Monday, January 27, 2020

How We Know Achilles Existed

When people hear of the Tomb of Achilles, they don't realize that from Alexander the Great to Emperor Julian, and even as late as the Ottoman Empire, people have written of their visits to the site. We have multiple sources, some not even Greek Polytheistic, who testify to the existence of this structure and the remains of the Hero therein, and being that Achilles died during the Trojan War, His body would have been immediately accessible to the Greeks for burial, so there's no chance that someone far later discovered remains somewhere and interpreted them to be Achilles. Like the existence of Troy itself which was proven by archaeology, Homer's works are literally records of real places and Gods of cultures, so why are they also not records of real people? Achilles existed most certainly, and people visited His resting place well into the Common Era.

What makes the Tomb of Achilles lost today, however, is the fact that the marker is gone, as it was only identified by a pillar, and there's no record of exact coordinates. His remains lie unnamed somewhere near Troy. In other words, we'll probably never find it, and if we do discover His remains, nothing will be proof enough for a skeptical scientist. They will always find a way to deny what they don't want to accept, and always find ways to accept what they don't want to deny. Furthermore, what if there are actually no remains left? What if they have all withered away at the mercy of the elements? But what we can say for certain is that He was real.

The only general location of His resting place, which has been drawn, photographed and filmed many times, is a large mound called a tumulus, which is a man-made mound that normally presides over a burial site. Certainly not uncommon, as Greeks were burying war Heroes in mounds as late as the Battle of Marathon, long after the Trojan War. The town that was founded around or in the vicinity of the tomb, called Achilleion, was abandoned in the Hellenistic Era, leaving everything around it to fall either into the hands of ruins or bandits. However, the mound itself still remains and can be visited to this day.

Tumulus of Achilles on Video

In the Goodness of the Gods,
Chris Aldridge.

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