Foreword: Odyssey of the Gods
The Odyssey of the Gods
The Alien History of Ancient Greece
by Erich von Daniken
Do you know what an orgy is? Encyclopedias give its original definition as the celebration of religious rites in ancient Greece. Nowadays the word refers to a much less restrained kind of caper, in which sex plays its fair share.
But in fact this is also what the word meant in ancient Greece. At that time men used to meet together in the afternoon for philosophical debate, followed a few hours later by a 'symposium' or drinking party - which often ended in an orgy. Wives were not present, but boys and youths were. Greece was taboo-free in this respect; people thought and felt differently in ancient Hellas.
Everyone knows what a science fiction story is. But you probably don't know that there were science-fiction stories circulating in ancient Greece too, though much more fantastic ones than ours. The difference between them is that the Greeks didn't regard their science-fiction as utopian fantasies; they believed that the stories related events which had really taken place. And there was another difference. Our science-fiction stories - such as the adventures of 'Starship Enterprise' take place in the future, while the ancient Greeks looked back to a dim, distant past, to a time millennia before their own.
And for Children:
Just imagine that the island of Crete is continually circled by a metal guardian, which has the phenomenal ability to monitor all ships heading towards the island and to blow them out of the water. No foreigner has a chance of landing there against the wishes of the island's rulers. If a boat does manage to slip through, the metal monster can direct a fierce heat at it and burn the invader up. However, this guardian robot does have a weak point: if a certain bolt on its metallic body is undone, its thick blood flows out so that it is immobilized. Naturally, only those who constructed it, and their successors, know the precise location of this vital spot.
The story was already in existence around 2,500 years ago, and the Greeks were convinced that it told the truth about events long before their time. The robot which patrolled Crete was called Talos, and the engineers who knew the precise position of the place where the hydraulic fluid had to be drained, so as to inactive the monster, were called 'gods'.
This is not a (hi)story book of ancient Greece, but a book about its stories. The Greece of ancient times is chock-a-block with extraordinary tales. Did the wanderings of Odysseus ever happen? What was going on in Delphi? Was there really a doom and gloom prophetess there who foresaw all major political events? Are the powerful descriptions of Troy based on truth? And what about Atlantis? All the information we have about Atlantis, to which all authors on the subject refer, has come from Greece. And who were the Argonauts who set out to steal the 'Gold Fleece'?
Greece is worth a dream-trip. I invite you to join me on a special kind of adventure.
Back to Erich von Daniken