An amazing adventure guided by the verses of Homer-


The first volume of the new Great Businesses of History series, distributed as a tribute to the newspaper. dedicated to the great archaeologist who fulfilled his childhood dream and found the ruins of the city

Like in a fairytale. For a child it was the dream of one day finding the city sung by Homer in the Iliad, imagining the war between the West and the East, the love of Helen and Paris, the battles in front of the Scee Gates, the death of Patroclus, the duel between Hector and Achilles. It is legitimate to fantasize, especially when you are small.

It also happened to the young German Heinrich Schliemann
, born January 6, 1822 in Neubukow, a village in the Mecklenburg-Pomerania region. At the age of eight, his father gave him the book Illustrated history of the world by Georg Ludwig Jerrer. Observing an engraving with the walls of Ilium and the escape of Aeneas, we read it in his autobiography, Heinrich exclaimed: It is not possible that all this has been destroyed and no one knows where it is anymore. When I grow up, I will go to look for Troy and find it under the dust of the ages. The fantasy of a tenacious child, who from shop boy became very rich in a few years, owner of gold mines in California, US citizen, with lucrative interests all over the world. A fantasy that had to turn into reality in the space of 45 years, when he decided to give substance to his own utopias as a child.

only the initial episode of an incomparable existence, that of a tireless traveler, who embodies the stereotype of the businessman capable of transforming youthful dreams into amazing successes in the field of nascent archeology thanks to innate talent and hard work. With scientific authority and fascinating narrative ability Massimo Cultraro, renowned archaeologist, comes to trace his personality and the results obtained from the excavations in the volume Schliemann in search of Troy, on newsstands Thursday 26 August with Corriere della Sera. First book of the series Great enterprises of history, edited by Barbara Biscotti, the incipit of a series of exceptional men, visionary discoverers, archaeologists, explorers, intellectuals of absolute genius, architects of their own destiny of glory, extraordinary heroes who have marked a epoch as distant or closer to the contemporary world such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, James Cook, Charles Darwin or Roald Amundsen.

The fact that strikes Schliemann’s whirlwind ubiquity. First of all to conclude the multiple transactions and become a billionaire; then, struck by the verses of Homer, to set out in search of the places that were the scene of the exploits narrated in the Iliad and, having reached the celebrity, of new destinations to explore. The journey as an instrument of knowledge.

Based on archival documentation survivor it was calculated that between 1868 and 1890, the year of his death on December 26 in Naples, Schliemann had traveled on average between 20 and 35 different locations per year, touching Asia, Europe, North Africa, the United States and Cuba: thousands of trips long distance.

To analyze this character with a very elusive, deeply narcissistic, polyglot temperament – from fifteen languages ​​perfectly spoken and written to over fifty chewed more than well – and with a contradictory disposition, Massimo Cultraro, professor of Prehistory and Aegean archeology at the University of Palermo, research manager of the Cnr and specialist in Minoan and Mycenaean civilization, identifies the most concrete aspects of Schliemann’s excavations: the use of the stratigraphic method and the systematic search for evidence in the field in an autoptic way.

Next to the finding of the Hissarlik hill in Anatolia, following the descriptions of the Iliad, the author underlines how Heinrich seems predestined, called to an almost superhuman mission in proving that Homer narrated historical facts that really happened and not literary bizarre. To the world the archaeologist-entrepreneur announced the discovery of Priam’s treasure in 1873.

He didn’t stop. And a Thera (Santorini), examined the eruptive layers and realized that the rea island was destroyed by a terrible eruption about two thousand years before Christ. Later he passed to Greece to open excavations in Mycenae, following the indications of the Greek geographer Pausanias. Here he discovered in 1876 a series of collective well and domed tombs, heaps of golden objects, the treasure of Atreus and the famous Mask of Agamemnon, as Schliemann wanted to call it.


On Thursday 26 August, Massimo Cultraro’s book is distributed as a gift with the Corriere della Sera Schliemann in search of Troy, the first issue of the Great Businesses of History series, curated by Barbara Biscotti, professor of Roman Law at the University of Milan Bicocca. It is a series of unpublished titles dedicated to daring challenges launched in the name of adventure and knowledge: archaeological missions, geographical explorations, mountaineering. The series includes a total of twenty-five volumes that will be released every Thursday until February 10, 2022. The second book, The discovery of America by Franco Cardini, will go to newsstands starting from 2 September: it will be available, like all subsequent issues of the Great Companies in history, also with La Gazzetta dello Sport, as well as with Corriere della Sera, at the price of e 6.90 plus the cost of one of the two newspapers. The third volume of the series, on newsstands starting from 9 September, will be Amundsen and the conquest of the South Pole by Emanuele Melilli. Followed by: Alessandro Bongioanni, Exploration of the Valley of the Kings (September 16); Luca Mori, Darwin and the journey to the origin of the species (September 23); Marina Montesano, Marco Polo in the East (September 30); Marco Berti, Conquering Everest (October 7); Denis Forasacco, In search of the sources of the Nile (October 14); Giovanni Landi, Man on the Moon (October 21).

August 24, 2021 (change August 24, 2021 | 15:44)


Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent News

Editor's Pick