Introduction to the Ancient World: Greece

Lecture 3

Troy and Homer

I. Troy: myth and archaeology


A.        The story: Judgment of Paris (Hera/Juno; Athena/Minerva; Aphrodite/Venus); 
                   Menelaos and Helen of Sparta.

  More: Achilles, Thetis, River Styx, Achilles at Skyros, another snag: Iphigenia at Aulis; Agamemnon
and Clytemnestra.

 The sack: Laocoon; the Trojan Horse

B.       The archaeology of Troy:

                   The excavations at Hissarlik: Heinrich Schliemann (1870's and 80's); W. Doerpfeld, Carl Blegen
                   (U. of Cincinnati, 1930's); resumed in 1990's.

                   The layers (stratigraphy): Troy I (3,000-2,600 B.C.), Troy II (2,600-2,300 B.C.), Troy VI (1,900-1,300),
                   Troy VIIa (1,300-1,250 B.C.); Troy IX (350 B.C.-A.D. 400); all dates approximate.

                   Main ancient date for the Trojan War: 1183 B.C. (Eratosthenes, 3rd cent. BC) 

                   TV series (documentary): In Search of the Trojan War, and book by Michael Wood (1985).

             excellent web resource:
             e.g. on newly discovered fortification ditch for Troy VI

II. Continuing fascination with Troy and the Trojans

       A. Good story in myth and archaeology; see above

       B. Homer's emphasis not on winners and losers, but on larger issues of humanity
            (war and peace, love and hate, bravery, emotions, fragility)

       C. Trojans as successful survivors
            a. Rome's ancestor Aeneas (father Anchises, son Ascanius/Julus); Rome as the second Troy
            b. via Roman empire, Troy and Trojans as ancestors of
Goths, Franks, Venetians, Normans,
              Turks, British, Scandinavians, and Byzantines

       D. Troy and Trojans in American culture (a sample)
            a. cities and towns named Troy (25 - vs. 16 for Athens, 17 for Rome)
            b. sports teams - high school and college

            c. commercial: why Trojan? Prevent defense? Strength (and honor)?

III.     Homer

       Not a contemporary: Iliad and Odyssey from approx. 750-700 B.C.;
       ongoing changes till 5th cent.  B.C.; oral poetry

       The story of the Iliad (note spelling: one "l" only; from Ilion = Troy)
       not fall of Troy, but anger (management) of Achilles; others: Patroklos, Ajax, Hektor,
       Andromache, Priam
       Cf. Troy (2004) and its cast of characters
       Achilles' choice and values; Priam and Achilles

Please bring Odyssey texts to class next time. In addition to the selections listed in the syllabus, please read the following: the story of Ares and Aphrodite (Book 8.266-366 [Fitzgerald, pp. 132-136]; the Sirens: Book 12.165-200 [Fitz. 214-216]; Odysseus' name and the recognition by the nurse: Book 19.386-604 [Fitz. 365-372]). 

Lecture 3 images

modified Jan. 20, 2014