Caleb Harris Posted October 1, 2013 Share Posted October 1, 2013 (edited) 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. Quote 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. I'm not quite sure how exact the text is, as it gives Roman names instead of Greek, but this is supposed to be a very close translation. The thing is, was heat treating as such developed by the time of Homer (7th and 8th centuries B.C.)? I do know that Iron would have been well developed by that time, but I had thought that heat treating came much later; during the time of the Roman Republic at least. Any thoughts on this? EDIT: Also, he says the quenching 'tempers' the iron. I'm pretty sure that the old 'tempering' is the word for the whole heat treating sequence; is that correct? Edited October 1, 2013 by Caleb Harris Trying to make each knife just a little better than the last Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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