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troy of ılıad

BRIEF HISTORY;

The legendary ''Troy'' is the name of the Bronze Age city which was attacked in the Trojan War by greeks. The legend especially comes from the book of Homer ''Ilıad'' who lived a couple of ceturies after the war.  it is a popular legend in the mythology of ancient Greece, and the name given to the archaeological site in the north-west of Asia Minor (now Turkey) which has revealed a large and prosperous city. There has been much scholarly debate as to whether mythical Troy actually existed untill to time when the German Archeologist Schileman finds its exact place and made excavations. After that, there were suspicions whether the archaeological site was the same city mentioned by Homer. However, it is now almost universally accepted that the archaeological excavations have revealed the city of Homer’s Iliad. The place is called in Turkish as ''Hisarlık tepesi''

It is the largest Hellenistic / Roman Theater in Anatolia which has the capacity of 25,000 seats. The cavea has sixty six rows of seats, divided by two walkway between seats into three horizontal sections. In the lower section, too many marble pieces, and the Emperor's Box were found. There  seats with backs ,made of marble, which were thought to be reserved for important people. The audiences used to enter from the upper cavea.

The stage building is three-storied and 18 meters high. The facade facing the audience was ornamented with relieves, columns with niches, windows and statues. There are five doors opening to the pitch area, the middle one of which is wider than the rest. 

The legend of Troy is the subject of Homer’s Iliad in which he recounts the final year of the Trojan War that happened sometime in the 13th century BCE. The war was in fact a ten-year siege of the city by a coalition of Greek forces led by King Agamemnon of Mycenae. The reason of the siege and the war was to reclaim Helen, wife of Menelaos, king of Sparta and brother of Agamemnon. Acoording to Iliad, Helen was abducted by the Trojan prince Paris and taken as his prize for choosing Aphrodite as the most beautiful goddess in a competition with Athena and Hera. The Trojan War is also told in other sources such as the Epic Cycle poems. Troy and the Trojan War later became a staple myth of Classical Greek and Roman literature.

fortification walls of Troy.png
TROY
THE ANCIENT CITY OF TROY
MENELAUS
THE SPARTAN KING, HUSBAND of HELEN of TROY
HECTOR
Act & Death of Hector in Trojan War
AENEAS
THE LAST OF THE TROJANS
ACHILLES
Act & Death of Achilles in Trojan War
SARPEDON
Act & Death of Sarpedon in Trojan War
Show More

Homer describes Troy as a ‘well-founded’, ‘strong-built’ and ‘well-fortified ancient city. According to him there were also several points of battlements, towers and high walls. The country of Troja people at the foot of ''Ida'' mountain is also described as ''The land of beautiful Horses''. This fact may describe their tendecy to horses one of which caused to their destruction. The walls must have been unusually strong in order to withstand a ten-year siege of greeks, and in fact, Troy has been capturewd through the famous ''Trojan Horse'' trick rather than any defensive failure. Indeed, in Greek mythology the walls were so impressive that they were accepted as mythological things and the greek people believed that the walls have been built by Poseidon and Apollo who were delegated by Zeus to serve the Trojan king Laomedon for one year. However, it is also believed that the fortifications did not help the king when Herakles invaded the city with an expedition of only six ships. This action was Herakles’ revenge for not being paid for his services to the king when he killed the sea-serpent sent by Poseidon. This mythologic episode was traditionally placed one generation before the Trojan War as the only male survivor was Laomedon’s youngest son Priam who was the king of Troy and the father of Hector & paris during the Trojan war.

The city had been Inhabited from the Early Bronze Age (3000 BC) through to the 12th century,  is an archaeological site which is now called as ''Troy''.  The archeological ruins are 5 km inland from the coast, but it is known to be once by  the sea. The site was situated in a bay created by the mouth of the river Skamanda and occupied a strategically important position between Aegean and Eastern civilizations by controlling the principal point of access to the Black Sea, Anatolia and the Balkans from both directions by land and sea. In particular, the difficulty in finding favourable winds to enter the Dardanelles may well have resulted in ancient sailing vessels inport by the port of Troy. İt is known that the archeologist Schilemann found the lost city Troy by considering the windy foot of a mountain that were mentioned by Homer in Iliad. Consequently, the site became the most important Bronze Age city in the North Aegean, reaching the height of its prosperity in the middle Bronze Age, contemporary with the Mycenaean civilization on the Greek mainland and the Hittite empire to the East.
The fact that, it has to be mentioned specificly that Troy wasn't a Greek or Ionian city  as supposed by many people. Troy was an Anatolian or Asia-Minor civilisation just like Hittites, lydians, Lykians, Thracians, Phrigians etc. This fact become clear by considering  the descriptions of Homer in Iliad, which indicates that the other civilisations and their kings were the allies of Troja people. 

This truth is depicted in Iliad bookX as shown below:

 

          "Then sleep those aids among the Trojan train,
          (Inquired the chief,) or scattered o'er the plain?"
          To whom the spy: "Their powers they thus dispose
          The PACONS, dreadful with their bended bows,
          The CARIANS, CAUCONS, the PELESGIAN host,
          And LELEGES, encamp along the coast.
          Not distant far, lie higher on the land
          The LYCIAN, MYSIAN, and MAEONIAN band,
          And PHRYGIA's horse, by THYMBRAS' ancient wall;
          The THRACIANS utmost, and apart from all.
          These Troy but lately to her succour won,
          Led on by Rhesus, great Eioneus' son:

Iliad Book 10


All the tribes or nations mentioned at the Epic part above, are the people living around the mount ''Ida'', the tribes from the areas which leads from Troy to the southwest of Asia Minor like Carians & Lycians, the people from the middle parts of Asia Minor like Phyrigians, Leleges, Pelasgians and Mysians. There were also tribes from Tracians. Troy was first excavated by Frank Calvert in 1863  and visited by Heinrich Schliemann who continued excavations from 1870 until his death in 1890.  He especially and intentionally targetted the 20 m high artificial mound which had been left untouched since antiquity. The findings like gold and silver jewelleriey and vessels seemed to support his belief that the site was actually the Troy of Homer. However, these findings are dated to more than a thousand years before a probable date of the Trojan War and indicated that the history of the area was much more complex and older.

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The ancient Greek pottery Below is depicting the death of The Lycian King Sarpedon who came for help to Trojan people against Greeks with his cousin Glaukos and his troops. According to Iliad he asks Glaukos to combine all the Lycian Leaders for his avenge

Death of sarpedon in trojan war

The excavations by Germans & Turks continued throughout the 20th century and they have revealed nine different cities and no less than 46 levels of inhabitation at the site. These have been labelled Troy I to Troy IX after Schliemann’s original classification. The new developed ''Radio carbon method'', since the beginning of 21st century, gave us capasity to define the ages of the historical findings  strictly. 

Troy I (3000-2550 BC)

Troy I was a small village settlement surrounded by stone walls. some potteries and metal equipments have been unearthed.  The styles of the findings match the ones found on Lesbos and Lemnos in the Aegean and in northern Anatolia.

Troy II (2550-2300 BC) 
The settlement of Troy II, displays larger buildings which were about 40 m long, mud-made bricks and stone fortifications with monumental gates. Schliemann’s famous '‘Treasure of Priam’' which contains objects in gold, silver, electrum, bronze, carnelian and lapis lazul  mostpossibly belong to this period. This ‘Treasure’ includes 60 earrings, six bracelets, two magnificent diadems and 8750 rings, all in solid gold. Findings of foreign origined materials suggest trade with Asia. The majority of the artifacts are currently in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow. Of course the treasure which was brought to Germany by schilemann, were handled to Russian red army during the invasion of Germany in WWII. Russia is technically bound by a 1990 treaty that provides for the return of all pilfered art and artifacts back to Germany. But Russian museums are now stonewalling, saying they plan to keep the treasure as reparation for Germany's destruction of Soviet cities during the war. are some examples of the treasure in Puskin Museum.

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Troy III - Troy V (c. 2300-1750 BC) 
This is the most difficult period to define since the layers had been removed carelessly in early excavations in order to reach the lower levels. In this period presence of Anatolian influenced dome ovens and Minoan pottery are seen.


Troy VI (c. 1750-1300 BC) 
This is the most visible period  of Troy and is the most likely candidate for the besieged city which was depicted in Homer’s legendary work Iliad. Impressive 5 m thick and up to 8 m high fortification walls and several towers on the shape of Hittite rectengular towers, demonstrate the prosperity of the city and also a concern for defence. The walls certainly fit the Homeric description of ‘strong-built Troy’. In addition, sections of the walls are slightly offset every 10 m or so in order to curve around the site without the necessity for corners . This feature is unique to Troy and displays an independence from both Mycenaean and Hittite influence. The fortification walls have five gateways in order to access into the inner city composed of large structures with central courts and collonaded halls. Outside the fortified citadel there is the lower town which covers approximatelly 270,000 square metres 6 the area is protected by an encircling  ditch. 

Findings at the site point to the existence of a thriving wool industry and the first use of horses, which make us recall '‘Horse-taming Trojan people ’' in Homer’s Iliad. A large number of  Potteries which were very similar to Greek potteries have been unearthed .On the contrary of  Mycenaean palaces, there is no evidence of sculpture or fresco-painted walls.

Troy VI 
Troy VI was accepted as partially destroyed without the exact cause except from some evidences of fire. Bronze arrow heads, spear tips and sling shots were the things that have been found on the site. Some of them were found as hiden or buried in the fortification walls, which make us imagine some sort of conflict. The dates of these findings and the destruction evidences in the site correlate with dates which Herodotus’ mention for the Trojan War. Conflicts and fights between Mycenaeans and Hittites (and also the pre-Hittite Luvi Civilisation) over the centuries  are more probably  the main inspiration of the epic Trojan War in Greek mythology. There isn't any big  evidence which proves a large-scale war as mentioned in Iliad, but smaller conflicts is stated in Hittite texts where ‘Ahhiyawa’ is referred to Mycenaean Greeks and ‘Wilusa’ to the region of which Ilios (another and more ancient name of Troy which gives the epic Ilıad)was the capital. These documents tell about Mycenaean support to the rebel of localled Mycenaean people against Hittite control in the area of Troy. In the Hittite capital hattusa a bronze Mycenaean sword taken as war booty had been found.

Troy VII (1300-1180 BC) and Troy VIIb (1180-950 BC) 
They both display an increase in the size of the lower town and some reconstruction of the fortifications but also a poor period on architectural and artistic quality when compared with previous eras. 

Novadays, the ancient city of Troy can be reached easily from the modern city ''Çanakkale'' in Northwest of Turkey which was once was ''The land of Ilios''. The city is also famous because of  ''Gallipoli'' war, which was a conflict between Ottoman Empire and the allied forces consist of UK, France, New Zealandian, İndian, & Australian armed forces. That war is also known as the war when the Army of Great British Empire has been defeated first & the war which changed Australians into a nation. Because of all these important events in the history, çanakkale is one of the  most famous cities in the world, especially with its more famous ancient name ''Dardanelles''.

''Trojan Horse'' is the symbol of the city. Because of this, after the completion of the famous Hollywood film ''Troy'' in which Bradd pitt & Eric Bana played the Achilles & Hector roles, the wooden horse used in the film was presented to the municipality of the city. The wooden horse, now stands on one of the main squares of the city.

The modern city Çanakkale which has the closest accomodation facilities is presented in the slideshow below. 

Click on the links below for the main chracters of Trojan war

Achilleus / Act & Death

Hector / Act & Death      Petroklus / Act & Death    Sarpedon / Act & death  

Menelaos / Act & Death     Ajax / Act & death       

Aeneas          Helen     Agamemnon      Priamos      Paris

TROY
THE ANCIENT CITY OF TROY
MENELAUS
THE SPARTAN KING, HUSBAND of HELEN of TROY
HECTOR
Act & Death of Hector in Trojan War
AENEAS
THE LAST OF THE TROJANS
ACHILLES
Act & Death of Achilles in Trojan War
SARPEDON
Act & Death of Sarpedon in Trojan War
Show More
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