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The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales: The <i>Iliad,</i> the <i>Odyssey,</i> and the Migration of Myth by [Vinci, Felice]
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The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales: The <i>Iliad,</i> the <i>Odyssey,</i> and the Migration of Myth Kindle Edition

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Length: 383 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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: 1711 KB
  • Print Length: 383 pages
  • Publisher: Inner Traditions; Tra edition (December 20, 2005)
  • Publication Date: November 16, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0068Q6UE0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,177 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
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 fall) do not easily match the assumed Mediterranean topography. Various prehistorians, historians, archeologists, and linguists have expressed their consternation about Homer's geographical details. It was Plutarch (46-120 A.D.), who in his essay "The face that appears in the lunar orb," unequivocally states that Goddess Calypso's island of Ogygia mentioned in the Odyssey was situated "five days' sail from Britain, toward the west."

Vinci, a nuclear engineer by profession and a passionate classicist by vocation, took Plutarch's statement as a serious clue to search for the geography of the Homeric epics in the North Atlantic rather than the Mediterranean. He has amassed a mountain of evidence in favor of the Baltic origins of both Greek epics. Similarities between the mythologies of the North and the Mediterranean have often been pointed out. Vinci argues that a deterioration in climate around 2000 B.C. caused some of the Scandinavian peoples to migrate south. As time went by, the epics were claimed by the Greeks for their own Mediterranean culture and environment.

What about Schliemann's Troy? Although this intrepid explorer undoubtedly discovered the Mycenean civilization, his claim to have unearthed the city of Troy has never been universally accepted. Already Strabo ( ) denied that the "ancient Ilium ( Troy)" was to be found in Anatolia. A better candidate for the Homeric Troy than the Anatolian town of Hisarlik, excavated by Schliemann, is possibly the Finnish town of Toija, as suggested by Vinci.

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.

[...]
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