Heat Treating in the Odyssey

Homer was also called Melesigenes (son of Mele...

Homer, writer of the Odyssey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Currently in history, I’m studying the Homeric period, and especially the Epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. I got a reading assignment, chapter 9 of the Odyssey, the situation with the Cyclopes. I will say it’s pretty gruesome at places, but at the area where they’re blinding the Cyclopes, I found some interesting text.

“As a blacksmith plunges an axe or hatchet into
cold water to temper it- for it is this that gives strength to the iron-
and it makes a great hiss as he does so, even thus did the Cyclops’ eye
hiss round the beam of olive wood, and his hideous yells made the cave
ring again.”

This is very interesting, as it shows that all the way back to the time of Homer- around 800 B.C, heat treating had been developed. I’m looking forward to finding more about this text…

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