Minggu, 08 April 2012

Trojan War Myth orReality?

Did the city of Troy really exist? Is the Trojan
War myth or military reality? And what about
that giant horse?
In the Greek poem The Iliad, the basis for
Troy, Prince Paris of Troy steals the gorgeous
Helen, of Greece, from her husband, King
Menelaus. The act brings the two nations to
war, and eventually Greeks led by the warrior
Achilles lay siege to Troy. The poet Homer
probably wrote the epic several hundred
years after the war is supposed to have taken
place. Much of it is no doubt fantasy. No
evidence that Achilles or Helen exist.
Not single Event
Archaeologists who have been digging into
the myth of Homer's poem believe the
legendary war may have been a process
rather than a single event. Eric Cline cline said
Trojan war or wars took place, and that
Homer chose to write about one or more of
them by making it into a great ten-year-long
saga.
Nine Cities of Troy
Archeologists who dig the placed said to be
troy say , the site contains nine cities built on
top of each other. There is a citadel in the
middle and a town around it. A high wall
fortified the town.
Eager to find the legendary treasures of Troy,
Schliemann blasted his way down to the
second city, where he found what he believed
were the jewels that once belonged to Helen.
As it turns out, the jewels were a thousand
years older than the time described in
Homer's epic.
Today archaeologists believe that the sixth
and seventh oldest cities found in layers at
Hisarlik are the best candidates for the Troy
of The Iliad. Resplendent and strong, city
number six looks like Homer's Troy. The
problem is that this city's destruction in 1250
B.C. does not appear to have been caused by
war but an earthquake.
Homer Clue
In The Iliad, the Greeks breach the city walls
by hiding inside a giant horse, which they
present as a gift to the Trojans. The Trojan
horse could have been a metaphor for
Poseidon, a god associated with horses who
was both the god of the seas and
earthquakes. "The suggestion is that Homer
knew that the city he was describing had
been destroyed by an earthquake," Cline said.
"But that's not how you want to end your
monumental saga—with a whimper. So he
concocted this idea of a Trojan horse."
The seventh oldest city at the site, on the
other hand, fits the description of a city under
siege and destroyed by war in 1175 B.C.
Archaeologists have found arrowheads in the
streets. But the city itself was not as grand as
the one described by Homer. cline said
Homer may have taken the description of Troy
6 and the destruction of Troy 7, and, using
poetic license, blurred the two into one ten-
year-long war. But these are the words of
people who have already agreed to trojan
war and are searching for evidence.
Sea People
In the late Bronze Age, Troy, if located at the
Hisarlik site, would have been a great prize
for power-hungry kings. Perched at the
entrance to the Black Sea, the city would have
been at an international crossroads. The
Greek Mycenaean empire would have lain to
the west. The Hittite empire, which stretched
from Mesopotamia to Syria, would have been
to the east. As for its great wealth, Troy may
have acquired that by taxing seafarers
traveling into the Black Sea.
One theory suggests that the lesser known
Sea Peoples wrecked Troy. Originally from
what is now Italy, the Sea Peoples swept
across the Mediterranean Sea from west to
east. According to inscriptions found in Egypt,
this group came through Troy at the time of
the Trojan War, around 1200 B.C.
Hittites and Greece
Yet another theory, supported by ancient
Hittite texts, suggests an intermittent, 200-year
conflict that raged between the Hittite empire
and a rebel coalition that included Troy. In
this text, the Mycenaeans of Greece actually
allied themselves with the Trojans against the
Hittites. Archaeologists have found
Mycenaean pottery in Troy 6, supporting the
suggestion that the two nations were allies.
The least plausible explanation, most
archaeologists agree, is that the Trojan War
was fought over Helen, described by Homer
as the most beautiful woman in the world.
However, there is a historical precedent for a
war being fought over an injustice done to a
king. In the 14th century B.C., the Hittite king
received a letter from the Egyptian queen. She
said her husband had died and asked the
Hittite king if he could send a son for her to
marry. The Hittite eventually agreed and sent
one of his sons. On his way to Egypt,
however, the prince was killed. Believing the
Egyptians killed him, the Hittites declared war
on Egypt.
If the Hittites and the Egyptians could go to
war in the 14th century over the son of the
king, why wouldn't the Mycenaeans and
Trojans go to war less than a hundred years
later because the king's wife has been
kidnapped? Cline asked. "One can't really rule
out that it was fought over Helen, but at the
moment we don't have any supporting data
for that."
Romantic History
One thing is clear: The wars seem to have
ended an age. "Homer is writing a memory of
the end of the world," said Diane Thompson,
author of The Trojan War: Literature and
Legend from the Bronze Age to the Present.
"Nostalgia fuels his writing, and it has fueled
it ever since."
When the Roman poet Virgil in the first
century B.C. rewrote Homer's story in his own
classic The Aeneid, he turned the Greeks into
scruffy villains and described the Trojans as
beautiful losers who went on to found the
Roman Empire. Through the ages, European
people clung to this version—many of them
tracing their ancestry back to Troy.

controversialhistory.blogspot.com/2008/03/trojan-war-myth-or-reality.html?m=1

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