In this book Felice Vinci covers the old ground about how
the Odyssey epic poem derives much content from the northern world of
the day. This is not new. But Vinci continues along this line
and discovers the strong possibility that IN GENERAL the author of the
Odyssey, used material from the northern world extensively (not
just for the tales on the journey), and his details regarding an
archipalego at the Jutland Peninsula further suggest that the
Odyssey author lived there, in the north, and used content from his own
experience in the north. In my view, judging from the Odyssey
author's extensive references to household antics, this author
was actually a minstrel in such a household. He certainly had no
experience in war, and would not have been capable of writing about war
like the author of the Iliad did.
The problems in the book begin
after Vinci completes his coverage of the Odyssey in part one. He then
PROJECTS the discovery that details in the Odyssey come from the
Baltic, into the Iliad. But is he justified in doing that? It has
long been known, and he himself acknowledged, that the writers of
the Odyssey and Iliad were different people in spite of both being called "Homer". If that is the case
then each author could have written about completely different worlds.
It is presumptuous to assume the author of the Iliad behaved like the author of the
Odyssey, in using Baltic
information. At least it has to be discussed as a viable alternative,
but is not. But that is the premise for all that follows in
Vinci's book, regardless of whether ONE "Homer" was the author of both,
or TWO "Homers" wrote one each. The alternative of the epics being
DIFFERENT creations with the sequel borrowing from the original, is the
most probable scenario, but is not even discussed so that the
reader can be lead up a less likely even impossible other garden path.
It is clear that the Iliad author, describes a real war that occurred somewhere
- there is so much vivid detail. But what is the basis of assuming this
real war occurred in the Baltic, rather than where the details suggest
- in the Aegean world? The Dardanelles location can still be
wrong, but the actual location can still be in the southern world, such
as Lycia which is often mentioned. At issue is Vinci's connecting
what he finds about the Odyssey describing Baltic information, to the
Iliad, as if both were connected, rather than being completely separate
in time and space which it is the more obvious plainer, simpler, and more probable truth.
What is Vinci's basis for
projecting his theory about the Odyssey into the Iliad? Well, he says,
the Odyssey makes correct references to the narrative, geneology, geography, etc, same as the Iliad, and so was describing the same Baltic events. WAIT!!! Just because the author of the
Odyssey cites Iliad references, does not mean the author accessed raw
data, especially if there is strong evidence the Odyssey was written
centuries later than the Iliad. A good quote from the Odyssey, suggesting it was written centuries later is this passage which mentions trade in iron (Butcher-Lang translation). And now am I come to shore, as thou seest, with ship and crew, sailing over the wine-dark sea, unto men of strange speech, even to Temesa, in quest of copper, and my cargo is shining iron. This places the Odyssey
at the beginning of the Iron Age, as late as 400BC even later,
because iron has by this text become established enough to be a trade item. Previously it would be a rare thing not commonly traded.
Vinci is of course free to offer his interpretation
- a Baltic war around 1800 BC and two authors named "Homer", both
in the Baltic, and both writing independently about the same events.
But at least in a properly written book of this nature, the
alternative interpretations should be at least discussed. He must show
how the common interpretations should be considered wrong. He discusses
the arguments for and against the Dardanelles location of Troy,
therefore he is capable of discussing the question of the validity of
connecting the Odyssey and Iliad
to the same world, rather than treating them as completely
separate works arising from completely different locations and times -
ie one could be written in the Baltic, the other in Greece. Vinci's
reluctance to raise a debate about something that works strongly
against his theory is what makes his book very poor from the
perspective of science and journalism and the pursuit of truth. You are
not pursuing truth if you do not discuss alternatives, but only promote
your own theory.
After writing that constantly
implies a single author "Homer" for both, it is not until page 204,
that Vinci states there were two authors
like most believe. His view however is that both lived in the Baltic,
the author of the Iliad lived in
northern Baltic, and the author of the Odyssey lived at the Jutland
Peninsula and they both made reference to the same Baltic war.
But where is the evidence? Where is the evidence the Iliad describes a Baltic war? There is none. The
Iliad could have been written anywhere by any author about any war
anywhere. The Odyssey could then simply make references to the information in the
Well, one can argue that MAYBE the
authors of the Odyssey and Iliad were drawing from the same Baltic
legends about a war. That is Vinci's premise. But let us look at
the facts. There is no evidence that the author of the Odyssey
was referring to any Baltic Trojan war, as opposed to simply copying details out of the Iliad.
If he had access to raw legends, then he would have inserted more
detailed accounts of events of that war. The author of the
Odyssey certainly would have loved to have some good war-text rather
than having to write endlessly on a household soap opera at "Ithaca".
So, we conclude that the author of the Odyssey had nothing else to use about the Trojan War events beyond what he learned from the Iliad itself,
and his references to the Trojan War were purely copied from the Iliad to make the Odyssey SEEM like a sequel.
But this can be seen as ONE point of view, and
Vinci can still claim that two Baltic authors were contemporary and
wrote independently about the same war. The real test comes from whether
or not the actual evidence demonstrates that both the Odyssey and the Iliad were describing the same northern world. How good is Vinci's evidence from the Iliad? Does the evidence from the Iliad back it up? I am suggesting here that on closer scrutiny it does not and that Vinci is resting his case mainly on the Odyssey and the act of projecting interpretations of the Odyssey onto the Iliad.
As the promotions of the book show, Vinci argues a
northern origin for the content of both the Odyssey
and Iliad based on geographical and climatic discrepancies with the
Mediterranean. He argues that the weather depicted is not like the
Mediterranean, and that topography described for certain Greek
locations does not agree with the actual topography of the Greek
islands. What I say is that discrepancies in the Odyssey indeed point to Baltic content masquerading as Iliad
and Greek people and places. But discrepancies in the Iliad
do not point to Baltic content, but to the Iliad describing a war
elsewhere in the Aegean world (see my Lycia -Troy paper in the
link at bottom)
Vinci exploits the findings in the Odyssey to project a Baltic setting into the Iliad.
First through most of the book promotions and text, the reader is
encouraged to believe "Homer" is one person hence what applies to one
epic applies to the other. Next he avoids all matters of how
minstrels create their work - by borrowing and adapting - and avoids
even mentioning the possibility that the Odyssey and Iliad are
completely separate, and that the Odyssey simply exploited the already
known Iliad in creating a 'sequel'. The reader is led up a garden path
by omissions of important facts. (Later when he justifies his choice of
Troy location, there is further omission of archeological and
geological science supports).
In other words, is he DEPENDING on the strong case in the Odyssey to argue something that might not really be in the Iliad? And
that in turn DEPENDS on the reader being prepared to think that what
applies to the Odyssey applies to the Iliad. This is done by either
letting the reader have the impression one man wrote both epics, or
that two men lived in the same world and wrote about the same
northern details. Clearly there is a design in this book to
encourage in every way the reader believe that what applies to one
applies to the other. That way discoveries that the Odyssey had Baltic references can simply be transported into the analysis of the Iliad.
The question I asked was - would Vinci have gotten anywhere with his theory had the Odyssey
not existed? The answer is probably not. Any intelligent scholar who
steps back and looks at Vinci's theory from a distance realizes the
only reason they are intrigued by Vinci's book is that the Odyssey
arguments - part one of the book - are indeed strong. Vinci HAS
produced something worth looking at in Part One. But then he exploits that to expand his theories into the
Iliad and add his own twists about some proto-Greek Baltic and climatic
warming and a large migration. (More about that later below).
Vinci might believe that scholars accept the
entirity of his views, when the truth may be that they are drawn to it ONLY because they like what he has done with
the Odyssey. If you are one,
you should let him know that you, like me, like his analysis of the
travels of Odysseus (Ulysses), but have great reservations as to the rest
of it. Let him know, or else he will have a wrong illusion regarding
support for ALL his theories. One of the purposes I have here in this review is to
inform him that I, like most scholars, accept the Baltic origins of the
Odyssey, but am very reserved about all the rest of his arguing and
theorizing owing to the fact there is no solid evidence.
LACK OF REAL SUPPORT IN THE ILIAD
No real evidence? Let us demonstrate. I carefully looked at his
arguments, and took note of whether the evidence came from the Odyssey
or the Iliad.
Again and again I found Odyssey
evidence of northern setting very good, but the Iliad evidence was
subjective and vague. He tended throughout the book to first cite the evidence in the Odyssey, and then extend the conclusions into the Iliad. A good example is his noting the Odyssey featured two prowed boats, but he failed to present evidence of it in the Iliad, hence the reader was influenced into believing it also applied to the Iliad.
He does this frequently - and actually relies on the fact that there IS
an illusion in the public that "Homer" is the author of both. No
he cannot remind the reader that we are dealing with the Epic Tales of
Two Homers!! If you accuse him of misleading the reader, he will shout
and claim he states he accept two authors at page 204. But shouldn't it
be right in the beginning? Let us look at the beginning of the book,
the Introduction. It begins as follows: Ever since ancient times, the geography of Homer's two epics the Odyssey and the Iliad, .....(page
1) If he was not seeking to exploit the public's thinking the
same person authored both, it would have read, the two epics connected to a Trojan War. As I said, had the Odyssey not been written, he would have next to nothing because the Iliad simply does not have the same strong evidence of Baltic content. - as I will demonstate with examples further down,
After his strong findings of Baltic content in the Odyssey, Vinci NEEDED and WANTED the Iliad
to have Baltic content as well. One event two authors
independently describing the same events. But if the public thought one
author, two epics, that suited his case too. So let's not even speak
about two authors until some lines on page 204! Either way it was
interest NOT to tell the reader that the epics are likely to have been
separate works by different men in different locations and times with
the Odyssey adapting from the Iliad.
Imagine if historically, someone had begun to call the authors by
different names, such as Homerody versus Homerili. Would he have
even been able to write the book and hook readers so easily? Well
he at least would have been able to write a book entitled "The Baltic
Origins of the Odyssey" and if he wanted speculated on the Iliad, but that is all he could do if the public was not predisposed to think both had the same author.
To summarize - just because the Odyssey has Baltic content, and then describes details from the Trojan War, does not mean that the Iliad also has Baltic content. The Iliad could have been written anywhere on the planet about a war that occurred anywhere on the planet, since the Odyssey could simply borrow from the Iliad, as part of the adapting process. As I said, it is as obvious as if today an author decided to write another sequel to the Iliad
- you simply use all the information in the Iliad to begin with, and
then add your own, being careful to tie it to the Greek world.
Let us now look at some of the instances in which the Iliad appears to describe the true Greek world, and projecting from the Odyssey into the Iliad does not work.
ILIAD CORRECTLY DESCRIBES ITHACA
Well here is the first instance
of the Iliad not supporting Vinci's arguments. Vinci
finds the Odyssey's "Ithaca" not being the Greek Ithaca, because the
real Greek Ithaca is a rough and rugged terrain, while the one in the
Odyssey is quite the contrary. This
is the discrepancy that allows Vinci to propose that the Odyssey
"Ithaca" is actually an island near the Jutland Peninsula. BUT IN
FACT THE ILIAD GETS IT RIGHT! This is the first evidence that the Iliad
is actually describing the real Greek world. "He is Ulysses, a man of great craft, son of
Laertes. He was born in rugged Ithaca, and excels in all
manner of stratagems and subtle
TWO PROWED VIKINGLIKE BOATS NOT FOUND IN ILIAD
Vinci argues as proof
the Odyssey portrayed northern boats by references in the text to boats having two
prows (pointed at both ends so that they can be rowed in either
direction -- like a Viking boat) But where is his evidence that the same boats are found in the Iliad? Here is an instance in which Vinci projects something entirely from the Odyssey, without looking for corroboration in the Iliad.
So I looked throught the Iliad for corroboration.
There are none. In fact what I found was quite the opposite. The boats
in the Iliad are exactly like
Greek warships. The prows and sterns are different. I also found
that the battles at the boats were always at the sterns.
Why? (Because the Achaeans had an
advantage by fighting from a platform) In addition there was one
passage which actually described the stern (From the Butler translation) Therefore he left the
raised deck at the stern, and stepped back on to the seven-foot bench
of the oarsmen. Here he stood on the look-out, ..... This
raised deck at the stern is exactly what we see in Greek images of
Greek warships. So here is one instance where the Iliad does not
agree with the Odyssey,
and that the Achaean ships could not be Baltic
ships. This is very significant, very significant. More than
anything else, it proves the 'Catalogue of Ships' describes REAL GREEK
NATIONS WITH REAL GREEK WARSHIPS at the time the Iliad was
written. The Iliad is actually set in the Greek world. These are
not Viking-like ships pointed at both ends, capable of being rowed or
sailed in both directions. The Iliad does NOT describe the north.
FIGHTING ON A MOONLIT NIGHT
considerable time arguing that because fighting occurred at night it
must have occurred at a northern latitude where in summer the night is
very short. But I came across the description of the scene when the
Trojans were camping overnight on the plain (Butler prose translation -
prose translations are better as the author does not have to reword in
order to fit a meter):Thus high in hope they sat through
the livelong night by the highways of war, and many a watchfire did
they kindle. As
when the stars shine clear, and the
bright--there is not a breath of air, not a peak nor glade nor
jutting headland but it stands out in the ineffable
breaks from the serene of heaven; the stars can all of them be
told and the heart of the shepherd is glad--even thus shone the
watchfires of the Trojans before Ilius midway between the ships
and the river Xanthus. A thousand camp-fires gleamed upon the
plain, and in the glow of each there sat fifty men, while the horses,
champing oats and corn beside their chariots, waited till dawn
The peaks, glade, and jutting headlands are all visible in the
moonlight. There is plenty of light for nightime fighting. We do not even have to theorize a bright moonlit night. The Iliad
actually supplies us with the information! Since a moon waxes and wanes
slowly, such moonlit nights would have lasted a week. Perhaps the night
fighting occurred when the moon was fullest and highest.
WIDE "HELLESPONT" REALLY A SEA?
Vinci uses reference to
"Wide Hellespont" as proof the "Hellespont" was a wide sea like the
Gulf of Finland and not the narrow channel the Dardanelles is.
But what about the following passage from the listing of
participants on the Achean side.
Acamas and the warrior Peirous commanded the Thracians and those
Here the Hellespont is described as a "mighty stream" which would accurately describe the Dardanelles.
that came from beyond the mighty stream of the Hellespont.
But later the Hellespont is indeed described as wide:
but I will give up his body, that the Achaeans may bury
Then in Book 7 again the Hellespont is a "mighty stream"
him at their ships, and the build him a mound by the wide waters
of the Hellespont.
he made all level by the mighty stream of the
Then in Book 17 we are back to the "broad Hellespont"
Hellespont, and then when he had swept the wall away he spread a
great beach of sand over the place where it had been.
but they would neither go back
to the ships by the waters of the broad Hellespont, nor yet into
battle among the Achaeans
So according to the Butler translation, that is all there is. Other
references to the Hellespont do not add any adjective. What do we
have - two instances of a mighty stream and two instances of a wide
body? Well, my first criticism of Vinci's book is that his book should
be offering this information. He selects only "wide Hellespont" because it suits his theory. A proper well written book of a
scientific nature should show all sides, and let the reader judge. But
Vinci has hidden the references to the 'mighty stream' in order to not
undermine his desire to make the Gulf of Finland into the "Hellespont".
Generally bad science hides data that contradicts the scientist's
If I were writing on this topic, what I
would do is propose that the writer of the Iliad,
another site than the Dardanelles for the war - I believe the Xanthos
River valley of Lycia (today the Esen River valley of southwest
Turkey). In that Lycian context, the writing would indeed have
made reference to a wide sea - the Aegean - bordering Lycia. (See
bottom for a link to my analysis of Lycia as the site of the Trojan
War) Insofar as the Aegean was also the sea dominated by Hellenes
Greeks, it could have been regarded as a "Helles- pont"
But my criticism here is that Vinci shows very bad form here in hiding
contradictory data. It should be shown and discussed.
TROY ON SOUTH OR NORTH SIDE OF THE HELLESPONT?
With his use of "wide Hellespont" to identify the
Gulf of Finland as the Hellespont, Vinci proposes that Troy was
located in southwest Finland on the north side. But why not the south
side of the Gulf of Finland -
since the location of Tallinn has been a very strategic location since
the Bronze Age and there is even a Bronze Age fortified settlement there.
The passage cited by Vinci to justify the north side location was the one in
which Hera sent the south and west winds upon Troy to deal with a flood and save
reference to support the southwest Finland site for Troy:
"I am going to arouse [toward Troy] a violent storm
of Zephyrus and the bright Notus from the sea" Iliad 21.334-3
This Vinci says is why he has chosen to find Troy
in southwest Finland. Well I think he is lying. The reason he
chose southwest Finland is because he found a location that even
contained some Finnish names that vaguely sounded Homeric. For later there is a passage in which Achilles is at the beach, and calls on the
NORTH and west winds to blow, in order to light a funeral pyre.
The following is the passage Vinci does not offer, which speaks of the NORTH and
west wind.(Butler translation - Book 23)
Now the pyre about dead Patroclus would not kindle. Achilles therefore bethought him of another matter; he went apart and prayed to the two winds Boreas and Zephyrus vowing them goodly offerings. ................................................
..............., and the two winds rose with a cry that rent the air and swept the clouds before them. They blew on and on until they came to the sea, and the waves rose high beneath them, but when they reached Troy they fell upon the pyre till the mighty flames roared under the blast that they blew.
The latter reference requires the beach and plain to be pointing in the
northwest direction. That is consistent with the traditional Troy location.
Once again this is a discrepancy in the content of
the Iliad, and yet Vinci does not discuss it. A PROPER book would
have presented the contradiction and discussed it, looking for an
explanation. Is there some way of envision a site for Troy in which both
a southwest and northwest wind would work?
If I were writing the book, I would point out the
discrepancy and offer as my suggestion that the discrepancy arises from
Homer using the southwest Turkey, Xanthos Valley, location where
the coast faces southwest, and at other times using the Dardanelles
location where the beach bordering the Dardanelles faces northwest.
(This is additional evidence that the actual battle in the Trojan
War may have occurred in Lycia. See link at bottom)
DARK SEA OR WEATHER, USE OF WOOD, AS EVIDENCE OF THE NORTH?
While the Odyssey descriptions of the sea and weather - especially on
the Norwegian coast, clearly describe the northern world, we cannot
clearly state that the Iliad
does the same. The dark color of the sea, its grey or violet color - is
not a good argument in any case. . When the water is choppy,
all seas look the same, all reflecting the color of the sky. I
believe the color of the sea, like the weather, was often used
metaphorically. As for references to extreme weather,
even snow, in the Iliad, we
find that these events are always connected to the
gods. It would be a poetic device that rare and extreme weather events
be assocaited with the presence of the gods. To assume this is
'normal' weather is erroneous when connected to the behaviour of
deities. Ancient peoples associated only RARE AND EXTREME weather to
the deities. A thunderstorm for example was a demonstration of the
wrath of Zeus, and not normal everyday weather.
HOWEVER, as I said at the start, the Iliad
is not without discrepancies with the traditional Dardanelles location
of Troy. But as I say these discrepancies do not mean a northern
location. When I read the Iliad, to me it was impossible to place the
war in the northern Baltic - the Iliad
describes very large landscapes with mountains all around - there are
no real mountains in the Baltic basin which was depressed by the last
Ice Age glacier. Also the Iliad implies great opulence and wealth at
Troy, and archeology has not found that level of wealth in the Bronze
But even if there is no basis of locating the Trojan war in the
north, a case can be made against the Dardanelles location for
passages in the Iliad. I believe this is because a good amount of
the Iliad is actually taking place in Lycia. I came across passages
like these which fit Lycia well:
(Iliad Book 3)_
As when the south wind spreads a curtain of mist upon the mountain
tops, bad for shepherds but better than night for thieves, and a man
can see no further than he can throw a stone, even so rose the dust
from under their feet as they made all speed over the plain.
(Iliad Book 16) As
the east and south wind buffet one another when they beat upon some
dense forest on the mountains--there is beech and ash and spreading
cornel; the top of the trees roar as they beat on one another, and one
can hear the boughs cracking and breaking
these passages describe the effect of the southwest wind on mountain
slopes. These passages also completely reject a north Baltic location,
as there are no mountains in the Baltic. (Unless we go over to Norway).
These passages also describe mountain sides recieving rain that
promotes the growth of trees. If we imagine the location to be
southwest Turkey, the Xanthos Valley, ancient Lycia, then it all fits
well. The southwest wind blows in from the sea, laden with water. It
is lifted by the mountains, cools, drops its water on the slopes
as mist and rain - and at highest latitudes as snow. The rain
promotes the mountain slopes with forests - another requirement
in the Iliad. On calm nights,
cool air can descend into valleys from the mountain slopes and create
microclimate effects such as night coolness.
The point here is that the discrepancies in weather,
landscapes, character of the sea, between the Iliad descriptions and
the Darandelles location, need not be interpreted as indicative of a
Baltic location, but a Lycian location - and the Lycian location is
even better because the mountains figure strongly in the Iliad tale, but all around the Baltic we only have rather low hills - no real mountains.
listing of the Catalogue of Ships in the Iliad
works well if we apply
it to the Aegean world.
There is no basis for applying it to the Baltic which Vinci does.
We have already noted that the Iliad ships are Greek warships, not
Baltic ships. There is no evidence to apply the Catalogue of Ships to
the Baltic and Vinci's finding place names fitting Homeric
names is absolutely silly.
Throughout his book, for both the Odyssey and Iliad,
Vinci tries to find on the modern map place names that fit names in
these epic tales. It is very surprising as any scientist with an
understanding of laws of probability should know this simply does not
work because the sounds made by the human vocal apparatus are limited.
Sound patterns repeat often without there being any connections. This
is something any trained linguist would have told Vinci if he had asked
one. Unless you actually do some background work on modern place
names, and discover something more than merely vague sound similarity,
you have utter random connections in sound. If Vinci had done
background work on the Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Estonian place
names he claims are Greek in origin, he would also have discovered that most had intrinsic meanings in
those languages. For
example VInci claiming Estonian island of Hiiumaa was Chios,
because of similarity to
Estonian "Hiiumaa", is absurd because "Hiiumaa" means 'land of groves'.
It is clearly of Estonian invention and not a 3000 year old Greek
word!!!! And so we can go through all those supposed 3000 year old
and find similar ordinary meanings, especially in the Finnish names
where places are so new they still have descriptive names. And yet
Vinci laughably claims they are 3000 year old Greek names?!!! Of
course readers who do not
know the language and cannot see it, can be fooled. Speakers of
Italian and English will of course be blind to this nonsense.
The only way it is possible to connect Baltic place names
to the Greek world, is if the Baltic names had NO meaning no matter how
hard we looked, that they were mysterious. There are some that
for one reason or another the origins cannot be detected easily. But
that does not mean it is a 3000 year old Greek word. Even
the place name in Finland that
Vinci was so inspired to think of as being derived from "Troia", namely
the small Finnish town of Toija can be interpreted to arise from some
variant of 'work, business' (TOI- stem) and 'agent' (-JA suffix)
that is to say that "Toija"
in my view identifies some original 'place-of-business' 'a place people
went to expedite business' that grew into
a village, and retained that descriptive name of the facility built
there. All places in olden times were named by
describing them. Vinci, not knowing Finnish, not knowing Estonian, not
knowing Swedish, and not knowing Norwegian, cannot see the intrinsic
basis for meanings of most of the supposed 3000 year old Greek
place names!!! and so is completely naive and in the dark about it, and
so are readers in all the other languages the book is published, other
than the language in question.
ALLIES OF TROY AS LOCAL NEIGHBOURS
Here is another example of how Vinci selectively chooses quotes from the Iliad
that fit his needs, and excludes those that don't. He writes in his book
that the justification of regarding allies of Troy as all being local
from the region of southwest Finland, is that Hector later in the Iliad
addresses the allies of Troy as 'neighbours'. I did not find that word
used in the Butler translation, but if it is there in the Greej, remember the term
'neighbours' is dependent on scope. For example today, England is
'neighbours' with France. But that is not the problem. The problem is
that Vinci does not present the very clear and blunt description by
goddess Iris to Hector that the allies of Troy come from distant places
and speak many languages.
following spoken by Iris to Hector:
" Hector, I charge you above all others, do as I say.
There are many allies dispersed about
the city of Priam from
distant places and speaking divers
tongues. Therefore, let each chief give orders to his own people, setting them
severally in array and leading them
forth to battle."
Vinci's exclusion of this, is completely inexcusable, and
shows that Vinci is PUSHING a personal theory in the worst possible
way by NOT showing contrary information, and NOT discussing them.
This quote agrees perfectly with what has always been assumed and
clear - the Achaeans basically include all the Greeks on the west side
of the Aegean, and the Trojans and allies include all the NON-Greeks on
the east side mainly, and that what the author of the Iliad has set out
to do is to generally portray a great poetic and symbolic fictional
event of the Greek world against the non-Greek world at an ideal
symbolic Troy between them. (Click the link at bottom for a more
This is perhaps the strongest evidence of very unscientific
behaviour. It is a very basic understanding in the world today that bad science
is science that is selective - only shows the results that fit the hypothesis.
Vinci's book is very bad science, which is surprising because he is supposedly a
I have only begun to show the discrepancies in
Vinci's book between what he says and what the Iliad actually says.
These discrepancies as described above are very serious - any one of
them can discredit his entire basis for attributing the Iliad
Baltic too. As I say, in my view, contrary to Vinci's
approach, the evidence when looked at carefully actually shows that
the Odyssey Trojan War content was copied from the Iliad, before Baltic content added, and
the Iliad was an independent earlier work written in the Greek world
from sources that do not necessarily come from the assumed location of
Troy at the Dardanelles.
VINCI'S PROTO-GREEK BALTIC, CLIMATIC COOLING, MIGRATION, CULTURAL TRANSFER, ETC THEORY
Last but not least, the most
part of Vinci's book is his constant theme of a proto-Greek
then a great migration to Mycenea, where the place names, legends, and
culture of this proto-Greek Baltic are imposed on the Aegean peoples
there. This cannot be in any way supported by archeology or history
either in the south or north. It isn't even supported by common sense.
What is more probable - ONE Odyssey author masquerading
Baltic places as Greek places within ONE epic work, or thousands of
people carrying our a migration, establishing a seat of power and
imposing their former homeland names onto the Aegean? Even
I could right now adapt the place I am right now, with Ithaca, simply
by calling where I am "Ithaca". I do not need to carry out some
monumental migration and conquest. That is why it defies common
The impossibility exists on so many fronts, from
common sense to hard science, one can write a whole book on how utterly
silly and impossible it all is. It is as much fanstasy as theories
about undersea cities in the Atlantic. I can think of countless ways to
refute it, to show it is impossible. The most significant hard
evidence is that
archeology, which includes radio-carbon dating, does not find fortified
settlements and bronze in the northern Baltic before about 1000BC.
Fortification is the only indication of battles occurring. But
Vinci's 'climatic optimum' theory requires the war take place a
thousand years earlier. Vinci's Trojan War would have used stone and
weapons!!! Indeed as late as 500BC arrowheads were still made of bone.
Compare the archeological story of the Baltic Bronze Age with the
archeological story of a place like the ancient Lycia, and it is clear
that Lycia is 1000% more probable than the primitive Baltic.
amusing of all is Vinci's theory that Indo-European farming
peoples flourished in the arctic during the climatic optimum - when the
north was much warmer - and then these Indo-Europeans began migrating
south when the climate cooled. He ends by claiming this original
Indo-European homeland was in the region north of the Gulf of
Bothnia of the Baltic Sea. Well, that entire area is even now very
marshy and boggy. 4500 years ago, the entire region was still depressed
from having just been freed from the Ice Age glacier, and so it was
entirely marshland, bogland,much under shallow water. Hmmm. Maybe
Indo-European farmed water plants and emerged like creatures out of the
bogs? Like amphibians they emerged. Or were they sea people who crawled
onto land and found it most comfortable to start off in bogs? Maybe
they came onto land from Atlantis and preferred a wet marshland because
their skins needed to be kept wet?
This and many other bits
of silliness seem to indicate that Vinci is very naive, but perhaps is
aware of his naivete. Perhaps he has read about Greece, and learned to
read Greek texts, but it seems he has not learned about the Baltic, its
history, prehistory, geology, languages, etc. I on the other hand,
being of Estonian descent, have been attuned to the Baltic
realities now for some 40 years. It has always been my interest. I have
no question that most people
knowledgable in the truths about the north, will laugh like I did at
Vinci's school-boy naive discussions as they wade through the book as
gets stranger and stranger towards the end. I write this to those
people of more southern climes for whom the Baltic and northern Europe
in general is an unknown place, who cannot see all the silliness,
because it is those people who will be
'taken in', by Vinci's theory.
The main requirement when writing a book about the real world and
wishing to discover the "truth" is not that the writer knows
everything, but that he knows enough to know just how little he knows.
This knowledge of how ignorant one is, is what is called 'wisdom'.
Because if you know that you do not know much about something, you will
make an effort to consult the books and experts to enlighten you.
If Vinci's book were more normal in terms of a
scientific work, and less school-boy naive, there would have been great
should have checked out and recorded in the book. If you propose
an ancient shoreline close to your proposed location of Troy, well what
does Finnish geology say about where the shoreline went? I believe this
information is available. (or did he check it out and it contradicted
his theory?). If you propose structures and events occurring around
1800BC, make some discussion about what archeology says. So far Finnish
archeology has not even found fortified coastal settlements for the
Bronze Age. Many have
been found in Estonian and southward, although no fortified settlements
and evidence of war appear before about 1000BC. Maybe he did check it
out and left it out of his book because it undermined his climatic
optimum and grand migration theory in terms of dates. There is
plenty of evidence that he was selective in what he brought forward as
evidence, and that much contradictory evidence was left out. He
that farmers have found artifacts and the Helsinki museum has some
spearblades from the area. But what does archeology say about them?
Surely a paragraph describing what archeology says is in order. It is
inadequate to simply mention 'some spear blades have been found' What
is the dating? Bronze spear blades could date to as late as the Roman
Age. The fact artifacts are found means nothing unless they are
dated. By his theory the dating has to be about 2000BC. I am certain no
Bronze items dating to that time have ever been found in southern
Finland. There is so much that is left out and the reader is simply
asked to "trust me". Vinci's theory
regarding a Baltic Troy resembles the Hans Christian Andersen tale
about the "Emperor's New Clothes" The tailors tell the emperor they
will make the
clothes out of material that is visible only to people pure of heart,
and invisible to others. Thus the tailors pantomime making the clothes,
and the king, not being able to see it, does not wish to reveal he is
not pure of heart. Finally they put the clothing on, and the
public sees a naked emperor. Finally a child shouts "He has nothing on!"
Vinci's work is something like the work of these
tailors. As I investigated the truth of his work, I sent him emails,
and he always haughtily accused me of not reading his book - that it
was all explained in his book. Read the book! If you cannot find it,
you did not read it properly!. I can see how many ordinarly
people without any education in the subject of classical Greek, Homer
epic poetry, or even archeology and geography -- not
wishing to be seen as stupid and uneducated, might go along with the
book and his theory pretending to agree event thought they really do
not know what to think. And so they trust Vinci, actually believing
that IF archeologists were to
dig where he says, they will find wonderful things. There is something
there!!! Vinci claims. But is that any different from the Emperor's
tailors claiming there is something there? That there is real clothing
not thin air? But when is the
child going to stand up and shout "There is
nothing there!" Well here is my review and I am telling you the reader
"Open your eyes! There is nothing there except an Italian's crazy
It is easy to
claim there is something there in the soil, knowing that no
archeologists will spend valuable money and time digging at his Finnish
Troy location based only on his impressions and contrived arguments.
Because they do not go and dig, the new myth of a Baltic Troy endures
and Vinci enjoys celebrity, like that emperor, and only children and
wise scholars can see there is nothing there.
In Vinci's book there is a great amount of information
that should have been
provided and discussed, but was not. Surely if you make a bold claim
that Troy was near Kisko, Finland, you have to do more work. You cannot
just flippantly suggest the public just accept his theory on blind
faith, and simply believe religiously that someday archeology will find
truth. Vinci has the world "by the balls" to
use an American expression. You are damned if you disagree because the
evidence is supposedly hidden in the ground, and you are damned if you
agree and waste thousands in funds doing archeological investigations.
FINAL NOTE ON TROJAN WAR REFERENCES IN THE ODYSSEY
A fine point: I
said above that the Odyssey merely copied details about the Trojan War
and its heroes from the Iliad. But it is not entirely that simple. Given that the Odyssey can be shown to provide Baltic information masquerading as Greek, the Odyssey
writer can STILL use Baltic war legends and masquerade them as
pertaining to the Trojan War. For example the tale of the Trojan Horse
might in fact be a northern tale the writer of the Odyssey introduced.
If we watch carefully for supposed Trojan War events that cannot be
found in the Iliad, well there is a possibility that the author has
taken real northern war tales in those instances, and adapted them to the Trojan War
tale. So the question of what he copied from the Iliad, and what he
adapted from Baltic legends, such as the Trojan Horse tale, is unclear
and an area of possible study.
There certainly were battles in the Baltic at least by 1000BC, because
that is when coastal towns were fortified. Fortification suggests
defence against attack from the sea. Thus one can still find battles in
the Baltic, but nothing like the battle described in the Iliad,
which requires a valley surrounded by high mountains, and a very
wealthy city, worthy of plundering. The theme of plundering Troy for
its riches is very strong. For that reason a Lycian Troy makes a
thousand times more sense than Vinci's north Baltic silliness.
The book begins with very valid exploration of the Odyssey and evidence that the original new content was from the Baltic. But then the author presumes that what he found in the Odyssey, in respect to Baltic content will also be found in the Iliad,
and sets out to do everything possible to find that elusive Baltic
Troy. Finding a place in southwest Finland that he can argue to fit
the requirment, he now promotes it to the extreme - avoiding all
information including contradictory information in the Iliad itself - to 'prove' it. Perhaps relying on readers believing that there is only one Homer, not reading the Iliad
closely, not discovering the contradictions (the major ones I have
described above). I show above some of the discrepancies from the
Iliad itself that contradict Vinci's hypothesis of the Trojan War
occurring in the Baltic. In the end, everything after his
relevant exploration of the Odyssey is in my opinion"much ado about nothing". A potentially good scholarly book is destroyed by
his subsequent excursions into unprovable theories creating a book that reminds me of
books on theories about
Atlantis, mermaids, UFO's, and that sort of thing in which authors have
become very obsessed and use faint indicators to draw enormous
conclusions, and hide or are blind to contradicting evidence.
Had he limited himself to the Baltic origins of only the Odyssey
he would have more recognition and scholarly respect.
I did not end up wasting my time in my several weeks of investigating
the truth or lack of truth in Vinci's theory. In the end, my review of
the Iliad in conjunction with Vinci's book produced my discovery of the probable true location of the Trojan War as described.
I noticed how the text was
calling the Scamander River by the name Xanthos. Xanthos is the river of Lycia.
What if, I thought, Homer actually wrote about a Lycian war involving
the real Xanthos River, and then forgot to replace the word Xanthos
with Scamander. (Other discrepancies can be explained in a similar way)
I then began a study of all information
there was about Lycia, and to me great surprise I discovered that it
fit the descriptions of the war in the Iliad
very well. Unlike the phantom Troy wearing the Emperor's New
Clothes near Kisko, Finland, the Xanthos River Valley provides endless
amounts of REAL data as it is an area filled with rich historic and
ancient information. You may read my paper on the probably real location of the war depicted at:.