Greek History:the Destiny of the Workers in the Mycenaean Palaces

in #history14 days ago


The world described by Homer is pure fantasy . This was the opinion of most historians until about 1870. The same George Grote started Greek history in 776 BC. C., with the establishment of the first Olympic Games. In his opinion, all the stories handed down to us by ancient tradition were intended as myths and legends. We have known for some time that things are different.

The rediscovery of Minoan cultures and Mycenaean has not a little enriched our knowledge, even retrospectively, that is, on the Protohistory of the Greek world (1900 BC - 900 BC approximately). After the discoveries of Heinrich Schliemann (1822-1890) it can no longer be denied that the refined civilizations of the Aegean of the second millennium BC. have a strong echo in the pages of the Iliad and of the Odyssey. When Schliemann first climbed the Acropolis of Mycenae he thought he had discovered Agamemnon's palace. His belief in him increased when he discovered a series of tombs in which men with their faces covered in gold foil masks had been interred.

Although Schliemann was wrong, since the tombs date back to an alleged date of the Trojan War, the fortress of Mycenae is undoubtedly the most important Mycenaean monument. Tradition has it that the Atrides, the descendants of Atreus, ruled here and that an army set out from here to conquer Troy.


In addition to the recovery of Homer as historical testimony and all effects, another key element in the change of this historiographical paradigm is given by the study of the different types of writing. The actual writing was preceded in the third millennium by the use of seals and signs of various types both on the vases and on the stone blocks:we speak, respectively, of potter's marks and mason brands . The significance of these marks remains obscure. Only in the second millennium, in Crete, did the use of a sequence of signs begin to spread, the combination of which assumes a meaning. Men begin to exchange messages. In the Aegean world, five scriptures have been isolated, related to each other but independent from the oriental ones (the scheme depends on Pierre Carlier, 2014):

(1) the hierogrific Minoan , so baptized by Arthur Evans for the abstract character of the signs, which is distinct from the Egyptian hieroglyph; (2) the Linear A Cretan; (3) the Linear B that it is related to the archaic Greek (and we know this thanks to the studies of Michael Ventris) and on which rests much of our knowledge of the Mycenaean culture; (4) the Cypro-Minoan , widespread in Cyprus between 1500 and 1200 BC, derived from Linear A; (5) the classic Cypriot syllabary (VIII-III century) used for both Greek and another heterocypriot language (near Amatunte).

With respect to these, the famous Phaistos disc should be remembered which remains a hapax as its characters do not fall within the scheme (1) - (5):" nothing proves that it was manufactured in the Aegean, nor that it dates back to the Bronze Age; its historiographic coordinates have not been recorded:one evening in 1908 it was delivered to the Italian archaeologist responsible for the excavation of Phaistos, among a large number of Minoan ... and Hellenistic finds. All deciphering proposals are based in the highest degree on the imagination ”, (Pierre Carlier, Homer and history, Carocci, 2014, p. 43).

Source: Greek History:the Destiny of the Workers in the Mycenaean Palaces

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