Théophile Cailleux

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Théophile Cailleux (1816–1890) was a Belgian lawyer, born in Calais in France and the author of a work on Homeric geography published in 1878. The title is Pays atlantiques décrits par Homère: Ibérie, Gaule, Bretagne, Archipels, Amériques. Théorie nouvelle ("Atlantic lands described by Homer: the Iberian peninsula, Gaul, Britain, the Atlantic islands, the Americas. A new theory"). As the title suggests, Cailleux took the unusual view that the geographical background to the events described in the Iliad and Odyssey was the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, and not the shores of the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea. The book was published in Paris by Maisonneuve.

Calais Subprefecture and commune in Hauts-de-France, France

Calais is a city and major ferry port in northern France in the department of Pas-de-Calais, of which it is a sub-prefecture. Although Calais is by far the largest city in Pas-de-Calais, the department's prefecture is its third-largest city of Arras. The population of the metropolitan area at the 2010 census was 126,395. Calais overlooks the Strait of Dover, the narrowest point in the English Channel, which is only 34 km (21 mi) wide here, and is the closest French town to England. The White Cliffs of Dover can easily be seen on a clear day from Calais. Calais is a major port for ferries between France and England, and since 1994, the Channel Tunnel has linked nearby Coquelles to Folkestone by rail.

Homer name ascribed by the ancient Greeks to the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey

Homer is the legendary author of the Iliad and the Odyssey, two epic poems that are the central works of ancient Greek literature. The Iliad is set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy by a coalition of Greek kingdoms. It focuses on a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles lasting a few weeks during the last year of the war. The Odyssey focuses on the ten-year journey home of Odysseus, king of Ithaca, after the fall of Troy. Many accounts of Homer's life circulated in classical antiquity, the most widespread being that he was a blind bard from Ionia, a region of central coastal Anatolia in present-day Turkey. Modern scholars consider these accounts legendary.

<i>Iliad</i> Epic poem attributed to Homer

The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem in dactylic hexameter, traditionally attributed to Homer. Set during the Trojan War, the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states, it tells of the battles and events during the weeks of a quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles.


Theoretical work

Cailleux wrote that Troy was situated in East Anglia where he had discovered two huge war-dykes between Cambridge and the Wash. Here, he identified the river Cam with the Iliad's Scamander and the river Great Ouse with Homer's Simoïs. He was convinced that Homeric Troy was once situated on the heights outside Cambridge known as the Gog Magog Hills. Ithaca, he believed, should be sought in south-west Spain, in the delta of the Guadalete, somewhere between Jerez and Cadiz. He found the spring Arethusa: the present Fuente Amarga near Chiclana de la Frontera, well known for its therapeutic waters, and identified Ithaca's Mount Neriton with the Nertobriga (briga meaning mountain in Celtic), a height figuring on a map of southern Celtiberia by the 2nd century Greek geographer Ptolemaeus.

Troy Homeric ancient city in northwest Asia Minor

Troy was a city in the far northwest of the region known in late Classical antiquity as Asia Minor, now known as Anatolia in modern Turkey, just south of the southwest mouth of the Dardanelles strait and northwest of Mount Ida. The present-day location is known as Hisarlik. It was the setting of the Trojan War described in the Greek Epic Cycle, in particular in the Iliad, one of the two epic poems attributed to Homer. Metrical evidence from the Iliad and the Odyssey suggests that the name Ἴλιον (Ilion) formerly began with a digamma: Ϝίλιον (Wilion); this is also supported by the Hittite name for what is thought to be the same city, Wilusa.

East Anglia region of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

East Anglia is a geographical area in the East of England. The area included has varied but the legally defined NUTS 2 statistical unit comprises the counties of Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, including the City of Peterborough unitary authority area. The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of the East Angles, a tribe whose name originated in Anglia, northern Germany.

Cambridge City and non-metropolitan district in England

Cambridge is a university city and the county town of Cambridgeshire, England, on the River Cam approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the United Kingdom Census 2011, its population was 123,867 including 24,506 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The first town charters were granted in the 12th century, although modern city status was not officially conferred until 1951.

Cailleux's work followed fairly soon after Heinrich Schliemann's triumphant demonstration that Troy and Mycenae existed as powerful cities at the right time and in the right place to have fought a Trojan War such as the epics describe (see for example Schliemann's Ithaka, der Peloponnesus und Troja, 1868). The need for geographical speculation had thus been to some extent removed, and Cailleux was not taken seriously by Homeric scholars or archaeologists.

Heinrich Schliemann German businessman and a pioneer of field archaeology

Heinrich Schliemann was a German businessman and a pioneer in the field of archaeology. He was an advocate of the historicity of places mentioned in the works of Homer and an archaeological excavator of Hisarlik, now presumed to be the site of Troy, along with the Mycenaean sites Mycenae and Tiryns. His work lent weight to the idea that Homer's Iliad reflects historical events. Schliemann's excavation of nine levels of archaeological remains with dynamite has been criticized as destructive of significant historical artifacts, including the level that is believed to be the historical Troy.

Mycenae Archaeological site in Greece

Mycenae is an archaeological site near Mykines in Argolis, north-eastern Peloponnese, Greece. It is located about 120 kilometres south-west of Athens; 11 kilometres north of Argos; and 48 kilometres south of Corinth. The site is 19 kilometres inland from the Saronic Gulf and built upon a hill rising 900 feet above sea level.

Trojan War Mythological war

In Greek mythology, the Trojan War was waged against the city of Troy by the Achaeans (Greeks) after Paris of Troy took Helen from her husband Menelaus, king of Sparta. The war is one of the most important events in Greek mythology and has been narrated through many works of Greek literature, most notably Homer's Iliad. The core of the Iliad describes a period of four days and two nights in the tenth year of the decade-long siege of Troy; the Odyssey describes the journey home of Odysseus, one of the war's heroes. Other parts of the war are described in a cycle of epic poems, which have survived through fragments. Episodes from the war provided material for Greek tragedy and other works of Greek literature, and for Roman poets including Virgil and Ovid.


See also

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