Did the Trojan War Really Happen?

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In summary, the conversation discusses the possible occurrence of the Trojan War and its causes. Some believe that it was a real event, possibly due to the kidnapping of a Greek queen, while others think it is just a myth. Archaeological evidence has been found, but there is still debate surrounding the war. The excavations of Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870s are often criticized for being destructive, but they did prove the existence of Troy. There are also references to the book and documentary "In Search of the Trojan War," which explores the evidence and theories surrounding the war.
  • #1
megas
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First about this topic, did this really happen? what do you all think? If so, did the war start becuase of women? Or for land? I think that the war prolly did happen, and maybe some of the story over time, has been a little over emphasized about what really happened.. If the war did happen, i think it was because of Hellen who was married to Menelaus, and the other ruler wanted power and rule over troy. :-p
 
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  • #2
Archaeological evidence was uncovered, I believe in the 20's, that a major war that decimated the city of Troy (which had previously been thought to not even be a real city) at about the time of Homer's narrative. Whether or not it occurred because of a kidnapping of a Greek queen is another matter. I don't think that anyone really knows.
 
  • #3
Someone correct me on this one but I once heard that "Helen" means "land" in Greek (or some such) so basically she's just a symbol in the story. The location of Troy is on a very heavily used trade route, so it would certainly have been grounds to start a war against a city that would tax the Greeks whenever they used it.
 
  • #4
It would be better to regard the destuction of Troy as just another episode in the historically well evidenced Dorian Invasion Period, which brought about a decline in Mycenean culture.
In particular, since Agamemnon was Mycenean rather than Dorian (i.e, Greek), we might possibly regard Troy as an example of how internecine fighting among Myceneans gradually weakened them, to the point that the Dorians could destroy their culture.
 
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  • #5
ya i think that's what hellens name means, i agree thou, we will never really know if the Trojan war really happen, but why would they be saying that a war happened if it really didnt? The war was described so well, that it is very believable and had to have had happened. But we will never know, sadly..Myths will still be myths,..
 
  • #6
Helen:
Possibly from either Greek helene "torch" or "corposant", or Greek selene "moon". In Greek mythology Helen was the daughter of Zeus and Leda, whose kidnapping by Paris was the cause of the Trojan War. The name was also borne by Saint Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine, who supposedly found the True Cross during a trip to Jerusalem. Another famous bearer was Helen Keller, the American author and lecturer who was both blind and deaf.
http://www.behindthename.com/php/view.php?name=helen
 
  • #7
loseyourname said:
Archaeological evidence was uncovered, I believe in the 20's, that a major war that decimated the city of Troy (which had previously been thought to not even be a real city) at about the time of Homer's narrative. Whether or not it occurred because of a kidnapping of a Greek queen is another matter. I don't think that anyone really knows.
In 1870 Schliemann bulldozed the mound, destroying most of the new layers in his search for the original Troy.

The story of the war is still under debate.

The best book (and a PBS series) IMHO, was done by Michael Woods, "In search of the Trojan War". I have the book, but missed the series. It appears it's available on DVD. I'm getting it.

Read the reviews, they're true, I loved the book.

 
  • #8
wha? that's new... they bulldozed the mound? argh! this will still be a mystery... That book sounds interesting I am going to go check it out, thanks! :smile: idk, i just got interested when i saw troy, and brad pitt died, that was the best part :P jkjk, but ya, Evo what do you think, about the war? yes its a mystery, but everyone is intitled to their own opinion. :biggrin:
 
  • #9
Early archaeology, including the excavation of Troy, was carried out by treasure hunters and amateur artifact collectors. They were not the best at what they did and their primitive methods destroyed quite a bit of the archaeological record. Professional archaeology did not even come into being until well into the 20th century.
 
  • #10
When we were reading the Oddysey, my classical civilisations teacher always told me that ther was evidence the real Troy was destroyed by an earthquake. He never went into any detail, as that wasn't the focus of our study, so I can't provide any details.
Remember- Homer's Illiad and Oddysey were fanciful stories of gods, heroes and monsters, and furthermore, in their early years were not committed to paper, but memorised and recited again ands again, and thus some original meaning was probably lost even before translation from ancient greek. How much, (if any) truth lies in them is unclear, and I'd be careful before taking any part of either book literally.
 
  • #11
Evo said:
In 1870 Schliemann bulldozed the mound, destroying most of the new layers in his search for the original Troy.

The story of the war is still under debate.

darn few bulldozers in 1870
he did dig thru the layers in a mess hunting for gold
but did prove that TROY WAS REAL :smile:
 
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  • #12
I saw a pretty cool documentary on Troy called "The truth of Troy" and it compared findings with Homer's story.
There seemed to be overwhelming evidence in support of a large city occupying an important strategeical position at about a similar time in the story (1700-1200 BC or something if I can remember correctly form the show).
I can't remember the details of the documentary but it was really good.
So definitely a city that fits the rough description of Troy and definitely a war, but if it involved Greeks is unknown. Battle was most likely over the position of the city as well.
Thanks Evo I might check out that book as well.
 
  • #13
Schliemann was a crackpot and bully who just happened to get something right, destroying lots of stuff because he didn't think it belonged to "his" Troy.
 
  • #14
ray b said:
darn few bulldozers in 1870
he did dig thru the layers in a mess hunting for gold
but did prove that TROY WAS REAL :smile:
Bulldozed is a term for recklessly and destructively going through something. Schliemann's method at Troy is commonly referred to as having bulldozed his way through the mound.
 
  • #15
ray b said:
darn few bulldozers in 1870
he did dig thru the layers in a mess hunting for gold
but did prove that TROY WAS REAL :smile:
Technically, 'bulldozer' was the term for the blade, not the tractor, even if the modern definition lists the only kind of bulldozer you would ever see today.

Bulldozers (the blade) were pulled by oxen or mules or some other beast long before the tractor and treads were invented. They also had more limited uses, since they didn't have nearly as much power. Normally, they were just used to spread out a fresh pile of dirt that had been dumped at the site. Plus, mule or oxen powered bulldozers didn't back up nearly as well as the modern tractor bulldozer does.

Of course, I guess that means the only mound he could have bulldozed was one he'd made himself by piling up the dirt he dug up. :rolleyes:
 
  • #16
by the way,

the troyan war was actually a battle, so it was the troyan battle. It was the longest during battle of the history, known yet for humanity.
 
  • #17
Can you provide a source to back that up?
edit- Oh, I'm guessing now that you are referring to Homer's Illiad. Never mind.
 

Related to Did the Trojan War Really Happen?

1. What evidence do we have that the Trojan War actually took place?

There is no definitive evidence that the Trojan War actually occurred. The story of the Trojan War comes from ancient Greek literature, specifically the epic poems of Homer. However, there is archaeological evidence that supports the existence of Troy, the city at the center of the war. Excavations at the site of Troy have revealed a city that was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, and artifacts found there match descriptions from Homer's poems.

2. Who were the key players in the Trojan War?

The Trojan War involved a coalition of Greek city-states, led by King Agamemnon of Mycenae. The Trojans were led by King Priam of Troy. The most famous figures from the war include Achilles, the greatest warrior of the Greeks, and Hector, the greatest warrior of the Trojans.

3. What was the cause of the Trojan War?

According to legend, the Trojan War was sparked by the abduction of Helen, the wife of Menelaus, by the Trojan prince Paris. However, this is just one version of the story and there are many other interpretations of the cause of the war. Some historians believe that the war may have been over trade routes or control of the region.

4. How long did the Trojan War last?

The duration of the Trojan War is debated among scholars. According to Greek mythology, the war lasted for 10 years. However, some historians believe that the actual conflict may have been shorter, possibly lasting only a few years. The timeline of the war is also complicated by the fact that there were multiple battles and events that took place during this time.

5. What impact did the Trojan War have on ancient Greek society?

The Trojan War was a significant event in ancient Greek mythology and had a lasting impact on their culture. It was seen as a defining moment in Greek history and was referenced in many works of literature, art, and theater. The war also helped establish the power and dominance of the city-state of Athens, which emerged as the most powerful Greek city-state after the war.

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