Homer's Secret Iliad, The Epic of the Night Sky Decoded, Florence & Kenneth Wood

Homer's Secret Iliad, The Epic of the Night Sky Decoded, Florence & Kenneth Wood

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Title: Homer’s Secret Iliad 

Condition:  GOOD 

Author/s:  Florence & Kenneth Wood 

Edition/Year:  1999 

Publisher: John Murray 

Pages: 294 

Format:  Hardcover 

Collectors Notes:  Out of print since 2003, DJ unclipped & in v. good condition.   Some minor corner rubbing 


From the cover:  

During the 1930’s the young daughter of a Kansas farmer spent night after night watching the stars and planets wheel across the cast prairie sky.  Later, as a teacher in England she combined her devotion to astronomy with a passion for Homer.  This led her to a discovery which would lie buried until her daughter, Florence Wood, inherited her papers in 1991. 

Her years of study, it became clear, had revealed Homer’s great epic to also be the world’s oldest book of astronomy.  The changing configuration of stars, so important for navigation and the measurement of time, had a fascination for the ancient world that it has lost today.  In the Iliad, battles between Greeks and Trojans mirror the movements of stars and constellations as they appear to fight for ascendancy in the sky.  The timescale of Homeric astronomy is breathtaking; elements can be dated to the ninth millennium BC. Long before the recorded astronomy of Mesopotamia and Egypt.  Geography is also represented, since the shapes of the constellations were used as ‘skymaps’ to direct ancient travellers throughout Greece and Asia Minor. 

Homer was probably the last and most accomplished of a long line of bards who wove such knowledge into the epics they memorized and declaimed.  After his lifetime the Greek alphabet preserved his works in writing, and the study of the skies changed too, moving away from pure observation to a science that applied mathematics and geometry.  The astonomical content of the Iliad was gradually forgotten. 

This unique and fascinating book unlocks its hidden meaning once again.  It documents one of the most important discoveries this century about the ancient greek world.  

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