In this book Joachim Latacz turns the spotlight of modern research on the much-debated question of whether the wealthy city of Troy described by Homer in the Iliad was a poetic fiction or a memory of historical reality.
Earlier excavations at the hill of Hisarlik, in Turkey, on the Dardanelles, brought no answer, but in 1988 a new archaeological enterprise, under the direction of Manfred Korfmann, led to a radical shift in understanding. Latacz, one of Korfmann's closest collaborators, traces the course of these excavations, and the renewed investigation of the imperial Hittite archives they have inspired. As he demonstrates, it is now clear that the background against which the plot of the Iliad is acted out is the historical reality of the thirteenth century BC. The Troy story as a whole must have arisen in this period, and we can detect traces of it in Homer's great poem.
I: Troy The old sources: a lack of authenticity The fundamental problem: was Hisarlik really once Troia/Ilios? Staging posts in a search: what was Hisarlik called in the Bronze Age? Conclusions: Troy and the empire of the Hittites The opposing side: `Achaians' and `Danaans' - two more names rehabilitated The result: Homer's backdrop is historical II: Homer The basic facts Homer's Iliad and the tale of Troy The tale of Troy independent of Homer's When was the tale of Troy conceived? How did the tale of Troy reach Homer? The tale of Troy and history The result: there probably was a war over Troy
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Oxford University Press, Incorporated
February 02, 2005
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