Odysseus came home

in 1178 BC, not that long after Dielli lived. Useful information for me. For the rest of you Discovery.com says:

Using clues from star and sun positions mentioned by the ancient Greek poet Homer, scholars think they have determined the date when King Odysseus returned from the Trojan War and slaughtered a group of suitors who had been pressing his wife to marry one of them.

It was on April 16, 1178 B.C. that the great warrior struck with arrows, swords and spears, killing those who sought to replace him, a pair of researchers say in Monday’s online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
Marcelo O. Magnasco of Rockefeller University in New York and Constantino Baikouzis of the Astronomical Observatory in La Plata, Argentina, acknowledge they had to make some assumptions to determine the date Odysseus returned to his kingdom of Ithaca.

But interpreting clues in Homer’s “Odyssey” as references to the positions of stars and a total eclipse of the sun allowed them to determine when a particular set of conditions would have occurred.

How did they determine that?

Homer reports that on the day of the slaughter the sun is blotted from the sky, possibly a reference to an eclipse. In addition, he mentions more than once that it is the time of a new moon, which is necessary for a total eclipse, the researchers say.

Other clues include:

Six days before the slaughter, Venus is visible and high in the sky.

Twenty-nine days before, two constellations — the Pleiades and Bootes — are simultaneously visible at sunset.

And 33 days before, Mercury is high at dawn and near the western end of its trajectory. This is the researchers’ interpretation, anyway. Homer wrote that Hermes, the Greek name for Mercury, traveled far west to deliver a message.

So astronomers were well aware of what was happening at that time. Did Homer know that is what happened? Folks used to think Troy was mythical. Then an archaeologist found it. Maybe Homer did know what he was talking about.