Review of Joachim Latacz's 'Troy and Homer: Towards a Solution of an Old Mystery'
4 Pages Posted: 1 Jul 2009
Date Written: 2005
In this book, a translation of a German bestseller, the most vigorous proponent of the view that the Iliad is a reliable source of information about the city of Troy in the Late Bronze Age, presents the evidence from two very different fields: archaeology and linguistics/philology. Though especially sympathetic to the idea that certain significant details in Homer reflect society as it was long before the eighth century B.C., in a shared Greco-Anatolian setting, this reviewer, a linguist/philologist, is nevertheless dismayed by Latacz's presentation of the evidence. To take just one egregious example of bias disguised as fact - a "fact" that certain colleagues are unfortunately already citing as gospel - there is, pace Latacz and Frank Starke, no evidence for the claim that an actual Hittite document reveals as a forebear of the king of Ahhiyawa (~ Achaia) a man by the name of Kadmos.
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