- Homer, Troy and the Turks: Heritage & identity in the Late Ottoman Empire 1870-1915
- Award date
- 13 November 2015
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Humanities (FGw)
- Amsterdam School for Heritage and Memory Studies (AHM)
The origins and date of birth of the most famous Greek poet Homer, the author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, which are without doubt the most influential literary works in the history of Western civilization, are uncertain. Neither is it clear exactly where and when the Iliad, an episode of the Trojan War, and the Odyssey, the story of the return voyage of the Greek hero Odysseus after the fall of Troy, were composed. However, researchers locate Homer and his works between the 9th and the 7th century BC and the idiom of the poems indicates Smyrna (present-day Izmir) and Cyme in Turkey or the Greek island Chios as his birthplace.
Chapter 1 of this research concentrates on the discovery of Troy. Chapter 2 shifts to the Ottoman perspective on the developments in Troy and deals with the intellectual climate of the late Ottoman Empire. Chapter 3 discusses the Ottoman involvement in the archaeology of Troy during the early 1880s and the repeating clashes between Ottoman authorities and Schliemann. Chapter 4 deals with the interest in Homer, Homeric epics and Troy in Ottoman Turkish literature. The final chapter deals with the Ottoman interest in the excavations in Troy between 1885 and 1915 and the changing attitudes towards Troy and Homer during the Great War with the Battle of Gallipoli as the culminating point.
Although much more research needs to be done before we really get a thorough understanding of the Ottoman perspective, I hope this study will offer some insight into the Ottoman-Turkish attitudes towards and perceptions of Troy and Homeric heritage and the interactions with western archaeological claims.
- Research conducted at: Universiteit van Amsterdam
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