The Trojan War: A Very Short Introduction
Homer's tale of the abduction of Helen to Troy and the ten-year war to bring her back to Greece has fascinated mankind for centuries since he related it in The Iliad and The Odyssey. More recently, it has given rise to countless scholarly articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, epic movies, television documentaries, stage plays, art and sculpture, even souvenirs and collectibles. However, while the ancients themselves thought that the Trojan War took place and was a pivotal event in world history, scholars during the Middle Ages and into the modern era derided it as a piece of fiction. This book investigates two major questions: did the Trojan War take place and, if so, where? It ultimately demonstrates that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place in some way, shape, or form during the Late Bronze Age, thereby forming the nucleus of the story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into essentially final form by Homer. However, Cline suggests that although a Trojan War (or wars) probably did take place, it was not fought because of Helen's abduction; there were far more compelling economic and political motives for conflict more than 3,000 years ago. Aside from Homer, the book examines various classical literary sources: the Epic Cycle, a saga found at the Hittite capital of Hattusas, treatments of the story by the playwrights of classical Greece, and alternative versions or continuations of the saga such as Virgil's Aeneid, which add detail but frequently contradict the original story. Cline also surveys archaeological attempts to document the Trojan War through excavations at Hissarlik, Turkey, especially the work of Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Dörpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Other editions - View all
Achilles Achilles’s Aegean Agamemnon Ahhiyawa Alaksandu Alexander Anatolia aql The Trojan archaeological archaeologists Assuwa Assuwa rebellion attack battle Blegen BlljPJOJJE A1015 Carl Blegen citadel city of Troy conﬁrmed conﬂict Cypria dating David destroyed destruction Dorpfeld earthquake Egypt Epic Cycle evidence excavations ﬁfth century BCE ﬁg ﬁght ﬁghting ﬁnal ﬁnally ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁve fought Greek mainland Greek playwright Hattusa Hector Heinrich Schliemann Helen Hisarlik Hittite king Hittite records Hittite texts Homer Homer’s description Homer’s Trojan identiﬁed Ilios intentionally left blank Iron Age Late Bronze Age Little Iliad lower city Manfred Korfmann Menelaus modern mound Muwattalli Mycenae Mycenaeans named Odyssey ofthe ofTroy Paris Patroclus poets pottery Priam Priam’s Treasure Priam’s Troy probably Quintus Smyrnaeus reﬂect region Roman scholars speciﬁcally story Tawagalawa thirteenth century BCE Trojan Horse Trojan War Troy VIh Troy VIIa Tudhaliya Tudhaliya IV Turkey University Press walls Walmu warriors Wilusa