In the Odyssey, Homer refers to an eclipse that presages the massacre of Penelope's suitors. According to Scientific American:
In the 1920s researchers speculated that Homer might have had a real eclipse in mind, after calculating that a total solar eclipse (in which the moon blocks out the sun) would have been visible on April 16, 1178 B.C. over the Ionian Islands, where Homer's poem was set. The idea languished, however, because the first writings on Greek astronomy did not come until centuries later.
If these findings are correct, they testify once again (see the location of Troy, etc.) to the astonishing power of the oral formulaic tradition, the means by which preliterate societies pass on their legends and histories from generation to generation. The Odyssey is generally dated to about 800 BC; the eclipse would have occurred three centuries earlier.