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Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Existence of the Trojan War

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Archaeology
Wordcount: 1733 words Published: 8th Feb 2020

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What is (or is not) the most convincing historical and archaeological evidence for the actual existence of the Trojan War?

The existence of the Trojan War can be examined from the Epic Cycle. Also known as The Trojan War cycle, the Epic Cycle was a collection of eight Old Greek epic poems that related to the history of the Trojan War, however, only the Iliad and the Odyssey poems survived. The Iliad is an epic lyric composed by the Greek artist Homer. It tells the story of the final year of the Trojan War battled between the city of Troy and the Greeks. While the Odyssey follows the occasions of the voyage of Odysseus, ruler of Ithaca, returning from the Trojan War and the story of Odysseus’ child Telemachus who sets out to find his father. The sonnet is considered one of the foundational writings of the Western rule and proceeds to be perused, within the unique and in interpretation, around the world. In spite of the truth that most individuals read a printed text, the first poem was an verbal composition performed by a prepared poet talking in an amalgamated lingo which made it difficult for historians after this period to determine historical and archaeological evidence of the Trojan War.

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The title Troy alludes both to a put in legend and a real-life archaeological location. In legend, Troy could be a city that was blockaded for 10 years, a long time and inevitably prevailed by a Greek armed force driven by Ruler Agamemnon. The Trojan War is thought to have taken put close the conclusion of the Bronze Age, around 1200 B.C. It took put around the time that a civilization called Mycenaean thrived in Greece. Royal residences were built and this helped to create a framework of composing evidence for the existence of the War. The most punctual accounts of this war come from Homer, who lived around the eighth century B.C., a few centuries after the occasions took place. They don’t show up to have been composed down until indeed afterward, likely amid the 6th century B.C., when a dictator named Peisistratus ruled Athens. The reason for this “Trojan War” was, agreeing to Homer’s “Iliad,” the kidnapping of Helen, a ruler from Sparta. This abduction was done by Paris, the child of Troy’s Ruler, Priam. All through the “Iliad” the divine beings constantly intercede in bolster of characters on both sides of the conflict. Troy too alludes to a genuine old city found on the northwest coast of Turkey which, since relic, has been distinguished by many as being the Troy examined within the legend. Whether the Trojan War really took put, and whether the location in northwest Turkey is the same Troy, could be a matter of talk about. The modern-day Turkish title for the location is Hissarlik. The thought that the city was Troy goes back at slightest 2,700 a long time, when the old Greeks were colonizing the west coast of Turkey. Within the 19th century, the thought once more came to prevalent consideration when a German businessman and early prehistorian, Heinrich Schliemann, conducted an arrangement of unearthing at Hissarlik and found treasures he claimed to be from Lord Priam. The location of Hissarlik, in northwest Turkey, has been distinguished as being Troy since old times. Archaeological inquire that it was possessed for nearly 4,000 years, a long time beginning around 3000 B.C. After one city was crushed, a modern city would be built on beat of it, making a human-made hill called a “tell.” “There is no one single Troy; there are at slightest 10, lying in layers on beat of each other,” composes College of Amsterdam analyst Gert Jan van Wijngaarden in a chapter of the book “Troy: City, Homer and Turkey” (College of Amsterdam, 2013). And it has almost been universally accepted that the archaeological excavations have revealed the city of Homer’s Iliad.

As in other zones of old writing, the impact of Homer on the Greek historians was abiding and significant, as they [1]“continued to look to Homer for inspiration.” Historians were imperative in giving the Greeks to begin with sense of an authentic past and a geographical put within the world, as well as in giving for the history specialists themselves the subject matter and strategies for making authentic narratives, despite numerous parcels of the Trojan War legends are challenging to read historically. A few of the most characters are coordinate sibling of the Greek divine beings (Helen, fathered by Zeus and assaulted her mother Leda), and much of the activity is guided by the different competing divine beings. Lengthy sieges were recorded within the period, but the strongest cities might as it were hold out for a number of months, not 10 full years. Homer’s “Iliad” is set within the 10th year of the attack against Troy and tells of a arrangement of occasions that show up to have taken place over a number of weeks. The war had basically gotten to be a stalemate with the Greeks incapable to require the city and the Trojans incapable to drive them back into the ocean. Thus, this story makes clear that the attack had taken its toll on the Greek drive sent to recuperate Helen. Contrary to well-known conviction, the “Iliad” does not conclude with the pulverization of Troy but with a transitory détente after which the battling probably proceeds. And [2] “people giving an account of ancient historical writing are faced with a difficulty…” of determining historical and archaeological existence of the Trojan War.

The Odyssey is the classic case of a story which began in medias res. It started with all survivors of the Trojan War have as of now returned domestic, but for Odysseus, he lived on the isle of Ogygia with a sprite named Calypso. All divine beings, but for Poseidon, concur that he incorporated a right to go domestic, to his spouse Penelope, who was held up on another island, Ithaca. She had numerous suitors, and it was likely that she will before long recognize that her spouse is likely dead, and remarry. Although, Odysseus’s different story was told; he cleared out Troy with twelve ships and to begin with come to the arrive of the Cicones, where he captured a town, but misplaced 72 individuals. He proceeded and travelled to Cape Malea, where a great storm put him off-course and, out of the known world into the world of fairy tales. The moment halt was the nation of the Lotus Eaters, where the Ithacans nearly overlooked that they needed to go domestic. However, the text of The Odyssey does not contain numerous present day place names that can instantly be found on a map. Researchers both old and present day are partitioned as to whether or not the areas were in any way genuine places or unimportant innovations. The traditional orthodox theory, which has unfortunately been taken as accurate by many,  including some encyclopaedias and other reference works, sees Odysseus driven into the western Mediterranean with most of his adventures taking place between Tunisia, Sardinia, Italy and Sicily. However, this theory multiple flaws which make little sense either from a sailing or identification point of view. Ancient Greek ships were small, rarely ventured out onto the open sea and their captains did not explore unknown territories but instead sought to regain their course if blown off it, and therefore, the orthodox course of the Odyssey contains questionable geographical locations. And despite more than 350 researchers from about twenty countries have been collaborating on the excavation site in Turkey that started as an Early Bronze Age citadel within the third millennium B.C, it is continually being questioned if the Trojan War existed.


The story of the Trojan War has captivated people for centuries and has given rise to endless insightful poems such as the Iliad and the Odyssey. However, historians were eager to determine historical and archaeological evidences of the Trojan War, from an authentic past and a geological put within the world, to give the historians themselves the subject matter and methodologies for making true accounts, in spite of various bundles of the Trojan War legends which are challenging to be examined verifiably.



Primary sources:

  • Anonymous (1974), ‘Book Six ‘Interludes in Field and City’ pp.141-158′, in Robert Fitzgerald and Homer (eds.), The Iliad (Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press /Doubleday).
  • Anonymous (1998), ‘The Rage of Achilles’, in Robert Fagles, Bernard MacGregor Walker Knox, and Homer (eds.), The Iliad (New York London: Penguin), 77-97.

Secondary sources:

  • Marincola, John (2011), ‘Historians and Homer’, in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), The Homer encyclopedia (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell).
  • Cline, Eric H. and Cline, Eric H. (2013), The Trojan War : a very short introduction (Trojan War; New York: New York : Oxford University Press).
  • Grant, Michael (1970), The ancient historians (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).
  • Fornara, Charles W. (1983), The nature of history in ancient Greece and Rome (Eidos; Berkeley: University of California Press).
  • Homer (2018), The Odyssey, ed. Peter Green (Oakland, California : University of California Press).
  • Burgess, Jonathan S. (2001), The Tradition of the Trojan War in Homer and the epic cycle (Baltimore, Md.: Baltimore, Md. : Johns Hopkins University Press).
  • Korfmann, Manfred, Latacz, Joachim, and Hawkins, J.

[1]  Marincola, John (2011), ‘Historians and Homer’, in Margalit Finkelberg (ed.), The Homer encyclopedia (Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell).

[2] Grant, Michael (1970), The ancient historians (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson).


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