The best books on ancient myths and European prehistory

Felice Vinci Author Of The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales
By Felice Vinci

Who am I?

 I've been fond of the Homeric poems since my youth. I followed classical studies in the high here in Rome, so I studied Latin and Greek before graduating in nuclear engineering. Then, in addition to my professional activity, I've devoted myself to the study of The Iliad and the Odyssey, with their huge contradictions between geography and their traditional Mediterranean setting. The book I published on this topic was translated and published into eight foreign languages (as The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales), and has given rise to many scientific discussions. I also published The Mysteries of the Megalithic Civilization, a Bestseller here in Italy.


I wrote...

The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales

By Felice Vinci,

Book cover of The Baltic Origins of Homer's Epic Tales

What is my book about?

The real scenario of the Iliad and the Odyssey is not identifiable in the Mediterranean Sea, where it gives rise to innumerable inconsistencies, but in Northern Europe. The sagas that gave rise to the Homeric poems came from the Baltic world, where in the second millennium BC the Bronze Age flourished and where many Homeric places, such as Troy and Ithaca, can still be identified. These sagas were brought from Scandinavia to Greece by the blond Achaeans who founded the Mycenaean civilization around the 17th-16th century BC.

This ancient oral tradition was put into writing around the 8th century BC, when alphabetic writing was introduced in Greece, thus giving rise to the Iliad and the Odyssey in their current form.

The books I picked & why

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Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time

By Giorgio de Santillana, Hertha von Dechend,

Book cover of Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time

Why this book?

This extraordinary book makes us understand what the ancients saw in the sky. It is one of those rare books that change our ideas about myth and archaic thought once and for all, explaining the myths of the whole world by an astronomical key. In a word, this is certainly an extraordinarily important book, which should definitely be read by anyone who is passionate about these topics.

Hamlet's Mill: An Essay on Myth and the Frame of Time

By Giorgio de Santillana, Hertha von Dechend,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Hamlet's Mill as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Very nice, clean and solid copy.

Before Civilization

By Colin Renfrew,

Book cover of Before Civilization

Why this book?

Based on the "radiocarbon revolution" as a method of dating archaeological finds, the great English archaeologist Sir Colin Renfrew redraws the map of the dawn of civilization in the Mediterranean basin and in Europe. The result is a new framework, in which the idea of a single cradle, located between Egypt and the Middle East, from which civilization would have spread to the rest of Europe, is replaced by the identification of different places where it started, scattered throughout the continent.

Before Civilization

By Colin Renfrew,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Before Civilization as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The refinement of radiocarbon dating using the information form tree-ring counts has raised serious doubts about the accepted theoretical frameowkr of European prehistory. Monuments in Central and Western Europe have proved to be considerably older than their supposed Near-Eastern forerunners, and the record must be almost completely rewritten in the light of these new dates. Before Civilsation is a preliminary attempt to do this with the help of analogies from more recent and well-documented primitive societies. The more glaring inconsistencies in the old theory are re-examined and Professor Renfrew shows convincingly how the baffling monuments of prehistoric Europe, like Stonehenge,…

Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit

By David A. Traill,

Book cover of Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit

Why this book?

This book explores many important, controversial aspects of Heinrich Schliemann's Trojan searches in the second half of the 19th century. The reading is very interesting both to deepen the details of that archaeological discovery, considered one of the most important of the nineteenth century, and to better understand the controversial figure of Schliemann, who in addition to his great merits also presents some not small shadows.

Schliemann of Troy: Treasure and Deceit

By David A. Traill,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Schliemann of Troy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Using correspondence and diary entries, the author recounts the personal and professional life of the archaeologist and exposes an unscrupulous individual who distorted facts and made false claims about some of his discoveries.

Four Thousand Years Ago: A World Panorama Of Life In The Second Millennium B. C.

By Geoffrey Bibby, Ralph Marcano (illustrator),

Book cover of Four Thousand Years Ago: A World Panorama Of Life In The Second Millennium B. C.

Why this book?

In this book, an important 20th-century archaeologist reconstructs the life of prehistoric populations in the second millennium BC. Therefore, for those who are interested in this subject, it represents an important tool to better deepen a historical period whose knowledge is currently undergoing great evolution and which in the future could give us many surprises.

Four Thousand Years Ago: A World Panorama Of Life In The Second Millennium B. C.

By Geoffrey Bibby, Ralph Marcano (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Four Thousand Years Ago as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.


Ancient Europe from the Beginnings of Agriculture to Classical Antiquity: A Survey

By Stuart Piggott,

Book cover of Ancient Europe from the Beginnings of Agriculture to Classical Antiquity: A Survey

Why this book?

This important volume traces a picture of European prehistory, from the earliest agricultural communities of the Neolithic period to the Roman world. Stuart Piggott, who was a great English scholar of the twentieth century, guides us here to understand the ancient roots of facts and situations that have gradually evolved up to the history we know well.

Ancient Europe from the Beginnings of Agriculture to Classical Antiquity: A Survey

By Stuart Piggott,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Ancient Europe from the Beginnings of Agriculture to Classical Antiquity as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

‘Ancient Europe’ is a readable and copiously illustrated account of man’s material, social, and cultural growth, from the sixth millennium B.C. until the incorporation of much of barbarian Europe within the Roman Empire. Professor Piggott brings together for the first time the scattered archeological evidence for this entire period and presents an up-to-date and comprehensive synthesis of the main lines of the European prehistory. Distinguished by authority and clarity of presentation, the book traces the beginnings of animal domestication and plan cultivation in ancient Western Asia, studies the transmission of these skills (by population movements and assimilation) to the European…

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