Valuable knowledge is waiting to be discovered: about the people living along the coast of Northwestern Europe around 1200 BC, about the way they navigated the high seas, about a great war between the Kings of continental Europe and the Trojan king in the east of England who held a monopoly of tin-mining in Cornwall. Tin ore, essential for making bronze, was nearly depleted in continental Europe
Such information is encoded in the Iliad and Odyssey. The two books were written in ancient Greek language after material that had been transmitted orally during centuries. This source of historic geographic information is buried under the belief that the writings of Homer are poetic fiction only, and do not have any historical value. Another misguided idea has been launched by Schliemann, who erroneously held the ruins of Hissarlik in west Anatolia for the remains of Troia.
These false beliefs have been overthrown in a book by Iman J. Wilkens: "Where Troy once stood", Rider London 1990 (the publisher for the U.S. is St Martin's Press, New York 1991). A Dutch edition has appeared: "Waar eens Troje lag", Bosch en Keuning, Baarn 1999, in which a reinterpretation of the Iliad and the Odyssey is given. A newly revised and expanded edition has been published by Gopher, Groningen. Copies can be ordered directly via the internet: www.gopherpublishers.com Visit also the website of I.J.Wilkens www.troy-in-england.co.uk
Another author on Troy in England, Ernst Gideon, has pointed out that the ancient Celtic and Homeric notions as to religion and society are very similar. Wilkens explicitly states that the Odyssey is relevant to seafaring people, think of Phoenicians, Achaeans and Vikings. It is likely that a story-text that has been transmitted orally during 400 years before it was put down in writing (in the written language of the time, i.e. Greek) was significant to such a degree that it had to be intructed to the future leaders of every new generation. Comparable to what is thought of Bible- and Koranic text in certain circles of our times. In the revealed religion of that time the hero will by withstanding trials arrive at wisdom and insight. The other essence extracted from the Odyssey however is that the itinerary of Odysseus and his companions describes the countries and seas as they were known at the time by very few initiates. Those who had learned to interpret the codes hidden in the story, were permitted to learn the meaning underlying the metaphors.