To discover the fate of Neanderthal read the beginning of the Richmond Lattimore translation of Homer's Iliad. From Book I, line 266, I quote Nestor speaking of his own generation to a group of much younger Greeks: "These were the strongest generation of earth-born mortals, the strongest, and they fought against the strongest, the beast men living within the mountains, and terribly they destroyed them. . . . And I fought single-handed, yet against such men no one of the mortals now alive upon earth could do battle."
If Nestor isn't describing a battle against cave-dwelling Neanderthals, then I'm a monkey's uncle. Logic tells me if the other events of the Iliad actually happened, as we know they did, i.e., the Battle of Troy in circa 1200 B.C., then the battle with the beast men also actually happened. It probably occurred centuries prior to the Battle of Troy and remained in Greek folklore to the time of Homer, about 800 B.C. The beast men, I say, were the last surviving band of Neanderthals.
Somewhere in Greece a sealed mountain cave contains extremely interesting artifacts and bones.
My quote came from The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Fifth Edition, Volume I (1985). Later translations read "mountain savages" instead of "beast men living within the mountains."
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