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People who read the book today often find the battle scenes excruciatingly long and speeches by the gods as undecipherable as they are dull. The Iliad wasn't written down until years after the events it described take place. It later provided a model for epic works by Virgil, Dante, and Milton. However the way it was patched together with information from different historical period makes it difficult to use as an accurate historical source for clearly delineated historical periods.

Categories with related articles in this website: Ancient Greek History 48 articles factsanddetails. The translation by Stanley Lombardo is regarded as the most accessible translations. The Penguin Classic version translated by Robert Fagles is also supposed to be good.

Also recommended is Homer: poet of the Iliad by Mark W.

A multicultural city

Edwards John Hopkins University Press. Ilium Troy was a royal city in what is now northwest Turkey, in the river valley of the Skamander River, about five kilometers from the Hellespont — the Dardanelles near the modern town of Hissarlik — a strait where Europe and Asia are separated by only a 1.

The archaeological site of Ilium was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in the s. Its extensive remains are the most significant and substantial evidence of the first contact between the civilizations of Anatolia and the burgeoning Mediterranean world. Excavations started more than a century ago have established a chronology that is fundamental to the understanding of this seminal period of the Old World and its cultural development. Moreover, the siege of Troy by Mycenaean warriors from Greece in the 13th century B.

The famous archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann undertook the first excavations at the site in , and those excavations could be considered the starting point of modern archaeology and its public recognition. Research and excavations conducted in the Troia and Troas region reveal that the region has been inhabited for 8, years.


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Throughout the centuries, Troy has acted as a cultural bridge between the Troas region and the Balkans, Anatolia, the Aegean and Black Sea regions through migration, occupation, trade and the transmission of knowledge. These include 23 sections of the defensive walls around the citadel, eleven gates, a paved stone ramp, and the lower portions of five defensive bastions.

Those archaeological remains date for the most part from Troy II and VI; however, a section of the earliest wall Troy I survives near the south gate of the first defences. In the last 15 years, it has become clear that a Lower City existed south of the mound in all prehistoric periods and extended to about 30 ha in the Late Bronze Age. Several monuments, including the temple of Athena and the recently excavated sanctuary, are part of the Greek and Roman city of Ilion, at the site of Troy. The Roman urban organization is reflected by two major public buildings on the edge of the agora central market place , the odeion concert hall and the nearby bouleuterion council house.

The Iliad is set during the Trojan Wars. Based on layers of soot found at the archaeological site of Troy, indicating that city had been burned, it seems that ancient Trojans were involved in wars. There are also inconsistencies between the time the wars are said to gave taken place around B. It is also clear the some of events in the book did not happened unless the Greek gods really existed and influenced the war. According to the Iliad , the Trojan wars were fought around Troy, in present-day northwestern Turkey between the Troy-based Trojans and the Mycenaeans, who lived in southern Greece.

The Mycenaeans predate the Greeks of classical Greece and they are sometimes called the Greeks.

Trojan War - Ancient History Encyclopedia

He was the leader of the Myrmidons beginning at Patroklos was Achilles best friend, guardian, and lover. One passage of the Iliad reads: "Achilles was also accompanied by Patroklos, son of Menoetios and Sthenele daughter of Akastos or the mother of Patroklos was Periopis daughter of Pheres, or, as Philocrates says, she was Polymele daughter of Peleus. At Opus, in a quarrel over a game of dice, Patroklos killed the boy Klitonymos son of Amphidamas, and flying with his father he dwelt at the house of Peleus and became the lover [eromenos] of Achilles.

Agamemnon was the son of Atreus, grandson of Pelops, great-grandson of Tantalus and king of Mycenae. He was commander-in- chief wanax of the Greek expedition that went to Troy to free Helen. He was married to Clytamnestra, half-sister of Helen of Sparta. Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon, was married to Helen. Agamemnon and Menelaus are dubbed "the Atreides" or, sons of Atreus. Helen was daughter of Zeus and Leda.

She was the wife of Tyndareus and mistress of Paris the Trojan. He brought 12 ships and men, including Athenians.

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The Achaean hero fought duels with Hector in the Trojan War. A great asset to King Agamemnon's army, Ajax has a reputation for strength and courage. At one point he fought off the Trojan warriors almost single-handed, in stark contrast to his cousin Achilles, who could not be induced to fight. He brought 90 ships to Troy with men. He came with 12 ships and men. He brought 80 ships and men from Argos, Tiryns, Troezen and Epidauros. Tros, the king of Troy, was the son of an Erechthonius 'born of the earth' and of the daughter of the River Simois, Astioche.

Ilos was the son of Tros and Callirhoe 'beautifully flowing'. She was a daughter of the river god Skamandros. Other siblings were: Ganymede, Assaracus, Cleopatra. Ilos married Eurydice, and had the children: Laomedon and Themiste She married Capys, son of Assaracus, who was her first-cousin. Laomedon, for whom Poseidon and Apollo built the walls of Troy, had nine children including Priam his successor as King of Troy and Hesione Heracles story. Priam was the king of Troy during the Trojan War and youngest son of Laomedon.

Priam had many wives; his first was Arisbe, who had given birth to his son Aesacus, who met his death before the Trojan War. Priam later divorced her in favor of Hecuba or Hecebe , daughter of the Phrygian king Dymas. By his various wives and concubines Priam was the father of fifty sons and many daughters. Hector was Priam's eldest son by Hecuba, and heir to the Trojan throne.

Paris also known as Alexander , another son, was the cause of the Trojan War. He appears in a number of Greek legends but is best known was his elopement with Helen, queen of Sparta, the cause of the Trojan War. The name Paris is probably of Luwian origin.

Lost cities #2: the search for the real Troy – 'not just one city but at least 10'

The Luwians were contemporaries of the Hittites. Hector was a Trojan prince and the greatest fighter for Troy in the Trojan War. As the first-born son of King Priam and Queen Hecuba, who was a descendant of Dardanus and Tros, the founder of Troy, and the heir apparent to his father's throne. He acted as leader of the Trojans and their allies in the defence of Troy, "killing 31, Greek fighters". He is a good son, husband and father, and without darker motives. Heroes of Iliad by Tischbein. Some gods who were "uncommitted" ended up supporting "The Will of Zeus" and therefore the Greeks.

Athena, who had a temple in Troy, decided to support Odysseus and supplied him and Epeus with the plans for the Wooden Horse; she also had her statue the Palladion removed from Troy by Aeneas. Poseidon and Apollo, who built the walls of Troy, both killed thousands of Greeks, either at Troy during the war, or on the sea on the way home.

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The the involvement of the gods in the war goes back to a feast attended by the gods and goddesses. The historicity of the Trojan War and the fall of the city at the hands of the Greeks the narrative of the Iliad was still questionable until the groundbreaking work of archaeologist Manfred Korfmann in the s.

Until then, excavations in Hisarlik had revealed only an insignificant town, but Korfmann and his team discovered a lower city that covered 75 acres: 15 times larger than was previously thought. The sixth construction layer is thought to have been destroyed by an earthquake, rather than the Greeks — although one tenuous theory suggests that the legendary Trojan horse was an allegory for the god Poseidon, whose animal was a horse.

On the other hand, Troy VIIa — a city with much less grandeur than the Troy described by Homer — was almost certainly destroyed by a major battle, as archaeologists have found arrowheads in the remains of the citadel. So is this evidence of the Trojan war?

Nobody is sure. Cline suggests that with the whole area in turmoil at the time, a single major battle between forces of east and west is unlikely. The great poet says Troy is steep and windy, much like Hisarlik. He presents an image of a large city run by a powerful elite, protected by magnificent walls; a grand Bronze Age city that would have housed between 4, and 10, inhabitants. The darkness of night misted over the eyes of Andromache. The walls that play such an important role for the Troy of the Iliad could also be linked to Hisarlik: parts of the bottom walls, still visible today, are m wide and 8m high.

These walls had multiple towers and gates that would have led directly to the city centre. The citadel, home to the ruling elite, was a densely occupied area with monumental buildings and two-storey houses of extensive rooms.


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  • The power was clearly focused on the citadel, with the king and his immediate family and friends. There is no doubt that Troy was a major city of strategic importance throughout the Bronze Age. Its location guarding the Dardanelles meant it was effectively the gateway to the Black Sea, and held an important trade route. Sandwiched between the Mycenaean world to the west and the Hittites to the east, it was the meeting point of two opposing cultures.

    After the Trojan defeat, the Greeks heroes slowly made their way home. After his death, some sources say she was exiled to the island of Rhodes, where a vengeful war widow had her hanged.

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    Little is known about the historical Homer. Both began within the oral tradition, and were first transcribed decades or centuries after their composition. In the first century B. It follows a group of Trojans led by the hero Aeneas who leave their destroyed city to travel to Carthage before founding the city of Rome.

    Many portions of the Trojan War epics are difficult to read historically. Several of the main characters are direct offspring of the Greek gods Helen was fathered by Zeus, who disguised himself as a swan and raped her mother Leda , and much of the action is guided or interfered with by the various competing gods.

    Lengthy sieges were recorded in the era, but the strongest cities could only hold out for a few months, not 10 full years. Major excavations at the site of Troy in under the direction of German archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann revealed a small citadel mound and layers of debris 25 meters deep. Recent excavations have shown an inhabited area 10 times the size of the citadel, making Troy a significant Bronze Age city. Layer VIIa of the excavations, dated to about B. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

    Subscribe for fascinating stories connecting the past to the present. The two most powerful city-states in ancient Greece, Athens and Sparta, went to war with each other from to B.