Why was 'aetheopius' left out of the original iliad?

Jul 2017
842
Crete
#41
I now fully understand the name Ethiopia , It as nothing to do with the Face, the African Ethiopia is named for the 'Blue Nile', the Phoenician Ethiopia for the 'Adonis River.

Blue Nile
Blue Nile is so-called because floods during the summer monsoon erode a vast amount of fertile soil from the Ethiopian Highlands and carry it downstream as silt, turning the water dark brown or almost black.

River Adonis
River Adonis flows red each February due to the volume of soil washed off the mountains by heavy winter rains, making it appear that the water is filled with blood.
 
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Jul 2017
842
Crete
#43
Most ancient settlements were built near a great-river , in the Odyssey 'Aegyptus was the River, Egypt was the area around it.

Hom. Od. 14.234 - fair-flowing Aegyptus , River Aegyptus
Hom. Od. 4.554 - So back again to the waters of Aegyptus, the heaven-fed river
Hom. Od. 17.424 - I might meet my ruin and in the river Aegyptus I moored my curved ships
 
Jun 2012
7,154
Malaysia
#44
That image seems more adequate for this movie: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5346858/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt, apparently an Indian movie based on the Mahabharata, that for a burn face Homer character. Don’t you think so?
The real actor is actually much darker than the pic suggests. Indian cinema has always been brilliant in playing around with lighting to make dark complexion appear much lighter on the silver screen.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,365
Portugal
#45
The real actor is actually much darker than the pic suggests. Indian cinema has always been brilliant in playing around with lighting to make dark complexion appear much lighter on the silver screen.
It seems the real actor is this one: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm1335387/?ref_=tt_cl_t1, Prithviraj Sukumaran. Don’t know if he has a darker or lighter completion that in the image you posted, the point was that doesn’t seem coincident with the concept of the Ethiopian in the Ancient and Classic concept.

Furthermore the emergence of Homer’s works, and the passing of an oral tradition to a writing one, including the mention to the Ethiopians in the Odyssey, is approximately coincident with the Kushite Empire in Egypt. And Meroë, the capital, was often associated with Aethiopia.

I really think that to defy the current paradigm, that Aethiopia was for the Greeks, since Homer times, in Africa, we really need strong sources and evidences, not some random ones as I saw here.
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,027
Welsh Marches
#46
I have already mentioned above that the 'Ethiopians' in the earliest tradition were a purely mythical people who live in a purely mythical realm. That is clearly indicated in the Iliad; in 1.423ff Zeus is said to have gone with the other gods to the Ocean to join the 'blameless Ethiopians' for a feast. This indicates that they lived as the edges of the earth, beyond the area of normal human habitation, since the Ocean was a mythical river that flowed in a circle round the edge of the earth, rather than an ocean in the modern sense. The epithet applied to them, the very fact that the gods associate with them directly, and the fact that they live by the Ocean all show quite clearly that they were a mythical people for Homer (see also Il. 23.205ff). They are comparable to the Hyperboreans who lived at the edges of the far north and also associated directly with the gods (Apollo especially in their case). As to the point of the compass at which the Ethiopians lived, it can be assumed that they would have been thought to live near the sunset in the far east, and that is what is stated in the earliest sources like Herodotus, it was only later, when they came to be identified with real people, that they came to be placed in Africa because it was known that black people lived there. In the time of Homer, the geographical notions of the Greeks, would have been extremely vague with regard to Asia and Africa alike, and they would have had no reason to place the 'Ethiopians' in Africa even if they knew where Africa was and who lived there, because these were a mythical people who lied at the edges of the earth. There is no doubt or controversy about this matter.
 

Tulius

Ad Honorem
May 2016
5,365
Portugal
#47
I have already mentioned above that the 'Ethiopians' in the earliest tradition were a purely mythical people who live in a purely mythical realm. That is clearly indicated in the Iliad; in 1.423ff Zeus is said to have gone with the other gods to the Ocean to join the 'blameless Ethiopians' for a feast. This indicates that they lived as the edges of the earth, beyond the area of normal human habitation, since the Ocean was a mythical river that flowed in a circle round the edge of the earth, rather than an ocean in the modern sense. The epithet applied to them, the very fact that the gods associate with them directly, and the fact that they live by the Ocean all show quite clearly that they were a mythical people for Homer (see also Il. 23.205ff). They are comparable to the Hyperboreans who lived at the edges of the far north and also associated directly with the gods (Apollo especially in their case). As to the point of the compass at which the Ethiopians lived, it can be assumed that they would have been thought to live near the sunset in the far east, and that is what is stated in the earliest sources like Herodotus, it was only later, when they came to be identified with real people, that they came to be placed in Africa because it was known that black people lived there. In the time of Homer, the geographical notions of the Greeks, would have been extremely vague with regard to Asia and Africa alike, and they would have had no reason to place the 'Ethiopians' in Africa even if they knew where Africa was and who lived there, because these were a mythical people who lied at the edges of the earth. There is no doubt or controversy about this matter.
Sorry, with the noise I missed your posts. But what you wrote makes sense. I mean, I am not an expert in this area, but I can see where a reasoning makes sense or not. And backing a bit, not far from my idea in my post #12.

In my last post I was more centred in the Odyssey than in the Iliad. But reading you “it was only later, when they came to be identified with real people, that they came to be placed in Africa because it was known that black people lived there.”, the question would be, in approximate terms, when that link was made, between the burned faces and Africa/Meroe? After the Iliad, after the Odyssey? The Ethiopians seem the same in both works? With Herodotus? In the time of Homer, even if the concept of continents were quite different from today, and vague, the Greeks would already had contact with people of black skin, either in Egypt (the Kushites), or maybe even previously in Greece (by memory I am recalling the “Tarzan fresco” in Pylos, that some admit that one of the factions can represent black African Warriors). Do you recall any historian mentioning this?
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,027
Welsh Marches
#48
I thought you made good points in that post of yours.

It is very difficult to tell exactly when the identification with the Africans came to be made because of the sparseness of the source material; but the vital point that one must start from is that the Homeric 'Ethiopians' were purely mythical, so it doesn't matter in this connection what Homer and his contemporaries knew about Africans or other dark-faced people. These Ethiopians are just people who live very very far away near the sunrise. One gets the impression that when their home came to be identified as being somewhere in the known world, it was placed initially in the east (in accordance with the mythical conception), as in Herodotus, and only later in Africa. It seems significant that in some (but not all!) 5th century vase-paintings, Memnon is presented as looking like a black African, so the connection was evidently drawn quite early, and conflicting ideas probably coexisted for quite a long time. One must distinguish this question from the one of how the Greeks came to develop their knowledge of black Africans, to whom the name Ethiopian could also be applied in accordance with its literal meaning. I'm afraid that I don't know much about the latter question.
 

Moros

Ad Honorem
Jun 2012
3,093
#50
Homer in the Odyssey says about Ethiopia;

"Poseidon had now departed for the distant Ethiopians, the Ethiopians that are sundered in twain, the uttermost of men, abiding some where Hyperion sinks and some where he rises." (Book 1)

Menelaus says about his journey home to Sparta; "I roamed over Cyprus and Phoenicia and Egypt, and reached the Ethiopians and Sidonians and Erembi and Libya" (Book IV)

When Odysseus leaves Calypso and eventually approaches land, he is spotted by Poseidon; "the shaker of the earth, on his way from the Ethiopians espied him afar off from the mountains of the Solymi: even thence he saw Odysseus as he sailed over the deep; and he was mightily angered in spirit, and shaking his head he communed with his own heart. 'Lo now, it must be that the gods at the last have changed their purpose concerning Odysseus, while I was away among the Ethiopians. And now he is nigh to the Phaeacian land" (Book V)

So according to the Iliad, there were two groups of Ethiopians - one in the East and one in the West. Considering that Poseidon passed over Solymian land (Lycia) facing towards the Mediterranean (and heading towards Olympus), then the Ethiopians he visited were presumably in the East. Menelaus seems to have been wandering mostly around the South Mediterranean, so maybe the Ethiopians he visited were in the West.

The Iliad says that the Ethiopians lived by Oceanus. Since Oceanus encircles the lands that encircle the Mediterranean, travelling East or West would still reach Oceanus. Thus both nations of Ethiopians would be by Oceanus.
 
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