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Old December 6th, 2012, 01:23 PM   #21

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Let's trim the attitude in this thread and simply take a look at the locales presented.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 03:05 PM   #22

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The man, who actually proved Troy existed-Heinrich Schliemann, was accused of being a lunatic and many other nasty things by the Archeological establishment of his time. An old form of political "spin" often used by many people in the sciences against viewpoints they personally disfavor. Which you can find parroted by certain posters in these very forums. Just type in the search for Troy into your search engine and choose whichever site on this subject appeals to you. There are even some, who to this very day attempt to degrade the memory of this imaginative man with numerous ad hominems. All done merely out of spite.
At one time Troy was considered a invention by Homer for the purposes of storytelling. The exact same thing Plato is also accused of having done with Atlantis. Apparently modern intellectual snobbery considers the brilliant Greeks as inventors of many things which the Greeks once actually believed were true. The real question is: How much of what the Greeks did consider to be true was based on some actual historical fact?
I performed you suggested search engine. I didn't see anything to alarm me about Schleimann's modern reputation. His contemporaries might not have liked him, but that has no bearing on my question. I certainly didn't read anything nasty, degrading or spiteful directed towards him. Perhaps you have specific sites in mind that didn't appear in my first 50 search results? Could you clarify this for me?

As to Troy not being believed in - some of the websites (that the same search engine threw up) did say this, but it was passed over with no details or references. From my own readings I know that Troy was mentioned and visited as a real place from Classical times, through to the Mediaeval period, 16th Century Muslim scholarship, and was a popular site to visit in the 17th-18th centuries (Thomas Coryatt, Robert Wood and Lord Byron, to name but three, left their own accounts of visiting the site). They may not have been to the spot that Schliemann excavated, although in the vicinity, but they believed Troy had once existed. Even the site Schliemann did eventually excavate in the 1870s and proved was Troy was proposed as the site of Troy about 50 years before he dug there.

From this it would appear that Troy, as a real place, was written about from its earliest mention in Homer right up to the 19th century and beyond, and that this was the consensus view; and that the doubts about it's existence were just a short-lived blip. Consequently, the idea that Schliemann's discovery of Troy is an example of a long established opinion being overthrown, appears to be an exaggeration.

If anyone could give me more information on this point I'd be grateful - Who didn't believe in Troy? Did it, and when did it, become a widespread and 'official' view that Troy didn't exist? Or was it a shortlived argument, that focused more on the finer details of Homer and the precise location of the city, rather than an all out disbelief in the place itself?

Last edited by Moros; December 6th, 2012 at 03:14 PM.
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Old December 6th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #23

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I performed you suggested search engine. I didn't see anything to alarm me about Schleimann's modern reputation. His contemporaries might not have liked him, but that has no bearing on my question. I certainly didn't read anything nasty, degrading or spiteful directed towards him. Perhaps you have specific sites in mind that didn't appear in my first 50 search results? Could you clarify this for me?

As to Troy not being believed in - some of the websites (that the same search engine threw up) did say this, but it was passed over with no details or references. From my own readings I know that Troy was mentioned and visited as a real place from Classical times, through to the Mediaeval period, 16th Century Muslim scholarship, and was a popular site to visit in the 17th-18th centuries (Thomas Coryatt, Robert Wood and Lord Byron, to name but three, left their own accounts of visiting the site). They may not have been to the spot that Schliemann excavated, although in the vicinity, but they believed Troy had once existed. Even the site Schliemann did eventually excavate in the 1870s and proved was Troy was proposed as the site of Troy about 50 years before he dug there.

From this it would appear that Troy, as a real place, was written about from its earliest mention in Homer right up to the 19th century and beyond, and that this was the consensus view; and that the doubts about it's existence were just a short-lived blip. Consequently, the idea that Schliemann's discovery of Troy is an example of a long established opinion being overthrown, appears to be an exaggeration.

If anyone could give me more information on this point I'd be grateful - Who didn't believe in Troy? Did it, and when did it, become a widespread and 'official' view that Troy didn't exist? Or was it a shortlived argument, that focused more on the finer details of Homer and the precise location of the city, rather than an all out disbelief in the place itself?
Put Heinrich Schliemann into your search engine and peruse the various entries which come up...especially the American Encyclopedia entry listed as an external reference by wiki. There is mention of an autobiography written by Schliemann and edited by his wife. Plus several other listings are also included about him and his work.
Apparently the site that Schliemann excavated was known by another name (not as Troy) and it was a friend, one who owned this particular land that suggested to Schliemann that this might be the true location of Troy. And the rest is history.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 09:13 AM   #24

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Put Heinrich Schliemann into your search engine and peruse the various entries which come up...especially the American Encyclopedia entry listed as an external reference by wiki. There is mention of an autobiography written by Schliemann and edited by his wife. Plus several other listings are also included about him and his work.
Apparently the site that Schliemann excavated was known by another name (not as Troy) and it was a friend, one who owned this particular land that suggested to Schliemann that this might be the true location of Troy. And the rest is history.
Hmmm, slightly disappointed in this answer.

I was asking about disbelief in Troy, and you point me to sources on Schleimann's life, including ones you've not accessed yourself. I also looked at the American Encyclopedia article (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_En...ann,_Heinrich) and was bemused as to why you pointed me to a potted bio that didn't illustrate any negativity towards the man, apart from a brief mention of initial doubts from professional archaeologists about his methods and results. Nothing there about not believing in Troy either. Why am I meant to be looking at this?

If the post was intended as a helpful suggestion from some one who doesn't know the answer, then thank you, but vague web-searches are something I can do myself.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 10:04 AM   #25

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Hmmm, slightly disappointed in this answer.

I was asking about disbelief in Troy, and you point me to sources on Schleimann's life, including ones you've not accessed yourself. I also looked at the American Encyclopedia article (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_En...ann,_Heinrich) and was bemused as to why you pointed me to a potted bio that didn't illustrate any negativity towards the man, apart from a brief mention of initial doubts from professional archaeologists about his methods and results. Nothing there about not believing in Troy either. Why am I meant to be looking at this?

If the post was intended as a helpful suggestion from some one who doesn't know the answer, then thank you, but vague web-searches are something I can do myself.
I'm sorry that you are so disappointed with my assistance. Something I didn't have to spend my valuable time to do for you.
It has been many years since I accessed information about Heirich Schliemann and do not remember the specific sources I read or was referred to. But I was very aware of how contentious his struggle was with the Archeological establishment over the existence of Troy. I certainly didn't make this up or imagine it. So you may believe whatever you choose to on this matter.
Since you are the one with the query and apparently some considerable interest, I suggest any further search be left up to your own resources.
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Old December 7th, 2012, 03:15 PM   #26

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I'm sorry that you are so disappointed with my assistance. Something I didn't have to spend my valuable time to do for you.
It has been many years since I accessed information about Heirich Schliemann and do not remember the specific sources I read or was referred to. But I was very aware of how contentious his struggle was with the Archeological establishment over the existence of Troy. I certainly didn't make this up or imagine it. So you may believe whatever you choose to on this matter.
Since you are the one with the query and apparently some considerable interest, I suggest any further search be left up to your own resources.
One of those resources being this Forum.

It would appear I have caused you some offence, for which I had no intention. I have not suggested that you made anything up, but requested further information on a statement you made regarding the belief in an historical Troy. Inability to remember a source is no crime. You could have just said so in the first place.

Time certainly is valuable. As is information; the sharing and discussing of which is a valuable way of learning. That is why I read, contribute and ask questions on this Forum. I apologise if you feel that seeking clarification is a waste of your time, but I do hope that this is not an opinion shared by other users, nor one that will ever be directed towards you.

Last edited by Moros; December 7th, 2012 at 03:28 PM.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 07:25 AM   #27

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Time certainly is valuable. As is information; the sharing and discussing of which is a valuable way of learning. That is why I read, contribute and ask questions on this Forum. I apologise if you feel that seeking clarification is a waste of your time, but I do hope that this is not an opinion shared by other users, nor one that will ever be directed towards you.
I wouldn't have made the effort if I thought it was a "waste of my time." Something which you seemed to offer no appreciation for. Only criticism because your desired specificity was not offered. Which suggested a complete lack of gratitude. Especially since I was the only one making any effort to answer your query. However, I am not going to go looking for your specific indications either. That would be waste of my time and something you should be doing.
There were many arguments that took place within the sciences in the late 19th Century CE over not only certain "theories" ( Darwin was a prime example) but excavations for places considered to be fringe or totally non-existent. Troy was one of these quests considered dubious.
Many in the archeological communitry professed (as they also do today concerning Atlantis) that Troy was a fictional invention of Homer and was not a real place. There may have been some mythical or legendary locations for Troy. Homer did suggest it was in Asia minor and across the Hellespoint. However, its' exact location was not ever known. Moreover, none of the locations seemingly offered were acceptable to the newly founded science of archeology.
A contentious debate took place between Schliemann and several of the leading professional "archeologists" of these times. A very recently established science. Heinrich Schliemann was considered to be an amateur and this highly offended the establishment in this new field. That an "amateur" could presume to find a mythical place that the professionals could not.. struck a deep chord. And it does not take a "rocket scientist" to understand this type of motivation. You can find it on these very forums.
It would require research into this archeological "debate" where you would most likely find the answers to your questions. A debate that did take place and was highly contentious. Which is why I recommended the autobiography. Some of the personalities and details involved would very likely be presented there. You would only have to research those contentious personalities Schliemann would most defintely mention in his bio to get a deeper side of the story.
You do not find the details around the arguments and people involved with the same type of contentious debate concering Charles Darwin in any limited link bio on him either. Unless you research this subject more deeply. However, the Darwinian debate was far more public than the debate over the existence of Troy. So it is much better known about.
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Old December 8th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #28

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I wouldn't have made the effort if I thought it was a "waste of my time." Something which you seemed to offer no appreciation for. Only criticism because your desired specificity was not offered. Which suggested a complete lack of gratitude. Especially since I was the only one making any effort to answer your query. However, I am not going to go looking for your specific indications either. That would be waste of my time and something you should be doing.
There were many arguments that took place within the sciences in the late 19th Century CE over not only certain "theories" ( Darwin was a prime example) but excavations for places considered to be fringe or totally non-existent. Troy was one of these quests considered dubious.
Many in the archeological communitry professed (as they also do today concerning Atlantis) that Troy was a fictional invention of Homer and was not a real place. There may have been some mythical or legendary locations for Troy. Homer did suggest it was in Asia minor and across the Hellespoint. However, its' exact location was not ever known. Moreover, none of the locations seemingly offered were acceptable to the newly founded science of archeology.
A contentious debate took place between Schliemann and several of the leading professional "archeologists" of these times. A very recently established science. Heinrich Schliemann was considered to be an amateur and this highly offended the establishment in this new field. That an "amateur" could presume to find a mythical place that the professionals could not.. struck a deep chord. And it does not take a "rocket scientist" to understand this type of motivation. You can find it on these very forums.
It would require research into this archeological "debate" where you would most likely find the answers to your questions. A debate that did take place and was highly contentious. Which is why I recommended the autobiography. Some of the personalities and details involved would very likely be presented there. You would only have to research those contentious personalities Schliemann would most defintely mention in his bio to get a deeper side of the story.
You do not find the details around the arguments and people involved with the same type of contentious debate concering Charles Darwin in any limited link bio on him either. Unless you research this subject more deeply. However, the Darwinian debate was far more public than the debate over the existence of Troy. So it is much better known about.

Thank you, Zarin. That is a far better answer than your previous one to me, and clarifies for me the knowledge that you have on the subject. It certainly was not a waste of time for you to explain it, and I appreciate the time you have spent in doing so.

The statement you made in your OP has sparked an interest in something I wasn't interested in beforehand. Naturally, I would ask the originator of that interest about it. But at the same time I am already reading and looking for other sources on the subject, and am not just expecting the answers to be provided for me. Search-engines are a wonderful tool, however it would be sensible to ask if the person who made the original statement had a specific source for it in mind that might provide me with a short cut, especially as they seemed to know about the subject -hence my question, and my disappointment.

Maybe no one else has answered because they aren't interested, haven't had time yet, or don't want to interrupt our dialogue!
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Old December 8th, 2012, 04:54 PM   #29
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Maybe no one else has answered because they aren't interested, haven't had time yet, or don't want to interrupt our dialogue!
I dont want to interupt.
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Old December 9th, 2012, 05:12 PM   #30

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Many in the archeological communitry professed (as they also do today concerning Atlantis) that Troy was a fictional invention of Homer and was not a real place. There may have been some mythical or legendary locations for Troy. Homer did suggest it was in Asia minor and across the Hellespoint. However, its' exact location was not ever known. Moreover, none of the locations seemingly offered were acceptable to the newly founded science of archeology.
A contentious debate took place between Schliemann and several of the leading professional "archeologists" of these times. A very recently established science. Heinrich Schliemann was considered to be an amateur and this highly offended the establishment in this new field. That an "amateur" could presume to find a mythical place that the professionals could not.. struck a deep chord. And it does not take a "rocket scientist" to understand this type of motivation. You can find it on these very forums.
This has proved a really interesting subject. Not least because so many websites repeat the idea that Schliemann was a lone genius who revolutionised academia’s concept of Troy from a myth into reality. It seems this wasn’t so.

In consulting these books over the last week –Finding the Walls of Troy, Susan Allen; In Search of the Trojan War, Michael Wood; A Literary Companion to Travel in Greece, Richard Stoneman; Troy and its Remains, Heinrich Schleimann (the man himself)- it seems that the site identified as Troy by Schliemann (Hisarlik) was known as Troy by the Greeks and Romans in antiquity, but also known by the name of New Ilium, or Ilion, after a more modern town that had been founded nearby. It was here that Xerxes, Alexander, Julius Caesar and the Emperor Julian came, wishing to visit the site of Troy, and it was continually identified as Troy by the local population, who would take visiting pilgrims/tourists there. As the years passed, these visitors seem to have been increasingly disappointed that the site they saw failed to contain wonderful ruins of palaces, temples and walls that they had become familiar with from stories, and, coupled with the renewal of interest in the original tales of Homer, doubts started to arise among scholars over Homer’s description not matching the physical locality. Indeed, the physical features of the area had changed over the years (rivers had altered course and the bay had silted up), names had altered, and there were other sites that now fitted Homer’s description better, as well as sites with more impressive ruins. Some scholars felt that Homer was so unreliable that his description must be a fiction, but the idea of Troy as a real place was rarely rejected. People just started to disagree over where it was. Alexandrian Troas had become a long time contender (since the Middle Ages) as the site of Troy, although travellers often visited both it and Hisarlik. The most popular alternative site at the time of Schliemann, based on topography, was Bunarbashi. Hisarlik however still had its supporters, and Schliemann himself acknowledged Julius Braun, Wilhelm Buchner, Gustav von Eckenbrecher and Charles MacLaren as scholars who identified this site as Troy many years before he dug there.

I thus disagree that Schliemann changed the status of Troy from myth to historical reality. There was widespread belief in the existence of Troy long before he was born, and during his lifetime, and the argument in his day was largely focused on where Troy was or on the reliability of Homer. He did, however, provide the physical evidence from the site itself. Attacks on him were aimed at his method, character and interpretation of his finds, based on continued support for other sites, what appears to be snobbery, and his own over imagination in identifying certain finds with characters from Homer (Helen’s jewels, Agamemnon’s mask, Ulysses’ ashes, etc). This prejudice certainly blinkered some from accepting his findings, and dismissing him as a myth hunter.

I do not see the context of Schliemann’s excavations as a parallel to the potential discovery of Atlantis. Nor do I think the attitude directed to him is a clear parallel in the attitude towards the ‘Atlantis as real’ researchers. Schleimann was doubted by rivals within an existing debate over the locality and description of Troy. His lack of recognised experience or approved method added fuel to those doubts. But Atlantis is barely debated at all. There has been no long term or widespread agreement that it exists, unlike with Troy. People who claim to find evidence for Atlantis are disbelieved because the evidence is interpreted in a different way by the established scholars/scientists, not because the findings are part of an ongoing debate within those established disciplines.

This is only my initial reaction. As anyone who is familiar with research knows, new information can change an opinion. I just disagree with the idea that Troy was once viewed as a myth, and that an ‘outsider’ overturned this established scholarship, and that therefore this can bolster the hopes of Atlantis seekers.

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