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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #1

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The Trojan War


How do you feel about Homer's Iliad, namely its possible worth as a historical document of sorts?

Is it a sexed-up retelling of an actual war fought between the Mykenaeans and a kingdom living in western Asia minor during the Bronze Age? Or is it just a fable with little or no historical foundation?

Do you think any of the people (particularly Helen and the various heroes) actually existed?
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Old October 30th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #2

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Re: The Trojan War


I'm torn between it having been an actual military/ raiding expedition that suffered through legendary retellings and "chinese whispers" syndrome, to being a very simple story that came about to somewhat explain the chaotic events that lead up to the collapse of the Bronze Age.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:02 PM   #3

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Re: The Trojan War


Iliad has some very real historical basis. Some of them really should not be known to Homer. For example, one part of Iliad mentioned Patroclus walking up the great Trojan wall. This was confirmed to be possible by archaelogical excavation as ramps were discovered on the wall. But Homer could not have known this because these ramps were still buried in his time. This suggests the story telling probably began way before Homer.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 06:41 PM   #4

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Re: The Trojan War


I'm with Oki, there is some basis underlying the story, but tale as related in the Iliad is not accurate.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 08:45 PM   #5

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Re: The Trojan War


Maybe we can just label it as historical fiction, so, even though the facts are not accurate, we can use it as a source of cultural reference, giving us insight to the times and mentalities they had.
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Old October 30th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #6

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Re: The Trojan War


I will go along with Okamido. I think the Illiad was a product of several raids or attempts to take Troy, perhaps even a protracted one, that was refined by Homer into the nine year war of his epic poem. For the purpose of the Illiad, Patroclus' climbing the wall would not have needed a ramp. Photos of the ruins show that the walls were sloped so as to not give attackers a "blind spot" to hide from defending missiles. However, these wall were built with smallish rocks or carved blocks that could have given a climber purchase to go up as Patroclus was said to have done. Had the walls been built from massive blocks of stone, smoothly fitted, the act would not have been possible. And didn't the place where Patroclus did this have an olive tree that was stupidly allowed to grow close to the wall?
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Old October 31st, 2010, 12:01 AM   #7
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Re: The Trojan War


Well, there is an Alexander mentioned in Hethitian sources, but the most names of Greeks and the political situation seem to belong to the 8th century. Perhaps there was a battle, there were allways battles, but perhaps Homer, if he existed, saw just the ruins of Troy and believed there was a war.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 12:19 AM   #8

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Re: The Trojan War


Quote:
Originally Posted by Spartacuss View Post
I will go along with Okamido. I think the Illiad was a product of several raids or attempts to take Troy, perhaps even a protracted one, that was refined by Homer into the nine year war of his epic poem. For the purpose of the Illiad, Patroclus' climbing the wall would not have needed a ramp. Photos of the ruins show that the walls were sloped so as to not give attackers a "blind spot" to hide from defending missiles. However, these wall were built with smallish rocks or carved blocks that could have given a climber purchase to go up as Patroclus was said to have done. Had the walls been built from massive blocks of stone, smoothly fitted, the act would not have been possible. And didn't the place where Patroclus did this have an olive tree that was stupidly allowed to grow close to the wall?
Either way, the wall was buried in Homer's time.
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Old October 31st, 2010, 02:22 AM   #9
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Re: The Trojan War


Ancient Greek historians placed the Trojan War variously in our 12th, 13th, or 14th century BC: [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes"]Eratosthenes[/ame] to 1184 BC, [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herodotus"]Herodotus[/ame] to 1250 BC, [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duris_of_Samos"]Duris of Samos[/ame] to 1334 BC. Modern archaeologists associate Homeric Troy with archaeological [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy_VII"]Troy VII[/ame].

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Troy"]Troy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]



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Old February 5th, 2011, 03:35 PM   #10
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The hethitian sources for that time speak of trouble with Milawanda (probably Milet) and raids of pirates under Pijamaradu, who were supported by Ahhijawa. I mentioned the Alaksandru above. Another name in these letters is Tawagalawa, the brother of the king of Ahhijawa, which is the hethitian form of Eteokles.
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