According to the ancient Greek scholar Eratosthenes, June 11, 1134 BC marks the date and year of the sacking and burning of the city of Troy. If true, this would mean that the climax of the events which took place in Homer’s Iliad occurred 3,145 years ago today.
Born in 276 BC in the Greek colony of Cyrene on the North African coast (in modern-day Libya), Eratosthenes spent most of his adult life studying and working in the great library of Alexandria, Egypt.1 In addition to Eratosthenes’ work with scientific chronology in attempting to place dates on historical events like the siege of Troy, he also had significant contributions in the areas of mathematics and science. He is the father of the field of geography and is credited with coining the term. Due to his work in this field, he was the first person to produce a map of the world which includes parallels and meridians.2 Eratosthenes was the first person to mathematically prove that the earth is round and to measure its circumference. He also very accurately calculated the distance between the earth and the sun, the distance between the earth and the moon, and the angle of the earth’s tilt. Eratosthenes is a man well worth being familiar with.