Equidistant Letter Sequences in Homer's Iliad
Justin King '06 and Mark Weston '06
Union College
May 27, 2004
12:40 - 1:40pm
Bailey Hall 312

The goal of this collaborative sophomore project, which united the disciplines of Classics and Computer Science, is to investigate whether the existence of so-called "Bible Codes" - a claim by Hebrew scholars that the Torah contains encrypted prophecies of future events in such a way that implies divine authorship - is a legitimate statistical anomaly or merely a property of large texts in general. Our specific question is whether an untranslated text of Homer's Iliad in ancient Greek contains evidence of encrypted prophecies of the kind that some claim are unique to the Torah. The first step in the project was to create software that was able to search for encoded messages in a text file. The next step was to use similar searches as those performed on the Torah in order to detect any prophetic "codes" embedded in the Iliad. In an attempt to verify our results, by way of controlled experiment, we used the same method to examine a large text of random characters.

Lunch will be provided at 12:00 in Steinmetz 237.