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(texte français: cliquez ici)   Sea routes and the epic text


Though information on sea routes in the epic is more exact than it would seem at first sight, it is not precise enough for navigation practice. Would it be coded?
Odysseus' nautical world
A cosmological interpretation
Sea routes and the epic text
The routes home
Rounding Cape Malea
6 Toward a New World
7 Mythological figures for stopovers
From the next World to this world
9 In Odysseus'wake. Arrival at Ithaka
10 Ithaka, Ormos Polis
Ithaka, the islet of Daskalio
12 Ithaka, Port Saint Andrew
13 At the Arethuse source
14 The periplus to Ithaka
15 Our friend Odysseus
The Troja plain; in the distance, a tepe, a Homeric hero's tumulus tomb.
To general perspective of interpretation of Homer's text, I will add two remarks both deduced from history and navigation practice. According to most recent work by archaeologists and historians of homeric times, such as Luce, it would seem that the author or authors of the Iliad and the Odyssey had a very precisely documented knowledge of at least the sites of Troja and Ithaka. This does not imply that they had a personal practice of sea routes in the confines of the Hellenic world, or still less a technical knowledge of them, such as captains of merchant ships or warships could have. For merchants and soldiers secret has a price, disinformation too. Some sea routes might be perfectly known by "professional" navigators, merchants, pirates or warriors, but not divulged. So, explorative navigations, military and merchant expeditions may surely have preceded regular navigations between the central zone of the Greek world and its confines without being known by the authors of homeric poems and their audience.  next
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