The veredict of Arms

El nacimiento de la literatura en occidente

Ever since the appearance of the Iliad and Odyssey, these founding works of literature, debates have raged about their production, dating, even the author of these major milestones of western culture

The Homeric question already confounded ancient scholars, from Aristophanes of Byzantium to Aristarchus of Samothrace and the radical school of the Chorozontes. In the mid 14th century, Petrarch took on the Homeric question once more and rediscovered Homer for the west. That was followed by countless bold theories and dilettantish ruminations like those of the abbé d’Aubignac, who went so far as to deny the existence of Homer, and the Unitarians. Oral poetry studies have concentrated on the linguistic aspects of Homeric studies and come the conclusion that the authors of the Iliad and Odyssey were just a band of singers who could neither read nor write, drawing on evidence like the Serbo-Croatian folk epic still very much in use today.

Eduardo Gil Bera has taken a critical look at all these theories and open questions and turned Homeric studies veritably on its head. He tracks down key errors in translation that have permanently skewed our understanding of the works, re-dates the Iliad and Odyssey and confirms not only that these are indeed two works by different authors but also that the author of the Odyssey adopted the identity of Homer with the aid of his protagonist Odysseus and a carefully considered and minutely planned ruse.

Odysseus is exposed as a great swindler who isn’t above stealing other people’s reputations and uses any means necessary to fortify the lie his author created for him. The result is perhaps the greatest fraud in the history of literature.

With conclusive arguments and plausible examples for his theory, Eduardo Gil Bera demonstrates that the besieged were actually the besiegers and that Odysseus was by no means the courageous hero posterity has taken him for but rather a shameless coward and a lowly con man who used an assortment of tricks to falsify history so that he and his author would be recorded in literature as heroes.

Systematically and full of humor, Eduardo Gil Bera uncovers this conspiracy and teaches a thing or two to today’s Homeric studies which apparently don’t see the forest for the trees.

Hoplon Krisis is available as an original manuscript in Spanish and as a complete high-quality German translation by Roberto de Hollanda.