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Greek archaeologists believe they have found the oldest known excerpt of ' The Odyssey '

The preliminary estimates dated the clay plaque, which Econtraron Greek and German archaeologists in ancient Olympia, before the 3rd century D. C

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Greek archaeologists believe they have found the oldest known excerpt of ' The Odyssey '

A team of archaeologists has discovered in Greece what could be oldest excerpt from one of earliest poems in Western history: Homer's Odyssey. The clay plaque in which 13 verses were recorded from one of Rhapsodys of epic poem was found in vicinity of sanctuary of Olympia, in Peloponnese peninsula, where remains of Roman times are found. The specialists believe that it was precisely at that time that tablet was recorded, since ir preliminary estimates dated finding before 3rd century A.D.

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"If date is confirmed, plaque could be oldest written finding of work of Homer ever discovered" in Greece, yesterday said Ministry of Culture of Hellenic country. The discovery was carried out in framework of Geoarchaeological research multidimensional site of Olimpia, which for three years has studied surroundings of sanctuary with participation of Greek and German archaeologists. The excerpt comes from song 14 of work – of 24 that compose poem – in which Homer narrates return of Ulysses to his island, Ithaca, reunion with Eumea, his cause that believes him dead. Despite not recognizing his master, who comes before him under look of a beggar, Eumaeus takes care of him and gives him shelter.

The Odyssey tells story of Ulysses, King of Ithaca, who travels for ten years trying to get home after fall of Troy. The work attributed to Homer, — author is supposed to have composed it at end of 7th century A. C — it was initially transmitted orally during banquets or in some courts, "until in Ans, in 6th century BC, it was decided to fix poem in writing" , by phone Óscar Martínez, translator of Homer ( Iliad, in Alianza Editorial) and president of Madrid delegation of Spanish Society of Classical Studies. He says re was nothing left of that first edition.

The work was n transcribed before Christian time on papyrus of which only some fragments were found in Egypt. "We can assume that you will not find entire odyssey copied but that piece is very valuable in epigraphic terms," Delves Martinez, who drew much attention to song XIV of epic and found clay plaque in Olympia. "It was a place very given to receive pilgrims, a pahellenic center, where many visitors flocked. It was a priority to treat one that came well, he explains.

The enthusiasm provoked by discovery does not surprise Martínez which emphasizes fundamental character of contribution of Homer to universal literature. "Both Iliad and Odyssey, which arise isolated in time with unmatched beauty, have been a benchmark for later literature." All elements that appear in work as Sirens, Cyclops, magician Circe — and even those who do not appear in it and who are associated with myth created around Homer, such as Trojan Horse or Achilles ' heel — have been "filling all Western imagination" for centuries. It is probably one of most influential works of all Western literature. "

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