THE STORY: (44 minutes) Operation Trojan Storm needs the craft and cunning of Odysseus, Greece’s most clever man. But Odysseus has mysteriously vanished. Agamemnon puts his best man, Palamedes, on the case. “Find Odysseus; bring him to me, one way or another”, Agamemnon commands. But what Palamedes discovers when he finally locates Odysseus ….! Tune in to the podcast to learn the whole, horrifying truth!
THE COMMENTARY: GREEK PIRATES vs. TROJAN MERCHANTS (12 minutes; begins at 44:00) I shamelessly spend this entire post-story commentary geeking out on Greek vs. Trojan warships and naval tactics. First I paint a quick picture of the Greek “galley”: the sort of ships that Agamemnon was building in order to launch his amphibious invasion of Troy. Then I review Greek naval tactics, explaining how Agamemnon’s fast, nimble and highly mobile galleys managed to terrorize the towns and cities of the Mediterranean world. I explain how the Greeks of 1250 B.C.E. “looked outward” for economic opportunity: how they proudly sacked, pillaged and raped their way through the Mediterranean with the help of their boats. I suggest that the Greek value system was that of pirates or Vikings, while Greek naval tactics resembled those of modern day marines. Then I turn to Troy – a Mediterranean power with no navy at all. I explore the reason for this: namely that the Trojans were merchants who had no need to venture outward for economic opportunity. They simply sat safely behind their high walls and waited for the world’s wealth to come to them. Finally I review doubts expressed by contemporary historians concerning the actual size of Agamemnon’s invasion fleet: were there really 1186 ships, as Homer claims? Lots of fun! Jeff