relationship come others, or our very method of expressing our emotions and also the way we call stories. Jewish stories opened up our method of conceptualizing God, however the Greeks gave us our method of thinking around ourselves as human beings. Words for this is "humanism" or Greek Humanism.

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National geographic Maps

Map including West Asia and Black Sea:


General map the region:


An synopsis of his travel is locatedhere. Note however, that scholars yes, really don't know Odysseus' actual route, if there ever before was one "actual" Odysseus etc., so take it these maps through a serial of salt.