“Heroes get remembered, but legends never die,” because their stories are too unbelievable to be buried amongst the ruins of history. This holds true for the Trojan War, the famous war described in Homer’s epic The Iliad. The epic poem tells the tale of a war between the people of Troy (Trojans) and the early Greeks (Mycenaean’s) after Helen, wife of Menelaus in Sparta, was taken by the Prince Paris of Troy and Sparta enlisted help from the Mycenaean ruler, King Agamemnon (Cincinatti ??). Now, the story does not just involve love and crime, but gods, goddesses, and demigods as well. Before the early 1900s, people believed the city of Troy and its story to be purely fiction until ruins of the great city were discovered. The backstory, archaeological finds, and facts about the area convey the idea that the Trojan War should be considered a legend with aspects of the truth. The Trojan War was a backstory to Achilles and his fight with the gods, providing historians with little credible information. The Greeks were polytheistic and managed to incorporate their history with their religion. Achilles, the main hero of the Iliad, was said to be the son of a mortal man and water nymph and seemed almost invincible (Cincinatti). His part in the story added a supernatural element and he most likely did not exist considering there is “no evidence that Achilles or even Helen existed,” (Lovgren 2). So, two main individuals in the story of Iliad most likely did not exist, adding to the
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There are few works of literature that hold as much meaning to the definition of Greek culture as the two epic poems credited to Homer: the Iliad and the Odyssey. Both works, albeit more so the Iliad than the Odyssey, serve as the chief source of information about a pivotal event in Greek history: the Trojan War. Whether this war happened exactly as it has been narrated is subject to debate, as any answer holds very little evidence to be supported. However, the Greeks saw the Trojan War as the first time there was unity within their culture as they all fought for a common goal. As such, many regarded the Trojan war as an important event in defining the central values and virtues of Greek culture; they would revisit these epics time and time
The Greek forces won the Trojan War. The story of the war is a cornerstone of Greek legend, and pervaded Greek literature and culture. Though the evidence for the Trojan War as historical fact is scarce, it was a formative event in Greek cultural memory, producing some of the classical world’s most famous heroes and narratives. The War was won, Helen was retrieved from Paris, whose violation of ξενία was redressed, the heroes attained the κλέος that many of them fought for – and yet the positive outcomes of the Trojan War are difficult to grasp. For the victims of the Trojan War, the tragedy is obvious; the War ended in genocide and total cultural destruction. But such a war, burnt into legend, should have left the victors far better off; and yet, the Greek heroes only suffer because of it. They die tragic, dishonourable deaths; their households are left in ruin; their families are torn apart. From both modern and classical perspectives, the Trojan War is a tragedy, a “harrowing destruction of life” (Euripides, Andromache, 291). The victory is pyrrhic, the loss of life is horrific, the reparations non-existent.
Over the past years a lot of archaeological and literary evidence has helped us gain a better understanding of the history of Troy. Much hard work has gone into the excavations there by many archaeologists, and many interesting artefacts have been found. The story of the Ancient City of Troy is a great one, however many people believed it didn’t exist and that Homers Iliad, the story of the Trojan War was just some story. This has since been proved untrue as the city of Troy was discovered, and the pieces of this amazing puzzle have fallen together. Homer described Troy as an exceptionally large city with large high powerful walls, wide streets, twisting paths and large houses. Some of the archaeologists that have contributed to the
Homer’s Iliad has been a European myth for many millennia , the long poetic narrative written in the 8th century B.C. recounts a fearsome war fought over a beautiful woman. The reliability of Homers Iliad as a true historical document has been challenged for hundreds of years and only through archaeological studies can the truth be deciphered. The Iliad was written five centuries after the war, where the stories had been passed down through the oral tradition, therefore the type of society reflected within the poems resemble much more the time of Homer . The fact and fiction of the Iliad has been uncovered through archaeology. Archaeologist found a site in which they thought to have been ‘Troy’ destroyed by the powerful country of Mycenae
In Homer's epic, The Iliad, there are many great characters, both mortal and immortal. However, no characters seem to match the greatness and importance of Achilles, the mightiest of the Greeks and Hector, Trojan prince and mightiest of the Trojans. Although they are the mightiest of their forces, their attitudes and motives for the Greek-Trojan war are completely different.
As most know, Greek Mythology is a very complex concept that is free for interpretation and is shown in multiple ways. Many believe Greek Mythology is fiction, whereas some believe that it is nonfiction. As seen in Barry Strauss’s The Trojan War: A New History, the author argues that the Trojan War was significant and then shows evidence from as of late that supports the concept of the Trojan War actually occurring. Throughout his book he explains and gives insight into what happened during the Trojan War and how it developed based off of Homer’s writing. Strauss’s sole purpose is to inspect what was previously said about the Trojan War and evaluate it enough to the point where he is able to make logical reasoning to determine the
The war began with a grand wedding between Peleus, the son of Aeacus, and Thetis, the sea-goddess. Eris, the goddess of discord, was not invited to the wedding. Enraged at this, she stormed into the wedding and threw a golden apple of discord on a table. The apple had the inscription “For the fairest” a quarrel soon arose between three powerful goddesses. The three goddesses; Hera, Aphrodite, and Athena all wanted the title of fairest. They wanted to Zeus to be the judge of this contest. Not wanting to be involved in the quarrel, Zeus sent Hermes to get Paris, the Trojan prince, so that he could judge the three ("History of the Trojan War").
The myths of Achilles are well known, and are mentioned in modern society. But, they have been morphed to society’s desires. This is demonstrated in the movie Troy, where the stories have been changed for modern audience. The director condensed the story, and changed the story to show some romanticism and love. This is shown from the absence of the greek gods, significance of certain characters, inaccurate information, the morphed traits of certain characters, and the falsehood of romantic presence. In greek society the gods played a great role in the Trojan war, which was not mentioned in the movie.
The true history of Troy has been shrouded in mystery and has, to a certain extent, been lost. In the middle of the 18th century, the site of Ilios was the most sought after archaeological mystery. In the years between Achilles and Hector and modern time, the location of Troy had been lost. Only echoes of the ancient city remained in texts found elsewhere in the Anatolian peninsula and mainland Greece, and even though Homer’s epic poems ignited the passion to find Troy, they did little to reveal the exact location of his famous city. The one who found Troy would once and for all answer the Homeric Question: were the Iliad and Odyssey based on historical fact?
The Trojan War and its characters are detailed in the writings of Homer, Vergil, Dante and many others. It is a fantastical tale of a decade-long siege of a powerful city by a massive pan-hellenic force. However, even though it has proved to be such a rich source of inspiration for writers, poets and artists throughout
The Trojan War is described as one of histories most legendary battles. This battle is told to have lasted ten years, resulting in the eventual collapse of Troy, under the siege of Greek forces. Modern knowledge of the Trojan War has survived mainly through the account given in Homer’s Illiad, and while having proved to be a rich source of inspiration for other writers, artists, and even filmmakers in recent history, much speculation still exists surrounding his account. I will analyze modern interpretations of the Trojan War and examine both speculation and support for Homer’s account. Concluding with sufficient evidence that has been collected surrounding this epic battle, proving Homer’s account of a massive battle between these two powerful city states to not be just a tale of myth and legend, but actual history.
The Iliad is a book full of poems that talk about the history of Trojans and Greeks. Within the Iliad, there is a strong urge to show a world in which was are tremendous and the gods have direct hand in human events and these deities influence fate. The two leading gods, Achillies and Aeneas, the reader can see the ways in which these two cultural problems entwine and try to create an image of the ancient world which is at once barbarously real in terms of the depiction of not just the glory, but also the horrors of war which are filled with supernatural and mystical figures called the gods.
Homer’s Iliad is a masterpiece spanning copious generations. This classic illustrates aspects of a great war still discussed in history lessons – a war still captivating large audiences; however, the Iliad shows a different side of the war. Instead of giving raw facts about the violence that occurred, Homer created a story to give the faces of the war real personalities. Of course, some aspects are entirely fictional, such as the use of the Greek gods and goddesses, but this shows the cultural and religious aspects of a society long extinct.
The Trojan War was more than a series of battles between opposing forces, it was the climax of an age of heroes. The retrieval of Helen brought together many of the mythological characters of that time onto a single stage. Of the thousands of brave men who fought at Ilion, two men stood above the masses, sharing the title of hero. They were born in the line of those on Mt. Olympus, favored by the gods. Excelling in courage and skill, adored by those who followed them into battle, the actions of Achilles and Odysseus achieved a high place in Greek mythology. Through analysis we see that Odysseus and Achilles were close variations upon the same theme.
Barry Strauss, professor of classics at Cornell University attempts to redefine a one of history’s biggest love affairs, the Trojan War. Strauss explains how certain events and characters from Homers “The Odyssey” might have actually existed, but also uses modern discoveries from the Bronze Age to compare Homers account to those of Egypt, the Middle East, and etc. While Homer’s epic should not be read as a historical document which recounts the Trojan War hundred percent accurately, it can still be seen as document which embodies some historical truth. The novel as a whole explains the customs, economic standing, fighting styles and beliefs of the Greeks. Strauss’s writing style allows for the book to be accessible to both students and historians. He argues that just like Franz Ferdinand was the spark which ignited World War 1, Helen on the other hand was just a spark which escalated an existing tension between the Greeks and Trojans. Strauss’s personal input on the war itself gives the novel a different outlook on the Trojan War because, it allows for readers to see beyond the facts and make connections with ideas that Strauss had made with recent discoveries and Homers epic.