Why was the Trojan War so important?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
2,058
Republika Srpska
#1
So, the Trojan War is one of the most important events in Greek mythology. Many works (most notably the Illiad) talk about this war or its aftermath. Of course, classical Greeks inherited their fascination with this war from the Illiad, but it's clear that there was fascination with the Trojan War even before, otherwise the Illiad wouldn't have been written or would have described some other war. I have read that there is a possibility that the Trojan War actually happened, though of course much different than described in the Illiad. So, assuming that the war was real, what motivated the writer(s) of the Illiad to craft such a complex narrative around this conflict for an Anatolian city? Why was the Trojan War so important to the Homeric-era Greeks that they transformed it into this great conflict, a conflict in which gods intervened on both sides, a war in which heroes expected to find everlasting glory? What was the significance of the Trojan War?
 
Mar 2014
20
Brazil
#2
There were other mythical wars in the Age of Heroes,like the Theban cycle and the Return of the Heraclide that were remebered.These conflicts were also theme of legends,poems and tragedies like the Trojan Cycle.

Maybe because it was not a civil war (like Thebes) or a war between different greek tribes (like the Dorian/Heraclide "invasion"),that made the Trojan War so important: for the ancient greeks it was the first time they acted as a single "nation".

Illiad was also the first literary work of their culture,it had a huge impact in education and values.

It's curious that another event,dated in the same era ,and that a similar (and even greater) impact for the hebrews: the Exodus.

I see both cases as foundation myth.The question was not if it really happened,but how it inspired other generations.



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#3
So, the Trojan War is one of the most important events in Greek mythology. Many works (most notably the Illiad) talk about this war or its aftermath. Of course, classical Greeks inherited their fascination with this war from the Illiad, but it's clear that there was fascination with the Trojan War even before, otherwise the Illiad wouldn't have been written or would have described some other war. I have read that there is a possibility that the Trojan War actually happened, though of course much different than described in the Illiad. So, assuming that the war was real, what motivated the writer(s) of the Illiad to craft such a complex narrative around this conflict for an Anatolian city? Why was the Trojan War so important to the Homeric-era Greeks that they transformed it into this great conflict, a conflict in which gods intervened on both sides, a war in which heroes expected to find everlasting glory? What was the significance of the Trojan War?
COPPER.

Everything almost comes down to land or wealth.

Troy controlled the copper trade route from the Black Sea. Given that the Trojan War took place in the Bronze Age................
 
Jan 2015
2,697
MD, USA
#4
COPPER.

Everything almost comes down to land or wealth.

Troy controlled the copper trade route from the Black Sea. Given that the Trojan War took place in the Bronze Age................
Much ink has been spilled over Troy (or more accurately, the site at Hissarlik) being a major trade hub. But archeology has NOT turned up any of the indicators of major commerce found at other known trading centers of that general era. No mounds of foreign pottery, for starters, no warehouses or dock areas, *nothing* to indicate that this settlement was a vital link or even a chokepoint for trade. In other words, the whole "trade war" idea is a modern invention with no backing in history or archeology.

Actually, the site looks a lot more like what the Iliad describes, the home of a powerful warlord and his people.

Matthew
 

Rodger

Ad Honorem
Jun 2014
4,973
US
#5
Because the Greeks say so? It was a formative event for the Greek people. As Matthew mentions, this was a struggle between two warlords and involved a woman. That makes it epic from the story teller's perspective in those days for sure, and, maybe even today, cultural changes and all.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
4,565
#7
Not only that, Homer's epics were primary points of reference for the Classical Age Greek societies, foundational stories about who they were. If your city wasn't in the "Catalogue of Ships" in the Iliad, you were a Johnny-come-lately and couldn't expect equal treatment with the ones that were.

The importance of the actual war, who knows really? The importance of the stories of that war; immense.
 
Likes: Ichon
#9
Much ink has been spilled over Troy (or more accurately, the site at Hissarlik) being a major trade hub. But archeology has NOT turned up any of the indicators of major commerce found at other known trading centers of that general era. No mounds of foreign pottery, for starters, no warehouses or dock areas, *nothing* to indicate that this settlement was a vital link or even a chokepoint for trade. In other words, the whole "trade war" idea is a modern invention with no backing in history or archeology.

Actually, the site looks a lot more like what the Iliad describes, the home of a powerful warlord and his people.

Matthew
Much ink has been spilled over Troy (or more accurately, the site at Hissarlik) being a major trade hub. But archeology has NOT turned up any of the indicators of major commerce found at other known trading centers of that general era. No mounds of foreign pottery, for starters, no warehouses or dock areas, *nothing* to indicate that this settlement was a vital link or even a chokepoint for trade. In other words, the whole "trade war" idea is a modern invention with no backing in history or archeology.

Actually, the site looks a lot more like what the Iliad describes, the home of a powerful warlord and his people.

Matthew
Assuming the war existed, Agamemnon is unlikely to launch a thousand ships on his brothers behalf unless there is a major economic reward.

However, I was wrong about copper, apparently it was tin from Afghanistan.

'FUN' FACT.

Troy VI was destroyed/damaged by an earthquake. Along with being a god of the sea, Poseidon was the god of earthquakes. He was also the god of horses. It is said that a wooden horse led to the destruction of Troy. This bit of history/mythology probably confirms Troy VI or VII are the Homeric city.
 
Aug 2014
3,382
Australia
#10
Assuming the war existed, Agamemnon is unlikely to launch a thousand ships on his brothers behalf unless there is a major economic reward.
There can be an economic reward without trade being involved. How much loot do you think was in a large Bronze Age city? How much additional revenue and prestige would Agememnon have gotten from annexing the Trojan lands?

The simple fact remains that there is absolutely nothing to suggest that the site at Hissarlik had anything to do with trade. We can go with your baseless speculation about trade or we can go with the primary evidence and say that the Trojan War was a conflict between two warlords.
 
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