The world is full of fake news, inaccurate reporting, biased reporting and so on. We all know that and there is no reason to be surprised. Such actions have been going on for thousands of years. A perfect example of that is the Iliad which purportedly is the story of a Greek-Trojan squabble wherein some clod named Paris swiped Helen from King Agamemnon. Paris took her to his home in Troy which ticked off Agamemnon and he vowed to bring her back – although I am not certain why. He then supposedly asked the other Greek kings to join him in teaching Troy a lesson for harboring Paris and Helen.
Let’s just examine this so called factual story, and we can begin by noting that the author is someone named Homer. Now did you ever hear of a Greek named Homer? Nah, back in those days they had names like Hercules, Theseus, Socrates, Aristotle and Herodias. My rational guess is that the Greeks got to Troy, looked at the defenses and commented “Holy Crap, it will take us ten years to take that place down.” Some of the other kings had been complaining on the trip over that Agamemnon should have said that he didn’t like Helen anyhow and taken a new wife. Then they all could have stayed home and entered the Olympics to stay in shape. In addition, Achilles kept complaining about his heel hurting with the result the kings met to decide if there was another solution to the matter rather than staying for ten years in a god forsaken area of the world.
Ulysses came up with a solution by indicating that he knew of a great story teller by the name of Homer. Homer was a barbarian (if you weren’t Greek, you were a barbarian}, who lived in Ionia (now in Turkey), but if they offered him enough gold coins he could write a rip-snorting tale of Greek valor that would spread over the known world and be believed. That sounded good so they sent their fastest runner to Ionia. He got lost a couple of times as there no maps around that were very accurate. While the Greeks waited, they decided they might as well shoot some arrows at Troy since they were in the vicinity. They did but unfortunately one of the arrows hit a spot that caused it to bounce back and it hit Achilles in the heel. You know what happened then, but he was the only Greek casualty which was good in that sense.
Eventually, their fastest runner came back (with a new bride which undoubtedly caused some delay). In any case, Homer had agreed so all the kings got the troops together. They then stuck out their tongues at the Trojans and left for Greece with all arriving in good shape although many were ticked off that they had gone in the first place. Homer kept his word and wrote the Iliad which has significant evidence of its being a large scale public relations piece. For example, he did not know the name of Agamemnon’s wife. He knew it would take too long to find out even if the Pony Express had existed then so he used Helen. Obviously Helen is not a Greek name from back then. The women then had names like Penelope, Pandora or perhaps Hera after the queen of Gods. I figure that at some point Homer had taken a trip to Europe and met a Helen there. He then most likely named the villain Paris after the city where he met Helen. Paris is no name for a guy who lived in the mid-east back then. As I said at the beginning the story is full of holes, but it served the purpose very well since everyone now believes the Greeks spent ten years destroying Troy.
That said we can revert to the present where a book entitled “Musings from Life in The Villages, FL” which contain some previous musings that I have written and now is available on Amazon. Accuracy is not guaranteed in this book either.
Barry Evans writes about Life in The Villages for Villages-News.com.