Homer May Have Been Smarter than We Thought
“He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names.”
Homer, the blind Greek poet, spoke of Odysseus’s return to Ithaca and describes some astronomical events that seldom happen in the order he describes. Yet, the setting of the events he writes about took place 400 years before it is thought Homer lived.
As Odysseus sails home five days before a banquet, he notes that both the constellations Boötes and Pleiades are visible. Because of their placement in the sky, they are very rarely visible in the same sky in Greece. Homer also mentions Odysseus’s sighting of Venus just before dawn. Then, on the day of the banquet there is a solar eclipse.
Some have dismissed these details as just colorful descriptions in a fictional poem. However, a solar eclipse did take place in that part of the world on April 16, 1178 B.C., just the time period Homer is writing about. Researchers then figured out the positions of the other astronomical features Odysseus is reported to have seen, and they were indeed happening on and within days of that date as described. The problem is, Greek astronomy at Homer’s time was not believed to be sophisticated enough to figure out where these astronomical bodies were 400 years earlier.
Perhaps man, who has made astronomical observatories since before most historic cultures were established, was originally given such knowledge by his Creator.
Father, I thank You for the beauty of the night sky that so gloriously sets forth Your glory and power. Amen.
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/33683/title/Too_much_information_in_the_Odyssey. Photo: Head of Odysseus made of marble probably in the 1st century A.D.