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The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales: The Iliad, the Odyssey, and the Migration of Myth [Kindle Edition]

Felice Vinci
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Compelling evidence that the events of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey took place in the Baltic and not the Mediterranean

• Reveals how a climate change forced the migration of a people and their myth to ancient Greece

• Identifies the true geographic sites of Troy and Ithaca in the Baltic Sea and Calypso's Isle in the North Atlantic Ocean

For years scholars have debated the incongruities in Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, given that his descriptions are at odds with the geography of the areas he purportedly describes. Inspired by Plutarch's remark that Calypso's Isle was only five days sailing from Britain, Felice Vinci convincingly argues that Homer's epic tales originated not in the Mediterranean, but in the northern Baltic Sea.

Using meticulous geographical analysis, Vinci shows that many Homeric places, such as Troy and Ithaca, can still be identified in the geographic landscape of the Baltic. He explains how the dense, foggy weather described by Ulysses befits northern not Mediterranean climes, and how battles lasting through the night would easily have been possible in the long days of the Baltic summer. Vinci's meteorological analysis reveals how a decline of the "climatic optimum" caused the blond seafarers to migrate south to warmer climates, where they rebuilt their original world in the Mediterranean. Through many generations the memory of the heroic age and the feats performed by their ancestors in their lost homeland was preserved and handed down to the following ages, only later to be codified by Homer in the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Felice Vinci offers a key to open many doors that allow us to consider the age-old question of the Indo-European diaspora and the origin of the Greek civilization from a new perspective.


Editorial Reviews

Review

". . .Vinci engages in intriguing, fascinating, but also well-substantiated speculation on the bases of Homer's works. . . . this work covers many little-known but interesting and colorful aspects of the ancient European world and also enhances appreciation of the literary style and the cultural material and sources of the works." (Henry Berry, Midwest Book Review, May 2006)

". . . blends history and classical studies with geographical analysis and spiritual insights as it provides evidence linking Homer's tales to northern European, not Mediterranean, origins. From how heroic memories were preserved and locales changed to the origins of civilization itself. . . ." (Diane Donovan, California Bookwatch, June 2006)

"Vinci's audacious rewriting of Homeric culture and mythology is a creative proposition, which deserves to be further investigated. He has my full vote of confidence." (Georg Feuerstein, Traditional Yoga Studies, Oct 2006)

"The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales is a rare example of a book that turns received notions upside-down." (Joscelyn Godwin, translator of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili)

"Powerful, methodical, important, and convincing." (Alfred de Grazia, author of Burning of Troy)

“It is hard to overstate the impact, both scholarly and imaginative, of Vinci’s compellingly argued thesis. . . . Scholars will be rethinking Indo-European studies from the ground up and readers of Homer’s epics will enter fresh realms of delight as they look anew at the world in which Homer’s heroes first breathed and moved.” (Professor William Mullen, department of classics, Bard College)

From the Back Cover

HISTORY / CLASSICAL STUDIES

“It is hard to overstate the impact, both scholarly and imaginative, of Vinci’s compellingly argued thesis. . . . Scholars will be rethinking Indo-European studies from the ground up and readers of Homer’s epics will enter fresh realms of delight as they look anew at the world in which Homer’s heroes first breathed and moved.”
--Professor William Mullen, department of classics, Bard College

“Powerful, methodical, important, and convincing . . .”
--Alfred de Grazia, author of Burning of Troy

For years scholars have debated the incongruities in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, finding the author’s descriptions at odds with the geography he purportedly describes. Inspired by Plutarch’s remark that Calypso’s island home was only five days’ sail from Britain, Felice Vinci convincingly argues that Homer’s epic tales originated not in the Mediterranean, but in northern Europe’s Baltic Sea.

Using meticulous geographical analysis, Vinci shows that many Homeric places, such as Troy and Ithaca, can be identified in the geographic landscape of the Baltic. He explains how the cool, foggy weather described by Ulysses matches that of northern climes rather than the sunny, warm Mediterranean and Aegean, and how battles lasting through the night would easily have been possible in the long days of the Baltic summer. Vinci’s meteorological analysis reveals how the “climatic optimum”--a long period of weather that resulted in a much milder northern Europe--declined and thus caused the blond seafarers of the Baltic to migrate south to warmer climates, where they rebuilt their original world in the Mediterranean. Through many generations the memory of the heroic age and the feats performed by their ancestors in their lost homeland was preserved and handed down, ultimately to be codified by Homer as the Iliad and the Odyssey.

In The Baltic Origins of Homer’s Epic Tales, Felice Vinci offers a key to open many doors, allowing us to consider from a new perspective the age-old question of the Indo-European diaspora and the origin not only of Greek civilization, but of Western civilization as a whole.

FELICE VINCI is a nuclear engineer with an extensive background in Latin and Greek studies. Since 1992 he has been researching his theory on the northern origin of Greek mythology. He lives in Rome.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1193 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1594770522
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Tra edition (November 16, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0068Q6UE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars All Roads Lead to Scandinavia April 25, 2006
By Scout
Format:Paperback
Felice Vinci traces the Greek epic tales of Homer to an original Baltic setting. Scholars have long troubled over the misfit of geographical information that the Iliad and Odyssey relate. Vinci makes a strong case that the Mycenaeans came from a then much warmer Scandinavia and migrated south to the Aegean, taking their epic stories with them. Correlating place names between those in the epics with those in the Baltic and North Sea regions, he pinpoints the locations of every major city, including Troy. Further strengthening his case, he demonstrates the cultural parallels between these mythic tales and others from Scandinavian culture.

His thesis is not as far fetched as this reviewer intially assumed it would be. We can see many places along the east coast of the United States named in honor of cities and towns in England, as namesakes of the original homes of the newcomers to the New World. If Vinci is right, inhabitants from northern Europe migrated south to the Mediterranean area and renamed numerous places in honor of their former homeland as well. Readers of Homer's stories assumed that they described events in this new homeland rather than their possible real places of origin. Many scholars considered these stories to be myths because they fail to fit the Near East setting, when they in fact fit much better in the far north and may represent real events after all. It would be like someone assuming that stories about the English Wars of the Roses occurred along the Atlantic seaboard of North America, where the interrelationship all the places named would be a jumbled mess, when in reality they took place in England, where all the geography actually fits.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating solution to the Homeric enigmas. June 28, 2006
Format:Paperback
For those who have actually read and pondered the Homeric sagas, many difficulties present themselves in trying to visualize the battles, the geography and the scenery when compared to the eastern areas of the Mediterranean Sea. In this book, Felice Vinci proposes and very well defends the seemingly outrageous idea that the events described in the epics actually transpired in the Baltic Sea. He contends that these events took place at the end of a particularly warm period, and with the dropping temperatures, the actors of the Homeric dramas fled south and occupied the warmer Mediterranean. Transposing the names of their former cities to their new homes, once things settled down, the epics were put to writing.

This is a bold and exciting assertion. This book explains and defends the premise very well. I strongly encourage people to read and ponder. It is a rare thing when something this bold and of this scope can be conceived and propounded with such dignity and vigor.

Put down whatever you are reading today and get this book!
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Homer where he always was. March 21, 2008
Format:Paperback
Felice Vinci
The Baltic Origins of Homer's
Epic Tales:
The Iliad, the Odyssey, and
The Migration of Myth
(Inner Traditions, Rochester, VT) 2006
xiii+370 pages
ISBN 1-59477-052-2 (pb)

Critiqued by Frederic Jueneman

As perhaps an interesting preliminary aside, Roman author Felice Vinci's original 1995 book in Italian, Omero nel Baltico ("Homer in the Baltic"), was highlighted several years ago with a précis of his study of Homer's epic Iliad and Odyssey. Originally it was met with some skepticism; but hopefully since, it has captured the notice of some attentive classical scholars, who had no preconceived notions of their own, to further the study of Homeric lore. Now, finally, the full-scale English language version is widely available for critical analysis. (A contemporaneous Russian edition has also been recently published.) And, it might be amusingly mentioned that Vinci's popularity has since risen in Scandinavia, as these peoples were given a revitalized legacy, but his esteem has proportionately declined in Greece, since he has uncharitably taken away the cherished and hoary heritage of Homer from Aegean waters and moved it en masse into the Baltic. Notwithstanding, Vinci has done his homework remarkably well, as his extensive knowledge of Homeric Greek, as well as of ancient history and literature, comes through clearly.

The Foreword to this edition is by Joscelyn Godwin of Colgate University, a scholar who might be termed a student of esotericology (study of the occult), but who wouldn't be among my first choices as a preface author. Yet, his extensive knowledge of obscure esoteric practices and cabalistic lore from around the world puts him in a somewhat unique position.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By SkyMind
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was initially utterly convinced by Vinci. He found so many place name similarities and overlaid them on geographical correspondences between the Baltic and the Mediterranean that I couldn't believe it could just be coincidence. That combined with the similarities to Nordic mythology and culture had me convinced. But his most convincing argument was the reference to long days cited in Book 10 of the Odyssey, such that a man could earn double wages as a cowherd and a shepherd since the days were so long. This had to be evidence of an Arctic origin. I failed to realize that tales of such a place could be told by a long chain of traders, a network that could carry tales over long distances from places never visited in person. Word of exotic places does not prove Homer actually lived in those exotic places! Over the last two years I've done a great deal of reading. The linguistic, genetic, archaeological, mythological, and even the climatic evidence supports the Mediterranean location, not the Baltic; but a quick perusal of wikipedia disproves the theory in one fell swoop: The Nordic bronze age didn't start until 1700 B.C.E., and Finland after 1500 B.C.E.! This is far too late to allow for the mythic cycles to develop in the Baltic and then be transferred to the Mediterranean, since Mycenae was well established by 1500 B.C.E. In addition, there are no sails on ships carved in rocks from the bronze age of Scandinavia - not a single indisputable one! Recent research proves that Indo-Europeans originated in Turkey and south of the Caucasus Mountains, not northern Norway, Sweeden and Finland. Archaeological evidence discussed by Martin Nilsson in the 1930s in his book Homer and Mycenae, a researcher that Vinci cites himself, disproves Vinci's theory. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A new look at a very old tale
Some years ago I read a book claiming that Homer's Troy was not in Anatolia, but in England. (No, the author wasn't English; he was Dutch. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Don Lowry
5.0 out of 5 stars A fresh take on a timeless subject!
I have always had some doubts as to the authenticity of the location of Troy via vis Schliemann. This book presents a new look at the subject, moving the location of Troy to an... Read more
Published 10 months ago by D. R. DeBorde
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched but lacking in a couple of areas
Vinci does a very credible job of proving that Homer's epic tales actually took place in the far north and were brought to the Mediterranean by the populace when they moved south. Read more
Published on January 11, 2012 by Colin Bayler
1.0 out of 5 stars Waiting for the sequel...
I am anxiously waiting for the sequel: The Chinese origins of Shakespearean Drama...or, better yet, the Aztek origins of Dante's Divine Comedy... Read more
Published on June 6, 2011 by Miltiades E. Bolaris
5.0 out of 5 stars He has my full vote of confidence.
It is a curious fact that the geographical descriptions furnished in Homer's Iliad (the story of the siege of Troy) and Odyssey (the story of Odysseus's journey home after Troy's... Read more
Published on October 14, 2006 by Georg Feuerstein
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing study of connections between Homer's poems and Baltic area
Making comparisons of climate and geography, including place names, between Homer's ancient Greek classics and the Baltic Sea coastal areas, Vinci engages in intriguing,... Read more
Published on May 2, 2006 by Henry Berry
5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read" book!
This is one of the most exciting books I have ever owned. It has led me into a myriad of subjects requiring re-thinking. Read more
Published on April 5, 2006 by Rockessence
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