Essays On Heinrich Schliemann

Essays On Heinrich Schliemann-59
Schliemann the legendary excavator of Troy and Mycenae hardly needs an introduction.

Schliemann the legendary excavator of Troy and Mycenae hardly needs an introduction.

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To understand and contextualize Schliemann’s linguistic passion, one needs, however, to look at the early years of his life, before he moved to Greece.

Of all the sources about his life, I chose to consult Emil Ludwig’s biography, century who wrote “hagiographies,” the trend in the new century was not to spare details about the personal lives of their subjects.

At 19 he moved to Hamburg with the intention of immigrating to the United States, but the ship he was travelling was shipwrecked soon after its departure.

Young Heinrich hung on to a floating cask and was literally washed ashore on the sandbanks of Amsterdam.

The loss of his mother, when he was nine years old, and his father’s promiscuous life soon drove young Heinrich and his siblings out of the house.

To support himself he worked long hours as a grocer’s assistant, without receiving any education after the age of 13.

Surprisingly, Freud himself hated biography because he did not believe in the existence of the biographical truth.

(For a wonderful, condensed history of the genre of biography, see Hermione Lee, , Oxford 2009).

Schliemann was born in the eastern part of Germany in 1822.

Although the son of a priest, his childhood was highly troubled.


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