Hómēros' 'Odysseia' recounts the adventures of the Hellenic hero Odysseus during his journey home from the Trojan War. Though some parts may be based on real events, the encounters with monsters, giants and magicians are considered to be complete fiction. But might there be more to these myths than meets the eye? Matt Kaplan explains why there might be more reality behind the Odysseia than many realize.

Kaplan is not the first or only one to believe so. Over the years, scholars have established that Troy--from which Odysseus sailed--was an actual city. The Trojan Horse may have been discovered. The route Odysseus took has been meticulously recreated. Cyclopses weren't real, but they might have been based on the skulls of mammoths.

The Odysseia will forever speak to our imagination, as it did to the ancient Hellenes. Like much of mythology, I suspect we will continue to discover truths in the writing, lending more and more credibility to the underlying ethical and philosophical framework of them. I have always said that science and mythology are intrinsically linked. They mash together, not disprove the other. I am happy to hear Kaplan seems to agree.