What did the Byzantine Greeks and Medieval Europeans think about the Iliad and the Odyssey, and the story of Romulus and Remus?
Inhabitants of Classical Greece and the Pagan Roman Empire believed the Iliad, the Odyssey and the story of Romulus and Remus to be literal history.
But upon Christianization of the Roman world, how did the later Byzantines and Medieval Europeans think of those stories? Given the many Pagan Gods and figures in those stories, did they believe those stories were fake/fabricated? Did they continue to believe them to be historical? How did schools/universities in the Byzantine Empire, and across medieval Europe teach those stories?
If they believed the stories were fictional, how did they explain the founding of Rome, Athens, and all the other ancient cities whose foundational histories are now obscured?
- UserLv 78 months ago
Opinions were divided
Some viewed them as historical
while others viewed them as fantastical, mere legends with no basis in fact.
Of course, the (typical Christian) view that the Greek deities were non-existent aided the opinion that Homer's works were pure fiction...but not all held that opinion.
Similarly the tale of Romulus and Remus.