Newton vindicated – the sublime synthesis of science, art and history

This is wonderful – if you did not see the original story (in 2008) you can still find it here on the Telegraph:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?view=DETAILS&grid=&xml=/earth/2008/06/24/scitrojan124.xml

And here on the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/jun/24/spaceexploration.sciencenews

Apparently, scientists have worked out the actual dates when the events described in Homer’s Odyssey occurred, using the science of Sir Issac Newton to analyse the clues in the book.

According to both articles, the events surrounding the Trojan Horse took place in 1188 BC. While the bloody massacre of Penelope’s suitors took place during an eclipse on April 16 1178BC (as calculated by some equally clever people back in the 1920s but not proven until now).

The legend of Troy turned out to be based on history. Now it seems the Odyssey was more grounded in history than previously believed (an idea that Tim Severin explored in his book ‘The Ulysses Voyage‘).

Thank you to Marcelo Magnasco, head of the Laboratory of Mathematical Physics at Rockefeller University, New York, and Constantino Baikouzis of the Proyecto Observatorio at the Observatorio Astronómico in La Plata, Argentina, for their report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences for this news.

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