The Trojan War and the Exodus

After the end of the Trojan War it took Odysseus ten long years wandering around the coasts of the Mediterranean before he could finally take his wife Penelope in his arms again in 1207 BC.
Strange, a hero who has fought in a war far from home for ten long years would probably yearn to go home as quickly as possible, but Odysseus did otherwise. Maybe Odysseus did not simply 'lose track of time' when he wandered along the coasts of the eastern Mediterranean, but was forced to do so because of a general state of unrest and turmoil.

After having conclusively reached an almost specific date of the end of the Troyan Was as the end of June 1218 BC, a valid question would be: what happened after the city was destroyed by the conquering Greeks?

Let us briefly turn to the Bible, where the Pharoah of the oppression of the Hebrews can be identified as Rameses II (1290-1223 BC) and it would appear that the time of the Exodus, a time of great upheaval, coincided with Rameses' successor Merneptah (1223-1211 BC). This Pharaoh fought several battles against the Sea People. It would not take a great leap of imagination to identify the Greeks as these Sea People and it suggests that a long war was fought in the Mediterranean after the end of the Trojan War.

The Great Karnak Inscription, an ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic inscription belonging to the Pharaoh Merneptah, mentions some names of these Sea People as I-q-w-š (Ahhiyawa, Achaeans), Tw-r-š (Trojans), R-kw (Lycians), Š-r-d-n (Sherdana) and Š-k-r- š (Shagalasha), being 'northerners coming from all land's[1].

So, Odysseus' adventures might be garbled accounts of a war that the Greeks fought against the Egyptians. After death of the Pharaoh, a sort of power vacuum ensued which resulted in a general state of unrest in the entire region, which might have lasted for about ten years. In Egyptian accounts the Greeks must have been known as the Sea People. It all makes sense.

Part 1 of this series 'When was the Trojan War?' can be read here.
Part 2 of this series 'When was the end of the Trojan War' can be read here.

This post is one of several on the same subject. They all have found a home on Homer's Home. See here.

[1] Edward Lipiński: On the Skirts of Canaan in the Iron Age - 2006. See here.

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