(Disclaimer: these are my show notes. I do go off script when I podcast, but here's the basic framework)
Hello fellow myth lovers! I’m so excited to share with you the Greek world of the Homeric Chronicles. If you watched the movie Troy and loved it, or felt like you wanted more...If you’re currently watching the BBC One Troy: Fall of a City (or waiting for it to hit your Netflix playlist), this podcast is for you. You’re a Myrmidon. Basically, if you love Greek mythology in any form you’ve come to the right place. Shall we get started?
When I first began toying with the idea it was...what if you could read about all the mythological stories as one seamless tale? I thought, what if George RR Martin was telling it? It would be EPIC! CRAZY HUGE! Can you imagine the cast of characters? It’d be a celebrity Who’s Who of the ancient myth-historic Greek world. And because I love these stories, I got to thinking...what if I wrote it? No way, I can’t do that. Then, I thought, you have a degree in history, why not try? And the Homeric Chronicles was born.
That left me with the million dollar question: Where to start? How to begin? After piles of research, 25 gray hairs carefully dyed dark brown, and a bazillion cups of coffee later, I realized exactly where I needed to start: with Homer. But not just some retelling that was meant to get you to the “great war” or to take you through the bizarre journeys of Odysseus back to Ithaka...It needed to be MORE. Much more! But, Homer’s work in the Iliad and Odyssey definitely provide the backbone. I wove many other stories that touched on the characters in Homer’s work into the structure of the spine. The major heroes and heroines of Homer’s tales are entwined with so many other characters I had to dig deep, b/c it’s chronological, I had to make some hard choices. The original myth-makers weren’t worried about telling stories that made chronological sense outside of the story they were reciting. But for the Homeric Chronicles to be what I envisioned that’s exactly what I had to do.
I wanted to include the regulars: Achilles, Paris, Hektor, Odysseus, Menelaus, Agamemnon, Helen, Hecuba, Cassandra, Andromache, Leda, Deidamia, Priam, Tyndareus, Peleus, Thetis, and Chiron just to name a few. And include characters like Palamedes, the poor guy who unfortunately pissed off Odysseus, Tantalus the first husband of Clytemnestra, Oenone Paris’s first wife, Peisidike the Methymnaan princess in love with Achilles, well, you get the picture. Now, I was tasked with putting the myths in chronological order, and keeping them all easy to connect with.
It wasn’t until I fell in love with GRRM’s SOIAF that I knew structuring a story of this epic scale was possible. I take you along several characters’ journeys through five major kingdoms. And after the movie Troy ruthlessly cut them out (and I wonder if David Benioff wishes now that he hadn’t), I put the pantheon of gods and goddesses back in there.
On to chronology: The first chronological hiccup involved Helen, Paris and Achilles. Let’s start with Paris, in particular: the Judgment of Paris. Most people familiar with the story assume that Paris gives the judgment of the fairest goddess to Aphrodite and leaves to Sparta not long after. But, it just doesn’t make sense that way, not in the context of the larger EPIC tale. Let me explain:
The golden apple contest that caused the Athena, Aphrodite and Hera to seek Paris as the judge occurred at the wedding feast of Peleus and Thetis. These are Achilles parents. So, Achilles, the greatest fighter of all the Greeks has NOT been born yet. He’s the star of the Iliad. So, the judgment of Paris takes place soon after the wedding feast, before Achilles is conceived and born. Why does this matter? Because, we have to wait at least 15 to 18 years for Achilles to grow up, get trained, and father a son, Neoptolemus, BEFORE Odysseus can discover him on Skyros, dressed like a girl and call our hero into action. This means two things: Paris has to be at least 15-18 years old to be considered MAN enough to judge the goddesses (he’s not an 8 yr old judging 3 of the most powerful females in the story); therefore, Paris is 15-18 years older than Achilles. Most movies and books depict Paris and Achilles about the same age, or as in Troy make Paris much younger than Achilles. It’s all wrong. Paris is definitely Achilles’ elder.
That raises the next logical question: When does Paris meet and woo Helen? Because that is the EVENT that brings the Argives, Achaeans, Danaans to Troy. Paris couldn’t have taken off with Helen any time soon following the judgment because that would mean Paris and Helen would’ve been in Troy for years before Menelaus even tried to get her back...B/C we’d be waiting for Achilles to get born and come of age. Even if you take the whole Paris and Helen get lost in Egypt into consideration that still leaves too many years in between the kidnapping and the attempted rescue. Remember, no matter what, Achilles has to be old enough to lead the Myrmidons and have fathered a child before he goes to Troy, as other prophecies depend on it.
My research took me to Apollodorus (a 2nd century AD compilation of ancient texts) which states in 3.13.8 that Achilles was 9 when he was taken to Skyros, because Odysseus was looking for him due to a prophecy by Agamemnon’s seer, Kalchus. There is some consensus that Achilles left Skyros at about 15. But let’s break this down chronologically and logically.
1. If Odysseus is looking for Achilles when Achilles is 9 and that’s why Thetis hid him as a girl, then he has to be hiding there for years before he’s old enough to get the princess Deidamia pregnant. So, for all these years, what are the Greeks under assembled under Agamemnon’s banner doing in Aulis? Twiddling their thumbs? Sewing sails? Getting sunburns? If the consensus is correct (and we have to make choices to be consistent) at least 6 years (give or take) have to pass until Odysseus finds Achilles.
2. I recall reading that there were TWO calls to war that met at Aulis...the first one which assembled the Greek tribes went to Aulis was a bust b/c they needed Achilles, so everyone went home and waited...then returned...years later? after Achilles was found? This doesn’t make any sense...it would’ve been a monumental feat getting that many ships and men from all across the Greek world assembled just once, but twice? And in all his searching, Odysseus never makes it back to Ithaka to sneak a little love time in with Penelope? I don’t buy it.
3. What makes sense in the human and mytho-historic terms is that Achilles is 9 when he goes to Skyros with Thetis fully aware about Achilles’ dual fate, and that some day he’d have a huge decision to make. When the call to Aulis came, 6 or so years later, that’s when Odysseus and Ajax find him. It gives time for him to grow up, father a son. I do give Achilles a few more years, rounding out his age at 18. Why? Because I used the historic figure, Alexander the Great, as a model. Alexander distinguished himself at Chaeronea at 18, so makes sense that a young man at 18 could indeed be seen to lead an army of warriors (Myrmidons).
Well, Myrmidons, times up for today. Up next time let’s take a deeper look into Helen’s age and how placing her story in chronological sequence was challenging, but not impossible.
What do you think about Paris being 18 years older than Achilles? that Helen couldn’t have been born at the time of the judgment?
How do you think a comprehensive timeline will change up the Greek myths as you know them?
You can find out by reading the Homeric Chronicles
Song of Sacrifice and Rise of Princes
Love to hear your thoughts, answer questions, and connect with my fellow Greek mythology lovers.
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Join my mailing list for updates and Greeky things!
Until next time, let’s take the advice given to Menelaus in the Cypria: “know that the gods made wine the best thing for mortal man to scatter cares.” Drink your wine and be merry Myrmidons.
Start the journey...
Back in 2010, I started watching this little show on Starz called Spartacus. I love ancient Greek and Roman history, so it was a great fit. I was blown away by the story, the characters, and of course, became a huge fan. One of my favorite characters was: LUGO. A tough talking, rough and rugged Gaul with biceps and abs for armor. And somewhere along the line, I donated to a worthy cause and ended up SKYPE-ing with Barry. He was so down-to-earth and funny. Kind. It made me appreciate him as a person as well as an actor. Ladies (and gents) may I introduce... Barry Duffield!
1. Me: I read that you came to Australia from UK as a boy, and then settled in New Zealand. What was it like growing up in Australia? Is it really the rough romantic place we see in films?
Barry: We arrived in Brisbane in 1968 and it was already a pretty bustling metropolis, even so, it was still a culture shock for my family. Fast forward four years to 1972 and a move to Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, and now we're talking about the real outback with nine of the deadliest varieties of Snakes on the planet, Estuarine Crocodiles up to twenty-feet long, and just as deadly Spiders [seriously, I just fainted] - Rough and romantic, hmmmm, only if your idea of romance is based in S & M. Despite its ability to kill you in any number of ways; I love Australia with a passion.
Me: I'm terrified of snakes, so I chose a little bit lighter side of Australia's deadly snakes...still, I squealed...
Me: 2. You travel quite a bit. You recently went to Rome and came to the states. What was Rome like after your experience as an “enemy of Rome” in Spartacus? And where are your favorite places in the USA? What do you like to do when you’re here?
Barry: America, Asia, Australia, Europe, only one more continent to go and we've done them all, and I'm far from over the wanderlust. If I suddenly got to a point in life where money was no object I'd keep traveling with Susie, until we'd done it all or died in the process of doing it all. My will would state: "Cremate me where I draw my last breath and spread my ashes in the ocean or the nearest lake."
Rome was fantastic! Walking into the Coliseum was like stepping back in time. Spartacus sparked my interest in ancient history, so it was like a pilgrimage going to Italy. Our amazing guide, Alex Marriotti, put it very well, "You have more in common with these people from two-thousand- years ago than you do with the pioneers of two-hundred-years ago."
We'll always have Paris! We were blessed with an invite to RS3 in Paris and met with the Euro-Spartacus fans. That was a great experience. Then, Susie and I got to celebrate our seventeenth wedding anniversary on the Eiffel Tower, so damn cool! It's an experience we hope to repeat at RS4.
Rebels SpartaCon and the USA; the con that kicked it all off and the meeting place of Barry and Beanie. For that alone I will be eternally grateful to our gracious host, Kelly. Rebels SpartaCon 3 is coming up in April, so I'd suggest getting your tickets for this event. The meet and greets are an absolute highlight for me. I can honestly say that I haven't seen enough of North America to make a call on a favorite place, but I would like to settle in San Diego in the near future and travel a lot more of a country I have such a strong affinity for. [We'd love to have you state-side!]
Me: I just love this picture :) Thanks for sharing it with us.
3. Okay, I mentioned the Starz Spartacus series. I have to tell you I’ve been a fan of that show since it began in 2010. I loved your character: Lugo. The ending! The tears! What was that like being a part of that show? How did you have to prepare for that role mentally and physically? Any funny moments you’d like to share? I see you’re going to the SpartaCon in MD!
First up: I hope to make the Rebels SpartaCon, but as far as I know, I haven't been confirmed yet. Lugo was such a great character and I'd love to have seen the writers grow him more, but it wasn't Lugocus, hmmmm, nice ring to that title though. [I loved Lugo's character! He was so ready to battle anyone!] There were too many funny moments to recall, but two words will suffice: "Dustin Clare." He was behind most of the pranks. As for preparation; I was already a manic gym bunny, but even that didn't prepare me for Alan Poppleton's Boot camp hell.
Me: 4. You’ve walked that red carpet. Tell us what that’s like? Is it nerve wracking? Fun? How do you prepare for that kind of live experience? Have you even met anyone on the red carpet you were star-struck by?
Barry: I don't do "star struck." I've met a lot of big name actors and it's always come down to an appreciation of the work they do. But first and foremost, it’s whether or not they are nice people. An asshole is an asshole; regardless of talent, right? I think I could handle shuffling down a few more of those red carpets, but Susie's not so keen. I could feel her shaking as I held her hand and she bolted as soon as the interviews started.
Me: 5. I saw you took your wife, Susie, with you on the Starz Red Carpet for Spartacus. You two look really happy together. What a sexy couple! How did she conquer that warrior heart of yours? How did you guys meet?
Barry: Surprise, surprise, we met in Les Mills gym in Auckland. It was in 96, just before I started at the South Seas Film and Television School. We went on one date together and we've been together ever since. She is my sun and my moon, my heart. She is the one voice I listen too and trust above all others. She's a warrior in her own right, so I guess it takes a warrior to conquer a warrior. [Swoon-worthy!!!]
Me: All those cameras clicking and people telling you "look here" or "look there"...you and Susie handled that with grace! And yes, we can see you holding her hand. A true romantic. Your fans also want you down many more red carpets, for damn sure!
Me: 6. Okay, now for the furry love of our life, Alfie. I love seeing you and your dog. How did you get Alfie? What made you a dog person? What’s the funniest Alfie story? Does he literally go everywhere with you?
Barry: I was a police dog trainer/handler in the Royal Australian Air-Force for thirteen years. I guess I chose that path because of my love of dogs. When my police dog, Boots, died at the age of thirteen I discovered the true meaning of grief. I was broken. I think this loss and a desire to pursue my childhood dream of being in the entertainment industry was the catalyst for leaving the RAAF.
Alfie came along by pure luck. My dear friend Robyn knew of my canine history and suggested I become a guardian for a Guide Dog breeder. We met with the Guide Dog’s rep, Helen, and passed the criteria and found ourselves with a hump happy Labrador. [Hahaha! I just got that...hump happy. Haha.] Having Alfie on set was a huge plus, but he did gain unwanted pounds with everyone feeding him. He's heading towards ten years old now and retired from his stud duties. [Based on your pictures, he looks like he's enjoying the good life. Hugs for Alfie :)]
Me: 7. Not only are you an actor, but also a writer. Recently, you’ve published Deadman’s Land and Tandoori Apocalypse: Bombay Rounding. What made you want to write a comic book/series? I just read DL. Loved it. It’s not like anything I’ve read before. What made you choose the werewolf/WWII combination? It’s like Game of Thrones when you don’t expect zombies, but there they are!
Barry: I trained in screenwriting at film school and I've been honing my craft ever since. Someone a lot smarter than I once said, "You'll write your first ten screenplays and they'll end up in the bin." They were so right. The Deadman's Land graphic novel is based in the screenplay of the same name. I entered it into the Final Draft Big Break and Scriptapalooza screenplay competitions in 2013 and 2014 where it reached the quarterfinals in both. After doing so well, I decided to have it adapted by Steve Stern Graphic Novel Adaptations, LA. Tandoori Apocalypse is a four part graphic novel. My new GN, Hellion Rising, is in the works right now. All of these titles are under the distribution banner of Comics'2'Movies in Melbourne, Australia. [If you dig WWII stories and werewolves and don't mind a little "blood and sand" ...pun entirely intended... you'll love this graphic novel! Grab a copy at Amazon.]
Me: 8. You also have a production company: Dreamchaser Productions. You’re definitely a busy man. I see you’re working on a Viking project, as well as Hellion Rising and Hard Out. What can you tell us about these new projects? Any sneak peaks?
Barry: Because of the stage of development they're in the answer would be; no. We don't talk about anything that isn't funded and as yet none of these are. I can say that I currently have two TV series pitches going through the process and should know one way or the other, by the end of March. I'm co-creator, co-producer, and writer, on both. [Damn :) I guess we'll have to wait...]
9. Do you have any special interests or talents outside of acting and writing? Obviously, you’re a weight lifter. How did you get started on that path? Do you train by yourself, or have a workout partner/routine? How was it training for Spartacus? How do you find the time to stay on schedule? Any other talents you can share?
Barry: I am a total geek cinephile when it comes to film. One of my first jobs was in the projection booth of my local cinema. I collect antique movie posters, lobby cards, and other memorabilia. I grew up racing Moto-X and Speedway, so put me on a bike and get out of the way! I have a keen interest in martial arts and a basic skill set at best. I love languages and I'm currently immersed in learning Italian. I'm a Scrabble fanatic. I'm also a keen water skier. I'm pro-gun and anti-gun laws, meaning, I don't think any private citizen has the need or right to own a fully automatic military grade weapon and screening should be paramount. I'm not a bad shot by any standard. I was a competition bodybuilder and now I just train to stay in shape and screen ready. I train better alone, but I have had a few training partners over the years.
Me: 10. Final question, and it’s down to your philosophy of life. When all else fades away, what is the only thing that’s real?
Barry: "Nothing is more important than the love you share and the friendships you forge." ~ Barry
Me: Thank you Barry for sharing about your work and family life. It was so much fun working on this project with you. I wish you and Susie and Alfie all the best. We love you! #barryduffield #lugoforever
Barry's Social Media Links
Thomas David, Goofy, Nerdy, and SEXY as heck...
I've known Tommy for about 3 years now. We met on-line when I was working with Regina Wamba of Mae I Design for a book cover, and he happened to be one of the cover models I was considering. When it came time to actually do a project together, as the cover model for the second book in the Homeric Chronicles, he came out to California. The photo shoot was organized by Tim Huitt of Huitt Photography. We had a funny "meet-cute" story. Since I didn't really know what he looked like in person, nor he me, we actually lost each other in the airport! Well, needless to say, he has become a great friend and he knows how to make everyone laugh. He's funny, sweet and an all-around great guy. Ladies, he's single and waiting on that special blend of nerdy-cute. Let me introduce you to THOMAS DAVID.
1. I notice you’re on several book covers. How did you get started doing that? What’s it like being in a cover shoot? Do you ever get nervous?
My agency at the time, Privileged Model Management, introduced me to Regina Wamba. (She's amazing!) I've been on a total of 15 book covers. [Soon Rise of Princes!!!] I'm so grateful for the opportunities she has given me. She is amazing to work with and always pairs me up with someone who I have amazing chemistry with so we can really make that magic when we all work together. Do I get nervous doing book covers? No, I'm usually really happy and excited because I get to work with a gorgeous woman.
2. You’re a very handsome guy and also do modeling! Tell us about some of the recent shoots you’ve done. What’s your goal with modeling? Is it something you want to do more of, expand on, like acting?
Modeling is awesome. I've had many experiences on the runway for Ray Edwards clothing line, Janice Dickinson fashion show, Kate Grahams Sexy in the Twins cities fashion show and many more. I've been in "Pop Star" magazine and Home Defender magazine. I worked with Raul Osorio from Project Runway on the Ice Pack show modeling his clothing on television. One of my biggest accomplishments, even though I didn't get on the show, was I making it to the semi-finals for America's Next Top Model (ANTM). I'm still happy to this day for trying and getting so close. I've done a lot and so much more but what truly makes me happy is acting. I love the feeling it gives me and making others smile. I love getting into characters and making them my own. There's not one day where I don't practice acting. It's me and it's who I am. I dream of being in movies and I'll keeping striving to get there because that's how winning is done.
3. You recently won a physical fitness title. Tell us about that. What did you do? How difficult/easy was it?
I did a Herbalife 8 week challenge. I took 1st place Grand Champ for the most change in my body. I looked jacked. It was hard because I ate extremely clean. I like to eat and I eat a lot but I still did it and didn't crack no matter how much I wanted a doughnut. Lol!
4. I know all the ladies want to know: Are you single? Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes, I'm single but I think I may found my superwoman/princess Leia. Yes, I do but she never tends to look back for some reason.
5. In your videos, you’re often doing impressions. You’re funny. When did you realize you had this talent? What’s your favorite impersonation?
I do impersonations all the time. It's my hobby and it's why I love acting. I can do hundreds of voices. It comes very easy to me. Honestly, I'd rather talk in one of my voices than my normal voice. I could fool a lot of people. Jim Carrey, Robert Downey Jr., Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger are my favorite voices and those tend to come out daily. I've done this ever since I was a young calf. Lol! I was always doing impersonations of things I saw on television.
6. Lately, you’ve been all about Pokémon Go. You are a collector, right? Tell us about your collection. How old were you when you started? What’s your most prized possession?
I've been a Pokemon fan since I was a kid. I have a collection of the cards and actually I collect Star Wars items too. I have a life size R2D2 in my kitchen. Lol!
7. I see you like to watch movies. What are your top three movies and why?
Tropic Thunder, Bruce Almighty, The Hobbit.
8. You have a minor obsession with the Batman. Great mask by the way! What is it about Batman that draws you to his character?
I can sound like him and several other characters from the Dark Knight. Batman is just badass. I just love getting into characters.
9. What fascinates you about life?
The movie and entertainment business. I want to be behind the camera and learn how everything works.
10. At the end of all things, when light fades to black, what is the only thing that’s real?
The relationships we build, out families and friends. The things we do for each other. And sweet baby infant Jesus. The good memories. The people that help you try to reach your goals.
Just a little compilation video of the Malibu shoot for Rise of Princes
If you enjoyed this post, give it a LIKE or a TWEET :) And by all means, SHARE :) If you'd like a heads up on future Big Ten Interviews or giveaways, join my email list. The only spam I like is with my eggs.
© Janell Rhiannon 2016
Any information from this blog must be properly cited :)
When I first began toying with the idea...what if you could see the mythological stories surrounding the major figures of the Homeric tales (the Iliad and the Odyssey) in a seamless telling? The cast of characters is a celebrity Who’s Who in the world of ancient Greece: Achilles, Paris, Hektor, and Odysseus. But, you can’t begin to tell their stories without reaching beyond what Homer provides and dig into other mythological cannon to discover more about Helen, Hecuba, Cassandra, Andromache, Leda, Deidamia, Priam, Agamemnon, Menelaus, Tyndareus, Peleus, Thetis, and Chiron. Then, there’s the pantheon of gods and goddesses to contend with. The major heroes of Homer’s tales are entwined with other characters and to get a sense of how that’s even possible, I had to dig deep and make some choices.
I used the events of the Iliad and the Odyssey as the backbone of the chronological story. But after days of compiling data, I realized the task was much more difficult than it seemed. The original storytellers weren’t trying to make chronological sense of the various stories. The first glitch was the Paris and Helen myth. Everyone who’s familiar with the story assumes that Paris gives the judgment of the fairest to Aphrodite, who has promised him the love of the most beautiful woman in the world, Helen of Sparta. Soon after, Paris goes to Sparta and absconds with Helen and sails back to Troy. This widely held assumption is, well, wrong. Let’s examine why.
The golden apple event that occurred was at the wedding feast of Peleus and Thetis. These are Achilles parents. So, Achilles, the greatest fighter of all the Greeks has NOT been born yet. He’s the star of the Iliad. The Muse sings about his wrath, his undoing of character after Agamemnon humiliates him and his cousin and comrade, Patrokles, was killed. So, the judgment Paris gives about who the “fairest” goddess is takes place soon after the wedding feast, before Achilles is conceived or born. Bottom line, we have to wait at least 15 years for Achilles to grow up, get trained, and father a son BEFORE Odysseus can discover him on Skyros, dressed like a girl and call our hero into action. This means two things: Paris has to be at least 15-18 years old to be considered MAN enough to judge the female flesh; therefore, he’s 15-18 years older than Achilles. Most movies and books depict Paris and Achilles about the same age. But they can’t be. Paris is definitely his elder.
The other question in this story is: When does Paris meet and woo Helen? And how old is Helen? Paris couldn’t have taken off with her any time soon following the judgment because that would mean they’d be in Troy for years before Menelaus even tried to get her back. Even if you take the whole jaunt to Egypt bit seriously, that still leaves too many years in between the kidnapping and the attempted rescue. Remember, no matter what, Achilles has to be old enough to lead the Myrmidons (some sources say Achilles was 15 when he went to Troy. (I gave him a few more years to make it more plausible, using Alexander the Great as a close model. Alexander led his first troops into major battle, under his father’s command, at Chaeronea at age 18). So, if Helen were already born and left with Paris shortly after the judgment, she’d be away in Troy for 15-18 years before Menelaus went for her because he’d have to wait for Achilles to be born and grow up. That makes no sense.
Also, there is the first kidnapping Helen endures by Theseus when she was just a young girl, probably pre-teen around 12 or 13. She’s the hostage of the king of Athens, or rather his mother’s hostage, until she’s eventually rescued by her brothers, Pollux and Caster, and taken safely back to Troy. She is married to Menelaus shortly after this event to secure her safety and the safety of Sparta. Menelaus did not marry an old maid. Helen would have been about 15-18 years old. This is the young queen of Sparta who was seduced by a much older Paris. Their elopement/kidnapping is the precipitating event of the Trojan War. This is the dogma of the mythology surrounding Troy that we can’t alter. Therefore, Helen is most likely Achilles age. She would’ve had to been born about 15-18 years before the ships launch to rescue her. Achilles would’ve had to been born at least 15-18 years before he led the Myrmidons across the sea to Troy. Paris is in his 28-30 and Helen and Achilles are contemporaries at 15-18 years of age.
This means Paris has an entire life he lived as a man, long enough to be abandoned by Priam, raised by Agelaus, married to his first wife, a nymph named Oenone and to have a son with her named Corythus. He also had to be discovered by Priam and re-embraced as family. Then sent by Priam to rescue Hesione, Priam’s sister, who was kidnapped by Herakles...you get the picture. One thread wraps around another thread and so on. And yes, some times the “trying to make sense of it” turns what we think we know on its head.
I read a review of Song of Princes, by Nadine Paque-Wolkow, she said, in reference to the ages of Paris, Helen and Achilles, “...this may sound like a good idea so first, but I was nervous when Paris was still a child at 30% of the book. Then there was a small leap in time, Paris is now 18, but neither Achilles nor Helena are even born. I admit that I can not recite the dates of birth of all Trojan hero from the head, but in my head [it] is all messed up, just because I already (through books and films etc.) had a picture of all. Also, I glanced back to the percentage display...Half the book was almost already read! Helena was a baby and Achill[es] five at scarce 50%. Hector but already late twenties! And there are still decades until the big final battle of both the gates of Troy! For me, most people had therefore a completely wrong age and everything felt ... wrong and strange.” I think a lot of readers may also have this initial dissonance about the dates and timeline, because most films and books haven’t tried to put a logical chronology to the mythology. (I have a very detailed timeline in the front of the book.) I’ve tried to do just that. By leaving the seduction/kidnapping/eloping of Helen with Paris as the definitive catalyst of the war, it has made several other elements of the entire story sync together in a way most people haven’t thought of, or even entertained. That and there are the many fragments and other sources for these characters besides Homer that had to be integrated.
And if that doesn’t get your stars in a twinkle, think about this. The Iliad begins almost a decade after the ships disembarked from Aulis for Troy, making every hero and heroine ten years older when we read about them, than when they set out on the adventure. They are all full grown men and women by the time we see them in action in Homer’s tales. I welcome comments and questions. And again, I thank Nadine for her thoughtful and detailed review of book one of the Homeric Chronicles. It certainly made me get this blog about the timeline question out in a timely fashion :)
Here’s the link to Nadine’s original post. It’s in German, but you can easily translate it to English in Google Translate. Happy reading!!
If you enjoyed this post, give it a LIKE or a TWEET :) And by all means, SHARE :) If you'd like a heads up on future Big Ten Interviews or giveaways, join my email list. The only spam I like is with my eggs.
© Janell Rhiannon 2016
Any information from this blog must be properly cited :)