An Age of Heroes

Come you then, let us begin from the Muses,
 who by their singing
delight the great mind of Zeus, their father,
 who lives on Olympos,
as they tell of what is, and what is to be,
 and what was before now

– Hesiod, Theogony 36-38

Bust of Athena

Bust of Athena
Courtesy of the Art Institute of Chicago


Welcome to the Official Website of An Age of Heroes. Was Homer’s Odyssey inspired by true events? Is there a historical record of such adventurous seafaring occurring from the time of the end of the Trojan War? What do we know about its author and how has this story evolved with each telling?

“I must admit that this work was greatly inspired by Michael Wood’s publication In Search of the Trojan War. Although I am confident that it will never measure up to his nearly three decade old masterpiece. Regardless of that, I felt that a new chapter should be opened. One that continues beyond the war and the period of Greek history that immediately follows; that is, the collapse of the Late Bronze Age within the Aegean world and its entrance into the Dark Ages. In the process, I hope to renew the reader’s interest in ancient Aegean studies; focusing on a time which predates the Classical period and sheds some light on a lesser known history of the Greeks. For it is these periods that inspire and form the foundations of Classical Greece and later. Therefore, I wish to extend my appreciation to Michael Wood and have titled my first chapter after his published and televised work, In Search of Myths and Heroes.”



For access to materials…

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology for providing digital images of the following papyrus fragments from the Oxyrhynchus collection:

  • Homer, Odyssey IV 388-400 (399 omitted) – E 2821
  • Homer, Odyssey IV 520-529 – E 2817
  • Homer, Odyssey X 26-50 – E 2818

The The Library, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland for providing digital images of the following papyrus fragments from the Oxyrhynchus collection:

  • Homer, Odyssey XI 471-493, 523-545 – Pap. F 12

The The Oriental Institute of Chicago Museum for providing me with personal access to examine and photograph the following papyrus fragments from the Oxyrhynchus collection and also the following artifacts:

  • Homer, Iliad II 745-764 – E 2058
  • Pottery Jug (Late Cypriot I-II) from Cyprus – X374
  • Pottery Jug (Late Bronze II, Philistine) from Megiddo, Israel – A 28144
  • Pottery Alabastron (Late Bronze – Dynasty XVIII, Mycenaean – LH IIIA:1) from Egypt – A 26628
  • Pottery Stirrup Jar (Late Bronze – Dynasty XVIII, Mycenaean – LH IIIB:1) from Egypt – A 26629

To Michael Levy for permission to use one of his ancient Greek inspired lyre recordings in this project. For more details of his work, please visit his website.


For historical and cultural guidance…

  • Dr. Nanno MarinatosProfessor and Head in the Department of Classics & Mediterranean Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago
  • Professor Sir John BoardmanEmeritus Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology & Art at the University of Oxford
  • Rabbi Scott Looper


General Acknowledgments…

To all of my family and friends who supported and continue to support me in all of my ambitious endeavors throughout my life.

Related Articles

Below you will find a list of articles related to this research which I have written.

The Story

Below is a map of the known world during the time of Homer and later. You can see another version of this map here. For a summary of all the locations spoken of in the Trojan War Cycle, please refer to this map.

The world in Homer's time.

The known world in the time of Homer. According to Hecataeus (6th century BCE).

The Odyssey

The Odyssey is one of two Greek poems (the second being the Iliad) attributed to the poet Homer and is believed to have been composed at the end of the 8th century B.C.E. somewhere in the Greek coastal region of Anatolia, referred to as Ionia. The poem mainly focuses on the Greek hero Odysseus and his journey home after the fall of Troy. It takes him ten years to reach his home, the island of Ithaca (situated in the Ionian Sea) after fighting in the ten year Trojan War. In the meanwhile, assuming that Odysseus has been dead, his wife Penelope and son Telemachus must deal with a group of unruly suitors who are competing for Penelope’s hand in marriage and eating Telemachus out of his home while planning his death.

If you have never read the Odyssey or wish to read it again, the Perseus Digital Library contains an online copy of the Greek text of the Odyssey and also A.T. Murray’s 1919 English translation.

The Returns (Nostoi)

Part of the Trojan War Cycle (or Epic), the Nostoi (or Returns) was a lost epic of ancient Greek literature whose author is currently uncertain (attributed writers include Agias, Homer, and Eumelos) and focuses on the return home of the Greek heroes after the end of the Trojan War. The date of composition is uncertain but the finalized form of the text is typically dated to the 7th or 6th centuries B.C.E.

The Aeneid

Written by Virgil between 29 and 19 B.C.E., the Aeneid tells the legendary story of Aeneas, a Trojan survivor of the Trojan War, who traveled to Italy, becoming the ancestor of the Romans.Aeneas was a well known hero in the Greco-Roman world, having been a character in the Iliad. Virgil took the disconnected tales of Aeneas’ wanderings alongside the vague association with the foundation of Rome and fashioned a compelling founding myth.

If you have never read the Aeneid or wish to read it again, the Perseus Digital Library contains an online copy of the Latin text of the Aeneid and also Theodore C. Williams’ 1910 English translation.


The Old Testament also serves as a tool in which various verses of poem and prose have preserved details to this period we call the Dark Age of the Eastern and Central Mediterranean world. The Old Testament documents the adversaries of the Israelites, the Philistines, who were from the Aegean and part of a large migratory group eventullay settling in the Levant.

The Archaeology


Dates BC

Historical Phases

Mycenaean Pottery Phases

Cretan Pottery Phases

1200/1190 Late Bronze Age Late Helladic IIIC Early Late Minoan IIIC
1150/1140 Late Helladic IIIC Middle Late Minoan IIIC
1100/1090 Late Helladic IIIC Late and Submycenaean Late Minoan IIIC
1050/1025 Early Iron Age Late Helladic IIIC Late and Submycenaean Subminoan
1000 Dark Age
800 Iron Age Archaic Age


The End of the Bronze Age

The end of the Late Bronze Age period, between 1206 and 1150 B.C.E. is defined by the cultural collapse (and in some cases whole disappearance) of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire (in Anatolia and Syria), and the New Kingdom of Egypt (extending as far as Syria and Canaan). This cataclysmic event interrupted trade routes and severely reduced literacy while also observing cities across the Mediterranean world violently destroyed and sometimes forgotten to the ages. Following this event, the Dark Age ensued which led to the eventual rise of new kingdoms and empires dated between 11th and 8th centuries B.C.E.

The Sea Peoples

The Sea Peoples (or Peoples of the Sea) were an enigmatic confederacy of seafaring raiders from the Central and Eastern Mediterranean who sailed sailed East and invaded Anatolia, Syria, Canaan, Cyprus, and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age. The term used to refer to these foreign nation is derived from ancient Egyptian sources in which we have numerous documented accounts of battles involving them. It should be noted that not all of the Sea Peoples originated from the sea but also from the land such as Anatolia; most of which devasted the lands and brought nations and whole empires to an end.

A Philistine Captive

A Philistine Captive
Courtesy of the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago