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Problems in Greek history   By:

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Transcriber's Notes: Greek words in this text have been transliterated and placed between plus signs. Words in italics in the original are surrounded by underscores . Words in a Gothic font in the original are surrounded by =equal signs=. Characters superscripted in the original are surrounded by {braces}. A row of asterisks represents a thought break.

Variations in spelling and hyphenation have been left as in the original. Words with and without accents appear as in the original. Ellipses match the original.

A few typographical errors have been corrected. A complete list follows the text. Other notes also follow the text.






Fellow and Tutor of Trinity College, Dublin; Knight (Gold Cross) of the Order of the Redeemer; Hon. Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford; Author of 'Prolegomena to Ancient History,' 'Social Life in Greece,' 'A History of Classical Greek Literature,' &c., &c.





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Even since the following sheets were printed, the researches into prehistoric Greek life, and its relation both to the East, to the Homeric poems, and to the Greece we know in the 7th century B.C., have progressed, and we are beginning to see some light through the mist. I can refer the reader to two books, of which one has just been published in English. The other, the second edition of Busolt's History of Greece , though still in the press, will be accessible to those that read German in a few weeks. I prefer to cite the former Schuchardt's account of Schliemann's Excavations in its English form, as it is there enriched with an Introduction, and apparently a revision of the text, by Mr. Walter Leaf. This is the first systematic attempt to bring into a short compass, with the illustrations, and with some regard to chronology, the great body of facts discovered and hastily consigned to many large volumes by the gifted discoverer. There is, moreover, a separate chapter (vi.) which gathers these facts under a theory, not to speak of the acute and cautious criticism of Mr. Leaf, which will be found in the Introduction to the volume. The Introduction to Busolt's History , of which (by the author's courtesy) I have seen some 130 pages, contains a complete critical discussion of the same evidence.

Here is the general result in Busolt's own exposition ( G. G. 2nd ed. pp. 113 sq.): 'The Homeric culture is younger than the Mykenæan, it is also simpler and in better proportion. The former had come to use iron for arms and tools, the latter is strictly in the age of bronze[vi:1]. If the culture of the Epics does show a lower stage of technical development, we perceive also a decline of oriental influences. In many respects, in matters of interment, dress and armour, the epic age contrasts with the Mykenæan, but in many points we find transitions and threads which unite the two civilizations. The Homeric palace shows remarkable agreements with those of Mykenæ and Tiryns. The Homeric heroes fight with sword, spear, and bow, like the Mykenæan. Splendid vases, too, and furniture, such as occur within the range of the Mykenæan culture, agree even in details with the descriptions of the Epos. The Epos, too, knows Mykenæ "rich in gold," and the "wealthy" Odeomenos. In general the homes of the Mykenæan culture are prominent in the Iliad. The splendour of the Mykenæan epoch was therefore still fresh in the memory of the Æolians and Ionians when the Epos arose... Continue reading book >>

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