Saturday, September 03, 2005

The True Story Of Troy

It is the greatest war in history - mythologized in art, literature and in a movie blockbuster. In Spring 2003, filming began on the Warner Brothers feature film 'Troy', starring Brad Pitt and directed by Wolfgang Petersen.

However, despite being one of the most investigated tales of all time, it is only now that scholars and archaeologists are discovering the truth behind the story...that the tale of heavenly gods and earthly heroes was an ancient form of political "spin" to glorify a bloody battle fought for control of gold, spice and land.

Troy, was the ancient city that wasidentified the site and conducted excavations there beginning in 1871. Nine successive cities or villages have occupied the site, the earliest dating from the Neolithic period.

Attempting to determine which stratum of the mound was the Troy of the Trojan War, Schliemann first gave this distinction to the third stratum and then to the second. Excavations conducted by Wilhelm Dörpfeld in the 1890s indicated that the sixth stratum, representing the sixth settlement of the city, was the Homeric Troy. However, later discoveries by the University of Cincinnati expedition under C. W. Blegen indicated that the seventh level was the Troy of Homer's period. city and the center of a region known as

At any rate, it has been definitely established that the Troy of the Trojan War was a made famous by Homer's account of the Trojan War. Accepting Greek tradition and details in Homeric poems as reliableThe culture of the Trojans dates from the Bronze Age. The Romans, believing that they themselves were descendants of Aeneas and other Trojans, favoured the city, and the ninth of the settlements on the site was of some importance in Roman times.

The story itself revolves around an epic struggle between the Greeks and the people of Troy. The strife began after the Trojan prince Paris abducted Helen, wife of Menelaus of Sparta. When Menelaus demanded her return, the Trojans refused. Menelaus then persuaded his brother to lead an army against Troy. At Aulis, troopships gathered, led by the greatest Greek heroes - Achilles, Patroclus, Diomed, Odysseus, Nestor, and the two warriors named Ajax.

In order to win favorable winds for the journey, Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia to Artemis. The winds came and the fleet set sail for Troy. For nine years the Greeks ravaged Troy's surrounding cities and countryside, but the city itself, well fortified and commanded by Hector and other sons of the royal household, held out.

Finally the Greeks built a large hollow wooden horse in which a small group of warriors were concealed. The other Greeks appeared to sail for home, leaving behind only the horse and Sinon, who deceitfully persuaded the Trojans, despite the warnings of Cassandra and Laocoön, to take the horse within the city walls.

At night the Greeks returned; their companions crept out of the horse and opened the city gates, and Troy was destroyed. The gods were said to have taken great interest in the war. Poseidon, Hera, and Athena aided the Greeks, while Aphrodite and Ares favored the Trojans. Zeus and Apollo, although frequently involved in the action of the war, remained impartial. The events of the final year of the war constitute the main part of the Iliad of Homer.

The Trojan War probably reflected a real war (c.1200 BC) between the invading Greeks and the people of Troas, possibly over control of trade through the Dardanelles.


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