Fall of Troy Marks End of Trojan War (Great Events from History: The Ancient World, Prehistory-476)
Article abstract: The Mycenaean-Greek invaders defeated and almost completely destroyed Troy; their victory became a symbol of Greek dominance over Asia.
Summary of Event
Knowledge about the legendary Trojan War is based primarily on the Greek Homer’s poetic works, with supplementary information obtained from later writers. It is thought that Homer lived in the eighth century b.c.e., which means that he was writing about a war that occurred about five hundred years before his time. Homer relied entirely on legends that had been transmitted orally through the generations. Legends about the war had most likely become mixed with those of other military conflicts. As he was a poet rather than a historian, Homer’s primary objective in the Iliad (c. 750 b.c.e.; English translation, 1611) and the Odyssey (c. 725 b.c.e.; English translation, 1614) was not to relate history “as it actually happened.” Clearly, he embellished the heroic aspects of the personalities to tell a good story and appeal to militaristic, aristocratic values. His religious interpretations attributing causation to the gods further diminished his concern about historical accuracy. Still, the majority of modern historians believe that Homeric legends had some foundation in a large-scale war that really occurred.
No factual statements about particular incidents of the Trojan War are established beyond reasonable doubt....
(The entire section is 1678 words.)
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